Friday, December 21, 2007

Strangers in a strange land

Strangers in a strange land

Psalm 146:9

The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Hebrews 11:8-13

8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

1 Peter 2:11-12

11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

12Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt,

I was trying so hard to fit in

Until I found out, that I don’t belong here


Isn’t it great that we are not part of this world? That we are in the world, but not of the world? That we don’t fight for victory, but that we fight from the victory that Jesus won?

However, in this battle there are casualties. There are those who build their “houses” on the shifting sands of this world

Matthew 7

4Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.


Two types

Those who aren’t saved

They just don’t know…

John 1:5, 9-11

5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Exodus 5:1-2

And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

2And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

We must be a lighthouse in this dark world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden – from the good or the bad.

Matthew 5

14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Lighthouses/shoal markers/airport runway beacons are all similar

- don’t have a choice in who they attracts/warns – could be good or bad

- can be a source of comfort for those who lost their way

- warn newcomers of danger

- familiar landmark to those who know the area

It is good to attract other Christians who are looking for a “home”. It is also good to attract non-Christians who should be looking for a “home”.

Philippians 2

15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Evil can tell the difference. In a similar way, unsaved people can tell the difference. They know when someone is being sincere with them really cares about them

Matthew 8:29

29And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Acts 19

13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.

14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.

15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

So, what do we do?


- For God’s protection

- For the right words to say

- For the courage to say it

WE can’t save them. WE can do a makeover and change the external, but WE can’t change the internal. Only God can change the internal.

It’s like putting new paint on an old rundown house – it looks nice, but may fall apart in a strong breeze. Sometimes the paint is the only thing holding it together.

That’s why banning doesn’t work. It only puts a bandaid on a symptom, and neglects the main issue. It also tends to make things more desirable…

Maybe it’s the job of church to show people how to unwind or have fun…


Then, there are those who get wounded

- Maybe their walk is not as strong or steady as it used to be

- maybe they were careless and not watching their step

- Whatever the cause, they fall

Some falls hurt more or do more damage than others. Some people heal faster.

Scandals on TV

The person probably can’t – shouldn’t – hold the same position; but they’re still people God wants to be saved. We can’t just shoot the wounded so they don’t drag us down.

The key to recovery is to:

- get back up (dust yourself off, see how many people were watching)

- repent (ask for forgiveness, and then turn away from sin)

- Don’t give devil an inch or he’ll become a ruler

Remember: Jesus died for everyone

Matthew 9

9And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

10And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

11And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

12But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

13But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Acts 2

21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

So, what do we do?

There is a Casting Crowns song that says:

Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus

Pray for them

Army Rangers

Never shall I leave a comrade behind to fall into the hands of the enemy.

That’s something I try to live by, whether it’s someone who wants to see where the “other path” goes in the woods or it’s 12:30am packing stuff up.

We can’t do everything, but we should do what we can do.

Wrapping things up, when it really comes down to it, there will two kinds of people: Those who know Jesus and those who don’t. Those who do know Jesus will spend eternity with Him. Those who don’t will spend eternity separated from Him. It’s our choice.

Revelation 3

15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

I’ll close with a story. It’s rather sad, so I won’t go into all the details. Hopefully, it will drive home the point.

Sept. 15, 2004

I remember sitting in the backyard holding onto Tyson the dog, trying to keep him from bleeding to death, holding onto hope that the vet could “fix things” and everything would be ok. Sadly, it wasn’t.


To the Unsaved

Matthew 7

20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? [didn’t we teach Sunday School every Sunday, and show up at church everytime the doors were open, and maybe even preached every week…]

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I remember hearing the vet, and what a sad feeling that was… I can’t and don’t really want to imagine hearing what it would be like standing before God and hearing “Depart from me, I never knew you.”


To the Saved

Our unsaved family are dieing. Physical death is not something to be afraid of, if you are saved. It’s just the gateway to the eternal. It’s the spiritual death that is more serious.

Matthew 10

28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Remember, we can’t save them, but we still must do something...

So, what do we do?

- Be the city on the hill that cannot be hidden, the lighthouse shining through the darkness of this world.

- Grab hold of them (probably not physically)

- Invite them to church

- Invite them to church gathering

Most importantly: carry them spiritually to the Alter of Prayer, and leave them there. They will be in the hands of the Great Physician who can heal all infirmities of the soul.


