We welcome two new TFR fellows

Please welcome Sandi Rog and Doc Phillips, our two newest Fellows who will be sharing their perspectives on TFR. (Their bios are on the Fellows page.) In fact, they’ve already made some posts yesterday and today. Eugene is getting them up to speed on using the WP software.

We look forward to learning from them both and being encouraged by their faith.

#fellows, #housekeeping

Just a quick thought After two or three…

Just a quick thought. After two or three years of drought, we are experiencing rain in this part of Texas. Thank you, Lord! We know that you are the source of every good and perfect gift, and the rain is truly that.
But I am thinking…How can we truly appreciate the goodness and mercy of God if we never know of His justice and wrath? I am in no way opposed to sermons that teach us about God’ love and patience; we need those sermons. But if we, like Paul, are to teach the “whole”, do we not need to occasionally mention to the congregation WHY we need that goodness, patience, and grace>

#divine-patience, #grace, #wrath

Ben Helton signed up for an online dating…

. Ben Helton signed up for an online dating service and under the category of religion, he identified himself as “spiritually apathetic.” While there is an increase in the Heltons of our nation, there is also a growing number of those who are anything but indifferent. They are an increasing army of those who are fed up with the direction our country is headed. Declining morality and shrinking religious impact has caused many to stop and evaluate where Washington, Hollywood and the media is taking us. The Yellow Brick Road looks to be a dead-end and the Wizard of Oz is wearing a dunce cap. At 28 Ben Helton is spiritually apathetic, but if he lives to 88, how languid do you suppose he will be? This is Just-A-Minute

#just-a-minute, #morality

The Frustration of Falling Short

I’ve been a fan of the TV show “Ninja Warrior” long before it ever came to shores of America for a couple of reasons.

1) It looks like fun!

2) It looks like a lot of fun!!

But at the same time I know the competition is serious business. Major, major training goes on. People’s lives are revolutionized, physically speaking, because of their desire to complete the physically and mentally grueling four-stage course. Thousands of people, including professional athletes, have attempted to conquer the feat lying before them to reach the top of “Mt. Midoriyama” but a very, very, very limited few have actually reached their goal.

If you watch the show very long you’ll know one thing to be true – to fall short of your goal is to fall frustratingly short in a way that words can hardly describe! You see, if don’t already know, you only get one shot per year. Your run has to be perfect for it’s all or none!

I hear a spiritual application in that!!!

To fall short, well the spiritual application there is about as clear as day to anyone familiar with the word “sin” itself. But in case you don’t know, the word “sin” literally means, “to miss the mark, or to fall short of the standard.” And when it comes to life a standard from God has been given and it requires perfection. His righteousness is the standard and our sin causes us to fall miserably short of the goal!

Yet when we, as Christians, fall short, slip, have a misstep or a momentary break in our concentration we have one who is there to pick us back. We have one who is willing and able to allow His righteousness to win the victory at Mt. Zion for us! We have a Savior who completed the courses of life and he completed them perfectly for us as Paul said in Romans 3:22-26: “…For there is no difference;  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

But at the same time this Savior expects us to train, to fight, to run and to encourage others as they compete on their way through the stages of life and that’s why God’s word encourages us to stay in the game, to keep on keeping on even when failure comes our way. Jesus has the won the victory for us. He has the met the standard on our behalf. But He will not make us get up and He will not make us finish if we do not want to. And in that I say let’s keep going, competing and running toward the rest that will be found on top of Mt. Zion by faith our faith in Jesus lest we know what it feels like to fall frustratingly short of it all!

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:1-2 – NKJV)

#american-ninja-warrior, #faith, #jesus, #righteousness, #sin, #spiritual-analogies, #tv

APPLICATION Points from Jeremiah 13-16

I think there are a number of things to consider by way of application. First, consider the nature of droughts. A drought has a way of bringing to one’s attention many thoughts; there may be anger, perplexity, sorrow, and humiliation. A farmer depends upon the weather to be of such a quality that he can plant and harvest a crop; when he can’t his mind drifts to a number of things with regard to why. Eventually, he gives thought to the Lord and why the Lord is preventing the land where he resides from receiving the Lord’s blessings. In Jeremiah’s day it was directly related to their sinful behavior. With regard to our own day, perhaps we might be mindful to give thought to similar things. Second, Jeremiah was told not pray for the people. The Lord removed His peace from the community and He was no longer going to hear anything from their lips in the way of petitions. I suspect this had more to do with their existence as a nation than it did with regard to any specific and particular prayer a saint might offer. Whether that is so or not, as a nation they passed the point of no return. Nations exist in human history only because the Lord allows them; but He allows them to exist for His purposes. Can you think of a nation that has existed since the beginning of time that has perpetuated its existence at its height? Third, when we don’t know of what we are guilty (when we are truly guilty) then we are bound to repeat the steps of those who have lived before us, such as in Jeremiah’s day. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for a person with regard to guilt or innocence. The people in Jeremiah’s day were guilty for two reasons (among many that could be mentioned). First, because they were ignorant of the Lord’s will in their lives. You remember that the Lord’s law was found in a crumbling temple complex (2 Kings 22). Second, because when the Lord tried to communicate His will to them to alleviate their ignorance and guilt, they looked at the Lord’s prophet and rejected it out of hand (cf. 2:25). One can’t “spit” in the Lord’s face and expect to be received favorably! RT



(#71) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:17-Only Use A Correct Courier

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 13:17: “A wicked messenger falls into trouble, But a faithful ambassador brings health.”

The credibility of a messenger is what this proverb is about. Messengers are the means of communication, but if they change the message, they become the communication, itself. Messengers may bring news of what they have seen (Job 1:13-20), or what they have been told to say (Judges 7:23-25). Gehazi was a wicked messenger. After Naaman obeyed the Prophet Elisha and was healed of his leprosy, Elisha refused to be paid (2 Kings 5:1-19). Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, ran after Naaman and reported that Elisha changed his mind and would accept a gift. Gehazi was cursed with Naaman’s leprosy beginning then (2 Kings 5:20-27). A wicked messenger will no longer be trusted, and should lose the job. When so-called “news” sources (networks, reporters, newspapers, magazines, web pages, wire services) are guilty of misrepresenting and perverting what they report, they should never be relied upon again!

God’s Prophet, Haggai, was also God’s Messenger who was inspired to speak (Haggai 1:12-13), but the Levitical priests under Moses’ Law were messengers who had to accurately teach what was written by inspiration (Malachi 2:7). It is imperative that today, preachers and teachers of the Scriptures must not alter, add, remove, replace, or amend the inspired Word of God, or its intended message! Paul represented Jesus’ true Apostles when he said: “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2).

The rest of this proverb is also taught later in the Book: “Like the cold of snow in time of harvest  Is a faithful messenger to those who send him, For he refreshes the soul of his masters” (Proverbs 25:13). Though an actual snowfall would not be expected during a “harvest,” yet a cold wind would certainly feel good and refreshing to those who would be harvesting in a dry climate! Just that refreshing is a faithful messenger who brings good news. Christians should freely share the good about their brethren in Christ. “For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers” (3 John 3-5). Christians who refuse to bring a good report of their brethren should no longer be trusted when discussing the church. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #credibility, #messenger, #news, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #wisdom