by Jay O'Toole
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.
|Prompt: "All Hallows Eve was a pagan holiday honoring the dead. The pagans believed that the veil between life and death is weakest around the fall equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. Pagans who became Christians wanted to continue to honor their dead so the Catholic church at that time adopted this holiday and called it All Saints Eve. Do you feel it is okay to do so?"
All the year is full of holidays.
Every month seems to have at least one,
except for October, which has none.
"What about Halloween?" my friends query.
"That's just the point," I respond,
"Halloween is not a holiday.
Halloween is an un-holy-day."
"Holiday" is the combination
of the two words, "holy" + "day."
"Holy" is something, that is consecrated
or set-apart for the service of the Lord.
We should expect, that "unholy" would be
something totally opposed to the Lord and His service.
Most holidays on the contemporary calendar
have unholy ways to be celebrated,
but the origin of the day itself honors the Lord.
For a few instances, Christmas has become a day
to think about one of the servants of the Lord,
the jolly fat man in the red suit,
whatever He is called around the world,
rather than to honor the little Babe in the manger,
Who came "to seek and to save the lost." (Luke 19:10, KJV)
Easter is the holiday with a name,
that is connected to Astarte, Ishtar, and Ashtoreth,
which is, no doubt, the pagan attempt to hijack
the good work the Lord accomplished in
The Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, HIStory's only Messiah.
However, even with the pagan trappings which attempt to distract from
the central Truth, using bunnies, chicks,
and empty eggs full of treats,
the Truth continues to cry out as they swerve into it.
Bunnies and chicks remind of new life,
which, of course, can only come in Jesus Christ,
and empty eggs with something good inside
remind of the empty tomb
from which came the Greatest Gift
of Eternal Salvation in Jesus, the Christ.
Let's back up a moment to Saint Patrick's Day.
Again, this holiday honors the Christian, Patrick,
who took the Gospel to Ireland.
However, in modern times it has devolved
into a one day's excuse for drinking green beer.
The holiday's of the year are myriad.
Most have good beginnings with the purpose being
to remind us of important truth for our lives,
which is the foundation of all good HIStory books.
All Hallow's Eve has its origin in Paganism.
All Hallow's Eve focuses on the subject of Death.
Death is the result of The Original Sin
at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
in the Garden of Eden.
In all honesty, there are no redeeming qualities
associated with All Hallow's Eve.
"Trick or Treat" has a gruesome meaning,
that I don't wish to express to the reader.
Teaching children, that evil creatures are
toys to be played with is an abuse of the highest order.
(This happened to me when I was a child.)
When adults allow themselves to believe,
that evil creatures are toys to be played with,
they are abusing themselves to an unimaginable degree.
The only acceptable purpose for All Hallow's Eve
is to teach the world about the horrors of HELL.
I have heard of some churches, that create Hell Houses
to illustrate the many things, that woeful souls
experience in HELL.
I agree with this use of the night,
but playtime, candy, and an affinity for the gruesome
is something I can never agree with.
For many years I have tried to ignore All Hallow's Eve,
but friends and family often try to pull me into
the unnecessary honoring of something,
that should never be honored.
For that reason, All Hallow's Eve remains the ugly door
through which we must pass
into the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Hell is sadly real.
Please, be SAVED this very day,
if never before.
by Jay O'Toole
on October 7th, 2020
May God full bless and give thee days
to lift your song of lasting praise,
that when our eyes upon thee gaze,
you'll point the way above.
Your needles upward to the sky
are green with truth of days gone by,
that when we live in Heav'n on High,
we'll thank the Lord of love.
Great strength of trunk and branches spread
remind of saving arms, that bled,
and rose the third day from the dead
to send His Pure White dove.
by Jay O'Toole
on October 6th, 2020
This month, it starts to grow on me.
A quarantine can bless.
It limits tasks to nightly free
cool moments without stress.
Before this year we'd go and go
throughout our live-long days,
but 2020 stopped us so
we'd need to think and pray.
October is the time we pause
to breathe before the plunge,
before the laughter of the Claus,
and habits we expunge.
These demons of our past eschew
to let in all the Light.
The Savior's Goodness ever new
brings Hope o'er ev'ry plight.
The days now shorter, cooling down
give time to sit, reflect.
Take moments with the Lord, Whose Crown
will ne'er the saint reject. (John6:37)
Let's breathe upon the porch each night.
Let's hold our families dear.
Let's keep our hearts with others right.
Let's wipe each hurting tear.
The greatest times in silence share.
The greatest moments sip
some drops of tea, releasing care
upon the comforted lip.
by Jay O'Toole
on October 5th, 2020
Gentlessness shows a confident strength.
The gentle person doesn’t need to lash out at injustice
because he or she knows,
that all is under control
in the power and in the strength of the gentle one,
who is under the control of the Lord.
Gentleness can defeat injustice with a breath, with a word.
Gentleness loves the righteous, but the hates the froward.
Gentleness and meekness are cousins.
Neither is weak as you might expect.
Both demonstrate strength under control.
The one, which is the stronger of two in a battle,
has no need to raise the voice because He knows He will win.
The giant in the character of goodness, gentleness, and meekness
presents a welcoming presence to a little bird, that can eat out of His Hand.
"22 But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace,
23 Meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law."
(Galatians 5:22-23, KJV)
"22 But the Holy Spirit produces
this kind of fruit in our lives:
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, and self-control.
There is no law against these things!"
(Galatians 5:22-23, KJV)
by Jay O'Toole
on October 3rd, 2020
by Thomas Paine
December 23, 1776
'THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.'"
It has always been amazing to me, that our countrymen, who lived upon these shores of the new world in the land of America at the beginning of our great country had a much stronger grasp of the King's English than we have today. This is only logical since they were still the King's subjects at the time.
It is equally amazing to me, that our Founding Fathers faced many of the same crises, that we are experiencing in 2020. They turned to God for help. So should we.
I will now endeavor to translate the words of Thomas Paine into our 21st Century vernacular. This should help us to understand, that the words of Paine look like words written by any of a number of good leaders, who live today.
"THESE are the times that try men's souls." My own words: "These days of difficulty show what we are made of."
"The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.". My own words: "Anyone, who stands for our country with the weak will of a fair-weather friend, will not stand for our country in times of crisis and difficulty. However, anyone, who stands for our country during difficult times is worthy of love and thanks from everyone."
"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." My own words: "Bullies in Government are full of the evil of Hell. This means we have to work hard to defeat them. However, we can be comforted by this, that the harder it is to win the battle, the sweeter and more praiseworthy the victory will be."
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value." My own words: "If something is easy to do, it probably won't mean a whole lot to us. The more it means to us (or the closer it is to our hearts) the more valuable it will be to us."
"Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.". My own words: "Heaven accurately values the things it cares about. It would be really odd if the Heavenly commodity of FREEDOM was not highly valued by Heaven."
"Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth.". My own words: "Britain shouts loudly the rights she thinks she has. Britain feels like she can do this because she has an army to help her bully the colonists. Britain says, 'I have the right to tax you, Colonists.' She goes on to say, 'Whatever I say, goes. You, Colonists, don't get to talk back.' If this situation is not slavery, then I don't know what is."
"Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.". My own words: "The very saying of these things is ungodly. This shows they are not humble before God. They, like Satan in Isaiah 14:12-14, are trying to say, that they have the strength and the power, that only God can have."
Though some might consider President Trump to be the bully in this scenario, I see him as another President George Washington, who was the Lord's instrument to save us from the British Crown in 18th-Century America. Today we are facing the tyranny of the Democrat Party, which wants to lock-down our country to control our citizenry until they can fully establish a dictatorship in which only the oligarchy will have the freedom to exercise their hearts and minds, while the rest of us have to obey. Disobedience will be met with grave consequences at their hands.
May the Lord have Mercy upon the poor, often foolish, and sinful soul of our nation.
"If we do not learn from the lessons of HIStory, then we are doomed to repeat them.". This is a common quote with multiple authors, who say something like it or nearly like it. However, the earliest mention, that I can find, is by Edmund Burke, who said, "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.”
Bottom Line: The cycles of HIStory, that we are living as a nation, though not actually stated in the aforementioned quote are vividly illustrated throughout the Bible book of the Judges. In Judges the ancient nation of Israel repeatedly rebelled against God. God brought Judgment in the form of captivity. The people learned, once again, their need for God through the school of harsh treatment. They called upon the Name of the Lord, and He delivered them from their bondage. After a time of peace, then the cycle started all over, again.
Sadly, we are in danger of losing our Freedom,
if we do not repent and return to God with our whole hearts.
Will you join me in returning to the Lord, today, and every day?
by Jay O'Toole
on October 2nd, 2020
"1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins,
which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise,
and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps,
and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried,
they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made,
Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose,
and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise,
Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered,
saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you:
but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came;
and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:
and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins,
saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said,
Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour
wherein the Son of man cometh."
(Matthew 25:1-13, KJV)
The days of preparation are upon us, both physically (as in NaNoPrep) and spiritually, regarding the end-time events, that are playing out upon our world.
The next month is a time of preparing thoughts in the form of words for the writing of a new novel. The next month is a time of settled or unsettled waiting, depending on our ability to trust the Lord for the future of each of our nations in specific and the world in general.
We will maintain the common course of these past twenty years? We will there be a new and different course to which we will have to adjust?
The Bible Story or Parable of the Ten Virgins is a wisdom tale to urge each of us "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.". (Matthew 24:44, KJV)
What is the difference between the wise virgins and the foolish virgins? All ten virgins had a lamp. All ten virgins seemed to have a lamp, that was lit for some time. All ten virgins were waiting for the Bridegroom to come to His wedding feast.
Five were admitted into the feast.
Five were precluded from the feast.
Why? What made the difference?
The five wise virgins had made preparation for the most important moment of their lives, the wedding feast of this great ruler. They each owned a lamp. All humans own a span of one lifetime on Earth.
They each had taken the time to receive unto themselves a vessel, which held the Oil necessary to keep their lamps burning. They each received the Oil necessary to fill these vessels. The vessel is the spirit of Man, which is brought to life by the Living Holy Spirit of God, Who lives within the vessel as The Oil.
The foolish virgins were physically alive, but not spiritually alive because they each had a lamp, but no Oil to be poured into the vessel and from the vessel into the life.
Those of us, who are writers, must spend the next month preparing for the writing of a new novel. We need names, places, events, actions, processes, and times for the life of every character.
The Lord Jesus Christ is writing the story of every one of our lives. (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-4) He is calling each of our names. "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." (Jeremiah 33:3, KJV). If we hear His Voice and come unto Him, then we will be saved for Time and for Eternity. "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, KJV).
Anyone the Lord Jesus saves, He gives of His Holy Spirit.
"31 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else.
We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things,
but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.
32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard,
but how few believe what he tells them!
33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true.
34 For he is sent by God.
He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.
35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.
36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life."
(John 3:31-36a, NLT)
Heaven is the Prepared Place for prepared people.
"Don’t let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God, and trust also in me.
2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.
If this were not so, would I have told you
that I am going to prepare a place for you?
3 When everything is ready,
I will come and get you,
so that you will always be with me where I am."
(John 14:1-3, NLT)
That is the entire message of the Parable of the Ten Virgins.
The Lord wants to prepare us.
The Lord can prepare us.
We simply need to let the Lord prepare us for His Marriage for forever.
To receive the favor of God, the Father,
we must receive His Son, Jesus Christ.
To receive His Son, Jesus Christ,
we must allow Him to pour the Oil of His Holy Spirit
into the vessel of each of our lives.
Will you receive Him, today, if never before?
(John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10,13; Philippians 2:13)
by Jay O'Toole
on October 1st, 2020
"1 In the Lord put I my trust:"
The Lord is the Only Person upon, Whom I can reliably rest and trust.
"how say ye to my soul,
Flee as a bird to your mountain?"
You really want me to run away?
You really want me to trust only the mountain, that I can see,
rather than the Unseen Maker of the mountain?
"2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow,
they make ready their arrow upon the string,
that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart."
It's true the enemies of my soul are consistently atheist in belief.
They can't believe, that God can take care of me
because they don't believe He exists.
These evil people, my enemies, are truly wicked,
being diametrically opposed to God.
They use every weapon, that is available to them
to try to wound me to the greatest degree they possibly can
to bring me down, and to finish my service for the Lord on the Earth.
"3 If the foundations be destroyed,
what can the righteous do?"
Righteous people believe in Absolute Truths.
Righteous people believe, that Truth is true,
even when no one, except God, seems to know it is true.
Righteous people rest their entire security of life upon the Truth of Scripture. When teachers change the Truth of Scripture into a lie when wicked teachers try to cause the righteous to doubt the Truths of The Scriptures, then these righteous people become unsettled in mind, and tempted to fear, they have no sure foundation upon which to rest their lives, until the Holy Spirit of God comes in to save the day, restoring to their dear hearts the sweet reasonableness of the Truth of God's Word, whereby they may once again rest secure in Truth, that changes not.
"4 The Lord is in his holy temple,
the Lord's throne is in heaven:"
The Lord remains, unmoved.
He is in His Holy Temple.
He is in Heaven.
Security comes by realizing,
that though all of the Earth may shake and be moved,
The Lord is NEVER moved.
The Lord is NEVER shaken.
"his eyes behold,
his eyelids try,
the children of men.
5 The Lord trieth the righteous:
but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth."
The Lord is the faultless Judge of every human.
The Lord sees everything we do.
The Lord knows the very motivations of the heart of every person,
who has ever lived upon the Earth.
No one can come into His Presence
without the application of the precious Blood of Jesus
upon that human's dead spirit to make it alive and righteous.
The Lord tries the heart of the righteous person,
finding it to be worthy because of the applied Precious Blood of Jesus.
The wicked and the violence lovers are known to be without the Precious Blood of Jesus.
The wicked and the violence lovers are hated by the Lord.
"6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares,
fire and brimstone,
and an horrible tempest:
this shall be the portion of their cup."
The wicked can only expect damnation and troubles of every sort,
especially when this life is over.
The wicked can expect snares, which are traps, which will stop and immobilize these sinners, keeping them from doing anything more, that they would like to do.
The wicked can expect fire, which will burn up everything unworthy thing in their lives, since these unworthy things are not durable like precious metals, precious stones, and the like.
