The Rare Tree and Forgiveness

There was a rare tree of exquisite beauty that The Tree Maker desperately loved. Its inner and outer form was lovely, its branches embraced the sky. Even the shade danced with joy beneath the glory of its leaves. Yet the tree was by itself. Somehow in heart, it had grown away from its grove. The tree of its life had harmed the grove and the rare tree had cried for the other trees and itself. “Why had the source of its life done what it did? Why had it said those horrible things? Why was it never there for me?” Tears were not the way trees were to be watered.

Hopes and expectations were dashed, but new branches pushed newer expectations to even loftier heights. Those who discovered the rare tree stretched to reach those lofty fruit, but even with ladders, they could not attain them. The fruit was ever out of reach. Sometimes they said harmful things to spite the tree, to bring it down from its regality.

Something started blighting its appearance. “Why did they say that?” “They didn’t support me.” “Don’t they care that they hurt me?” The rare tree’s response to them was departure and silence, and though the tree was a diadem in The Tree Maker’s crown, so was forgiveness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9J6xOT3Ldw&t=280 [shorter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Lu5udXEZI  ]

The movie The Shack is a powerful showcase against judging others and for forgiveness .

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A Tribute to Jesus

I woke up this morning thinking about Him. The joy in my heart of knowing Jesus feels like it will break it.

It’s an exquisite pain, a small and poor parallel to what our Lord felt. “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.”

Through his sacrifice, we could come and be with Him. It was His exquisite pain, worth every heartache, blow, and nail it took for Him to realize The Godhead’s dream.

If describing ultimate beauty, no one can compare to Him. But it’s His heart that causes mine to fall at my Lord’s feet to worship Him.

Discerning Between the Covenants – How Should We Then Live?

Confused over what’s involved now in our lives in Christ?

Should you still obey the law?

Are the Psalms doctrinal declarations to still love and follow God’s law?

And where exactly does the Old Testament fit in?

 

Christ is the fulcrum of change.

God entered into humanity and changed everything.

Is God’s law still the standard? Yes, as the definition of righteousness, by which no man is justified, nor which requires faith.

“(11) But, it is obvious that no man is justified by the law in God’s sight: for, The just shall live by faith. (12) Following the law requires no faith. The man who agrees with and follows the demands of the law is required to do them his whole life. (13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:” Galatians 3:11-13a

 

The ultimate standard of righteousness is Christ Himself, Who reveals what our Father is like.

Therefore the external description of Him, the Law, fell away in favor of the Person of grace, when Christ fulfilled all the Law’s demands and became The Holy Sacrifice for sin.

“(22) But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by Jesus Christ’s faith might be given to all who believe. (23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut out from the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (24) Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (25) But after faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:22-25

 

Why be satisfied with an external description, the shadow, when you have the internal Substance?

“(16) Let no man therefore judge you in your food, or in drink, or with respect to a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: (17) which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16-18

 

There are only two possible ways for you to live: 1) by external rules/law or 2) by the indwelling Godhead through Christ.

You were born under law as slaves to sin and suffered its resulting condemnation.

But, you were redeemed by His precious blood and are loved and free in Him.

 

 

Spiritual Measurement: The Mirror’s Reflection

There are two mirrors in the Bible which parallel the two covenants and their corresponding two ways to live.

We all grew up looking at the same mirror of sin and death.

We got it from Adam.

But once the Lord saved you, you had the option to start looking at His Life mirror.

Were you taught the Godhead in you of this mirror?

Have you been seeing Him in it, or are you still looking at yourself in the old, law mirror?

The old mirror is all about you and all that you do that’s wrong or not good enough. It reflects lies, not Truth.

If you are still gazing at this mirror, you will always be disgusted with the dead, old self looking back at you. You will regard yourself as a worthless thing.

 

However, the True Life mirror is all about Him.

He’s jumping up and down and smiling back at your new-self you. The old you was taken down dead from the cross with Him and entombed with Him. It’s gone. The new you has risen with Him!

He’s pleased with and proud of YOU!

He’s holding a receipt stamped PAID-IN-FULL that has your name on it!

He’s Tarzan AYAYAYAYAAA-ing across eternity!

 

The new mirror of grace, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2): “But we all, with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the LORD.” 2 Corinthians 3:18  “But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it … shall be blessed” James 1:25

In this mirror, life is better and better and blessed, because it’s foundation is the Lord, and your life is hidden in Him.

 

The old mirror of the law of sin and death: “(22) do not be hearers of the word only, deceiving your own selves. (23) For if any is a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: (24) for he looks at himself [it’s all about him], and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was [forgets who he is]. ” James 1:22-24

 

Behold Him and His indwelling you!

Cultural Displays of Christ in USA Culture

[This is a new blog that can be greatly added to. Please feel free to contribute information.]

