Friday, October 19, 2018

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 28


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


#28

“Don’t Mess with the Anointed!”

I’ll never forget the elder who closed a church meeting with this simple prayer: “Lord, You have been clear.  If we obey You, things will always work out.  Thank You in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Amen!

That just about summarizes Biblical revelation of God’s existential and eternal care.

Obey God and be blessed by Him!

Or as we often sing, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”

Nahum explained, “God won’t tolerate anything that distracts from Him and will avenge and settle the score on behalf of His covenant people.  God will serve up justice…He cares for those who search for protection in Him.”

Did you notice the warning to those who mess with God’s people?

“God will avenge and settle the score on behalf of His covenant people.”

It’s a promise that goes back to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you.  I will make your name great.  You will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you.  Whoever curses you, I will curse.”

Don’t mess with God’s people!

Mess with ‘em and you’re gonna pay sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end!

When anyone messes with God’s people, they are fighting with God.

Considering God being God, His people have always liked the odds of being on His side.

History does not lie.

Ultimately, anyone who has ever messed with God’s people have paid for it.

Pharoah?  Gone!

Egyptian Empire?  Gone!

Amalekites?  Gone!

Assyrians?  Gone!

Hittites?  Gone!

Chaldeans?  Gone!

Goliath?  Gone!

Philistines?  Gone!

Babylonians?  Gone!

Persian Empire?  Gone!

Greek Empire?  Gone!

Roman Empire?  Gone!

Byzantine Empire?  Gone!

Ottoman Turkish Empire?  Gone!

Hitler?  Gone!

Nazi Germany?  Gone!

Stalin?  Gone!

Soviet Empire?  Gone!

Who’s next?

Whoever messes with God’s anointed!

God loves His people!

God takes care of His people!

Sooner or later, usually sooner than later, and definitely in the end!

Nahum: “God will avenge and settle the score on behalf of His covenant people.”

If I were sitting in some government think tank in Iran, Egypt, Russia, or even the good old U.S.A., I would think twice and take a long look at history before I moved against the people of Israel.

Yogi said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

From Genesis through Revelation and ever since, God’s people end up in first place when the final standings are posted.

That’s the Biblical assurance and historical reality for people who have enough wisdom to go with the knowledge that nobody beats God in the end.

Psalm 28 outlines the good news.

Believers call on God and God saves.

Under assault from all directions as is always the case when you wake up, look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus by the book, David turned to the only One capable of saving here and now and forever: “Lord, I call to You.  If You remain silent, I’m done.  They are after me because I am for You.”

Believers like David know God will come through for them: “May the Lord be praised.  He hears our pleading.  The Lord is our strength and shield.  We trust Him because He always delivers.”

Believers like David know the greatest punch-line in history that is His story: “The Lord is our strength.  He is the stronghold of salvation for His anointed.”

Creation.

Exodus.

Outnumbered yet victorious throughout His story.

No matter the size of the Goliath.

Not even crucifixion.

Empty tomb.

Nota bene!

Be mindful and careful and warned pewsitters and pulpiteers.

Be mindful and careful and warned parents.

Be mindful and careful and warned teachers and school board.

Be mindful and careful and warned media and entertainment.

Be mindful and careful and warned mayors and representatives and senators and judges and presidents.

Be mindful and careful and warned all nations.

If you keep on keepin’ on undermining Jesus by the book and insulting and injuring God’s people, you are offending their/the Father.

Psalm 28 along with the entirety of Biblical revelation and His story have warned you: “Don’t mess with God’s people!”

Believers will always experience comforting anticipation in this undeniable and ultimate reality.

As for those who keep messing with the anointed, I wouldn’t place any bets on ‘em in Vegas.



@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!


Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


@#$%


Monday, October 15, 2018

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 27


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


#27

“Why We Are Not Afraid”

Rocky Marciano was heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1952-1956.

Amazingly, he never lost (49-0).

Unprecedented.

Never repeated.

No other boxer in history has ever hung up the gloves undefeated.

It just doesn’t happen.

We would be hard-pressed to come up with any other athlete or team that never lost.

Not even the Yankees win every World Series!

While some cheeseheads won’t admit it, even Vince Lombardi lost some big games.

All athletes and teams lose.

It’s a fact.

Winning streaks end.

History shows every civilization rises, peaks, declines, and disappears.

Previously popular television shows lose ratings and go off the air.

Polls go up then down then out.

Nobody has ever remained on top of the charts.

Everybody and everything seem to have an expiration date.

The fear of losing is real because losing is inevitable.

David understood all about that kinda fear.

Though conscious of being chosen by God to become the greatest king in the history of Israel with a life story and writings taking up a big chunk of the Bible, so many of his psalms include personal struggles with fear of mentor Saul, son Absalom, and so many of the world’s evil Goliaths who lived to take him down.

David was a marked man; looking over his shoulder for the next assassin.

Though your guess is as good as mine as to which particular set of fear-filled moments provoked Psalm 27, it was true to many periods in his life.

It is true to many periods in our lives when fear grips the gut.

Psalm 27 is David’s acknowledgment of personal fear and the only way to overcome it.

Surviving victor David explains why believers are not afraid of those dark nights of the soul when evil enemies prowl.

Believers know God guarantees being at the top of the final standings: “The Lord is my light and salvation.  Why should I be afraid of anyone?  With God on my side, I’m fearless.”

Believers are confident in God’s guiding, providing, and protecting: “I am confident in God’s care.  When evildoers have assailed me, God has always taken care of me…When all hell breaks loose – when evil hordes ride down ready to eat me alive – I’m calm collected, and cool.  God is my safe place.”

Believers know the safest place in life and eternity is at God’s side: “I want only one thing from God.  I really desire only one thing.  I want to be close to Him.  I want to dwell in His house.  Better is one day with Him than thousands elsewhere…’Oh, baby, it’s a wild world; and the only quiet, secure, and safe place is with God.’”

Intimate with God, believers thrive triumphantly amid the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the world: “I am certain that I will see God’s goodness in time as well as eternity.  That’s why I say, ‘Wait for the Lord!  Stay with God!  Hang on to Him!  That’s the only way to the confident courage to overcome fear.’”

You may remember how President Franklin D. Roosevelt said at his inaugural address on March 4, 1933, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Thoreau wrote in his journal on September 7, 1851, “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.”

Without God, that fear is daunting to paralyzing to defeating; evoking the kind of weak and dread-filled hysteria of Bluto’s frat brothers in Animal House, “Oh, Bluto, we’re so afraid!”

Without God, we’re afraid of the Russians, Islamofascistnutball savages, IRS, NSA, FBI, DNC, GOP, and anyone else trying to take away our freedoms.

Pero with God like David in Psalm 27, we function through the firefights, face enemies unafraid, and refuse to surrender to fear.

With God, we join the apostle John to say with confident courage, “We are from God and we conquer evil because the One who is in us is greater than the evil and its source who are in the world…There is no fear in love!  God is love!  God loves us!  We love God!  No fear!”

You’ve probably heard it this way: “I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand!…I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future!”

I’m reminded of a little book that I like to read to children around Halloween: Let’s Shine Jesus’ Light on Halloween.

Here are some faith-filled excerpts: “On Halloween I might see black cats, pointy hats, and creepy flying bats…But God’s power is the reason I don’t have to be afraid…Halloween is jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and candy on a dark and spooky night…But Jesus is the light of the world.”

It ends with his prayer: “Dear God, Even though Halloween is a lot of fun, sometimes it can be a little scary, too.  I’m glad that Jesus is the light of the world.  Thank you for always watching over me so I don’t have to be afraid.  Amen.”

David sang, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Why should I be afraid of anyone? With God on my side, I’m fearless.”

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.  If you follow Me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
That’s why we’re not afraid of the dark.

God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is our guiding, providing, and protecting light.



@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!


Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Make America Godly Again #2

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Psalm 91

Matthew 10

Sons of Zadok Beruf

No matter who, what, where, when, why...Remnant.  "I will not let them profane My holy name anymore." Make America Godly Again!!!

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Blessings and Love!

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Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Make America Godly Again #1

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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Psalm 91

Matthew 10

Sons of Zadok Beruf

Except for Israel that keeps blowing it, no nation in history has been more conscious of being under Him...remnant remains...Make America Godly Again!

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Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!


Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Listening to Dr. Ford


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

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    While I don't consider myself to be an expert in anything, I have spent almost 45 years listening to people as a pastor, police chaplain, and professor.

    Some may contend with me on this pero I listen very, very, very carefully and connect dots.

    You name it, I've heard about it over long hours of care punctuated by prayer.

    Before mentioning what I'm sensing about Dr. Ford, I've got a few predictions related to the Supreme Court.

    Though I may be wrong and have usually been wrong about political stuff since picking McGovern back in 1972, I do not believe Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court.

    If there is a blue wave on November 6, there will be 8 judges on the Supreme Court until 2020.

    If there is a red wave on November 6, the left will be really, really, really sorry that they Borked Brett.

    Getting back to Dr. Ford, I have cared for many women like her over the years.

    One thing about her testimony really caught my attention.

    She kept referring to Kavanaugh as Brett.

    Not Kavanaugh, Judge Kavanaugh, Mr. Kavanaugh, or that man, beast, or...

    No.

    Brett.

    Not only did she refer to him in the familiar rather than formal, there was a softness almost wistfulness absent of antagonism whenever she used his name.

    Whenever I have cared for women who have been abused by men, I have never heard such soft familiarity.

    Usually, appellations have been harsh to hateful with no hint of deference and certainly no suggestion of affection.

    Admittedly, that has sparked some Shakespearean suspicions about the true relationship between the two that only they know for sure.

    Still, as I listened to Dr. Ford and felt sorry for both of them being caught up in this sadly pathetic political drama as the new normal in Jerry Springer nation, I wondered what Brett really means to her.

    I'm not saying I know.

    Again, I'm not an expert in anything.

    All I don't know is to look deeper than the hands if you've got a problem with your watch.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!


Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


@#$%


Monday, October 1, 2018

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 26

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



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Scratching the Surface of the Psalms

#26

“God Knows”

          Ever hear of Dr. Ford?

          She’s famous because of Judge Kavanaugh.

          Ever hear of Maria Reynolds?

          If it weren’t for her, Alexander Hamilton may have become President.

          When paging through history, there seems to be many women who became really famous because of many famous men for the wrong reasons and their names will always be linked.

          Bathsheba, Marilyn, Anita, Monica, and Stormy will be on the tip of the tongues of Jerry Springer nation whenever names like David, JFK, Judge Thomas, President Clinton, and President Trump are invoked.

          That’s the very, very, very short list.

          Deep down - let’s admit it - too many Americans like dirt.

          We roll around in it whether it’s a sleazy tabloid or raunchy television talk show or social networking posting.

          Deeper down - though we try not to admit it - too many Americans really like it; and among the reasons is some people feel really good about what’s really rotten in the lives of others.

          More than misery liking company, some people really like bad things happening to other people because it makes them feel…something…not remotely related to Jesus.

          Somebody’s paying for those papers, links, cables, commercials, and other channeling cesspools proving there’s nothing original about sin.

          Getting back to Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, somebody’s lying.

          I know that’s a harsh word.

          Pero, uh, whoever’s not telling the truth is, uh, lying.

          One of them is breaking the 9th.

          While Joy and Sean claim to know who’s telling the truth along with the most despicable collective cast of elected dolts in American history – Talk about a swamp! – most reasonable people wouldn’t bet the farm on either.

          Pero, again, one of ‘em is lying.

          One of ‘em is telling such a whopper that the other’s life will be permanently tainted and possibly ruined.

          Thank God that never happens In churches.

          I’m not sure sarcasm is a gift of the Holy Spirit buuuuuuut, sometimes, it helps to make the point in a humorous way; or as I often told homiletics students, “Get ‘em laughing and then stick in the double-edged knife of truth.”

          Anyway, a doubles tennis tournament many years ago comes to mind.

          It was a friendly club tournament; and in the first rounds, the calls were made by the players.

          You know, an honors system.

          Well, I hit an ace right down the middle on the line and one of the guys on the other side yelled, “Out!”

          I started running toward the net in a Christian kinda way to argue the call but my partner stopped me, calmed me, and whispered into my ear, “God knows.”

          God knows who is telling the truth and who is not.

          Alexander Hamilton, David, and many other believers have told the truth when caught with their pants down.

          Others have not.

          Others have lied.

          Some accusers are liars.

          Some defendants are liars.

          One of the painful things that I’ve learned over the years is people lie when the truth doesn’t help them to get what they don’t deserve.

          Thank God that never happens in Springfield, DC, newspapers, talk shows, or, uh, gulp, sigh, geez…churches.

          Sarcasm can be salty after that first humorous lick.

          And while some folks like Joy and Sean and the swamp-dwellers in DC and their kin in entertainment, education, ecclesiastics, and fakes news from left and right pontificate on their discernments for social, political, and personal advantages, no one except God really, really, really knows.

          That’s a big part of Psalm 26.

          While we can only speculate on the particulars, David is really, really, really bummed out by false accusations against him: “Clear my name, God!  They’re saying I hang out with hypocrites, evildoers, tricksters, thugs, gangsters, and double-dealers.”

          Reminiscent of Psalm 17, David appeals to the better parts of his character or those times when he hasn’t been a jerk: “Examine me.  You know I’ve always been on Your side.  I’ve done my best to be Yours in all things at all times in all places with all people.  I’m washed up.  I’ve cleaned up.  I’m not on the dark side.”

          Knowing God knows and will vindicate him in the end while knowing he’s still gonna catch anything but heaven in time because people have been lying since the first family got kicked out of the garden, David concludes, as one of our Sunday School classes on the corner of Lincoln and Main assures with a poster, “You Are Safe” with God and the truly, authentically, consistently, and not 9th-breaking Godly.

          With a stabilizing strength sadly spiced with the reality of living in a world filled with too many lying haters, David concludes there is really only One who provides a really serenely safe place: “Lord, I love the house where You dwell, the place where Your glory dwells.  I love life with You.  Yours is the real safe house.

          I think that’s why the risen Lord told John the Revelator that God is worshipped 24/7/365 in heaven.

          It’s heavenly to be safe.

          It’s heavenly when the lies and other bad stuff of time end.

          Believers know that’s why we are at His best in worship.

          That’s why people who worship are strong, calm, safe, and secure in a world that’s increasingly maddening.

          Truth is everything’s been going to everywhere but heaven since the garden.

          It’s been downhill ever since God created the “good” and we turned it into less than His best intentions.

          The good news in our world of so much bad news is we can still be safely loved by taking His extended hand and walking with Him from here to eternity.

          That’s when the good outweighs the bad in time as the preface to the good having no room for the bad in heaven.

          The only way to overcome the meantime when people are lying and hitting and hurting so savagely is to hang with God.

          That’s David’s urging in this psalm.

          Hang with God or get hung up by the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the modern world.

          Or as some of our friends say so aptly, “Let go and let God!…Do your best and leave the rest to God!”

          Or as preaching professor Bert Atwood urged seminarians so many years ago, “Trust Jesus and, in everything else, hang loose!”

          God knows.

          God knows who’s not lying.

          God knows who’s on His side.

          Seeing that big picture doesn’t ease all of the pain.

          Just ask Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, Maria, Alexander, David, Bathsheba, Anita, Clarence, Bill, Monica, Donald, Stormy,…you…me…everyone.

          Yet seeing the big picture – God knowing and guaranteeing the wiping away of every tear and pain and disappointment of life in the end – provides a strength, calm, sanity, and irrepressible optimism of inevitable victory.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


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