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Rated: E · Book · Inspirational · #2216091
The Lord doesn't always speak in an audible voice, but often in nudges, moving the heart.
The Lord is a gentleman. He is patient. He is longsuffering

He often remains silent, while we are speaking, but He will not remain silent forever.
He can be grieved and quenched when we refuse His message.

When nothing else works to get our attention,
then He may allow "...the pestilence that walketh in darkness;..."
to come into our lives to urge us to "...abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

When He gets our attention, and we begin to cry, "Daddy, save me," (Romans 8:15, KJV)
then "...I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."

These selections come from Psalm 91. Many times my thoughts return to my childhood
with the reading of this psalm. When I was a little boy, I was wont to hide behind
my earthly daddy when dangerous or unfamiliar situations arose in my life.
My Daddy on earth was much bigger and much stronger than I was.

How much greater, today, as a grown man, that I can look to my Heavenly Father,
Who is infinitely bigger and stronger than my earthly father ever was.

As children, we were very good at "reading" our parents.
They gave us certain looks, which told us how to act without ever speaking words.
"You better not speak right now. I am so angry about what you have done."
"I love you, Dear One. Come here. Let me give you a hug."
Myriad were the looks in between these two extremes on the continuum.

The Lord in like manner says, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.
" (Psalm 32:8, KJV)

Earthly parents would often touch us on the shoulder in public,
especially when we were "acting up." When our eyes met,
they would simply hold up one index finger, waving it back and forth.
This meant, "Stop! Think about what you are doing!
Change your behavior before the hand of judgment falls on the seat of knowledge!
"

Of course, at other times a big, strong, gentle arm would wrap slowly around our chests,
drawing us back to them in a warm embrace, simply meaning, "I love you,...just because."

The Lord in His inimitable ways gives us His Own Divine Nudges.
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 ... Next
May 30, 2020 at 5:56pm
May 30, 2020 at 5:56pm
#984634
"Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
"
(II Corinthians 5:17, KJV)

----------------------------

"16 So we have stopped evaluating others
from a human point of view.
At one time we thought of Christ
merely from a human point of view.
How differently we know him now!
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ
has become a new person.
The old life is gone;
a new life has begun!
"
(2 Corinthians 5:16-17)


A human never chooses Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord,
based solely on the ability of the human.

God chooses to open the eyes of the human to understand the things of God.
As the eyes are opened to the things of God,
the Gift of Faith gives the human the ability to trust God
and to receive His Gift of Salvation.

"8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,
lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
(Ephesians 2:8-10, KJV)

"For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
"
(Philippians 2:13, KJV)

Humans are born in sin.
The corrupt seed of Original Sin lives in every human heart.
Humans are born physically alive, but spiritually dead.

The only way a human can be made right with God
is for God to perform every step of the making alive of the dead spirit
in every step along the way from death unto life.

Humans may die on an operating table.
The only possibility for such a human to live, again,
is for a doctor or nurse or some other trained person
to give the dead person what is needed to be restored to life, again.

A human cannot work his or her way to Salvation.
Only the Lord Jesus can give the dead human
what is needed to be brought to life spiritually as well as physically.

What does the Lord Jesus need to do in each of our hearts, today?

The Lord Jesus give you His Greatest Blessing this very day.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 30th, 2020


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May 29, 2020 at 11:54pm
May 29, 2020 at 11:54pm
#984600
"2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
"
(Psalm 1:2-3, KJV)

-------------------

"2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
"
(Psalm 1:2-3, NLT)


The roots of the righteous are planted in the well-watered loamy soil in the bank of a strong, healthy river. They realize, that the resources for their strength and healthy living are not found within themselves but in the Strength of Another.

What do healthy trees do?
They grow fruit.

What sorts of fruit can be found on these healthy trees?
"But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace,
longsuffering,
gentleness,
goodness, faith,
Meekness,
temperance:
against such there is no law.
"
(Galatians 5:22-23, KJV)


Do healthy trees always show they are growing?
Healthy trees bloom in the spring,
putting on every sort of fruit or flower
of which they are capable.
These healthy trees produce in their season.
At the end of each growing season,
there is a time of dormancy.
Leaves are lost,
growth slows, and
from all outward appearances
the tree may appear to be dead,
but there are still ways to see life,
even in this sabbatical of rest.
There is apparent strength in a limb at rest.
When the good man of the garden prunes limbs,
we can look at the interior of the cut to see
a ring of green on the exterior of the limb,
just below the bark.

Christians are similar to these healthy trees.
There are seasons of great fruitfulness,
and there are seasons of dormancy
when the Holy Spirit sends the sap of our inner man
deep down inside to connect with the One,
Who gives us life. He gives us a sabbatical of rest.

We need to listen to gain fellowship and instruction
from this very dear and Holy Spirit.

Each of God's greatest servants
has spent time in seclusion
with the Lord Himself.


1. The greatest of these, the Lord Jesus,
spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting
and being tempted, before He began
His three-year earthly ministry.

2. Elijah spent three years as a homeless man
in the wilderness, after his proclamation of a drought
to get the attention of the royals in Israel,
while being prepared for great victory on Mount Carmel
when the prophets of Baal were all defeated
at the Word of the Lord through the mouth of His prophet.

3. Moses spent 40 years on the backside of the desert
in preparation for leading the Children of Israel
through the desert for the next 40 years.

4. David spent a number of years on the run from King Saul,
whose focused desire was to kill "the stripling"
before he could become the next king of Israel.
David didn't have much time to be dormant. He fought battles
just about every day as he had done from his youth
when he killed bears and other ferocious animals,
who were trying to harm his flock of sheep.
David's story is complex.
God called him, "a man of war,"
but he was, also, "a man after God's own heart."

5. Amos, one of the Old Testament prophets, who penned the book,
bearing his name, had no aspirations of ever being a prophet.
"I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees," but
he was obedient to the Lord. "But the Lord called me away from my flock
and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’
" (Amos 7:14-15, NLT)

6. Dr. Ravi Zacharias, one of HIStory's greatest apologists, second only to
the Apostle Paul himself (in my humble opinion) was saved at the age of 17
in India after trying to kill himself. He died this week after 57 of the fullest years
of international ministry imaginable, leaving behind multiple organizations worldwide,
a library of books, regarding the wisdom of Jesus Christ, and the rationalism of believing in Jesus, the Messiah. Few intellectuals dared cross wits with him, and yet he succumbed to cancer with, no doubt, so much yet that he could have spoken and written were he to have lived another decade or two. Yet, as Dr. Zacharias would, no doubt, have said, "The Lord's wisdom and timing are impeccable."

7. Of all of the original twelve disciples of Jesus, who didn't die as a martyr, it was John, the Beloved, who endured a boiling in hot oil, but the Lord didn't let him die because He wanted John to endure the ignominy of a jail term spent in exile on the Isle of Patmos so the Lord could give John a personal tour of Heaven and to receive the Heavenly vision, which was written in the Book of the Revelation.

Trees (aka Christians) planted by the river of the Lord,
rarely experience peace and quiet on the Road to Glory,
but the roots are grown deeply into the Lord by the Lord Himself
in order for the work He has purposed for each Christian to be accomplished,
during the years of the Lord's chosen fruitfulness for that individual Christian.

All of the previous examples of the Lord's servants have been men, and most of these have lived to a ripe old age for His Glory, but there have been great ladies of the faith, who have lived and died for the Lord just as valiantly.

1. Perpetua was an early Christian martyr, who died at about 22 years of age, and was a mother of an infant at the time.

2. Joan of Arc was another Christian martyr, who died at the age of 18 in the 15th century.

3. Rachel Joy Scott died as a Christian martyr on April 20th, 1999 as a high school senior, who was 17 years old. She was the first to die in the Columbine Massacre. Rachel became a committed Christian shortly before she died.

