earnestly contending for the faith

“Lord, make my love so near the surface that it doesn’t take long to come out.”

I was at the grocery store tonight. Standing in line behind a woman, I noticed that she was buying only two large cans of cat food. A people observer, I notice that her clothing was unclean. Her physical appearance was disheveled. I thought that it was commendable that in her apparent need she was thinking of her cat on such a cold night. Nervously, she pulled a couple of dollars and some change out of a small, filthy, coin purse. With only a few coins left, she paid for the cat food, and took off.

It took a few minutes for it to sink in that she was most likely buying that cat food for herself. I quickly looked to see if she was still in the store, but she was gone. It grieved my spirit so much that I I had to hold back the tears. On the way to my car I wept. I wept partly because she had reached the point that she would eat cat food. To be honest, she appeared to be on drugs. But I couldn’t help it—my heart was broken for her. I also wept because I was not alert enough to recognize the situation quicker.

To be honest, I might have offended her if I had asked if the cat food was for her. Not to go into more detail, I’m close to certain that it was for her. I realize that people need to experience the consequences of their sin or they may never change. But if I had that moment to live over, I would have gotten a cart, took her around the store, and bought her a couple of bags of groceries. I would have told her that the love Christ Jesus poured out in me is also available to her. I would have told her that Satan is the reason for her situation and that God through Christ Jesus wants to give her eternal life and happiness. If only.

I repented and confessed my failure. I know beyond any doubt that I missed a golden opportunity to express the love of Christ Jesus to someone. The truth is that we do not need to get so wrapped up in the Christmas season that we fail to share the love of and for Whom the season exists.

I prayed that God make my love so near the surface that it doesn’t take so long to come out. The souls upon whom sin has struck its severest blows most need the love of Him who bore the cruelty of crucifixion for their deliverance. It was because of love that He died. Love that expensive is too valuable to be hoarded.

The Cat that Leapt Well

It was one of those times when I wish that I had had a camera. But it was before smart phones and it was all over too quickly.

Cheryl and I were sitting on the back porch visiting with an elderly couple. It was a beautiful evening and our spot on the planet was losing its turn with the sun. Birds were everywhere, flitting, chirping, and dipping in the birdbath. The elderly gentleman loved and fed them daily. And the cat loved them as well.

He began stalking a small flock that had landed under a bird feeder. They were pecking furiously at the ground gathering up a final meal before roosting for the night. The cat was a very good stalker. Although the birds glanced nervously about as they feasted, he inched ever closer. The drama was intense.

I did not want the cat to be successful and was about to shout and wave my hands when I realized that he had set his mind on one particular bird. Fascinated by his choice I watched spellbound as he crept ever closer and then pounced. Success! As the little flock took flight the cat hit his prey with lightening precision flattening the bird.

However, there was no explosion of feathers, no death struggle in the teeth of the fearsome creature, and no smug look by the cat as he pranced away to enjoy his feast. No, but something much more amazing occurred.

When cat and bird collided the cat bounced back, shook his head several times, and staggered as he slunk off with an unhappy demeanor. When he glanced back at the fallen bird and contorted his mouth as if he were eating peanut butter, I erupted with laughter.

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Do Warnings Make You Cringe and Turn on Your Mental Auto-block?

(Warning: If you’d rather wake up with your bed on fire than change the battery in the smoke alarm, this article is not for you.)

Why are most professing Christians ignoring warnings? Why do they consider truth speakers too harsh, fanatical, out of touch with mainstream Christianity, et cetera? Why, when it is obvious that the “end of days” is rapidly approaching, and God’s word has many warnings against being unprepared, do they so completely resist and reject warnings that can motivate them to prepare? Maybe we should ask why people drive into swollen rivers and drown? Or why they drive and text? Or why they eat, smoke, and drink themselves to disease and an early death?

People are willfully and comfortably blind to the signs and deaf to the warnings. It is the result of the human nature’s proclivity to be stress-free, and the compromise of Christianity by heresy. I witnessed the “Word of Faith” doctrine (prosperity, comfort, convenience, health, God-is-my-servant) seep into and blend with the Evangelical belief system. Now professing Christians are too focused on being “blessed” and comfortable to be bothered by warnings. Many of them say they do not believe in the WOF heresy, but they live as if they do. They have allowed their hearts of sacrifice to be slowly converted to self-centered hearts calloused by repeated, unresponsiveness to conviction (Romans 12:1-2). It’s all about sports, shopping, food, fun, ranting about politics, occasionally roasting a heretic, about Churchianity, and happy, happy, happy! They would rather believe that an inarticulate and bearded duck hunter speaking “pabulum” is a eminent sage than to acknowledge a God-sent warning.

They are comfortable and that’s what matters. Only what promotes comfort is permitted to pass the eye and ear gates. The fact is it doesn’t matter if one rides a Mercedes or a dirt bike into a firestorm he or she is still going to roast. The “Ostrich Complex” is merely a means to insure unpreparedness for a devastating and unprecedented satanic firestorm.

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