A Powerful Holy Day

Today I’m feeling powerless.

My fourth week of left hip recovery ends Monday and though everything is going pretty good, I still have to stay off my left leg/hip for two more weeks.   So I don’t go anywhere and each day feels like the same old.

Somehow I want to write something helpful and encouraging to lift your day, which is really God’s day tomorrow, but the laptop keys are sticking badly.  Especially the spacebar.   I just spent sometime trying ideas off the Internet but see no improvement.   Give me space!

But Sunday, June 12 is Pentecost!

Also about two weeks away and just before my crucial x-ray appointment.

This is one of God’s seven Holy Days given in Leviticus 23 and it is kept more than the others probably because it’s always on a Sunday and because of its powerful story in Acts 2.

This wonderful Holy Day is all about power!

Mt. SinaiOn Pentecost in 1446 BC the 10 Commandments were thundered by the voice of God so loudly from Mt. Sinai that the people cried “You talk to us, Moses, but don’t let God lest we die!  (Exodus 20:18-19).

God says keeping His Law is so powerful that it will make you part of His “special treasure to Me above all people … a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).

Acts 2On Pentecost in 31 AD God started His New Testament Church by giving His Holy Spirit to the believers who were also the doers and assembled on His Holy Day like Jesus Christ told them:  “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

That’s us!  God’s witnesses even when feeling frail and powerless!  And thanks to the Internet being our modern Tower of Babel, even a silly moose can be encouraged after receiving responses from 27 different countries Globeincluding United States, Canada, Ireland, Czech Republic, South Korea, Argentina, United Kingdom, Turkey, India, Australia, China, Mexico, France, European Union, Russia, Isle of Man, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Greece, Spain, St. Lucia, Philippines, New Zealand, Germany, Martinique, Vietnam and United Arab Emirates.  And now Uganda makes 28!

God the Father chooses when it’s the best time to call each person to  understand His Holy Days and His plan of salvation (John 6:44).   Pentecost teaches that The Master Timer is not in a frantic contest with Satan.    In fact, there is no contest.

His Holy Days picture two harvests—an early smaller one and a later all-the-rest huge one.  Pentecost is the early smaller one and blessed are you if you are called to be a “firstfruit” and a “firstborn” because they have “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) of the first resurrection which is “the better one” (Hebrews 11:35) and a double portion for the firstborn (Deuteronomy 21:17).

Why?  They get to be part of the Bride of Christ and in on the ground floor of Christ’s Kingdom He will set up on earth!   There are at least 144,000 firstfruits  (Revelation 14:4) who will get to work with the 50-80 billions pictured by the fall holy days (Feast of Tabernacles and especially 8th Day).

So wow!  Powerful holy day about a powerful future!

But you don’t need to wait in Jerusalem for Pentecost.   You can ask for the Holy Spirit of power now (Luke 11:13)!

Broose shirt finalTo follow this blog & have it come to your email,
please click on the square grid at the top right of the masthead.

I would appreciate a comment:
The grid on the left will get you the About,
and please go to the bottom of that page.
Or email:  robertcurry6@hotmail.com

Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends & family!
Your encouragement will keep me writing & you’ll have only yourself to blame.

Off Center But Great Words to Live By Anyway

For years I’ve heard that the middle chapter of the King James Bible is Psalm 118,
and therefore the middle verse of the Bible is verse 8:
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

How nifty!  What a great thought to center your life around!

And it has 14 words (7, the number of completeness
and perfection in the Bible, doubled).
And how inspiring that the two middle words
of the middle verse are “the Lord”!

Bible cloudyIt all made such an inspiring package
but it turns out the center verse of the Bible
is a bit cloudy.

What a shock to just learn a few minutes ago

that Psalm 118 is not the middle chapter.  Since there are 594 chapters from Genesis 1 to Psalm 116 and 594 chapters from Psalm 118 to Revelation 22, that makes Psalm 117 the middle chapter.

And since Psalm 117 also has the distinction of being the shortest chapter in the Bible, with only two verses, that means there is no middle verse using the chapter fulcrum.

So the two middle verses are:  “Oh, praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!   For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord!”

Hey, not too shabby thoughts either!

Then somebody claims that the KJV Bible has an even number of verses:  31,174.  Using verses rather than chapters brings us back to Psalm 118:8-9.

But wait, it turns out people using computerized programs come up with disagreeing numbers for how many words in the KJV Bible.  Maybe the most accepted one is based on the 1769 edition of the 1611 KJV, coming up with  total of 31,102 words.

This would make the middle verses of the Bible

Psalm 103:1-2:  “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

The next verse (3) completes a powerful thought that God forgives all our iniquities and heals all our diseases!

Well, it took astronomers centuries to debate about the center of the universe, and it appears like it really is not that simple to determine the center verse of the Bible.

I’m certainly not going to bother counting!

But with any of the three sections quoted above,  you won’t go wrong centering your life around them.

Broose shirt finalTo follow this blog & have it come to your email,
please click on the square grid at the top right of the masthead.

I would appreciate a comment:
The grid on the left will get you the About,
and please go to the bottom of that page.
Or email:  robertcurry6@hotmail.com

Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends & family!
Your encouragement will keep me writing & you’ll have only yourself to blame.

“Jesus Ate Regularly with Tax Collectors and Sinners—So Why Can’t you Bake a Cake?”

Probably you’ve seen this provocative challenge on Facebook.
It’s interesting that this statement
doesn’t seem to mind who it clearly equates those ordering the cake with.

But the statement asserts that Jesus would be happy to eat with them.
And when it’s time for dessert, why didn’t you bring it, you bigoted baker!

When I was young, for a while it became a popular snappy comment, after somebody was bragging about something they had just done, to pooh back:  “Well, what do you want me to do, bake you a cake!”  And everybody knew there would be no chocolate cake with vanilla icing on the way.

For our wedding 26-1/2 years ago, Mary and I wanted the baker who would most put her heart into making us the best cake for this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.  One of Mary’s best friends rose to the occasion with a delicious raspberry pound cake.

Who would even think about demanding somebody make such a special occasion cake when it would defile the baker’s conscience to do so, no matter what the reason might be!  James 4:17 says for that person it would be sin!

And the demanders would clearly label themselves.  Because Paul said a Christian must forego doing even something that would be lawful rather than cause someone to violate his conscience and stumble.

Well, today it’s no laughing matter when a baker, trying to honor His God and serve his community with a helpful business, is deliberately targeted by activists pushing their politically correct and morally  bankrupt agenda that everybody has a right to whatever sexual aberrancy they choose.

“They declare their sin as Sodom; they do not hide it” (Isaiah 3:9).  They boast about it!  “Pride” Ezekiel 16:49)!  “Yes, bake me a cake!”

“Well, why don’t you get somebody who would welcome the business opportunity to make you one?  They could really put their heart into it and come up with a “wow” creation that you dream of for your celebration that means so much to you?”

“No, you must do it or we’ll shut you down and bring you to financial ruin!”

What does Matthew 9 really say?

Did Jesus eat “regularly” with tax collectors and sinners?  That statement is from one special occasion when Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to become one of His disciples.  Matthew stopped whatever corrupt practices he was doing and followed Jesus.

Their first stop was apparently in Matthew’s house to eat, where Jesus and His disciples were joined by “many tax collectors and sinners” (verse 10).  Jesus did not go seek them for lunch or to give a keynote speech.  They probably wanted to say goodbye to Matthew and Jesus was no doubt happy to let them do that.   The Gospel of Mark adds that many of those guests then also followed Jesus.

Later in Jesus’ ministry, another tax collector named Zaccheaus so tree-mendously sought Jesus and was graced by Jesus coming to his house.  He  repented of his dishonest dealing.

“Sinners?”  The Pharisees hung that label.  They often used it on Jesus!  All of us humans are sinners and we gladly pray for His blessing on the meals and ask Him to dine with us in Spirit.

But we had better not be asking Jesus to bless us in our sins.  This is not working for America today.  Jeremiah says the time is coming when God will not hear such prayers, and I’m sorry, it looks like we’re there now.

Those who are sick need a physician (verse 12) and they need one who will not help them continue sick actions.  Jesus called sinners to repentance (verse 13).   He told the woman taken in adultery to “go and sin no more.”

When the gospels say Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s house, mentioned only one time as far as I can tell under short study, Jesus gave some spiritual instruction to the host and his guests.  Nicodemus was a Pharisee who came to Jesus by night and said “We know you are a teacher come from God” (John 3:2).  Jesus was happy to help Pharisees who came to Him.

Jesus said He did not come the first time to condemn the world.  But never did He participate in sin, celebrate it, condone it, approve it, or even wink at it.  He is Judge of all.  He can read minds and knows exactly how to gently and lovingly correct.  But He is not trying to save the world right now.  He did not dedicate His efforts to ending poverty in the land and He did  not take on the Romans.  He said His Kingdom is not of this world—yet.  He started and trained His Church to announce His soon-coming return to establish His rule over the earth.

So when people drive up to a Burger King window, a worker only needs to worry about letting them have things their way as far as the Whopper.

A Special Ed teacher would help her child no matter what issues they bring to the class.

When a landlord rents out a two-bedroom, he doesn’t need to know the relationship of the occupants or how they intend to use the two rooms.

The same would seem to go for a baker who sends off a prized creation.  Any of his customers could be leading sinful immoral lives.  The baker is not endorsing it.  He is not their judge now.

Today it seems a person who wants to run a bakery must be willing to bake such a cake if pressured into it.  And being a Christian would then compel him to do what he does with all his might and make the best cake he can (Ecclesiastes 9:10).  If he can’t do that because of conscience, he will need to seek God’s help in dealing with the persecution.

As for those ordering—literally—a cake.  Traditionally at a wedding, somebody asks “Is there anybody here with a reason why these two people should not do this.  Speak now or forever hold your piece.”  I can only hope they would

Read & heed Romans 1

Those are God’s words, and the kindest one is “shameful.”

Broose shirt finalTo follow this blog & have it come to your email,
please click on the square grid at the top right of the masthead.

I would appreciate a comment:
The grid on the left will get you the About,
and please go to the bottom of that page.
Or email:  robertcurry6@hotmail.com

Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends & family!
Your encouragement will keep me writing & you’ll have only yourself to blame.

Overheard on the Stairs

One Sunday after church was over,
sometime during my sophomore year of high school,
stairway talkI was coming up the stairs when I overheard
two leading men talking quietly about something.
They couldn’t see me so I stopped and listened.

They were talking about the Sabbath day
and whether it should be kept.
They got a little animated.

All I remember thinking was that I didn’t know what they were talking about,
so I went on home to watch the day’s big football game.
Soon I quit going to church because it seemed so dead,
full of old people, not accomplishing anything.

Toward the end of that year, I was riding my motorcycle during bad light of sunset when I ran into a barbed wire fence that had just been strung up on a popular riding trail.  My right arm and right leg were ripped halfway off.  When I healed up well in about a week thanks to some miracle-like happenings, I decided God had punished me for having quit going to church.

At the same time, I told God He couldn’t possibly want me to go back to the dead one.  I asked Him to show me His true Church.  I wanted to be a part of the Church Jesus built and commissioned.  I was ready to obey Him and do whatever He wanted.

God began to open my eyes to see the big issues in the Bible, just like He opened the eyes of the disciples on the road to Emmaus so they could comprehend the spiritual truths He was telling them.

It was inevitable that the Sabbath issue would again come up because the
Bible calls the Sabbath Day “the test commandment.”  This fourth commandment is a sign that God is Creator and identifies who are His people.  I wanted to be one of those and have now been keeping the Sabbath  since 1969.

Rarely does anybody seriously argue that the Sabbath is not from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

Rather, they argue it’s Jewish.  Actually its Creator and first keeper was the God who became Jesus Christ so the Sabbath is Christish.  And just as expected, Jesus kept it as His custom while on earth setting an example for all Christians.  He said the Lord’s Day is the Sabbath (Mark 2:29), and shouldn’t we believe Him!  He taught His Church to keep it and the Church of God still does today.

The second big argument is that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday by the resurrection.    Here is a shocking truth of the Bible that you can study into for yourself if you really seek truth and not traditions of men.  The Bible clearly shows that the tomb was already long empty when the women arrived because Jesus had been resurrected after three days and three nights, which ended just before sunset on the Sabbath.  Surprise, Jesus was resurrected on Saturday not Sunday!

The third big argument is that Romans 14 says you can worship God any day or time you want, let each be decided in his own mind.  Bother reading this for yourself and you’ll see this chapter doesn’t even refer to the Sabbath.  It refers to when people choose to fast or eat and Paul says not to get involved in such disputed personal matters.

Well, my friends, relatives, and brothers and  sisters reading this post,

Maybe it’s like you overheard this on the stairs!

I wouldn’t push this at you in person.   It usually doesn’t do any good to preach at people.  But here you can read or not read, it’s your choice as you are led by God.  I want to “build the family of God”—not just amuse or entertain.  And I want to give you important matters to think about this very evening as another one of God’s delightful days of rest and spiritual rejuvenation begins.

And we are told in Hebrews not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together all the more as we see the days approaching.

Ezekiel says something absolutely shocking:  God says the two sins He is most going to punish for are idolatry and Sabbath breaking.  Ezekiel says that punishment will be national captivity and slavery in the Great Tribulation and time of Jacob’s Trouble that is coming.

Is God opening your mind to consider this test issue?

I’ve shared with you in several posts about God’s Sabbath.  On the Internet many Church of God groups publish the truth about the Sabbath.  Please write me back if I could be of any help to you as we seek the things above up the stairs!

Broose shirt finalTo follow this blog & have it come to your email,
please click on the square grid at the top right of the masthead.

I would appreciate a comment:
The grid on the left will get you the About,
and please go to the bottom of that page.
Or email:  robertcurry6@hotmail.com

Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends & family!
Your encouragement will keep me writing & you’ll have only yourself to blame.

Hip Recovery Unbiblical?

Paul said he presses forward and reaches for the high calling.  One of my four unpardonable sins is to never let my legs go past a 90 degree bend and the corollary is not to lean forward especially while so bending to reach out or down for no matter what is calling you so irresistibly.

Hebrews exhorts us to run the race to win.  Like I’m going to come close to that speed hopping right-footed on my walker. Hah, like I’m even going to walk?

The Gospels warn us to never take our hands off the plow.  No way can I put mine on in the first place.

But wait a minute.

Some of this recovery sounds pretty biblical

Hebrews advises us to lay aside every burden that so easily besets us.  My doctor’s orders are to go six weeks with no weight bearing on my left hip/leg.

And 1 Corinthians warns us:  Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  I certainly never noticed how unhandicapped friendly our house is until finding how slippery the tile can be and how what seems like wide hallways don’t have enough room to rotate a wheelchair to change direction.

But seriously, we never have any excuse not to live according to the Bible.  To not do so is a  prescription for disaster and more pain than we can manage.

I’m going to walk as Jesus walked even if for a while it looks more like a drag.  And yes, somehow count it all joy.

Broose shirt finalTo follow this blog & have it come to your email,
please click on the square grid at the top right of the masthead.

I would appreciate a comment:
The grid on the left will get you the About,
and please go to the bottom of that page.
Or email:  robertcurry6@hotmail.com

Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends & family!
Your encouragement will keep me writing & you’ll have only yourself to blame.

This Isn’t Meant to Scare You

hip surgeryBefore my left hip replacement surgery Monday,
I’ve had to attend consultations and watch videos.
 In each one, great care is taken to warn me about all the risks involved. 
The warnings start with
“This isn’t meant to scare you …” 

Then they go on to scare me:

⊗   You could have a blood clot which could go to your heart or brain and kill you.
⊗   You could incur infection which could kill you or result in flesh-eating loss of limb.
⊗    You might not react right to your anesthesia and never wake up.
⊗    Yellowstone National Park might blow up during your surgery and wipe out Colorado.

So I feel duly warned and wouldn’t bother to sue anyone.  And the hip still hurts bad enough so I sign off.

Actually, what scared me most in all the pre-surgery meetings was that all the specialists kept mentioning my left knee, and I had to keep saying “Not my knee!  My left hip!”

I asked Mary to make sure that if I am already grogged out while they’re wheeling me in, she shouldn’t let them take me without making sure they have things straight.  Location!  Location!  Location—especially when it comes to this real estate!

Actually, rather than all the dire warnings, what convinces me to show up Monday is Dr. McFadden’s analysis that “If you don’t do something about this hip, in six months I wouldn’t be able to fix it.”

The Bible does a good job of telling us what we’re in for on our mission to become a member of the God Family

⊗    The way is narrow and little traveled.
⊗    If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you.
⊗    They will kill you thinking they are doing Me a service.
⊗    Deception will be so persuasive at the end “so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Jesus warns us to

“Count the cost” (Luke 14:28). 

I endured my hip pain for over a year, waiting until I went on Medicare so I could have payment for the surgery.

Jesus was scourged and crucified to pay the costs for me.  I am “bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20).  The price was God’s life in my place.

Too risky?

kingdom come“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

And the hip?  It has been hurting more and more.  Everybody says “you’ll be so glad you had it done.”

Bottom line [sorry, you may be hoping the anesthesia doesn’t work!):

I hope you say with me:  You can scare me but you won’t scare me away.

To follow this blog & have it come to your email,
please click on the square grid at the top right of the masthead.

I would appreciate a comment:
The grid on the left will get you the About,
and please go to the bottom of that page.
Or email:  robertcurry6@hotmail.com

Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends & family!
Your encouragement will keep me writing & you’ll have only yourself to blame.