Losing a Pet Hurts More Than People Think April 28, 2019

If you are a pet owner, you already know that there are no words that can describe the joy and love pets bring in the home.

Pets are a perfect company, they welcome us at the door, eagerly waiting for us to spend some time playing with them, they can perform numerous pranks and tricks to make us laugh, they are amazing with kids, and they offer unconditional love.

Pets are always there for us when we are feeling blue or lonely, when we need comfort and a warm hug, and when we are happy that life can sometimes be too beautiful to be true.

This explains why people find it too difficult to say goodbye to their pets. The loss of a pet is always a traumatic and painful experience, as it is the departure of a best friend.

Numerous people underestimate the pain felt after losing a dog or a cat, or any other pet, so researchers investigated the extent of sorrow owners feel in these cases.

The study was carried out in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. Researchers questioned pet owners about their feelings after the loss of their pet, and they all agreed that the pain has been too intense and deep. 

Interestingly, Hawaiian researchers have even found that the pain after the death of a pet is usually much longer lasting than the pain we feel with the loss of a loved one.

Numerous people agree that they cannot compare the pain they have experienced after the loss of their pet to the one after the loss of a loved one. This can only be explained by the fact that pet owners are deeply connected to their loved pets, and they suffer as they have lost their soul mate.

Source: www.naturalhealingmagazine.com

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Did Jesus Go To Hell? Part 2

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Based upon my research, I could go either way with this issue. I can see the fact that Jesus stated, “It is finished!” [Refer to: John 19:30, Matthew 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46] While it was only noted in the Book of John the words, “It is finished!” However, when His Spirit was given up to God, it can be implied that His purpose on this earth was finished, or implied that He completed the task given Him by the Father was completed.  Although, we are not to add to God’s Word anything we think happened, but rather what we can glean from the information given to us by the Gospel writers. From the written word we can also see the possibility that Jesus did go to Hell in order to finish His mission.

Consider the following:

Ephesians 4:9 NKJV Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

Acts 2:24 NKJV whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

1 Peter 3:19 NKJV by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison

Hosea 13:14 NKJVI will ransom them from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.

Zechariah 9:11 NKJV As for you also, Because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

Colossians 2:15 NKJV Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Each of these scriptural references implies that Christ descended into Hell. However an argument can be made that each infers that Christ was buried in the earth and rose from the dead…and then ascended to Heaven.

While Jesus suffered the outpouring of God’s wrath on the cross; however, for the rest of us humans (non-Gods) [Psalm 82:6-7 NKJV] You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men…” We will be sent to Hell for the fulfillment of God’s judgement against us, will we no? Why then wouldn’t Jesus also be subject to such judgement? Although, we do need to keep in mind [Romans 9:15 NKJV, Exodus 33:19 NKJV] I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.

Wherein Consisted Christ’s Humiliation after his Death? The Westminster Larger Catechism Answered: Christ’s humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried, and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day; which has been otherwise expressed in these words, he descended into hell. But as King David foretold in Psalm 16:10 (NKJV): “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” We all can ask but what of the soul or spirit of Jesus? Of course, as it is in Systematic Theology some argue that the word means precisely what it says, i.e. He descended to hell.[Personal Note: I am not Catholic, but I was raised as such. I have a great number of problems with the Catholic Doctrine. However, I believe much of the word was passed through the Catholic Church and was protected, overall, for us to read and come to know our Lord and Savior, Our God and Our Creator. That is why some of my research usually includes Catholic references.]

The idea of preaching to the spiritual prisoners in Hell, in the context of 1 Peter 3, seems rather unlikely and unbelievable. An argument (not defended) by Augustine: The passage refers to what Jesus did in the spiritual realm of existence at the time of Noah. Christ was preaching  through Noah to the hostile unbelievers around Him during his building of the Ark. Such things supporting such a notion:

1 Peter 1:11 NKJVHe testified beforehand

1 Peter 3:19 NKJV “… He went and preached to the spirits in prison

2 Peter 2:5 NKJVdid not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah

Consider what was written in 1 Peter 4:6 NKJVpreached also to those who are dead” The word “dead” is a bit ambiguous, don’t you think? Are we talking “dead” physically? Are we talking “dead” spiritually? Those separated from God? Perhaps, unbelievers?

