I have numerous friends, whom I love and respect for their heart and concern for the condition we face. Many send me the update on the decay, the disaster and it’s forthcoming so to speak. I do not disparage the awareness or the need of it. I do however pose a question (?) for all to consider the focus of which they give the most attention towards. As there are death and destruction there is also life and hope. This as the counterfeit leave us with similar option. Do you learn the counterfeit and all of its nuance or do you learn the real article? The real deal is the perfect original. It has not and will not be corrupted. It is the standard against which all other pictures of life are held against to determine their authenticity. Study this first and know it so well that no one person or no one thing can deter you from the real destiny (plan) of the creator (God) for that which is His creation.
There is a popular theme running across
our nation which is very destructive.
I choose to comment on this subject as it is not decreasing but increasing. I state this theme as destructive and at the very core, I believe it is the type of illness that can destroy our society and our foundations. The picture is from a post on Facebook in August of 2017 and the message posted was that the commissioner wanted us, the viewing audience to be more understanding of the players in the NFL. I might suggest that the more understanding needs to come from the players, the commission, the owners and the promoters of the game we call Professional Football. You sir, you gentlemen, you athletes are running a capital enterprise which draws on the public for its financial success. We then are your customers. Customers have a volunteer status and come out of a desire to watch your perform your athletic skills in competition. Your character is on display like it or not. This is foundational to any business down to the lowly little local service provider in small town USA. If we, the entrepeneur displays poor judgement, unsatisfactory skill, debased character or any number of undesirable actions in the dealing with our customer base we lose their business. The result is reduced revenue and even financial failure. You have the same result facing you and if that is not true then we are greater fools than I would want to confess.
I do not want to short change this article by being short or failure to be concise. I will try my best to consider our possible difference of view-point and your time.
You seem unwilling to share the same value with me. You have chosen to slap me in the face. You see, as a Vietnam Veteran, one who I might add was a military volunteer, not drafted, I recall very well the sixties and seventies. I recall the raised index fingers, the F Bombs from the young ladies, even the school teacher from my old highschool who sought to read me a right act and tell me If He had a son he would haul him to Canada as a dissenter rather than have him serve as I was and be a part of what I did.
May I attempt to put that in perspective? I was raised with a belief that our Founding Documents, the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights were values worth defending, and upholding. There is much history with great sacrifice attached which touches many families over multiple generations. You have the freedom of expression and movement, of endeavor of choice and wealth accumulation, the right of marriage and child-bearing and all of these things have been denied those who have died for your right. They all represented our country whether in the American revolution, the Civil War, World War One or World war Two or more recently Korean, Vietnam, and current Gulf Wars and more all which were, costly, always destructive and devastating to life, limb, and property. The are not always just and certainly have there have been moral lapses. In any case, men, women, children and cities and nations suffered. Wives cried, went into poverty, children went wayward due loss of parents, destruction reined and lives forever changed. yet, out of this mayhem also came heroic love, respect, life, Liberty, Faith, Bonds of great strength and resolution which cause greater improvements and life.
I don’t spit on those who gave and I do not denigrate this country which had and still has Great aspirations to uplift and improve itself and its citizens with a Christian value. You may not approve of that value but it raised your level and standard of life. It has taken corrective action in the direction of eliminating slavery, women’s suffrage has raised all women to a new standard of respect and living with tremendous freedoms. Men go freely from town and state without being detained and establish themselves in their chosen course with out force or confinement as long as they obey laws and respect their fellow citizens. We still have the right of disagreement without coercion but this is in danger of loss.
My aunts and uncles, friends and cousins. and total strangers joined only by the ideal of a consitutional Republic died, bled, sacrificed and suffered loss for my right to post this article and your right of speech and dissent.
