Oct 31 2014

Appalachian Preacher: Finding the Kingdom: Day 1 (Halloween Edition)

I kick off my search for the Kingdom in the midst of gloom and doom with children (“…and a child shall lead them”.)  Today is Halloween. As a child I enjoyed Halloween for all the typical youthful reasons:  I got to dress up in costume, pretend to be someone else for a little while, along […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/finding-the-kingdom-day-1-halloween-edition/

Oct 31 2014

Musings of a Maverick!: Benjamin Netanyahu a “chicken****” Prime Minister?

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. [Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV)].

A few days ago it was reported that a top official (no identification) in the Obama administration referred to Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chicken**** prime minister!” NOTE: the “****” are used in place of the vulgar term that was actually used!

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu became aware of this and did respond. However at this point in time there has been nothing to indicate any kind of an attempt to apologize and this character’s boss who happens to be the present resident of the White House in Washington DC has not done anything by way of dismissal, suspension, or even so much as a mild reprimand!

For the present administration as it moves further and further towards a hostile anti-Israeli position and a very cozy relationship with many Arab nations, it is going to be “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” one of these days as Almighty God steps in and interrupts human history by the implementation and completion of His plan for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

Consider just a few of the dramatic changes which will take place concerning Israel and its world famous city, Jerusalem:

1. God’s intervention – conflict and then His rule established over all the earth — Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague. The remnant shall turn to the Lord. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. [Zechariah 14:1-17 (KJV)].

2. God’s personal return and establishing Jerusalem as a “city of truth” — Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain. [Zechariah 8:1-3 (KJV)].

3. Peace, because now the Lord Jesus Christ is in charge and implements of war are recycled into implements for peaceful purposes — The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. [Isaiah 2:1-4 (KJV)].

4. Radical change in attitude toward the Israelite people! — Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time. [Isaiah 60:1-22 (KJV)].

At the present time hatred against Israel is increasing with very negative remarks made about the country, its people and its leaders. Ignorant people in the federal government of the United States have demonstrated this most recently!

The covenant which God established with Abraham is still in place though even within the ranks of professing Christianity one can find persons who deny this. I would rather be in the group that is blessed because I take the position of being in agreement with our Creator and His special plan for a people identified as Israelites than to be in disagreement and in that group which will be cursed – read again what God said and promised to Abraham!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good. [Psalms 122:6-9 (KJV)].

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/benjamin-netanyahu-a-chicken-prime-minister/

Oct 31 2014

Nikos: St. Fred Sunday

All Saints’ Sunday is sometimes overlooked on the Christian calendar. Fortunately, that’s not the case at First UMC where I serve as pastor. Over the years, it has become an important tradition for our church to give thanks to God for all of God’s peop…

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/st-fred-sunday/

Oct 31 2014

Greater Things Are Yet To Be Done: Clergy Cannot Be Punished for Future Action

Prelude: Across the United Methodist Church these last several months and in particular the last 10 days much attention has been given to the Judicial Council with regard to the fate of Reverend Frank Schaefer and his status or lack thereof as a Untied Methodist minister. Reports from news outlets have trickled out sensationalizing the story, yet with varying degrees of […]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/clergy-cannot-be-punished-for-future-action/

Oct 31 2014

Mercy Not Sacrifice: Is Ross Douthat right that offering communion to divorcees will bring down the Catholic church?

I had always thought of Ross Douthat as one of the “reasonable conservatives” whom I could read and often agree with. But his recent freakout in response to some of the proposals brought up by Pope Francis’s Synod of the Family has raised some questions for me. I’m particularly intrigued by his claim that offering communion [Read More...]

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/is-ross-douthat-right-that-offering-communion-to-divorcees-will-bring-down-the-catholic-church/

Oct 31 2014

UMR: MTSO appoints Valerie Bridgeman associate professor

“Dr. Bridgeman brings a special blend of scholarship, creativity and energy to our campus,” said MTSO President Jay Rundell.

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/10/mtso-appoints-valerie-bridgeman-associate-professor/

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