The Truth of the Gospel is that every born-again Christian is planted into Jesus, the soil in which we grow until He takes us Home to be with Him.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 29th, 2020


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May 28, 2020 at 4:53pm
May 28, 2020 at 4:53pm
#984498
Today, I had the wonderful experience of the Lord
giving me direct teaching about Truth
through a physical event in my life.

I just got back from having three teeth filled
by my dentist, who is a long-time friend. I've
been going to his office for twenty years or more.

The Lord reminded me about the parallels between
getting my teeth filled and His spiritual operations
at the core of my being. I don't recall ever hearing
the audible Voice of the Lord, but today
(as has been consistent throughout my Christian walk,)
the Lord opened my mind to understand and to see
something, that I have never seen before or that needed
to be reminded, since it was forgotten
or pushed to the back of my mind.

You know how sometimes we a have a mental conversation
with ourselves as we are processing life to get a better
understanding of something, that just happened or as we
anticipate something, that is about to happen?

I was in that mode this afternoon as the tooth-filling
procedure was about to begin. Since I had a bad experience
with a dentist when I was five, I was reinforcing Truth
in my mind by repeating I Timothy 1:7 and Proverbs 3:5-6
to get mentally prepared for the procedure,
even though my friend, the dentist has demonstrated
exceptional gentleness over the years. For instance,
I left his office a little over an hour ago, and I have yet
stop and take a Naproxen Sodium or any other kind of pain-killer,
and I'm starting to feel my lips, again. This gentleman
is most definitely an artist when it comes to tooth care.


Sorry, that was another Eugene Meltzner explanation.


The point is that the Lord just jumped into the middle
of my mental conversation, and asked me a question.
"What was necessary for you to do, personally,
to get your teeth filled, Son?
"
"Well, Sir. I had to drive myself to the office,
walk through the front door, check-in, follow the hygenist to the room,
and then sit down in that special chair with the floating dashboard,
filled with pointy objects, that have the potential of being really noisy.
"

Right now the Lord seems to be wearing a wry smile, giving me a poke in my spirit,
"We're really going to have to focus on delivering you from the spirit of
Eugene Meltzner. How about we simplify? What did you do to get your teeth filled?
"

"I sat down in the chair."


At that point, mental understanding began to grasp my spirit. I don't know how to fill my teeth, but my friend, the dentist does. When I sat down in the chair, I was demonstrating faith in his abilities.

When I sit and am still, waiting for his instructions to "open wider," "turn your head to the right," and "wait, I'll be back in a few minutes to finish up," then I am doing everything, that is required of me to have my teeth to be filled.

When I got saved, I came to the Lord, and I told Him, "I want to be saved." I didn't know how to be saved, but Jesus already knew how to save me. Coming to Him in honestly was all I could do to be saved. Jesus had to perform the operation on my spirit. Jesus had to fill me with His Blessed Holy Spirit. Jesus did the work because I came and submitted myself to Him in faith, that he could do something about my helpless situation. (Hell is a terrible place to spend Eternity. I didn't want to go there. Jesus was the Only One, Who could change my spirit to keep me out of that deplorable existence forever.)

Now, in order to live this Christian life well, I need to be infilled by the Holy Spirit's Power for service, but, again, I don't know how to do that. I must every day come to the Lord Jesus in my heart, submit myself to Him, and say, "Please, fill me with your dear Holy Spirit." At that point, I wait. Rarely is there this big, "BOOM!" that indicates, "You are now filled. You may proceed."

The infilling of the Holy Spirit is often a Knowing, that I more clearly comprehend in the process of living. We train ourselves regularly by performing certain tasks or skills, which are part of our calling. Football players run and catch the football. Pianists play the piano. Preachers use their voices to speak the Truth of God's Word, consistently to large groups of people. Teachers do much the same but to smaller groups. Care-givers work one-on-one with individuals, showing them how much they are loved. Writers transmit thoughts of the mind through the use of keypads and/or pen and paper.

When we are in the middle of doing daily tasks, we may realize the level of ease and assurance with which we are working is greater than usual because the Lord's Holy Spirit is taking what we know and the skills we have trained and is using them to a greater degree of efficiency than ever before. This is His infilling Power. Hank Hanegraaff explains this so well. Please, give it a listen and enjoy.




by Jay O'Toole
on May 28th, 2020


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May 27, 2020 at 11:49pm
May 27, 2020 at 11:49pm
#984452
"1 The proverbs of Solomon
the son of David,
king of Israel;

2 To know wisdom and instruction;
to perceive the words of understanding;

3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
justice,
and judgment,
and equity;

4 To give subtilty to the simple,
to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5 A wise man will hear,
and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding
shall attain unto wise counsels:

6 To understand a proverb,
and the interpretation;
the words of the wise,
and their dark sayings.

7 The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge:
"
(Proverbs 1:1-7a, KJV)


------------------------


"1 These are the proverbs of Solomon,
David’s son, king of Israel.

2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.

5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
"
(Proverbs 1:1-7a, NLT)


-----------------------------------


According to King Solomon, the purpose of the Book of Proverbs
is to create a wise son to be his progeny, in the first place,
and secondarily God has chosen this book
to be included in the canon of Scripture
in order to make any human wise, who reads this book.

What is a proverb?
A proverb is a statement, that shares wisdom in a capsule form.

What is wisdom?
According to Proverbs 1:1-7a, wisdom is...
1. "instruction,"
2. "the words of understanding,"
3. "the application of what is right, just, and fair,"
4. "(the) increase (of) learning,"
5. "dark sayings," and
6. "the fear of the Lord."

It took King Solomon and at least two other named writers
an entire book to discuss the subject of wisdom
in the capsulized form of Proverbs.

Therefore, I shall not endeavor to cover this entire subject
in one blog post.

Think of this post as simply an urgent request to meditate upon,
and to consider the subject of Wisdom.

Why is wisdom important?
Why did King Solomon and others spend so much time
writing down wisdom thoughts, called Proverbs?
Why do we need to take the time required to plan our actions
before we start to act upon them?

How many friends and family members do we know,
who have spent (or are now spending) time behind bars
because they were impulsive and not wise?

How many friends and family members do we know,
(maybe this would include ourselves,)
how have spent years in the bondage of excessive debt,
unable to make their desired impact for good upon the world
and HIStory because they have no available resources
with which to help others
because they spent recklessly in their youth
or at other time periods of life?

How many people, whom we know, maybe even ourselves,
have lost friends forever because they spoke their minds,
and didn't wisely keep their peace?

How many older adults have learned to be softspoken and of few words
because their pompous youth of being a loudmouth, flowing with harsh words
got them into so much trouble before they earned a good amount of wisdom?

"The quote of the playwright, George Bernard Shaw, 'Youth is wasted on the young,'"
seems to be alluding to this very idea.
https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/47/messages/295.html
Shaw is not the only person to make a statement like this,
which is in the form of a proverb itself,
but the point of each focuses on the same thing.

On the surface the expression, "Youth is wasted on the young,"
seems to be making a cutting remark toward young people by older people.
However, if we look below the surface, it is quite possible
to find great wisdom in this concept.

Rare is the senior citizen, who does not have at least a few regrets
from his or her years of living on Planet, Earth.
We spend our youthful energy
flitting like butterflies from one beautiful flower to the next.
We waste our resources on entertainment and items, that are gone with the use.
We hurry, and hurry, and hurry still more to times of great excitement,
only to find, that we have little to show for our efforts
unless the Lord stopped us up short early in life to show us how to use
our youthful strength for His Kingdom's good and for His Glory.

The same website above draws these ideas together quite succinctly,
"A 16th century Frenchman, Henri Estienne, had much the same idea and said "Si jeunesse savoit; si vieillesse pouvoit" (roughly: "If only youth had the knowledge; if old age had the strength") which is a well-known saying in France."

Sadly, unless the Lord calls a young person into ministry, showing that dear one, how to best spend youthful strength on the cause of everlasting wisdom, then most of us have lived foolishly at least to some degree because we lived for ourselves when we were young and strong, wishing we still had some of that strength after we finally learned the wisdom of spending our lives for the Glory of the Lord.

May the Lord call each of us to wisdom, while He continues to provide us the strength to act upon that wisdom.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 27th, 2020


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May 26, 2020 at 6:24pm
May 26, 2020 at 6:24pm
#984377
"14 I am the good shepherd,
and know my sheep,
and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me,
even so know I the Father:
and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice;
and there shall be one fold,
and one shepherd.
"
(John 10:14-16, KJV)


What a Joy it was to have the Holy Spirit
make it clear to me at one point,
that I am part of the "other sheep"
written about in John 10:16a.

This references the fact,
that Jesus would bring me to salvation.
(John 6:37) "them also I must bring."

He gave me the ability to hear His call to salvation.
"and they shall hear my voice."

If you are already a believer in Jesus Christ
as Messiah, isn't it great, that we are mentioned
three times in John 10:16 as "other sheep, "them," and "they"?


As we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
we start to understand things, that we have never understood before
because we have a new heart and a new spirit, according to Ezekiel 36:26-27.

"26 A new heart also will I give you,
and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you,
and cause you to walk in my statutes,
and ye shall keep my judgments,
and do them.
"


The Lord works on our desires, our spirit, and our actions
to tune them to the perfect desires, the perfect spirit,
and the perfect actions of our older Brother, Jesus,
through the Power of His Holy Spirit, according to
Philippians 2:13, "For it is God, which worketh in you
to will and to do of His good pleasure.
"

Though, I have yet to live one perfect day in this imperfect flesh,
the inner man longs for the perfect ability to serve his Lord
without the hindrances of sin in the flesh.

What a precious thought to go to sleep with this night!
God loves me as I am, while he is in the process of making me as He is.

Be blessed as you rest in this comforting truth.
He came to Earth for you and me, that He might provide the way of restoration
back into fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.


The Lord give you His everlasting Peace this night, if never before.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 26th, 2020


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May 25, 2020 at 9:59pm
May 25, 2020 at 9:59pm
#984331
The Holiness of God is the Characteristic, which is least comprehensible by the human mind.

We more easily understand Justice and Mercy, but Holiness is that trait, which is most uniquely Divine with no counterpart in the human experiential repertoire.

The Holiness of God can NEVER experience Sin or Holiness ceases to exist.

The Holiness of God is the original definition of "social distancing" with regard to sin and everything, that is unholy. Sin is so contagious, that God can NEVER come in contact with Sin, else God would forever cease to be Holy.

The Holiness of God has traits, which are similar to hemophilia. The hemophiliac must live a life of perfect separation from cuts of any kind. One cut could cause a hemophiliac to bleed-out and die. One incursion of Sin into the Person of God would mean the bleeding-out of Holiness and the death of God.

This is the very reason, that Satan tried, repeatedly, to get Jesus to Sin in Matthew 4:1-11, and myriad unwritten times throughout the life of Jesus, during His earthly sojourn. If Jesus sinned, then the Godhead would have received that hemophiliac cut, that would have defeated the Holiness of God, causing God to cease to exist, giving Satan legal right to rule the Universe and all of Eternity from his dastardly sinful heart.

Few of us have even the slightest comprehension of all that Jesus had to endure to provide eternal Salvation for His Bride, the chosen ones.

The Gospel writers in the Bible express much about the physical, emotional, and spiritual agonies of the mock trial, the scourging, and the crucifixion, during the last day of his life before the transformation into His Resurrected Body. However, nothing is written of the bulk of the thirty silent years before He started His itinerant ministry school in which He trained 12 ragtag men, who would, no doubt, never have been wanted by the respectable Jewish schools of that Day or of any other Day. We know of His birth, and of a few days of a trip to the temple with his parents when He was twelve, but for most of His first thirty years we know nothing.

Jesus was a teenager. How many times was He tempted to lust after an attractive female friend, but he did not?

Jesus was a carpenter. How many times did He hit His hand or cut His finger, but no curse words came out of His mouth?

Isaiah 53:2 says that Jesus looked like every other synagogue-going Jew of His Day. "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."

This is the very attitude, that led to Jesus being placed on the cross. He claimed to be God, but the others of his nation smirked, much like we would in our modern societies. "Hey, Sam! Get a load of this! Joe here thinks He's God! Are you serious?" (They all slapped Him at once.) "Alright, Mr. God, tell us, who he was, who slapped you!"

However, The Lord of Glory revealed something to His disciple, Peter. "Who are you, Jesus? Why You ARE the Messiah of God!". This knowledge was divinely given because Jesus didn't look like all that to human eyes, who could only see the surface of the physical aspect of life.

The Holiness of God incorporates His Perfection.
The Holiness of God demonstrates the continuity between His Purpose and his Actions.
The Holiness of God is sinless, free from anything, that is contrary to His Essential Nature.

The Holiness of God is at its core the very thing, that it means to be GOD.
The Three ARE Forever in such Unity, being in such agreement, that Three Diverse Individuals act in the Harmony of One Unified Mind.

The Holiness of God shows the Wholeness of God's Person. There is no division in any part of God.

As I said in a recent post and would like to expand now, the Nature of the Holiness of God has similarities with the nature of electricity. If electricity is perceived to be a community of atoms, then no individual can enter the community of electricity, unless one is created with the nature of electricity. If a human touches the community of electricity without protective gear, the human dies instantly.

The Holiness of God is just as exclusive. No human being can have eternal fellowship with Holy God without being clothed in the righteousness (aka protective gear) of Christ. The Substitutionary Atonement of the Son of God provides the Substitutionary Righteousness of being made a new creature in Christ Jesus.

God has been called a Consuming Fire. This demonstrates the Truth, that God's Holiness is never in danger of being harmed in any way.

If we agree with electricity, showing it deference, reverence, and respect, then our homes and businesses can be full of light in times of darkness. If we agree with the Holiness of God, through the repentance from sin, and reception of the Gift of Salvation from Jesus Christ, His Only Son, then we have fellowship with God through the merits of His Only Beloved Son.

The Holiness of God causes terror as long as we remain in the nakedness of Sin.
The Holiness of God causes Joy to those, who are clothed in the Robe of Righteousness, never to be disrobed by Sin ever again, throughout all Time and Eternity.

"15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
"
(I Peter 1:15-17, KJV)

-----------------------

"28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"
{Matthew 11:28-29, KJV)

------------------------

"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
(Philippians 2:13, KJV)

All of these passages of Scripture agree together, regarding the Holiness of God.

1. We are commanded to be HOLY in order to come into the Presence of the Lord. (I Peter 1:15-17) However, humans do not have the ability within themselves to either be Holy or to act in a Holy manner. How then can we can we obey this commandment of The Lord?

2. We are commanded to Come to the Lord, and cease from our useless human efforts and nature. (Matthew 11:28-29). When we are still (aka "effortless") in the Presence of the Lord, yielding to His Work on our behalf, He clothes us in Righteousness, making us able to live a Holy life, while being "at rest in our souls."

3. We are urged to see the Work of Christ in our very spirits for He changes our very spirits to be in agreement with His Own Spirit. We are made able to have the desire for God's good pleasure and to be able to do God's good pleasure.

The wild stallion has become more than merely the broken and docile workhorse, which obeys the master's every command. The wild stallion has become the regal steed, who carries out the master's wishes in agreement with the master's wishes, but from the heart the steed carries out the master's wishes because it has become the steed's regal desire to please his master. Pleasing his master pleases himself.

May the Lord give each of us the transformed heart of Royalty, that pleases God because, that is what we so desire to do. It makes us be filled with Joy when we honor and glorify the Lord because he has placed a new heart within us. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)


by Jay O'Toole
on May 25th, 2020


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May 23, 2020 at 1:10pm
May 23, 2020 at 1:10pm
#984176
Days of loss and grief are often experienced in much the same way we have collectively and individually experienced the quarantine, due to the Coronavirus. We know that others are experiencing the same, but our own sense of loss, separation, and theft of Joy seems more overwhelming than we can bear.

We are urged by our hearts to cry out with the main character of Hinds Feet on High Places, "Come quickly, Shepherd, for I am Much-Afraid!"

We find ourselves taking a stand one minute with Gandalf against the Balrog of Confused Emotions, "You shall not Pass!" only to fall the next moment with it into the Pit of Despair.

Is there any way to begin to breathe with the elephant of Grief, sitting on my chest, taking my breath away?

I find the Lord often uses times of grief to draw His child into a closer relationship with Himself. The Lord is silent as you or I sit on His lap, being held tightly to His Chest. As we begin to hear His heartbeat, nothing may change instantly, but in time, peace invades our brokenness, reminding us, that He is near, and that our loved one is being kept safe in those very same loving arms.

The waves may buffet the barque in sore rages, but the anchor, that sinks down into the Ancient of Days will be secured for Time and Eternity.

"6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel,
and his redeemer the Lord of hosts;
I am the first, and I am the last;
and beside me there is no God.

7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it,
and set it in order for me,
since I appointed the ancient people?
and the things that are coming,
and shall come, let them shew unto them.

8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid:
have not I told thee from that time,
and have declared it?
ye are even my witnesses.
Is there a God beside me?
yea, there is no God;
I know not any.
"
(Isaiah 44:6-8, KJV)






by Jay O'Toole
on May 23rd, 2020


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May 22, 2020 at 2:17pm
May 22, 2020 at 2:17pm
#984111
"1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
"
(Psalm 150:1-6, KJV)

The word, "praise" shows up 13 times in this psalm, which is the same number of times, that the Children of Israel marched around Jerico before the walls fell down flat. (Joshua 6:2-5, 20)

The message seems clear, at least to me. Praise the Lord, honoring Him in all you do, and let Him fight your battles for you.

In the spiritual realm praise and the singing of praise songs are mighty weapons of spiritual warfare.

In the physical, humans use all kinds of weapons to fight their battles in the strength of their own muscles, and in the knowledge of their own minds for the purpose of winning battles.

However, the Lord is all about winning in ways, which make no sense to the human mind.
1. "Build an ark. Then, I'll flood the Earth."
2. "March around a city 13 times, total, over a period of 6 days. Then, shout, and I'll make the walls fall down flat."
3. The Lord walked with three Hebrew boys in a fiery furnace, affecting revival in Babylon as a result.
4. In the case of Paul, the Apostle, the Lord knocked him off his high horse, blinded him for three days, then turned him into a great preacher and writer of Scriptural Text.
5. In the final future battle, Jesus will come to Earth riding on a white horse with His redeemed ones on white horses as His entourage, but only Jesus will fight, defeating the armies of the Earth with a Sword, which will proceed forth from His Mouth. (John 1:1). He is the Logos of God, and the Logos will put all of Humanity in subjection to Him.

Are you as intimidated by life's battles as I am?
We must focus on Jesus, the Savior and Lord. He is the One, Who always makes the Way for us, since He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." (John 14:6, KJV)




by Jay O'Toole
on May 22nd, 2020


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May 21, 2020 at 4:57pm
May 21, 2020 at 4:57pm
#984064
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.
"
(Proverbs 3:5-6, KJV)
------------------------------------

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
"
(Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)

According to Collins dictionary,
"If you trust someone,
you believe that they are honest and sincere
and will not deliberately do anything to harm you.
"
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/trust

How do we express trust in someone,
especially Someone as eternally significant
as Jesus of Nazareth, HIStory's Only Messiah,
and the Creator of the physical Universe?
In this question, I have demonstrated the premise.

I have stated the question in such a way as to show,
I believe the truth of Genesis 1:1 & John 1:1.
The Logos of John 1:1 is Jesus Christ.
This I believe from my heart
in agreement with every reliable source I can find.

How have I demonstrated trust throughout my life?

When I was about four or five years old,
my Dad lifted me up to the top of a chest of drawers,
where I stood for a few moments
before my Dad said, "Alright, Son, jump."
He wanted me to jump from the chest,
through the air into his waiting arms.
I did it with Dad catching me,
while giving me a good, strong first lesson
in TRUST.

In high school, I was in the marching band.
During my senior year, we performed a mirror show at halftime.
Mirror shows have two halves of the band marching in the opposite, yet equal directions,
which, of course, look like they are acting in a mirror.
However, there was only one tuba player that year.
That would be me.
I marched up and down the 50-yard line,
while all the other musicians marched around me,
never once knocking me over, nor running into each other.
This shows TRUST.
We trust each other to do our parts
without causing injury or embarrassment to others in the band.

By extension, I have driven many miles in my car,
since I received my first driver's license at age sixteen.
For most of those miles, I have followed the rules of the road
as the bulk of other drivers have done the same.
We TRUST each other to do our parts,
which allows all of us to safely get to our intended destinations.

On August 1st of this year, I am scheduled to celebrate 34 years,
being married to the same lady.
It is my great honor to have been with her for so many years.
Though we are imperfect individuals,
we TRUST each other to "love, honor, and obey,"
mutually for the benefit of both.

As I discussed through the 23rd Psalm, yesterday,
the Lord can be trusted to do everything,
He professes he will do.
If we see, that the Lord provides food, water,
and rest in the physical part of this life, (Psalm 23:2)
then it is reasonable to TRUST He will provide
for our physical and spiritual needs beyond this life. (Psalm 23:6)


Throughout my life so far, I have know instances of the Lord guiding me
through the word of Scripture as well as circumstantial nudges,
which point me in the right direction on a given day and time.

There have, also, been times in which the Lord seems to be silent and very far away.
Is it honorable for me to question the Character, especially the faithfulness of the Lord
on days or extended periods of time when He seems to be forcing me to go it alone?

I have a very skewed perspective.
I am very low-to-the-ground when compared to the Lord.
I am living an insignificant number of years on Earth when compared to the eternal existence of the Lord.
My ears are often not able to grasp "the still, small voice," which means the Lord is no doubt talking to me, but my ability to comprehend what He is saying is somehow compromised on my end of the equation.

"For God has said, 'I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.'” (Hebrews 13:5b, NLT)
"for he hath said, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.'" (Hebrews 13:5b, KJV)
Different translations. Same message.

The Lord may appear to be silent.
The Lord may appear to be a million miles away.
However, He is always speaking, and He is always near each of us.

Parenting gives us humans so many opportunities to see how the Lord interacts with humans,
especially He receives as His children. When a toddler begins to explore his or her world,
that little one starts going wherever those little legs will carry that wondrous child.
Often they go unaware to the parent, hoping to stretch legs into liberty to find out things "on their own."
Yet, how many times does the responsible parent let the little one explore while being near enough to catch
a child falls from standing to a seated position and near enough to prevent the child from falling down a long set of stairs?
The parent may not be actively talking, but the parent is always listening and close at hand.
The parent may not always be in a position for the child to see him or her, but that parent is always in a position to see the child.

The Lord may be silent, while I am testing some skills.
The Lord may be silent, while I am waiting on Him for new directions.
The Lord may be silent, while I sit in the smelter's pot, waiting for the dross to be skimmed off,
but never is the Lord asleep, no is He out of range of my lowest cry.

He cries when I cry, I am quite sure because He feels my feelings,
but in His wisdom, He does not reduce the heat, nor does He decrease the time,
until He sees His Face in the molten metal.

The Lord allows us to go through the tests, the fiery situations, and anything else, that is required
in order to mold us into His Image. However, He is always with us in the fire. (Daniel 3:23-25)

Will this current situation of COVID-19 Quarantine end well? The Lord knows.
Will life ever return to "normal" in order for us to get back to the way things were before this? Again, the Lord knows.

Whatever changes,
whatever stays the same,
whatever the Lord's Will will be,
the Truth remains my TRUST must be in Him.

