The Observations.net Weblog
Pain: God's Megaphone to Rouse a Deaf World
Anthony Hopkins as the great C.S. Lewis in the movie Shadowlands:
"We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
* posted by Robert on Sun 02/04/18
Words from a Wise Martian
Once upon a time, TV was worth watching.
"There is no secret," says the Martian. "Live life for itself. Derive pleasure from the gift of pure being. Life is its own answer. Accept it and enjoy it day by day. Live as well as possible. Expect no more. Destroy nothing. Humble nothing. Look for fault in nothing... Hold that which lives in all reverence. For life is given by the Sovereign of our universe; given to be savored, to be luxuriated in, to be respected. But that's no secret..."
But one could object. Life isn't good for all. For some, life ends too soon, and they never get to live. For others, it is one hardship after another, brutality upon brutality, sadness upon
* posted by Robert on Wed 08/16/17
What is Hell?
The Lord described hell as a place of darkness (Matthew 8:12). He also described hell as a place of fire (Mark 9:48). But fire gives off light. So it's obvious that fire and darkness are symbols.
God is not a psychopath. He does not throw lost souls into literal fire. Such a concept is utterly absurd. Fire is a symbol of punishment. Darkness is a symbol of rejection and aloneness.
So what is hell? First and foremost, hell was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It is an eternal prison, a place of separation from God and all that is good (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
For Jesus to make all things new, to make the universe what it should be, to make it a place where we can grow into everything that He meant for us to become, the devil and those who
* posted by Robert on Wed 08/02/17
The Cross - the meeting point between God and man
The death of God upon the Cross was the most significant event in all history. The Apostle Peter wrote:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)The New Testament addresses Christ taking all the sins of mankind upon Himself so that we might be saved.
As powerful and crucially important as that fact is, I believe that there is another dimension.
I have expressed on this website my belief that life is a school. We were created in the image of God, given freewill, and then placed in this harsh and brutal place to learn and grow. We learn from both our successes and failures. We learn firsthand why evil is wrong through the
* posted by Robert on Wed 07/26/17
The Person Called 'You'
You are unique in all the universe. Billions have existed, but there is only one 'you'.
You are known to God. The Lord Jesus said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31)
So if the hairs of your head are numbered, God knows who you are. He knows your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams. He knows your past. He knows your future.
Moreover, God does not throw away life. That is why the soul is eternal. The Lord Jesus said, "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how
* posted by Robert on Sun 07/23/17
A Typical Church That Illustrates the Problem
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
This small church in Lee's Summit, Missouri, represents the serious problems to be found with many so-called evangelical churches; these problems ranging from abusive, controlling pastors to bad doctrine to compromise with satan and the world.
I had come
* posted by Robert on Mon 07/03/17
Amos - A Vision of Judgment
Amos was the blue collar prophet; a shepherd and sycamore fig farmer from the southern village of Tekoa. Near the end of each summer he would herd his flocks to places such as western Judah where the sycamore figs grew. To pay the local landowners for grazing rights, Amos would pierce holes in the sycamore figs. The sycamore fig was smaller than the common fig and holes had to be made in the skin to allow the fruit to ripen. It was boring, tedious work.
Amos lived during the second golden age of Judah and Israel. It was the 8th century BC. Jeroboam II was king in the north and Uzziah was king in the south. The two countries had gained a level of wealth and prominence not seen since the days of Solomon.
But although Israel was rich, not all was well. It
* posted by Robert on Sun 09/21/03
Second Chances - Jeremiah
Of all the prophets of the Old Testament, there is none into whose heart we see so clearly; whose internal struggles are laid so bare as Jeremiah. He shares his five “Confessions“ which are recorded in Book 1, chapters 11 - 20 of his prophecy. These are his confessions of those things which so deeply troubled him.
Jeremiah was a tender hearted man. He was not someone of whom others would have said, “He should be a hell-fire prophet“ For Jeremiah had trouble with the message of doom he had to deliver.
“Woe is me, my mother,
that thou hast borne me
a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth!
I have neither lent on usury,
nor men have lent to me on usury;
[yet] every one of them doth curse me.“ (Jer.
* posted by Robert on Mon 09/08/03
Second Chances - Hezekiah
The book of 2 Kings describes Hezekiah as a good man. 2 Kings 18:3 says, “And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.“ Only he and his great-grandson Josiah tore down the high places [the hilltop altars to pagan deities]. They were the two holiest men to wear the crown of David.
Yet, even Hezekiah could sin and bring judgement. And his sin was to doubt God and to turn to the Egyptians for help against the Assyrians. Beginning in chapter 28 of his prophecy, Isaiah preaches fiercely against Hezekiah‘s sinful foreign policy.
Isaiah 28:14-15: “Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which [is] in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with
* posted by Robert on Sun 09/07/03
A Hymn to Faith
The prophet Habakkuk wrote:
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither [shall] fruit [be] in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds‘ [feet], and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. ...“ (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Habakkuk was a prophet of God to the people of Judah. He was possibly a Levite and a musician in the Jerusalem temple. He wrote his prophecy during the early days of King Josiah, circa 630 BC.
Habakkuk struggled with a crisis of faith. He saw the wickedness of Judah; the horrible
* posted by Robert on Mon 09/01/03
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