Artist/Band: Johnny Cash

Lyrics for Song: Hurt
Lyrics for Album: American IV: The Man Comes Around

Comments by: Ed

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real

I wouldn't want to be in that position... But there are many people in that situation today. They could be spiritually dead, emotionally dead or dieing, and perhaps physically dieing. Maybe they are burnt out on a substance, or maybe it's just life in general...

The needle tears a hold
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

I think it was a Clint Black song that said, "Wherever you go, there you are." You can bury yourself in drugs, work, alcohol, food, and many other things to try to get rid of the pain. They'll even work for a short time, but then you'll start needing a little more... That begins a downward spiral that can lead to overdose. Then, it will be your family or the state that will bury you.

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

A glimmer of hope... A feeling that there has got to be more to this life... Wanting to give it away, but perhaps not feeling worthy...

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

Life dissipating into "existance"... Still not being able to escape... "You are someone else, but I am still right here." No matter what you do, you're still right there in the midst of things.

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

A glimmer of hope... I don't know if there is an exact distance, but it's "as far as the east is from the west". What is it? Salvation. God loves us enough that he sent His son as the payment for our sins. How do you receive it? Ask for it... You can start over again with your sins as far as the east is from the west. There will still be consequences, but you can be forgiven.

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real

I'd be willing to bet that people who have lost someone really close to them, have felt that way, too. You hurt yourself, just to see if you're still alive and capable of feeling anything. You breathe and seem to function, but you're not "alive"...

The same applies to people (ex.: the Police, EMT, etc.) who face the dark side of humanity everyday. Dealing with evil daily drains you, until you forget that there is some good in life. You just exist. You try to bury yourself in work, and may neglect everything else.

Don't pull away from those who care about you. Turn to Jesus.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

When good people do nothing

When good people do nothing, and just what should they be doing anyway?
by: me

This is my message from last Sunday evening, more or less...

One Sunday morning, everyone in one bright, beautiful, tiny town got up early and went to the local church.
Before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and talking about their lives, their families, etc. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon everyone was evacuated from the church, except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew, not moving... seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence. Now this confused Satan a bit, so he walked up to the man and said, "Don't you know who I am?"
The man replied, "Yep, sure do."
Satan asked, "Aren't you afraid of me?"
"Nope, sure ain't," said the man.
Satan was a little perturbed at this and queried, "Why aren't you afraid of me?"
The man calmly replied, "I’ve been married to your sister for 48 years."



Chances are, if evil did show up like that, we would take notice and hopefully do something. We have days set up to remember the fallen, when evil truly shows up. One example is April 15, which is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Yom haShoah Ve'Hagvura or Yom HaShoah (יום השואה yom ha-sho’āh, יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה-Yom ha-zikaron la-Shoah v'la-Gvura), "Holocaust Martyrs' Remembrance Day" or, literally, "Remembrance day for The Holocaust and Heroism", takes place on the 27th day of the month Nisan, in the Hebrew calendar, which falls in the early spring. It is held every year in remembrance of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. It is a national memorial day in Israel.

However, evil doesn’t have to show up in a big way to seemingly “get ahead”.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 - 1797)

It does seem like evil triumphs, but we see what happens in the end…

Galations 6
7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Matthew 5
45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Revelation 20
9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

All evil has to do, is creep in a little bit at a time. We tend to overlook little things, because they don’t affect us. It’s like the instructions on how to cook a frog. If you throw a frog in boiling water, it’s coming right back out. If you put it in lukewarm water and gradually turn the heat up, the frog is cooked before it knows what happened. Evil and sin just have to creep into our lives in small increments.

I remember as a kid watching cartoons after school. My favorite one was G.I. Joe. At the end of the cartoon, they would have some kind of public service announcement. Telling kids to stay away from medicine that didn’t belong to them… To stay away from power lines… At the end, the kids would say, “And now we now…” Then the character would say, “And knowing is half the battle…”

Knowing is one half of the battle. We live in the Information Age – we are surrounded by knowledge that is good and bad. The Fairmont State Library has access to thousands of magazines and journals, and a few hundred thousand books. If you go to, and do a search, it takes:
- 0.12 seconds to generate 141,000,000 links for the word “Bible”
- 0.20 seconds to generate 325,000,000 links for the word “Church”

We should always strive to keep learning. Like others, including online writer Phil Elmore, I don’t think we should keep an open mind. Like an open box, things can fall in and out depending on how it is moved. We should, however, keep an active mind. We should think about what we hear – analyze it to see how it aligns with the Bible. Don’t blindly follow something even if it is tradition. So many times, it is things we do out of habit or tradition – things we have no explanation for – that lose their meaning and significance.