"But he knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold.
"
(Job 23:10, KJV)


by Jay O'Toole
on May 21st, 2020


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May 20, 2020 at 4:25pm
May 20, 2020 at 4:25pm
#984001
"1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
"
(Psalm 23:1-6, AKJV)

To call a Christian a sheep can be either or compliment or an insult,
depending upon one's perspective.

Throughout my Christian Walk,
I've had detractors, who spit these words at me,
"You're just a sheep."
To this the response in my mind at least
often sounds like Yoda,
"Confess I do. A sheep I am."

Actually saying those words,
often depends upon the size of my detractor
and/or the level of amicable relationship
we have in other areas of life.

What does Psalm 23 have to say about the subject?

1. The Lord takes care of my needs. (verse #1)
2. The Lord makes sure I get enough food and water and rest. (verse #2)
3. The Lord makes sure my spiritual needs are met, too.
(Restoration of relationship with God was met at the cross,
the garden tomb, and through His Resurrection on the Third Day.) (verse #3)
4. The Presence of the Lord meets my fears head-on.
Dark valleys of difficulty, and ultimately death,
are no longer the extreme causes of fear
because of the Presence of the Lord. (verse #4a-b)
5. The Lord's correction of my errors in life is not pleasant at the moment,
but they bring great comfort to my heart in their results. (verse #4c)
6. The Lord may not always remove my enemies a safe distance from me
to cause my comfort zone to be restored,
but He does cause them to watch me eat my peaceful feast,
that he has prepared for me. (verse #5a)
7. The Lord honors me, at the time of His Choosing,
through the symbol of pouring anointing oil all over my head. (verse #5b)
8. The Lord meets my daily needs, effusively, to the point,
that my cup cannot contain all of the Lord's Blessings. (verse #5c)
9. The Goodness of the Lord and His Mercy
(aka "the punishment I deserve but I do not receive,")
are at the Lord's bidding to be my rearguard, watching my back
all my life long. (verse #6a)
10. The security of my eternal residence with the Lord
is based on the fact, that I am His sheep,
His child, His Redeemed one. (verse #6b)

It never ceases to amaze me, that I am a Christian.
He came to call me when I was just a boy of six.
The call to salvation terrified me because I had to see, first,
that I was in danger of Hell Fire before I could see the intense JOY of Mercy,
that comes in turning from Self to the Savior.

You may wonder how a small boy could understand concepts, like this.
I don't fully know how, either, but I have had thoughts about Eternity
since I was three years old when I had my first concept dream about Hell.

I am a sheep.

The Lord has been drawing me to Himself since I was a small child.
The concept brings new levels of meaning to a verse I shared the other day.
John 6:37, KJV, says, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
"
For a man to have a flock of sheep or a herd of cattle
ownership is extant by purchase or by a gift.
In the case of Jesus, the flock He shepherds are His sheep
by virtue of the gift of His Father giving Him each sheep,
that the Father has chosen ahead of Time.
Also, Jesus owns the flock by virtue
of His paying the purchase price on the Cross of Calvary,
and through the sealing of the deal through Resurrection.

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;"
This is foreknowledge and predestination.
God, the Father chooses to save a soul.
That is His prerogative.

"and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
This is free will. (Philippians 2:13)
Illumined minds choose Jesus of Nazareth.
Why wouldn't I want to come to Him?
When I come to Him by His Choice and my Free Will,
why would He ever reject me?

Let me close with the same passage from the New Living Translation.

"1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.
"

Becoming all the Lord has created me to become
does not squelch my creativity.
Becoming all the Lord has created me to be
liberates my creativity.

May this wonderful knowledge liberate your own creativity this very day!

(John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10, 13; Philippians 2:13)


by Jay O'Toole
on May 20th, 2020


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May 19, 2020 at 10:56pm
May 19, 2020 at 10:56pm
#983958
"It is vain for you to rise up early,
to sit up late,
to eat the bread of sorrows:
for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
"
(Psalm 127:2, KJV)

--------------------

"It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.
"
(Psalm 127:2, NLT)

--------------------


This verse gets me no matter the translation I read.

I tend to stay up late at night, consistently just to write.
Admittedly, the house is quiet, until two or three in the morning,
but most of my days are groggy days as a result.

Writing is a real pleasure, but I think I will cut this one short tonight
because I need the rest.

Writing is a great long-term activity,
but I may need to rethink the when of writing.

Today was a good day for teaching my daughter, Jade Amber Jewel
another lesson in driving the car. Most of the lesson was listening
with a little bit of small talk mixed in. Thank you, Miranda Keening .
She's really starting to get excited about learning to drive.
This is a real joy to my heart because I believe she has
a great life of driving ahead of her.

These next two schoolyears will be really important for us
because these will be her junior and senior years of high school.

Note to Self: Make sure to get plenty of rest
in order to enjoy the last of her time in high school.

She loves to write.
I love to write.
However, I need to focus more on her and on rest.

Writing should still be there after graduation
no matter how "the chips of life may fall."

May the Lord help me to keep the Important and the Real real important.

May your days be success in preparing you for the Eternal Day.
(John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10, 13, Philippians 2:13)


by Jay O'Toole
on May 19th, 2020


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May 18, 2020 at 7:47pm
May 18, 2020 at 7:47pm
#983886
"Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
'This is the way you should go,'
whether to the right or to the left.
"
(Isaiah 30:21, NLT)

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee,
saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it,'
when ye turn to the right hand,
and when ye turn to the left.
"
(Isaiah 30:21, KJV)


Today marks a momentous occasion. I have assayed to teach my daughter to drive in a fairly large venue.

A few months ago, my wife and I, separately and jointly, took our daughter, on four separate occasions, to learn to drive in a small parking lot. A couple to those times my wife tried to teach her to drive our truck, a stick-shift.

Naturally, this made the first part of today's experience, "eventful," since she was driving with the right foot on the gas pedal and the left foot on the brake. This was certainly natural in the transition from stick to automatic, but I explained, "I don't know anyone, who drives like that. We want to have our strong foot helping us to stop the car as well as helping it to go. Remember when you play soccer you use your right foot more than your left one."

This seemed to satisfy her as the rationale. Not sure what I would have done if she had been a lefty kicker like I am. *Wink*

The venue for our driving lesson was a large sports park. However, due to the quarantine, no baseball games or soccer matches are being held right now. The local water park is closed, too. This meant that most of the parking lot was empty, and the roads throughout the park were being unused for the most part.

We learned some parking skills.
We learned to use the right and left blinkers.
We learned how to stop at Stop signs.
And thank the Lord, the posted speed limit signs were 10 MPH.
That helps greatly with reaction time, especially since I told her,
that I live by the Rule of Thumb,
"Never drive faster in a parking lot than you can walk,
unless it's an emergency
."

My dear daughter and I are good travel companions
since we both tend to be cautious.
Case in point, she procured her Learner's Permit last September,
but has not been "dancing on my face" to teach her how to drive,
and today's lesson was more at my suggestion than at hers.

It's summertime.
No school for a couple of months.
We both think it's time,
but we both have a healthy concern over the magnitude
of learning how to maneuver a potentially dangerous weapon.


I'm grateful, that I'm not so much concerned
about her becoming part of the problem on the roads,
but I'm concerned about taking the learning curve slowly enough to build excellent habits,
while training her to be wary of other drivers, who are not as conscientious about safe driving as we are.

Some day she may have to deal with others teasing her
about being trained to drive by her grandmother.
That truth will be more accurate than the funny guy or girl could ever realize.
Her Grandma taught her Dad to drive over 40 years ago,
and her Dad is merely passing along the expertise.

Of course, I was taught to drive in a 1970s model Ford Pinto "bowling ball,"
and it was a stick-shift.


