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A Roman Tribune plays the role of Columbo in the most famous game of “CLUE” known to the world, called – “Where’s the body?”

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We all know the story of the empty tomb – the excited women – the missing “Messiah”. That is – we all know it from that side of the tomb.

But, what was it like from the other side? The Roman side of an empty grave? The tomb that was sealed with the Roman Governor’s seal and guarded with Roman soldiers?

‘RISEN’ has taken up the challenge in resolving the mystery.

“I’m yet sticky with filth.”  

Thus said the Tribune Clavius when summoned to Pontius Pilate. And thus sets our understanding of Clavius’s soul – ‘yet sticky with filth’.

Clavius, a role portrayed with depth and sensitivity by Joseph Fiennes, is accustomed to brutality, bloody combat and death, but not without a price. He is drained, depleted, battle weary and emotionally dead. In the opening battle scene, he brutally kills a Jewish rebel leader, named Barabbas.  (“Barabbas”? Is that coincidental or is that God’s way of evening up the score?) The constant gore and butchery of quelling those pesky Jewish insurrections in a remote, desolate land far from the ‘action’ of Rome, has taken its toll, robbing him of hope and peace, leaving him numb and yearning for nothing more than…

“…a day without death.”  

Upon returning to the Antonio Fortress, (interestingly placed below the old city of Jerusalem), his day isn’t quite over yet.  He is summoned by the Governor, something that happens all too often. It seems Pilate “has a situation and he needs Clavius to tidy up the loose ends. Those “raving Jews wanted a man named Yeshua, who claimed to be the “messiah” disposed of.

“I had to crucify him,” Pilate says almost regrettably, (a sentiment one finds hard to accept knowing the history of this brutal dictator who crucified and slaughtered thousands).

Clavius ensures that Yeshua is dead and securely buried in a sealed tomb with Roman guards posted.

End of story – right?

No – of course not – it’s only the beginning. The inevitable happens – the body doesn’t remain in the tomb.

Let the games begin – after all – we can’t have dead people walking about – can we?

56c5f51411ca7.image“We must find the body,” Pilate raves. Find the corpse of this cursed Yeshua before it rots.”

Exploded frayed ropes – two anemic looking drunken guards – discarded, bloody grave clothes – a stone tossed aside – lies and bribes from the Sanhedrin – all lead to …nothing…no body.

Does Clavius ever find his missing body?   Oh yes – with a little twisting of the arm and a bag of coins, Yeshua’s disciples are found. And they did, in fact, have the body with them.

Only – the body isn’t dead, but is very much alive, and in a scene straight out of The Twilight Zone, this hardened Roman warrior melts into the stone wall as he encounters the true power of God in the flesh. This moment just happens to coincide with the arrival of ‘doubting’ Thomas. While he probes the wounds in the wrists and side of the Messiah, the eyes of a smiling Yeshua probe deep into the soul of the Tribune.

What do you do when you encounter the impossible? He does the only thing he can do – he follows the walking dead man. In this case it means following the followers of Yeshua, like a stray, lost dog; finding acceptance among them, and ultimately – friendship.

When finally he is alone with the murdered, living man, Yeshua asks him what he seeks in life, and then answers his own question: 

“A day with no death?”

Clavius leaves all behind – to travel a new road – to places we know not of – but with a new found peace, after witnessing the ascension of Jesus and hearing His great commission.

We are set up for a sequel – as we know not where Clavius is going or what roads lie ahead for him.

‘Risen’ is excellent historical fiction that intertwines Biblical scripture with “what might have been”.  The historical is historical and the fiction is fiction – and in those scenes where the two intermix, the purity of the Scriptures was not compromised. One area where liberties were taken, was the reference to Mary Magdalene being a quite popular “woman of the streets”.  This was based on church tradition and finds no merit in Scripture.

file_607174_risen-trailerThe battle scene, Roman soldier dress, weapons and warfare was as realistic as ever shown, and Jewish culture along with Sanhedrin attire and demeanors were portrayed as accurately as history tells us.

The portrayal of crucifixions reflected the known information of such executions.

Jesus is shown smiling, laughing and gracious. He is a miracle worker and His disciples love Him as their father and leader. When Bartholomew (who would have fit right in on a California beach as a surfer dude) is threatened with crucifixion himself, he spreads open his arms and laughingly replies: “I would happily submit”.

Clavius sums it all up by leaving his life behind, saying “I believe. I can never be the same.”

‘Risen’ does something the previous stories of Jesus failed to do: it makes the non-believer pause and think about the resurrection from an outsider perspective. It’s not the usual scenes of blinding lights and rolling thunder with the women running about in alarm. No, rather it presents a barren, empty tomb and proceeds to answer the question that Pontius Pilate asked:

“How could he follow a Hebrew?”