Doing is the other half of the battle. We can spend all day reading and studying, but eventually, we have to implement that knowledge or it is basically worthless.

In Genesis 41, we read about Joseph interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams, and then how the Pharaoh implemented a plan – he did something…

39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
40Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

I like how Chapter 42 begins:

1Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?
2And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.
3And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.

The NIV translates the last part of verse one, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?”

Do something – go to Egypt and buy us some corn so that we may live…

“It’s always right to do the right thing.” I think that was the motto of the kid’s program at my last church.

It is always right to do the right thing. However, it won’t always be easy, safe, or popular. It it was, we wouldn’t have to worry about doing it, because people would be lined up to get their chance at 15 minutes of fame.

A line from a Bob Dylan song sticks in my mind: “How many times can a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn’t see?” I made that into a bumper sticker for my truck. I put a corresponding verse below it…

James 4:17
17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

There is no middle ground in our battle with evil. There are times when we must pick a side and take a stand.

As some us sang Easter morning in the Cantata, "Like a line that's drawn across the sand the truth demands a choice." I thought it was fitting for the men to sing that, because men are traditionally the head of the household. If you've ever tried to lead an animal, you know that where the head leads, the rest tends to follow.

Revelation 3
15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Matthew 12
30He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

1 Kings 18
21And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

Genesis 37
11And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
12And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.
13And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
16And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
17And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
20Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
21And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
22And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
23And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
24And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
29And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
30And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
31And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
33And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
36And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.

Matthew 27
22Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
23And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.


We are judged by our actions.

1 Peter 2:11-12
11Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
12Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today, is Christians; who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. – dc Talk


We are also judged by our inactions.

Obadiah 1
11In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.
12But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.
13Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
14Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.
15For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Acts 4
26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Matthew 21
18Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
19And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
20And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Matthew 3
10And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

John 15
2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Luke 10
30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.


So, what are we supposed to be doing?


Proverbs 28
9He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
10Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.

Acts 2
38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

John 3
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.


Resist Evil

Ephesians 6
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Matthew 4
1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

James 4
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


Expose Evil

John 3
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Ephesians 5
11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

2 Timothy 2
15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Ephesians 6
5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

2 Timothy 3
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2 Timothy 4
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


Rebuke Sinners

I don’t think we should go around condemning people left and right – watching to see if they break any “laws” that man has set up like the Scribes and Pharisees. However, in the Bible, there are absolute right and wrong things. These sins can’t be glossed over. We are to love the sinner, but hate the sin. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 4
15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Galations 2
11But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.



Luke 17
3Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.



Galations 5
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Luke 10
25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

And in doing these things, we will be able to do the most important thing.

Matthew 28
16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Tyson, the dog; ? - 9/15/04

NOTE: The following event happened in September of 2004. The following pages have been sent out as emails to my email list. The descriptions of the events have a warning, because they contain pretty graphic descriptions.

This email has been rated R by me for blood and gore.


When my sister moved in, she brought their dog with them. His name was Tyson.


Tyson was playing in the yard tonight. He was running in big circles through the yard. He ran down in front of his house, and must have got his cable wrapped around his foot. It pulled the end of his foot off. I ran down, put my arm around him, and clamped my fingers around his leg right above where his foot came off to try to stop the blood. Then I started yelling for help. The woman next door came over, and they got my mom in the house. My mom started calling vets. None were open, so she just got the answering machine. Tyson remained fairly calm during the whole ordeal - my mom said I was taking it worse than he was.

I find it amazing that no vet will take an emergency call unless they already see the animal.

We tied a tourniquet around the lower part of his leg to try to stop the bleeding. I kept my fingers clamped there also. The neighbor finally gets ahold of a vet in Fairmont, and told us they would stay open. My dad came home, and we loaded Tyson in the back of his truck in the lower half of his doghouse. I road to Fairmont in the bed of my dad's truck with one arm clamped around the dog's chest and the other hand clamped around his leg. By the time we got to Saltwell Road, it had been almost two hours. He was starting to rest his head on my arm. We finally arrived in Fairmont, and went in. My hands and part of my arm were covered in blood. My dad held him on the vet's table. The vet was going to stabilize him, and get him ready to amputate his leg tomorrow, but he was a stocky built dog and wouldn't have done well on three legs.

The decision was made to have him put to sleep. (I'm almost positive that he wouldn't have made it through the night, anyways - while we were still in the yard he started shaking were he was going into shock.) The vet asked if we wanted to stay in while they performed the injection. We did. I was covered in blood, had just spent the last two hours with my hand clamped around his leg, and rode in the open bed of the truck for 25 miles; I wasn't going to leave him. And so, he was put to sleep.

I remember sitting in the yard holding his leg watching him bleed to death, knowing that I couldn't wave a wand and heal him. Also hearing that none of the vets were open or would see him. I remember asking God to please let someone be open, and finally someone stayed open.

I don't know what purpose this served or why it happened, but there is one. I trust God for that.

He wasn't "my" dog, but I played with him, and I have this tendency to grow attached to animals... Well, when I say he wasn't "my" dog - I didn't buy him, but had kind of adopted him as my own. I would have been sad for awhile, if we had given him away... So, I guess in a way, he was my dog. He didn't completely bleed to death in my arms, but he didn't have much time left in this world.


Caution: More graphic details!

The rest of the story:

I have an even greater appreciation now for the vets that stay open.

I think my mom tried 5-6 vets, and none were open. She called our regular vet - the vet wasn't there, and the guy that answered the phone said they wouldn't see him unless he was a current patient. She called again (I think) and a woman answered the phone. She then called the vet at home on his cell phone. He said he was an hour away on a bicycle, and from what I heard couldn't believe what the first guy told us... He is the vet that put our cat to sleep when she had a heart attack, one with kidney crystals, and one with lung cancer. And that is just three...

Rhetorical question: Why do our pets always seem to die dramatic deaths?

One of the vets asked my mom if he had ripped a pad off his foot, she came down, I said "No, he ripped his entire foot off."

While this is happening, I am sitting in the backyard holding the dog. There is a puddle of blood around him. His foot is laying beside his leg attached by a tendon or a piece of skin. Picture the scene in Terminator 2 where he pulls the skin on his hand off, except take the hand off at the wrist and take some of the skin on the arm off too. I have my hand around his leg right above the exposed muscle, veins, and bones. It was like his foot and a couple inches of skin from the bottom of his leg were pulled off like you would pull off a glove...

Four bones were clearly visible, I assume that is where their pads attach? The three or four veins provide circulation...

The dog is shivering. My legs are starting to cramp from sitting odd for so long. My sister brought the dog when she moved out from her husband. She is crying, calling him, he wouldn't lift a finger to help. I'm crying and trying to prepare myself for the possibility of him bleeding to death in my arms in the backyard. My mom is crying trying to talk to the vet and someone else. Tyson is just sitting there shivering and panting heavy, but not whining or howling. He didn't try to bite or anything...

Granted, dieing in the yard in the hands of someone who cares about you is preferable to alone beside the road somewhere, but I'd rather have it happen in the vet's office...

My dad gets home and we load him into the back of the truck inside the bottom half of his dog house. On the way down the road, I come to the sad realization that this will be his last truck ride - I didn't get to take him anywhere with me. At the vet's office, the vet came out and put a muzzle on him, and carried him into the office. I get out of the bed of the truck, my right leg is numb, my left knee feels like someone is twisting a knife into it. My left hand is covered in blood where I had it wrapped around his chest, my right arm is covered in blood from hand to elbow from holding his leg. He was remarkably calm on the way there. Looked around a few times. Rested his head on my left arm alot. In the vet's office, he licked my hand through the muzzle. I'd been that far with him, and wasn't going to leave him alone with strangers - perfectly capable, but strangers nonetheless...

The the vet performed the injection, and he went to sleep.

I didn't get to take him for any truck rides, but will remember playing in the yard. The way he would lay down with his head on his feet when he saw you coming through the yard towards him. The way he would run as fast as he could in big circles through the yard, when he ran by, I'd try to tap him. He was the first dog we had that would actually bring the ball back and drop it so you could throw it again.

Writing seems to ease the pain a little, but not as much as prayer.

He was buried in the backyard with our other pets.

It is hard knowing that you are doing you are doing everything that you know to do, yet knowing in the end that you just prolong the inevitable. I did get hands on confirmation that pushing on the vein in the leg crease will slow down blood loss - first thing I heard not long after events began was that they would have to amputate his leg.

I am glad I was there, instead of my mom being there alone.

If you think the roads in West Virginia are bad...

They do not begin to compare: