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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Living In The Rockies Welcome Guest
    Living In The Rockies
          On he road to Cheley Camp, Estes Park, Colorado

    Wed, Oct 29th - 4:38PM

    He Understands



     

      If nothing else, this world is geared to move us to, or away from God.  What’s more, one or the other is inescapable.

      I am routinely misunderstood, especially by those who think they know me well.  No matter how I try for clarity, I know my family and friends are going to misunderstand and react the wrong way to what they think I meant, because of something I’ve written or said.  And once the damage is done, there’s almost no way for me to fix it without in fact, making everything worse. 

      Mind you, I’m really not having a pity party, just stating the facts as I’ve experienced them.  Perhaps I’m not alone.  Maybe you are a little like me. 

      I have found one fact to always be true, and it’s the singular, consistent comfort I experience.  It is simply this:  Jesus Christ does not possess the capacity to misunderstand. 

      He always understands my heart, no matter how poorly I try to express it.  He always understands my pain – no matter how frustrating it remains to me.  He alone hears my cries at 3:00am, and He alone knows the ‘good I would do, I do not’.

      So today, I want to say to all those I’ve inadvertently hurt – I’m so sorry I may have made things worse for you.  I don’t expect you to understand, but hurting you was not my intention.  Please forgive me.

      To God, I want to say, “You are my best and only true friend and blood relative.  You are my God, my brother, my father, my counselor (if I only would listen), my only real lover and hopefully, my inheritance.”

      Life as we know it now is not perfect for anyone.  We interact imperfectly and we all carry baggage we’d rather not acknowledge, and would in fact, deny.  Through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, we find the only way to put our baggage down, but all too often, we pick it back up again.  Personally, it always amazes me when I find I’m carrying baggage again – after all, I do know better.  I suspect you do too.

      To those of you who are absolutely convinced you are free of all baggage – congratulations!  In my humble opinion, you are either sincerely self-deceived, already dead, or more likely, in between loads.

      One of the aspects of spiritual maturity for the Christian is the increased ability to detect the load in time to off-load it onto Jesus.  Really, it can be done, but it’s not natural to us humans; it’s hard to do, and it’s hard to keep doing it.  It’s not natural – yet!

      So no matter how good or how crumby your day is today, here’s some advice that’s always good:  Love the best you can, forgive without quitting, and always, always, trust your best Friend.

      And after you’ve done all that, albeit imperfectly, know that you still share His blood - because of His choice.

     

    John

     

     



    Comment (0)

    Tue, Oct 21st - 4:04PM

    Moral Retirement



    Read and evaluate the following scenarios:

      1.  You have a good friend who is your neighbor.  Many times you have done things together and you respect each other.  Almost without fail, proven in multiple, shared situations, you have been amazed at the extent your similar tastes and opinions.  Over the years, your neighbor has become a close friend and confidant; someone you trust, and indeed, love.

          One night your neighbor knocks on your front door, and asks to talk.  You can see he’s bothered by something, so you ask about the problem.  He tells you he’s just been in an argument with his wife, and has beaten her senseless and unconscious in a moment of rage.  Then he tells you he just needed someone to talk to, thanks you for your patience, and calmly goes back to his house. 

      Do you call the police and report the situation? 

     

    How about this one: 

      2.  This same neighbor appears at your door and tells you in confidence that he beat his wife because she got pregnant, and he specifically beat her until she lost the baby. 

      What will you do?  Should any of this be “your business?”  Will you go back to bed and sleep well?

     

      It seems to me that our country is suffering from “Moral Retirement”.  The old Church–vs–State mindset has destroyed our ability to realize that both are always necessary.  In our modern thinking, there is a box for both Church and State, and we seem to be continually trying to keep both in their places.  In this, we firmly practice Segregation without apology. 

      In order to keep both doctrines separate, it is necessary to quibble over definitions, because if we are not careful to use the correct definitions, they will convict us.  This reminds me of President Clinton’s quibble over “Sex”.  Good grief, how stupid did he think we were?  But now, don’t we conveniently do the same thing with our definition of “Life”?  That “thing” may be a baby, but it’s not alive until birth?  Give me a break!

      If you don’t actually rob the bank, but knowingly drive the getaway car, are you  guilty of bank robbery?  If you’re in doubt, call the F.B.I. and ask someone.  Seriously, you can't be that ignorant can you?  Well, if you are, you’ll have several years in a federal facility to educate yourself.

      Likewise, if you knowingly condone aggravated battery or murder posited in my first two scenarios, how can you claim you have no responsibility?  Are you that deceived?  How is that possible?

      Due to capricious enforcement of our laws and the educated incompetence of our  judges, it may be believable you could escape prosecution by doing nothing in those two scenarios, but that is because you will be relying on human judges, but what about the Judge you cannot escape?

      Whether you like it or not, and in spite of your agreement or lack thereof, our laws in this country almost always reflect attempts to legislate morality, and that morality ultimately has it’s origin in God (whatever your definition).  Your agreement is not really necessary – it’s simply the truth, like it or not.  And something else is true – we will all someday face the Judge we cannot escape, and we will be without representation.  Each of our court dates are already scheduled.  We will all have to explain ourselves to Him, and I doubt if any 21st century excuses will suffice.

     

      This brings me to a question all Christians (I mean the real ones) should consider:

      We should carefully consider the stance of our presidential candidates on the issue (isn’t that nice?) of Abortion.  I firmly believe that while there are many other issues in the balance, many of them critically important, that one issue is encumbered with  moral consequences for the voters who endorse the pro-abortion candidate.  Let’s just call it what it really is – because it is not as palatable as “Pro-Choice”. 

      Those voters will become guilty of knowingly aiding and abetting countless murders of innocent lives.  Just a fact you may want to consider, and it stands by itself outside of any plausible deniability you may try to employ.  Now really, don’t you honestly know when life begins? 

      Go look at a sonogram photo of a pregnant woman – it’s quite obvious, but only if you’re honest with yourself.

      Something else I should say – in spite of my above political opinion, and in spite of the egos involved, neither candidate is the Messiah.  He, at least, is not subject to our voters, but they will always and forever be subject to Him.

      You who call yourselves Christians should consider the moral consequences of your vote.  And remember this: whoever gets elected – we will deserve him.

     

    John

     

     

     

     



    Comment (1)

    Tue, Oct 21st - 4:02PM

    Making Accommodations



      As a child I was always confused concerning why I was labeled a “sinner”, particularly when I thought I had done nothing wrong.  My family attended the local Presbyterian church, and I simply could not grasp the concept of sin I heard from the pulpit.  How could that possibly apply to me?

      Now, dinged up by many of life’s special moments, I understand the difference between sinning and being a sinner.  Even if I were to experience a day where I did no wrong, I would still be a sinner; I simply can't help it because being a sinner is my very nature; my inheritance of birth.  I can not, and never will, escape that nature – the best I can do is escape the penalty.

      Being a sinner, I realize that to live with myself comfortably, I either need to make accommodation for my nature, or give up and make accommodation for God’s nature in me.

      The first accommodation is where I began my life; hopefully as a Christian, it will end with the second.  My default position is still to make accommodation for my own nature.  Long before I think of God, and His will for my life, I overflow with excuses for my nature.  Please excuse me, I’m having a bad day, or I’m sick, or tired, or I couldn’t help myself because ….etc.   But even if the excuses bring about forgiveness or understanding in the hearers, even then I can not escape my sinfulness – it’s my nature. 

      I looked up the New Testament word SIN in the Strong’s Concordance.  Generally, sin was defined as: departure from right; perversity; rebellion; guiltiness; offense; crime and fault.  And there we all are in spite of our self-love; every one of us. 

      In order to accommodate God’s will for me, the first step is acknowledging my sinfulness, and my utter inability to escape it without divine intervention.  My specific sins spring from my sinfulness because I am a sinner.  My sinfulness doesn’t spring from my specific sins.  Did you hear that?

      If my sins caused me to be a sinner, all I would have to do would be to stop committing sins – why it almost looks possible, with enough work.  Of course, if I could escape being a sinner by not actually committing sins, I would succeed in being God, and would certainly not need any of His help.  But alas, this never worked for me, and I’m certain it hasn’t worked for you, either.

      So here’s the easy way – just give up trying to earn your way out of sinfulness.  I don’t mean go ahead and sin all you want, I do mean give up trying to earn your freedom. 

      Jesus loved each of us enough to pay our way free from the penalty of sinfulness.  Even though most of us will never understand how He could love us that much, it is vital that we accept it.  Personally, I never expect to understand that one anytime this side of the grave.  But if I accept it as fact, two things happen: first, I begin to use faith, and second, I trust Him to explain it to me someday. 

      Faith and Trust – not bad company for a sinner!!

     

    John

     

     



    Comment (0)

    Fri, Oct 10th - 11:18AM

    My Prayer



     The big question of the day lies behind the questions about the stock market and the upcoming election.  It is, and should be:  What is happening to us as a country?

    I believe the answer is simply this:  JUDGMENT. 

      In Isaiah 29:13, Jeremiah 12:2(b) and Matthew 15:8 as spoken by Jesus himself, the message is, ‘You (God) are always on their lips but far from their hearts.’   In my opinion, that quote describes America in 2008. 

      We turned away from God dramatically over 40 years ago when we legislated in favor of abortion (murder).  We took “God” out of our schools so we wouldn’t offend some minority opinions.  We have mocked God for generations by placing ‘In God we trust’ on our coinage, when in fact, the bulk of Americans probably don’t trust in God at all, and this in spite of statistics proclaiming that most of us consider ourselves “Christians”.  As a nation, we are almost completely self-absorbed, materialistic and arrogant to the core.  We have managed to squander our spiritual inheritance and our calling as a nation, and now we are obsessed with foreboding and uncertainty, but in fact, we are only beginning to reap what we have sown. 

      I am convinced that our nation did not arise from some pond of social ooze, and come into being due to some form of nationalistic evolution – we were called into being by God, and we used to be proud to recognize it.  And let’s be specific; by “God” I mean Jesus Christ.  Over the last generation we have turned our backs on Him and in essence said, “Thanks for your help, but we will take it from here..”  We have now progressed from that statement, and now we seem to be saying, “We will take it from here, and thanks to ourselves we will solve our own problems.”

      One of the easiest ways to see the judgment I referred to above is clearly portrayed in the ongoing coverage of the election this year.  For as long as I’ve been voting my choices always seem brought down to ‘The lesser of two evils’.  This year is obviously no different, with one candidate making vague promises regardless of reality – tickling our ears, so to speak, and the other candidate promising to change government somehow – basically, the same kind of promises.  If in fact, most Americans are “Christians”, how can they even begin to support the candidate who favors abortion (murder) without buying into the judgment that follows that sin?  And on the other hand, how can they wholeheartedly support the candidate who promises to change government without mentioning God?  The answer only makes sense if you too see the truth of: ‘God is always on our lips but far from our hearts.’ 

      It all boils down to this, and it’s really quite simple – we are free to thumb our noses at God, but the unraveling we see in every area of our society and around the world, is the result of God turning away from us.  Even God has self-imposed limits, and it seems obvious to me that His patience is beginning to end.  And because we only acknowledge Him with our lips, we are increasingly befuddled by the daily events unfolding beyond our control.  But in fact, if we are honest with ourselves, the current problems are because we have been in control. 

      In spite of what most Americans might think, God did not cause our country to arise so that we could control our own destiny.  I think His plan for us was quite different.

      As one of the current presidential candidates would say, ‘Let me be clear’:  unless we turn back to God in significant ways, and soon, there will be no forestalling of the judgment we see beginning.  We will have our gods torn down by Almighty God, beginning with the crass materialism we take for granted here in the U.S.  By having many gods, we are in violation of Exodus 20:3, ‘You shall have no other gods before Me’.  As such, we are on our way to becoming the Tail, and not the Head. 

      If we, as a nation, don’t truly repent of our collective sins, which starts by seeing and acknowledging them, I believe our time as a nation among nations is drawing to a close.  And because of the “global economy”, many others will be brought down with us.  We are racing towards a climactic finish that will be horribly exciting. 

      So my prayer is simply this:  May God turn the hearts of His people back towards Him and be merciful to them in these times, for the sake of His Name.  Many Americans really do belong to His family, and I’m praying He makes a way for them and helps them have more and more faith in Him, at a time when the world has less and less.

      As a father myself, I would do everything in my power to protect and sustain my children if they were caught in a storm – may God do the same for those who are truly His, during this storm.  And just as the storm ended when the disciples saw Jesus, perhaps our storm will be stilled, by Him.

     

    John

     



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    About Me

    Name: John Miltenberger
    ChristiansUnite ID: jmilty
    Member Since: 2006-08-22
    Location: Estes Park, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Born-again believer
    About Me: Retired from Overland Park, Kansas and now living in Estes Park, Colorado. Another escapee from the Midwest!! Email: jmilty@q.com

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