Category Archives: ADVENTURE

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS ON YOU! 042616

 

Jesus Preaches in the Synagogue           In Luke 4:14-21; Luke says, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ [Isaiah 61:1-2] Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ ”

First let me say that this story is about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.  At the beginning of His ministry he spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and then being tempted by the devil.  And immediately after that is where this passage comes, in the Gospel of Luke.  When He returned to Galilee, He returned from the wilderness, ‘in the Power of the Spirit’.  He spent a little time in the neighboring villages teaching, and then He went back to his home town, Nazareth, where He had spent the first 30 years of his life being a child and then a carpenter.  So this occasion was His ‘coming out’ statement before the ‘hometown crowd’.

And what did He say?  He said “God’s Spirit is on Me.  He has anointed Me.”  (You remember about anointed; that’s the evidence of gift of the Holy Spirit usually given to kings and judges, prophets and priests) (not usually to lowly carpenters with no education, no ordination, no special treatment from the High Priest or the Pharisees or Sadducees.)  And pretty as you please, Jesus gets up and says, “I’m anointed by the Spirit of the Lord.  This verse from Isaiah is talking about Me.”

One thing that deserves mention about this passage is what Jesus said when He finished reading it.  Continue reading

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POLITICAL POLICY (Maybe Philosophy). 041316

amendmentone

“I believe in the wisdom of the Common Man and the ultimate honesty of the Free Enterprise System; tempered with brotherly love.”  Tex 110595; With respects to Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson and Jesus of Nazareth.

When I think about America, I think America was and is the first great hope of freedom in the history of mankind.  When I think that regular folks toiled under the tyranny of dictators and kings for tens of thousands of years and only just now, in the last few seconds of time (relatively speaking), have regular men and women been granted the freedom to make up their own minds about how they would live, what God they would worship, and how they’d make a living, I marvel.  Forever, before America, nobody thought the common man had enough sense to come in out of the rain, much less to govern his own life.  Well, he does.  Representative democracy works.  Moderately tempered laissez faire capitalism works.  (Yeah, I know that’s an oxymoron, but it’s right anyway.)

Before America, no small guy had a chance unless he sucked up to the big boys.  Now, if he works hard, and smart, and takes care of the ones he came with, he will do well.  And if he doesn’t like the situation, he can go down the road and start over; and still make it.  America is almost supernatural.  Don’t forget it.  Don’t badmouth what America means in human history.  It’s OK to cuss the players, but don’t cuss the system.  It works.

By the way, so you’ll know.  Economic freedom is tied to political freedom.  If the government can tell you how to spend or not spend your money, it can tell you how to vote.  Political freedom with socialism is no freedom at all.  If the government controls the economy to any substantive degree, you are NOT free.  What does this have to do with God?  He put us here, and He is going to let us stay as long as it suits Him.  We would do well to follow the admonition in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

THE PRAYER OF FAITH. 041016

 

Miracles HappenJames 5:14-15, 18:  14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. . . .18 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Back to that “prayer of faith,” it definitely sounds like the person doing the praying has some special ability, some special anointing from God; that he is a “righteous” man, so his prayers will be powerful and effective (just like it says later in this very passage). I used to read that line, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (KJV) and I’d think, “Must be a really holy guy.” Like Elijah, mentioned in verses 17-18, who prayed that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t rain for 3-1/2 years. Well, Elijah was a righteous man, a holy man, a prophet, and he prayed for many truly wondrous miracles. He also trained Elisha, who prayed for people and they were healed, including one lady’s son who came back from the dead (2 Kings 4:32-35). What I want to know is, what did Elijah and Elisha have that any regular old, normal, believer (truster) in Jesus doesn’t have?”

The answer is nothing. In the Old Testament, God picked out certain people and “anointed them with His Spirit,” such as kings, prophets, and priests. Elijah was one of those people, but in those days not everybody was anointed. Most people, if they wanted to find out what God said, what He wanted, or what He was going to do, had to ask one of the people who were anointed with God’s Spirit. Today, since Jesus came to the earth, made the final sacrifice to reconcile us to God, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sent His Spirit to be with us and to be in us, we have the same anointing that Elijah had. If we surrender ourselves to Jesus, and line ourselves up with Him and His teachings and His Spirit, we have the same direct line to God that Elijah had. It’s not just that we can have what Elijah had, we do have what Elijah had. All we have to do to fully realize God’s power in us is to do what Jesus says in Luke 9:23, “Deny yourself, and take up your cross daily, and follow Me.” It’s simple but it’s not easy. It takes daily surrender and daily dying to yourself, but the results are just incomparable. You get to know the one true God for your very own self. No intermediaries; just direct contact with God through His Spirit present inside of your heart, soul, mind, and body, every minute, every second. Just like Elijah.

So if we’re talking about service, what does that mean? It means that we really are God’s lights in the world. It means that we really are the “salt of the earth,” whereby it is flavored, “cured,” saved from corruption. All we’ve got to do is surrender to Him and let His Spirit use us to fulfill His purposes in the world.

Who is a “righteous” person? A righteous person is one who has Jesus’s righteousness in him because he has surrendered his whole self to Jesus. (See 1 Corin. 1:30) Not my righteousness but His righteousness is the only thing that is going to save me, the only thing that is going to make me holy, as God is holy. So if you want to have a prayer life that is powerful and effective, what do you have to do? You have to surrender; not just once, but every single day, every hour, every minute. Most of the time we’re too busy to do that; to think about that, to even consider that. But if you try to do it, and you keep on trying, eventually it gets to be a habit; you enter a zone where you’re in constant contact with the Spirit that is in you, and you begin to “pray without ceasing,” you begin to “rejoice evermore,” you begin to “give thanks in all things,” because that really is “the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). That’s where “righteous” comes from, and that’s what it takes to be a servant in the biblical sense—it’s all about God; “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. (Colossians 1:27)  from Out o’th’ Bushes © 2016 by Tex Tonroy

 

 

YOU JUST CAN’T WORRY . . . 032916

Everything Will Be Okay Reassurance Advice Problem Worry OK

“You just can’t worry about everything.” Bob Gold, Austin, Texas; 1972. (from A Letter to My Kids)

Bob Gold was a boy I met when I was in the Jaycees in Austin.  He was a drinker and a bullshipper, but he was also a responsible member of the community.  He was a factory rep for a paper company.  He didn’t work too hard, but because of his relationships with his customers, he made a good living.  He always had time to stop and talk, even in a big city, high intensity environment.  If he needed to take the afternoon off to counsel or console a friend, he’d do it.  As far as I’m concerned he had the right attitude about life.

The main thing I remember about hmi is that anytime a crisis arose, and nobody could figure out what to do about it, he’d say, “Well, you just can’t worry about everything.” Seems like simplistic nonsense now, but at the time it really meant something.  It meant that you ought to take care, that is “worry”, about something you can do something about; and the stuff you can’t do anything about will either take care of itself, or it will reappear later, when you can do something about it.  It also means there’s a lot of stuff you just can’t do anything about at all, so you might as well not waste          your energy even thinking about it.

Like that verse in Matthew 6:34, which says, “Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow will take care of itself.  Each day has enough trouble for itself.”  There may be some people out there who would disagree with this advice, but I’m not one of them.  To me, take no thought means exactly that, do not think about things you can’t do anything about, ‘cause you just can’t worry about everything, you just can’t afford to.

And by the way; you don’t have to worry, because God is looking out for you.  Like it ways in the previous verse, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you [as well].” Matt 6:33.  If you seek a personal relationship with God, you get LIFE with Him.

DO JUSTLY, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY.030416

Natur Wald“What does the Lord require of you?  Do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8                                 [From a letter to my kids]

            To “do justly” means to treat other people like you’d like to be treated. (Matt 7:12) To be fair, to take care of folks.  To do what you say you will.  Like my Daddy says, “A man’s word is as good as his bond.”   “He … swears to his own hurt and does not change;” Psalm 15:4.

            To “love mercy” means that you realize that the only way to live long and do good is to have God’s mercy on a regular basis, and you realize that to get mercy you have to give mercy.  You realize that mercy is better than judgment, any day.  If you have to choose between punishing somebody or letting them loose and forgetting about it; LET THEM LOOSE.  “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay.” (Rom 12:19)  “Blessed, (happy) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matt 5:7.  The second great commandment originates in Leviticus 19:18, where it says, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”  Mercy means to forgive and forget.

            To “walk humbly with your God.”  That means that you realize that God is everything, and without God you are nothing.  In Romans 12:3, “Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought to think.” [paraphrase]  You’re no better that the least of these.  “He who would be great, first let him serve.” Mark 10:43. “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” Matt 20:16.

            “God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;” 1 Corin. 1:27.  Just remember that it’s not your power, but the power of God within you, and you’ll do just fine.

UNDERSTATEMENT.030216

Isaac Newton       [From a letter to my kids]

I read somewhere that if you are asked to tell something about yourself, it is always better to say as little as possible.  If there is something about you that’s worth telling, somebody else can tell it, and it will sound a whole lot better coming from them than from you.

And if you are supposed to get an award for something you’ve done, make it a point to give all the credit to someone else.  Like your husband or your wife, or momma or daddy, or your teacher or boss or mentor.  Like Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the sholders of Giants.”  It’s especially neat if you can give the credit to the little people; like people who work for you; or your kids.  If you hunt a little, you can always find the right person or people to give the credit to.  If you’ll humble yourself, the Lord’s gonna lift you up. (James 4:10)

Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln (both of them) said that when you give a speech in English, use English (Anglo-Saxon) words, like hit, or run, or eat, or bite, or talk, or feel, or love, instead of long French-Latin based words like masticate, or orate, or agitate, or literate.  The short words have more meaning, more impact, and they stay with you longer.  In this case, as with the other, less is more.

As far as I know, the art of ‘kidding’, as taught by our forbears, is mostly the art of understatement; saying something is less than it is, just for fun and just for effect.  With folks that like to talk as much as we do, it’s hard not to talk, so it really is good to use the art of understatement.  As you know, I have a hard time doing it, but as I get older, I try a little more each day.  It’s not so much thinking about every word you say as it is a feeling in your heart.  If you humble yourself, the Lord will give you the right words to say. (1 Pet 5:6)

Talking about Talking: 030116

Happy portrait of grandparents and granddaughter“A man’s words are a mirror to his soul.” Unknown. 

“It is not what goes into a person’s mouth that defiles them.  .  . but what comes out of their mouth that defiles them.” Jesus of Nazareth, Matt 15:10; (paraphrase)

[From a letter to my kids, 1995]

“I just don’t know what to do with people that won’t talk. It’s hard for me to deal with them. People that talk a lot, which includes most everybody in my family, are easy to read. They tell you a lot about themselves.  If they’re not talking, they must be sick, or mad at somebody. 

“There is nothing more fun and pleasurable than spending an afternoon or evening solving the world’s problems with somebody who enjoys talking and listening. It helps your mental, emotional health. When necessary, it’s a legitimate and inexpensive alternative to a psychiatrist or psychologist.  Personally, I enjoy a ‘highball of an evening’, with my talking companions, but the highball is not required.  Tea, cokes, or red Koolaid will substitute nicely.

“In Ireland of old, next to the kings, the persons held in highest esteem were the bards, who were the government supported combination priests, historians, and storytellers. Some say that the oldest uninterrupted literary tradition in Europe was the orally maintained and transmitted stories of the Celtic Bards. Those folks raised talking to the level of an art, a science, almost a religion. That’s where we came from, a long and uninterrupted line of talkers. Talking is in our blood, so in choosing what you want to do in your life, find something that involves talking. You’ll enjoy it, you’ll be good at it, because you’ve got it in you.

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but talkers get extra attention, and they often end up being leaders, because they don’t mind telling people what they think.  It is a big responsibility, so don’t take it lightly. You have a lot of influence just because you talk, as long as you know what you’re talking about, and you have love in your heart. Always remember to use your influence for good. Really, that just sorta happens, because that love in your heart comes out.

“Talking is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s good cheap entertainment. You can do it anytime, any place. You can even talk to yourself.”