Friday, January 01, 2016

Bp. Julian Dobbs: God is working his purpose out!

January 1, 2016
 
Bishop Julian writes that Almighty God is the Lord of history and that He is working his purpose out even when we cannot fathom his ways.
 
As one calendar year closes and another year dawns we are given the opportunity to pause and reflect on God’s work in our lives and in the world. As light dawns on 2016, our world is engulfed with tragedy and conflicts. At least 36 deaths in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee as a result of unprecedented Christmas weather conditions. Although under pressure in some regions, ISIS threatens the continued existence of Christians in Syria and Iraq. In Nigeria, Boko Haram has killed  more people than those who died in the entire ebola epidemic.  It could be said that respect for God, respect for property and respect for life are at an all time low.

However, the word of God continues to speak into the circumstances of our world.  In the late 7th century B.C., God spoke through the prophecy of Habakkuk into a world which draws many comparisons to global circumstances which confront us at the dawn of 2016.
 
Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.   Habakkuk 1:5
 
 As the dawn breaks on a new year, consider these insights from Habakkuk chapter 1 verse 5...
 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

For the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard...

Hiker as pilgrim
You shall not go out with haste,…for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. —Isaiah 52:12

Security from Yesterday. “…God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. “…the Lord will go before you….” This is a gracious revelation— that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste….” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him. -Oswald Chambers image

Dying Churches, Vibrant Churches; The Real Role of Diversity...more

Dying Churches, Vibrant Churches ...Forty years ago, when I was a boy, Arlington was losing population and closing schools. The WWII generation who first suburbanized Arlington had finished their child rearing. Young families were drawn to the outer suburbs. In recent years Arlington has again boomed in population, is building schools, and has become fashionable. Millennials have flocked to Arlington, but so too have young families, and many immigrants. The old Mainline churches, some of them dating originally to the rural past, and which built big buildings after WWII during suburbanization, are mostly empty. Some have closed.

Not far from this soon to be demolished stone Presbyterian church is a large formerly United Methodist sanctuary that once was the virtual cathedral church of United Methodism in Arlington. It’s now occupied by an apparently thriving new Calvinist congregation that cites the Westminster Confession, along with venerable ecumenical church creeds, on its website...

The Real Role of Diversity
...Consider this scenario. Twenty white male Yale students surround a black faculty member, cursing and taunting. If Yale's president expelled them, our power elite would applaud. Now, consider what actually happened at Yale, which was the opposite, students of color cursing and berating a white professor. Had Yale's president expelled them, he would have triggered an institutional crisis that in all likelihood would have cost him his job.

Given the importance of “diversity” for the legitimacy of our ruling class, I can't imagine significant resistance to student demands. What's $100 million when running America is at stake? I'm quite sure nobody important is going to object to scrubbing Woodrow Wilson's name from Princeton's campus, if that what's necessary to re-secure the complaisant cooperation of black students in Princeton's project of being a model of “diversity.” This won't come about because the grown-ups at Princeton and elsewhere are feckless. It's because they know what's at stake—their own legitimacy...

Speaker at huge Intervarsity Christian conference criticizes pro-life efforts as “a big spectacle” A keynote speaker at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana missions conference criticized the pro-life movement as “a big spectacle” on Monday in St. Louis where 16,000 evangelical students gathered together.

The comment came from Michelle Higgins, the director of Faith for Justice and a #BlackLivesMatter activist, during her discussion (video) on racial injustice. “We could end the adoption crisis tomorrow. But we’re too busy arguing to have abortion banned. We’re too busy arguing to defund Planned Parenthood,” charged Higgins. “We are too busy withholding mercy from the living so that we might display a big spectacle of how much we want mercy to be shown to the unborn. Where is your mercy? What is your goal and only doing activism that is comfortable?”

The problem here is that Higgins bashes a social justice movement that aides her cause...

Oregon State Seizes Christian Couple's Bank Accounts To Pay Lesbians Over 'Wedding' Cake Dispute

The Islamization of Britain in 2015
Sex Crimes, Jihadimania and "Protection Tax"

Planned Parenthood Attempts To Blame-Shift Onto Pregnancy Centers ...How ironic that Planned Parenthood’s website describes all the elements of prenatal care visits, such as regular checkups during pregnancy and ultrasounds (which most or all Planned Parenthood locations do not do)—yet they claim pro-life care and pregnancy centers are “misleading” if they tell women about abortion but don’t actually perform abortions.

Contrary to what pro-Planned Parenthood politicians, pundits, and celebrities imagine, they are no paragon of women’s healthcare. With no mammogramsfew clinics (especially as compared to federally qualified health centers and rural health centers), few ultrasounds, and far fewer patients than those politicians like to claim, it’s hard to see what they’re good for.

Migrant crisis: Over one million reach Europe by sea  More than one million refugees and migrants have reached Europe by sea since the start of 2015, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) says.

More than 80% of the 1,000,573 people arrived in Greece, with the majority landing on Lesbos island, it said.

About 844,000 travelled to Greece from nearby Turkey. Most of the others - over 150,000 - crossed the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.

The migrant crisis is Europe's worst since World War Two.

Suddenly, drones are everywhere
...The sudden popularity of drones—and the threat they represent to the public and aviation generally—has spurred the FAA into action. Reports of recreational UAVs interfering with regular air traffic have been running at over 100 a month of late. With some 1.6m recreational drones buzzing the skies (400,000 were expected to be bought in the weeks before Christmas), the FAA has been forced to hurry out safety rules before serious accidents occur...

Surreal photos of crashing waves caught in motion on Lake Erie 

Just Desserts
Sandy Jenkins was a shy, daydreaming accountant at the Collin Street Bakery, the world’s most famous fruitcake company. He was tired of feeling invisible, So he started stealing—and got a little carried away...