1 Corinthians 15

Slowly rereading the words of this chapter comforted me tonight.

It is not the here and now that gives me hope. Other than the Word of God, more often than not the things I see bring discouragement.

1

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
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After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
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After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
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If I Die…

For my loved ones – warm pie, a family favorite

Someday, maybe after I die, my kids might read through my blog and see this. I want to say here that I love all seven of you more than words can describe, and although I tell and show my love for you all the time, if there is any doubt, here it is in writing.

I also want to say that all the photos I have taken, videos I have made, and writing I have done in journals over the years is no indication of any favoritism. I would hate for any of my kids to feel I didn’t love them equally because there wasn’t as much record of them in one form or the other. Each one of you are tied for first place in my heart.

I am writing this on Friday, August 2, 2019. I will schedule this blog entry to be automatically posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

I set it at 11:11 a.m. That is a special “TIME” of any day, of course, for us.

Why schedule it? Because I am planning to go on a two-night road trip tomorrow (which would be Saturday at the time of this writing) with my oldest daughter as she has an appointment and also wants to buy some things in the city that she can’t find up here. I don’t like to post on the internet about when I will be away, so by the time this publishes, I should already be back home…

Unless the Lord takes me to my forever home.

If I don’t return from my trip, may my remaining children know how dearly I love them. May they seek assurance through studying God’s word to know that faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to heaven. I want them to be with me there.

I want everyone who reads this to be there, too. I share the desire of God’s heart, which is that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Sincerely, with love,
Mom/Steeny Lou

Matthew Henry Rocks!

Photo that has nothing to do with the post: One of my cats chilling in a mess.

In case you aren’t familiar with Matthew Henry, he was a noncomformist Christian who wrote a Bible commentary of great detail and depth but which is easy to read, at least for me. The flow is good and he doesn’t bog me down with words I don’t know, even though he was born in 1662.

“Noncomformist” is a bonus word that I like in general, though its meaning is broad. I shy away from writers who have a specific affiliation with one denomination or another.

Here is a sample of Matthew Henry’s commentary, this one being on Hebrews 12:1-11, the first two verses of which say: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

12:1-11 The persevering obedience of faith in Christ, was the race set before the Hebrews, wherein they must either win the crown of glory, or have everlasting misery for their portion; and it is set before us. By the sin that does so easily beset us, understand that sin to which we are most prone, or to which we are most exposed, from habit, age, or circumstances. This is a most important exhortation; for while a man’s darling sin, be it what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and faint in their minds, let them recollect that the holy Jesus suffered, to save them from eternal misery. By stedfastly looking to Jesus, their thoughts would strengthen holy affections, and keep under their carnal desires. Let us then frequently consider him. What are our little trials to his agonies, or even to our deserts? What are they to the sufferings of many others? There is a proneness in believers to grow weary, and to faint under trials and afflictions; this is from the imperfection of grace and the remains of corruption. Christians should not faint under their trials. Though their enemies and persecutors may be instruments to inflict sufferings, yet they are Divine chastisements; their heavenly Father has his hand in all, and his wise end to answer by all. They must not make light of afflictions, and be without feeling under them, for they are the hand and rod of God, and are his rebukes for sin. They must not despond and sink under trials, nor fret and repine, but bear up with faith and patience. God may let others alone in their sins, but he will correct sin in his own children. In this he acts as becomes a father. Our earthly parents sometimes may chasten us, to gratify their passion, rather than to reform our manners. But the Father of our souls never willingly grieves nor afflicts his children. It is always for our profit. Our whole life here is a state of childhood, and imperfect as to spiritual things; therefore we must submit to the discipline of such a state. When we come to a perfect state, we shall be fully reconciled to all God’s chastisement of us now. God’s correction is not condemnation; the chastening may be borne with patience, and greatly promote holiness. Let us then learn to consider the afflictions brought on us by the malice of men, as corrections sent by our wise and gracious Father, for our spiritual good.

In case you’d like to read more of Matthew Henry’s commentary, one place I highly recommend to find it is on Bible Hub, a free site for some helpful Bible study tools. In a search engine, type in whatever passage of Scripture you are wanting, add the words “Bible Hub” to it, and “commentary”, and you’ll find the pertinent sections from his studies there.

Alternatively, you could buy the books, but I’ve become fond of internet tools myself, and my bookshelves all but bleedeth from the weight of many bound pages of thought, so I have to curb my purchases in that regard.

Of course, Mr. Henry is not God, and his writing is not Scripture. His words are merely assists in helping me understand the Bible from the vantage point of one man who has studied it. No man, nor any organization of humans, has all the answers, but I do believe the Word of God to have all I need to know for where I need to go.

As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Maranatha!

 

 

Sharp pain in right temple

All day, off and on, a sharp pain has stabbed my right temple. It lasts only a second at a time and happens sporadically, several times an hour.

I am so stressed and grieved, the instigating last straw being the loss of my writing in a WordPress draft last night, that I do not feel like myself. It is not like my usual state of depression when things overwhelm me. It is deeply physical this time, very much like grief over loss of a loved one.

I wanted to say this in case I die tonight and the reason is otherwise unknown. A friend or family member might see this and know I had a strange pain in my head, not like the usual pain attacks I get every few weeks.

I took an Aspirin pill within the past hour. I haven’t tried Aspirin in years.

If I die and am therefore unable to say further words directly, I leave this here: please, my family and friends, please, I beg you, read the Bible and seek to know the truth. Please accept Jesus and thereby embark on the same eternal destiny as me. I want to see you there. I love you and do not want you to perish.

Just a flower I saw yesterday

Sunshine: Is That A Promise Or A Threat?

Sunshine and blue skies hang out with me this morning while I enjoy a cup of coffee. (Yeah, that’s yellow coffee because I put turmeric in it, along with heated soy milk, black pepper, coconut oil, Himalayan pink salt, and stevia before frothing it all together in the blender and topping it with cinnamon.)

Birds warble and croon and serenade, my dogs bask in the warmth, my youngest children are sleeping in because they were up late last night goofing around, and a squirrel chirps at me from a stand of aspen.

“Good morning!” my heart sings and all seems perfect.

The lone red petunia on the table, though, is showing signs of death.

And the grass isn’t as green as it should be for this time of year.

The sunshine, as beautiful as it is, reminds me there hasn’t been a proper rainfall in a long time.

I think back to the summer of 2017 and recall how quickly the forest fires raged from the hills and threw their smoke to veil everything we saw. Everywhere smelled like barbecue. It smelled good, but that smell was deceiving.

The sunshine is so good, but we do need rain to cover our land with rejuvenating water.

Please be praying with me for healthy amounts of rain in our land of British Columbia, Canada, and for the same in the lands of others where things like intentional power blackouts due to lack of water in the dams are negatively affecting lives.

Time is running dry. The way the world is looking these days, the end of life as we know it could be sooner than we can imagine, if your individual death doesn’t happen suddenly first.  My number one hope is that all who read this will be in heaven with me as that moment comes. If you are not sure you will be in heaven, check out this page:

Why We Need To Be Saved and HOW

Or you might like this video. (Don’t worry about the word “Propaganda” – it’s just the stage name of the guy named Jason who’s talking. His way with words is mesmerizing and he’s got the gist of the message bang-on!)

Eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, the living Son of God. That is a promise, not a threat. That is the incorruptible we can put on and wear knowing it will never fade, shrink, tear, ignite, crumble, or otherwise partake in the act of dying, for in Christ there is no more death. He conquered death after He died on the cross, and when we put Him on, we’re truly covered.

Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

 

Spiritual Oddity

A photo that has nothing to do with the post. Tis my Pomchi in his life vest at Lac La Hache, BC

My brother in Christ and fellow blogger, G.W., sent this quote to me, from A.W. Tozer. I like it so much, I will post it here so I can find it again quickly. Oh, how I can relate to its point!

I don’t go around preaching at people – well, not much, unless the subject matter of a discussion warrants my thoughts on what I know from the Bible that can affect one’s eternal destiny. I can see when the hearer is disinterested and they might reduce my words to annoying “preaching” instead of communication, so I go quiet or change the subject.

I am not much for speaking, but I do like to write, and often my writing is on the topic of what I feel to be of utmost importance, that being the eternal destiny of individuals.

Because I believe I know the way to heaven, that being through belief that Jesus Christ died for our offense against God our Creator (going our own way and refusing Him) and was raised again, I feel that to NOT share that would be hateful of me.

Here is the quote from A.W. Tozer:

“The truly spiritual person is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to the Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Saviour glorified in the eyes of others. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the scent of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things and ponders them in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throw him back upon God.”

A.W Tozer from: “Man: The Dwelling Place of God” from the chapter titled: The Saint Must Walk Alone. Copyright 1966

Let me tell you that when I run into others who share my passion for Jesus, the joy and gratitude I feel is immense. I can only imagine how excellently perfect it is going to be when I am surrounded by all the people who have ever believed in their hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord, from the very first in the Old Testament who looked forward to His coming as promised, to the very last who breathes “Yes, Lord, I believe You are my Savior”.

Time is short and nobody knows when they will breathe their last. May your faith be in Christ even this moment. I want to see you there in the endless celebration where all is as it should be, untainted by decay, flourishing in the light of the perfect Lamb of God: Jesus!

“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:23

PS: I have fallen behind on blogging the past few days due to busyness in life. I hope to catch up soon. Many thanks to those who read and comment. I appreciate you all. Any comments I’ve missed, I aim to get to them and connect with you!

Did Jesus Die On Good Friday?

An unrelated picture of the Thompson River at Spences Bridge, BC

The photo I put in this blog entry has nothing to do with what I’m about to write. It was shot at a place called Spences Bridge, and for the life of me I cannot find out why it is named that. It’s not Spence’s with an apostrophe. It is “Spences”.

Anyway…

For years, I wondered how to mathematically connect Good Friday to Easter Sunday, knowing the Bible says Jesus was crucified and died, and then THREE DAYS later He came back from the dead. I’ve heard explanations, even from followers of Christ, but they did not compute for me.

Here are a few links to help clarify this, for anyone else who may wonder.

First, some Bible verses on the death and resurrection of Christ. They are in the New International Version, but I strongly recommend that if you are going to do word studies to dig deeper, you should use the King James Version, as it is closer to the original languages. Verses on Christ’s death and resurrection

And this one goes into more detail about what was happening for those three days when the followers of Jesus at that time figured He was gone for good: GotQuestions: Where Jesus Was

And, lastly, the page across which I stumbled while reading something else, which prompted me to make this blog post: Did Jesus Die On Good Friday?

Here is an excerpt from that last link:

Jesus did not die on Good Friday. He was crucified on Wednesday afternoon (the day before the High Sabbath of Passover), buried by 6 p.m., in the tomb for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (including Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights), and rose from the dead at or by Saturday evening at 6 p.m. It all fits together perfectly – and makes sense. If we don’t understand it, the problem is with us and with our preconceived traditions/beliefs; not with the text.

Soon, we who have accepted that Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior offered to the world will be with Him face to face. Whatever day of the week that happens on won’t matter to me.

Maranatha!

Meaning Of Life?

Sunset on Thompson River, Kamloops, BC

The beauty of this world, such as this sunset on Thompson River in Kamloops, BC, will pale in comparison to what we will see with the Lord Jesus

The meaning of life seems to be a tough thing to try to define, but the way I see it is that we were put on this earth as part of God’s plan to weed out who really will belong with Him because they make the choice to be with Him: the ones with the child-like faith in Him. Perhaps even the ones who died before they had a chance to make a choice if they were too young to know about Him or never heard of Him.

I think God put mankind into motion, starting with Adam and Eve, to create His family – a family who WANTS to be with Him, not just a bunch of robots He could have created. I can tell you that when my children do something for me because they want to, it fills my heart with joy and appreciation. I feel the love! But when they are merely obeying something I told them to do, although I appreciate it, it just feels like “OK, good, you’re cooperating with the plan”. It doesn’t feel like friendship. It feels like they are doing it because they have to. I think God just might have that same kind of feeling. After all, we humans were created in His image, and that’s not just a visage in a mirror.

Being in this world full of temptations and pain, it can be easy to just give up and not get to know the One who loves us and longs for our love in return. It is them who will not be in the fold. We don’t need a bunch of hateful humans spoiling the unity when we are in that perfect place He has created for us, which is NOT this world. Look what happened to Lucifer when he rebelled. He was thrown to earth. Eww, earth!

This world is not our home. I really believe that. As the Bible says, this is our temporary tent from which we are groaning to be free.

Too many times, I see and hear people talking glibly about how God can make things better for them here on this earth. I don’t know what Scriptural basis there is for that. Look at all the awful things that were recorded in the Bible that happened to the people who are now with Jesus, to whom at the time they looked forward as their coming Messiah. Look at how King David lost his son. Look at Elijah being so depressed that he ran off to the wilderness and stayed there being fed by crows. Look at Jeremiah who wished he were never born. Look at Jonah running from God. All these humans were being used by God, looking toward the coming of Jesus as Messiah (see here), as part of the plan. Now Jesus has come, and we by faith in Him look forward to eternity with Him.

The stuff we see in this world is often bad. Very bad. We even sometimes are guilty of the bad stuff ourselves, all being sinners with the tendency to do what we want, even if it’s not good for us. Darn free will, eh? But the beauty in that free will is that we can also choose Jesus. And in choosing Him, we have assurance of salvation. I’m definitely going to be with Him in the end of my earthly timeline, off to begin life the way He intended it in the garden of Eden – perfect.

We will only be disappointed if we expect to find God’s perfect kingdom on earth, even though there are preachers out there who are saying His kingdom is already here. Nope. Look around. This is not God’s kingdom. This is still a place under Satan’s influence. No matter how hard we try here, we are not going to make this dying world into the perfect place God has prepared for us with mansions, where gold is something so common that it paves the streets like asphalt, a crystal clear river of life, the tree of life with its twelve different fruits, no need for lamp or light because the Lord God is the light there, and things I cannot even imagine, but the best part is that there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. I could dance just thinking of that part!

I often remind myself that without the hard times on earth, I might not have such a longing for heaven. If life were perfect here, who’d realize their need for a Savior?

Dear Lady

No stairway built by man can assuredly carry us to God.

“Dear Lady can you hear the wind blow
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?”

The music of Led Zeppelin has moved me deeply since my early teens. I have, however, gone through years of trying not to love it, having assumed it to be “wrong” and “unGodly”. But it was what I felt I needed to do at that time.

Knowing that Led Zeppelin’s guitarist, Jimmy Page, bought the former castle of Satanist, Aleister Crowley, gave me an unpleasant self-righteous jolt that I shouldn’t associate myself with such people.

I don’t want to know about what Aleister Crowley believed or what he did. I read a bit about him and it was enough.

But who am I to say that anyone else’s evil is worse than my own? I myself was born as a sinner like the rest of mankind ever since Adam and Eve. I, like anyone else, had the choice to believe what I heard and read about Jesus or to refuse.

Who of us is without sin?  Who of us is without need for reconciliation with God?  Some make that reconciliation – which only happens through Christ. Some haven’t yet.  Many have died without it and that is eternally sad.

I pray that the remaining members who participated in the band called Led Zeppelin accept Christ, if they haven’t already. And who knows, maybe the drummer who already died believed in his heart, maybe even in his final moments like the thief on the cross next to my Lord, that God has raised Jesus from the dead. Maybe John “Bonzo” Bonham is with Him. Maybe he’s playing the drums before Him. Maybe he’s jamming with Him! He who created us and our ability to excel in our skills must surely be the master of all the arts! I believe I will find out someday.

Even the most pious-seeming song-writers may have deep, dark, hidden wickedness in their lives. As Scripture points out, all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Even if we seem to be pure and good and clean, our good works are not what reconcile us with God: it’s Jesus who does that, and all we need do is accept that fact.

Sometimes music is the only thing that comes close to soothing me.  If it takes the recordings of Led Zeppelin to cause even a fleeting smile within me when I’m in the depths of despair and heartache, well, it’s a medicine that at this point I feel safe to take, regardless of what is or isn’t in the lives of the humans who orchestrated it.

I’ll close with some music from someone else’s interpretation of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, which Led Zeppelin covered nicely, too. Here is Glenn Kaiser’s version. I like how he adds this:

“Jesus, He taught me how to walk
If I don’t walk what Jesus taught
Nobody’s fault but mine”

(This post is from a pile of drafts that has accumulated over the years. It was originally started in January of 2013. I have a few other posts to do with Led Zeppelin, which may eventually show up in this blog.)