Atonement (non-Reformed): Christ paid for all sins on the cross.

Atonement (Reformed): Argue IF Christ paid for all sins of all people on the cross, then there is no penalty left for anyone to pay.

Atonement (My Opinion): Christ paid for all sins of all, once, on the cross. [see Romans 6:10 NKJV] However, man MUST accept Christ into their hearts, Believe, Repent of their sins, & Be Baptized.

I believe, of course this is my opinion only, that Christ did not have to complete the judgement of God the Father by going to Hell in our place. He, Jesus, had to fulfill the judgement on the cross where He was “…counted among the transgressors…” [Isaiah 53:12Luke 22:37] and eventually gave up His spirit.

I believe this was quite a subject to study. It made me think on the Biblical text, research what others stated, and eventually come to my own conclusion. Between my notes (10+ pages), web searches [3 general, 4 specific], the videos, the podcasts, reference books, etc. The basis for this study was a question posed on Facebook, of all places. [I am rather surprised that it was not removed for violating their standards.] It is questions such as this, however basic they may be that truly gets you digging into the Biblical text, commentaries, searching the internet, and other reference books on the same subject.

I hope this was interesting for you!

May God Richly Bless you, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

References:

Systematic Theology, Chapter 27 “Atonement” by Wayne Grudem

8 Bible Verses on Christ’s Descent into Hell by

Where was Jesus for the three days between His death and resurrection? GotQuestions.com

Parable of the Lost Sheep AllAboutJesusChrist.org

Heidelberg Catechism

[CHRIST] “DESCENDED INTO HELL”

 

Did Jesus Go To Hell? Part 1

This is an interesting philosophical question. We all need to have these kinds of questions on our minds and actually do the research and answer these questions for ourselves. We should want to do such research for ourselves just so we have a basis of information to answer others who ask of us thes sorts of questions. You know:

“...always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” ~1 Peter 3:15 NKJV

One side says, “YES, Jesus did go to Hell” and the other side says, “Jesus did NOT go to Hell.” There are those who take no position on the issue either because they do not wish to offend someone OR they just do not care because it just does not matter to them to waste (in their opinion) their time on something as such. YOU will be one of these four people. Will you lose your salvation because you believe one way versus the other, or do not care at all? No, it will not have any affect on your salvation. But I find some of these questions to be both interesting and mind stretching.

Jesus came to find and save the lost sheep of God the Father’s flock (Jews, brothers & sisters, of sort.) [Refer to: Matthew 15:25, 18:12-14; Luke 15:3-7, 19:10; 1 Peter 2:24-25]

The words, “He descended into Hell” are not in the Biblical test; however, they are implied by the Biblical text in certain ways. Although, such a creedal statement is pushed forth by the Apostle’s Creed, which was not approved by a single church council, as was the Nicene Creed (325 A.D. & 381 A.D.) However, throughout the history of the Apostle’s Creed which was shaped over the centuries from 200 A.D. through approximately 750 A.D. These words were not specified in the creedal statement until the writings of Runinus (390 A.D.) Considering the writings of Runinus, “He descended into Hell” meant that Christ was buried. That statement took on a whole new meaning over the centuries.

Some definitions:

  • Hades: the abode or state of the dead (grave.)
  • Hell: the place or state of punishment of the wicked after death; the abode of evil and condemned spirits; Gehenna
  • Abyss: a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or cavity; vast chasm
  • Sheol: the abode of the dead (grave) or of departed spirits.

The Heidelberg Catechism (Q44) questioned/answered the following:

Q. Why does the creed add, “He descended to hell”?
A. To assure me during attacks of deepest dread and temptation that Christ my Lord, by suffering unspeakable anguish, pain, and terror of soul, on the cross but also earlier, has delivered me from hellish anguish and torment.