I can still remember some of those nuggets of advice.
"Never turn left onto a busy street.
Make sure you go to a traffic light to make that left turn.
"
"Always use your blinkers to make a turn." (Of course, nowadays I get a poke from my wife because every time I turn left into the carport from our driveway, I turn on the left turn blinker. Daughter mentioned, that today. To this, I responded, "If I use my blinkers every time I turn the car, and it's not legally or even socially necessary to do so, then I've harmed no one, but if I neglect to use my blinkers when it is necessary, especially when it is the law, then I could cause a great deal of harm. Bottom Line: Better safe than sorry.")
"Never be in a hurry to get anywhere. Patience is the driver's greatest tool."

I can't say, that I remember these sayings being stated in exactly these words, but I can say, that watching my Mom taught me the importance of these concepts. Granted, I may look like a grandma driving, but at least when Mom drove us anywhere I could arrive safely with my peace of heart intact. When Dad drove, I got caught up on my praying because he was wont to switch in and out of traffic on superhighways without the obligatory blinkers. I may have gotten a few more dirty knees from kissing the ground after the car was parked and the ignition was turned off with him rather than with her.

I love my Dad in so many ways. Driving is not part of that list.


Does the Lord have any thoughts on the way we navigate our lives? Of course, but if we ignore Him, He may not speak up from the rider's seat, until we come to a crashing stop, and we start, again, to pray, "Oh, Lord, please help me! I've made a mess of my life!"

Today, my daughter thanked me for not screaming when she came too close to a curb.
That was discipline on my part, but I, also, didn't remain silent in the process.
I'm an actor.

Today's blog post is my counselor after our first lesson in a larger venue.

Many words are being expressed, cautiously, and quietly. Are we communicating?

Prayers for wisdom, quiet words and gentle patience would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you all so much.

The Lord's Wisdom is always what it needs to be when it needs to be there.
May the Lord give us ears to hear, minds to comprehend,
and the determination to obey Him in every way.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 18th, 2020


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May 16, 2020 at 3:22pm
May 16, 2020 at 3:22pm
#983732
How could Jesus of Nazareth live just over 33 years
in the country of Israel with most of those years,
being lived in obscurity, without any written journals of His activities,
having only three years with the ragtag bunch of disciples
to whom He was to leave His wisdom and His purpose for the future,
dying on a cruel cross, due to falsified charges, based on political malice
at the hands of one of His disciples, who proved to be a traitor,
and ultimately not feel like a failure in all that He had assayed to do?

How could this same Jesus of Nazareth, Who from all human perspectives
was, indeed, a miserable failure, be the focus of modern calendars
as well as the ire of all-inclusive religions the world over.

He died, Folks! Quit your kicking!

Or is it that you, All, believe, too, just as well as
every believing Christ-follower for the past 2000+ years,
that Jesus of Nazareth didn't stay dead,
but He is Alive, Today, and Forever?

"Now to the King
eternal,
immortal,
invisible,
the only God,
be honor and glory
forever and ever. Amen."

(I Timothy 1:17, KJV)


From the Eternal Perspective, only the Perfect Man, who is at the same time the Eternal God, could die one Friday, enduring the cross for a finite period of time, paying the eternal sin-debt of every human for the entirety of HIStory, providing eternal salvation for those, who could never pay the sin-debt themselves, even if they were to endure an eternity in the burning cauldron of the Lake of Fire, which is Hell.

From the Eternal Perspective, all of our earthly lives are replete with illustrations of how much greater Eternity is than Time.
1. The nine months of human gestation compared to the length of human life expectancy is a very minimal but accurate thumbnail sketch of human life expectancy compared to our existence in Eternity.
2. Gold is portrayed throughout human HIStory as being the treasure of the highest marketable value, but this metal of highest human value is reduced to asphalt in Heaven since the streets of Heaven are paved with gold. (This is not, as some have accused God, an illustration of opulence, and the taste of the rich, but it is rather a demonstration of The Lord's knowledge about human value systems as they are compared to His Own Value System. The Lord values people much more than things. This is my perspective in my humble opinion.)
3. Spiritual relationships have much greater endurance and edification for Time and Eternity than physical relationships do on Earth. "But he answered and said unto him that told him, 'Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?'
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, 'Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.'
"
(Matthew 12:48-50, KJV)

From the Eternal Perspective, aging is not a thing because even if I live 90 to 100 years, I will always be a youngster compared to the One, Who made me. Also, even if I live 90 to 100, the bulk of my existence is always in front of me.

Though I believe that environmentalists have a good heart because they want to take care of the Earth on which we live, I believe their perspective is skewed, since they take care of the Earth because "it's all we've got." However, from the Eternal Perspective, the Lord would tell environmentalists in general and Christians in specific, "Keep on doing what you are doing to steward the Earth, that I've entrusted to you. Just know, I've got this. One Day I'm going to put the Earth through the Fire like I once did with the Flood. Afterward, all will be purified and restored to the original quality of Creation, making efforts to save the Earth moot."

"39 See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god with me:
I kill, and I make alive;
I wound, and I heal:
neither is there any
that can deliver out of my hand.

40 For I lift up my hand to heaven,
and say, I live for ever.
"
(Deuteronomy 32:39-40, KJV)



This is the website of Eternal Perspective Ministries.




by Jay O'Toole
on May 16th, 2020


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May 15, 2020 at 11:37pm
May 15, 2020 at 11:37pm
#983676
"Thou tellest my wanderings:
put thou my tears into thy bottle:
are they not in thy book?
"
(Psalm 56:8, AKJV)


---------------------


"You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
"
(Psalm 56:8, NLT)


---------------------


Humans may get filled up with caring for others and their tears.
At times the burdens of others become so heavy, that we just need to "get away."
I'm watching this happen to my loved ones through this COVID-19 quarantine.

It's like the instruction from a flight cabin crewmember,
"If the cabin should lose pressure,
then secure your own oxygen mask in place,
before securing the mask on others.
"

It's not intended to be selfish in any way,
actually, this procedure shows the highest respect for others
because you are insuring, that you are creating the best possible caregiver to help others.

However, God doesn't need to rest.
(He showed us how to rest
when He stopped to admire His own work
on day #7 of the Creation week.)
The Lord is always the best caregiver.
He shows this to us in the verses we are reading, today.

"You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
"
(Psalm 56:8, NLT)


The duress of these trying days makes us wonder
if anyone cares what we are experiencing
when all the while, most humans on Planet Earth
are experiencing many of the same feelings we are.

This is one of the worst consequences of "sheltering-in-place" and "social-distancing."
Isolation makes us unable to share the good and the bad of life with others.

Even when we can't be with others, we can still be with the Lord of Glory.
Jesus knows every sorrow I am experiencing.
Jesus collects every one of my tears in His bottle.
Jesus records each tear in His Personal Journal.

Is this bottle a physical bottle or is this a spiritual bottle,
which contains the memories of every physical tear shed by one of us humans?
The Lord knows. What's more, the Lord's memory
of our experiences in life is all the record we need.
He will set things straight for His own Glory one Day.
"And" for those people, who belong to Him,
"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
"
(Revelation 21:4, KJV)

This Blessed Hope doesn't take away the tears,
that we each cry throughout this earthly life,
but it does give the redeemed a hope,
that is unequalled by any good we may be able to enjoy in this life.

May you begin to experienced redeemed HOPE, today,
if never before in your lifetime.


Truest Blessings to you.
(John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10, 13; Philippians 2:13)


by Jay O'Toole
on May 15th, 2020


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May 14, 2020 at 6:04pm
May 14, 2020 at 6:04pm
#983581
Humans have an interesting way to try to produce confidence in buyers.
It's called the 30-Day Money Back Guarantee (or the Satisfaction Guarantee.)
"Try the product, (whatever it is,) and if you are not completely satisfied,
then just send it back for a full refund. No questions asked."

There's the implication, that someone might not like the product,
but the company wants to have every opportunity
to gain that person's confidence as a valued customer.

However, the Lord Jesus takes the relationship
between humans and Himself so seriously,
that He has instituted the No Return Policy
because He is so confident, that once He is known
by a human, returning to the former state of not knowing
will neither be possible nor will it be desired.

