We’ve been through another tough week in the United States of America. I’ve been through a discouraging week in my personal life.
Yesterday’s celebration of Independence Day seemed odd, given the apparent direction of our country. I can’t imagine that even John Adams (who advocated for centralized government) would approve of the things that have happened in the last three months.
I don’t approve of what’s happening in my personal life, for that matter.
Life is getting darker than I’ve ever seen it, and it certainly threatens to get worse. Didn’t Jesus say it would? We have no reason to feel surprised by the encroaching darkness, thoughts it grieves and frightens even the most mature Christian.
How encouraging, then, to remember that Jesus is returning to establish His kingdom! We don’t know when He will come back, and we probably shouldn’t indulge in too much speculation about it.
But what a comfort to know that He will come at just the right time! One day, all madness will end and He will reign in perfect righteousness. The violence will fade away, sickness will end and creation will be restored. Best of all, He will receive the honor and glory that rightfully belongs only to Him! Hallelujah!
All of us would probably like a refund for the year 2020. To the naked eye, there’s little reason to praise the Lord. The anger and frustration swells both because of COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd, not to mention the anarchy generated by demands to defund and/or abolish the police.
It’s a sad, heartbreaking time.
Yet God hasn’t abandoned His creation. He may be judging it by giving us over to our rebellion against His Word — indeed, I personally believe that to be the case. It may be difficult to adopt the so-called new normal that government leaders will impose on us. But all the negativity we currently experience has no power to stand against the goodness and sovereignty of our God and King.
A day approaches when Christ will return to establish His kingdom. At that time, He will eradicate every disease and will govern the entire world in perfect righteousness and justice. Christians long for that day!
The wonderful news is that He reigns even now. The chaos we see lies in His control as He uses it to accomplish purposes that we neither see nor understand. One glorious day, all creatures of our God and King will praise Him. filling the new heavens and earth with alleluias. Thankfully, Christians don’t need to wait for that day.
Our pastor livestreams the Wednesday evening Bible Study through our church website and our church Facebook page. At the concluding of each study, he takes questions submitted through emails or Facebook comments.
This week, someone asked how people with severe mental disabilities can be saved. With great compassion, our pastor equated such a situation with that of a child dying in infancy. He cited 2 Samuel 12:14-23 (particularly verse 23) and Deuteronomy 32:4 to substantiate the belief that God will take people with severe intellectual disabilities to heaven.
The brief discussion reminded me of a young man who lived in the nursing home where I spent two years. Cerebral Palsy had not only rendered him a quadriplegic, but it made him blind and non-verbal. As if that wasn’t enough, he Continue reading →
My back is improving, and spring is here. Therefore my mind turns to Boston and dreams of driving my relatively new power wheelchair through the Public Garden, around Boyleston Street and on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
Although I received this chair a little over a year ago, it needed so many modifications that I couldn’t start using it until October. By then, of course, the weather got too cold for trips to the city. I’ve only gotten to drive outdoors once — and just to Walgreen’s for a Shingles shot.
Now the COVID-19 lockdown may be ending…but not for seniors and people with underlying conditions. We might have restrictions until a vaccine is available. Which might not happen until early next year.
Despite knowing that God is sovereign, I grieve the potential loss of Boston adventures this year. John and I are aging — we may not have many summers left before our bodies can’t handle going to Boston for anything other than doctor appointments. So the extension of COVID-19 restrictions upsets me. More than it should.
In response, I frequently confess to the Lord my lack of eternal perspective. I love Boston, but it can’t hold a candle to the New Jerusalem where I’ll forever behold the face of my Savior. I must constantly remind myself that I’ve taken His cross. This world (including Boston) doesn’t belong to me. Neither do I belong to it. Something far better awaits me. Someone far better awaits me!
Eschatology intimidates me. Although I have been a Christian for a little over 49 years, I can’t take iron clad positions on when our the Rapture will occur in relation to the Tribulation or which saved people will live in the Millennal Kingdom. Many of you will undoubtedly be disappointed that I don’t unquestioningly follow John MacArthur’s pronouncements on these points. But I just don’t think I understand the finer points of eschatology well enough to take a stand on these two matters.
I’m not sure it’s necessary that I be an expert in eschatology, frankly. It’s an important topic, yes. But minds far more brilliant than mine have debated the details for centuries.
That said, I do have firm convictions about our eternal state. And I find much of contemporary evangelical speculation about heaven to be man-centered and silly. Furthermore, much of what evangelicals say regarding heaven bears almost no resemblance to the Bible’s depictions of heaven.
My disability provides an extra opportunity to hear some of the foolish ideas people have about the eternal kingdom. For instance, friends often talk about Continue reading →
Until I was 42, I was a registered Democrat. Interestingly, I usually crossed party lines when voting for presidents, but for the most part I believed that Democrats cared about the underprivileged. I saw no inconsistency between my Christian convictions and my political convictions other than an increasing support of abortion within my party.
In my defense, back then the Democrats made room for pro-life voters. Currently, I might note, the Republican party still has room for pro-choice voters and politicians such as Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker. So please understand that, back then, I sincerity believed my faith informed my politics.
In 1995, the abortion issue caused me to switch my party affiliation. When John and I began chatting online three years later, he helped me understand why the Republican view of the economy better addresses poverty. Now I believe I’m affiliated with a party that better reflects Biblical values.
This time of year, many bloggers share their most popular posts from the past 12 months. Ever the nonconformist, I’ve decided to celebrate the year’s end by featuring favorite articles of mine that my readers seem to have overlooked. Today I’m posting one I wrote back in August.
Growing older should have changed my attitude about life on planet Earth. In some ways, it has. As my physical body degenerates, enjoying pleasures like going to Boston and creating digital artwork demands greater effort, thus diminishing the attachment to those activities. Pretty soon, I’ll have only memories of such things.
In a brief conversation with a friend Sunday, she and I agreed that the Lord probably allows increasing pain as we age to help us loosen our hold on this life. Obviously, there’s no Scripture to support that theory, but it sure encourages me as I Continue reading →
Strictly speaking, Handel’s Messiah probably isn’t a hymn. Yet he uses Scripture throughout the work, weaving a rich theology that steadily brings attention to Christ. Maybe in that respect we might consider it as a beautiful series of hymns — largely from the Old Testament.
Of course, Handel’s most famous movement in the piece is the Hallelujah Chorus. Indeed, he packed it with marvelous bits of theology about Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. Powerful stuff!
But another movement, taken from Isaiah 9:6, ties Christ’s reign as King of kings and Lord of lords to His birth. While not as fully developed as the Hallelujah Chorus, this movement reminds us that the Son given to us is infinitely more than a Child.
Since I won’t blog again until December 26, I leave you with Isaiah’s Christmas Hymn and wishes for a Merry Christmas from both me and John.
I personally know many non-Christians who just love Christmas. They’ll decorate their homes to the hilt, send out beautifully illustrated year-end newsletters wishing people peace and joy, and maybe even put up a cute nativity scene as an homage to the story of the first Christmas.
For them, Christmas is primarily about brightly wrapped presents, feasting on scrumptious food, and parties. Songs mentioning benign infants lying in mangers must be supplemented with other songs about jingling bells and an obese elf from the North Pole who sees us when we’re sleeping. And then there are the infamous office parties and their accompanying innuendos about who was nice and naughty.
Most of all, they’ll declare that Christmas is about children. Not so much about a specific Child, although some might give Him an obligatory nod, but children and their sense Continue reading →
Although I’ve had an idea for a blog post simmering on the back burner for a few weeks, various considerations convince me to hold off a little longer before writing it. This understanding that I should wait a while is terribly inconvenient at the moment because I can’t think of anything else to write.
Daily blogging has its disadvantages.
As I’ve said several times, days like today make me miss my old blog, which was all about me. Most of the time, I ended up writing about the Lord, but Continue reading →