Skip to content

Do You Know Him?

Face of Jesus in art (PD-Art, Old-100)

In architecture, He planned all things before time began (Isaiah 46: 10; 2 Timothy 1: 9), and is the architect of the city of God (Hebrews 11: 10).
In astronomy, He is the Dayspring (Luke 1: 78), the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22: 16).
In banking, He is the Redeemer (Job 19: 25), who forgave our sin debt (Matthew 6: 12).
In biology, He is the Son of Mary (Mark 6: 3), and the only begotten Son of God (John 3: 16), born without the normal conception (Luke 1: 34-35).
In brewing, He turned water into wine (John 2: 1-11).
In cartography, He is the way (John 14: 6).
In chemistry, He is living water (John 4: 10).
In economics, He disproved the law of diminishing returns by feeding 5000 with five loaves and two fishes (Matthew 14: 19-21).
In education, He is called Rabbi (Mark 11: 21), Rabboni (John 20: 16), and Teacher (John 3: 2).
In electronics, He is the light of the world (John 8: 12).
In engineering, He is the Maker (Psalm 121: 2; Psalm 146: 6; John 1: 3), who stretched out the heavens (Isaiah 48: 13) and laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38: 4).
In equestrianism, He is the rider on the white horse (Revelation 19: 11).
In fire rescue, He is the Savior (John 4: 42), who rescued us from hell.
In floristry, He is the rose of Sharon (Song of Solomon 2; 1); and the lily of the valleys (Song of Solomon 2: 1).
In funeral science, He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11: 25).
In gemology, He is the pearl of great price (Matthew 13: 45-46).
In geology, He is the Rock (1 Corinthians 10: 4).
In government, He is called King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6: 15), the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 6).
In herding, He is the Good Shepherd (John 10: 11), and the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (John 1: 29).
In history, He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end (Revelation 22: 13).
In horticulture, He is the Root (Isaiah 11: 10), the Branch (Isaiah 11: 1), and the true vine (John 15: 1).
In law, He is our judge (Acts 10: 42), our mediator (1 Timothy 2: 5), the Faithful and True Witness (Revelation 3: 14), and our greatest Advocate (1 John 2: 1).
In literature, He is the Word (John 1: 1), the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12: 2).
In masonry, He is the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 20).
In medicine, He is the Healer (Exodus 15: 26), who cured the sick and blind without drugs or surgery.
In nutrition, He is the bread of life, and none who come to Him will ever hunger again (John 6: 35).
In philosophy, He is the truth (John 14: 6).
In physics, He is the Creator (Isaiah 40: 28; Colossians 1: 16), who brought the world into existence, then disproved the law of gravity by ascending into heaven (Acts 1: 9).
In prophecy, He is Immanuel (Matthew 1: 23), the Messiah (Daniel 9: 25).
In psychology, He is the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9: 6).
In religion, He is the Beloved (Ephesians 1: 6), the bridegroom (Matthew 9: 15), the head of the church (Ephesians 5: 23), and the High Priest (Hebrews 6: 20).
In seafaring, He is the anchor of our souls (Hebrews 6: 19).
In theology, He is the Holy One (Mark 1: 24), the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16: 16); no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14: 6).
In woodworking, He is the carpenter (Mark 6: 3), and the door (John 10:9).
In zoology, He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5: 5).

The greatest man who ever lived, He made Himself the Servant to all (Matthew 12: 18, Mark 9: 35).
He had no army, yet was feared by kings.
He won no military battles, yet conquered the world (John 16: 33).
He committed no crime (Luke 23: 4), yet was crucified.
He was buried in a tomb, yet lives today (Job 19: 25)!
He is Jesus Christ!

– Author Unknown

Originally posted 1/26/14

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

Mudlarks

india child

Photo: Poverty in India (CC0 Public Domain)

“Mudlarks” was a 19th Century term for street children who survived by scavenging amid the mud along the River Thames.  A British film titled The Mudlark (1950) told the fictional tale of how one such child – a boy named Wheeler – supposedly found his way into Queen Victoria’s presence [1].

The speech below is attributed to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in the film.  In view of prevailing conditions today, the words retain their poignancy and power.

Some 15 million children still live in poverty in the United States, a billion worldwide [2][3].  Two million children die annually from preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia because of a lack of basic medical care.  Over 44 million have been aborted legally in the United States alone [4][5].

“The House of Commons may be a strange place to discuss the conduct of a mudlark.  But it is perhaps the best of all places to examine certain aspects of this particular mudlark’s conduct.  For here they are placed not only before the honorable members but also before the entire nation.

Now I confess I am as puzzled as anyone by some of the mystery of young Wheeler.  How did he manage to reach the age of 10 in the face of all that we did to prevent it?

I ask you to think how hard society tried to kill him.  It laid an ambush for him at his birth, surrounding his cradle with rats and vermin.  It sent gases…to pollute the air he breathed, tried to poison his mother’s milk through her drinking water, but only succeeded in poisoning his mother.  She died of typhus before he could walk, according to the police investigation.

As there is no record of a father, his government was spared the necessity of a second murder in the same family.

So now that he was an orphan – alone, defenseless and entirely at the mercy of his country – it went further.  It attacked his spirit and his soul.  It taught him nothing.  It withheld the word of God from him.  In the end, it sent him into the Thames to be a mudlark – barefoot and clothed in the merest rags, subject daily to cold and damp and fever – and in the warrens and lanes of the waterfront exposed him to the worst influences of immorality and evil, and most final of all it denied him hope.

Now as a result of this indifference and cruelty there seems to have developed in this small boy an unnatural attitude toward England.  Unnatural because in spite of all that it has done to him, he seems to love it.

Read more…

Sylvester’s Story

Sylvester found himself in a situation often faced by the clients of Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia.  Though he had done nothing wrong, Sylvester was being sued and did not know what to do.  Without legal help, he could have lost his family’s home. The video above tells the full story.

Though I am not affiliated with Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia (and derive no benefit from donations), I was one of the group of Christian attorneys who founded the predecessor organization.

Thousands of hours of legal assistance have been provided to clients free of charge, in the years that have passed.  Attorneys volunteer their time in destitute areas of Philadelphia for the love of God and love of neighbor.

But Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia does more than just provide legal assistance.  Host organizations like the Salvation Army address the food, clothing, and shelter needs of clients.  All staff share the Gospel.

By giving to Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia you can make a real difference in the lives of the poor.  Please, consider donating at https://www.clcphila.org/get-involved/donation/.

Whether or not you are able to give, keep the men and women of this ministry in your prayers.  It remains dear to my heart.

May God bless you.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

 

The Decline and Fall of the United States

US Constitution, National Archives and Records Administration (NAID 1667751) (PD as work product of federal govt.)

Edward Gibbon authored a monumental work titled The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  Coincidentally, Gibbon’s work was published around the time the United States was founded.

Like the United States, Rome was initially a republic – a state in which ultimate power is held by the people through their elected representatives, with a president rather than a monarch at its head.

Though we often use the terms interchangeably, a republic is distinguished from a democracy by the limits placed on government by law.  In a republic, a constitution “protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters.  In a ‘pure democracy’, the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority [1].”

The Rule of Law

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this:  you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

-James Madison, Federalist Paper No. 51 (1788)

From the beginning, the United States was conceived as a nation of laws.  The rule of law is firmly established in our Constitution and Bill of Rights [2].  The arbitrary exercise of power by an executive is, in other words, subordinate to well-defined laws.  All people and institutions are subject to and held accountable by laws that are (or should be) fairly applied and enforced [3].

Democracy in Jeopardy

Democracy, itself, is jeopardized when the rule of law is undermined.

This can happen in many ways, most especially when checks on executive power are weakened or eliminated; when an executive attempts to politicize or otherwise undermine institutions like law enforcement, designed to function independently; when disinformation is disseminated to diminish public confidence in such institutions; and when elections are corrupted [4][5].

The United States has reached this critical juncture [6]. Read more…

Our Brother’s Keeper

Hungry child (1900), Author Bain News Service, Source Library of Congress (Catalog https://lccn.loc.gov/2014713460) (PD-old-70-1923)

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother:  and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.  Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’  He said, ‘I do not know.  Am I my brother’s keeper?’  And He said, ‘What have you done?  The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground’ ”  (Gen. 4: 8-10).

Many Christians have come to view political conservatism as synonymous with morality.  By contrast, they view political liberalism as synonymous with unnecessary largesse, leading to (or rewarding) immoral behavior [1].   This is, at best, an over-simplification; at worst, a serious error.

Self-Righteousness

The single mother sins by having sex outside marriage.  Never mind that many Christians do the same.  No regard is taken of what may be her tender age, her destitute circumstances, her lack of education and employable skills, or the many factors influencing her – for instance, the desperate desire for love.

She then has the effrontery to raise the resulting child herself.  Never mind that her partner may be long gone by that point.  Never mind that Christians oppose abortion.  The child should bear the stigma of this sin for life.  His mother has chosen to bring him into a hopeless situation.  It is up to her to deal with the consequences, however dire they may be for him.

Is that really what we think?  Do these conclusions not smack of self-righteousness?

Or does our imagination run to even darker imagery?  Is this mother, in our minds, a strumpet, who thinks of nothing but momentary carnal pleasure?  Do we imagine that she is content to remain in her grim circumstances, relying on god-fearing taxpayers to pay for her mistakes?

Self-Sufficiency v. Child Hunger

Politicians calling themselves “conservative” frequently complain about the cost of safety net programs, arguing that assistance in any form weakens character.  But the safety net comprised of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps (SNAP), and public housing is not an unfair and unnecessary burden on taxpayers.  For the vast majority of recipients, it is a lifeline [2].

It may be true that we are raising an entitlement generation.  We should teach our children self-sufficiency and the value of work.  First, however, we must make sure they have enough to eat. Read more…

Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories and the Need to Understand, Author Christopher DOMBRES (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

The internet is buzzing with conspiracy theories that dispute the validity of mass shootings and attribute dark motives to hidden cabals [1].  The so called “deep state” is said to have hired “crisis actors”” to convince gullible citizens to give up their weapons, in a misguided effort to prevent more deaths from gun violence.  So the theories go.

There is a certain comfort in these explanations of events that – to many of us – feel incomprehensible, as well as threatening.  The heated and divisive political atmosphere prevailing give such explanations added power.

We should consider carefully, however, before we place our trust in conspiracy theories.

For one thing, the brain is wired in such a way as to make conspiracy theories attractive – whether they are accurate or not.  For another, Christians are warned not to trust in things with a spiritual dimension merely because they are “urged with vehemence, zeal, or plausibility” [2A].  We are instead to apply “the appropriate tests from reason and the word of God…” [2B].

Wiring Errors

Conspiracy theories have appeal because of the way the human brain is engineered.

Pattern – The brain is designed to seek out and detect patterns.  This can deceive us into seeing patterns where none exist.  Most of us, for example, can see the face of the “man in the moon” if we stare hard enough.  That is not, however, proof of his existence.

Intentionality – The brain seeks rational explanations.  This can deceive us into believing hidden motivations underlie random events.  We prefer any explanation to none at all.

Proportionality – When events are particularly shocking, we are inclined to believe the explanation for them must be proportional.  It is, in other words, difficult for us to believe Pres. John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a single gunman.

Errors in Judgment

Biblical discernment is the ability to decide between truth and falsehood, right and wrong [3].  It is the responsibility of Christians to be discerning about the things of God:

Test all [spiritual] things; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess. 5: 21-22).

We are instructed that two or three prophets should speak, and others weigh carefully what is said (1 Cor. 14: 29).  In fact, the ability to distinguish between good and evil spirits is a gift of the Holy Spirit not all possess to equal degree (1 Cor. 12: 10).

“[However] Christianity does not require people to disregard their reason, or to be credulous.  It does not expect them to believe anything because others say it is so.  It does not make it a duty to receive as undoubted truth all that synods and councils have decreed; or all that is advanced by the ministers of religion.”

-Barnes’ Notes on the Bible [2C]

The Word of God provides us guidance in every area of life.  God grants us “all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 1: 3).  Unfortunately, Christians often engage in unbiblical thinking.  Unfamiliar with the Word of God, they are swayed by worldly influences.

Read more…

Education, Part 2 – Acceptable Violence

Dressing change, Author kcxd, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/26786061@N00/6434955639/, (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

Schools today regularly hold drills on when to lock doors, and hide in classrooms.  However, in the time required to secure a classroom against a shooter, a child can bleed to death.

An initiative known as “Stop the Bleed” offers teachers in all 50 states training on how to stop bleeding, in the event of another school shooting [1].  Some 125,000 teachers, counselors, and administrators have taken this medical training nationwide.

It is a remarkable commentary on our times that classrooms are now stocking tourniquets, gauze, and bandages, while school staples like chalk are in short supply.

At some level, violence has become acceptable.  Since we can conceive of no other remedy to stem it, teachers are actually being urged to arm [2]. Read more…

Education, Part 1 – Willful Ignorance

Old books, Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library, Antwerp, Author missmarettaphotography (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

“We don’t need no education.
We don’t need no thought control…
Teachers leave them kids alone.
Hey!  Teachers!  Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall…”

-“Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd

There is a disturbing trend in America to applaud ignorance, as if the pursuit of higher education were somehow unmanly…even unAmerican [1].

Generations relied on the sweat of their brow to advance the American dream.  There is no shame in that fact.  It was always, however, the goal that their children should have more opportunities than they did.

With the complicity of our politicians, that concept is being lost.

Tax cuts are never unpopular with the electorate.  In fact, the Tea Party demanded them, as a protest against uncontrolled government spending and perceived waste.  On a state level, however, tax cuts have had a dramatic and detrimental impact on the quality of education in this country [2].

A reduction in state revenue has resulted in increased class size, deteriorating infrastructure, and decreased resources (with teachers often providing badly needed classroom supplies at personal expense) [3][4].  Reduced tax revenue is the root cause behind teacher salaries stagnant at 1990s levels in many states [5]. Read more…

Nehemiah – Rebuilding the Wall

Broken wall, Commondale Moor, UK, Author Mike Garratt, Source geograph.org.uk (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

The words of Nehemiah…

It came to pass… that…one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews…who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.  And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach.  The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’

So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

And I said:  ‘I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God… for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You…We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses.  Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’  Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.  O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant…” (Nehemiah 1: 1-11).

The cupbearer to King Artaxerxes I of Persia, Nehemiah was made governor of the province of Judah following the Babylonian Captivity, and successfully rebuilt the protective wall surrounding Jerusalem.

Nehemiah assisted the priest and scribe, Ezra, in making the law of Moses again known to the people which resulted in a spiritual revival.

How many Christians today are fasting and praying for the welfare of this nation?  At a time that political corruption is rampant, environmental disasters threaten, and nuclear war could easily devastate the planet, surely we should all be on our knees. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW – Against the Flow, Part 2

“Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts” by Matthaus Merian (1630), Source http://www.johannesoffenbarung.ch/die_himmel/drach_antichrist.php (PD-Art, Old-100)

In Against the FlowThe Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism author, John Lennox analyzes the biblical Book of Daniel in depth.  In the latter part of the book, he addresses the four visions of Daniel which deal with end time prophecy.

Lennox compares these four visions to a series of photographs of the same image taken using different wavelengths of light.  Each vision reinforces the others while, also, providing unique information.  Combined they give us a clear picture of what the future holds in store for Christians and the world.

The Four Beasts

As many Christians know, Daniel first had a vision of four wild beasts emerging from a troubled sea.

These had the appearance of a lion with the wings of an eagle, a bear raised up on one side with three ribs between its teeth, a leopard with four heads and four wings, and an unnamed beast with ten horns and iron teeth.

The beasts represent a series of empires arising from the roiling sea of nations:  Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman.  The empires increase sequentially in ferocity.

John Lennox explains that the symbolism is comparable to that in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (the statue of a man with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, stomach and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet a mixture of iron and clay).

Lennox links it, also, to Revelation, specifically the beast with ten heads, and seven horns described by John.  As Lennox explains to us, the fourth beast is not some abstract idea of power, but an actual human being in the person of the Antichrist.

Essential for an understanding of this dense symbolism is Paul’s discussion of the Great Apostacy and the Second Coming of Christ in 2 Thessalonians:

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God…For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2: 1, 3-4, 7-10).

Paul describes in plain language what Daniel and Revelation describe in symbolic terms:  the final form world power (and human rebellion against God) will take, and the utter destruction of such power/rebellion by Christ.

The Ram and Goat

In Daniel’s second vision, he saw a rampaging ram.  The ram was invincible until gored by a goat with a single horn.  At the height of the goat’s strength, its horn broke and was replaced by four others.  Out of one of these horns grew a small horn which increased rapidly to enormous size.  This horn desecrated the sanctuary, but was ultimately brought to justice by a heavenly court.

The ram is the Medo-Persian empire, and the goat the Greek.  The large horn of the goat represents Alexander the Great who was succeeded by four generals. Read more…