God Hath Not Promised

I first encountered these words on a sympathy card in 1967.  More recently, I learned that they are the words of an old hymn.  In any case, these words help to describe how God helps us “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23) which is this life on earth.

God hath not promised skies always blue
Flower strewn pathways, all our lives through; 
God hath not promised sun without rain, 
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day, 
Rest for the labour, light for the way, 
Grace for the trials, help from above, 
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptations, trouble and woe; 
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.

But God hath promised strength for the day, 
Rest for the labour, light for the way, 
Grace for the trials, help from above, 
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide, 
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide; 
Never a mountain, rocky and steep, 
Never a river turbid and deep.

But God hath promised strength for the day, 
Rest for the labour, light for the way, 
Grace for the trials, help from above, 
Unfailing kindness, undying love…

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/religious_music/

“Love Crucified Arose” by Michael Card

The lyrics are included in the video, and you really have to stop what you’re doing and read the words as the song progresses in order to fully appreciate what the song is saying about our Lord and the dramatic victory that His love won.

What Is the Proper Response to an Insult?

The response to a perceived insult described in this article is so fundamentally different from that which Jesus taught His followers that it bears noting.

Sentenced to death for a sip of water – NYPOST.com.  [Ed. note:  Sorry, but it appears that the New York Post is no longer maintaining this link.]

On this subject, Jesus said:

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

Jesus’ follower Paul said:

2 Corinthians 12:10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Jesus’ follower Peter said:

1 Peter 3:9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

Perhaps this is another difference between Jesus and Muhammad, or perhaps it is only a difference between Jesus’ followers and Muhammad’s followers.  Would even Muhammad have approved of the sort of response imposed in his name on the woman in the article?

Regardless of what others teach, Jesus preferred being crucified to retaliating against those who insulted Him.  There is no one like Jesus, though we would all do well to imitate Him.  His way is the best way.

All Scriptures from the New American Standard Bible.

Martin Luther on Resisting the Temptation to Sin

“You can’t stop birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.”

–  Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

The world has its temptations.  You can’t change that.  But you can decide to place your attention elsewhere.

Differences Between Muhammad and Jesus

Here are some differences between Muhammad and Jesus.

Muhammad lived about 62 years; Jesus lived about 33.

Muhammad was married to multiple women simultaneously; Jesus was never married.

Muhammad was a political leader; Jesus refused political leadership.

Muhammad was a military leader; Jesus never took up arms.

Muhammad produced his own holy book; Jesus followed one previously written.

How Much Different Could Sodom and Gomorrah Have Looked?

Here’s a headline:

UNIVERSITY ADDS CONDOMS TO DORM VENDING MACHINES BECAUSE IT’S ‘THE MOST CONVENIENT PLACE TO HAVE CONDOMS LOCATED’

And here are some excerpts from the article:

The university already offers them for no charge at its health clinic.

The vending machines will make it easier for students and help cut down on people thinking “‘All right, just this one time without contraception,’” Manes said, because “it’s kind of uncomfortable to knock on a stranger’s door and ask for condoms.”

The University of Michigan is by no means the first to bring condoms to vending machines or specific dispensers to campus. To name a few, Lynchburg College is adding condom vending machines for fall 2013 as well, and Tufts University got them in January. Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania even offers Plan B through a vending machine.

Late last year, high schools in Pennsylvania considered bringing dispensers on campus.

I shudder to think about the parents who are saving, and kids who are incurring student debt, in order to be subjected to an environment like this.

If this is what’s happening where the majority of students are minors, just imagine what taking place among the adults.

Could Sodom and Gomorrah have looked much different than this?

It Takes a Child to Save a Village

You’ve heard it said that “it takes a village to raise a child.”  Of course, this is not true.  What’s true in that regard is that it takes a mother and father to raise a child – the ones who conceived him.

Why then do I say that it takes a child to save a village?  Because only when a society recognizes that its primary role is to see that its families are allowed to conceive, birth, and raise children – only then can that society be saved from its own hedonistic tendencies.  That is, only when a society acts in such a way as to protect the most vulnerable of its citizens is it being saved, or redeemed, from its own selfish interests.

American society today kills many children before they are ever born.  For the ones who do manage to get born, government policy and the media culture work together to weaken the bonds of marriage which are intended to provide a secure and nurturing environment for the child.  How do they do this?  One way is by making divorce simple instead of difficult.  Another is by subsidizing the widespread distribution of contraceptives to minors.  Yet another is by demeaning true marriage with the notion of “gay marriage.”  These trends, and more, undermine the mother-father family that God gave for bringing children into the world.

There is one fact beyond dispute or argument:  every human being is going to die.  Therefore, the task of every generation must be to prepare the next one to take its place.  If we truly put the children first, we will save ourselves…and die with some honor instead of with a lot of shame.

“Tolerance” in Today’s Culture Means “You Must Tolerate Our Ways But We Will Not Tolerate Yours!”

NM Supreme Court: ‘Tolerance’ Means Forcing Religious Photographers to Serve Same-Sex Weddings.

“Tolerance” in public life has come to mean “intolerance” – specifically, “intolerance of godliness, or any attempt at, support of, or hope for godliness.”

Large portions of the country have lost their minds.

Here’s another article on the same subject, in which Ken Klukowski, the director for Center for Religious Liberty at the conservatie Family Research Council rightly says:

“Rather than live-and-let-live, this is forcing religious Americans to violate the basic teachings of their faith, or lose their jobs.”

And here is Erick Erickson giving more details and explaining why, even if you don’t care about this, “you will be made to care.”

Shakespeare on Doubt

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare

I wonder if Shakespeare was thinking of this passage from Matthew when he wrote those lines (from the NASB):

Matthew 14:23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
Matthew 14:24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
Matthew 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
Matthew 14:26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Matthew 14:28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
Matthew 14:29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matthew 14:30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Matthew 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14:32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
Matthew 14:33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”

Peter shows what we can accomplished if we put away doubt even for a moment.