[Isa. 53; Matt. 26:36-46; 27:45-46; Luke 22:44; Heb. 5:7-10]

John Calvin reasoned the following:

..If Christ had died only a bodily death, it would have been ineffectual. No — it was expedient at the same time for him to undergo the severity of God’s vengeance, to appease his wrath and satisfy his just judgment. For this reason, he must also grapple hand to hand with the armies of hell and the dread of everlasting death. A little while ago we referred to the prophet’s statement that “the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him,” “he was wounded for our transgressions” by the Father, “he was bruised for our infirmities” [Isaiah 53:5 p.]. By these words he means that Christ was put in place of evildoers as surety and pledge — submitting himself even as the accused — to bear and suffer all the punishments that they ought to have sustained. All — with this one exception: “He could not be held by the pangs of death” [Acts 2:24 p.]. No wonder, then, if he is said to have descended into hell, for he suffered the death that, God in his wrath had inflicted upon the wicked! Those who — on the ground that it is absurd to put after his burial what preceded it — say that the order is reversed in this way are making a very trifling and ridiculous objection. The point is that the Creed sets forth what Christ suffered in the sight of men, and then appositely speaks of that invisible and incomprehensible judgment which he underwent in the sight of God in order that we might know not only that Christ’s body was given as the price of our redemption, but that he paid a greater and more excellent price in suffering in his soul the terrible torments of a condemned and forsaken man.

To continue on, he further reasoned that Christ’s descent into Hell refers to the fact that Christ not only died a bodily death on the cross, but He also underwent the severity of God’s vengeance to appease the wrath of God the Father.

We, the common man, could both extrapolate and query the from the above, the following:

Jesus by taking our place was also separated from God (Isaiah 59:2), which explains Jesus’ despair (Psalm 22:1-2; Matthew 22:46; Mark 15:34.) Upon Jesus’ death he was buried. IF Jesus took our place of torment, where would His soul/spirit go? IF His soul/spirit went back to be with  God, then God’s judgement is not theoretically completed. I would posit the possibility that Jesus’ soul/spirit did go to Hell to finish the judgement process. Thereby, allowing Jesus to conquer death, implied and stated by the Apostles John and Paul.

Also, with Jesus conquering death and possessing the keys of death & Hades (Revelation 1:18) it can be inferred that Jesus went to Hell. [This is my opinion based upon the Biblical text, theological treatises (both for and against) and my personal reasoning.]

Otherwise, where did Jesus’ soul/spirit go upon death and burial? An how was God’s wrath and vengeance appeased if Jesus did not go to Hell to fulfill God’s judgement.

To be continued, next week…

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

 

References:

Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

8 Bible Verses on Christ’s Descent into Hell by

Where was Jesus for the three days between His death and resurrection? GotQuestions.com

Parable of the Lost Sheep AllAboutJesusChrist.org

Heidelberg Catechism

[CHRIST] “DESCENDED INTO HELL”

A Bit On Bullying

#BullyingIsReal

I saw this project by Gabriella Corvina and it inspired me, at least, to have one blog post on bullying. Why is it that we do not teach our children to protect those who are weaker than ourselves? Why do we allow, as children or adults, to permit bullying and other forms of abuse to be laid on those who are too weak to protect themselves. Often times, we are there looking on in awe, or we are angry at those doing such things, or we are snickering and laughing with the rest of the group just hoping to fit in with them. Why do we allow this to continue on?

I know in my neck of the woods, that very often those who have had enough and finally stand up for themselves end up being suspended from school for what??? BULLYING! Yes, you got it. there was a case here in Nebraska where a kid was being abused by his/her fellow school mate(s). He/she reared back after having far too much and let his abuser have it. the next day HE (the abusee) was suspended from school for…wait for it…bullying! This was despite all the witnesses had to say. It used to be when I was growing up, if you had a problem with someone you went around the back of the school and had it out…then it was over. Now a days, it has become a national progressive circus.

Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy. ~Psalm 82:3 NKJV

Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” ~Luke 14:12-14 NKJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. ~1 Thessalonians 5:14 NKJV

See the source image

While most depictions of bullying, on are both unrealistic and unsubstantiated. The reality of bullying, at least when I was a kid was an attempt to show power over another by force. While I love the depictions of the bullied standing up for themselves and putting down the bully, but it is not a very common thing. Especially, in this PC (politically correct) culture and the drive to feminizing the American male. Now boys are suppose to base all of their decisions upon their feelings, instead of by logic and reason.

All too often, people (primarily those who do not belie and those who doubt the Christian faith) ask, “why does God permit the pain and suffering we see all around us? A good god would not allow the kind of suffering we see in our world, would He?” I believe J. Warner Wallace has some great insights on this subject:

  1. A good God values character over comfort. Creature comforts are temporary, but character transcends time. It shouldn’t surprise us that a transcendent God would understand the difference,
  2. A transcendent God understands that ‘love’ is the perfect balance between mercy and justice. We, as humans, often hold a very temporal understanding of love; we think of love as a warm, instantaneous feeling, a lustful desire, or a passionate season of romance. But God understands that true love transcends the moment and often requires discernment, discipline and judgment,
  3. An eternal God provides humans with an existence beyond the grave. We usually want our desire for comfort, love, mercy and justice to be satisfied in this life and immediately, if at all possible. But our pursuit of immediate gratification often leads us to do things that are ultimately harmful.

While many would and do believe that pain and suffering disproved God, because many cannot get beyond the fact that pain and suffering actually teach us things, very valuable lessons. Patience. Character. Integrity. Fear. Joy. Mercy & Compassion. And so much more…

The following are two articles on helping the poor and weak, these are Biblical tenets on the subject, based upon the teachings that were passed down. Peruse or skim through them.

 

I recall, back in 2013, my wife and I took a trip to Washington D.C. for 5 days. It was great, we had a great time. I had not been there since the early-mid 1970s. The historic nature of the trip was fantastic! However, the most impressive upon my heart was the touring of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum where you walked through the various plights of pain and suffering of the Jewish people, as a whole, during WWII. It impressed upon me to from that moment on to aid, help, or protect the poor & weak if it be in my power to do so. This was but one of numerous historical events which depicted bullying on a national, if not on a world wide, scale. You cannot legislate morals, but you can act morally. You cannot legislate character or integrity…but you can act in such a way that you are a light of hope to those who need such a mentor.

The only way to stamp out bullying is to allow those the opportunity to stand up for themselves and let the bully know, in no uncertain terms…”you’re not tough, you’re just a jerk!”

Often times many bullies are either living in a home where everything is given to them and receive little, if any, discipline. Or, perhaps, they are made to feel worthless and because of their size and stature they are able to pass that worthless feeling on to others who are smaller than they.

There are a great many people who are bullied:

  • fat people
  • skinny people
  • homosexuals
  • pot heads
  • members of PETA, as well as other members of other groups
  • the list continues unto eternity

Regardless of one’s persuasion, all mankind deserves to be treated with dignity. You know the old saying, “Love the sinner, not the sin.” And for that matter every group that is bullied by others, somewhere else is the bully. Hatred will never be cancelled out through more hatred, but showing of love to our fellow man.  Hatred is learned by those we hang around with or reared up by. Love and protect those around you! You do not have to love what they do, but we are mandated to love our neighbor!

Remember the Great Commandment:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

It is not predicated on the verifying of one’s sexual orientation (which is a topic for another blog post), nor whether you are worthy, nor if you have paid your dues…this was a mandate to us by the Son of the Most High God!

We need to teach our children to respect others, to walk away from a fight, if it is possible, and to defend those who are not able to defend themselves! Our children should be trained in the art of self-defense, and to control one’s own emotions and anger. These tools, along with the Biblical tenets of how to live life will follow them into their old age.

