God saves a man and endues him with His Holy Spirit, and says in effect, “Now it is up to you to prove it, work it out; be loyal to me while the nature of things round about you would make you disloyal. I have called you friends, now stand loyal to your Friend.” His honor is at stake in our bodily life. ~ Oswald Chambers, Fruitfulness of Friendship
My oldest friend reached out to me after reading last week’s SMTU. We’ve known each other since we were kids, through each other’s twists and turns, ups and downs, good times, bad times…mostly good. He was concerned…as a big brother who looks out for his little brother. But I thought about my friend in the context of this week’s Fruitfulness of Friendship read, and realized how God blesses us with people in our lives who model what He wants us to have with Him; through every twist and turn, up and down, good and bad time…
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. ~ John 15:5-7
…and we talked about how there are times, as in last week’s edition, where he has to read it a couple of times to get the picture. And just now, the line from my song Liam’s World pops into my head, Life is a magical space, as everything falls into place. The mystery is never as dear, when we see the answer too clear. And I realized, with a chuckle, I’m sort of a mystery writer and journalist morphed into one another. Half of me has no clue where the story leads, or how it ends. And the other half of me is determined to cover the story as all true journalists did…once upon a time.
And from my John C. Maxwell “Leadership Promises for Every Day” February 18th read: And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” ~ 2 Kings 2:9-10
The Holy Spirit comes and goes where It will, and It wills most where It is most welcomed. Think about how differently the Holy Spirit operated in the lives of David and Solomon his son. We cannot unsee what we’ve seen, or un-experience what we’ve experienced in connection to the Holy Spirit…but we can, and often do, look away. I like the way Chambers puts it when he writes, “When we are beginning to be spiritual by means of the reception of the Holy Spirit, we get moments of intuitive light…We have to believe what we saw when we were in the light, ‘hang in’ to it, discipline the whole of our lives up to it.” Many of us have experienced the moments, but as Chambers goes on to say most of us are more apt to believe what we see in the dark. God had a special place in His heart for David, who started well, flirted with the dark, found redemption, and finished strong. Solomon, as wise a man as he was, started strong, lost his way, and finished in the dark. Who besides Jesus, was a greater friend to God than David? What greater testimonial and tribute than the Book of 150 Psalms? I encourage you to read 91.
It’s so much easier to hang in, to it when we have a good understanding of the true nature of things round about us. George Orwell saw America today with crystal clear clarity, as if he were standing on Pike’s Peak on a cloudless day, all the way back there in 1949, when he published his book 1984. So, he was off a few years. I asked an old friend and practicing attorney who has chosen the Progressive Liberal path in life, what he loved about America. Pretty straightforward and clear question, right? Here’s his response to me, loving my country is caring for it and its future because I so respect its past and those who brought us here. I would not think of love as against criticism, but actually what motivates it. His words, while fragrant with noble feel, were poison to the conversation. The point of communication is to unite the communicators with understanding. His words were designed to evade understanding in such a way as to leave the other party (me) unaware of the deception. The word doublespeak, coined by Orwell in his famous novel, popped instantly into my head. Here are a few Orwell quotes that describe one of the devil’s most powerful tools;
‘Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.’ And, “An elaboration of ‘freedom is slavery,’ this quote illustrates the ways in which the Party seeks to control its people by giving them ‘what they want’ — a simple, unthinking, fully controlled life.” And “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” And, “What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself; who gives your arguments a fair hearing and simply persists in his lunacy?”
The greatest doublespeaker of all, the devil, has convinced most of my Christian brothers and sisters that the most important issues affecting our lives and the lives of our children are “political” and off limits to them….which is how we got here: “Meanwhile, consider that Bernie supporter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the spectacularly ignorant but endlessly narcissistic 30-year-old ex-bartender who got herself elected to Congress and quickly became the Democratic Party’s de facto leader, recently said, and I quote: ‘Billionaires should not exist.’ Friends, forget about ‘socialism’ and ‘democratic socialism’ (whatever that means). This sounds like straight-up communism. Remember, Marx and Engels used the terms socialism and communism interchangeably, and the Soviet Union, the mother lode of hard-core communism that extinguished tens of millions of innocent lives, called itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Why not the Union of Soviet Communist Republics? Because they’re ultimately the same thing, socialism being just a necessary first stage of communism.” ~ David Kupelian, America is in the Midst of a New Civil War
We are two Americas. Two generations of doublespeaking Pied Pipers have led the children so far from their homes, they may never find their way back. Their view of the world around them filters through a Marxist kaleidoscope of identity politics. In their world, to their mind’s eye the very worse thing a person can be, is racist.
prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.
When words lose their meaning, people lose their way. In the real world, the Holy Spirit works through men strong enough to stand through adversity…even in a minority of one…to carry the banner of truth, the hope in redemption…and Promises Kept!
Today’s SMTU is dedicated to the memory of Philip Haney who gave his life on Friday for the things we cherish most as Americans. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13
As a Christian, I do know how the story ends…I just don’t know when. Sam Cooke sings it so well… A Change Is Gonna Come…