Trina is a disrupter. She never lasts long in organizations because she has a bad habit of stirring up trouble. When she finds weaknesses in people she exploits them. She enjoys pitting one person against another. She is a gossiping genius. At first her gregarious nature and warm appearance win her instant friends. Slowly, as they learn she cannot be trusted with information, they pull away.
I have a theory for which I would love to get your feedback. Earth’s inhabitants all spoke the same language when they were created. That ability to easily communicate fed their pride and they decided not to spread over the earth in obedience to God’s command (Genesis 1:28). They preferred to build a prodigious city with a colossal tower where they could make a name for themselves or, in essence, do whatever they felt like doing (Gen. 11:1-4). Because of their pride and idolatrous hearts God came down to their city, called Babylon, and decisively acted.
Meditation Matthew 14:12-14—Then his disciples came, removed the corpse, buried it, and went and reported to Jesus. When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed Him on foot from the towns. As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Meditation Ezra 8:21-23--I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions. I did this because I was ashamed to ask the king for infantry and cavalry to protect us from enemies during the journey, since we had told him, “The hand of our God is gracious to all who seek Him, but His great anger is against all who abandon Him.” So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and He granted our request.
While at a golf fundraising event I saw a marine veteran wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed, “I Identify As Vaccinated.” It radiated humor but was actually rather brilliant. It subtly broadcast with absurdity the politically-correct notion that someone can identify as whatever gender they desire. As the federal government moves to require schools to accommodate transgender students not surprisingly there is an immediate push back. College of the Ozarks is suing President Joe Biden because his executive order on “gender identity” violates the school’s religious freedom by compelling it to force their students to share dorms and shower facilities with members of the opposite sex. So let’s take a closer, deeper look at the whole issue of identity.
West Point classmate Bill Bowman shared his story with the Long Eternal Line team who gather each Tuesday night for prayer. Bill suffered a bad car accident that crushed his back and should have left him permanently paralyzed. While in the hospital Bill shared how Jesus held him and comforted him. Bill apologized for not walking the right path and the Lord shared with him that his story was not over yet. Miraculously, Bill and his wife were able to have a baby girl they named Sarah. Bill nicknamed her Suubi—a name that stuck.
I was loading up the car with boxes of books to take to our new apartment when my cell phone rang. When I answered the phone Taylor, one of the staff for Jefferson Gables Apartments, said, “Mr. York I’m so sorry but you cannot move in tomorrow. We found an error.” “An error, what kind of error?” “We have to replace the entire carpet. You can’t move in for at least two weeks. But the good news is you will have new carpet.”
If one were to find a synonym for wilderness in the Bible it would be fairly safe to substitute hardship. The Holman Christian Standard Bible uses the term wilderness 150 times. The majority of references applied to Israel wandering through deserts that resulted in all but two adults over 40 dying and a whole lot of complaining and suffering. The fascinating thing is that God has a penchant for leading His people through wildernesses, to include His own Son (Matthew 4:1). Why does He do this?
Jonathan Cahn shared a historical piece of information that is quite fascinating. In the time of the Jewish second temple, each Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), a scarlet cord was attached to the Temple doors. It represented the people’s sins in line with Isaiah 1:18, “‘Come, let us discuss this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.’” At the end of the day after the completion of the ordinances the scarlet cord turned white. This supernatural phenomenon occurred annually until the year Jesus Christ was crucified—then the cord remained scarlet. Why did this happen? Because Jesus was the final atonement offered for our sins. Had the rabbis in Jesus’ time truly been looking for the Messiah, that sign alone should have given them pause to consider that He was God’s Son sent for them.
Today as I’m writing this Hamas is firing rockets into Tel Aviv and Israel is conducting counter air strikes. Seeing conflict flare up in Israel made me curious so I consulted the internet: “What city has been conquered the most?” The answers were quite interesting. Don Tano, a full-blooded Sicilian, claims that Palermo is the most conquered city in the world. The Telegraph lists the top seven most conquered cities in the world as: the Northumberland town, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Palermo, Szczecin (Shcheh-cheen) and Gdansk (formerly Danzig) in Poland, Edirne (Adrianople) in Turkey, Jerusalem, and France’s Nice.
Occasionally when I’m reading my Bible a statement will just jump off the pages and grab me. It happened this week while I was studying Romans chapters 13-16. Look at the two verses below and see if anything strikes you. Meditation Romans 15:23,24—But now I no longer have any work to do in these provinces, and I have strongly desired for many years to come to you whenever I travel to Spain. For I hope to see you when I pass through, and to be assisted by you for my journey there, once I have first enjoyed your company for a while.
When I conducted a search for the “10 most stressful events” on the internet, the first two sources listed moving as #7. I remember learning from a sociology class at West Point that moving was a big stressor. It does make sense. Moving is largely comprised of change, and the transitions change demand can be cortisol-producing. Imagine driving a packed 26-foot U-Haul truck from Colorado to Virginia and encountering drivers who seem clueless that one cannot slam on the brakes and immediately stop a fully-loaded truck! My physics professors would be proud of that observation. (May the woman who impatiently darted in front of me in Tennessee please learn that lesson). I’m also pretty sure my wife more than maxed her stress points trying to follow me in the Subaru as I wove between trucks on I-40. Despite all the miles, we made it accident-free and in pretty good shape. No animals were harmed, only one old piece of furniture was damaged, and, thanks to Covid, we had no problems finding hotel rooms.
When the leaders of the military set as their highest priority rooting out right-wing extremists and ensuring transgender Americans can serve in the force we can be sure that our readiness is woefully compromised. Who feeds the Commander-in-Chief his information? If it is people from the Palm Center the United States is in big trouble. This organization focuses its attention on America’s LBGT population and they say focusing on transgender issues is an urgent priority for military readiness. Supposedly “recruitment, reputation, retention, unit cohesion, morale, medical care, and good order and discipline” are compromised by banning transgender Americans from serving. But they do not back up their statements with evidence outside their small population group. As someone who served in the military for 36 years I can tell you from my experience that their findings are absurd.
Meditation Exodus 13:4—Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving. The month of Abib, (called Nisan in the post-exilic period), extends from March to April. Moses in the passage above was addressing his countrymen at a most historic time. God rescued them from their Egyptian oppressors and now they were headed into what would become a 40-year desert ordeal. They of course did not know that—they were expecting a fairly quick move to Canaan, the Promised Land. Their leaving was done in haste with little preparation and no doubt great anxiety mixed with the joy of liberation.
Have you ever felt any of the following: “I can’t wait to get my point across!” “I wish they would quit talking so I could speak!” “I know what to do, why won’t they listen?” “Why is it so hard to get them to understand?” “It’s not worth the effort trying to share.” “I have no idea what to say or even how to say it.” “Please, just make your point, I’m busy.”
The Israelites were living in mountain hideouts, caves and strongholds to escape the Midianites, Amalekites and Qedemites who frequently attacked them (Judges 6:2,3). Before God would use a young man named Gideon to deliver Israel from these aggressive raiders, He needed to wrest the weakest house in the tribe of Manasseh from their allegiance to Baal. Gideon’s own father and family members were engaged in idol worship. So an angel of the LORD appeared to him and gave him a mission.
A group of people determined to separate themselves in the pursuit of holiness. They gave themselves a name—Perushim, which means separated ones. Over time as they concentrated on holy living, they became proud and self-righteous. On the outside they looked great but on the inside they rotted.
Randy told us the following story at our elders’ meeting. A young boy was sitting at the piano playing a well-known song when his mother came up behind him and started singing. The boy stopped playing and looked up at his mother and said, “Mama, you’re singing in the cracks!” The poor woman was off-key and the boy wanted her to know it.
Monday, I received a message from my antivirus program telling me that a Microsoft Word App was trying to access my protected files. I checked the block to prevent that access. The next day all my Word documents were Read Only which meant I could not edit them and anything I copied and pasted also reverted to a Read Only status. In essence I was shut down from working. Microsoft user support spent half the day trying to help me without success. The next day, the antivirus company sent me a fix and I was able to get my documents running again. Until the following day when suddenly everything was again Read Only! Talk about being frustrated—this was just not right! Once again, I contacted Microsoft and again a technician worked with me after I gave her permission to access my computer remotely. This time she was successful in solving the problem. What a relief to be able to type in new additions and to make needed changes.