The Gaze of Faith

By Patrick Hawthorne

look up

What is faith?  Have you ever heard someone trying to define faith? Did it leave you more confused than ever? The reason is simple. The Scriptures make no real effort to define it. Much like the air we breath, the definition is not what is important; it is the results of faith that matter.

Faith is focus. Jesus said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:14-15).

When Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21), it was because the people had been struck down by poisonous serpents.  To heal the people, God instructed Moses to “Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole:  and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.”

The word, “Look Upon,” means to gaze with an expectancy.  The people were instructed to cast their eyes upon the fiery serpent and to not look away from until such time as they received their healing.  “Look” in Numbers 21 and “believe” in John 3 are synonymous.

“How do I increase my faith?”  That is the wrong question.  The question should be, “How do I walk in the fullness of faith?”  To that, simply gaze upon Jesus in a state of expectancy and do not let go of that gaze.  At first it will be difficult.  In time, however, it will become as natural as breathing.

And yes…This is a lesson that I too must learn.  Be blessed.
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The Elderly Matter…

By Patrick Hawthorne

Church-Elderly-Forget

While scrolling through Facebook, I came across the following blog by Josh Buice of DBG Christian Blogs and Sermons. “Dear Church-Don’t Overlook and Undervalue the Elderly.”  I highly recommend that you give it a read especially if you are in a position of authority within your church.

http://www.deliveredbygrace.com/dear-church-dont-overlook-and-undervalue-the-elderly/

The following is a paragraph from his post:

One of the sad realities is that statistically older people are closer to eternity (according to the numbers and based on the mere scale of the average life expectancy rule). When you consider how many elderly unbelievers make up a single community, it should cause us to weep that they’re rarely targeted with the gospel. They’re more often overlooked and forgotten as local churches do everything under the sun to reach younger families.

Be blessed…
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Climate Change: The Rise of the One-World Religion

By Patrick Hawthorne

EVERYONE COUNTS 8

Has it begun?  Is it here?  Or, am I to relegate my position from that of a serious student of Bible prophecy to that of a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist? If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that I tend to approach many subjects with a light heart and an air of humor.  However, I must lay humor aside for the moment to address an issue of a serious nature.  It is the rise of the one-world religion spoken of in the Book of Revelation.

The Bible makes it clear that in the last days – days I believe we are currently living in – a one-world religion will spring up and will assist in ushering in a one-world leader of a one-world government. But, what will this one-world religion look like?  How will we recognize it?  I believe that the answer has been so long staring us in the face that many, including myself, have missed the forest because of the trees.  I speak of the religion of “Climate Change” with its idol, “Inclusiveness.”

Until recently, the subject of climate change and inclusiveness was distant to me and was merely the ramblings of crack pot, wild eyed, drug induced hippies who wanted their fifteen minutes of fame.  “No way will it affect me and my little Southern City,” or so I thought. That is, until  I recently read information concerning the United Nations 2030 Master Plan. Being curious as to how this Master Plan was being received in the United States, I set out to find out more information.  Funny thing though, it took only a few seconds to locate the information through an internet search.  The following is from the 2019 U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Report:

America’s cities are home to more than 80 percent of Americans and around 85 percent of US production. They will determine the future of sustainable development in the United States. Around the US, more and more cities are signing up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for action. As one leading example, my own city, New York City, is guided by the plan One NYC 2050. This comprehensive sustainable development plan, closely aligned with the SDGs, aims to achieve an equitable, sustainable city for all New Yorkers by the year 2050, including the transformation to zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. The 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report aims to help cities to calibrate their progress towards the SDGs. This report, produced annually since 2017, is a part of a global effort to measure performance of cities, nations, and companies relative to the SDGs underway at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). SDSN is grateful to many partner institutions for collaboration, brainstorming, and support to monitor the SDGs and implement programs for their achievement. This year’s report highlights the many urgent challenges facing America’s cities. The data show substantial and rising inequalities of income, persistent poverty, unsafe physical environments, and of course, the continued emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to human-induced climate change and that threaten humanity. These indicators should provide flashing red lights to communities around the US to take actions at the local level to promote the SDGs, and to advocate for sustainable development policies at the federal and state level as well. The index also shows many cases of progress. We warmly congratulate the cities at the top of this year’s ranking for a job well done. For the cities lower down the list, we offer these rankings and indicators as guides, support, and a call to action. Sustainable development is not a choice or ideology. It is not on the left-right political spectrum. It is the very essence of our well being and the kind of cities and nation that we will leave to future generations. We therefore offer this SDG City Index in the spirit of collegiality, and we at SDSN look forward to partnerships of the SDSN with cities across the United States in order to accelerate actions to achieve inclusive and sustainable cities for all Americans, and indeed throughout the world. Jeffrey D. Sachs Director Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Climate Change is a religion that promotes inclusiveness to “show substantial and rising inequalities of income, persistent poverty, unsafe physical environments, and of course, the continued emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to human-induced climate change and that threaten humanity.” Outwardly, Climate Change promotes itself as a gentle lamb, meek and mild.  Yet, beneath its lamb like horns, it is a ravenous dragon bent on destroying anything or anyone who stands in its path (Revelation 13:11). All paths to God are accepted as long as it does not involve EXclusive language such as that spoken of by Jesus.  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6).

What will happen if we fail to pay homage to the god of climate?  Right now, we are shunned, shamed, fined and sometimes even jailed.  Down the road, the penalty will be much worse.  This post is not meant to incite fear but to open eyes.  The time for the return of Jesus is drawing near.  Are you ready?  Be blessed.

