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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God is Not a PEZ Dispenser!

By Patrick Hawthorne

pez

I am all about living a life of Faith in Christ Jesus. As such, I am a firm believer that God desires to bless His Church.  Furthermore, I believe that God is still in the healing business and that He will meet our needs according to His riches in Glory by  Christ Jesus.

“Uh-oh, Gertrude… It’s one of them Word of Faith people that Geraldine warned us about.  Be careful!  I hear tell they’s contagious.”

Before you tune me out, read on.  The remainder of what I share might just surprise you.

I’ve written about what I am for.  Now, I will write about a few things I am against. I am very much against many of the prosperity messages that make it seem as if God were nothing more than a cosmic PEZ dispenser. I am against the belief that we Christian’s – blessed by God to live in this great United States – have our act together and that the rest of the world needs to have faith, just like us, so they too will be blessed.  I am against the attitude that any type of suffering on the part of a Christian is a sign of weakness and not strength.

Funny thing though, it seems I’m not the only one who thinks this way.  Every now and then, there comes along a post from another person that captures my thoughts.  Pretty scary, huh?  Anyways, head over to  Born Again This Way: Cruciformed so you can read an eye opening message that hits home on so many levels.  As always, be blessed.

 

 

 

 

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G’yaaaarrrrrrr, Matey. Beware the DOOMSDAY Preacher!

By Patrick Hawthorne

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As a teacher of Bible Prophecy, I tend to laugh when I hear the words…DOOMSDAY Preacher!  “Avast ye scurvy dogs.  Make way for the  DOOMSDAY Preacher.”

No…no… I do not laugh the maniacal laugh of a half crazed pirate hungry for power.  My laugh is more of a snicker type laugh; a “heh heh heh,” type laugh.  Of course, I perform this non-maniacal snicker type laugh as I strap on my flint lock pistol with matching eye patch and sword.

“G’yaaaarrrrrrr, matey..,” I say as I confront some poor lost soul who is  trepidatiously walking the plank of life. “Hast thou prepared thy soul to meet thy maker?  Hmmm?”

Doomsday Preacher.  Being curious as to where the term originated, I was somewhat surprised to learn that it is a relatively young term.  If I am to hold fast to innocence and believe that the internet would never, ever purposefully lead me into error, it was a phrase coined by a sociologist in 1966 to identify a cult who made cataclysmic, end-of-the-world predictions.  As is common with really cool names, the term morphed until it eventually found its way into the Church to identify those who teach on end-times prophecy.  Yet, is that a correct term?  I would say that, in some cases, it is not too far off in its accuracy.

Over the years, I have listened to quite a few End-Times prophecy teachers.  Some have been excellent while others have been…well, doomsdayish in their delivery. By that, I mean that their deliveries often incite fear rather than faith.  For a person to be in fear after hearing an end-times teaching indicates one of two things.  1) The listener is not right with the Lord and needs to make the necessary correction, or 2) The teacher is teaching in a manner that encourages fear.

The Bible tells us that we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).  It also tells us that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). If the minister of end-time prophecy is teaching in a manner as to intentionally encourage fear then I personally believe that they are in error.  We are not called to be “Doomsday” preachers, but to present the Word – even the last days prophecy message – in a spirit of power, love, and definitely with a sound mind.  After all, we are talking about the return of Jesus.  That fact alone ought to produce hope and not fear.  Be blessed.

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Sheep Arrested in Unprovoked Slaying of Wolf; Shepherd Fined for Violating Dangerous Sheep Statute!

By Patrick Hawthorne

sheep

“Extra…Extra….Read all about it.  Sheep arrested in unprovoked slaying of wolf; Shepherd fined for violating dangerous sheep statute!”

Warning:  The following post contains tongue in cheek humor with a purpose.  Turn away if your religiosity makes you so thin skinned you barely have enough covering to keep from bleeding to death.

The other day, in a poor attempt to mind my own business, I came across a social media snippet of an over-the-top preacher whose message I disagreed with.  While I understood the point he was attempting to make, his delivery was kind of like smelling overly sweet and greasy donuts on an empty stomach.  While the donuts may look appealing to the eye, one bite could result in an all day audience before the porcelain prince.

That being said, the preachers message was not very gospelish but neither was it heretical.  It just kind of sat there like a hair on a biscuit, serving no real purpose other than to look unappealing.  And, in my humble opinion, his message could possibly lead a baby believer down a path of error.  Either way, that was not what got my knickers in a knot.

Out of the whole situation, what made me sad was the manner in which another pastor released the media snippet. He kinda chunked it out there with nothing more than a short one liner message stating that it was not the gospel.  The problem is that he offered no teaching for his sheep followers as to why or how the other pastor was in error.  Nor did he offer correction for a few of the comments that were bitter against the errant preacher.

The Bible tells us, in 1st John 4:20, If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”  When any shepherd (pastor) does not correct a sheep (lay person) whose comments are directly aimed against the man and not the message there is a problem.  When comments are seeded with such words as ” I loathe that man” – meaning intense hate or dislike – and are not corrected, a slippery slope has just been laid.

Do I think the non-correcting pastor , the errant and over-the-top teacher, or the commenting lay person are evil?  Heaven’s no.  I have no doubt they all love the Lord with an intense love.  However, leaders need to be accountable for their sheep and to reign in the snipers so that none go rogue.

It is a fact that all of us will stub our toes in this earthly walk.  The question is, “Will we learn from it and not kick that rock again?”  This is just something for those in authority to think about. After all, we don’t want any headlines involving killer sheep, now do we?  Be blessed.

If you are interested, please check out an associated post Who Called the Bible Police??

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Why AM I Thinking This Way?

By Patrick Hawthorne

thinking

I would like to share with you a little journey that I have been on.  From my title, I bet – if I were a betting man – that you think this is yet another post on wrong thinking.  Nope!  It is actually a post on a progressive type thinking; thinking that is taking me from a finger pointing, black and white, my way or the highway thinking, to a more sympathetic, less judgmental type thinking.  Perhaps this is a more Godly way of thinking?  Notice the question mark at the end of the previous sentence.  Anyways, some of you might agree with me while others may disagree.  That is alright.  What fun would life be if we all agreed on everything?

Don’t get me wrong.  My thinking does not let a person off the hook for wrong doing.  Improper actions must still have consequences.  With that I remain inflexible.  Yet, it is towards the actual soul of the person that I am beginning to adjust my thinking.  I guess you could say that I’m beginning to have a Godly sorrow – a,”But for the grace of God there go I,”  – type sorrow.

For instance, a woman in the area close to where I live, was arrested for killing her baby in a horrific manner.  It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that a person could be so calloused, so cold…so evil.  Yet, when I thought about her and what she had done, my immediate thought was, This woman needs Jesus.  Do I believe she should be punished to the full extent of the law?  You betcha.  Throw the book at her.

But… the other side of me, the possibly more Godly way of thinking side of me, says “Lord, this woman is yet another casualty of sin and death.  I pray that her eyes are open to the truth, open to you.  Help her see that she has been led captive into a pit of destruction that is inescapable except through and by You.”

I’m not saying I’m perfect in my thinking.  Sometimes, especially with politicians, I still want to pinch their little pencil necks off for some of the stupidity that spews forth from their mouths.  Yet, I am now beginning to realize that most are simply little pawns being maneuvered by the devil in his game of destruction.

“Now Lord, please help me to not be so judgmental against my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who vote for these morons.”

Ok… so my Godly way of thinking has miles to go.  Leave me alone.  I’m still a work in progress. “But for the grace of God there go I.”   Be blessed.

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