The relationship with God, the Father, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ is based solely on His Ability to make a new creation in the human being. The only people, who don't get saved, born again, and adopted into God's Family, are the ones, who run away from and reject God's every overture to bring them into His family. If you simply stand still with a "Yes" in your heart, and the "I am willing, Lord" on your lips, then Jesus steps in to transform your very being, making your spirit alive in Himself.

"Don’t love money;
be satisfied with what you have.
For God has said,

'I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.'

(Hebrews 13:5, NLT)

------------------------------

"All that the Father giveth me
shall come to me;
and him that cometh to me
I will in no wise cast out.
"
(John 6:37, AKJV)


Jesus never abandons us after He saves us.
(Actually, He has never abandoned us, since He created us.)
Jesus never rejects the ones, who come to Him for salvation and transformation.
Jesus never needs thirty days to think about whether or not
He wants to be related to any of us.
None of us, who have been truly saved and transformed,
could ever "want our money back," so to speak
because when Jesus creates, it is impossible for anybody
to uncreate back to some alleged previous existence.

The invitation will not expire until the human does as His greatest rule.

May all the readers be made right with the Lord this very day,
according to John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10, 13; and Philippians 2:13.

May His truest Blessing be yours!


by Jay O'Toole
on May 14th, 2020


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May 13, 2020 at 11:52pm
May 13, 2020 at 11:52pm
#983517
Jesus is the Rock on which we build our lives (aka "houses.")
The bedrock Truth of His Word is the firm foundation
of our lives on this Earth as well as our lives throughout all Eternity.

Does this mean we will not have any problems or challenges in life?
Hardly. The fact that storms come, during this earthly sojourn,
is the reason why we need to build upon solid bedrock.
Storms are difficult but with a secure foundation,
the possibility of dire results will be greatly reduced,
and this will be quite obvious when the storm is over.


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

25 And 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.

26 And 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:

27 And 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.
"
(Matthew 7:24-27, KJV)


------------------------


24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching
and follows it is wise,
like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
25 Though the rain comes in torrents
and the floodwaters rise
and the winds beat against that house,
it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
26 But anyone who hears my teaching
and doesn’t obey it is foolish,
like a person who builds a house on sand.
27 When the rains and floods come
and the winds beat against that house,
it will collapse with a mighty crash.

(Matthew 7:24-27, NLT)


The shifting sands of human opinion, which seem to change every few years, every few months, every few weeks, every few days, or even every few hours or minutes or seconds are unstable conditions upon which to entrust the building of our lives for Time and for Eternity.

Lest we forget. Mankind knew nothing of germs when the American Civil War was being fought. Doctors went between cadavers and baby deliveries without washing their hands. Many babies and/or their mothers died in the process.
Today, the world is quarantined due to the hyper-knowledge of germs, regarding the Coronavirus. This means, that even non-physicians, like hair stylists, must change their outer protective gear in between clients, if they wish to stay open and do business.

The shifting sands of human opinion and human knowledge have changed so drastically since the days of Adam and Eve, that to establish our lives upon science, especially as it was known back then, is to establish a life in great insecurity. The greatest benefit to the world, that science can perform is to proclaim the established Truth of God's Holy Word, the Bible. When science agrees with the Bible, science is founded upon the Rock. When science deviates from the Bible, it establishes itself upon the tenuous shifting sands of human opinion and changing human knowledge.

The following song encapsulates these truths in the Sunday School Song I learned when I was a Primary Boy. Primaries was a class in Southern Baptist Churches for the early elementary children back in the 1960s.



----------------------------


"35 And the same day, when the even was come,
he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36 And when they had sent away the multitude,
they took him even as he was in the ship.
And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind,
and the waves beat into the ship,
so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow:
and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind,
and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another,
What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
(Mark 4:35-41, KJV)


Why does Jesus take a nap, when His followers are in a storm?
Why does Jesus seem to be silent, when His children are in some
of the most difficult circumstances of their lives in the physical and spiritual realms?

Does Jesus stop caring about us?
Or is it more accurate to say, "The teacher has gone silent for the purpose of administering the test to show His child, that the things He has been teaching have been more well-received than the child could ever have imagined possible."

It has always amazed me, that Jesus could go to sleep in the back of the boat on a cushion, while hardened seafarers were terrified for their lives. Does he know something we don't know? (Insert knowing look.) Of course, He does. He is God.
Jesus could sleep in the presence of a raucous storm more easily than a dog owner falls asleep on the couch to the antics of a playful little puppy.

Jesus is Master.
The storm is His faithful dog.
The Master speaks.
The dog must obey.


Bottom Line: Jesus is the Source of Security, whether we build our houses (aka "lives") on the solid bedrock of a good foundation, waiting for the storms to arrive, or if we ride out to meet the storm on the sea with Jesus very close at hand in our ship of state. Storms are transitory. Jesus is the Point of Reference. Jesus is our True North. Mariners chart their courses by the North Star. Christians are enjoined to chart the course of our lives by Jesus, our True North.

May The Lord Jesus give us His Peace,
today, and every day because we are resting in Him.
May your rest be in Him.
Truest Blessings be yours.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 13th, 2020


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May 12, 2020 at 11:58pm
May 12, 2020 at 11:58pm
#983431
"1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
2 I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4 What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
"
(Psalm 84:1-4, NLT)

Challenging days can bring us the end of ourselves,
but when we reach our extremity, the Lord is further still.
When life can't seem to be turned around or righted,
The Lord is in the Past and the Future while living with us in the Present.

A dear friend reminded me today that praise and worship
is our greatest tool for winning battles in the spirit realm.
We sing praise to God, and it changes the atmosphere
of our hearts and of our day.

I just realized, recently, that something has been missing,
during these days of the COVID-19 quarantine.
I haven't been playing the piano and singing.
This is, for all practical purposes, a thermometer
for the man I am, who lives in this earthly body.

"If I'm playing the piano, I'm healthy emotionally,"
I've told my wife on various occasions.
"If I'm not playing the piano,
then there is something wrong on the inside."

I need to play the piano, again.
I need to sing.
These unreal circumstances have caused me to fight depression.

Depression is a sad state of affairs.
I should know. I've dealt with it on more than one occasion
throughout my years on Earth.

Depression can be the consequence of unbalanced chemicals in the body,
like a poorly acting thyroid, which can deregulate the metabolism,
adding extra girth and heaviness to the body's frame.
(At least that's been my experience.)

This one I understand all too well.
That's why I urge friends to help friends, who are overweight, to move.
These nudges need to be compassionate, gentle, patient, and consistent
since the weight problem adds to the depressive state
as surely as breathing keeps us alive.

Depression can be emotional in nature
since we have many and varied ways of perceiving the world,
and even the best of friends or the best of parents may, unwittingly,
neglect something necessary, due to the fact, that we are all busy,
filled up with our own thoughts and needs.

Take people seriously when they tell you they are feeling depressed.
I seriously doubt that they want to feel depressed, but if that is how it appears,
then consider this, many, if not most depressed individuals have reduced energy.
(At least that has been my experience when I've been depressed.)
By extension, lack of energy makes it hard to move, but easy to eat to fill the void.
The extra weight makes it harder to move,
and looking in the mirror tends to add to the feelings of hopelessness.

When we're depressed we know we need to exercise in order to lose the extra weight,
but we feel, "What's the use? When I exercise, my metabolism fails me to the point,
that even when I eat right, and walk a mile or two every day,
I still see the same image in the mirror.
"

Take people seriously and take time with them.

I'm not a doctor, so the only thing I can tell you is what I've experienced.
Any advice you may see in my words is closely related to the things,
that I believe would have helped me when I was feeling depressed.

Pray and ask the Lord, if any of these words have value,
either for yourself or for friends and loved ones,
who are feeling depressed at any point in time.

