Ignorance

April 15, 2021

Ignorance

By Russell George

Not much good can be said for ignorance. The only advantage might be that if you are accused of doing something wrong you would be justified in saying, “I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to do that.” You would still have to suffer the consequences of your wrongdoing so that wipes out the advantage.

Let me caution you against thinking you have arrived because you have learned to dress yourself and tie your shoes. I’m sorry, but you still have a long way to go. All our life we go on gaining knowledge. The harder we work at it the more we learn. I still remember the day my mother took me up the road to the little one room country school to get me registered to start to school in the fall. I’m sure I wasn’t thinking, “Now I’m going to start getting an education.” I just thought that “it’s just something that all children do.” Somewhere in my childhood I began to understand the great advantage I would have by increasing my knowledge.

The ignorant person, that is without an education, is greatly handicapped in life. He is among the poor. He can’t get a job, or if he has a job, it doesn’t pay enough to give him much of a life. He is handicapped for no fault but his own. When people are asked to help the poor, they feel much more inclined to help those who are poor because of something that happened that hinders them from working. They don’t feel much inclined to help one who made no effort to get an education.

It is possible to be educated and yet be ignorant. The Apostle Paul was educated in the school of a man by the name of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), yet he had to confess in I Timothy 1:13 that he was ignorant. “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” It is unfortunate in our day that so many are even graduating from college and yet they are ignorant. They are ignorant because they haven’t been taught to think for themselves. That leaves them at the mercy of others when it comes time to make decisions. People who can’t think for themselves accept what they are told, even though it doesn’t make common sense. For example, many today are willing to believe that we should defund the police and open our borders and let whosoever will come in. Those who can think for themselves can forsee the tragedy that will result from doing this.

We need to be constantly motivated to add knowledge. You can’t get too much of it. It is God’s will that we add knowledge. II Peter 1:5-8 says. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

These things give us worth. “They make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful.” We have something to offer people. The ignorant person is good for nothing. Not the one who has these things. People will look up to us because of what we do for them.

An excellent way to add knowledge is to read. Not only should we read the Bible, but other books written by mature servants of God. They have learned a lot, and they have a lot to teach us. There are lots of good books that can be found in secondhand stores. They can be yours for a fraction of what it would cost to buy them new. Electronic books are also available that you can read on your tablet or smart phone. Used books and electronic books are much cheaper.

No one can say that they have all the knowledge they need. It’s always to our advantage to add more. We need to be familiar with who the good authors are. As you read good books, you will often find quotes from other good authors. Make a note of them and look for books written by them.

If you are motivated to learn, it will be easy to sacrifice time watching television and spend it reading. You will gain much more from it than you will from watching television.

In spite of all the good that can be said for knowledge, there is one precaution that the Bible gives us. It is found in I Corinthians 8:1. “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” “Knowledge puffeth up.” That means it can make us proud. No one ever boasts of his ignorance. Be careful about being proud of your knowledge. God doesn’t want us to have knowledge so we can glory in how much we know. He wants us to have knowledge so that we can better glorify Him.

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Irreconcilable Truths

April 3, 2021

Irreconcilable Truths

By Russell George

There are truths in the Bible that we can’t understand or explain. Psalm 139:6 says, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” Romans 11:33 says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Just because we can’t understand or explain some truths doesn’t leave us justified in rejecting them.

Can you explain how a radio or television can pick up radio waves and television waves from the air? Most of us can’t. There are technicians who can do a much better job of explaining that than most of us can. We would be laughed at if we were to refuse to buy a radio or television saying, “I can’t believe that thing will do what they claim it will do.”

I would like to call to your attention two irreconcilable truths that are found in the Bible. Psalm 139:7-10 tells us that God is everywhere at the same time. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Should I struggle with claiming this promise because I can’t understand how God can be with me and everywhere else at the same time? My mind can’t grasp that.

We could also have doubts about how God can hear and answer our prayers if we take into account that at the same time there are thousands of other people praying to Him around the world, often in different languages. How can God hear all those people at the same time? “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

Another irreconcilable Biblical truth that some Christians are struggling with is between the election of God and the free will of man. Both truths are clearly found in the Bible. We find election in the following verses. “For the children, being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” (Romans 9:11) “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11:5) “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:4) The word “election isn’t in that verse but it does say we are chosen from the beginning.