The wicked can expect brimstone, a sulfur material, that not only has a high heat, but a terrible smell as well.
The wicked can expect an horrible tempest, which is a storm of hurricane proportions. Nothing, that is not anchored securely to a rock foundation will survive the blowing of Judgment.
"7 For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness;
his countenance doth behold the upright."
(Psalm 11:1-7, KJV)
The Lord loves everyone, who loves His Only Begotten Son.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16, KJV)
These are the terms.
Do you want to have a relationship with God? Then, you must love His Only Begotten Son.
Accept the Son, and God accepts you. Reject the Son, and you are without Hope for Time and for Eternity.
|Prompt: "Proverbs: 3:5-6, KJV,
'5) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6) In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.'
What do these verses mean to you?"
"Now, trust the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rest on what you know.
Confess He's yours in all you start,
and He'll direct your way to grow."
"To trust, we're resting all our weight
upon the One, Who knows us through and through.
Confess. Agree that He is great.
He knows the way to go and all to do."
The Lord is worthy of our trust.
Our understanding's not.
Acknowledge that He's Right and Just,
and daily paths we've got.
These verses mean the Lord is true,
my worthy place to rest.
My thoughts, though good, they often do
not meet each daily test.
In ev'ry part of all I am
declare my hope in Christ.
He guides my thoughts, my ev'ry plan,
since He has paid the price.
My trust is shown by falling hard
into the Lord's strong Hands.
My wisdom's strength as an earthly bard,
eschew I for His Plans.
In everything I do and say,
I focus on His Name,
that where I go and walk, today,
I'll have no fault, nor blame.
Trust = to rest all of my hopes in the merits and the skills of Another
Heart = the sum total of who I am at the core of my very being
Understanding = my ability to comprehend, using merely the capacity of my brain
Acknowledge = to mentally assent the value of Another to the extent,
that the mention of this great One is my stamp of approval.
Direct = the release of my own plans into the charge of another
Bottom Line: When I honorably and fully trust the Lord and His Wisdom, then I need not rely on my own wisdom for the fulfillment of my life's plans. However, in the Mercy and the Grace of the Lord, He chooses to work through my own abilities to the fulfillment of His Plans to the demonstration, that Perfection can use someone, who is imperfect to the creation of a life, that is truly Amazing.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 29th, 2020
|Prompt: "Psalm 37: 39-40,
'39) But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40) And the Lord shall help them and deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they trust in Him.'
In our present time of trouble, our strength is in the Lord, and He will deliver us. How does knowing this help you face the troubles we have now?"
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."
(Hebrews 4:9, KJV)
Knowing that the Lord has my circumstances under control, creates multiple layers of security around my sanity.
Frankly, the last time I thought our country was a breath away from becoming a communist country was in 1972 when George McGovern was as liberal/progressive/socialist as they came to that date.
It's frightening for an eleven-year-old kid to feel like life was about to change from Freedom to being in a prison camp, due to the reason of being a Christian, and for no other reason.
The Lord was merciful to us back then with Richard Nixon winning by one of the biggest landslides in American History with McGovern winning only one state and D.C. Yet, the Republican winner was no saint, as the Watergate Trials proved in short order.
Let's return to 2020. On the one hand, President Trump represents all that is good about the HIStory of these United States with Freedom being the prize to win by his Victory. On the other hand, Joe Biden represents all that we fled from in coming to these shores. His Victory would insure the conclusion of the United States as a free country. I really don't know what we would be called, but it would certainly NOT be the United States of America.
If the Lord still has Mercy for these United States, especially after our Day of The Return to Repentance and Revival this past Saturday on September 26th, 2020, then President Trump will win reelection by a greater electoral landslide than 1972 with the popular vote, showing a landslide victory as well. It would serve as an exclamation point. In a blessing, such as this, the Democrats would win no electoral votes, being completely denied.
Are these prophecies, merely the rankings of a 60-year-old man, who still doesn't want to live under the iron-heel of communism any more than the child I was wanted that. Such is always a real possibility. However, there are many prophets in this country these days, and my prophecies are just as probable as anybody else's. Besides, it's a cinch, that somebody's prophecy will be true, making the rest of the prophets look like fools.
Many people have called me a "fool" in my life for the first reason of trusting Jesus Christ of Nazareth as my own personal Lord and Savior. Why should 2020 be any different?
However, if my prediction does come true, then you can tell everyone, that you heard it here, first. (By the way, I'm just a little guy with a laptop. I don't have any insiders helping me to predict, unless you are willing to allow, that the Holy Spirit of God is my Insider. If I have heard Him right, then it is all from Him. If I've heard Him badly, then may the Good Lord help me to get the peanut butter out of my ears. Oh, and that means I'll have to stop with the prophecies because I will have been wrong. This is what's at stake.)
Does President Trump have character flaws? There is no doubt, that he does. I am quite sure He would admit this to you himself, but I have too many character flaws to count for myself. (That's why I like writing. I can edit a lot before I post.). Yet, President Trump seems to be willing to admit, that he needs the help of the Lord. I do, too.
Though a flawed man, President Trump is the best friend, that the Lord's people, the nation of Israel, have had in many years.
"1 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
(Genesis 12:1-3, NKJV)
On the other hand, Mr. Biden was part of the team, that procured the infamy of being the worst friends of the nation of Israel, probably ever in the HIStory of these United States.
Therefore, if the Lord is true to His Word, then He will reelect President Trump to four more years for the sake of His people, Israel. However, if He chooses another route this time, then it will be for the purpose of Justice and Judgment, upholding the Glory of His Own Name as when He judged ancient Israel for their sins in years long-past.
If our repentance on this past Saturday was true and remains true in the upcoming days, weeks, and months, then the Lord can honor His Own Name and save our country, too.
Ultimately, the Glory is the Lord's and His Decision, which will be unequivocal and final, will be for the maintaining of the Glory due to His Name.
President Trump is all about revoking the Murderer's License of Roe v. Wade. That is another great plus in his favor before the Lord during this Election Cycle. The United States became a cursed nation when abortion became legal in 1973. (Even this 12-year-old kid could see that.) It's time to remove this odious curse. President Trump is the only candidate, who has the ability to do that.
The Democrats became cursed in the 1970s for the specific reason of putting Pro-Abortion language in the Platform of their Party. My family and many families in Georgia to that time were Democrat. Actually, during the first two decades of my life being a good Georgian meant "being a Christian and being a Democrat."
The first Election to register my vote was 1980. I switched parties, becoming a Republican, casting my first of two votes for Ronald Reagan.
The Democrats of 2020 on the Presidential ticket are 180 degrees opposite to President Trump's record on the protection of life.
There is so much more that could be written on the qualifications of the two candidates for President, but I don't need to say any more. You KNOW where I stand, but more than that we all know where the Lord stands on all of these issues.
How do I face these present troubles? I face them in Hope. Whether the Lord continues our National Freedom or causes greater levels of pain and judgment, His Name will be Glorified, and He knows how to provide rest for His people, both Jew and Gentile, in every situation.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 28th, 2020
Yom Kippur, the Covering Day,
He's come to take our sins all away
to make us His own wondrous display
This Sunday, and throughout all the year,
His Truth proclaimed in ways that are clear,
Salvation's Lamb, once far, has come near
lost human hearts to free.