Just a few I may mention, my father’s cousin sits in his tomb, the USS Arizona which was in Pearl Harbor, my Uncle Stan Whitney was a prisoner of war in Germany. He marched on two death marches, carried his side gunner mate on his back until two broken legs healed and watch the atrocity of the Jewish prisoners being put in showers and gassed to death, burned in the ovens, piled in mass graves and tourchered in prison camp. He saw furniture made of Human Hide, Lamp shades of the same, and your could count every rib and bone in his body when he was freed from prison camp. My father in-laws, from a split family due to divorce both served heroically in the Second World War. One whom I talked with was still having dreams from the war in his eighties and nineties, My own best friend from child hood came home in a casket as God allowed me to come home upright in an airliner. The loss to his family was devastating and affected some family members for years. It still affects me in the sorrow of his loss.
Was all of this tragedy right, moral, perfect and satisfying to all, of course not. But in every case, the survivors, for the most part, got up, put on their big boy pants and went to work to make their live and country a better place.
We now have a cancer invading this country where every dissatisfaction is game for public display and riot or destruction. Ever past reality that is distasteful deserves destruction and debasement by the discontent. Respect is cast aside for individual pride and arrogance with no regard for history. Destruction is the course rather than construction and foundational growth.
When I stand for the National Anthem for America or Salute the Flag, when I sing the Anthem it is with Honor, with revere for those who gave so much and endured that I may stand and have the Freedom and Liberty much of the world does not have. I am not shot or imprisoned for my beliefs, my spoken words or printed thoughts. However, I am not blind to the fact that this can happen and history has proven time and time again.
When you NFL players, and supportive staff sit, kneel, raise a fist and show disrespect for all of those who served and serve now you slap me in the face. You spit on me and insult me again. you denigrate all of the wives children and soldiers of the past who gave you the freedom and liberty to be on that field. to have your chance and to emulate your selves and be prideful. Neither of wich I might add is attractive.
I will not pay for your disrespect. nor will I spend my time to view your antics or hear your rants. That is not why I watch a “Game” of athletic skill. So, to the commissioner I say I am an understanding person. I have respect, and I pay for the things with my time and money that I find of value. You are robbing me of the value by your standard of not respecting those who gave you freedom to have place in your endeavor. I think it is You that needs to change and learn to be understanding.
Of course, as a Christian, a Veteran, and an American I respect your right to disregard my opinion. You economic choice is after all your choice.
Have a Nice Day.
Movies, books, radio, recordings as well as music and art tell us stories of life. They emphasize circumstance and values viewed from every perspective one can imagine. These are creations often filled with both fact and fiction. Created and expressed by the multitudes who both live and observe life’s experience in this world, they always touch part of us. We see a bit of our values and reflection of character expressed in our reaction as we embrace all these.
It is fascinating to observe life and to experience it. The interesting thing is that our experience from birth, possible from conception, actually affects how we receive and how we express each detail of life. Two people can share side by side experience and yet have a totally different experience. They can share intimate moments and have a different response. With these complex realities, one comes to realize that we are very complex creature. This causes me to identify communication as one of the most important and simultaneously most difficult things we do.
I, for example, am a hopeless romantic. I am a man of over six decades and I watch a rerun of a movie like “You’ve Got Mail” or Sleepless in Seattle and get choked up. I see a good love story or expression of great tribulation and triumphant overcoming and cry. I listen to certain symphonic or orchestral arraignment and become emotional to tears. A sad love song or good love story will bring me to all kinds of emotion. Sometimes a photograph or even a simple thought of moments lost and efforts not made will bring me to emotions of anger, helplessness and great Joy and happiness.
I think one of the most exceptional forms of expression come from physical intimacy. I love deep penetrating looks into the eyes of another person and the touch of their skin. I love the complete surrender of one’s self to another with out self-imposed restriction do fear or inhibition from some previous life experience. To be totally vulnerable and feel safe at the same time is an awesome moment.
Trust is an element of intimacy that cannot be replaced by any other feeling and is not easily faked as it involves all of a person. It is also fragile and easily damaged. For some, if broken it may never be rebuilt. We become self-protective and forgiveness is easy to claim but difficult to actually construct.