If we are to believe many modern-day propagandists, Christianity was never a major influence in the United States of America. In fact, these organizations state that Christianity has no place in and should be eliminated from our culture. If that were the case, the USA as we know it would have never existed. [See also these historical Thanksgiving links and the video God in Government.]

How are their assertions not only inaccurate, but false?

Because, whenever one researches history and culture, not the propagandists’ favored omissions, re-writes and re-interpretations, you find direct and obvious evidence that they are grossly ignorant, sadly mistaken or intentionally lying.

Don’t believe them or be played for a fool. They only want you to read and watch their recommendations, which are filtered through their post-World War Two pseudo intellectual, kick-God-out assault on education and commonsense.

Here’s only a scratching-of-the-surface of evidence of how much God has been ingrained into our culture. These media prove a common, widely accepted presence of God in our recent history.

As you find more, please send a comment with your newly-discovered cultural treasures!

 

General Release Movies

The Blood of Jesus, 1941

Going My Way, 1944, Bing Crosby

It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946, Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed. God helps George Bailey through Clarence, an angel.

Gentleman’s Agreement, 1947, with Gregory Peck. It speaks widely and commonly of the US being Christian and Jews being discriminated against in the post-WW2 culture.

The Bishop’s Wife, 1947, Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven who stars as an angel who helps a bishop.

Samson and Delilah, 1949

Quo Vadis, 1951

The Robe, 1953, Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Michael Rennie

Demetrius and the Gladiators, 1954

A Man Called Peter, 1955, story of Peter Marshall, Chaplain to the US Senate.

Friendly Persuasion, 1956, Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire. Quaker family.

The Ten Commandments, 1956, Charleton Heston, Yul Brynner

Peyton Place, 1957, Lana Turner, Hope Lange, Lloyd Nolan. Townspeople, including all major movie characters, attend church.

Ben Hur, 1959, Charleton Heston

The Big Fisherman, 1959, the life of Saint Peter.

High Times, 1960, Bing Crosby, Fabian, Tuesday Weld, a 50-ish widower who goes to college. The President hopes as many students show up to chapel in the next morning as have shown up to defend their French teacher from dismissal. The Christmas Song “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” is sung by all major actors and many others, while the video focuses on a Nativity scene with Christ in the manger.

Elmer Gantry, 1960, Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons

King of Kings, 1961

Barababs, 1961, Anthony Quinn, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Palance. Story of Barabbas who was released instead of Jesus Christ.

Becket, 1964, 12th Century England. Becket continually invokes “the honor of God.”

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, 1964. Italian production.

The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1965, many famous actors/actresses. The life of Christ.

A Man For All Seasons, 1966, 16th Century Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More holds fast to conscience and faith.

The Exorcist, 1973

Jesus Christ Superstar, 1973

Chariots of Fire, 1981

Babette’s Feast, 1987.

Shadowlands, 1993, Anthony Hopkins. Story of CS Lewis and his wife Joy as she dies from cancer.

Mary Mother of Jesus, 1999, Christian Bale.

Blasphemy, 2001.

The Passion of the Christ, 2004, Mel Gibson’s movie.

One Night with the King, 2006, story of Queen Esther in Persia and the King Xerxes.

The Blind Side, 2009, Sandra Bullock. Football player overcomes adversity. Attends HS Christian school.

 

Explicitly Christian Movies

Jesus, 1979,  Campus Crusade for Christ, also known as The Jesus Film. It is primarily based on The Gospel of Luke.

The Omega Code, 1999.

Joseph King of Dreams, 2000, story of Joseph from the book of Genesis. He goes from son to slave to next only to Pharoah in Egypt.

The Miracle Maker, 2000. Animated.

Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, 2001.

Left Behind, 2001/2002/2005

Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie, 2002

Time Changer, 2002, Gavin McLeod. How morals without Christ cannot work. Sci-fi time travel to see what happens.

Flywheel, 2003, corrupt car salesman becomes Christian and starts being honest in his business.

The Gospel of John, 2003, word-for-word from the American Bible Society’s Good News Bible.

2005, Madea series by Tyler Perry, Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis: 2005 Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, 2008 Prince Caspian, 2010  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

End of the Spear, 2005, story of five missionaries slain while trying to evangelize tribal people in Ecuador.

Facing the Giants, 2006, Christian worldview. Kendrick brothers produced w/volunteers from Baptist church.

The Second Chance, 2006, two pastors from wealthy and poverty churches deal with issues.

The Nativity Story, 2006

Amazing Grace, 2006, about William Wilberforce and the slave trade in Britain.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, 2008. How evolution proponents suppress intelligent design advocates. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoSr_EtsUc4

Fireproof, 2008

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, 2008, Gavin McLeod. What happens after an old man starts a Bible study for kids.