Redeeming Love, Who bears all our sin,
hung on the cross our Vict'ry to win.
Outcast from God the lowest of men
was raised to the highest heights.
His Name is over all of our names,
The Substitute for all of our shames,
The Remedy for all of our blames,
The Gift for all our plights.
He covers Sin, the Father forgets.
A crown upon each head He now sets.
To live in Glory, Saved He now lets
for all the Lasting Day.
His Hope He places in redeemed hearts,
forgiveness smoothes through all of our parts,
His Word, the Shield, from all of the darts
our Foe may shoot our way.
His Love for us from the founding of Earth
has lasted through the pains of New Birth,
and will through all Eternity's Worth.
His Love for you and me.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 25th, 2020
|Prompt: "Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:5 that there have always been those who claim that godliness is a means of financial gain.
Do you believe godliness leads to financial gain? Why or why not?"
Let's look at the context from which we get this concept.
"1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
(I Timothy 6:1-8, KJV)
I will now begin by giving you my own paraphrase (or homage to the Amplified Bible as you may wish) of these verses, then we will begin to discuss the concept of money within these verses.
"1 Every worker (or employee) should be joyfully under the authority of their own supervisors (or employers,) considering that leader to be worthy of all honor, which by extension will honor the name of God and his doctrine. To dishonor a direct supervisor is to directly dishonor the Lord Himself.
2 And on top of all that, if an employee has an employer, who believes in Jesus of Nazareth the same way you do, then there is absolutely no way you should despise them. You don't have any right to disrespect that brother in any way because of your relationship with each us, based on the merits of Christ. On the other hand, you should serve that dear brother, because he (or she) is faithful and beloved of the Lord and of you since you are both partakers of the benefit of the Cross, eternal Salvation. Teach these things to anybody, who will listen, and strongly encourage every listener to do them.
3 If any man contradicts these words, refusing to use to wholesome (or health-filled) words, like the words of our Lord Jesus Christ for great instance, and to the doctrine (or teaching,) which is in agreement with by word and by deed) godliness (or Godlikeness;)
4 then that man is proud, (and selfish, actually, he is everything opposite to the very Lord Jesus Christ Himself of which characteristics are found in Galatians 5:19-21) knowing nothing (and is completely ignorant,) but spending all of his time distracting people in general and you in specific from the search for the Truth, using the liar's tactics of focusing on useless questions and arguing (or debating) over tiny little words. The result is envy (or desire for mastery,) strife (or argumentation,) screaming, (which may include name-calling aka ad hominem attacks,) and evil surmisings (or thoughts straight from the pits of Hell,)
5 Perverse (or stubborn, donkey-headed) disputings, (which is not worthy to be called a debate) of men of corrupt (or wilfully lying & dishonest) minds, and destitute (or devoid) of the truth, (These people are absolutely vacuous of anything honest) supposing (or assuming) that gain is godliness (aka the idea, "If I'm making money, then I must be godly.") Walk away from people like this!
6 But being satisfied with being like Jesus is really all the wealth you need for Time and for Eternity.
7 For we started life without a penny to our names, and it is certain we will finish our lives without a penny to our names.
8 And if we have food to eat and clothes to put on, then we should be satisfied with the Lord's great abundance."
Now, as is typically the case with me, I need to do a second layer of paraphrasing in order to wrangle the "horse" of this thought, leading it obediently into the safety and comfort of its own personal "stall."
"1 Work well and honor your employer because you'll be honoring the Lord Himself. Bad work dishonors the Lord.
2 If your boss is a Christian, then you really shouldn't despise him or her. That makes you and your boss, both partakers of the benefit of the Cross, which is eternal Salvation. Teach this to everybody and urge them to do it.
3 If anybody does the opposite of these words, 4 then that man is proud, a stubborn donkey, shouting, screaming, and braying because he is too stupid to do anything else.
5 These donkey-headed people live with heads, that are completely empty of truth. This is the kind of people, who believe "If I'm making money, then I must be godly." Walk away from people like this!
6 But satisfaction with Jesus is all the wealth you need.
7 We were penniless at birth, and we'll be penniless at death.
8 Besides, if we are 'warmed and filled,' (James 2:16, KJV) then we're good."
Okay, let's canter around the ring one more time before we "hit the hay."
"1 Work well. Honor your employer and the Lord. Bad work dishonors the Lord.
2 Christian bosses should be served with strength for the sake of relationship as well as money. Pass it on. You'll help somebody.
3 Oppositional people are proud, stubborn donkeys because they're stupid.
5 These airheads don't care about Truth. They seem to believe "If I'm making money, then I must be godly." Walk away from people like this!
6 But satisfaction with Jesus is all the wealth you need.
7 We were penniless at birth, and we'll be penniless at death.
8 Besides, if we are 'warmed and filled,' then we're good."
Here is the prompt one more time. "Do you believe godliness leads to financial gain? Why or why not?". I absolutely do NOT believe, that godliness leads to financial gain. However, I, also, do NOT believe, that godliness leads to financial ruin.
To be clear, the computer INPUT/OUTPUT of I Timothy 6:5 is just the opposite to the way the prompt has been expressed, at least according to the way my mind understands it. The point is simply this. When a person sees, that he or she is becoming wealthy, and the same claims to be Christian, then the assumption is sometimes made, "God is blessing me, financially. I must be pleasing God. I must be righteous because of this financial blessing."
Actually, this dovetails, nicely, into my post from yesterday about the Saving Gospel, since this line of reasoning causes a false assurance of Salvation. Penniless at birth. Penniless at Salvation. Penniless at death.
"Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;"
These are the opening words to verse #3 of "Rock of Ages" by Augustus M. Toplady
The Lord has followers, who were wealthy, like Abraham, King David, and King Solomon, but He, also, has followers, who often don't know where they'll find their next meal, like George Müller of England, who quite often "didn't have two coins to rub together," but who fed thousands of orphans in his lifetime, and who handled millions of dollars (or pounds) worth of money, food, and clothing by the time he passed away. Other Christians live in socialist/communist countries, today, risking their very lives to speak the Name of Jesus Christ.
Wealth is a tool.
Having it does NOT make someone godly.
The lack of it does NOT make someone godly.
Focus on Jesus for Salvation with the reception of His Substitutionary Atonement makes someone godly. The Lord only gives money to those, who are trustworthy with the handling of the tool of money.
May we be blessed by focusing on Jesus rather than on money.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 24th, 2020
"1 Moreover, brethren,
I declare unto you the gospel
which I preached unto you,
which also ye have received,
and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved,
if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you,
unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all
that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins
according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day
according to the scriptures:"
(I Corinthians 15:1-4, KJV)
What is the Gospel?
The Gospel is the Good News, that Salvation is provided in Jesus, the Christ.
How is Jesus able to provide this Salvation?
What constitutes this Gospel, Good News?
1. Christ died for our sins as the perfect Lamb of God.
2. Christ was buried throughout the entirety of the Sabbath Day.
3. Christ rose, again, on the third day.
Is there any room for human good works in the creation of the Gospel?
According to the Bible, there is no room for anything but the Work of Jesus Christ.
