Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: VI & VII

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.


Chapter VI
Hide…

Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God and Savior of Israel. [Isaiah 45:15 NIV]

It is also in accordance to religious traditions that our Heavenly Father had to remove Himself from this world after sin entered into it. The premise for this is that He is too holy and righteous to be in the presence of sin.

Yes, that naturally makes a whole lot of sense. For who from amongst us does not really mind being around someone who almost always does what is absolutely disgusting to them if they do not have to for some reason or another?

There is even Scripture that appears support this[1]. For it is written: The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous. [Proverbs 15:29 NIV]

Along with: Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. [Isaiah 59:1-2 NIV]

As well as: Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)—remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. [Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV]

On the other hand, in order for it to be true that our Heavenly Father had to remove Himself from this world after sin entering into it, then it could not be true that He is always-present. So, could it not be that He has been merely partially hiding Himself from our sight[2]? For it is written: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. [Psalms 139:7-12 NIV]

Besides, if it was possible for Satan to enter into our Heavenly Father’s very presence, even while He sat upon His throne in His Kingdom of Heaven, how could it be impossible for Him to be in the presence of sin? For who could be more of an abomination in His sight than the devil himself[3]?

If you are not familiar with the account, check this out: One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. [Job 1:6-12 NIV]

As if that was not enough[4], it happened again: On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. [Job 2:1-7 NIV]

Yes, it is argued that the Old Testament Book of Job is actually nothing more than a parable instead of a true account of something that really happened[5], but what about when Satan tempted Christ Jesus in the wilderness? For it is written: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. [Matthew 4:1-11 NIV]

Of course, it could always be argued that when Satan tempted Him, Christ Jesus was merely a man—not so unlike we naturally are, but who in their right-mind would want to believe that this is indeed true[6]? For it is written: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” [John 14:15-20 NIV]

{1}2 Timothy 3:16-17; {2}Romans 1:18-20; {3}Exekiel 28:11-19; {4}Romans 15:4; {5}2 Peter 1:20-2:3; {6}Matthew 8:23-27.

Chapter VII
And Go Seek


“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” [Matthew 7:7-11 NIV]

It is quite natural to think of other things, but be assured that the greatest gift that our Heavenly Father has to offer is knowledge and understanding of Himself. For it is written: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” [Matthew 6:19-34 NIV]

No, this is not to discount the immeasureable value of the gift of eternal life[1], but the point that keeps getting missed at best, and ignored at worst[2], is the very close and personal relationship that we were all created to have with our Heavenly Father. For it is written: For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. [Hebrews 5:12-6:3 NAS]

Yes, it is true that what we can have in this world is just a foretaste of what it will be like in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom of Heaven[3], but if it is indeed true that His Holy Spirit truly lives within the hearts and minds of His children by faith, how can we not have so much more than what most have been led to believe[4]? For it is written: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselfes, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now, we know Him thus no longer. Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2 Corinthians 5:14-17 NAS]

Although it is really nothing new[5], a lot has been made of seekers lately. In fact, many churches now advertise that they are “seeker-friendly.”

Oh yes, it sounds so very exciting—especially to those who hope to see a great revival sweep across this troubled land[6], but the trouble with far too many “seekers” is that this is who they are. For it is written: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. [James 1:5-8 NIV]

In other words, “seekers” seek, and far too many of them do not have any expectations of ever finding anything. For if they did, they would no longer be “seekers,” and it is in this respect that they are actually nothing more than doubters.

Alas, that sounded so very harsh and unrighteous[7], but it still needed to be said. For it is written: First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. [2 Peter 3:3-18 NIV]

Yes, it would be different if our Heavenly Father was really hard to find, but He is not. For it is written: “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations.” [Isaiah 65:1-2 NIV]

Be assured that 2 Peter 3:3-18 speaks as much to the other side of the seeker coin as it does to those who refuse to “find” our Heavenly Father. For far too many in the Christian community are content with what they think they already have[8].