The COVID-19 scenario is fraught with opportunities to be depressed.
Therefore, my main advice and recommendation to myself would simply be,
"Play the piano and sing, along with your walking and eating right activities."
Getting plenty of sleep when you're feeling depressed is a biggie, too.

I do hope, that even one of my readers is helped by this tsunami of words,
but be advised, this blog post is an exercise in out loud processing for "Yours Truly."

May your days be better as the Lord teaches you what feeds your own spirit,
during this constricted life, called quarantine.

May we learn to sing God's praises, or if you don't know Him, personally, yet,
then may you find soothing music, that fits the tonality of your heart.
For those, who love classical music, a little Mozart would be a good choice.
For those, who love nature, I have found a rainstorm with distance thunder
to be excellent at relaxing my mood.

Be truly blessed, one and all!


by Jay O'Toole
on May 12th, 2020


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May 11, 2020 at 6:18pm
May 11, 2020 at 6:18pm
#983332
The term, smelting, is reserved for base metals, like silver, iron, and copper.
As a rule, the process is the action of putting metal into a vat and turning up the heat,
until the ore is liquified, separating the impurities from the more valued part of the metal.

"The fining pot is for silver,
and the furnace for gold:
but the Lord trieth the hearts.
"
(Proverbs 17:3, KJV)

"Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.
"
(Proverbs 17:3, NLT)

Precious metals, like gold, require processes, that are more intense. The Miller Process can produce gold, which is 99.5% pure, and the Wohlwill Electrolytic Process can produce gold, which is 99.9% pure. However, both of these processes use caustic chemicals to really get down to the heart of the matter. The processes use either an alkaline cyanide solution or a sodium cyanide solution to purify the gold in a liquid form.

"But he knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold
."
(Job 23:10, KJV)

But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me,
I will come out as pure as gold.
"
(Job 23:10, NLT)


The Lord knows how to try His children in the most effective way to create the best kind of Christian to represent Himself in this present world as well as to be ready to serve Him in that deeply personal relationship of the Body of Christ throughout Eternity. I doubt very seriously, that the purification process is very pleasant. Were the gold itself to be personified, I am quite sure the language used to express the feelings of the gold would not be repeatable in public.

Is the Lord using COVID-19 in the purification process for the people, who belong to Him? His ability to use such an event is without question. His activity in the process really shouldn't be questioned, either, since He is the ultimate Sovereign in every case. Whether God chooses to push a situation forward or merely create the scenario in which the situation will be pushed forward by predictable human nature is a moot point. God is Sovereign, and His Will will be accomplished.

This is the old debate about predestination and free will. The answer is best summed up by Philippians 2:13 in my humble opinion. For instance, I do not believe the words of Scripture were created by "automatic writing." Such an activity would have turned the Bible writers into robots. The Holy Spirit moved on the hearts of the writers in such a way, that the words of Scriptures clearly demonstrate the presence of both the personality of the writers as well as the exact concepts, that the Lord wanted to be transmitted throughout every page and every word of The Holy Bible.

The quarantine (or "sheltering-in-place") time of the COVID-19 pandemic has in every way the same characteristics as the process of smelting. The heat has been turned up. Impurities are coming the surface. We're feeling stretched beyond the breaking point in many ways, and repeatedly. I have, personally, been reintroduced to some character flaws, that I thought had been dealt with years ago, that are sadly still here. For instance, I have had to face so many fears about provisions, getting sick, and how to protect my family from the outside world, that are all most unpleasant to me, since my pride had me "walking close to the Lord, and knowing what I am supposed to do as a Christian."

The choice I have in this purification process is to agree with the Lord, even though the process is quite unpleasant. I pray the time will not be extended in which I have to endure the heat and harsh "chemicals" of purification for a long time, but the result will be worth the wait since Eternity has no end, but this life does.

But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me,
I will come out as pure as gold.
"
(Job 23:10, NLT)

May the Lord give us the grace to be obedient, and honorable during this time of testing.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 11th, 2020


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May 9, 2020 at 4:36pm
May 9, 2020 at 4:36pm
#983174
"2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son.
God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance,
and through the Son he created the universe.
3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God,
and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.
When he had cleansed us from our sins,
he sat down in the place of honor
at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.
4 This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels,
just as the name God gave him is greater than their names."
(Hebrews 1:2-4, NLT)

Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the One and Only One Son of the Lord of Glory, God, the Father.

How can any human, including myself, begin to discuss the subject of the Nature, the Character, and the Greatness of Jesus in one blog post?

Jesus is the Creator. (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1)
Jesus is the Savior. (John 3:16)
Jesus is the Lord. (Revelation 21:5-6)

When everything seems to be out-of-control, Jesus is still in charge.

"14 In whom we have redemption through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins:

15Who is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones,
or dominions,
or principalities,
or powers:
all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things,
and by him all things consist.


18 And he is the head of the body, the church:
who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;
that in all things he might have the preeminence.

19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross,
by him to reconcile all things unto himself;
by him, I say,
whether they be things in earth,
or things in heaven."

(Colossians 1:14-20, KJV)

May the Lord help us to meditate on these verses, today, and every day.
If Jesus made and sustains everything in the physical Universe,
if Jesus purchased Salvation for anyone, who would receive it,
if Jesus is forever The King on Eternity's Throne,
then what is COVID-19, that it should be a problem for Him?


by Jay O'Toole
on May 9th, 2020


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May 8, 2020 at 11:58pm
May 8, 2020 at 11:58pm
#983117
Sunlight floods the Earth every day and every night with brightness.
The sun is giving the Earth warmth and light every hour of the day.
We don't always see the sun's light
because of the scientific process, known as rotation.

The Earth is constantly moving on its axis,
creating day and night around the globe,
but the sun remains constant in its shining.


Since the Lord began "to stretch the Heavens like a curtain," (Psalm 104:2b)
the relationship between the sun and its family of planets,
which, of course, includes the Earth, has been constant.
The rotation of planets on their axes, while marching around the sun
endures variations and wobbles within a few percentage points,
but the relationship has remained the same throughout all the history
of the physical universe.

There are similarities between these celestial bodies
and the human's relationship with the Creator (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1,)
Whose Ultimate Purpose is to be the Savior (John 3:16) of fallen humans.

When the Earth is turned away from the sun,
its face is in darkness.
When the human has his or her back to the Son of God,
that human's face is in darkness.

When the Earth is turned toward the sun,
its face is in the light.
When the human is facing the Son of God,
then his or her face is in position to receive the Light, that He has to offer.


The illustration is fraught with many liabilities because the Earth is rotating toward and away from the sun on a daily basis. This constant rhythm of toward and against has more in common with the New Age and Eastern religious teachings of yin and yang, that good and evil are equal, needing each other, needing simply to be balanced, like Darth Vader was the balancer factor for the Force in the Star Wars series.

I've never believed any of that. Good is by far greater in every way than evil is. Therefore, my purpose is to simply take the moments of cross-sections of against at the first and toward after conversion to bring an important teaching, that when a planetary body is turned away from the life-giving sun, no benefits of the sun are available to the planet, during the time in which it is turned away. This is just like the truth, that when a human is turned away from the Lord, Who created that human, and Who is the Only Person, Who can save that human, then no ultimate benefits of the Son of God are available to that human, while his or her back is toward the Son.

When the Lord gets hold of the human heart, causing regeneration and life to begin in the spirit, then the human turns to face the Son of God, beginning the everlasting relationship of sonship with the Only One, Who has a vested interest in this important relationship.

The relationship between the Earth and the Sun is more closely akin to the human body's need for activity and rest. Daily activity and rest are necessary for both the Earth and the human body to remain healthy, functioning properly.

The transformation from darkness to The Light in the spirit of the newly-redeemed human demonstrates the truth, that a spirit in darkness is a life, remaining sick, incapable of health, and the complete change to the spirit through the Light of God is a life made whole, becoming more and more like Christ every day.

Evermore, Lord Jesus, give every reader this life.


by Jay O'Toole
on May 8th, 2020


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