How are we then saved?
The Holy Spirit of God convicts us of "sin, righteousness, and judgment." (John 16:8)
Before I can be saved, the Lord has to convince me, that I am hopelessly LOST, (which means, "damned, without any possible way to save myself from everlasting Hell.")
Once He causes me to realize I am LOST, He, also, convinces me, that the Only Person, Who can fix me is Jesus, HIStory's Only Messiah. The realization, that I am LOST, and that Jesus Christ is the Saving Lord is such a painful state, that follow-up comfort often appears in a matter of moments, seconds, minutes, hours, or days.
It is difficult to endure much time between the illumination of the Lord, concerning lostness and Hell, and the Solution of Jesus as my Substitute, regarding the living of the Law for me, the paying of the sin-debt for me, and the being Perfect in the sight of God for me.
How do I go from lost and helpless to being saved and hope-filled?
The Lord works in my heart to receive His Gift without any striving on my part. The Lord plants the "YES"ness of receptivity in my heart, changing me completely as my heart starts to beat in rhythm with His.
This is the place, where doubts about my faith have had to be dealt with at various points through my walk with the Lord.
How do I know I believed, properly?
I know I have believed, properly, because my wants, my desires, my hopes, anything having to do with the heart within me has been changed.
(Philippians 2:13, Ezekiel 36:26-27)
"For it is God,
that worketh in you
both to will and to do
of His good pleasure."
It is the work of the piano-tuner. The strings within the piano do absolutely nothing to become tuned to the will of the tuner. The tuner manipulates the strings until each string sounds the exact same tone as the tuning fork. Once in tune, the piano strings sound the same as the standard every time pressure is placed upon the keys.
"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."
(Ezekiel 36:26-27, KJV)
We cannot save ourselves any more than the unconscious flat-liner at an automobile accident can be restored to his or her loving family, simply by the strength of will. "I can be saved anytime I want to be!" doesn't exist for the flat-liner. This person is dead. Outside help is the only hope for bringing, that person back to life.
The paramedics apply 200 joules of current to the electric paddles, placed on either side of the dead heart to bring the shock of new life to the unresponsive heart. Once the person realizes he or she has been saved and brought back to life, the deed has already been done by the Divine Paramedic. The human is already saved, and their initial activity is to grab the agent of Salvation, crying out, "Thank you so much for saving me!"
"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)
The Holy Spirit of God works in my heart to create the desire of wanting to do what He wants me to do, and then He gives me the ability and the acting to do what He wants me to do. (Philippians 2:13)
This is how the Lord comforts my heart when I am tempted to doubt, that I have properly responded to the Great Salvation He has given to me. "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)
"Son, did you come to me to be saved?"
"No, Sir, not at first. I was dead."
"Good answer. When I put new life within you, then did you come to me?"
"Yes, Sir. You were the only one I wanted to go to."
"Since the Father promised you to me, and when I jolted you alive you came to me, what did I promise I would do?"
"You promised You would not reject me."
"I don't lie like humans lie. I, actually, do what I say I will do."
(Number 23:19, KJV)
"Thank you for treating us humans with such kindness and tenderness, like when the man said, 'I believe. Help thou mine unbelief.'"
"Do you find, that you want to please me more these days? Or do my commands, actually, just not matter to you?"
"Lord Jesus, I want to please you so much. I grieve because can't seem to do that as perfectly as I would like."
"That sounds like a change of heart to me. Remember, Ezekiel 36:26-27."
"Yes, Sir, I do."
"I changed your heart. You belong to me, now."
"I really do want to do what you want me to do."
"You just quoted Philippians 2:13. Now, just rest in me, according to Hebrews 4:9."
The difference between being lost or being saved is the matter of where we place our trust, (aka where we rest.)
Do I trust the Self for salvation, based on the works I do? If so, I can never rest.
Do I trust Jesus to do the work for me, which I can not do? If so, I can rest in Him.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 23rd, 2020
"The prompt for Tuesday 9/22/2020 is:
1 Cor. 16:13 'Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.'
What do you think Paul is saying?"
1. "Watch ye." "Be vigilant in every way. Watch your back. Watch your front. Pray. Fast. Repent of all known sin, and call upon the Name of the Lord to be your Protector in every possible way, and on every possible level."
2. "Stand fast in the faith." "Since the difficulties of the last days will give rise to 'men's hearts failing them for fear,' every true believer in Jesus Christ must determine, that 'though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.'"
3. "Stand fast". "One position and one position only. The Lord Jesus was born to die for our sins. He did die for our sins. He was buried and He rose, again, never to die ever after. We true believers must live with just that same level of commitment. Obedience is our job. The consequences of obedience are His."
4. "in the faith". "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3, KJV) What is "the faith?" "3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" (I Corinthians 15:3-4, KJV) "The Faith" and "The Gospel" are the same thing. We humans cannot save ourselves. Jesus came as our Substitute to pay for our sins, that His Payment and His Perfection would provide our Salvation.
5. "Quit you like men." "Stop being like the average human being. Be Christlike. Show yourselves to be supernatural, not natural like those, who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you've been redeemed, then 'let the redeemed of the Lord say so.'"
6. "Be strong." "If the Holy Spirit of God dwells within your spirit, due to the blessedness of redemption, then you have a strength, that is not available to the unredeemed. Live in that strength by His Grace and His Power."
"Watch, ye dear ones of the Lord.
Stand fast in faith drawn from His Word.
Quit you like men, the ones of Earth.
Be strong in Him, Who gave New Birth."
Your blessed life is from Above,
a Gift to you by Jesus' Love,
Full pardon on the cross of pain.
The third day raised to live, again.
Just watch in Hope with eyes beyond
the spirit veil, to Him, respond.
Just quit like men, and stand so fast
in strength from Christ, that stays the task.
Your character will Him obey,
that One Day you'll be His display
for in His Grace we serve Him now,
and evermore the knee will bow.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 22nd, 2020
Prompt: "2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV
'For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power
and of love
and of a sound mind.'.
Tell us what this verse means to you."
The spirit of fear is not from God.
The spirit of fear is from the dark kingdom.
The spirit of fear is a demon tormentor.
The spirit of fear does no good to anyone.
But the Spirit of God is the Powerful spirit.
But the Spirit of God is the spirit of Love.
But the Spirit of God is the spirit of Sanity.
I John 4:18, KJV,
"There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
The spirit of fear is the exclusion of Love.
Love excludes the spirit of fear.
Perfect Love is a deliverance minister.
The spirit of fear is not permitted to manifest in the presence of Love.
The spirit of fear is a slave master,
who wields brutal torture and torment.
The spirit of fear causes birth defects
in the spirit of the new believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The believer, who has given in to the spirit of fear,
has an imperfect Love
much like an infant with a weakness in a heart valve
or someone with a weak heart muscle needs a pacemaker.
Some children never feel safe. These precious children live in fear. These children may not be in actual physical harm's way, (though some may be adults, today, who were in physical harm's way as children,) but if the child perceives the environment as harmful,
due to lack of sufficient attention, based on the child's internal attention meter, then the child will live in fear.
This writer knows this situation all too well. This writer was that little child,
who needed more attention than his parents were able to give him, no doubt through no fault of their own, (work responsibilities, family responsibilities, etc.) but the scenario has caused me to have to deal with unwanted fear throughout the years of my life so far.