Everything Has Its Time

…A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

I hope this was helpful and enlightening…

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

 

Here are some other videos, which espouse the truth of bullying:

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day: Revisiting Islam’s Greatest Slaughter of Christians 04/24/2019 by Raymond Ibrahim

A still frame from the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, which portrayed eye witnessed events from the Armenian Genocide, including stripped naked and crucified Christian girls.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the genocide of Christians—mostly Armenians but also Assyrians and Greeks—that took place under the Islamic Ottoman Empire, throughout World War I.  Then, in an attempt to wipe out as many Christians as possible, the Turks massacred approximately 1.5 million Armenians, 300,000 Assyrians, and 750,000 Greeks. 

Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:

More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse.  A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century.  At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000….  Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.

Similarly, in 1920, U.S. Senate Resolution 359 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.”  

In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (consistent with Islam’s rules of war).  Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross,” she wrote, “spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.”  Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.

Whereas the genocide is largely acknowledged in the West, one of its primary if not fundamental causes is habitually overlooked: religion.  The genocide is usually articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that factors only things that are intelligible from a secular, Western point of view—such as identity and gender politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. Such an approach does little more than project modern Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations and eras.

War, of course, is another factor that clouds the true face of the genocide.  Because these atrocities mostly occurred during World War I, so the argument goes, they are ultimately a reflection of just that—war, in all its chaos and destruction, and nothing more.  But as Winston Churchill, who described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust,” correctly observed, “The opportunity [WWI] presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.”  Even Adolf Hitler had pointed out that “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.”

It’s worth noting that little has changed; in the context of war in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, the first to be targeted for genocide have been Christians and other minorities.

But even the most cited factor of the Armenian Genocide, “ethnic identity conflict,” while legitimate, must be understood in light of the fact that, historically, religion accounted more for a person’s identity than language or heritage.   This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments and Muslim mobs persecute Christian minorities who share the same race, ethnicity, language, and culture; minorities who are indistinguishable from the majority—except, of course, for being non-Muslims, or “infidels.”

As one Armenian studies professor asks, “If it [the Armenian Genocide] was a feud between Turks and Armenians, what explains the genocide carried out by Turkey against the Christian Assyrians at the same time?” The same can be said about the Greeks. From a Turkish perspective, the primary thing Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks had in common was that they were all Christian “infidels.”

According to a 2017 book, Year of the Sword: The Assyrian Christian Genocide, the “policy of ethnic cleansing was stirred up by pan-Islamism and religious fanaticism.  Christians were considered infidels (kafir).  The call to Jihad, decreed on 29 November 1914 and instigated and orchestrated for political ends, was part of the plan” to “combine and sweep over the lands of Christians and to exterminate them.”   As with Armenians and Greeks, eyewitness accounts tell of the sadistic eye-gouging of Assyrians and the gang rape of their children on church altars. According to key documents, all this was part of “an Ottoman plan to exterminate Turkey’s Christians.”

Today, from Indonesia in the east to Morocco in the west, from Central Asia in the north, to sub-Sahara Africa—that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians; where formal Islamic groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS), Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, etc., hold sway, Christians and other “infidels” are literally experiencing a genocide.  (See my book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians — or my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” report — for a comprehensive and ongoing account of the “great crime” of our times.)

To understand how the historic genocide of Armenians and Assyrians is representative of the modern day plight of Christians under Islam, one need only read the following words written in 1918 by President Theodore Roosevelt; however, read “Armenian” as “Christian” and “Turkish” as  “Islamic,” as supplied in brackets:

the Armenian [Christian] massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey [the Islamic world] is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish [Islamic] horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense.

Similarly, if we “fail to deal radically” with the “horror” currently being visited upon millions of Christians around the Islamic world, we “condone it” and had better cease talking “mischievous nonsense” of a utopian world of peace and tolerance.

Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would liquidate the “other.”  In 1915, Adolf Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans, which he implemented some three decades later, when he rhetorically asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

And who among today’s major politicians speaks—let alone does anything—about the ongoing annihilation of Christians by Muslims, most recently (but not singularly) seen in the Easter Sunday church bombings of Sri Lanka that left over 300 dead?