It is noteworthy that robotics scientist recognizes the need for a computerized device to learn by trial and error and see it as a necessary part of programming. Then on a human level, we fail in the area of forgiveness and renewal which is part of the trial and error process. Forgiveness and encouragement of constructive and informed actions are withheld over even simple things. The exchange of information that will improve function or intimate and valuable interaction is withheld. Withholding then produces, an action which completely goes against foundational relationship and communication. We become offended and withhold those very things which would heal and improve failure and disappointment as we learn.
Unlike the programming of the robot, the human communication requires a permissive action of each individual involved. We have to receive and impart information if we hope to understand or alter the character of the relationship towards another. I used to think I was good at this communication process but with age, I find I have been at times poor at it. Observing the result is the reason for this statement. Not in the sense that I cannot communicate but in the sense that I have found the communication sometimes superficial and shallow. The process of sharing at a deeper personal level has been and continues to be nearly a total failure. Not in every case , however notably in some. The reason this is an area of concern and brought up is this is where the foundational changes reside. Things that are shallow and superficial never get to the root of the things needing recognition and change. If we only stay at this level we are controlled by emotion and circumstance rather than taking control and commanding the circumstances by affecting reciprocal change. I think my relationship with my wife, our children, in long-term association bears this out. This is not a proud profession but rather a humble realization.
I have noticed in the Bible when salvation and redemptive rejuvenation take place the heart is not repaired, rather it is replaced. This is a huge statement of the human condition. This may shed light on how difficult selfless conduct is in the human interaction.
I have met people who seem much better at it than I. It is possible that deep with in recognition of this reality is why movies that reflect love and selfless intimacy or interaction cause me to become emotional. It is touching on a greater pain of failure towards achieving the same in my own life. It seems shameful that I see ocassions of myself and so many others who obviously have never connected on a deep interpersonal level.
In my most important relationship other than that of my God I consider myself a failure at this point in life. That would be the reflection of relationship with my wife. When we were getting to know who each other was and trying to form a relationship we were much more interested in each other than we have been for the last thirty years. We seem to have grown apart, not closer. Where is the honest communication in a relationship that develops increasing silence and superficial communication? Where is honesty, honesty with self and your mate? Where is blame when it lies first in self?
It occurs to me in the effort to destroy (defeat) Gods creation of man a foundational principle took place. In the garden, before the fall, in the morning God would meet with Adam and walk with him and talk with him. When God created Adam a mate Adam thought it was very good. Then Adam allowed Satan, the serpent, to corrupt him by eating of the Tree of Good and Evil which gave him a perspective he did not previously have. It gave desire and knowledge, not in Adams character. There was a communication failure between Adam, Eve and God having been perverted by Satan. The immediate result was a spiritual death (not a physical death) of Adam and Eve. This (death) is described as Separation from God. They no longer walked together and talked together. The relationship suffered a communication loss.
God now had to implement a plan to reinstate the communication with his beloved mankind. In short, that renewal takes place when we accept and come to Jesus the Christ. The divide is overcome as the one that comes to Christ is given to become a New Creature in Christ, receiving a new heart, and now has a direct communication in the Throne room of God. This is, in my opinion, the greatest miracle of all, the renewal of man to God through the payment in full of the penalty of Sin by the Son of God. Jesus, the anointed one, did this on our behalf. God first loved us when we were totally unlovable and undeserving. He had the Grace to move past the divide towards the solution to the divide as he presented his Son the Christ to die for my sin. What an incredible display of Love and Grace for those having a perverted understanding of the same.
What would happen in our life if we actually forgave and reached out in Love to our spouses, our families, our relatives with a true and honest communication? What if we walked together in a joint exercise learning the Word of God, in Knowing the Person of God who actually describes Himself as Love. He is the definition of Love. It is His character we want to emulate, to put on so to speak as we put on clothing. What if we let go of self by releasing control of our life circumstance to Christ and trusted him to handle the necessary development to overcome our broken nature. God has in fact given us the tool to do that when we come to his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us himself that he has sealed us with His Holy Spirit as a promise of His return to receive us as His Bride and take us to be with the Father God.
To stay in the theme of the above writing God has given us a six thousand-year history of prediction revelation, of life example and Holy Spirit inspired word to Communicate His incredible Love for us. He has given us the tools the ability and even the desire to embrace his gift of Life and Communion with the God of Creation. We have the person of Wisdom shouting from the street to call for Him and we will Receive Him. We have the Seal of the Holy Spirit guaranteeing we shall not be lost and we come to Christ as a perfect spotless Bride. We have the unchanging Character, the perfect Person of God who has pursued us and sought to communicate with us since the dust of the earth had Life Breathed into it by God himself.
Why than struggle with strife, hatred, division, separation, and refusal to grow and communicate with the most important person in our life. Why submit to the great distraction of life trials, of selfish needs, of mental fears and to lusts and perversion. The reason is really reduced down to the desire of the enemy, Satan to prevent the simplest act of communication between you, the creation, and God, the creator.
Let’s strive to choose Life, to accept the persons of God the Father, of Christ the Son and our redemption, of the Holy Spirit who teaches our spirit and communicates for us where we do not know how to communicate with God. Embrace the person of Wisdom and consume the Living Word of God.
It is Jesus Christ himself who tells us that if we will put our eyes on Him first, that He will take care of all of these other things in our life. We have a tendency, do our previous slavery in submission to sin, to focus on all the problem, the trappings, the exaggerations and lusts of the world we view in life as our first priority. We demand control, then we seek to blame someone when it does not work out right and seek God as a desperate solution to our circumstance. In this, we build divide, division, separation, and so on as we leave God out of our actions. He, God is the only one who can see the beginning from the end. He knows the attacks that will come. He will light the path but we must allow it by turning to Him. When we demand control, He will give you the wheel. You may not turn the lights on when you need them.
I took sixty-nine years to come to the point of realizing no matter what else is in your moment of life, the single most important decision we make in each day is to put our eyes on Christ (the anointed One) first. Then give him control and his provision, his plan, his guide in all of your association is the single perfect thing that can happen in our life.
God is eternal, he is the Alfa and the Omega. We, you and I are described in the Bible in this thing we call Life as but a vapor. Think about that a moment as you measure all of your priorities. A vapor if you have ever observed a tea kettle steaming, that vapor is here and gone in an instant. Yet, God says things like “He knew us before the foundations of the earth were laid”. He knit us together in the womb and we have an eternal life. As we measure the enormity of this I suggest putting the brief years we have (60, 80, 90) in comparison to the above.
I ask myself, do I want to let the perceived image of all that this world offers to dilute the reality? Do I want to let all of the circumstance, the drama, the excess of temporary and brief life interfere with the communication that my God has sought with me? The answer is really simple. Communication with Him and the relationship of His love is the single most important thing in the entirety of this brief thing we call life. This Communication with the one who sought us first, who loved us first, who redeemed us and renewed us to him that we might, Walk with Him, and Talk with Him, is the single most important thing you can do in this life. It is literally the foundation and the value that should affect every other communication in our life.
You must daily make a decision, which voice, which communication will guide you and create who you become. Where will it lead you? Will you choose to build Life or death? I personally have chosen Life; for Life choose me First and pursued me even when I was lost and unlovable. He, My God, the God of Creation and the giver of Life has since the beginning of time sought to commune with me. Do you realize that is our position?
Choose Him, Choose Life, do not be silent and continue the divide, Embrace and Communicate each and every day of your life. It, after all, is the foundation of LIFE.
by Mark A Edgar
a personal testimony
Be not Deceived Brothers,
Masters have we all.
One is of Glory,
The other from man’s fall.
In pride we say it is ours to decide,
Then proceed in our own will.
But our action is bent towards the one
Who brought us to his wicked call.
Evil is his certain way
With lie and cunning deception your will he does sway.
Towards darkness and the great abyss
He will inch you along the way,
Until with great pride you do take stride.
The way you travel seems right
And with little struggle
The way unfolds to your delight.
Beware; there is a toll you must pay,
It will cost all you have ever been or hoped to be
For it will be destroyed along with thee.
It is with this knowledge I come to warn,
As there is hope for all to come and all to see.
We gather in all life’s decisions we three,
The two masters along with me.
One thinks he owns thee,
But the other calls to set you free.
He saw you bound and hopeless
Having a destiny you did not realize,
For even simple truth was hidden from your eyes.
The Master that calls to set You free,
He has pierced the darkness with light so all can see.
The price for our fall He has paid in full He is Mighty and Devine.
Holy and sure He has bought you and set you free,
He paid the price in full for you and me.
It was with his blood He paid hanging on that tree,
Doing the will of the Father He suffered for thee.
The Father raised him on the third day,
A miracle for all to see and we can follow because from death He has set us free.
But I must stress so Great was His Love,
He allows that you can choose to stay with the evil master throughout your living day.
We should be aware though we may not easily see,
The evil masters bondage is already a part of me as it is also of thee.
It is by God’s Grace we hear the call,
It is Christ who came to set us free.
Darkness cannot stand against the light,
It must flee at first sight.
When you hear the call which comes to thee,
Come to Christ and ever live,
This is the Great Gift He came to give.
Mark A. Edgar
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Soon will come for the eyes of all to behold,
A Cloud rolling across the heavens east to west,
Jesus proclaimed his return just as his departure,
Nothing will stop him, his presence none may withhold.
From the beginning time, the Lords Day is foretold,
Yet to untruth some with outright malice do hold,
With the truth evident to them, they still deny,
God’s word from time beginning, foretold, how it will unfold,
Even God’s signs visible in the heavens as we looked to the sky!
Confusion is in the chatter, anger and fear may give rise,
With great doubt, many do shout.
They express disbelief,
In the failure of man, they seek someone to give relief.
Yet those aware with lamp trimmed and ready,
Find in theWord His comfort firm and steady.
Their door already stands opened as the Grooms footsteps
Are heard falling they now draw near,
We who are in waiting feel the Joy untold, the moment is about to unfold!
While judgment on the deniers will fall,
The Bride with Groom will attend Wedding Feast abundant,
Celebration has come to all who said Yes, Yes when they heard The Call.
They turned from the fall and received the Grace given once for all.
Rejoice and be glad the signs in the Sky,
Gods hand by His Grace lifts all on High!
Praise and thanksgiving be to his Glory,
We will continue as his greatest creation story.
Thoughts over my morning coffee
Mark A. Edgar Author
Having the honor of giving Praise to our Lord last night I was blessed with remembrance and evidence of the Lords desire for my and your life. As I attended service with Bible College students during Praise I had a notion of entering the Throne Room, the Holy of Holies and basking in the light of the Lord our God. This was soon expanded with the reminder of Rivers of Living waters flowing and I felt as though it was flowing right from the center of my being as I am a new man in Christ. As I saw this in my mind’s eye I came to a memory of my youth.
*( note: for those who may not be familiar, at the Crucifixion of the Lord the veil into the Third chamber of the tent of Worship, the Holy of Holies was covered from floor to ceiling with a veil (curtain) and only the Priest was allowed beyond that point. The common man, (those not in the Priesthood) did not have admittance for audience with the Lord. After the crucifixion and the death of Christ there was an earthquake and the veil was torn floor to ceiling. The separation of man from the personal relation with his Father God would once and for ever be removed and we would see this manifestation at the Day of Pentecost with the giving of the Holy Spirit. At the time we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and are born again we become a new thing of which Christ was the first. We are born again and now God can look upon us and have fellowship with us again as he did in the Garden. He can walk with us and talk with us and call us His own and we have fellowship with Him. We can come to the Throne Room of God the Father.)
The memory took me back to eleven and twelve years of age as I used to walk down the ally a block and visit my Grandfather. He had taken up a study of geology and lapidary in his senior years. He was very dedicated and was granted an Honorary Degree of Geology by the University of Idaho. As he gathered rocks from around the northwest he filled a rock shop and made jewelry. I could add a series of paragraphs about his skill and honor him but lets simply accept that I was taken to remembrance of my relationship with him. I would go and watch him work for hours at a time. He, seeing my interest began to include me in his travels and I would anxiously join him. I watch him make jewelry and took in his every public display with joy and great respect for this man who allowed me to be in his presence.
My mother had four boys and became upset at the fact that he only took me and none of the other boys with him on outings. As a mother would, she years later informed me, confronted him wanting know why. The answer was really quite simple, her father informed her tha I was the only one that had ever shown any interest in him and the things he was doing. I had you see, sought to be with him. He honored me by allowing me to have that association.
One of the tools Grandpa’s shop was a “rock tumbler”. To digress, when we went on rock hunting trips grandpa Phelps could see formations in the natural ground and know the likely treasures of gem stone that would be found in those formations. We could walk and he would see a rock on the ground covered partially and dirty, or could dig and expose rocks seemingly just another stone and he knew its potential. We would collect them and return to the shop here the tools of the trade were at hand. Then would begin to unfold at the skill of the master artesian a collection rubies, or opals, star garnets or Jasper. Geodes would be sawn in half to reveal their certain and spectacular inner beauty. Petrified wood and stones of many types would be cut and polished to reveal their many unique colors and beauty, each different and each special. I especially was surprised by the tumbler as many small and seemingly simple unimpressive pieces of rock we put into a hexagon drum with water and it would churn for sometimes days.
The constant churning would rib the rocks against each other and the flat surfaces would cause them to tumble and ever so slightly be tossed that the constant irritation would wear the flaws and the extrusion from the surface. All the contents would become polished to a high degree and the specific perfect beauty of each piece would be revealed. As this metamorphosis took place the artesian, my grandfather could them embellish each piece as desired with gold and silver, each would become a showpiece with greatly enhanced value and desire to be sought after and kept.This has happened with no little effort and with a great love of the transformation of the seemingly unworthy stone. All of this process was in my remembrance in a moment of time.
I saw this as these rocks were washed and polished a became reflective of their potential as men in preparation. I saw the water become the Word of the Holy God which has been give us all and the word was scrubbing off the flaws and rough edges. The unwanted crust and filth was being chipped away as the word tumbled around and refined the man. We were polished and made valuable beyond our ability and imagination by the washing of the word of God. I saw that the seeking of my grandfather was honored and rewarded by the presence in my life of him. He sought after me and asked me to be with him that I and he could have a joy in the relationship. He could teach me and I could grow and become a better person having a greater ability and value.
I then saw that the reason this was reminded me was I had sought the relation of my grandfather. If we, you and I will seek the Father, if we will pursue the word, take it into our life and let it do its work each day and not grow weary in the doing then it will polish us and bring us to the perfect thing of beauty that the Lord has in mind for us,.He will honor us if we seek him and he will come to spend time with us. Sometimes those rocks are broken, sometimes they are cut, they may even be shattered and sharp rough edges remain but once they are tumbled and polished, they are crowned in their perfect glory they have a tremendous new value.
This is what the Word of God consumed and prevalent in our life will do for us. God will work his will, he will shape and polish and from us into the perfect and valuable plan which is unique to us.
You are a precious stone in the house of the lord;
First Peter 2: 1-7 NASB Therefore, putting aside all malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also. as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this contained in scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNERstone,AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN [HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,“THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”
Our Christ, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings is the first of this new thing which God has ordained and Christ is the builder. We are a work which He has done and that not of our doing. The world does not understand and we are the light, the example, the path way that they in a dark place may see and come to their rightful home in Christ. We are his ambassadors here in the world to shine and speak on his behalf. Be not reluctant to let the Word of God remake you into the creation he always intended you to be.
BOTF/ Mark A. Edgar