What is called the “free will of man” is found in the following verses. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9) “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5) “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15)

It would be easy for us to sit back in indifference and say, “if they are chosen of God, they will be saved regardless of human effort.” However, we can’t overlook the commands of God. The great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 command us, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

We need to accept the truth of Romans 11:33 that we read in the beginning. Sometimes His judgments are unsearchable and His ways past finding out. In Psalm 139:6 we found that there is knowledge that we can’t attain unto. We need to accept what we can’t understand or explain. We also need to obey and do the will of God. Jesus said in John 7:17, “If any ma n will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself. God is so superior to us that there is no comparison. We need to accept what God’s Word says and do His will.

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Investments

March 22, 2021

Investments

By Russell George

We make investments in hopes of getting a good return from them. Many, throughout their life, invest money in things like mutual funds. It is wise to choose a financial adviser who studies the markets to know which investments will give the best returns. When it comes time for us to retire, it is a great consolation to know that we have money set aside for retirement.

This article deals with spiritual investments. They always have a good rate of return. There are a number of ways that we can make spiritual investments. If we have a disciplined Christian life, we will take time each day for a personal devotional time. It is a time when we read the Bible and spend time in prayer. Some of the time can be spent in praising the Lord for all he has done for you and what he continues to do for you. Some time will also be spent in sharing our needs and seeking God’s direction in decisions we need to make. Throughout every day we make decisions. We need to ask God to help us make the right decisions. Our personal devotional time is an investment we make. In return we get a closer personal relationship with God. We gain knowledge from God’s Word that helps us have discernment. That is of great value.

In the first Psalm, in speaking of the blessed man, says in verses 2-3 thatHis delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” God wants to bless us, but what we get from God depends, in some measure, in what we give to him. The time we spend in personal devotions is an investment of our time. The two basic investments we make are in time and money.

Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Another investment a good Christian makes is in faithful church attendance. There may be some financial investment, but most of it is in our time. We should go to church to worship and praise the Lord, but as a result of it, we shall grow spiritually from the teaching and preaching of God’s Word. Don’t go to church for what you expect to get from the church, but you will be richly blessed if you go.

Christian parents can testify to the rich dividends they receive from their investment in the spiritual nurture and growth of their children. My mother-in-law made the mistake of marrying an unsaved man so she didn’t have his help in the spiritual nurture of her nine children. She made a tremendous investment in them by taking them to Sunday school and church every Sunday. She had a daily devotional time with them. She taught them how to pray and helped each one make a decision to accept Christ as his or her Savior. To this day they all follow the Lord faithfully.

My wife and I can testify to the tremendous blessing we have received from the investment we made in the spiritual needs of our six children. They have all continued to walk with God. Some Christian parents have had the unfortunate experience of seeing one or more of their children leave God out of their lives in spite of the investment they made in them. That is the exception rather than the normal. Christian parents who invest time and money in the spiritual growth of their children are much less likely to suffer from the heartache of having a wayward child.

The investment Christian parents make in their children is more often in time than in money. There may be some monetary investment in them. They need to buy them Bibles and good reading material. Another monetary investment they can make in their children is in sending them to a good Christian school or home schooling them. The result of that is that they will get a much better education than most children are getting in public schools.

Another spiritual investment we can make is in terms of our giving. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Caution; don’t give just for the expectation of getting. What God gives back to us is not always money. He has many other ways of blessing us. We should never think of spiritual investments in terms of what we hope to get in return. We should serve the Lord because we love him and want to please him. The better part of our spiritual investments will come to us after we get to heaven. Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” We will have all eternity to enjoy those dividends.

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Keep Your Heart

March 22, 2021

Keep Your Heart

By Russell George

Just as good housewives are diligent about housekeeping, all Christians need to be diligent about heart keeping. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” It means we need to keep it clean. A clean heart is a tremendous asset to any life. It gives peace of mind, knowing that we aren’t going about doing things we know we ought not to do.

In the spiritual realm, there is a close relationship between the heart and the mind. Mark 12:30 says,And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” The heart is sometimes called “the seat of the affections, but where is it? There is no reason to think that it refers to our physical heart. Proverbs 23:7 gives us further reason to say that there is a close relationship between the heart and the mind. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We think with our mind. Possibly we could say that the heart has to do with our affections and the mind has to do with the intellect. The mind enables us to think and do things rationally. We give thought to what we do. The heart motivates us to want to serve and please God.

We need to keep our heart because the issues of life proceed from it. With our heart we decide what we should and shouldn’t do. We decide what should have priority. If our heart is corrupt, we will let corruption be a part of our life. Matthew 15:18-20 mentions some of the evil things that can proceed out of our heart. “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” That’s another reason why we need to clean our heart and keep it clean.

Jeremiah’s admonition should help us understand why we need to keep our heart with all diligence. He says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” He says that the heart is deceitful. That means that we may think our heart is clean when it isn’t.

Before we can keep our heart clean, we need to be sure that it is clean. Psalm 139:23-24 gives us a prayer of David. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We too need to pray this prayer and let God speak to our hearts. Often we are doing things without realizing that they aren’t pleasing to God. They may not be outward sins that those around us can see. It is easy to sin in our thought life. We can let our minds dwell on things that we know we shouldn’t do.

These are called phantasms. We know that it’s something we shouldn’t do in real life, but just thinking about it is pleasing to us. You live the experience of it in your mind even though you don’t do it in real life. Letting ourselves think these thoughts weakens our resistance. If we are ever faced with the temptation to do it in real life it will be hard to resist. We couldn’t honestly say, “I wouldn’t even think about doing such a thing.” You have already been thinking about it.

We can’t expect to enjoy the full measure of joy that the Christian life offers us if we don’t keep our heart clean. Don’t neglect your heart. As we have seen, there are evils that can come out of our heart. We need to keep the law of God in our heart, as it says in Psalm 40:8. “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” The first part of that verse says that if the law of God is in our heart we will delight to do the will of God. We will never go wrong if we do the will of God.

Christians have a great advantage in that they can call upon God to help them keep their heart. The prayer of David, that we have included in this article, is a good example. We also have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. If we are surrendered to him, he will convict us if we have thoughts and things in our heart that ought not to be there. Romans 8:26-27 tells us how the Spirit guards our hearts. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

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Confirmation In the Gospel

February 19, 2021

Confirmation in the Gospel

By Russell George

Confirmation doesn’t mean the same thing to all of us. For some it is a sacrament in the church. In our Bible we don’t read anything about sacraments. In Philipians 1:7 we find the word “confirmation.” “Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.”

To be confirmed in the gospel, means to be so convinced that the gospel is true that nothing will move us from it. The gospel is the good news that Christ died for our sins and that if we put our faith in him God will forgive us of our sins, and make us a child of his. If we are confirmed in the gospel, we have no doubts about it. Nothing that anyone says or that we read will convince us otherwise.

The word also means to establish. When a farmer sets a post in the ground, he tamps the dirt around it as he throws it in. He wants it to be established so that when he drives staples in it so it won’t move. If the post has been treated with creosote, he can have good reason to think that it will be there the rest of his life. In Acts 16:5 we read about churches being established in the faith. “And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.” To be establish in the faith includes more than the gospel. It includes all the truth we find in the Bible. It means that the time will never come when someone will come along and convince them to believe something contrary to the truth they have received.

God wants his people to be confirmed in the gospel. That means there will never come a time when we cast off our faith in the gospel and start believing something contrary.

It is doubtful that we will ever be confirmed in the gospel unless we have accepted the Bible as the Word of God. II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” God’s Word never changes. A faithful and honest interpretation of it shouldn’t change either. The gospel is based on what we read in the Bible.

The longer we live the Christian life the more we are confirmed in it. It becomes our way of life. We feel comfortable with it. We enjoy the benefits of it. We grow in our love for the Lord and look for ways to please him.

We are also confirmed in the gospel by faithful church attendance. There we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word by means of the teaching and preaching we hear. We build relationships with other Christians in the church who strengthen us. In the church, we find opportunities to serve the Lord and use our talents. We start sharing the gospel with others. We spend time with those we win to Christ and help them be confirmed in the gospel.

It is thrilling to read church history and read of others who were confirmed in the gospel to the point that persecution didn’t turn them away from it. Some even paid the supreme sacrifice of giving their life rather than turn from the faith. Fox’s Book of Martyrs tells the thrilling story of multitudes who remained faithful. Some chose to let them chop off their heads. Others were burned at the stake. Polycarp was one of the early martyrs of the Christian faith. When he had to make a decision between being burned at the stake or denying Christ he said, “Eighty six years I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior?” He was burned at the stake. Even today, in Communist and Muslim countries, Christians are proving that they are confirmed in the gospel to the point that they are willing to suffer persecution rather than deny their Lord.

Where are you in regard to being confirmed in the gospel? Are you better established than you were a year ago at this time? What are you doing to be more confirmed in the gospel?