Note: Chapter 4 of the author’s recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, documents how the first “genocide” of Armenians at the hands of Turks actually began precisely one millennium ago, in the year 1019.

The Mind Is The Center Of Every Battle

BattlefieldMind

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. ~2 Corinthians 10:3

Regardless of who we are, Christian or atheist, man or woman, we are in constant warfare! We are assaulted by peers, those we work with, family, etc. our mind is attacked daily. Our thoughts are constantly under attack.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. ~Proverbs 16:32

We are admonished to rule over our mind, to control it! Remember what God said to Cain in Genesis 4:7, If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it. Again, we are commanded to rule over our own mind, by God Himself! While alone, our mind is our only companion. If we are not praying and speaking to God. We are in constant state of thinking and talking to ourselves. We MUST control what we think and talk about, the tone in which we do so…we set the tone! Depending upon which study you read, the human brain produces approximately 70,000 thoughts on an average day There are 86,400 seconds in a 24 hour day. That means we have a different thought every 1.2 seconds.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. ~Isaiah 26:3

Our mind does wander and wonder. Sadly, by allowing our mind to drift and wander, we permit it to stray from what is good, right, proper and Godly. In so doing we permit sinfulness to creep into our minds and we must seek forgiveness.

We are reminded that,

the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7)

The carnal mind is, therefore, our greatest problem! We must be diligent and vigilant to keep it solely aimed on God, His commandments, on Jesus, and His teachings!  We must do so all the time while awake and consistently pray for God’s guidance. Our mind submits to sin and the things of the flesh. By permitting our mind to run amok or awry, will lead us down the path of evil and sinfulness which will be difficult to recover from.

if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing ~2 Corinthians 4:3

Which refers to our mind as being blinded, covered or concealed masked; disguised; hidden; obscure, to the teachings of the Gospel truth. The evil one has power to blind us, or misguide us, to capture our mind that we should do his will. However, we are strengthened by God through a repentant mind,

if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. ~2 Timothy 2:23-26

Many of those around us are misled, misguided, through those in the church (no less) blind our brothers and sisters of Christ. Because they have such trust in these people, because they have not questioned beliefs and taught doctrines when they should have…have been led down the primrose path to their own destruction. They learn wealth & health claims, follow your feelings, do what “feels” right, etc. At least this is how it starts. Then the souls of those we love dearly are crushed by those in leadership roles, or roles of power over friends of ours.

The Holy Spirit is the only one which can possess us, if we ask Him into our heart to guide and lead us to make those rightful and proper decisions. While we cannot prevent thoughts from entering our minds, we do not have to allow them to stay and build up momentum within our minds.

We each can be renewed, through the Holy Spirit, and made anew. While we will sin again, but instead of giving in to such sin again; we will be convicted and seek forgiveness for such a shortcoming. Our lives will change, our habits will change, some slower than others. But God will forgive us and renew us, our minds, etc. But we will change our lives and the direction of our lives and seek the mind of Christ. We will seek to do as Christ would do. We will have failures in this endeavor, but we will pick ourselves up and strive to be better. At times we will feel as though we are battling for every step. For each and step we take, at times, it will seem as though we slide back three to five steps. Almost as though we were walking in muck.

Recently I was helping a home owner with “mucking” out their basement after the major flooding here in the Midwest. The back yards were sand, but they were covered with about 2-3 inches of sludge and muck. While carrying a heavy load and walking uphill, I slide down 3-5 steps for ever 1-2 steps taken. (At least that was how it seemed.)

I believe that you could get more from the video than from me. But I do like to write things up though, too.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

We Are Nebraska Strong…and Fierce

NebraskaStrong

You may have hear from the news that the Midwest has had a bad time of it with all of the rain, snow, ice dams, dam faults and levee breaks. Massive flooding, people losing all their possessions, losing their homes, jobs, etc. It is devastating and heart breaking.

