On Living and Dying

I know the title is a bit somber for some. Let’s face it though we are about living. God the Creator, our Creator has given us life, and due to the sin of Adam we are all going to die too.

There is not one person who is exempt from death. None of us guaranteed tomorrow, not even to mention “Next year”, “Next Thanksgiving”, or “Next Christmas”. We don’t even know what the next five minutes will bring our way.

Now do not get me wrong, I am not avowing the thought, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die”, but what I am saying is let’s be responsible in living, taking time with family, even the elderly ones, and not fear what this virus might do to us.

I am not just saying this. I do my best to practice this by faith in the One who made me, saved me, and gives me life. My family and I have decided to continue living without the fear which has been promoted and false accusations of someone not loving others because we choose to meet together and do not wear mask, is plumb unloving in itself.

I have also determined not to be swayed by the supposed guilt others would lay on me. I have enough guilt of my own to deal with.

Anyway, let’s get on with life; and I am speaking more to Bible believing Christians here. Death is not a friend, but our last enemy that shall be destroyed, so we are not to fear it for ourselves or our loved ones.

Here is what I practice through this ordeal: I keep my distance from others in public places; when I cough or sneeze I do it into my shoulder or elbow or cover my face with my hand; I frequently wash my hands as well with soap and water. By the way, I have no intention of getting vaccinated either; I have also never taken a flu shot. I don’t plan on getting one.

The reason I have not gotten the flu is because of the good Lord, His hand of protection, and if I do get sick He heals me because He is the Great Physician.

I grieve with those who have lost loved ones due to the virus, and thankful for all of those who have recovered and are currently recovering. Have you noticed what the recovery rate is? Just a thought.

Let us rejoice in the Lord always and always be thankful for our health, the things and the wealth He has blessed us with. By the way I did not use the word “Wealthy” there; we all have wealth if we stop and look and think about it.

Do not be so afraid to die, that you’re afraid to live for His glory.

That is my thoughts from the banks of Flat Creek,

~tim

A Speech to Remember Given by Patrick Henry

The following is a speech by Patrick Henry as he spoke to our Nation’s leaders in March of 1775.

“Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death” Patrick Henry – 03/23/1775
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not [Jer. 5:21], the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss [Matt. 26:48]. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us [2 Chron. 32:8]. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone [Eccl. 9:11]; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace [Jer. 6:14]. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle [Matt. 20:6]? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Scripture references added.

This speech can be found in Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry by William Wirt (James Webster: 1818) pages 119-123. WallBuilders offers a beautiful parchment copy of Patrick Henry’s speech and a CD ROM of his Life, Correspondence, and Speeches, available through our online store.

We need to pray for our leaders today.  Our nation is in great peril.

An Obituary

I received the following in an email.  Think about it.

An Obituary printed in the London Times…..Absolutely Dead Brilliant!!

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has
been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his
birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be
remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more
than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in
charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from
school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding
an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent
to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform
parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and
criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar
in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her
lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;r
– I Know My Rights
– I Want It Now
– Someone Else Is To Blame
– I’m A Victim
– Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do
nothing

Life Anew

It is amazing how life just seems to repeat itself.  I know, I know this is not a new thing, yet all around, the seasons, plants – flowers, grass, trees, shrubs, etc. – proclaim over and over, “I am alive”

There are so many who laugh at the idea of resurrection, in particular the resurrection of Jesus Christ; yet it has been declared by God’s creation for millenniums of time.

For the picture.  When my wife and I first decided to put our house on our place here there was a Mamosa tree which was hanging so low to the ground, broken over, yet living; and in the way of the new power line coming in; that we cut it down.  Guess what it has life growing from it.  Resurrection.

Last Spring I planted some trees.  Due to our precious pets, dogs, they chewed some of them to the ground.  I nipped them with some shears near a growth spot, along next to the ground; and before last Summer’s end they were nearly shoulder high on me.  Now they are over shoulder high.  Resurrection.

Last Summer I planted Myrtle shrub, and a Redbud tree.  The Redbud was bitten off too.  I pruned it down to the ground.  It is up this Spring over six inches high.  The Myrtle died in the Winter.  I mowed it over a couple of weeks ago, and now it declares, “I am alive”

Every Spring the grass comes back from what others might call dormancy, but it is dead.  Some might say, “Well it is just the cycle of things.”  So be it.

God made man in His image.  He made man to live eternally.  The only answer for evil men, women, boys and girls, was for God to send His Son to die.  Sin, death, and the grave could not hold Him down.  It may just be the cycle of things, but Jesus arose from that grave.  He declares, “I am alive”.

The whole of creation declares the glory of God.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.”  (Psalm 19:1)

-Tim

Feeling the Heat?

There have been record setting temps, or near record breaking temps for the past 15 days or so; and it does not look like it is going to cool down for at least another week at least.  I told my wife, Madge, yesterday, “I thought we left the desert in California when we moved back here twelve years ago.”

The way our grass looks is dead, not dormant like it gets in the Winter months, but dead.  I am working on getting us an irrigation system of sorts, so we can use the Creek, and get some things growing and green again.  I found a shallow well pump on Craig’s List last week, drove to Springfield, and bought it fairly reasonable; at least I think so.  Now I need the pipe for the syphon end of the pump, then electric wire to reach, and water line to get to the sprinklers.

Anyway to the topic I started.  For the past two days it has been 114 degrees at our house.  That is right: 114 degrees.  That is pretty near desert temps.  Last year we had one day that reached that temp, but this is twice that.  Though I like the heat of Summer much better than the cold of Winter; I think I could stand a bit of a cool down; and much rain.

It will rain one of these days, and we will get so much many will be asking, “When is it going to stop?”  Looking forward to the rain coming.

Hope everyone stays cool, safe and healthy.

-tim

Marriage and Friends

The title of today’s post is probably does not have to do with what you might think.  I learned yesterday of the importance of keeping your marriage as a top priority in your home.

I finally got around to calling a long time friend.  We had not talked in about a year.  After our conversation was over, and the phones placed back on the dock I had a lot of thinking to do.  When a couple has children the children cannot be the major event of the home.  In this day and age we live this will not be too popular to say; but when you have children the most important thing they need to see is not you keeping them busy and hopping and happy.  The greatest thing you can give your child, other than the message of Christ Jesus, is a good marriage.

Your children need to see Dad loving Mom, respecting Mom, and Mom respecting Dad.  They need to know you two are together forever.  The two of you have made a vow to God, “Until death do us part”.  Your children will grow up and leave home.  You will no longer have them in your arms, and within reach any longer.  Be glad, not sad about that; that is what growing is all about.

I have watched several homes, though not intentionally, but usually from afar.  They have majored on their children, neglected their marriage; then when the children are grown and out on their own the marriage falls apart and they divorce.  These are far too often Christian homes.

Love your children, YES!  Cherish your wife and love her like Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her.  Cherish your husband, love and respect him in the Lord.

Just a note.  Marriage can only be between a man and woman.  Anything else is perversion.

My wife and me celebrated our 38th Anniversary on July 28 and look forward to many more empty nest years together.  Have they all been smooth and trouble free?  No way.  But they have sure been good.

From the banks of Flat Creek.

-Tim