I became a Christian when I was 18 years old. I can’t recall any time when I even gave any thought to turning my back on it. It has been such a rewarding experience that I never want to leave it. I’m sure I have neglected many opportunities to be more established in the faith. I’m sure there are many Christians who have a closer walk with the Lord than I do, but I can’t imagine that the time will ever come when I will consider breaking off my relationship with the Lord. If you have never trusted in Christ for salvation. I strongly urge you to do so. You will never regret it.

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Rational Versus Irrational Thinking

By Russell George

Many people aren’t thinking right. If we don’t think right, we don’t do right. Rational thinking is that which stands to reason. Those who think rationally have good reason for thinking the way they do. To the contrary, irrational thinking is thinking that doesn’t stand to reason. In this article we are going to consider some irrational ways that people are thinking.

Perhaps you have heard someone say, or read the words, “If it feels good do it.” Some think that means that if something feels good to them they should have a right to do it. They haven’t stopped to think that they have to put some limits on that. When we are tired after a long day’s work, it sure feels good to go to bed and sleep. There are other things that feel good and are legitimate, but not all things are legitimate just because they make us feel good.

Think of the bad behavior that can and does result from this irrational way of thinking. What’s to stop a man from thinking he has a right to rape a woman because it makes him feel good? Those with rational thinking ask, “What does that do to women’s rights?”

Teenagers suffer from irrational thinking. A teenager sits down beside a friend of his and hands him a pill. He says, “Hey, take this. It will make you feel good.” He takes it and, sure enough, it makes him feel good. He seeks out his friend and asks for more of those pills. He is willing to pay money for them. He ends up being a drug addict with all the bad effects. If he had been thinking rationally, before he took that first pill, he would have asked himself, “Where will this lead to?”

The same tragic end comes to those who start drinking alcohol because it makes them feel good. Thousands of lives are being snuffed out every day as the result of alcohol and drug abuse. Tragically innocent people are also losing their lives every day on the highways because drug or alcohol addicts crash into them.

The news media is making us increasingly more aware of another manifestation of irrational thinking. Somehow some have accepted the irrational notion that we can fight bad behavior with bad behavior. Those who have a rational mind know that we correct bad behavior by means of law and order. That’s the way it has been done in the past with good results.

This all started some months ago when a bad policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed a man by keeping his knee on his neck until he suffocated. As a result, some people started responding with violent protests in the streets to protest “police brutality.” It looks highly suspicious that it was planned as a means of taking down the police.

It is irrational thinking to think we don’t need the police. The founders of our country included the judicial as one of the three branches of our government. Their duty is to see that the laws are enforced. They can’t do that without the police. They knew that men, by nature, are wicked. Adam’s sin was passed on to the entire human race. The Bible clearly says that men, by nature are evil. Romans 3:10-12 says. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Crime is rapidly increasing in cities where the police are restricted. Bad people hate and fear the police but good people are grateful for police because they are peace keepers. Letting criminals have their way will relieve the problem of over crowded prisons, but we will have to build bigger cemeteries to make room for all those who loose their lives because of man’s inhumanity to man. On what side do you think rational thinking people should be?

Bad behavior is best corrected by law and order. That way the one practicing bad behavior is made to pay. The irrational way in which some are responding today is like children who throw a temper tantrum when they don’t get their way. If parents respond by giving in to the child they will live to regret it. It is sad that some homes today are ruled by the children, not the parents.

Irrational thinking has always been a part of the human race, but it seems as though we are seeing more of it in our day. If we look for an explanation for the reason we can’t help but lay the blame on the way children are being educated in our public schools. Our public schools are not teaching children how to reason and think for themselves. In years gone by nearly all the high schools taught a course on logic. It isn’t being taught any more. One reason for that is that most colleges and universities have been taken over by liberals. That’s where teachers receive their training.

To do some research on this subject, I went to google.com and typed in “Logic in secular education.” I found a site that asks people why they think logic isn’t taught in our schools. I think only one person said that they thought it was because the liberals want to produce a generation of people who will willingly subject themselves to the ruling class. Personally, I think that is the main reason for not teaching logic. Some said that it’s because logic is contrary to people’s religious beliefs.

The truth is that, as Christians, there are things that we believe that unbelievers don’t think are logical. That may be true, but it’s because we believe in an all-powerful, all-wise God. With God, there is nothing impossible. Matthew 19:26 says, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

The truth is that God wants us to be rational thinkers. Proverbs 2:5-6 says, “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Just because something seems right doesn’t make it right.

In Isaiah 1:18 we read, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” When we reason with someone, we present the truth we want them to accept. Then we ask, “Now, doesn’t that stand to reason?” God is gracious. He doesn’t demand that we accept what he says just because he says it. Often we should, but God also asks us to think about it and ask ourselves, “Now isn’t that to your advantage?”

Let’s get back to rational thinking. It promotes peace and harmony in society. Have you asked God to forgive your sins? If not, why not. There is much to gain and nothing to lose. Jesus has paid the penalty. All you need to do is accept it. If you think rationally you will say, “Yes, God. I need your forgiveness.”

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Let’s Learn from History

September 17, 2020

Let’s Learn from History

By Russell George

We can and should learn by observing what is going on around us. There is also a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and discernment that we can obtain from history. We can learn what works and what doesn’t. An ignorance of history causes us to make the same mistakes our forefathers made. Seldom is anything gained by making mistakes. Often we hear our senior citizens say, “Don’t make the same mistake I made.” We won’t hear those words from our forefathers who lived before we were born. We must read history to learn from them.

History can be a boring subject if it is just presented to us in books that state the facts of what worked in the past and what didn’t work. We can learn from those books, but it is much more interesting if we read it in books about people. There are biographies and autobiographies. A biography is a book written about a person. An autobiography is a book written by someone about his life. Both are interesting because they are about people. We can learn what made them successful. We can also learn from the mistakes they made.

It is unfortunate that many public schools aren’t teaching history. If they do teach it, it is an abbreviated version of it. Some books are being written that are a perverted version of history. They are written to put forth an ideology that the author wants to propagate. They aren’t an honest version of history.

A knowledge of history gives us discernment. It is especially beneficial for young people because there are many paths in life they can take. If they have a knowledge of history, they can learn from others who took the path they are thinking about taking and see where it leads to.

I grew up in the sand hills of Nebraska. My friends and I sometimes talked about how much fun we could have if a city boy moved into the neighborhood, or even if he was just in the neighborhood visiting his grandparents for a week. We would invite him to go snipe hunting with us. If he asks any questions about it, we would tell him, “We will tell you how we do it before we leave.” We would ask him to come to one of our houses where our mother had prepared a meal. All of our friends would be there also. After the meal, we would say, “Now let’s go snipe hunting.” As we made our way out to the pasture after dark, we would put a burlap sack in his hands. We would tell him, “Snipes are little animals that live out here in the hills. They are about the size of a bunny rabbit. They live in holes in the ground. They feed on cow piles. After dark they like to come out and run up and down the cow paths looking for cow piles. We catch them in a sack like we put in your hands. You will need to straddle the cow path and hold the sack open over the cow path. We will go on over the hill and if we see any we will chase them your way. Oh, here is a cow path. You need to stand here and hold the bag open over the path. We will go on over the hill and chase them over the hill.”

After we got over the hill out of his sight we would run around the back side of the hill and go back home, leaving him out there holding the bag.

For you city slickers, I need to explain some things to you. Snipes aren’t animals. They are birds that live in swampy areas. Animals don’t feed on cow piles. If you don’t know what cow piles are, I’m sorry but I can’t think of the proper words to explain that to you. If you are ignorant of history, you may find yourself out some night holding a bag over a cow path or an even worse situation.

History is a part of life. All of us have a history from the day we were born until the present. Everyone who has ever lived has a history of his life. It may not have been recorded or written but those who knew him know his history. All of us have had successes and failures. We can learn from one another; even those we have never known if we read their history.

From history we can learn to appreciate what our forefathers did for us. Those who came before us had to clear the forests where farmers now cultivate their crops. Some cleared the forests to make pasture where their cattle could feed. It might have taken two men several days to cut down a big tree and cut off the branches. They just had their axes and what was called a “crosscut saw” that two men used. They used their horses to drag off the branches and the trunk to a place where they could burn it. Then they had to dig around the stump, cut off the roots, and tie their horses to the stump to see if they could pull it out. If they couldn’t, they had to dig some more and cut off the tap root. With the power tools we have today, three men might be able to clear out 50 trees in a day. We have chain saws to cut down the trees and cut off the branches. Then a man comes in with a power caterpillar tractor and drags it all off to the burn pile.

It was hard labor also that enabled our forefathers to build roads for us. They had to clear a path through the trees to make the roads. The hills were partly leveled with dirt scoops pulled by horses. They had two handles on them that the operator lifted when he wanted it to bite the dirt and fill the scoop. Then he walked behind it while the horses pulled it down to the valley where they dumped it by lifting the two handles to make it bite the dirt and turn upside down. It would take about a half a yard of dirt at a time. The operator spent the day walking up and down the hill behind that scoop. Several other men worked with him at the same time. Today just one man with a modern earth mover in just a day or two could do what it took several men 10 or 20 days to do.

Our forefathers didn’t complain about the work they did. They did it with an eye on the future. They might have gotten paid for building roads. If they staked a claim on an acreage of forest land they had to clear the trees without getting paid for it. As they worked, they anticipated the day when the land they cleared would be green pasture or a field of corn.

Reading history makes us appreciate what we have today. We should be willing to do our part to make this world a better place for our children and grandchildren. History also helps us make wise decisions. You can’t afford to be ignorant of what history can teach you.

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Things Can’t Go On This Way

September 9, 2020

Things Can’t Go On This Way

By Russell George

Are you praying for revival? Every day it becomes more evident that we need it. Things can’t go on the way they are going. If they do, the time will come when our society will self destruct. Every day there are more hurting and heart-broken people.

If you are the member of a growing healthy church you need to thank God for it. Keep doing all you can to keep your church the way it should. You need to look around and see what is going on around you. More and more good Christians are finding themselves in a small church that keeps getting smaller. Every year there are fewer members and less money is coming in. The church is struggling to pay their bills. They are forced to drop missionaries they are supporting, or cut back on what they give them. It’s getting harder to pay their pastor.

People in these churches face the fact that the day is coming when the church will be forced to close its doors. That’s heartbreaking for them. Their church has been a part of their life for years. It may be that they were married in the church. If they are up in years, some of their children may have been married in the church. They can think of many funerals they have attended in their church.

They are like the farmer, many years ago, who had a horse he dearly loved. His horse had served him for many years. It had taken him to and from where he wanted to go. It had pulled his buggy or carried him on its back. It had pulled his plow, pulled his cultivator, and helped him harvest his crops. Now his horse is getting old. He asks himself if he should sell his horse and buy a younger one. He doesn’t want to part with it. Shall he keep riding it until it dies in its tracks?

Christians in a dying church face a similar decision. They ask, “Shall we stay with our church until it dies? Or should we leave and join a church that is still active and growing?” They know that if they do that it will hasten the day when their church will die. If you know Christians in that situation they need your prayers. They have a hard decision to make.

We would like to think that people themselves would realize that things are going from bad to worse and start seeking a solution. A careful study of church history shows that there is no indication that they have ever sought a solution, much less a solution in God. The thinking of modern man is, if there is a problem, throw money at it. That is never the solution. Things continue to go south. The war on poverty is a classic example. For years now the government has been giving money to the poor, but it hasn’t helped. Just giving money to an unemployed man takes away his initiative to look for a job. If there is a problem, we need to ask ourselves, “What’s causing the problem?”

In church history we do find what appears to be the only solution for a rapid deterioration in moral values. It is revival. Every time there has been a revival it is accompanied by a greater respect for and desire to live by biblical moral values. Not everyone, of course, is touched by a revival, but those who are become more upright in their way of life. They pass it on to their children so the revival goes on having a beneficial influence on the culture.

Aren’t you convinced that we need a revival? Aren’t you convinced that we need a return to righteous Godly living? If not, how much worse must it get to convince you? Many times people don’t get concerned until it starts touching them personally. That shows a lack of compassion.

A revival could give new life to dying churches. It could spare multitudes of people from the pain and heart break caused by divorce and separation. It would decrease the number of school shootings. It would give discernment to millions of people so they would no longer go to the polls and vote for candidates just because they are running under the party they are identified with.

When God sends a revival he does a mighty work in the lives of Christians. He convicts them of their sin and they repent and start living for God. They are a testimony to the unsaved around them. God also does a work in the unsaved in times of revival. They too are convicted and see their need of having a relationship with God. They see Christians enjoying life with a purpose and being blessed by God. Psalm one presents to us the blessed man. Verse 3 says, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Many of the unsaved see that and say, “I want that for my life.”

What hinders revival? James 4:2 says, “Ye have not because ye ask not.” We won’t be very likely to get anything from God if we don’t ask for it. Christians need to be praying for revival. Perhaps we aren’t praying for revival because we don’t see the need for it. We need to be grieving because people around us are grieving because of sin. Our prisons are full. Every prisoner has left broken hearts behind. Their parents are suffering. If they are married, their spouse, and perhaps children are suffering. Our big cities are being overrun by homeless people. Many of them have left loved ones behind who are suffering. Many times their parents don’t know where they are. Many are lost and bound for an awful eternity. Doesn’t that matter to you? If not, you need to ask God to give you more compassion. I Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one for another.”

II Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” We need to come to God, grieving and pleading that he will send revival because you say, “Things can’t go on this way.” Please also read my article entitled “Revivals.” It is on my web page. randrforchristianliving.org

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Vote Smart

August 18, 2020

Vote Smart

If you can’t vote smart, it’s best that you don’t vote at all. If you don’t vote smart, you are in danger of helping to put someone in office who is irresponsible. You may think you are voting smart, but if you can’t see that what some political candidates are advocating for are things that aren’t in any way good for our country, you will be voting dumb if you vote for them. You will suffer along with everyone else if they get in office.

It shouldn’t take much smarts to see that there are candidates running for offices who are openly in favor of things that are not for the good of our country. Some of our great cities are being destroyed by terrorists who are looting, burning, and destroying private property. The elected officials who should be sending in the police to arrest them and put them in jail are instead telling the police to stand down. If the police make their appearance, they are shouted down and their cars are burned. Even worse they are calling for the police to be defunded. In so doing, they are approving of these terrorist groups. Are these the kind of leaders for which you would vote? If so, for the well-being of your fellow Americans, it’s best that you don’t vote.

We desperately need our police. Just because a few do irresponsible things doesn’t give us reason for being against all of them. We need to support them. Cities without a police force are going to be ravaged by gangs that break into supermarkets and carry off truckloads of merchandise. What’s to stop them if there are no police? We need police to maintain law and order. A society can’t exist without them. If there are no police, what will you do if someone breaks into your house and steals at gunpoint everything of value that you own? Please, don’t be guilty of voting for leaders who are too dumb to see that we need our police.

The police are authority figures. Their job is to maintain law and order. Our country is under an ever greater threat by terrorist organizations who would like to overthrow our government by violent protests. It will be relatively easy for them to do that if there are no authority figures (police) to stop them. That’s why they want to get rid of the police.

We have reason to be amazed at the tremendous increase in knowledge that we have seen in our lifetime. Computers have placed at our disposal tremendous depths of learning. Knowledge, in terms of technology, has increased, but at the same time, we are going backwards when it comes to knowledge about human behavior. What is the explanation for this?

Much of the blame for this deterioration in the knowledge of ethics must be placed on the public schools where more and more children are being taught to hate America. They are being taught moral relativism. That is, that in terms of human behavior, there is no absolute truth. They leave it up to us to decide what is right and wrong. That means that what is right for me may not be right for you. That leaves people with double speak, and they say, “the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.”

Obviously it isn’t working. It’s time for us to get back to what Christians have always believed. There are absolute moral standards. If someone tells a lie, he is guilty of immoral behavior. When someone goes to court he is asked if he will swear to tell the truth, the absolute truth, and nothing but the truth. If he says “yes” to that question and tells a lie, he needs to be sentenced for it. There are also standards in other moral issues. There can be no law and order if these standards aren’t absolute.

Micah 6:8 says, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” It is our duty before God and our fellow men to do justly. God’s Word clearly tells us what is just and good. We will never see peace and prosperity again unless we get back to that.

We need to vote intelligently. That means we need to be informed about the candidates before we go to the polls. You aren’t ready to vote if you just go and vote for the candidates running under the political party of your choice. Over the years political parties have changed. They may no longer adhere to the same standards they had when your parents and grandparents voted. Often there are more than one in a political party that is running for the same office. Sometimes those who are holding an office need to be voted out and replaced by someone more competent. Without having good government, we won’t have peace and prosperity. We won’t have good government unless we vote smart. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

There are candidates running for office in the federal government who are advocates of a form of government that would take from us the privilege of voting. If you are a homeowner, it would also take that privilege away from you. They don’t tell you these things. They just tell you all the things you will get free. It is called socialism. It brings everyone to the same level of poverty.

In the Old Testament we read of how the prophets of God plead with God’s people to make the right choices. They begged the people to have the right relationship with God. In the past, when their ancestors were in the right relationship with God, they had victory over their enemies. They could cite the exciting story found in Joshua chapter six. It tells how God’s army marched around the city of Jericho once a day for six days. On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times. When the priests blew their trumpets the walls of the city fell, and the army went in and captured the city.

Later, when the people fell away from the Lord, they lost the power they once had. Wicked nations began to have power over them. In Joshua 24:15 we hear Joshua pleading with his people saying, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

If you vote right, you will be doing your part in helping our country return to the prosperity we once knew. In the past, our forefathers didn’t know what it was to see thousands of homeless people camping out in the streets of the cities. No one received welfare checks from the government, but no one starved to death. They all worked hard and provided for their needs. The majority had enough respect for God that they obeyed the moral laws we find in the Bible. There were still people in prisons, but not as many as there are today. If we return to those days, we will not only live right, we will also vote right.

Please, please, when you go to the polls, vote smart. Get your news from a reliable source. Think about what is best for your country. If you don’t vote smart, you will have to pay the consequences. All the rest of us will suffer with you. Vote with those of us who want to make America great again.

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Your Duty To Your Spouse In a Care Facility

By Russell George

Senior citizens sometimes come to a time in their life when their spouse is suffering from physical or mental problems that are so overwhelming that they can no longer care for them. The best solution may be to put him or her in a long-term-care-center. It is a difficult thing to which they both must adjust. This article was written to help you if you find yourself in that situation. My only qualification for writing this article is that I have had to deal with it because my wife has been in a care center for nearly three years.

With all trials, there is a right and wrong way to respond to them. The wrong way is to run from them. A man may say, “My wife can’t do anything for me anymore. It’s depressing to see her the way she is so I just won’t go to see her any more.” If it’s a wife facing the situation with her husband she may say, “There isn’t anything my husband can do for me anymore. Every time I go to see him he says something that embarrasses me. I think I’ll just leave him in the care of those at the care center and not go to see him anymore.”

Now let’s think of some positive ways to respond. If you love your spouse, you won’t abandon him or her. If you are a genuine Christian, you will no doubt remember that on your wedding day you made a public commitment to “love and to hold your spouse till death do us part.” You can’t go back on that promise.

It’s a terrible thing to be abandoned by the one you have loved over the years. It’s not their fault that they are where they are now. They need your love now more than they ever needed it. The least you can do is go and show them compassion and let them know that you care.

Christian couples are fortunate in that, in times like these, they can call upon the Lord for strength to endure. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” I have often told my wife that I see no reason why we can’t replace the word “do” in that verse with the word “endure.” There is another promise we can claim in Philippians 4:19. It says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 2:3 tells us to

endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” My dear wife keeps claiming promises like these and finds strength to endure. Not only does she have dementia. She also has constant pain in various parts of her body. You too can claim these promises to enable you to stand by your spouse in his or her time of need.

We may not know why God calls upon some of us to endure hardness in the later years of our life. It gives us an opportunity to experience the truth of promises of God like Isaiah 41:10. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Don’t ever let Satan tempt you to think that God has forsaken you. He is with us through it all. If your mate is suffering, keep on encouraging him or her to claim and keep claiming the promises of God. We suffer with them. Great will be our reward in Heaven if we keep on trusting God until the end.

If you aren’t a child of God you can’t claim these promises of God. It’s still not too late to become a child of God. It’s just a matter of asking God to forgive you of your sin. He can do that because Christ died on the cross and took your penalty. If you become a child of God not only will he open the door to claim these promises of peace and the strength to endure the hard things you are going through, but he will also give you the assurance of a home in Heaven for all eternity. You need to make the decision to trust in Christ for salvation. Then, if your mate still has the mental capacity to understand, you can encourage him or her to make the same decision.

It’s never easy to lose our mates. We have done life together. We have shared the joys of life. We have upheld one another in times of trials. Some lose their mate suddenly. It might be as the result of an accident or a stroke. Others see the health of their mate deteriorate gradually over a period of weeks, months, even years. This article was written especially for those of you who are going through that experience with their mate.

Please, don’t abandon your mate when he or she has to be left in the hands of professional care givers in a care center. They need you now more than ever. Twice I have been a resident at a care center. Fortunately, both times it was just for recuperation after I was discharged from the hospital. When I arrived at the care center, I was so weak that I couldn’t even sit up in bed without help. Physical therapists helped me get my strength back and, after just a few days, I was able to walk out, go home, and care for myself. I can say, “I sat where they sit.”

The days are long and lonely for them. It’s a great consolation for them to know that someone cares enough to come and spend some time with them. It gives them consolation. You just need to put yourself where your mate is, and you will want to visit him or her as often as possible.

Please, for the love of God and the love of your mate, don’t abandon him or her when they have a special need that only you can meet. If we truly love our mate, nothing we do for him or her will be a sacrifice for us.

There is no copy write on this article. I don’t expect to get any remuneration from it. If some thank me because they have been helped by it, that will be sufficient remuneration.

Feel free to make copies of the article and give them to anyone you know that you think might be helped and encouraged by it.

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