Come What May, 2009, about overturning Roe v Wade.

Sarah’s Choice, 2009, about abortion.

To Save a Life, 2009.

What If, 2010, Kevin Sorbo. What would life have been life, if he’d followed God and His calling?

The Grace Card, 2010, Louis Gossett Jr. What happens when we extend grace.

Preacher’s Kid, 2010. Modern story of the prodigal.

Courageous, 2011

Soul Surfer, 2011

Accidental Activist, 2013 by American Family Council. About same-sex marriage.

The Son of God, 2014

God’s Not Dead, 2014

The Song, 2014

A Matter of Faith, 2014, college biology professor teaches evolution that challenges faith.

Do You Believe, 2015, lives change when pastor confronts congregation after impacted by believing street preacher.

Woodlawn, 2015, football player Tony Nathan’s true story of his embracing his faith and talent.

War Room, 2015, the power of prayer in people’s lives.

God’s Not Dead II, 2016

Risen, 2016, Roman Tribune is ordered to complete the crucifixion of a Jewish messiah, then to find his missing body three days later.

 

TV Shows

Pontius Pilate, 1952, Studio One

The Rifleman, 1958-63

https://www.riflemanconnors.com/Parables-trailofhate.htm

Lucas tells Mark the detailed story of Job, tells about going to church, and forgiveness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpD6Ke6QmW8

On judging and adultery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG3YwLlA6UA

The soldier with the Bible, ought to read the Bible, respect for the Bible, reading in the Bible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDnsU4OBe9U

Mark prays, spiritual conviction, think on the good, vengence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG97JMOnkF0

Lucas says, “There but for the grace of God go I.” at the end of the episode where Sammy Davis Jr. was buried next to his father. https://www.riflemanconnors.com/writers_corner/Deanne/a_simple_promise.htm

 

The Andy Griffith Show/Andy of Mayberry, 1960-68

http://www.thecross-photo.com/The_Andy_Griffith_Show_and_The_Bible.htm

Jesus of Nazareth, 1977, British/Italian miniseries with many famous American and European actors.

Albums

 

 

 

Evolution: Merciless and Heartless

If you’re an evolutionist and don’t believe people have intrinsic worth because they’re created in God’s image, then what are the values of evolution?

Survival of the fittest? Be the last one standing, no matter what happens to anybody else?

Be your own judge, jury and executioner by noting these two noteworthy horrors among the innumerable horrors.

In this corner, the 25 year old boxer against his girlfriend’s 3 year old daughter. Who will win? The undisputed champion in this contest beat the little one to death, to teach her that the world was a tough place when dealing with math questions.

How about those who mocked and laughed at a poor disabled man until he drowned, then left.

So, what’s the conclusion, evolutionists?

Is the 3 year old worthless?

Should babies be able to make it from birth without adult care? Would you have made it?

Is the 25 year old murderer worthless?

Is the drowned disabled man worthless?

Are those who ignored pleas to save him worthless?

Are you worthless, evolutionist?

Should anyone care for your cries for help, when disaster comes?

Or in your mind, apart from God, are you and everyone you bio-chemically love worthless too?

 

“(6) Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near: (7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7

“(3) When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. (4) For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. (5) I acknowledged my sin to You, and I have not hidden my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD; and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (6) For this shall everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come near to Him. (7) You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. (8) I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with My eye. (9) Do not be as the horse or the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouths must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near you. (10) Many sorrows shall be to the wicked, but mercy shall surround him who trusts in the LORD.” Psalm 32:3-10

 

Depending on Him

Whatever temptation or challenge you face, you’ve habitually faced and handled it alone.

Apparently in your belief, God was not to be depended on, because it’s all on your shoulders. Right?

Your personal resistance has been proven futile, your track-record displays a pattern of perpetual failure.

 

Do you know that you can rely on Christ and His resistance?

How?

Because He is in you and gives Himself to you to live together.

Since He is in you, you must ask yourself these questions, “Whose faith does He live by? Whose thoughts does He live by? Whose feelings, obedience, yieldedness, willingness, desires, ability, etc. does He live by?”

Of course, the answer is, “His Own.”

And He never sins or fails.

If your personal faith, obedience, etc. falls short, that is not a problem for Him, for God knew you could do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5).

But you need to remember this too, so that you will depend on Him.

You say, “Lord, I”m not believing You, that You will take care of me.”

He replies, “I Am always believing in Myself. Would you like to share My faith?”

You: “Is that what this is all about-relying on You, sharing with You?”

Him: “Absolutely. I Am always here in you, for us to live, love and overcome together. If you’re afraid, then let Me exchange your being fearful for Me being courageous. Your feelings are untrustworthy, but My feelings are your confidence. You will always triumph when you depend on Me being your life (Colossians 3:4). We are going to get through this together.”