A Recommendation

So I was looking for something to post and came across a YouTube channel I personally enjoy. While I can’t exactly say everything they post is good, I do enjoy much of their work. If you’re looking for music to go to sleep with, or just looking for music to enjoy, I do recommend this channel. 

What About God?

                One of the more common issues facing people today is whether or not God exists. And I don’t mean some “higher power”, some “cosmic deity”, some “all-powerful force”, I mean the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yeah, THAT God; the one that will judge you; that tells you what to do. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am a firm believer in the God of the Bible, and here’s why.

                Now yes, I know this subject has been debated back and forth with no ground gained. And I’m not going to try and prove that God exists, nor will I ask you to prove that He doesn’t. Why? Because, frankly, you can’t. I’m not saying that there is or isn’t proof, but you can’t definitively prove either way. Much like we cannot explain what emotions such as Love, Hate, or Peace are, or explain what Gravity is, we cannot prove that God exists. Not without a little faith.

                Yes, I said faith. Blind faith? No. But faith. Faith is something we all have, really. Faith in our checks to pay the bills. Faith in bridges and roads to hold when we drive over (or under) them. Faith that our jobs will continue to provide what we need to live. And while I realize “everyone” is a lousy reason, it is a fact of life.

                So, now that that’s out of the way, why do I believe in God? Well there’s several reasons, really. One of the simpler reasons is, well, why not? Without God, the universe itself lacks an explanation to exist. “But evolution—” don’t; don’t even start. There are SO many flaws with evolution it isn’t even funny. “Figment of imagination”—okay that’s just weird. And dumb. So yeah, I’ll take the option “made by God” for that.

                Furthermore, what harm is there in believing in God? A few rules? A sense of morality? “Everyone has a sense of right and wrong, that has nothing to do with God”. Really? ‘Cause frankly, I know what happens when there’s no rules in place: I grew up on a farm. Without God’s sense of morality, man suddenly begins acting like animals. Rape, murder, incest, cruelty, theft—all these stem from man’s dark nature, and without God’s direction, man will become literally an animal. And you know, to be honest, while I may be a bit of a rebel at times, everyone, including myself, has a certain sense of longing for direction. Without rules you have anarchy, which isn’t fun for anyone.

                Additionally, believing in God gives one a sense of direction and purpose. Why are we here? God put us here for His purpose. What are we doing here? God has plans for us all; we just have to figure it out (another topic for another time). Where are we going when we die?

                Ah yes, the ultimate question man has tried to answer: our own mortality. Where are we going when we die? Without God and His plan of salvation, man is merely left in the ground, to rot away into dust. Life suddenly seems meaningless when we put it like that, doesn’t it? I know some like to argue that life in itself has fulfillment, but, without the possibility of something other than “six feet under”, life becomes boring, useless, a waste of existence. But when we put God in the picture, we discover a whole new purpose to life.

                Now I could go into scientific and historic reasons for belief in God, but that has already been done. So perhaps you’ll take these few words and consider what I’ve said. And hopefully this will answer some questions any of my readers may have. And hey, if I’m wrong and there is no God, at least I don’t got nothing to lose.

                Oh, and one more thing: They tell the story of a king who asked his counselor to prove God’s existence in one word. The counselor simply replied, “Israel”.   

Knock, Knock

                “So we have this street?” I asked.

                “Uh, yes,” Steve replied.

                “Well, these two houses are for sale,” I said. “And they both look empty. And Elder Nathan said that we’re to avoid house number 114, which is that one.”

                “Well, let’s try this one,” Steve said. We walked to the door and I rang the doorbell.

                “Good evening, sir,” Steve said. “We were in your neighborhood and thought we’d stop by.”

                “Well, it’s good to see you,” the man replied. “My name’s Collin Martin and yours is?”

                “Steve Johnson,” Steve replied.

                “Richard Davidson,” I replied, shaking his hand.

                “Anyways,” Steve continued, “we came to offer you our latest Watchtower magazine. This one has an interesting article about ‘Maintaining Your Marriage.’ We’d like to leave this with you and also offer you a free home Bible study.”

                “Well I’d be happy to take this magazine in a minute,” Collin replied. “But can I ask you a few questions first?”

                “Alright,” Steve replied hesitantly, looking at me.

                “Who is your final authority?” Collin asked.

                “Well, it’d be the Bible,” I answered.

                “If I could prove, from the Bible, that Jesus is, indeed, God, and not Michael the Archangel, would you believe it?”

                “You can’t,” Steve challenged. I, for one, was eager to see if someone could, since Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, not God.

                “Well, let’s turn to Isaiah 9:6,” Collin said, “and let’s read it:

                For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

                “Well,” Steve countered, “it says ‘Mighty God’; not ‘Almighty God.’”

                “No,” Collin replied firmly, “it says ‘The Mighty God’. Your Society agrees with the King James Version; they still use it today. The King James says ‘The Mighty God’.

                “Turn to Isaiah 7:14,” Collin continued. He turned to the passage and read:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

                “Look at Matthew 1:23,” Collin said. “Steve, will you please read it?”

                Steve looked at his Bible and read:

“‘Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel,” which means, when translated, “With Us Is God’.”

                “With us is God,” Collin repeated. “Look at that: even the New World Translation calls Jesus God.”

                “Well—” Steve began.

                “Turn to John 5:17-18,” Collin said, “and let’s read it:

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

                “We have to go,” Steve interjected. “Have a good day.”

                We turned and took several steps away from his house. “Don’t be late for your next appointment!” Collin called after us. “For eternity in Hell is a long time to be wrong.”

                I paused briefly, then continued walking. What did he mean?

                “He must be one of those born-agains,” Steve told me a little while later.

                “Maybe,” I replied.

                A couple of weeks passed. I kept reading those verses over and over, pondering what Collin said. “Don’t be late…long time to be wrong.” What did he mean? I knew we would use “another appointment” when we could see that the person was not listening during a Bible study. Is that what Collin was referring to?

                “Brother Davidson, good to see you,” John Tyler greeted me after a meeting. “I suppose you heard Rachel Bevins was disfellowshipped?”

                “Rachel Bevins,” I repeated, trying to recollect who John was talking about.

                “You remember,” John said, “the girl who got pregnant—“

                “Oh her,” I said, remembering. “Disfellowshipped, huh? Poor girl, she has no money.”

                “That’s her fault,” John said. “If she’d kept in line, she’d still be here.”

                “True,” I said. “Well John, I’d better be going.”

                “Alright. See you next time,” John replied.

                As I drove home, I thought about the disfellowshipping process. The person was brought before three elders, faced the charges, and then punished accordingly. Disfellowshipped ones were not to be spoken to, helped, or contacted in any way. “And people like Rachel, I don’t think it will take long for her to get back in line,” I said to myself. Those who repented were often welcomed back into the organization sometime later. I had faced that committee of three elders once myself: until I finally dropped all contact with my born-again uncle. He had been a JW, but was converted…

Continue reading

A Final Night

                “Well,” I stated as we returned from Grove Hill, Alabama, “this is the last night, I guess.”

                “Yeah, I guess so,” Felicity agreed.

                We grabbed our things and headed inside.

                “Good evening,” Pastor Mast greeted us. “It’s good to see you again.”

                “Thank you,” I replied.

                The prelude began at 6:27 that evening.

                “Well good evening,” Pastor stated when the service began. “Let’s open with a word of prayer.”

                Everyone bowed their head.

                “Lord we thank You for this day and for Your Word. Bless this service we pray and give us traveling safety when we leave tonight. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

                “Please take your hymn books and turn to hymn number 489; hymn number 489, ‘Glory to His Name’, please stand.”

                “Down at the cross…” we started.

                “You may be seated,” Pastor stated when the song was done.

                We all sat down.

                “Now, we’re going to do things a little different tonight,” Pastor Mast began. “As anybody does, we have questions. So before we close, we’re going to give everyone a chance to ask a question, and we’ll try to answer it. Afterwards we’ll sing another song, take a general offering, and then we’ll close and the refreshments and cookies will be available after the service.

                “So what we’ll do is rotate speakers for the questions,” Pastor explained. “We’ll give each speaker a chance to answer three questions at a time, and if you have a specific question for a speaker, ask it at his turn, and if any one of you speakers has a comment on a specific topic, feel free to voice your opinion. So Brother Antoine, you’re first.”

                “Turn me loose on the audience, eh?” Antoine asked.

                Several laughed.

                “Who’s first?” Antoine inquired.

                Someone raised their hand. Antoine nodded.

                “Um, when this conference started,,” the person began, “you talked about Charity Ministries; could you explain exactly who that is?”

(Click below to finish reading)

http://baptistreporter.com/baptist-report/a-final-night

A Wedding

Okay, so perhaps this isn’t your typical Bible conference post, but at any rate, I thought I’d share it with you.

                Now, as many of you know, I don’t normally share personal stories. But after a little thought, I decided to ask Antoine about this. As you remember from A Day with the Millers, my family and I spent an entire day with Brother Antoine. It was then that he shared this story with us while we were on tonight’s topic. Antoine told us this story, and linked it to the subject. So after talking to him, I decided to release this story.

Continue reading