What is the solution? Well, the starting point is to focus on the positive elements of Love in these verses rather than to focus on the negative aspect of fear.
2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV
"Fear is excluded,
for God has given us
a spirit of power
and of love
and of a sound mind.'
I John 4:18, KJV,
"Fear is excluded, since
There is love;
and perfect love remaineth:
because there is peace.
He is peaceful, being made perfect in love."
The focus of our lives causes us to become what we think most about.
If we meditate on food, then we have the potential of becoming fat.
If we meditate on work, then we may become burned-out before our career is half-done.
If we meditate on illicit beverages, then we may become debauched.
If we meditate on fear, then we will be fearful.
If we meditate on Jesus, then we will feel loved, and we will be loving.
Many years ago I taught the sixth-grade as a new teacher, right out of college. One of the pieces of advice I learned, regarding the disciplining of student behavior was to focus on speaking the positive concept desired in order to reinforce the positive. (Which, by extension meant that focus on the negative would reinforce the negative.)
For example, running in the hallways of the school is never a beneficial activity for many reasons. Instead of listing these reasons, I will simply assume the reader is in agreement with the concept. I can reinforce the running by raising my voice, shouting, "STOP RUNNING!" As advised, the brain can't hear or process the negative word, "don't." Therefore, the brain focuses on the base word of "run," continuing to do so.
However, I can reinforce the positive, and in this case, changed behavior by clearing my throat, looking the offender in the eyes, saying firmly (with myself under control,) "Walk."
Amazingly enough, when angels appeared to humans in the Bible, often the first thing each commanded the humans was "Fear not," or "Don't be afraid." Apparently, angels are very plain-spoken, seeing no need for diplomacy, since the Lord gave that angel a command and an assignment, and the angel's one purpose is to obey the Lord.
Yet, the Lord Himself used a positive approach as often as it served His Purpose. When the disciples awakened Him in the back of the boat on a tempestuous Sea of Galilee, He firmly told the storm, "Shalom" in Hebrew, which means, "Peace. Be still," in English.
The best way to move from fear to faith, or from fretful anxiousness to restful peace is to focus on Jesus, the Author, and Finisher of our faith, rather than trying to rid ourselves of every last vestige of fear.
He wants us to rest (Hebrews 4:9) in His Love, far away from our "fearful tormentors in the Valley of Humiliation."
The Love of the Lord is held in constant tension with the Justice of the Lord.
If the Lord is not perfectly Just, then He cannot be perfectly Loving.
The Wrath of the Lord against the imperfection of Sin makes the Mercy of the Lord to Forgive Sin eternally Sweet.
All will not be saved. Those, who are not saved, have great reason to be always fearful, cowering under the eternal weight of God's Judgment and Wrath, but those, who have trusted Jesus, HIStory's Only Christ, as his or her own personal Lord and Savior have every reason to rest in the peaceful security of His Love.
May you be given the Gift of Faith and Grace to receive His Eternal Salvation in order to see Fear removed and Love enthroned.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 21st, 2020
What a heavy concept.
The conclusion of World War II changed so much on this Blue Globe.
Earth felt more secure. "Let's have babies."
And here I am, a member of the Baby Boomers Generation.
Baby Boomers, (and all subsequent generations, I might add,) like to be entertained.
Who has time to think?
Heard of amusement parks?
Amusements help us to be thrilled without thinking.
A + muse = not + thinking
Time to think.
Time to consider the Lord.
Time to worship.
Time to be silent, not speaking, listening.
Take the emphasis off food.
Time to think.
Time to consider the Lord.
Time to worship.
Time to be silent, not speaking, listening.
Why are these heavy concepts?
Because many of us have become overweight,
enjoying light-weight thinking.
When we are sober-minded,
we tend to focus on the most needful things in life.
We work hard with our hands.
We work long hours to provide for our families.
We have to think, while we work.
We have no time for sitting on the couch,
watching movies for hours,
allowing flabbiness to weigh heavily on our bodies.
Wait on the Lord.
The spirit of heaviness lifts.
The heart of the believer begins to beat in time with the Lord's heart.
"Wait on the Lord. Wait, I say, on the Lord." (Psalm 27:14, KJV)
Rest. (Hebrews 4:9)
by Jay O'Toole
on September 19th, 2020
"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14, KJV)
"Wait on the Lord: of courage be,
and He shall strengthen thine heart for thee.
Wait, I say, upon the Lord.
Wait upon the Lord."
The world, unkind and mean sometimes,
makes God look far away,
but Wait, the greatest Truth, betimes
makes Hope to rest and stay.
Demands are made, and Self is God,
but God no more is known
by scores of souls in selfish laud.
Each sits upon a throne.
"God has The Law. We must obey,
if we would live for aye."
"Who is this god? What does he say?
I've heard no word, today."
How could we fall so much from Truth,
we humans on this Earth?
"Just wait, my son, as from your youth.
I've given you New Birth."
The Lord will come some day quite soon.
He said so in His Word.
The lost must fall by Self to Doom,
rejecting this lasting Lord.
This falling away, so awful, mean,
displaces Sovereign Christ.
The generations oft have seen
this One, Who paid the Price.
Their blood was spilled upon the field
of conflict for your bliss,
but you would rather sell-out, yield
to devils, you now kiss.
"I know your heart has pain, my son,
just wait. I've got your back.
A selfish soul has never won,
nor caused eternal lack."
"The pain of Earth seems long and harsh
to those, who know just this,
but lasting Bliss is strong to quash
the Dark in Light's long kiss."
"Just trust my Word and wait for me.
The ones, who seem now blest,
are those, whose hearts can't ever see,
that Earth is just a test."
"They're choosing badly. Just one 'C'
is all the best they'll live,
unless they turn from Self to me,
my New Birth them to give."
"Just wait, Dear One, the worst of Earth
is less than a moment known
before my warm and peaceful hearth,
and honor before my Throne."
"Just wait and rest in my sheltering wings.
The best is yet to come.
Your days on Earth, a pearl, that sings.
Each grief makes a worthy sum."
"Let no man deceive you by any means:
for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first,
and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition;”
(II Thessalonians 2:3, KJV)
by Jay O'Toole
on September 18th, 2020
|A number of years ago I was introduced to a contemporary Christian trio, named, Selah. Like the Hebrew word, their music is quiet and contemplative as a rule.
The Lord gives an important message from so many different voices, "He's the Savior because we never can be. Trust Him for Salvation, and life will be infinitely better in Time and Eternity." After the message has been delivered, then it is up to each of us to contemplate this message for the rest of our existence.
Let's spend a few minutes leaning into that Truth, and then we can finish a peaceful day, preparing for restful sleep.
Be blessed, Everyone, in Jesus, the Christ.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 17th, 2020
"God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
(Psalm 46:1,10, NLT)
"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."
(Mark 4:39, KJV)
"What is shalom?
The ancient Hebrew concept of peace, rooted in the word "shalom," meant wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity, carrying with it the implication of permanence."
When Jesus spoke the words, "Peace. Be still," in Mark 4:39, it was simply the one Hebrew word, "Shalom."
It is as though Jesus, the Creator was commanding the roiling, boisterous Sea of Galilee to return instantly to the peaceful soundness of perfection, that He had originally created it to be.
Tonight, I walked and ran through two miles of our local rail to trails walking track, called the Greenway. On the way back at a comfortable walk, I asked the Lord to speak to me, but I heard no words, only silence. Moments later, I began to notice the pitter-patter of raindrops, making their ways through the trees and to the ground. The sounds of cars on the main road about a block away, also, caught my attention.
The misty, sprinkling rain was part of the expanse of Hurricane Sally's outer bands, that stretched from the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida, virtually blanketing the entire states of Alabama and Georgia. The rain could have been much heavier, but as a Gift from God, I enjoyed pleasant cooler temperatures, and light, misty rain, which was a benefit in my porous Under Armour shirt and swim trunks.
Did God speak to me at all after my request? I believe He did.
As I have heard, I am not the only one to feel like life has gotten way out of control for the bulk of 2020. I've learned to be wise with my words, not asking foolish questions about "Why?" regarding, present, nor the future of this most unique time in HIStory because I'm not feeling peaceful about the answer I might receive to such questions.
Wordlessly, the Lord inserted His meaning into my day.
Rain sounds are often gathered as soundtracks for peaceful sleeping. The Lord seems to be telling me, "Shalom, Dear One. I control the weather. I control your life. Fear not. (Psalm 27:1) Let not your heart be troubled. (John 14:1)"
Though my experience of nighttime street sounds during my college years in Chattanooga, Tennessee may not completely compare with the nighttime street sounds of places like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, the sounds of passing cars has its own rhythm and ambiance for longtime dwellers of such metroplexes. This means, that drawing my attention to the passing cars, created another witness from the Lord. "Life continues, Son. Even disruptions of your 'normal' do not stop my ability to keep the world going for your benefit and for my Glory."
The plants along the Greenway grow silently every day. Myriad types of trees are on display as sentinels watching our every step. Elephant Ear plants grow out of the marshlands, waiting to be seen or not seen as the case may be, standing gloriously for the honor of the Lord, Who is often the Only Patron of this museum of His great skills. His Eyes see everything. The myriad animals see as well.
The beauty found in Nature needs no human audience. It only needs a command from the Lord. This is dutifully and joyfully obeys.
Peace is found in the silence of the Lord's Presence.
Peace is like a beautiful Monarch butterfly.
The more we chase it the more it flies away.
The more we wait and watch wordlessly,
drinking in its exquisite glory,
the more often it flutters down
to perch on the shoulder
of each of us silent watchers.
May the Lord's Shalom
bed and board with every heart
He has properly prepared
with His Gift of Salvation.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 16th, 2020
"51 Behold, I shew you a mystery;
We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality."
(I Corinthians 15:51-53, KJV)
"51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret.
We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!
52 It will happen in a moment,
in the blink of an eye,
when the last trumpet is blown.
For when the trumpet sounds,
those who have died will be raised to live forever.
And we who are living will also be transformed.
53 For our dying bodies must be transformed
into bodies that will never die;
our mortal bodies must be transformed
into immortal bodies."
(I Corinthians 15:51-53, NLT)
"There is nothing left to happen, that has to happen before the Lord Jesus raptures the Church off the Earth to His everlasting Presence." I have heard this thought preached by various preachers throughout my life from my youth. The thought lay dormant for many years, but recently, especially during this calendar year of 2020, the message about the Rapture of the Church has intensified.
Why would that be so?
Just a cursory look around our situation would show the unbiased observer, that "This is not the world of our childhood."
1. Coronavirus has made us a Society of B-movie "bad guys," looking like train-robbers in a Western. At the very least we are "people with eyes, but no faces."
2. The hurricane season has nearly deleted the available English names for tropical storms and hurricanes, making this already tied with 1933 for the second most active season on record behind 2005, when the infamous Hurricane Katrina had a great impact on New Orleans. 2005 had 27 named storms, and just past the peak of hurricane season we only have one name left on the list.
3. Social unrest is being fueled by many sources, but it is arguably no worse than many years, during the 1960s, which could easily be dubbed the Decade of Social Unrest.
4. The Presidential Election season in the United States would border on Stand-Up Comedy if the results of the same did not hold such dire and drastically different outcomes. In past election cycles, the two American political parties would both jockey for the title of Centrist and balanced viewpoints in order to appeal to voters on both sides of the political aisle. However, this year Republicans are advertising themselves as Conservatives in the likes of the Founding Fathers, whereas as the Democrats paint themselves as Socialists of the likes of Nietzsche, Marx, and Mao. The contrast makes one wonder what has changed in the belief system of Americans. Could this be the yin-yang of politics? Could this be the last three Star Wars movies, which point to the marriage of the light and dark sides of the Force?
5. The American dollar is being inflated out of anything slightly contextual with reality. Just keep the printing presses pouring out fiat money because in the next six months to two years, the pundits seem to be saying, that we won't be using paper money anymore anyway. The Law of Supply and Demand is certainly in play here.
It doesn't look like much time will pass before the newspapers of the world will open to Revelation, chapter #4, beginning to plagiarize the Bible for daily headlines.
The Church of people, who are faithful to Jesus Christ, is becoming less and less relevant in the world, meaning "ear-scratching" could continue unabated, without much notice when the True Church is lifted into the sky to "meet Jesus in the air."
"For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts
shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears;"
(II Timothy 4:3, KJV)
"You'll know it's getting out of hand
when church people themselves
won't allow the preaching
of the Truth of God's Word,
but their own selfish desires
will start piling up mounds
of sweet little teachers
because they just want to be made
to feel good about themselves,
especially like a mother,
who coddles a restless child
by scratching his or her ears."
(II Timothy 4:3, my own paraphrase)
When church sermons start to sound like an episode of Oprah or Dr. Phil,
then it's time to "look up for your redemption draweth nigh."
(Luke 21:28, KJV)
Now, let's turn that corner. What is necessary for a Christian to be sure, that he or she will be taken up in the Rapture (or "Snatching Away") of the Church of Redeemed Believers in Jesus Christ?
That just it. People, who look at church as a social obligation will not be there because conversion shows a change in desires. The Redeemed love to spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why should that be so? The love relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost has been constant from Eternity. When the Holy Spirit takes up residence in the redeemed human's spirit, then there is the normal love with Jesus because the saint's emotions and spirit beats in tune with the emotions and the spirit of the Holy Spirit.
Do I have to get a head start?
Do I need to run and jump and flap my arms, like bird's wings in order to be caught up in the Rapture? Hardly. Were that the case I would be left behind since age has encroached upon my life and extra pounds have begun to weigh down my middle.
However, the Holy Spirit is every vigilant with ears, which know the trumpet of God. When the call comes those, who have God's Dear Holy Spirit in residence will be taken up as easily as iron filings are drawn to a magnet.
Watch the following video to understand what this means. Just a little over two minutes into the video, you should get the concept of the "snatching away" when the metal filings literally jump into the air without any effort on their own.
Finally, the other video is given as encouragement for those of us, who wait, and faithfully serve the Lord. We long to be in His Presence. I should think that will not be long now. It certainly will not be as long as we have already waited if you like me have reached 60 years of the Earthly sojourn.
"And the Lord said,
My spirit shall not always strive with man,
for that he also is flesh:
yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
(Genesis 6:3, KJV)
I figure I've at least reached the half-way point. Another sixty years, and I'll for sure be looking at Jesus in the Face.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 15th, 2020
|Prompt: "Why is it important that we show love to others as well as God?"
"36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
(Matthew 22:36-40, KJV)
"7 Beloved, let us love one another,
for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God,
because God is love."
(I John 4:7-8, ESV)
"So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them."
(Genesis 1:27, ESV)
If "God created Man and Woman is His own image," and "God is love," then love must be an integral part of Who God is. This, also, necessarily means, that every perspective of love from both genders is part of Who God is since no one can see even the slightest bit of God's Person without including all the aspects of both genders at the same time in every expression of love.
Let me try to express this once again in slightly different words. Do you want to see even the faintest picture of the Person of God? Then, look at both genders, male and female, in composite, and the image of God starts to come into view.
God did not create Adam, the man, and then snap His fingers, exclaiming, "Dude! I messed up! I forgot something. I better yank out one of his ribs, and see if I can do a better job!" Then, after molding Eve, the female, He allegedly said, "See? I told you I could do better! That's what I'm talking about!"
Though some of the women of my personal acquaintance have seemed to have this opinion of the quality of men versus women, this viewpoint is an aberration of the Truth. God does NOT make mistakes. Adam was created on purpose for the task, that God wanted him to fulfill in life. (By extension every man throughout HIStory has been perfectly made for the task, that God has had for each man in every epoch of HIStory. Let there be no confusion on that.)
Besides, the aforementioned viewpoint, which is widely promulgated throughout modern Society, makes Eve out to be nothing more than an afterthought, even if she turned out to be the allegedly-better creation.
Does any woman really want to be the afterthought of a doddering old Creator, who didn't really know what He was doing, but was making it up as He went, swerving into the creation of a "better" human after some "trial and error?"
It is so much better to consider the fact, that God had Eve in mind when He created Adam. In all Truth, God had both sexes of humans in mind before the first day of Creation. How do I know this? I humbly submit to you, that the same God, Who knew the Prophet Jeremiah before he was conceived in the womb, knew every human before any of us were conceived in the womb.
"4 Then the word of the Lord
came unto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the belly
I knew thee;
and before thou camest forth out of the womb
I sanctified thee,
and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
(Jeremiah 1:4-5, KJV)
So, please, forgive me, if I appear to be preaching on this subject so often, but I believe this is the crux of the issue when we encounter Bible passages, that condemn same-sex coupling. Again, I do not speak this to be right, regarding cross-gender coupling to the exclusion of same-sex couples. I have some dear friends, who are same-sex oriented, but since God has created us with His Own purpose in mind, it would be wise to try to consider why passages condemning same-sex relationships exist in the Bible in the first place.
Bottom Line: If God created both male and female in tandem to demonstrate the Person of God, then would it not be logical to conclude, that same-sex relationships are a problem for God because part of His Person is not being demonstrated in such a relationship?
"Male and female he created them."
"4 And he answered and said unto them,
Have ye not read,
that he which made them at the beginning
made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause
shall a man leave father and mother,
and shall cleave to his wife:
and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain,
but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together,
let not man put asunder."
(Matthew 19:4-6, KJV)
Some may say, that Jesus never spoke about the definition of marriage. This passage argues to the contrary. These three verses are Jesus' spoken treatise about the important definition of marriage.
"Male and female" are joined to "be one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder."
"What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder." means "Whatever the Creator defines His creation to be must never be changed by human tampering."
Does God have the need to be loved?
Does God have the right to be loved?
What human has the right or even the wisdom to ask these questions?
Jesus, the Creator, (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-4) created the entirety of the physical universe for the one purpose of expressing His effusive Love to the human bride He would make to be His everlasting wife.
Everything is the Universe was perfectly created.
Everything in the far reaches of the Universe, that modern scientists call, "Superfluous, and unnecessary stars and galaxies" are at the very least the beauteous gifts of a doting Lover, presented to His longed-for Bride for the purpose of wooing her to His heart.
Everything in the Garden of Eden was perfect and given to the humans He so loved, that they would be completely at peace, completely satisfied, without any reason to do anything but love Him in return.
As a Lover's Test of Faithfulness, the humans were told not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, being permitted to eat freely from every other tree throughout the Garden.
The humans had one job. "Protect faithfully your love with the One, Who loves you supremely."
They did NOT.
They proved to be unfaithful.
They committed mental and emotional adultery with a snake in the tree, that they didn't even know, rejecting the word of the One, Who loved them, and Who had spent time with them.
Did God stop loving them?
NO, He did not.
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,
and between thy seed and her seed;
it shall bruise thy head,
and thou shalt bruise his heel."
(Genesis 3:15, KJV)
Even in the pronouncement of judgment upon all the guilty parties in Genesis, chapter 3, God showed, that He still loved the humans and that He would, Personally, provide for their restoration with the proviso, that each human, individually, would receive His Gift of Salvation.
In the Gospels, we see the fulfillment of His Promise.
1. Jesus was tried, beaten, and crucified one Friday a little over 2000 years ago.
2. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb throughout the Sabbath.
3. Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again early on that Sunday morning.
The entire book of the minor prophet, Hosea, is the physical illustration of God and His relationship, first with the Children of Israel in specific, and by extension with the whole Human race in general. Hosea's wife was a prostitute. Hosea married her at God's command. The wife kept running after other lovers, and Hosea kept going to get her, repeatedly bringing her home, just to find out on another day, that she had run away, again.
God shows us how fickle the unredeemed human heart really is.
"Does God have the right to place any demands on humans, if we are going to be in a love relationship with Him?"
Do you have the right to place any demands on another human, if you are going to be married to that human and in a loving relationship of lasting trust?
Do you have any right to be upset by a spouse, who commits adultery against you?
Is God any different than you are in that regard?
How did you feel when you were head-over-heels in love with someone, but the loved one didn't even know, that you existed?
"The English playwright and poet William Congreve...wrote these lines in his play The Mourning Bride, 1697:
Heav'n has no Rage,
like Love to Hatred turn'd,
Nor Hell a Fury,
like a Woman scorn'd."
The amount of love one experiences toward someone, who is greatly desired for a loving relationship seems to be the same level of anger or hatred experienced by a rejected lover, when the love desired is unrequited.
If God is love, and God created humans to be in His image, which includes the emotions and the person of both women and men, then is it not at least arguable, that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" becomes the cosmic terror statement, "Hell IS the fury of a woman scorned"?
Humans have the great and important responsibility to loving other humans, but we have the even greater and more important responsibility of loving the very God, Who made us.
After all, He made us to be in love with Him.
What a terrible waste it will be for humans to spend Eternity in Hell, regretting their rejection of the very One, Who could have given them more love than any of them could ever have comprehended.
Self is a terrible thing.
Turn from Self to the Savior this very day.
If you haven't already done this,
then I beg you to do it
before it is
Would you take somebody back
after he or she had repeatedly rejected
your overtures to love?
I didn't think so.
by Jay O'Toole
on September 14th, 2020