Furthermore, many “Christian” leaders have made a very good living out of encouraging the members of their congregations to be content with what they have. For it is written: But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. [2 Timothy 3:1-7 NAS]

No, this is not to deny that when you have Christ Jesus that you have it all. MAY IT NEVER BE!!! For as it was with the Apostle Paul, so is it also with me—even now in this day and age of post-modern sophistication. For it is written: My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. [Colossians 2:2-4 NIV]

It is just that far too many in the Christian community have any idea what it really means to truly be in Christ. Do you[9]?

{1}Ephesians 2:8-10}; {2}1 Timothy 1:5-11; {3}1 Corinthians 13:9-10; {4}2 Corinthians 1:21-22; {5}Ecclesiastes 1:9-11; {6}2 Chronicles 7:14; {7}James 2:12-13; {8}1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13; {9}Hebrews 12:6.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sites To See

This is the new version of FIVE FOR FRIDAY. As with the former, it is the SOLE purpose of this weekly series to call attention to sites that I think many would find most interesting—in one way or another. Please, go see for yourself.







Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WhiteHeart Wednesday

Link: [Highlands]



MP3 Audio Player From: [BlogDumps Video]

You Can See The World
WhiteHeart
You can see the world from here
You can see the world from here

You can see the world from here
The stars of Heaven will appear
When the love He gives
Is the love you share
You can see the world

Do you ever dream
Of what you could be
More than a drop of rain
In an endless sea
Time to sail the winds
Discover new lands
Climb beyond the place
You’ve always been

You can see the world from here
The stars of Heaven will appear
When the love He gives
Is the love you share
You can see the world

‘Cause love is the higher ground
So admire the view
Now you can see all the things
He has called us to do

You can see the world from here
The stars of Heaven will appear
When the love He gives
Is the love you share
You can see the world

Change before your very eyes
When love is the reason
You’re livin’ your life
On the mountain top
You will realize
You can see the world

You can see the world from here
You can see the world from here
Oh you can see the world

You can see the world from here
The stars of Heaven will appear
When the love He gives
Is the love you share
You can see the world

You can see the world from here
The stars of Heaven will appear
When the love He gives
Is the love you share
You can see the world

You can see the world from here
You can see the world from here
You can even see your world

Link: [WhiteHeart]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TWO FOR TUESDAY

Not every song that will be featured here will be what is generally considered as being “Christian” in the eyes of this world. For some will be anguished cries from the pit of despair, and others will be quite obviously ferverent rants of rebellion. Nonetheless, be assured that they will all be of our Heavenly Father (in one way or another) and I hope that you have been given ears to hear the message.



Link: [On YouTube]

Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Great White
Well the times are getting’ hard
For you little girl
I’m a-hummin’ and a-strummin’
All over God’s world
You can’t remember when
You got your last meal
And you don’t know
Just how a woman feels
You didn’t know what
Rock ‘n’ roll was
Until you met my drummer
On a grey tour bus
I got there in the nick of time
Before he got his hands
Across your state line

Now it’s the middle of the night
On the open road
The heater don’t work
And it’s oh so cold
You’re lookin’ tired
You’re lookin’ kinda beat
The rhythm of the street
Sure knocks you off your feet
You didn’t know how rock ‘n’ roll looked
Until you caught your sister
With the guys from the group
Halfway home in the parkin’ lot
By the look in her eye
She was givin’ what she got

I said
My
My
My
Once bitten
Twice shy babe
My
My
My
Once bitten
Twice shy babe
My
My
My
Once bitten
Twice shy babe

Woman you’re a mess
Gonna die in your sleep
There’s blood on my amp
And my Les Paul’s beat
Can’t keep you home
You’re messin’ around
My best friend told me
You’re the best lick in town
You didn’t know that rock ‘n’ roll burned
So you bought a candle
And you lived and you learned
You got the rhythm
You got the speed
Mama’s little baby
Likes it short and sweet

I say
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy babe
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy babe
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy babe

I didn’t know you had a rock ‘n’ roll record
Until I saw your picture
On another guy’s jacket
You told me I was the only one
But look at you now
It’s dark and you’re gone

Oh
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy babe
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy baby
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy baby
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy babe
I said
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy baby
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy baby
My
My
My
I’m once bitten
Twice shy baby


Link: [On YouTube]

The Angel Song
Great White

Fallen angel ripped and bruised
Think on better days
Life is rude
Treats you bad
Tears your wings away
Raise your eyes to star and sky
Believe in fly aways
Take your dreams
Your broken schemes
And sweep the past away

Fly lonely angel
High above these streets of fire
Fly lonely angel
Far away from mad desire

Hollywood ain’t paved with gold
It’s just a trick of light
Sunset falls on stars of old
And blinds you with it’s light
A spiders web of tangled lives
Lays stretched across the hills
From distances
It’s glistening
Like El Dorado’s halls

Fly lonely angel
High above these streets of fire
Fly lonely angel
Leave behind the mad desire

The dream was light
And fragrant nights
But how were you to know
The streets are hard
They’re mean and scarred
Where only fools find gold

Fly lonely angel
High above these streets of fire
Fly lonely angel
Leave behind the mad desire

Fly lonely angel
Spread your wings another way
Fly lonely angel
Find a better way
A better day

Link: [Great White]

Lyrics From: [LyricsMode]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Come Monday...Soul's Release: From Scotland, With His Love

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about, websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

Several months ago, I received an especially great blessing from our Heavenly Father. For that is when He had my good friend, Lance Gargus of [Lance’s Soul Searching], email me about the wonderful poetry of the lovely Ms. Sandra Jane Mack of [Soul’s Release].

Not only has the poetry on her site been a blessing to me, she has become one, as well. For she is as sweet of a lady as our Heavenly Father has ever made, and I would like to think that she has kinda, sorta, maybe adopted me as being as one of her own.

Please do not hold that against her. For I am quite sure that it is all our Heavenly Father’s fault.

On the other hand, if you would ask Him, I am also quite sure that He would tell you that she has been a most willing participant in what He has wanted to accomplish in and through her. The following poem serves as a good example of that, as well as what can be found on her site. May she be as much of a blessing to you as she has been to me.


The Butterfly
Sandra Jane Mack

Above us sits the Father
There on Heavenly throne
And every drop of rain that falls
Is to the Father known

He knows when angry words are said
He knows when hearts are broken
He feels the fear within our souls
He hears the doubt that’s spoken

On windy days He sees the waves
On stormy seas that wreck
And keeps His hand upon the lives
Of sailors on the deck

And when the butterfly must hide
From birds in ever downward glide
Then knowing where their place should be
He places them on safer tree

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Sunday Drive

Back during my childhood, our parents would often load up my brother and I after Sunday morning church services for a leasurely drive around where we lived. Even though we were seeing mostly familiar sights, it was still good to see them, and this is why “A Sunday Drive” sounded about right for the name of a weekly series revisiting familiar sites that are well worth seeing again and again.







Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: V

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.


Chapter V
The Fall

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
[Romans 3:23 NAS]



According to religious traditions, Adam and Eve fell from our Heavenly Father’s grace when they sinned in the Garden of Eden, and it is as a result of this that we are all physically born into a fallen state of grace. Hence, the fall of mankind.

In theological terms, the fall of mankind is called the Doctrine of Original Sin. For it is written: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. [Romans 5:12 KJV]

Be assured that our Heavenly Father calls the Doctrine of Original Sin an abomination. That is, at least in regards to the way it is presented[1]. For He has made it quite clear that there is a difference between falling short of His glory and falling from His grace[2].

