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Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Fixed Heart

Psalm 112:7 - He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

Fixed – To be firm, stable, established.

We live in the midst of a generation that has little understanding or even appreciation for the idea of having a fixed heart.

Psalms 16:8 - I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psalms 62:6 - He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

In a day when compromise and toleration head the list of virtues the “I shall not be moved” crowd is looked on with disdain and contempt.

The whole concept of relative truth leaves us adrift on a sea of uncertainty and without chart and compass. People applaud the courage of pulling up anchor without realizing that in doing so one is set adrift. The spiritual convictions of our Fathers are no longer prized and valued. They are seen as hindrances to becoming you own person. I thought we were all to be committed to becoming Christ-like, not our own person. The Biblical standards of a previous generation are discarded as nothing more than arcane remnants of a stuffy piety. Unfortunately when we pull up anchor and are set adrift we then become subject to the currents, in fact we become helpless against them.

Spiritually speaking when we hoist the anchors of biblical truth we are immediately subject to the currents of worldly philosophy, and carnal desire. We think we are free but we are not. We are subject to the currents. We are being carried about, and very likely to a place we do not want to go.

The Importance Of A Fixed Heart
Fixed in relation to doctrine - Ephesians 4:11-14
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

   It matters what you believe
   What you believe will dictate what you decide
   What you decide will dictate how you will live
   What you live will dictate what you will become

Fixed in relation to Christ

John 6:66-68 - From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.  Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Psalms 73:25 - Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

Fixed in relation to personal separation

Romans 12:1,2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Titus 2:11,12 - For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Fixed in relation to service
2 Corinthians 5:14,15 - For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

The Assault Against A Fixed Heart
A fixed heart’s greatest enemy is fear.

Abraham had a fixed heart until he feared maybe he wouldn’t get a son after all and so took Hagar.
Elijah had a fixed heart until he feared the threats of Jezebel.
The Israelites had a fixed heart until they heard about the giants in the land and feared.
David had a fixed heart until he lay with another man’s wife and feared the consequences of her pregnancy.
Peter had a fixed heart until he was identified as a follower of Jesus and then feared and cursed.
Demas had a fixed heart until he counted the cost and then feared.

Proverbs 29:25 - The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Evil tidings

It does not even have to be actual evil but presumed evil.  We become very proficient at constructing monsters in our own mind.  When we do so we have to address concerns that are not even founded in reality.  We presume the worst and our hearts melt in the face of a non-existent difficulty.

It can happen with relationship concerns.
It can happen with health concerns.
It can happen with financial concerns.
It can happen with ministry concerns.

We begin to think that something bad may happen and we have the band play Anchors Away and are prepared to be set adrift in the face of a storm that never comes.  Even though the storm never comes, we are still adrift and subject to the currents of this world.  Of course we can drop anchor, and we should, but look how far we are from where we started.  I would plead that we never draw up the anchor to begin with.

It is not that we cannot get back to where we started. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t.  Even if we can it will now require more strength and energy because we have to go against the current.

The Confidence Of A Fixed Heart
Psalm 27:1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.  Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
Psalms 34:4 - I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Psalms 56:3,4 - What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Proverbs 1:33 - But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Psalms 57:7 - My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

Psalms 108:1 - O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.

A truly fixed heart is not the source of frustration but of singing and praise.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is Jimmy Carter A Racist? Just Asking?

Is it just me or does anyone else just wish Jimmy Carter would be content building houses and otherwise be quiet.  I can admire his work with Habitat for Humanity.  I despise his policy positions.  And I am old enought to remember his time as President, not good.  In fact it was probably his presidency that set the stage for 20 out of the next 28 years a Republican living in the White House.

He is talking again this time accusing Represenative Wilson from South Carolina of being a racist because he called President Obama a liar from the floor of the house chamber.  It could be that Wilson is a racist, I don't know him.  It could be that Carter is and he is trying to cover his tracks by labling others as a racist.  You say that is absurd, is it any more absurd that saying Wilson is because he called Obama a liar?  In fact it may be more logical to argue he is a racist because he is from South Carolina.  But then of course Carter is from Georgia that line of reasoning might backfire.

Listen we can disgree about whether what Wilson did was appropriate or not but to say he is racist for doing so, come on.........  Are there racist in this country?  No doubt.  I am thinking if a person is truly a racist no one has to say so, every one will realize it and that person will find his circle of friends and influence ever shrinking into the tidewaters of his own skin shade, ethenicity, and cultural background.

It is not only those with the least melanin in their skin tone that are racist.  Yes, this country has racist and we find them among all shades of people, red and yellow, black and white.  I believe they are the small minority and easily identified.  Sometimes I wonder if those who are the quickest to point out the racist among us remember they have three fingers pointing back at themselves.

The term has lost all meaning because it has become a tool in the hand of the weak-minded to stigmatize people who don't agree with them or are doing things they don't like.

I don't care for Obama one bit and it does not have a thing to do with the fact that he has more melanin than I do.  It has everything to do with:

He is for Abortion and radically so
He is for redistributing the wealth (remember Joe the plumber)
He is continually apologizing for the United States, stop it please!
He is for bigger government
He has been closely associated with ACORN
He is soft on terrorism and those that want to destroy us
He wants to insure everyone and cut the same time???  If that is not a lie then he is delusional.....

It doesn't matter what shade these things come in, I don't like them.

Oh, yea, and back to where I started.  Please former President Carter Be Quiet!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Abstract Art

I am reading a book on Texas history. Last night I was reading in the time period of WWI and their was several paragraphs concerning Georgia O'Keffe. She was an instructor of art, fashion, and interior decoration at West Texas Normal College in Canyon. The faculty there held her in suspicion because her abstract expressionist paintings did not appear to actually represent anything. Her landlord, a physics professor, once asked her what the subject was of one of her paintings.  She replied that it was Palo Duro Canyon.  "It doesn't look like the canyon to me."  "It's how I feel about the canyon."  "Well, you must have had a stomachache when you painted it."

That is exactly how I feel about expressionist art?  Paint me a picture of something or someone I can appreciate that.  Just my opinon.....

The excerpt is from the book entitled, Passionate Nation: The Epic History Of Texas