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, (Revelation 13)

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Israel and The Millennium

By Patrick Hawthorne

For those who may not be aware, I seriously study Bible prophecy.  For the most part, my blogs are not usually prophecy based but are more reflective of those things that catch my attention at the moment.  Anyways, I wanted to share a short prophetic based lesson.  As always, be blessed.

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Keep Them Tractor Wheels Straight

By Patrick Hawthorne

tractor,-sunset-in-the-field,-field-208595

Life is full of little nuggets of inspiration.  One only needs to pay attention.  For instance, my last post, The Churlish Chicken , was inspired by observing a heathen chicken who desperately needs Jesus.  Seriously, this chicken is off the rails crazy.

Today’s post is inspired by blogger friend, Pastor Jim who wrote, “One Witty Ditty for Your Memory of Theology: Interpreting and Applying Gods Word.”  “I know, I know… I  need to have a serious discussion with him concerning the length of his titles.  Let him be though.  He comes from that strange and foreign land known as California. Anywho…, Pastor Jim wrote a little rhyme to keep in mind when studying the Word of God.  He wrote,

Lord guide me to interpret what Your Word is about,
And also to have the moral courage to live it out.

Immediately, upon reading his post, my mind went to a strange far away place that few should dare navigate lest they not be able to find their way home.  I thought to myself, “Ya gotta keep them tractor wheels straight or your rows are gonna be crooked.” For you people from the North, I will translate.  “It is imperative that you keep the wheels of the tractor pointed straight.  Otherwise the rows that are being plowed will be crooked.”

The Word of God – the bible – is our moral and spiritual compass.  It does us no good to own a compass but not follow the directional path that it will lead us.  As such, it does no good for us to own a bible or even read the bible unless we are willing to be guided by the principles contained therein.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105).  By following the Word of God, we have the lamp to our feet needed to make sure that we do not trip and fall and the light needed to illuminate our path so that we stay the course.  In essence, the Word will help us keep those tractor wheels straight and pointed in the right direction so that our rows stay straight.  Be blessed.

For Pastor Jims post please see:  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/one-witty-ditty-for-your-memory-of-theology-interpreting-and-applying-gods-word/

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The Churlish Chicken

By Patrick Hawthorne

chicken


Have you ever heard the song that went something like, “I once had a chicken who wouldn’t lay an egg…?”  Well, I once – and still do – have a chicken who wouldn’t let go of the bread.

“For Pete’s sake, Pat.  What are you babbling about today?”

Well… I have a plethora of critters.  I have donkeys, and goats, and chickens, and one little miniature pig named, “Tiny Tim.”  Anyways, I learn a lot about living a Godly life through the critters.

For example, the other day I decided to throw some stale wheat bread in with the chicken feed to give the girls a little extra something to munch on.  I  have around twenty hens and had half a loaf of bread which meant there was more than enough for all hens to get them several large hunks.

Well, there was this one hen who grabbed hold of a hunk of bread and began to run around the coop trying to keep it away from the others.  The only problem was, the other hens were busy eating and wasn’t paying this hoarding hen one bit of mind.  As I watched this churlish chicken (stingy, surly, difficult) run around with that bread, I thought to myself,  “Ya stupid chicken, if you would just eat that piece, there are a lot more pieces for you to have afterwards.” It was then the Holy Spirit gently nudged me and showed me that the Church – the body of Christ as a whole – tend to act in the same manner.  We call them “denominations.”

God moves in a particular manner for this group and they think that is how God always moves.  He moves in a slightly different manner for another group and they too think that is how God always moves.  Before long, we have a plethora of churches acting like churlish -stingy, difficult, surly – chickens.  They grab hold of  a move from God and run around acting like they hold the priced piece of bread. The sad part is that they don’t even consume the bread.  They put it on display for all to see.  Meanwhile, their congregation is starving and dying of spiritual malnutrition.

Is it any wonder that when a candy feeding church comes along that masses will flock to them?  The folk are hungry and, to their way of thinking, if all they have is candy to eat at least it will fill their belly.  All the while we hear preachers holler, “Don’t eat that candy.  It is bad for you.  Come to my church where we have this stale old bread from yesteryear that we will show you.”  Meanwhile, God has a supply of fresh bread ready for consumption that they completely ignore.

Churlish chickens.  Yep…you can sure learn a lot from them critters.  Be blessed.

 

 

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“Why, God?”

By Patrick Hawthorne

question

Sometimes I can’t help it.  It’s like someone comes along and yanks a chain in my brain.  Suddenly, like a ceiling fan with four 110 watt incandescent halogen light bulbs, (now illegal in most states),  questioning thoughts begin to swirl around within the confines of my cranium.  Thoughts such as, “Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?” Or, “If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?”  

The other day as I was driving along the parkway, pondering and meditating on nothing in particular but everything not in particular, I saw a beautiful sky scene.  It was at that point that I began to ask myself a series of questions, “Why does God allow us to see in such splendid color? Why does He allow us to hear wonderful music?  Why does He allow us to taste such delicacies such as turkey necks and pinto beans?”  The last one is a Southern thing.  Don’t knock it till you try it.

When you think about it, and I mean really think about it, why does God allow us to see such beauty, or hear such wonderful music, or taste such delicacies?  Is it merely for our pleasure or is there more to it than that?  I surmise that He gave us these wonderful gifts as a way of bringing us into a closer relationship with Him, making us more like Him?

The Word tells us, in Psalms 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.  Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”  Another way of saying this would be, “Drink deeply of the pleasures of God.  Experience for yourself the joyous mercies He gives to all who turn to hide themselves in Him.” (The Passion Translation.)

We are told to meditate on God’s Word.  This is more than a casual reading.  This is stopping to ponder and think, question and surmise.  It is to assume the role of a small child and ask, “Why, God?  Why did You make the flamingos knees to point backwards?”  Be blessed.

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