Watching Clavius undergo a life-altering transformation, leads us to one answer – the one that Lucius, Clavius’s protégé, hesitantly offers to Pilate:

“Perhaps it is true.”

Amen – brother – Amen.

header 3                            Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

 

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 It’s the time of Thanksgiving! 

and 

 We are THANKFUL

Thanksgiving should be a special event, one of the most special events of our year.

But for many it’s been reduced to eating turkey, watching football games  and ‘black’ Friday (or is it Thursday and Wednesday or the entire month now?)

Thanksgiving should be much more than food, football and shopping. But  then, that was how it started – right?
A legal day of food, football and shopping by an act of Congress –  wasn’t it?

Everyone knows the story of the 1st Thanksgiving…the Pilgrims…starvation… the Native Americans… salvation.

Today it’s popular to belittle that event – that time – and those extraordinary   times and people. Some would like to claim it never happened.

 But there was a man who believed it did happen.

October 3, 1789 was an especially cold day, when the country’s newly elected  President, a man by the name of George Washington, stood in the new nation’s  capital of New York City, and issued a Proclamation of Thanksgiving.

    

I wonder how many Americans have ever read it.

Have you? Want to?
Here – take a look…

He proclaimed a national day of food – football and shopping for everyone to applaud their good fortune and self-indulgence of material things…

…not.

Actually, it says some pretty amazing things, like:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of  Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly   to implore his protection and favor…” 
And
“… to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and  prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many  signal favors of Almighty God…”
And
“… I assign Thursday the 26th. Day of November next to be devoted by  the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious  Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or  that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our   sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country…”
And
“…And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our                 prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations              and beseech him to pardon our national and other                       transgressions…”

Wow! So much for separation of church and state. I wonder how  many schools teach this.

Almost a hundred years later, in 1864, another President thought that having a day set aside for food, football and shopping was so  important he made it into an annual National Holiday.
Take a look at what Abraham Lincoln said about it:

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year,  defending us with His guardian care…”
And
“…It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens  in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the  rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to  use new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry with abundant rewards…”
And
“…Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do  hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day  which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may  then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the                             beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe…”
And – here where the shopping cart comes in…
“… And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on  that occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for a return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.”

These are the words of our Presidents – Our Leaders! It would do us well today to listen.

Now – am I some kind of miserable, scrooge – being negative and having somekind of hatred against football – shopping and ‘black Friday’?

No No No

Let it not be said!

I love football (yes I’m a Buffalo Bills fan)

Shopping is good – Greed is bad.

Do you know what’s the unspoken secret of  Thankfulness?

Thankfulness is not one-directional. It’s not only a ‘giving’ event –    it’s as much if not more of a receiving event. It’s a benefit to those  who are thankful. 

Giving thanks transforms us. By nature we like to complain.            Whining and griping comes naturally – but are unproductive and         unattractive. Expressing gratitude is attractive and productive. Giving  thanks transforms us from complainers into people of                gratitude. 

Giving thanks changes our perspective about the Creator-creature relationship. It causes us to acknowledge that God is the source of every  good thing. When we thank God, we have to realize that our health, our  family, our food, our shelter, our job, our talents – any abundance we  may have – come from Him.

Giving thanks teaches us grace. It’s human nature to take credit for  our accomplishments. Thankfulness teaches us that we have not earned  anything – all we do is by the Lord’s grace. Each gift, whether it’s a job  or a friend or family, or place to live or a freedom we enjoy or a spiritual  blessing we have received, shows the grace of God.

Giving thanks humbles us. We walk through life selfish and self-absorbed.   We are proud and self-centered. We think we deserve a lot. The world owes  us. When we are truly thankful, we see we have much more than we  deserve.  Pride fades when we understand that every good thing comes  from God. Thankful people are humble people – for they know they can  do nothing on their own.

It’s easy to give thanks when things are going well.It’s harder when  things are not going so well. We want to come to the place where we  can give thanks for all things.

After suffering numerous “bad” things – Joseph said                            “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”

Paul said, all things work together for good for those who love God.

I am “Thankful” to the Pilgrims – and to President George       Washington and to President Abraham Lincoln –  thankful for the ‘commitment’ they made.

There is so so much we have to be thankful for – I’m not even going to attempt to start naming them – the list is way, way too long.

Actually, Thanksgiving should be a time of commitment renewal and  strengthening.

Thanksgiving should be an occasion to remind us of our commitments  and to strengthen those commitments. Lacking that – it’s little more than spending time with family and shopping.

“Commitment.” you say?  “Commitment to what?”

Commitment to those things for which we’re thankful.

Things like life – liberty – family – food in our stomachs – a roof over our heads – a pillow – a bed – friends and loved ones.

I am thankful.

Thankful to God for His Goodness and Blessings.

Thankful for the ‘Light’ He brought into the darkness. 

And no matter what happens in this world – I will always be thankful that God remains in control.

Always giving thanks for all  things (Ephesians 5:20).

Let us never forget those who simply have nothing – to be thankful for.

Those millions upon millions of helpless victims of darkness and inhuman treatment by their fellow man.

Those countless children born into misery – born into death – having no hope for joy in life.

We must never forget them –   for they only have –                           those who remember.

It is only through our compassion and love that we bring joy to others and also find that inner joy that comes with bringing joy to others.

                                       Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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I don’t write about politics – it’s not my thing and basically I don’t really like it or politicians.

But, this time I can’t sit back and bite my lip – my teeth are grinding on one another!

Last night, I watched on the news as the world “rejoiced” that a great “never before” – “first-time” negotiations had concluded with a “deal” with Iran.

Hmmmm- let’s see if I have this right:

Iran will “halt” “part” of its nuclear development program and in exchange we’ll lift our sanctions against it and provide humanitarian relief.

Now, the press can goggle and salivatate all they want over this, but does anyone honestly believe Iran is going to halt development of their nuclear program? They have continually and openly defied the world on this subject from day one – and lying about it is right out of their playbook. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows better. Iran has openly and blatently worked with North Korea on this and our own intelligence has reported what their true aim is. But we hide our heads in the sand and pretend.

But – that’s not my issue with this.

There is an innocent American citizen who has been held prisoner in the worse Iranian prison for over a year. They want to keep him there for another 7 years.

I said “AN AMERICAN CITIZEN”!!

He has been tortured, beat, deprived of medical help and medicine, and treated less than an animal – and for no other reason than that he refuses to denounce his faith – Christianity. That’s it! No – he wasn’t preaching on the street corners – he wasn’t out defying their government. In fact, he was there supporting their orphanages. You know – the children suffering from their abusive beliefs and hatreds!

Yes – the same people we know agreed to send “humanitarian” aid to!

Hundreds of thousands of people have written and requested Iran to release him. Their response? They moved  him to a worse prison that has a legacy of death and coming out in a box.

I have two questions for both – the politicians who “negotiated” this earth-shattering deal and for the press that slobbers all over it and over those politicians:

First – WHY WASN’T THE RELEASE OF PASTOR SAEED ABEDINI EITHER A PRECONDITION TO SITTING DOWN WITH THEM OR AT LEAST A PART OF THE AGREEMENT?

Second – WHY IS THE UNITED STATES SITTING AT A TABLE TO NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS THAT ARE HOLDING AMERICAN CITIZENS IN A TORTUROUS PRISON?

It is unconsciousable that our government held these negotiations without demanding the release of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen! Why wasn’t his release a precondition for us to even sit down with them to negotiate?

Instead – we’re going to relax sanctions and providing humanitarian relief.

“Humanitarian relief”!

Are we living in Disneyland?

Have the politicians and the press forgotten that Iran has been in a state of armed conflict against the U.S. for decades? It is common knowledge – stated by these same politicians and reporters – that Iran has killed Americans directly and supported every terrorist group, country and cause against America and is the main supplier of arms to jihadist terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They kill Americans.

They want all Americans dead. That’s not me saying that – they say it themselves – with a smile on their face.

They hold American citizens in hell-hole prisons for no reason other than they don’t agree with them. And we negotiate with them – give them aid – and “humanitarian relief”! Tell me – how do we make a deal with people who are torturing our citizens?

Yes Virginia – there is a Santa Claus.

He lives in the White House and he negotiates with terrorists, but he doesn’t give gifts of freedom to all equally.

One man – a husband – a father – a pastor – sits in prison – won’t see Christmas – or his family – or his country. He’s held captive by the Grinch who Stole his Christmas – while the world applauds the Grinch and takes pictures of the Grinch shaking Santa’s hand.

Strange – how this President can care so much about certain Americans and so little about other Americans. I’ve seen a number of presidents in my time and I don’t recall them being so selective about who they champion or not.

Stranger still – is how the American press can so totally work the country into a frenzy about some isolated criminal incident and so totally ignore Americans being killed, tortured and forsaken by the same people we honor and heap “humanitarian relief” on.

We all need to pray for Pastor Saeed – because our prayers are the only support he’s getting.

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The war rages on and on…

…battle lines are drawn…blood is spilled…

On the one hand are the science followers who believe in theories of time-based creation and evolution, ignoring basic foundations and the lack of supporting evidence. (In fact, there are two separate schools of science ‘religion’. One requires billions of years for things to occur, while the other requires only thousands.) Science argues with science and both argue with faith.

On the other hand are the Bible fundalmentalists who insist upon a simple 7-day creation and ignore any legitimate evidence that challengenes their interpretation of it.

Arm Wrestling

And both sides ignore the facts of history in front of them. For example, as the world was emerging from the stone age, the Great Pyramids were already thousands of years old, constructed with a curvature that exactly matches the earth and laid out to duplicate the Milky Way 10,500 years ago. How was this done?  Who did this? Who knew the world was round? It wouldn’t be proven until thousands of years later. Who knew about a Milky Way and why duplicate it in the desert? How were they built by primitive people to stand for thousands of years, when they can’t be duplicated with today’s technology and engineering? Is there a connection between them and our existence?

sphinxgreatpyramidegypt

They have no answers, but do these questions stop them? No. Both sides ignore these things, rationalize them away and continue to persist in their own dogmatic, preconceived beliefs, spending their energy on calling each other names.

The dogma that scientists follow in uncovering pre-history is as stated by J.V.N. Talmage,  “The archaeological finds of pre-historic cultural objects must be so arranged that the cruder industries must always be dated earlier than those of a more advance type, regardless of where they are found.”

Uh -oh! Doesn’t it wrinkle the old parchment now when “very advanced” civilizations are discovered – beneath the layers of prehistoric civilizations! Whups – let’s just ignore that civilization.

The conventional theories of science are problematic in that they offer wild theories and guesses without proof or logic. A ‘spark’ caused a ‘big bang’ to occur, somehow and at some time that in someway started everything in motion.  No one knows when, how or from where that initial ‘spark’ came from and theories come and go like idols in Hollywood.

Species evolved from nothing and then cross evolved somehow, although there is no evidence of this. There is no fossil evidence of evolution between species. Yet the world believes it without question. (Actually, new findings tend to disprove cross-species evolution.) The proof of ‘macro-evolution’ is not forthcoming. The proof of evolution is ‘micro-evolution’ – changes within a species –  and that’s adaptation. As new discoveries are made and new facts come to light, the timelines get re-juggled and fossil histories are rearranged to fit into the already preconceived ideas and theories.

On one hand, there is much evidence of the universe being millions or even billions of years old, even given the flaws and distortions of carbon dating methods. But religious fundamentalists refuse to consider this and only generate discord, dissent with a spew of useless words defending their position and condemning the person presenting.

On the other hand there is no true evidence of life being that old, only of it being thousands of years old – a mere flicker in the hands of time.

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There is massive amounts of evidence to show early forms of ‘humanoid’ type of beings on earth, that predate 7000 years and the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. How is this reconciled? Biblical accounts themselves, leave open the idea and possibilities of other ‘people’ existing at the time of Adam and Eve. For example, Who did Cain marry? And who was Cain ‘fearful’ of? Who were the people of ‘Nod’? Rather than take an open and honest look at these things, fundamentalists dig in and conjure up a web of fantasy.

Are the ‘experts’ on either side, willing to step out of their strongholds and look at evidence openly and objectively? Apparently, not. Bible ‘scholars’ and scientists alike, are too busy defending their paradigms and calling one another names, rather than attempting to piece the puzzle together.  Both sides create their own puzzles and if a piece is in the wrong place – they’ll force it in and defend it to the death!

But, is science and the Bible really irreconcilable? Or could (should ?) there be agreement? If the Bible is the account of creation and God, and science is the understanding of creation – then shouldn’t science confirm and support the Biblical accounts?

Handshake

When Bible scholars ignore science, they become entrenched in their stories they speculate and go to ridiculous extremes to rationalize their faith and claims. They make science the enemy and turn the Bible into mythology.

When science tries to answer the questions without including God, then it becomes derogatory and condescending and becomes a religion of its own worshipping its own theories. It generates speculation – turns the speculation into theory and then worships its own theories. It makes religion the enemy and speculation becomes faith.

There should be no “enemy”.

We must always keep two things in mind.

First:  Science does not determine whether the Bible is true or not true.

The “latest” word in science has never been the “last” word in science.

The newest discovery or breakthrough, no matter how earth shattering will itself be refuted, revised or rejected when the next discovery or breakthrough comes out that “blows our mind”.  The thing that science does the best is to correct, disprove, and replace existing misunderstanding and misconceptions while generating new speculations. It’s good for disproving things but not very good at proving things. Over time, theories build upon theories and gradually a picture begins to form, but the picture is always fuzzy, distorted with many portions missing.  Science is an ongoing, work in progress – it is not an end product. 

Theories change every year. Currently the “Big Bang”, the “Oscillating” and the “Steady State” theories are in vogue. Every few years someone new comes along and throws out some new idea. But they all have one thing in common – they don’t know what, how, when or where the original “spark” came from.

spark-in-hand1

Science leaves a void – the big question of “Why?” No animals consider those questions – only humans. Why is that? There are four essential things that science cannot explain regardless of what theories it proposes:

                1. It cannot bridge the gulf between ‘nothing’ to ‘something’.

2. It cannot bridge the gulf between something and life.

3. It cannot bridge the gulf between life and humanity – self-conscious life with free will.

4. It cannot answer “Why”. Why is there life? Why did life begin? What’s the purpose of life?

So, it takes the easy way out and states, “Well, that’s not the job of science, that’s religion’s job.” Then they attack religion.

I beg to differ. Science is discovering and understanding the world and universe around us. Why and how that universe is there is precisely the goal of science and of humans.

Creation

Second: The Bible is not a science book. It’s not written or designed to explain the how’s and when’s of everything. The Biblical account of creation is not a scientific thesis. It is not designed to explain creation to us – it’s designed to tell us the story of salvation.

The problem with understanding the Bible is that we read it from a modern perspective with modern language, modern interpretations, modern understandings and modern scientific principles.  But, is that the way it was written? Were those the understandings of the writer? What was the writer’s perspective? How did his language express that perspective? What was the writer’s purpose? All scripture is given by God – but are all translations? Are all interpretations? Of course not – we’ve watched them change down through the centuries and now there are over 50 different translations and we watch as different groups clinging to different translations as being the only “perfect” one over all the others.

I believe to understand the creation account as given in Genesis – one must understand what it meant to the writer. To do that, one must research the original texts, how they were written, the language used, the time it was written and the purpose of the writings. I’m not sure we can do that, but Jewish scholars will be the most reliable sources.

In general, Biblical creation is based on faith.

In general, scientific theory is based on speculation.

With the inability of science to prove its theories, science speculation is becoming increasingly based on faith.

If we say that the initial “spark” of life or existence came from God, it’s ridiculed. But, is that any more mythical than the scientific theories of creation? Think that’s hard to believe and accept? Well then try believing and accepting that somehow, someway and at some time a live cell, a little amoeba (that no one knows where it came from or how it came to be in existence) crawled out of a sea (that no one knows where it came from or how it came to be) unto land (that no one knows where it came from or how it came to be) and transformed itself into a tadpole – into a bird – into a dinosaur – into a primate, into a human – all by the simple magic of ‘time‘, even though there is no proof or evidence of such changes ever occurring. And, of course, everything had to be just perfect for all this to happen, temperatures, air, water, nutrition, etc. and we don’t know where all that came from or how it’s controlled either;  and of course they had to survive these changes, even though it’s impossible to exist without them; for all these things to have happened. But by saying the magic words  “given enough time abbra cadabbra kazaam! anything can happen, let it be so!”  And somehow it happened.

geological-time-spiral

That’s kind of out there, wouldn’t you say? I predict that, if the world lasts, it won’t be long before the theory of evolution will go the way of the dinosaur and all the current “experts” will be touting a new theory – one that they’ll all cling to as ‘gospel’, and one which will not include God. After all, that’s what the war is all about, isn’t it? You see, if we accept a creator, then we must accept an authority. That’s the part that really troubles men.

What if…

…the universe came into existence billions of years ago.

…but life (as we know it) only came into existence within the last 10000 years?

…Genesis 1:1 is a true account of creation…

…but it’s not the whole story?

…Genesis 1:2 – 2:3 is a real 24 hour, seven-day account of creation…

…but it’s not about the same creation…

…but rather a second creation?

What if there were two separate creations, one a long time ago and the other only a few thousand years ago – separated by millions or billions of years?

The issue between science and Bible is not which story of creation is right – the issue is what did God want to tell us in the story of creation? What’s its purpose?

Well – Light the torches…and stoke up the fires – let the witch burnings commence.

 

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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All my life I’ve had trouble with clocks…

…Trying to keep them running – wound up – on time – not stopping… seems like clocks and me… well…kinda like oil and water.

broken-clock

It’s been an ongoing battle. One I don’t think I’ve ever won for more than a few minutes (hmm… with out having a working clock I’m not sure how long actually…).

I tried the wind-up ones that I could never “wind-up” quite properly. They were always in need of winding or I was over-winding.

Electric? Every time I had one of them and set it right – there’d be a power failure.

Going digital didn’t help – I’d come home to a house full of flashing digits! Not only ‘clock – clocks’ – but television clocks – radio clocks – microwave oven clocks – dryer – washer clocks you know what I mean – you’ve been there.

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Going battery-powered didn’t help – clocks either ran slow or stopped, and I never had the right battery on hand. When I did…well changing the battery was usually the end of the watch…

Broken-Clock-320x220

I don’t know about you, but personally, I don’t like wristwatches – they always seemed confining and heavy (I know, I know – they only weigh a couple of ounces, but when you don’t want or like something – doesn’t it always get heavier and heavier?) They have those tiny little knurled knobs to pull out and spin around in your fingers making the hour and minute hands dance across the face (I always have trouble with those little knobs. They seem to get lost in my fat fingers all the time.) The digital ones weren’t any better – I don’t know about you but I need a pin to push those little buttons!) I use a watch that clips onto my pants. Yeah – same knurled knobs – but bigger. Have a hard time keeping them – I think my Dry Cleaner has a collection of them.

Anyway – trying to keep one working – and staying within +/- 24 hours of actual time – has been a losing battle for me.

Well the other day – I was given an…

ATOMIC CLOCK

You ever see one of this things?

There is a battery – but it’s charged by solar power – and there are no adjustment knobs – only one switch (a big one too!) on the back, that says “ON” and “OFF”. Hey I like this already!

Well – getting it home, I flipped that switch to “ON” and hung it on the wall.

WOW! It was something to watch (pun intended). 

At first it didn’t do anything.  Then it moved around in a half circle – stopped – moved backwards a quarter circle – then stopped again. I shrugged my shoulders and began walking away thinking “yeah, just like all the rest”, when I heard a whirring sound and turned back. The minute hand was moving around the face of the clock – fast – then faster and faster. The hour hand followed trying to catch up.

The darn thing is demon possessed!

It traveled around covering every hour of the day, until it came to the hour it was and the hour hand stopped like it hit a brick wall. The minute hand began slowing down, slower and slower until it ticked its way to the actual minute it was! (How do I know, you ask? Well, I turned on my trusty cell phone and -Yup! Right on the money!)

The giant, solar-powered computer in the sky was keeping it on track!

yhst-37697109791737_2270_138419586

Amazing.

I went around the house and set every clock to it.

“Okay, so what?” you say?

Well, I got to thinking – it’s kinda like me, isn’t it?

I try to keep myself powered up and adjusted to the place I think I should be, and I either ‘forget to wind’ myself, ‘overwind‘ myself, can’t manage those little knobs and buttons of my life and personality and end up broken. Inaccuratestalled – or experiencing a power failure, ending out of control, flashing mindlessly and useless to anyone needing me!

I found that I’m not good at being my own power source – can’t really wind my own controls or set myself.

But, by allowing the ‘solar-power’ in the sky to power me and to adjust me – spinning my hands around – clearing out all the inaccuracies in my heart and mind – until I’m powered up, accurate and running “like a clock”.

The Master Clock is in control and I get the proper instruction and after spinning my gears round and round, I run precisely and perfectly.

Amazing.

I just needed the right power source and the right master clock and I’m running in sync with life.

atomic-clock-02

Kinda feels cool to be in sync with the master clock – wouldn’t you think?  Give it a try – you may like it.

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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“This… is…

backs

“I want to welcome you all.  Joining us today on our panel, we have…

                …from our Nation’s Capital – Senator Puff N’ strut;

                …from the National Mis-Media Association we have Anchor person “I Tell it my Way”

                 …and our returning champion, straight from the heart of America, Prosperity Pastor, ‘Ain’t I Righteous!”

“Okay, let’s get started then.

jeeparty

For our first category, the answer is: 

“The one thing Syria, Iraq, Libya, Turkey, Pakistan, Eritea, Tanzania, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and many other countries throughout Africa and the Middle East, have in common.”

DING!

“Senator Puff N’ Strut rang in first.”

“Receiving billions of American dollars to support and promote corrupt, deceptive terrorist governments?”

“No, while that may be true Senator, that’s not the answer.”

DING!

“Anchor woman ‘I Tell it my Way’.”

“Oppressive governments overturned by democratic patriots spreading freedom.”

“I’m sorry but that’s not the right answer.”

Silence.

“Pastor ‘Ain’t I Righteous!’ did you want to ring in?”

Silence

“Would someone nudge Pastor Righteous  please?”

“Huh? What? Oh, sorry, was counting my blessings. Would you repeat the answer please?”

“The one thing Syria, Iraq, Libya, Turkey, Pakistan, Eritrea, Tanzania, Egypt, Kenya , Nigeria, and many other countries throughout Africa and the Middle East, have in common.”

“Oh yes! Hallaleulah! The question is: “Name countries we can gain funding for. Now you can donate on my website and I’ll send you a handkerchief dipped in the River Jordan and …”

 Well???  

Do you know what the question is?  Here, I’ll tell you:

“Where are  people,  having a common belief, being systematically killed or driven out of their homes, while the world looks the other way?”

– A Catholic priest was killed outside a church in Egypt.

– In the town of Arusha last May an attack left one person dead and 40 injured.

– The body of a Christian merchant was found decapitated in a cemetery.

– A Coptic Christian priest was shot by gunmen in an outdoor market.

– Muslim extremists in southern Egypt burned dozens of Christian homes and stabbed four believers to death.

– A suicide attack on a historic Christian church in northwestern Pakistan killed at least 75 people.

– Eritrean authorities arrested 39 high school students because of their faith in Christ. Morning Star News  reported that the students have been detained and suffer beatings. They face a long imprisonment unless they renounce Christ.

– An estimated 1,200 Christians, mostly Protestant, are currently incarcerated in Eritrea because of their faith.

– A brutal public murder of three Catholics in Syria, was attended by a cheering crowd.

– Muslims in southern Egypt killed two Christian men for failing to pay them money.

– A Christian Alawite girl was pulled off a public bus by armed jihadist and was beheaded in broad daylight.

– Muslim extremists in Somalia burned dozens of Christian homes, raping, stabbing and hacking to death those Christians who resisted fleeing.

– More than 130 churches have been burned and destroyed along with hundreds of people murdered by machetes in Egypt.

– In the Sinai, a young Coptic priest was shot dead, while the body of Magdy Lam‘i Habib, a Christian, was found mutilated and beheaded.

– In the town of Arusha an attack left one person dead and 40 injured.

– Al-Qaeda linked terrorists initiated one of the bloodiest church attacks in Baghdad with nearly 60 Christians hacked and slaughtered to death.

– In the recent mall attack in Kenya, Christians were signaled out and killed.

– Thousands of fathers, mothers, pastors and citizens are imprisoned, tortured and being brutally mistreated, because they won’t recant their faith.

The list goes on and on and on and…

…and the world – yawns.

The greatest persecution in history is occurring right this minute – right before the world’s eyes. Over 100 million Christians are being persecuted for their faith across the earth. Entire communities and villages are being erased off the map. Children are slaughtered in front of their parents or taken away to serve as ‘sex slaves’ for the very people doing the killing.

A global religious cleansing is underway, with the full support and blessings of religious and political leaders.  It has become difficult in the last few months to keep up with the attacks—so many and nonstop are the reports emanating from around the world. Grizzly stories of murders, rapes, and beheadings are increasingly appearing in the news.  It seems everywhere Christians and their churches are under attack.  As a result, ancient Christian communities are collapsing before our very eyes and the Christian population in the Middle East has shrunk from 20% in 2007 to 5% in 2012 – that’s a 75% decrease in population!

In the face of this humanitarian mega-crisis, the world has been shockingly silent.  

Don’t look to our panel for help.

Oh …Okay…if you insist…let’s look:

Let’s see, who was our first contestant? Right – Senator Puff N’Strut – government…right.

There was a time when our government – we the people – would stand up and say That’s enough! No more!  But, that time is not today. Actually, our government is part of the problem. Consider:

– The president supported the take-over by the (now ousted) Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt against the will of the majority of  Egyptians. Morsi’s misrule of Egypt included the persecution and execution of Christians, the collapse of the tourism industry, a government on the verge of bankruptcy, and a crackdown on democracy-promoting organizations.

– None of these conditions existed before the President helped force former Egyptian President Hosni  Mubarak out of office. Instead of using the over $1 billion in foreign aid the U.S. gives the country as leverage for improving conditions in Egypt, the President  handed the money (our money) over with no strings attached.

– Since then, not only have Egypt’s Christians and churches come under intense attack in ways unprecedented in modern history, but Al-Qaeda’s black flag has been raised on many of them.

– Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says the United States should stop funding the enemies of Christians  across the Middle East. Paul said  Christians in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Egypt are on the run and are being persecuted, and America should stop helping “the people who are chasing them.”

“There’s a war on Christianity not just from the liberal elites here at home, but worldwide,” he said. “And your government, or more correctly you, are having to pay for it. You’re being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant to Christians but openly hostile,” he charged. “Christians are imprisoned or threatened with death for their beliefs.”

“It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death for blasphemy against Islam, countries that put to death Muslims who convert to Christianity, and countries that imprison anyone who marries outside their religion. I say  no more money to countries that are doing that to Christians,” Paul said.

Hey! Maybe there is hope from the government after all!

– Defense officials announced that U.S. aid to Egypt would continue, with a delivery of F-16 fighter jets.

– President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have been pushing Congress to allow the United States to help the Syrian rebel movement, which includes al Qaeda terrorists.

– Christians are killed and churches are burned in Egypt; Christians are either killed or systematically driven out of the country in Syria, Turkey, Nigeria, Iraq, etc. etc., and the  President has decided the major humanitarian issue is homosexual rights in Russia.

– On NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” Jay Leno asked the President about the new Russian law. The president gave his sternest look —somewhere between the “al Qaeda is on the run” look and his “Iran will not be allowed to have nuclear weapons” look — and he said he has “no patience and will not tolerate countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”

Gee – I don’t recall any transgenders getting publicly beheaded. Wouldn’t it be neat if he was equally as impatient with countries that kill Christians?

– Next door in Syria, the President is planning to train and arm the rebels fighting Bashar Assad.   These are the rebel known for the public beheading of a Catholic priest and the burning Christian churches and Christians.

– Libya is another war-torn state that had the dubious benefit of the President’s  “leading from behind.”  You recall Libya right? There, our ambassador and three American heroes were murdered as part of the festivities in connection with a 9/11 anniversary celebration in Benghazi. Our leaders said it was because of a video. Not only was that not true – but who cares what the cause was – right?  Well, a year later the murderers are still, not only free but unidentified and there’s been so many lies and distortions that the President’s pledge to bring them to justice is as hollow as his Secretary of State’s denial of wrongdoing .

Meanwhile the killing and displacement of Christians continues without constraint.

Whoops! I guess there’s no help there.

Our second contestant is National Mis-Media Association’s, anchor person ‘I tell it my way’.

Do we need to even say anything?

The average joe citizen on the street has no knowledge of the things mentioned above.  You see, the press has already decided what’s important for the average joe to know, even before the news is made. Besides the average joe doesn’t want to know.

He’s too busy texting – playing Candy Crunch – getting high or watching his 401k.

What’s happening in America’s newsrooms is not a slippery slope – it’s an avalanche of misinformation. no information or useless information, while ignoring any and all the news of the world that is changing all around us and the average joe has his head buried in the sands of ‘self’. It’s a perpetual whirlpool, sucking the willing and unwilling alike down into an abyss of nothingness.

And that brings us to our third and final contestant – Prosperity Pastor, “Ain’t I righteous’.  

Surely, he cares and will stand up for his ‘brothers and sisters’ across the world. After all, there are thousands of churches and millions of ‘Christians’ spread across the country.

They love Jesus and Jesus was all about love of our fellow men – and these are his brothers and sisters – who better to care – right?

Ah, at last, we find a champion for the world’s persecuted Christians. Let’s all stand up and shout with joy!!

Silence.

Let’s demand our government – our corporations – our banks and organizations of mercy and humanitarian aid rise up and make their voices and muscles heard for justice.

Silence.

Let’s march – protest – shout out our voices to the world!

Silence.

Hello? Is anyone out there?

Hello?

Oh, he left?

What’s that? He left us a message? Great! What is it? He said:

“Ain’t I blessed!”

I have a question for you:  Tell me – will America wake up or is it too late?

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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Overcoming Tragedy is never Easy – And sometimes – it doesn’t happen.

Everyone is familiar with the Biblical story of Terah – hearing the voice of God telling him to leave his home and find the Land of Promise (Canaan).

It’s a great story. Terah became Teraham and is called the “Father of Israel”. It’s a story that inspires each of us to persevere and keep our vision in sight.

Bible-online-logoNO? You never heard of Terah???

Oh! I’m sorry – that was Abram – wasn’t it?  Yes, that’s right – Abram, who became Abraham and is called the Father of Israel”.

But, then who was Terah?  

How many of us know the story of Terah?

Hmmm – would you like to hear it?   Ok. I’ll be short.

There once was a man called Terah. He lived in the land of Ur or the Chaldeans (that’s an ancient land over by Mesopotamia – what we’d call the Middle East today).  Here, you can read the story yourself  –  you’ll find it in the Book of Genesis (that’s the first book in the Bible).

Now these are the records of the generations of Terah..Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves… Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there…and Terah died in Haran.”  Genesis 11:27-32 NASB

Well that’s it. That’s the story. What do you think?

Oh – you didn’t get it? Missed it? Here – let me help.

You see, in the first verse of the next chapter Abram hears the voice telling him to leave and go to the land of Canaan.

Terah was Abram’s father and he heard the voice first! He took his family and left the land of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan.

But he didn’t make it.  He died in the land of Haran.

Why?

Look at what happened – Haran, “died in the presence of his father…”  Something happened that caused Terah’s son – Haran – to die right in front of him. We don’t know what it was, but, knowing the times it was then, there’s a good chance it was something violent – something bad – that gave Terah enough grief and pain, that when the voice’ came telling him to go to Canaan – he left.

But, whether bad luck – or an evil presence – or whatever you may think it was, he journeyed through the land of Haran!

Did you get that? A land having the same name as his dead son had! And, it was too much for him to get over!  It brought back all the pain and grief and he couldn’t leave. He settled in the land of Haran – he settled in his grief – in the memories of his dead son – and he died there.

He couldn’t get over the grief inside and because of that he never reached the land of Canaan. He never became the “Father of Israel”. The “call” went to his son, Abram, and he became the “Father of Israel”.

784810848Grief can be overwhelming – devastating – vision killing – death-dealing.

And tragedy and grief will find each of us at some time in our journey through life – and it’s a guarantee that somewheresomehowsometime – we’ll find ourselves in the land of Haran and forced to face it again.

Will we give up and die there?

Or will we gather ourselves together, face it and move on – and reach our vision – our land of Canaan?

Just remember – when you’re in the land of Haran – there is a land of Canaan. It’s waiting for you. You can reach it.

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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