No, it cannot be denied that there were immediate consequences for Adam’s sin. For it is written: To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” To Adam, he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” [Genesis 3:16-19 NIV]

Neither can it be denied that there are consequences to our own sins—even when there appears to be none. For it is written: For he who does wrong will receive the consequence of the wrong, which he has done, and that without partiality. [Colossians 3:25 NAS]

Nonetheless, has it not been made abundantly clear that Adam and Eve were still under His grace? For it is written: The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. [Genesis 3:21 NIV]

Moreover, has it not been made abundantly clear that we are all under His grace? For it is written: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:8-10 NAS]

No, this is not about Christian Universalism, which basically teaches that all will eventually be saved from eternal damnation. For the grace that can be found in Christ Jesus must be actually accepted by each individual[3], but who can do that without the grace of our Heavenly Father in the first place[4]?

Yes, Romans 5:12 needs to be addressed before we move along. For instead of it saying that it is through the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden[5] that all are automatically subject to the penalty for that sin, which is eternal spiritual death[6], it is saying that eternal spiritual death first entered into this world through his sin, which was the original one.

{1}Jeremiah 5:21-31; {2}Romans 5:6-11; {3}John 3:16; {4}John 6:44-45; {5}Genesis 2:16-17; {6}Romans 6:23.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sites To See

This is the new version of FIVE FOR FRIDAY. As with the former, it is the SOLE purpose of this weekly series to call attention to sites that I think many would find most interesting—in one way or another. Please, go see for yourself.







Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WhiteHeart Wednesday

Link: [Highlands]



MP3 Audio Player From: [BlogDumps Video]

Highland of Love
WhiteHeart
Highland of love

Highland of love

A tale of wonder told
Written with lines of gold
The secret of life unfolds
On the canvas of my heart

Veiled in a misty breeze
There’s a higher ground I see
My Savior is calling me
And I’m running to that place
His footsteps I must trace

On the highland of love
He is calling me
Reaching down for me
On the highland of love
I will join Him there
It’s His love I’ll share
On the highland

Now don’t you see it’s all been changed
Nothing can stay the same
I’ve taken the Holy name
Of the One who sets me free

Now anger must turn to love
The bird of prey becomes a dove
That’s the world I’m dreaming of
Where the lion and the lamb
Can live together once again

On the highland of love
I will call for You
I will reach for You
On the highland of love
We will join Him there
It’s His love we’ll share
A castle tower’s there
Breathe the mountain air
Of love

Can you feel the Spirit soar
It’s a world I’ve never seen before
Who could ask
Hope and dream for more

On the highland of love
I will call for You
On the highland of love
I will reach for You
Highland of love
I will call to You
High high land
We will join Him there
It’s His love we’ll share
Highland
Land of love

Link: [WhiteHeart]

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

TWO FOR TUESDAY

Not every song that will be featured here will be what is generally considered as being “Christian” in the eyes of this world. For some will be anguished cries from the pit of despair, and others will be quite obviously ferverent rants of rebellion. Nonetheless, be assured that they will all be of our Heavenly Father (in one way or another) and I hope that you have been given ears to hear the message.




Here I Go Again
Whitesnake
I don’t know where I’m going
But I sure know where I’ve been
Hanging on the promises
In songs of yesterday
And I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time
Here I go again
Here I go again

Though I keep searching for an answer
I never seem to find what I’m looking for
Oh Lord
I pray
You give me strength to carry on
‘Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams

And here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
And I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time

I’m just another heart in need of rescue
Waiting on love’s sweet charity
And I’m gonna hold on
For the rest of my days
‘Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams

And here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
And I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time
But here I go again
Here I go again
Here I go again
Here I go

‘Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams

And here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
And I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time

And here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
‘Cause I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams

And here I go again on my own
Going down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
And I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time
But here I go again
Here I go again
Here I go again
Here I go
Here I go again



Is This Love
Whitesnake

I should have known better
Than to let you go alone
It’s times like these
I can’t make it on my own
Wasted days and sleepless nights
And I can’t wait to see you again
I find I spend my time
Waiting on your call
How can I tell you baby
My back’s against the wall
I need you by my side
To tell me it’s all right
‘Cause I don’t think I can take anymore

Is this love
That I’m feeling
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for
Is this love
Or am I dreaming
This must be love
‘Cause it’s really got a hold on me

A hold on me

I can’t stop the feeling
I’ve been this way before
But with you I’ve found the key
To open any door
I can feel my love for you
Growing stronger day by day
And I can’t wait to see you again
So I can hold you in my arms

Is this love
That I’m feeling
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for
Is this love
Or am I dreaming
This must be love
‘Cause it’s really got a hold on me

A hold on me

Is this love
That I’m feeling
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for
Is this love
Is this love
Or am I dreaming
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for
Is this love
Is this love
Or am I dreaming
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for
Is this love
Or am I dreaming
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for
Is this love
Is this love
Or am I dreaming
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for
Is this love
Is this love
Or am I dreaming
Is this the love
That I’ve been searching for

Link: [Whitesnake]

Lyrics From: [Sweets Lyrics]

Monday, February 16, 2009

Come Monday...Beyond Stimulating

“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of, or commentary about, websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that they will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant can be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).

I must admit that I do not understand very much about the [most recent edition] of President Obama’s Economic Stimulus Plan. Oh, I’ve heard plenty from both sides of the political divide, but hearing about something does not always equate to understanding in my case.

One of the things that I’ve heard is that it provides for many public works projects, which is very good. For our highways and bridges are crumbling, and many of our schools are in even worse shape.

I’ve also heard that it provides for the purchasing of many bad mortgages, which does hold some concern for me. For it is good to actually take care of the problem that the banking industry has saddled itself with instead of just giving them dump truck loads of money to do with as they like, but what about the people who have lost their homes?

Yes, this is America, and we don’t do that sort of thing—according to my staunchly conservative roots. Why, I can still hear them say, “Everyone should lie in the bed they have made, and if that bed gets tossed out in the street, well, they shouldn’t have made it there!”

Since becoming much more of a bleeding-heart liberal than I care to publicly admit to, I wonder why we cannot have our cake and eat it too when it comes to cleaning up the sub-prime mortgage mess? For the Federal government could buy up mortgages just like a private broker would, and then have the residents of the homes pay off their loans at a substantially lower rate.

Oh yes, special terms and conditions would have to apply. For I would be a lot less lenient towards those who purchased properties just for the sake of selling them at a profit as the market went higher and higher than those who meant to actually live there, and some provision would have to made for those who have been already foreclosed on months ago, just to be fair.

Aside from being fair, it would make good economic sense. For people who live in homes have a tendency to pay more taxes than receive government benefits. Whereas homeless people do not.

Speaking of making good economic sense, why couldn’t the Federal government contract with the major auto manufacturers to retool some of their idle factories to produce a bunch of those new generation [blast-resistant vehicles] that the military has been in such desperate need of? Yes, it could be argued that there would not be so much need for such vehicles if we would just keep our troops out of harm’s way, but that’s an argument for another day.

Yes, I think I’ve heard something or another about some provisions to encourage the production of alternative fuel vehicles for the general public, which is good, I suppose. For I am a much bigger fan of power than economy, which means that there may still be some hope left for me yet.

What I haven’t heard anything about is a drastic overhaul of the federal bureaucracy itself. For billions upon billions of dollars in federal budget could be diverted to actually doing something good if there was not redundant level upon level in every agency to pay for.

Speaking of redundancies, why do we need more than the [FBI] and the [CIA] to take care of our national security and law enforcement issues? For I understand that there is a danger in giving too much power to too few, but is that not what congressional oversight is supposed to be guarding against?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am basking in the glow of a very high fever with this fit. For I would also like to see what would be left of the federal bureaucracy after a good spring cleaning get much more personally involved in the allocation of the funds that they are entrusted with. For no one in their right mind is going to just thrown money out of their office window if they look at it as being their own money that is meant to help their own family members in one way or another.

