Heavenly Food

I had an interesting thought.

But first, background. When someone dies they go to one of two places. If they have trusted in Christ to forgive their sins their spirit goes to heaven. The Bible is unclear about whether or not we will be given temporary physical bodies in heaven. I’m not sure exactly how that works. I mean, in the account of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man asks for Lazarus to dip his FINGER in water so as to cool the rich man’s TONGUE. This would seem to indicate that we do have some kind of body complete with physical sensation.

When Christ returns for His church as promised in I Corinthians 15 it says we will receive immortal, imperishable bodies. Immortal means forever, so whatever body we had on earth or possible temporary body we had in heaven, we will, at that point, receive our new, permanent, immortal bodies. We will not die. I was going to say we will not ever get injured, but the Bible doesn’t say that. What it does say is that we will have no more pain and no more crying (after the final judgment, that is). So if we DO get injured, it won’t hurt, and it won’t be permanent. Why do I allow that we may get injured? Because the last chapter in the Bible, which takes place in eternity future, says that the leaves of the tree of life are “for the healing of the nations.”

But the point of this post is this: it will not be possible for us to starve to death after we get our incorruptible bodies. And yet the Bible shows that we will be able to eat. God created food in the Garden of Eden as a good thing. Jesus ate food after He rose from the dead. Revelation 22 says the tree of life will produce 12 different kinds of fruit. That implies it will be available to eat. So we will finally be able to enjoy eating the way God intended.

To be able to eat, but not need to eat. Now that sounds nice.

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When Did Music Change?

At what point in music did we as a human race decide that it’s a good thing to skip around and slide from note to note instead of making clean transitions? I mean, if you sing the notes as written, you’re not going to sound like Whitney Houston.

So when did we decide we weren’t going to sing the notes as written?

I mean, let’s look at “By Faith” which is written by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend. I don’t think I have permission to post the sheet music as a whole, so I’m just going to post the first five measures for reference.

By Faith

Now, this video is sung by the Galkin Evangelistic Team, and if you look at the sheet music they get pretty close to following the notes, although they do slide a little bit (their transitions aren’t clean).  But when you listen to the same song sung by Kristyn Getty (one of the authors), not only is the sliding between notes more pronounced, she doesn’t follow the timing and she even adds extra notes in there that aren’t in the sheet music.  And if we go by how many people prefer the Getty version of singing in all different genres of music today I think that one is more popular.

So when did we as a society decide that this was a good thing?  Because it irritates me, and I’d really like to know.
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Every Adult Needs To See This Movie

Gosnell

I love words. They convey meaning, they can make us laugh, they can make us cry, they can make us FEEL.  They can make us know things we need to know.  I love words.

I almost always know what I’m going to say in situations.  “Speechless” is not a word that applies to me. Seriously, just ask anybody who knows me.  There are words to describe my use of words:  Verbose. Loquacious. Garrulous.  Sometimes I feel like Bugs Bunny in the cartoon where someone tells him to shut up and he shuts up with a paragraph..

And so it means something when I say that I have no words.

At least I didn’t.  After some time, I now have words again. I just got out of the theater.   I knew it wasn’t going to be entertainment. I knew it wasn’t going to be “fun.” But someone told me I needed to see this movie, and so I went.

I saw Gosnell.

Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer

This is the story of a man who lost his respect for human life.  For those of you who are pro-choice, you need to see this movie.  For those of you who are pro-life, you need to see this movie. For those of you who are reading this right now: You. Need. To. See. This. Movie.

It is not fun.  It is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.  And sadder still because the practice of legal abortion continues.  In the hour and a half that I sat there watching the movie there were an estimated eight thousand abortions performed across the world. 125,000 babies are killed every day in the world, 3,000 of them in the United States.  That’s over forty-five million abortions per year.  There are eight million people living in New York City.  The population of NYC is killed in abortion clinics every two months.  The scale of this boggles my mind.  In the United States alone there have been 60,000,000 babies killed since Roe v. Wade was decided.

To me, abortion is two things.

  1. Abortion is the holocaust of our day. We look at the holocaust as a horrible event because of the 17 million people that were murdered by the Nazis. Well a holocaust-worth of human babies are killed every 4.5 months in the world. The fact that every person in the world isn’t rising up in protest of this atrocity is amazing to me.
  2. Abortion is the slavery of our day. It’s the moral issue that is perfectly legal and practiced in most countries in the world, just as slavery was several hundred years ago. And yet today no decent person would say that slavery is a good thing or even that it should be legal.  It is my hope and prayer to Almighty God that someday we will look back on abortion with the same attitude that we now view slavery:  a horrible human rights crime that our ancestors practiced, a practice we’re ashamed of, but something we fought to end.

The smugness on the face of the actor portraying Kermit Gosnell all throughout the movie was infuriating. The roadblocks that were thrown down for the prosecutor at every turn, the media blackout that happened (this may be the first time some of you are hearing of this man), and the outright censorship that is currently occurring just because the movie was released is amazing.  Theaters refused to show this movie. Theaters are pulling this movie prematurely. Why? Because there are those in our society that will do anything to keep people from hearing anything negative about abortion. A “woman’s right to choose” is held up over and over and over as vastly more valuable than that of human life itself.  At one point in the movie a judge commands the district attorney’s office to care for Gosnell’s endangered pet turtles.  The irony of her vehemence that turtle life be preserved in light of her attitude towards abortion is shocking.

In short, watch the movie.  You will not enjoy it, but your eyes will be opened.  Pray for our country. Pray for our world. This massacre will not go unpunished.  God is love, but God is also wrath.  And as Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

May God have mercy on our souls.

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I’m No Botanist

Magnolia

When I was a kid, I lived for a time in the house that my great-grandfather built. I have been told that my grandfather was born in that house. As in, not at the hospital but inside the house.  My parents were living there when I was born (at the hospital).  Years later I lived there again.

We had a magnolia tree in the back yard.  I used to climb in that tree, and I loved the smell of the blossoms every year.  I can honestly say that tree has been my favorite tree ever.   I recently moved back to Adel, Iowa to pastor the Baptist church in town, and since I hope to be here for many years, I decided it might be a good idea to try growing my own magnolia tree.  There are over 200 varieties of magnolia.  I don’t know what variety my tree is, but I knew that’s the one I wanted.  So I called up my aunt (to get access to the house, which is currently vacant), and we went looking.  I really hoped there would be a seedling that I could just dig up and transplant, but there weren’t any.  Plan B was to get cuttings.

As the title says, I’m not a botanist, but I am following the advice of videos I’ve found online to attempt to grow a new tree from some branches I cut off the existing one. I removed most of the side twigs and leaves from the cuttings I took, and then made a cut in the end of each one, and dipped them in this root hormone powder I bought.  Then I shoved them in a mixture of dirt and peat moss.

I don’t know if anything will come of it.  If the tree is still there next year I may try again if these cuttings are unsuccessful, as one video informed me that June-August is the best time to do this.

I also took a cutting of the Concord grapevine that has grown there for decades. Did the same procedure.  I have less hope for that one, but we’ll see what happens.

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Stop the Honduran Invasion

What would you say if I told you that there was a man that is on his way to your house, and when he arrives, he is going to live there whether you like it or not? That’s the situation our country is in right now, because there is a large invasion force seven thousand people strong that is headed for our southern border from Honduras. These people are not American citizens. They have not received permission to enter the United States.

Now some would say (and I agree) that life is a basic human right, which is odd coming from those who support abortion, but I digress. They say, “You don’t care that these people are fleeing the violence in their country.” That’s not true. I DO care, and it should stop, but Honduras is NOT the United States. Honduran citizens are NOT the citizens of the US. They need help, but forcing us to care for them is not the way.

When I was young I helped my family participated in sending care packages to Honduras. I still remember packing boxes with bags and bags of rice, beans, powdered milk and many other things. I didn’t speak Spanish, but packing those boxes is why I will never forget the meaning of the words arroz, frijoles, and leche en pulvo. We took the boxes to a farm in Minnesota where they then shipped them to some aid station in Honduras to help feed hungry people. I am not heartless. But if those Hondurans had shown up at our door and started taking our food and other belongings out of our house? They would have gotten a much different response.

I sincerely hope that the United Nations takes action to help the country of Honduras. I think human rights abuses are horrible. But I don’t think that allowing the citizens of Honduras to enter other countries illegally is the answer. So far Guatemala and Mexico have not stopped them. Let’s hope that Trump can stop them at our border.

I don’t have any easy answers, but if I were President, here’s what I would do:
1. I would immediately put a hold on all immigration from the three countries that have helped cause this problem: Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, until such time as they show willingness to abide by international law.
2. I would immediately end foreign aid to all three countries.
3. I would assemble a force of Americans to stop these people from crossing the border. I would direct this force to detain anybody who crcosses illegally. I would then determine if the person has a visa. If no visa, no entry, and they would be returned to Mexico, and let Mexico deal with them, since Mexico let them in at their southern border.

I don’t have all the answers. Maybe somebody has a better idea. But I know that allowing 7,000 people to enter illegally is not the answer. If these people are allowed to enter, then our borders truly mean nothing.

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Resign to Run?

I just had a great idea. At least I think it’s a great idea.  I’m not really sure, I mean, it’s new. It’s a baby idea.  Maybe someone else thought of this already and there’s whole books written about why this would be a bad idea.  I don’t know, because I’ve never heard of it. It just came to me.

What if we passed a law that said if someone files paperwork to run for federal office (US House, US Senate, VP, or President), the day they file papers to run, they must also resign from their current elected office.  You’re a congressman that wants to run for Senate?  First resign from your House seat.  You’re a Senator that wants to run for President? First resign from your Senate seat.

That way we could clean out the legislative branch in a few election cycles, because the number of congresspeople running for Senate every two years AND President every four would allow fresh blood into the legislature.  Ultimately I’d like congressional term limits (maybe two terms for each chamber: four years in the House, 12 years in the Senate), but that doesn’t seem to be popular.

So what do you think?

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Colin and Nike: The Ad Review

I’ve seen the ad now, so I feel like I should write a follow-up.

I don’t hate it. It actually has some very good points.

The voice over is done by Colin Kaepernick, of course. As an aside, I agree with him that police brutality is wrong. I agree with him that racism is wrong. How I disagree is in the way that he chooses to protest these things.

So, back to the ad.

I watched the ad several times, and thought about the words and the images it portrayed. And I think the entire ad can be condensed into four inspirational statements. Let’s look at these one by one.

1. Dream of being the best ever at whatever you are doing, and then believe that it’s possible. I agree with this one. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” This is a good goal, but I would qualify it by adding 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Be the best you that you can be, for God’s glory.

2. Don’t limit yourself with other people’s expectations. This is also a good motto, if qualified correctly. If you aspire to being the fastest runner, or the funniest comedian, or the best doctor, that’s great. If your goal is to become the most famous serial killer ever, that’s not great. In cases like that, you should indeed allow other people’s expectations to limit you. But in a general sense, this is a good thing. If someone tells you that you can’t do something because “you’re not good enough”, see if hard work and effort can overcome your perceived inadequacy. On the other hand, some people should be told by their loved ones that they aren’t great singers BEFORE they arrive at American Idol tryouts. Sometimes our limitations are there because that’s not what we were meant to do.

3. Stop idolizing famous people. Instead, become famous. I agree with the first half of this one, but not the second. I agree that we need to stop putting other human beings on a pedestal, because they’re just as fallible as we are. However, Hebrews 12:2 says we are to look to Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:15 says we are to present ourselves as workmen who need not be ashamed. Galatians 6:9 says we should not grow tired in doing good. In these and other examples we see that our goal should be to reveal how good God is, and not how good we are. Be the best at what you do so that people will say how amazing God is for giving you those talents.

4. Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything. The final statement is the tagline of the campaign, and it too is correct, if qualified. Obviously some things are worth sacrificing everything for. I would sacrifice my life to protect the lives of my family. I would willingly spend the rest of my life in prison if defending my family became illegal. I would sacrifice whatever it took to make sure that my family does not go hungry, working nights, weekends, etc. If your goal is good, then no sacrifice is too great. I will go where God wants me to go and do what God wants me to do, even if it is unpleasant, dangerous, or even deadly.

The only problem with the ad is that at the moment the last statement is uttered, Colin turns around and looks at the camera as if to indicate that he has sacrificed everything because of what he believes. I take issue with this, because so many other people are much clearer examples of sacrificing everything than this man.

Let’s review what we know about Kaepernick. His biological mother is white and his father is black. He was adopted as a baby by an upper class family. He played football and was drafted in 2011. He wasn’t the starting QB for the first two seasons, but became the starter for 2013. That was his best year, with a 12-4 record. The next year the 49ers were 8-8, and then in 2015 they started the season with just two wins and eight losses when the coach decided to bench him. A week later he had an injury that required surgery, making him inactive for the rest of the year. He started his protest in the 2016 NFL preseason. He wasn’t the starting QB until week 6, and started 11 games that year, losing every game except one. Let’s not act as if he was flying high, with a great career that he risked by protesting. He wasn’t doing well at all.
He only had one more year on his contract, which he opted out of so that he could play somewhere else, but unfortunately his intangibles made him a risky prospect for even those teams that might gamble on his flashes of greatness. He hasn’t played since. Part of that is because of his protest, and part is because he’s just really not that good, consistently.

Given the fact that his career was on the rocks, I don’t believe that Kaepernick should be the first person you think of when you think of sacrificing everything for an ideal. He didn’t even sacrifice very much, since his net worth is around 20 million dollars. He just isn’t playing professional football anymore.

There are other people that are far more worthy of being the first person you think of when you think of sacrifice. I can think of one right off the top of my head: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Philippians says that even though He was God, he came to earth, willingly put Himself through all the suffering that we go through every day, was surrounded minute-by-minute with the sin of the world, and finally suffering and dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, since He had none of His own. THAT is the picture of someone who sacrificed everything for something good. And He is worth believing in. Come to think of it, if you don’t believe in Him, nothing else matters.

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