The devastation was far and wide throughout the state. Some questioned their faith, others became more resolved than ever. Sadly, the beauty of such heart wrenching problems is the still small voice within the hearts, minds and souls of those who were blessed to have not taken part in such devastation and destruction. The human spirit, the giving souls of those throughout the state gave of their means and their time to assist those who were downtrodden.

We all have something to give to those around us who have lost everything. A kind word, a hug, a shoulder, some brute force to aid in the clean-up, etc. We all have a talent to lend to those who need a hand up, so-to-say!

Our church, Calvary Christian Church (Lead Pastor Scott Beckenhauer) partnered up with One Life Church (Lead Pastor John Hazlip.) After talking with John, I found out he used to attend Calvary Christian and his church was planted by Calvary. But Calvary has a tendency to make alliances with other churches in the area in order to accomplish great things for God’s Word. The motto at Calvary Christian is “To Live & Love Like Jesus.” But, enough about the churches.

Everyone in the midst of devastation desires to help. Some can, some cannot, some do, NES-FloodRelief8some do not…it is that simple. Everyone’s circumstances are different with respect to their ability to help others, as well as, their reasons for doing so or not. After the destruction and devastation, those who are able to help get dressed up into tyvec suits with muck boots and slowly begin to muck out the basements of the home(s) we are assigned to, ever-so slowly removing the debris and devastated lives of those who have lost everything from their past lives. You just never realize how much stuff you have accumulated until one of two things occurs:

  1. You are ready to move elsewhere, or
  2. Total devastation, where all you have and all your memories are now turned to refuse.

Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you. ~Proverbs 3:28 NKJV

NES-FloodRelief2Those who volunteer to help, do so out of the goodness of their hearts, a drive knowing this is what God desires of us and what Jesus would do, Himself. The muck, grime and sludge…WOW!

We are reminded in the Old Testament:

For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’~Deuteronomy 15:11 NKJV

We are also reminded in the New Testament:

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.~Galatians 6:2 NKJV

As you can see, the devastation is real and widespread:

While I am no great man, because we are all sinful, in our nature; I also know that I have something to offer to help those around me. I physically felt as though I had put in a full day’s work while helping and yet I was only there for a few hours, about 9am-2pm. There were those who stayed much longer than I and there were those who were on-site before I ever arrived. I am humbled and blessed at the same time. Today I was in pain. But tomorrow is another day…and at it again I will be. God is good! In my youth I would be able to do more and last so much longer, but it seems as though those days are long gone bye! While this weekend, March 30th and April 1st, 2019, is almost like a Hell Week in a college fraternity or at boot camp in the military…I am limited in my time to aid. But I am grateful for the opportunity, but sorry for the circumstances!

If you are able to help those who need it, I would urge you to do so, either physically or monetarily.

Flood Relief

Nebraska Strong is not just a mantra or a motto, but it is a strong knit community mind-set. We all have our problems and our baggage that we carry with us everywhere we go, daily. But when the chips are down, the devastation is rising, and the destruction clouds have settled for a bit…there are no better neighbors I would rather have. I was born and raised in New Jersey and I cannot say we have ever had such devastation while I was growing up. But since I landed here in Nebraska in 1981 there have been much devastation that has occurred.

  • 1988 Tornado which devastated Omaha/Council Bluffs area
  • 1997 Ice Storm which cut power to nearly 300,000 homes and businesses in Nebraska and Iowa
  • 2009 Tornado which essentially wiped Humbolt NE off the map
  • 2017 F-5 Tornado which destroyed many homes throughout the Omaha/Bellevue/Offutt AFB NE areas
  • 2019 Flood which flooded many homes throughout the Iowa and Nebraska areas

We all have our problems, but we can all choose to set those problems off to the side for a short time to help those of our neighbors who have greater problems than we do.

Remember: Things can always be worse for us. We can make life a little easier for someone else who has lost all they had. Ponder and reflect on that for a moment or two!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy