Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Is abortion the wrath of God realized in the reality of today, or is it the wrath of man for the unborn? After all, we each have our own perspective on this rather controversial subject. There is literally no one out in the world today who has absolutely no opinion on this subject, even if they were to defer it as a women’s subject for discussion. A non-opinion is an opinion! (A bad opinion, I might add, but it is an opinion!)

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We have been fearfully and wonderfully made by the very hand of God who created each and every one of us. Whether you choose to believe this, or not. Each of us is created in such a way that we are similar, but we are unique in comparison. Yet, we are created in God’s image:

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~Genesis 1:27 NKJV

So, do we infer from this that God makes mistakes? No, not at all! Each of us is the way we are suppose to be, barring any decisions that we ourselves make during the course of our lives…which can be and tend to be the mistakes which we will generally blame on God. Also, we have numerous assaults upon our person while we are growing up, which can also mold our psyche as we mature & develop. Consider the transgenderism dilemma today, the gay issues, the man’s mind in a woman’s body, the “non-binary” and gender fluidity mentality, etc.

Those of us who believe in God, the One True God and Creator of all things, hold to the belief that Moses put forth in the Book of Genesis:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  ~Genesis 2:7 NKJV

And the words that King David put forth in order to explain to the reader of his Psalm or to clarify to himself:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. ~Psalm 139:13-18 NKJV 

And the words that described how God formed us by the Prophet Jeremiah:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” ~Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

We were created for a specific purpose! What was that purpose? Good question, although it is a different answer for each person; however, we each have something in common and that is to glorify God! However, we are also given gifts by God in order to a great number of other things. Sing in order to entertain, play an instrument to entertain, the ability to act, the ability to teach or research in order to transpire information or educate others, and so much more…all to the end of glorifying God. Some are doctors and others are nurses. Some are policemen, others are firemen, and still others are EMTs as first responders in order to aid the public and each to the end result of glorifying God. God places at our fingertips a number of qualities in order to aid those around us, both to help them and to glorify God in the long run! Of course, with others it is a long road to find those specific traits and qualities in order to aid others and glorify God. Sometimes it is a short path and other times it is a very long arduous trek, but in the scheme of things it is all well worth it. Moses spoke of such things, at least inferred it in the Book of Exodus:

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship ~Exodus 31:3 NKJV

We are each promised, in essence, that we will be given the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, or abilities of workmanship through the Spirit of God in order to carry our our abilities to Glorify God and aid those around us.

So as we move onward, to understand we are fearfully and wonderfully made which infers we have been created for a specific reason. Abortion, on the other hand, is simply, in my opinion, a vehicle for eradicating a perceived mistake. With the advent of removing God from our schools and society, prayer and blessings from our everyday actions and furthermore the destruction of the atomic family (the central core of the American dream, if you will) YOU steer man away from his very central purpose of pleasing and glorifying God and replacing such with the pleasing and feeding the new god of men, government and big business. Now your purpose is to consume (making business happy by buying and spending the money you do not have) and to work hard in order to pay your taxes (thereby, feeding the new god, government, with your money. This blog post, as many others are never meant or intended to be or get political. BUT they are intended to make you think about what you do…to please God or self? How you spend your time…for God or self?

We truly need to get back to focusing on God in our lives, spending our time pleasing and glorifying HIM and not ourselves. Teaching others to do the same. Steering our society into doing the very same in order to get us, as a society, community, and as a country, back on track in order to bring this country back to serving the God that formed it and ourselves, as well!

 

 

As Liz Wheeler mentioned in the video above, where will it end? There is some point in time, or so I hope and pray, where common sense will take hold in the minds of those at the helm. If not, perhaps you or I should become those leaders that refuse to actually lead, if it be God’s will. I tend to be of the mind that if we are to lead that God would place a passion, a desire, or a burden on our heart to do something…despite the fear that we have for doing so. The urge will become far stronger than the fear that is ever-present.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

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Pre-judgement, Judgement, & Post-judgement

guiltyHave you ever said something, or made judgement upon another, and then thought yourself to be the fool? YEAH, that is me, I am guilty! Go ahead, throw your stones…I did it!

Man is the only animal who seems to be able to judge others and clear themselves of any wrong doing, even though it be the same exact crime against God!

raised hands

Yeah, go ahead…raise your hands in agreement to that one, too! Man is, by his nature sinful and therefore, hypocritical! We talk out of both sides of our mouths and skirt the truth with ourselves, all of the time! Don’t worry about a thing, if any of you won’t raise your hands in agreement over this…there are plenty who will gladly chastise me, while at the same time they are doing the same things as I.

Let us look into the past week with Joel Osteen and the Hurricane Harvey debacle.

While there are plenty of videos of news, and others, tearing at Joel Osteen’s church and ministry; many are failing to realize that Lakewood Church had rising waters in the basement. Also, I watched several videos defending Joel Osteen because what would happen if someone was injured on their way to get to Lakewood Church, or died? Or perhaps, if they got to the church and they closed the doors as they got there? What would the ramifications of that be.

We all, each and every one of us, has a problem with judgement of others. Just nod your heads in agreement! Especially without all of the facts at hand. And in this day and age of half truths, and partial sporadic news reports…thereby, coining the phrase “fake news.” We tend to be quite a bit more outraged at those with all the money and power. Now I don’t necessarily agree with Joel Osteen, nor his methods of preaching, but his judgement in THIS case happens to be spot on. Tyler Perry, a man for whom I have  a great respect for, has gone to Joel Osteen’s defense.

While we each, and yes I do mean all of you as well as I, tend to judge others based upon the perception of evidence at hand. However, if you will pay close attention, most of the perceived evidence out there is truly just an accusation or an assertion that is without any proof or evidence, at all! Sadly, but that is how this whole victimhood thing works. We, the species of man, are a sad creature. As we tend to do all we can to demean our fellow man in order for us to feel better about ourselves!

There are a number of scripture passages which target the fool and the wise, with respect to our speech. However, this one seems to hit home for me:

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Yeah, that is me…the man who is hasty in his words. Yeah, that is right…fools will have a better time than I! I work on it daily, but I also fail God daily in both little an great ways!

The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that King David who was “Apple of God’s eye.” King David requested and prayed to God to aid him to be maintained in such a status in Psalm 17:8 where he wrote:

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings

We must remember that King David, despite his sinfulness and behavior, he was always contrite before God when he was called out on the carpet by his prophet. He sought God’s forgiveness and always sought his Lord’s guidance to be healed from his haughtiness and sinfulness and sinful ways. God chastised him, as any father would do to his own son. And then he was back to a clean slate, once again. What we see here is that God is the God of the second chances, as coined by Dr. J. Vernon McGee. Where God will use us after redeeming us from our sin(s). And more importantly, He will use us as well as the Gentiles, because Jesus paved the way for them also!

…the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time… ~Jonah 3:1 NKJV

Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also ~Romans 3:29 NKJV

God has given me far more than 2 chances, I would submit to everyone out there that each of us have been given dozens of chances. And we will receive many more chance before we draw our final breath.

Let’s face it, we all judge others. Whether in our minds and thoughts, outwardly in our reactions or in our verbiage toward them, or perhaps we show our disdain toward others in our posts on social media or other opinionated sites.  Consider the people of WalMart on Facebook, or other demeaning sites. We should treat everyone with a certain modicum of respect as well as understanding. We are called to be patient with all people! To treat the lowly with respect, as though they were rich…give no one an overtly specialized attention.

As I have said all throughout this post, I am as guilty, if not more so, than any. But by God’s grace I will overcome my lowly actions and rule over my sinful desires and urges to judge others, to gossip (which is a form of judgemental speech toward another.)

Just remembering that in order to change something in your life, you must become aware of your wrong actions. This is your warning…pay attention and change your ways, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

Stereotyping Others

stereotype

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. ~Mark 9:38-41 NIV

“Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” ~Luke 9:49-50 NIV

This should tell us that we are not to stereotype our brothers and sisters in Christ. We each separately have a gift to share or aid in the glorifying of Jesus and fulfilling God’s purpose in our lives. Though Mark and Luke were not direct Apostles and followers of Jesus, they had access to Apostles that were directly following Christ. Mark was mentored by the Apostle Peter and Luke was mentored by the Apostle Paul; and if that is not good enough for you, Luke was with the Apostle Paul when he met with the Apostles. We should feel quite comfortable learning from each Apostle and accepting of the historicity of the words presented by each forefather of the Christian faith. So, both of these accounts have the authority of research and knowledge of those who witnessed and followed Jesus.

While we disagree with those who profess another faith, yet they follow Christ…who are we to stereotype or compare them to others who may be preaching heretical teachings or pushing  heretical doctrines which are not promoted in the biblical text? Should we not leave certain matters to God’s judgement and follow the path in which we teach God’s mighty and glorious word? Is that not our primary purpose?

Do not misunderstand me, there are times that we must, absolutely must, stop heretical teachings in their tracks and stand up against the perpetrators of such nonsense and false teachings! We are all called into the priesthood, so-to-say:

…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ~1 Peter 2:5 NIV

“…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” ~Revelation 5:9-10 NIV

Our purpose is to glorify God and be priests of the One True and Living God! And how is it that we accomplish such a thing?? Study of the word. Study of theology. Study and memorization of scriptures. Study on subjects of evangelizing and apologetics, as well as logic. Study on the subject concerning the proofs of God’s existence and those subjects related to the life of Jesus, reading as much as we can by our forefathers within the Christian community. For example, I may not agree with the doctrines of any particular church, or faith, but their forefathers within the church may have written a treasure trove of information on the understanding of any particular subject which we are studying at that moment. Do not cast aside something written by a man of our past just because he was a member of, part of the history of, a particular church or theology. It is up to us to read and learn as much as possible, and by God’s understanding and discerning Spirit we must decide for ourselves if the information is worthy to be used and remembered.

Use it or Lose It ImageWe are called to serve God! I imagine there is no simpler way to put it. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are our Master. Notice I did not say Masters, because we are speaking of the Trinity…but that is for another blog posting! And we are called to serve with our gift(s) that God has provided us. Some of us have but one gift and there are others who have been blessed with more than one gift to use. Some are blessed with a gift and another is given to replace that gift to further serve to His Glory! Our problem is that many of us do not pay attention to what our gift(s) is/are and if not used to glorify Him, they subside and wane away.

I would like to think that my Gift is writing, but sometimes I wonder. But I believe I am fulfilling my purpose as a person called to the royal priesthood. There are times you just aren’t certain that you have what it takes to fulfill God’s purpose in your life until you start doing that thing which is tugging at your heart’s strings. There may be something else that I will be lead to do another time down the road, who is to say? Until then, I will continue to accomplish my writing, blogging, and posting and pray I am accomplishing God’s will and that I glorify Him in all that I do…despite all of my failures in His eyes.

Instead of stereotyping people, we should take this to heart where Jesus said:

Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? ~ Luke 12:57 NIV

The only person we should comparing to anyone or to anything is ourselves! We should compare ourselves to the words of God and the actions Jesus had taken. As Jesus had been our Godly example of how to act.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. ~John 13:15 NIV

If we compare ourselves to another, what makes us think that he or she is doing what is right in God’s sight? Of course, we can compare ourselves to Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, etc. we have the possibility that we are fairing better than they, in God’s sight. But where in the bible does it say that only these people do not go to heaven? And in one theological frame of reference, noting the book of James, sins being equal before God (being repulsive and abhorrent) we are separated from God when we sin; regardless of how we sin!

compare yourself

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Salt is Good

“Everyone will be salted with fire. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”” ~Mark 9:49-50 NIV

Jesus-salt

WE, as Christians, are the salt for the lost souls within this world to help them find their way back to God, through Christ! We are their light just as Jesus is our light; much like the lighthouse is the aid to the ships of the sea, so they can find their way…we too are the exact same for the lost souls within this world of ours.

A Chinese girl said, “Salt makes you thirsty.” DO stop and think that over. “Ye are the salt of the earth.” Do YOU make anyone thirsty for Christ? You never will be merely separating from something. But you will be separating unto Christ. ~Expositions of Bible Doctrines Taking the Epistle to the Romans as a Point of Departure, Volume 1, page 16, by Donald Grey Barnhouse (emphasis mine)

This is precisely what we are to do, make people thirst for God’s life giving and eternal life word! We can do this through passion and desire, it can be done through will but not through sheer will, as we must be able to show a caring, love, and compassion in our message(s) toward those with whom we speak the message of Christ.

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. ~Colossians 4:2-4 NKJV

If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. ~1 Peter 4:11 NKJV

We are, in essence, slaves to Christ. Like it, or not, it is by our choice. Why? (You ask) Well, we have chosen to believe (through reason, wisdom, research, study, etc.) that Christ truly is “…the way, the truth, and the life…”  We did not make this decision flippantly, nor without forethought, this decision was truly one of the greatest decisions in our lives. And without a doubt was the greatest decision that weighed on our minds and hearts! Are we promised to be wealthy? Have an easy life? Have a gorgeous wife? A husband that has the physique of Adonis? No, on all accounts. We are promised eternal life. We are promised trials and tribulations. We are promised rain and shine like everyone else. We are promised both good and adversity, just like everyone else, as well. So, why did we make such a decision? Because in all of the religions out there, one must be right and the others must be wrong. By reason and logic, this must be true. That religion or faith which is true deserves my allegiance!

Check out the Grids and Charts at CARM.org

This is the greatest reason why we, as Christians, must understand why we believe that which we believe. And not only must we understand why we believe what we believe, but what other faiths believe. It is at that point that we can have a discussion, thereby defending our position.

And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt. ~Leviticus 2:3 NKJV

Every time we speak to someone about Christ and the words of God toward another, we too must season with salt. We must flavor our words that are more palpable for others to digest. The words we speak are of God, but others must gain help in understanding them. That is the flavoring we give to other. Consider when Jesus was asked about why he spoke to the people in parables:

He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. ~Matthew 13:11-13 NKJV

This was the salt that Jesus added. You either got it or you did not. On the other hand, if you did not get it, did you seek to understand it? The salt is the flavoring that makes you desire or passionate for more and to understand. That is why we walk the earth, to be used as servants of the Most High God and Creator of All. We speak His words and help others understand. That is one of our purposes; the other purpose is to glorify our Creator in all we do!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

False Messiahs, False Gods, & False Saviors

Just exactly how many have claimed to be messiahs, gods, or saviors of mankind? And, for that matter, how many will claim to be so in the future? How can we come to know who it is and when He finally arrives, will we recognize Him as our God, Messiah, and our Savior?

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After all, you must consider the fact that Lucifer, Satan, or the Devil (your name or title of descriptive choice) was once an angel of light, the chief angel of God’s…how easy would it be to fool mankind?

Consider this, Nostradamus predicted an “anti-Christ” of sort to come out of the East.  But the East of what? Americans seem to believe it is someone out of the Middle-East and many figures over the past few decades could have been the one, but a world war was never wages and there was not any peace with Israel; which means that He was not the one. Many continue to believe it to be the Middle-East. That being said Our latest possibility is the surging of Muslim “refugees” and believers of the religion of Islam, my opinion, are pouring out of the Middle-East into the European countries, Canada and America as a whole. With the rampant reports of rape and murder of the host country by predominantly Muslim refugees, as well as, the upswing of “honor killings” it is my opinion that it is not just one person but potentially a horde of people. Much like when the Muslims were over-taking Europe between 1000 AD – 1300 AD, which spurred on several Holy Crusades.

Think of it, with the Islamic tenet of Taqiyya, a deceptive practice to further the cause of Allah. This would account for the potential for peace in the Middle-East and settle things between Israel and her neighbors as it is written in the biblical book of Revelation (specifically Revelation 13.) This would account for the potent of false peace in the Middle-East with Israel. Why would this false peace be necessary? Consider back in history when Mohammad signed a peace treaty wit the Meccans in 628 AD. It was purported, revisionist history, by Muhammad in the Qur’an that the Meccans were the first to break their treaty with Muhammad Our Prophet (peace be upon him) was forced into war when the polytheists broke their treaty.” (Qur’an 9:5) But historical accounts present a much different story:

Less than two years after making a treaty with the people of Mecca (Treaty of Hudaibiya), Muhammad returned with an army and took the city by surprise. Although this has been a traditional source of pride for Muslims down through the centuries, contemporary scholars are more apt to construct excuses for Muhammad’s action, since it contrasts with the claim that Islam is a religion of peace. [read more about the myth…]

Which was justified in the Qur’an with this As Abu Bakr, himself a military leader, put it:

“If I take an oath to do something and later on I find something else better than the first one, then I do what is better and make expiation for my oath.” (Bukhari 78:618)

Muhammad, no doubt, would have agreed:

“The Prophet said: ‘War is deceit’.” (Bukhari 52:269)

Throughout our history of this world there have been numerous people who have claimed god-like messiahship status. Yet, many of them either led others to their deaths without anything good coming of their vane deaths. Many others have led others, falsely, and bled them dry of their earnings; thus, becoming rich off the backs of so many. Others were led down a dark road in their lives, only to be used up by their supposed leader only to find out their leader was a fraud and a cheat. That is not what God wants of you!

God leads us and guides us down a path where we will be be full of integrity and good character. He has given us examples of how to properly live, in all situations. He has shown us the words of wisdom that we should listen to and live by in order to be a light for others to see. That Light was and is Jesus who showed us how to act and speak and portray ourselves to others.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” ~Matthew 5:14 NKJV

We, if we have listened to the words of Jesus and read all of the prophets and books of wisdom, are that light…but we must believe. We are given opportunities, sometimes daily, other times weekly, and other times sporadically interspersed throughout our lives to speak to those who truly need to hear the word of God, or a word of inspiration, something that will aid them to avert something very devastating, or potentially foolish or deadly. Believe it, or not, we are placed in key spots and positions within our lives in order to accomplish God’s pure and perfect will. And no, it is not a crap shoot…it is you accomplishing your purpose which God has created you for.

Yes, there are false teachers, prophets and messiahs on our path throughout our life. But God gave us a mind, a good one at that, with which we can compare the words of those we are listening to and compare them, as well as their actions, to the Word of God which they purportedly teach. Unfortunately, all too many of the preachers, so called, are simple opportunists and charlatans. They offer to sell you snake oil in place of that which is taught in the Word of God. Snake oil sounds good and is soothing to the ear and titillating to the senses, on a temporal basis only, but in the long run it is a long dark and dank road to nowhere fast!

God is not promising you an easy road to heaven, nor is He promising you glory, riches, and an easy life. No, it is and will ever be, in most cases a hard road to follow the Christ and His ways. But in the end, it is your soul  that matters, and if YOU follow Him closely and ardently…you will be accepted into the heavenly upon your death and your judgement.

BEWARE THOUGH! There are false teachers, messiahs, gods, and saviors around many corners, in many pulpits, in numerous schools. They are potentially EVERYWHERE!

“To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. ~Isaiah 40:25 NKJV

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. ~2Corinthians 10:12 NKJV

Our God and Creator is not comparable to anyone else nor anything else! It is that simple. Secondly, we are not to compare ourselves to anyone else. Because all others are as sinful as we are, and therefore are not worthy of being compared to. However, we can view traits of others we cross paths with and use those traits to be better in our daily walk in life. However, our truest model that we should follow is none other than Jesus, the Christ!

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. ~John 13:15 NKJV

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps ~1Peter 2:21 NKJV

We have an example in Jesus to compare ourselves to and live up to, there is none other that is comparable! And there is none other who is worthy to be modeled and followed as an example! Sadly, the species of man continually tries to replace God with objects and other things. And sadly, once again, always come up short and wanting more. Me, I would love to win the PowerBall or the MegaMillions…but that hasn’t happened as of yet. But neither is that where my faith or hope lies. It is but a game of chance, nothing more. Others believe their luck will change and they will win the big payday. I knew of a man many years ago who was that way. He loved to gamble, and would not leave the casino until he lost every dime of his paycheck(s). Yes, that is right. One year it was purported that he worked every minute of overtime he could, plus at times had another job. One year he had earned roughly $120,000, but all was lost to gambling. He lost his house, wife, kids…everything. He died broke and lonely.

Be careful with whom you ally yourselves with. Whom you allow to teach you, carefully listen to what is said and taught; then compare to the biblical text. If there is a difference, question it. Compare the new answers to your questions. Be ever vigilant with the Word of God!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Sometimes God Wakes Us To Learn Something Amazing

Mordecai Discovers a Plot

19 When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king’s gate. 20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. 23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king. ~Esther 2:19-23 NKJV

mordeci discovers plot

The King Honors Mordecai

king honors modeciThat night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.~Esther 6 NKJV

We all do it, you know it! We all have those times where something just wakes us up out of the blue, early in the morning. Sometimes it is for no reason at all, but something just tugs at us the wrong way. We just want to sleep, but cannot do so. So, at some point in time, amidst the tossing and turning in your bed, we get up and out of bed. Sometimes we hear a voice in our heads or hearts, other times we have a drive to do something specific, sometimes generally.

