Saturday, 31 July 2021

Michael Black: "Don't Laugh at Me"

Thanks to my Kiwi friend, Maggie Rush, I know the perfect song to suit my blog. This is about disabled people and how normal children and adults mistreat them. Listen to this plea for tolerance here:

Holy Scripture certainly advocates for treating disabled folks with kindness. Leviticus 19:14 (Bible in Basic English) is but one example. "Do not put a curse on those who have no hearing, or put a cause of falling in the way of the blind, but keep the fear of your God before you: I am the Lord."

Another reason for being kind to disabled folks is in Exodus 4:11 (BBE). Moses didn't believe he was eloquent but God disagreed. "And the Lord said to him, 'Who has made man's mouth? who takes away a man's voice or hearing, or makes him seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?'" It's the Lord who decides what faculties we have or lack.

Inconsiderate and immature folks figure it's great fun to pull pranks on disabled people. But Deuteronomy 27:18 (BBE) admonishes, "Cursed is he by whom the blind are turned out of the way. And let all the people say, 'So be it.'"

Job 29:15 (BBE) models how able-bodied folks should act. "I was eyes to the blind, and feet to him who had no power of walking."

We, whom the Father has given the burden of disability, were mistreated throughout history. Mark 10:47 and 48 (BBE) shows how the public had contempt for one blind man. "And when it came to his ears that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he gave a cry, and said, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.' And some of them, turning in protest, gave him an order to be quiet: but he went on crying out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.'" Jesus did and the man saw.

Luke 14:12-14 (BBE) demonstrates Christ's care and concern for the disadvantaged. "And he said to the master of the house, 'When you give a feast, do not send for your friends and your brothers and your family or your neighbours who have wealth, for they may give a feast for you, and so you will get a reward. But when you give a feast, send for the poor and the blind and those who are broken in body: And you will have a blessing, because they will not be able to give you any payment, and you will get your reward when the upright come back from the dead.'"

If he who will bring our eternal reward hasn't come by Monday, I hope to post about God's persistence in the lives of sinners.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Gordon Lightfoot: "Rainy Day People"

These are the sort of friends folks desire and admire. You can hear the reasons for their value to others in this song. Check it out here.

Showing kindness to the son of a foreign king is a rare thing. We read of one instance of this in 2 Samuel 10:1 and 2 (Bible in Basic English). "Now after this, death came to the king of the children of Ammon, and Hanun, his son, became king in his place. And David said, 'I will be a friend to Hanun, the son of Nahash, as his father was a friend to me.' So David sent his servants, to give him words of comfort on account of his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon."

Of course the greatest act of comfort was prophesied in Isaiah 62:11 (BBE). "The Lord has sent out word to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, See, your saviour comes; those whom he has made free are with him, and those to whom he has given salvation go before him."

Part of that fulfilled prophecy was shown to a hemophiliac sufferer by Christ in Matthew 9:22 (BBE). "But Jesus, turning and seeing her, said, 'Daughter, take heart; your faith has made you well.' And the woman was made well from that hour."

And as the sick were despised by society in Christ's time, so were disabled people. Matthew 9:49 (BBE) demonstrates Christ's compassion on less-fortunate folks. "And Jesus came to a stop and said, 'Let him come.' And crying out to the blind man, they said to him, 'Be comforted: come, he has sent for you.'"

But we don't need to be healers and miracle workers to help others. Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 15:1-4 (BBE). "We who are strong have to be a support to the feeble, and not give pleasure to ourselves. Let every one of us give pleasure to his neighbour for his good, to make him strong. For Christ did not give pleasure to himself, but, as it is said, 'The bitter words of those who were angry with you came on me.' Now those things which were put down in writing before our time were for our learning, so that through quiet waiting and through the comfort of the holy Writings we might have hope."

If our hoped-for desire of Christ's return hasn't happened by Saturday, I'll post about how disabled folks must be treated

Monday, 26 July 2021

Lisa Laugheed: "Run With Us"

This song was used as an outro by the Canadian cartoon series, The Raccoons back in the late eighties. It also climb the charts. The song is about loneliness and a call to join a group or gang. Hear it here:

The Bible says we need friends but we must choose the right kind. As Proverbs 1:10-12 (Bible in Basic English) warns, "My son, if sinners would take you out of the right way, do not go with them. If they say, 'Come with us; let us make designs against the good, waiting secretly for the upright, without cause; Let us overcome them living, like the underworld, and in their strength, as those who go down to death;"

Foolhardy men are especially vulnerable to being misled. As Proverbs 9:17 and 18 (BBE) warns, "'Drink taken without right is sweet, and food in secret is pleasing.' But he does not see that the dead are there, that her guests are in the deep places of the underworld."

The best way to be immune to being led astray is to be wise. As Proverbs 28:7 (BBE) admonishes, "He who keeps the law is a wise son, but he who keeps company with feasters puts shame on his father."

The most important reason of all to stay clear of sinful people is given in 1 Peter 4:1-4 (BBE). "So that as Jesus was put to death in the flesh, do you yourselves be of the same mind; for the death of the flesh puts an end to sin; So that you may give the rest of your lives in the flesh, not to the desires of men, but to the purpose of God. Because for long enough, in times past, we have been living after the way of the Gentiles, given up to the desires of the flesh, to drinking and feasting and loose behaviour and unclean worship of images; And they are wondering that you no longer go with them in this violent wasting of life, and are saying evil things of you:"

So if he whom we must give account for our actions hasn't returned by Thursday, I hope to post about the kind of people we need to be.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Foreigner: "I Want to Know What Love Is"

The eighties certainly had some great songs. One poignant hit by this American group struck a chord with so many listeners, including myself. Check it out here:

The best definition of love is found in the Bible. John 15:13 (Bible in Basic English) quotes Christ as saying, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man gives up his life for his friends."

Love is further defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (BBE). "Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride; Love's ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of evil; It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, but has joy in what is true; Love has the power of undergoing all things, having faith in all things, hoping all things."

Of course there is romantic love but agape love goes light years beyond physical attraction. John 13:34 (BBE) shows it's an act of obedience and emulation. "I give you a new law: Have love one for another; even as I have had love for you, so are you to have love one for another."

Romans 13:8 (BBE) shows how agape love fulfills the Law. "Be in debt for nothing, but to have love for one another: for he who has love for his neighbour has kept all the law."

We also read in 1 Peter 1:22 and 23 (BBE) that we mustn't fake our love for Christ's siblings. "And as you have made your souls clean, being ruled by what is true, and loving one another without deceit, see that your love is warm and from the heart: Because you have had a new birth, not from the seed of man, but from eternal seed, through the word of a living and unchanging God."

And to be a fake follower of Jesus is a serious affront to the body of Christ. Look at what 1 Corinthians 16:22 (BBE) says. "If any man has not love for the Lord, let him be cursed. Maran atha (our Lord comes)."

If Christ hasn't arrived by Monday, I hope to point out which crowd we should run with.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

John Denver: "Late Night Radio"

Here's a song many of us can relate to. I certainly love to listen to the AM band at night when all the distant stations come in. For one thing, I learn that other folks have the same sort of problems we have locally.

Check out John Denver's song here:

One feature of late night broadcasts is Christian programming on certain stations. If a church has the money, they can have their sermons aired. Unless complaints arise about the content of the messages, preachers can say whatever they want. The problem is that both true and false preachers have a say.

Scripture warns us in many verses about false prophets. Proverbs 19:5 (Bible in Basic English) speaks of all liars but false teachers are included in this condemnation. "A false witness will not go without punishment, and the breather out of deceit will not go free."

Another aspect of these misleaders is that they tangle people in fruitless controversies. As Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:3 and 4 (BBE), "It was my desire, when I went on into Macedonia, that you might make a stop at Ephesus, to give orders to certain men not to put forward a different teaching, Or to give attention to stories and long lists of generations, from which come questionings and doubts, in place of God's ordered way of life which is in faith;"

As Paul also pointed out in 2 Timothy 4:3 (BBE), people find lies more enticing than the unvarnished truth. "For the time will come when they will not take the true teaching; but, moved by their desires, they will get for themselves a great number of teachers for the pleasure of hearing them; And shutting their ears to what is true, will be turned away to belief in foolish stories."

We must always test preachers by a proper reading of the scriptures. God insists that his best-selling book, The Holy Bible, be read to all the people. Deuteronomy 33:11 (BBE) tells us, "When all Israel has come before the Lord your God in the place named by him, let a reading be given of this law in the hearing of all Israel." It also applies to us today."

If Christ hasn't returned by Saturday, I hope I can post about what love is.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Johnny Cash: "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down"

    This song is about an outsider's view of average people living their lives on a Sunday morning. He certainly felt alone. Check out this excellent song from 1970 here.

All through the Bible, believers are admonished to be kind to strangers, such as the man in the song. Exodus 22:21 (Bible in Basic English) is just one example. "Do no wrong to a man from a strange country, and do not be hard on him; for you yourselves were living in a strange country, in the land of Egypt."

Kindness to the outcast is so highly regarded in Scripture that Christ said this in Matthew 25:34 and 35 (BBE). "Then will the King say to those on his right, 'Come, you who have the blessing of my Father, into the kingdom made ready for you before the world was: For I was in need of food, and you gave it to me: I was in need of drink, and you gave it to me: I was wandering, and you took me in;'"

We whom Christ rescued and adopted are spiritual outcasts in whichever society we live in. As we read about the saints of old in Hebrews 11:13 (BBE), "All these came to their end in faith, not having had the heritage; but having seen it with delight far away, they gave witness that they were wanderers and not of the earth."

For that purpose of adoption, the Lord called even non Jews into his family. As we read in Ephesians 2:11 and 12 (BBE), "For this reason keep it in mind that in the past you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are looked on as being outside the circumcision by those who have circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; That you were at that time without Christ, being cut off from any part in Israel's rights as a nation, having no part in God's agreement, having no hope, and without God in the world."

As for Hebrews 13:2 (BBE), This doesn't mean that some strangers are angels in disguise. "Take care to keep open house: because in this way some have had angels as their guests, without being conscious of it." This is an admonishment toward hospitality."

If our Lord hasn't come by Thursday, I'll hopefully post about my favourite pastime: radio.

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Judy Collins: "Both Sides Now"

This thoughtful song shows how the wonder of life evaporates as we age. For example, clouds were wondrous but now they just dump on us. Love was so simple until we became adults. Life used to seem settled and certain too.

Listen to this song here:

In some ways, our Christian life mirrors secular life. We read of the conversion of Saul and how he became Paul in Acts 9:20 and 21 (Bible in Basic English). "And straight away, in the Synagogues, he was preaching Jesus as the Son of God. And all those hearing him were full of wonder and said, 'Is not this the man who in Jerusalem was attacking all the worshippers of this name? and he had come here so that he might take them as prisoners before the chief priests.'"

The disciple whom Christ loved ranked spiritual maturity, highest to lowest, in 1 John 2:13 (BBE). "I am writing to you, fathers, because you have knowledge of him who was from the first. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the Evil One. I have sent a letter to you, children, because you have knowledge of the Father."

And as we progress through school to adulthood, we find the same maturing happening in our knowledge of God and his Word. As 1 Corinthians 13:9 and 10 (BBE) says, "For our knowledge is only in part, and the prophet's word gives only a part of what is true: But when that which is complete is come, then that which is in part will be no longer necessary."

In the meantime, we need to concentrate on what the Lord has given us to learn. Like Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:15 (BBE), we must, "Let it be your care to get the approval of God, as a workman who has no cause for shame, giving the true word in the right way."

If our Lord hasn't come by Monday, I hope to post about self-made outcasts from life.