Alas, I may very well be quite mad, and not in a good way, neither. For I want to believe that there really are enough good people in this country to pull it off.

Hey, it has something for everyone. For there would be more than enough money to pay for all of the social welfare programs that the Democrats could dream up, and cut taxes for the sake of Republican sanity.

Yeah, you’re probably right. They would never go for it. For the leaders on both sides of the political divide like the bed they are laying in, even at this time, just the way it is.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Sunday Drive

Back during my childhood, our parents would often load up my brother and I after Sunday morning church services for a leasurely drive around where we lived. Even though we were seeing mostly familiar sights, it was still good to see them, and this is why “A Sunday Drive” sounded about right for the name of a weekly series revisiting familiar sites that are well worth seeing again and again.







Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bittersweet Refinements: IV

Bittersweet Refinements is another book that I have been given to publish. If it gets to sounding an awfully lot like a broken player stuck on repeating the same old wrong song over and over again that is because it is to a fairly great extent. For most of it contains rewritten parts of the Bitter/Sweets that were published here before. Hopefully, it will get to sounding a lot better to you very soon, and for the benefit of those who do not have access to multiple versions of our Heavenly Father's Holy Bible, numbered Scripture references in the text (for example, [1]) provide links to such through Bible Gateway this time around. The same also applies to verses included in the text.


Chapter IV
A Matter Of Image


Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock; over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. [Genesis 1:26-27 NIV]

It is, above all else, because of Adam and Eve being created by our Heavenly Father that makes Him ultimately responsible for their actions. For it would be different if He was just a superior being that came upon them after they reached sentience, and took it upon Himself to show them and their descendents how to reach a higher plane of existence.

Many in the Christian community would argue that I have missed a critical point about their creation that changes everything. For it is because of them being created IN HIS IMAGE that they are fully responsible for their own actions.

Methinks that they have missed a point or two themselves. For a long, hard look in a mirror should serve as sufficient proof in and of itself that the image that we were all created in is but a poor reflection of our Heavenly Father’s glory[1]. For who from amongst us in the history of our existence could have ever honestly said that they were all-powerful, or all-knowing, or always-present—let alone perfect in all of their own most awesome ways[2]?

The counter to that is that it was not until after they had sinned that their image became tarnished, and there appears to be Biblical evidence to support this. For it is true that our Heavenly Father considered everything that He had created in the beginning as being VERY GOOD[3], and in Mark 10: 18 it is made abundantly clear that only God is good. For it is written: And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” [Mark 10:18 NAS]

However, if Adam and Eve had of been created as good as our Heavenly Father truly is, they would not have eaten of the forbidden fruit—now, would they? For our Heavenly Father is not tempted by sin[4]!

On a related note, far too many have been led to believe just the opposite of that. For it has been widely taught (in one way or another) that Christ Jesus was not so unlike we naturally are when He walked upon the face of this world in the flesh[5].

Much of this is based upon a misunderstanding of such passages as Hebrews 2:9-18. For it is written: But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.” And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.” And again, “BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.” Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. [Hebrews 2:9-18 NAS]

Yes, that does make it sound like Christ Jesus was just like we naturally are before His resurrection[6], but who from amongst can honestly say that we are without sin? For it is written: This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. [1 John 1:5-10 NAS]

Therefore, how can it be believed that Christ Jesus was not so unlike we naturally are? For He was without sin[7]!

{1}1 Corinthians 13:11-12; {2}Psalms 14:1-3; {3}Genesis 1:31; {4}James 1:13; {5}John 1:14; {6}Luke 24:1-8; {7}2 Corinthians 5:18.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sites To See

This is the new version of FIVE FOR FRIDAY. As with the former, it is the SOLE purpose of this weekly series to call attention to sites that I think many would find most interesting—in one way or another. Please, go see for yourself.