In 1 Samuel 3, we find just such a thing with the Prophet Samuel as a boy. But Samuel was guided by Eli. Though it took a little bit, Eli caught on with what was happening and urged the young boy to answer the call of God. God acts differently amidst differing circumstances. He called the boy Samuel while trying to sleep. He also awoke King Xerxes (as mentioned above) in the midst of his sleep, awakened him and had guided him to read the Persian history, thus reminding him who it was that saved his life.

God works in mysterious ways

Sometimes when we wake in those unexpected ways we are called to simply pray to our God. We need that prayer time in order to discover what is truly tugging at our heart. I do believe God speaks to us; unfortunately we are so hardhearted and stubborn that we cannot recognize what is happening. It truly is a heart thing with us. Perhaps we are to just say as the Prophet Samuel stated, Speak, for Your servant hears.”  Sometimes THAT is all it takes!

As mentioned so many times before we need to be more compliant to God’s will in our lives, much like the Islamic faith. Meaning not that we must be radical Jihadists with terror being our main weapon, but that God MUST be the most important things in our lives! Remember what Jesus said,

Christ Brings Division

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[e] 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. ~Matthew 10 NKJV

We are not meant to follow the pack, or the gang; we are intended to follow God and His perfect way. We are intended to read, understand, and study the Word of God, the Bible. We are mandated to, in the words of Jesus:

‘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.’…”~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

bible_read_meNow, how can we “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…”? First you must understand and know the biblical truths and you learn that through reading and studying; it is a life’s task, for certain. We must pray, honor and rejoice over the blessings we have received, and yes even the travesties. Because God has given us, both the righteous and the unrighteous, an even footing, “for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” And the Prophet Job reminded us:

…Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” ~Job 2:10 NKJV

So, to truly honor God, our Creator, we must learn and apply His Word in our bible_readlives (yes, DAILY!) and to rejoice in all things that come our way, both good and bad. Because each situation, both good and bad, is meant to better us in some way, fashion, or form. Just as battle tempers a man’s courage under fire so also do these situation help temper our minds, hearts and souls to good things and travesties.

As we become better Christians we will also find ourselves called outward into the world to share God’s Son, Jesus, and His Word with all others out in the world in which we live. This will come with time and ease, because you will find, or better yet you will better notice all the opportunities that allow you to share the Gospel with all others along your path(s) in this life.

Although, there is another aspect to this sharing the Gospel thing, as we grow we are also called to teach, lead and minister; part of the “…royal priesthood…

…For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” ~Revelation 5:9-10 NKJV

We are all called to be ministers of God’s Word for all the world to hear his promises, but we also have to do our part by reading…it all starts there which is the beginning of faith!

 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~Romans 10:17 NKJV

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian Church and told them:

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.~Philippians 1:27-28 NKJV

got-faithOur faith is built up by the word, our faith is based upon the word, but not just on the word, but also on sound logic and reason as well as research. We make a claim based upon historical facts. And those facts won’t become known to you until you read and study the word and then see what the world of the various sciences has to say as well. We, as Christians, claim truth is our basis, but truth is based upon history, the sciences, philosophy, as well as other various areas of study.

So, read well, my friends! Research well, my friends! And reason well, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Character

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I was reading several articles on-line concerning character and character traits. Many interesting ideas, but quite valid and handy, in my opinion. We each have our own beliefs about what are good character traits that we should possess; perhaps even desire. As we grow older we find that we needed many different traits, but failed to realize such and also failed to instill them as good habits. They say, “Youth is wasted on all the wrong people.” I tend to agree with that and believe it even stronger now, while in my youth challenged state. Perhaps, I can learn something new in my elderly status…or, perhaps, I am simply reminding myself that in this respect I must live vicariously through others who happen to be far more youthful than I.

Character traits are those things that make you stand out to a crowd of people. It is what you might deem to be a bright yellow highlighting of you among the rabble of black and white words on a page…helping you become noticeable to others, in order to stand out for memory’s sake. For instance: being on-time for an interview is a character trait a business seeks in it’s new hires; thinking fast on your feet or in less than optimal circumstances is another trait others seek; courtesy and chivalry are other traits that people desire to see in others that they come in contact with; kindness toward others and toward animals;..and the list can go on,  etc.

In order to better ourselves, we need to assess our present character traits and decide if they need to be better than they are presently, or if we must replace some traits with other traits. We each go through this at some point in time, thus allowing us to expand our horizons and better ourselves! Not just for our own sake, but for the sake of humanity and the betterment of society. God tugs at our heart from time to time insisting that we better ourselves; unfortunately, in God’s eye, we have a plethora of changes that need to be made!

In 1726, at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character. In his autobiographytp, Franklin listed his thirteen virtues.  Benjamin Franklin spent one week on each trait, then switched to the next one in the list. Upon completion of each on the list (i.e., 13 traits in 13 weeks,) he would start the list all over again. In one year’s time you can go through the list 4 times. While these are not necessarily the only traits within the context of the bible, but Benjamin Franklin  found them to be the best ones for himself. But, in this respect, we each must find such a path for ourselves, because we each handle things differently than others. In fact, some of us may have a longer list of virtues to create as character traits we desire to possess, other might have a shorter list.

Good character traits can be learned, as they are simply good habits of an outward and caring nature toward others. In the blog post of “God’s Ten Commandments versus Jesus’ Two Commandments“, on May 8th, 2017, I had explained about Jesus’ Two Commandments to us, explaining the nature of such commands. Their simplicity is what makes them so great! In essence, we love God by our outward show of love toward Him. Which is done by our actions of honoring His commandments, showing our gratefulness by giving our tithes and offerings, by also treating our fellow neighbors with love and honoring our word that we may give when we strike a deal or bargain. The simplicity of Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-40 are as such:

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.”

We are witnessing, in present day, the demise of character within the millennial community; as well as within society as a whole. The majority of millennials are under the belief that all things should be handed to them, even when they have lost the battle or election. They believe the government owes them something (a job, free education, free healthcare, etc.) They have been taught, indoctrinated really, to believe and understand facts that don’t exist in our history. We are also witnessing the demise of American history, soon to be revised within the history books…a sad chapter in our future history books. Think about this for a bit…Robert E. Lee’s monument is being removed, Jefferson Davis’ monument is being removes, Confederate monuments are being removed, and the Ten Commandments monument was removed by order of the US Supreme Court. This sanitizing of our history, good or bad as it may have been, is a purposeful destruction of what actually happened in our history. This will at some point in time, should I gamble on this,  be scrubbed from the history books in favor of a more likeable historical write-up?

The sad truth is this, character is built upon all of the good and the bad, together! We are human and thus we make mistakes. If we are smart, we will learn from those GeorgeSantayanaQuote1mistakes and use those weaknesses in order to become stronger and wiser. History, good or bad, is there to remind us where we did things right and those things we did wrong. By remembering history, we are reminded never to let such bad things ever happen again. Unfortunately, we as humans are a stupid race and if we are not reminded from time to time of our mistakes…we will repeat them! Sadly, yes we will.

Character is built as you are growing up by watching your parents. As your relationship with your parents wane away your character is developed partially by your peers and your heroes.

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Character is something we build up over the years. It is, for the most part, trial and error. But if we are wise, or shall I say if we grow in wisdom, our character traits of our older age will be better than when we were growing up and maturing. There is one place I believe you can truly gain the wiser wisdom to learn from and that is the Bible and the text within that cumulative set of writings. Based upon the wisdom and writings of over 50 authors, written over the span one thousand five hundred years. And if you think about it, our thoughts are not original in the least. Though the technology may change, the basis of most, if not all, thoughts is not original to us. They are synthetic changes on something that has happened in the past.

In order to change the society in which we live, for the better, we must first ourselves possess the character traits and leadership traits to lead other to make all of the necessary changes. Prayers is our starting point…on our knees in reverence to God seeking His will to accomplish His greatest good. We as Christians, must take on the roles to necessary to accomplish what must be done. Such as: Teaching and education positions, leadership and political position, law enforcement and first responder positions, etc. We need to stop cow-towing down to these other people of other faiths, or non-faiths if you will, and stand up for the will of God and to become know as lovers of Jesus.

What will you be known best for by all your fiends? I would like to be known as a person who loves God and a sharer of the faith! What about you??

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD