The Sins Of The Father

The Sins Of The Father

Ezekiel 18:20

The soul who sins shall die.  The son shall not suffer the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son.  The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

That’s some pretty powerful stuff right there.

Ezekiel the Old Testament prophet is laying down some twenty first century wisdom.  Actually it’s eternal wisdom that will apply throughout time.

What Ezekiel is saying is you are in charge and you are responsible for all you do and all that happens to you.  Not the government, not the church, not your family, not your friends, not your enemies, but you and only you are responsible.

Your righteousness and your wickedness are yours to own.  You own it, no one else does, no matter what you think of say. Continue reading

Teaching Myself

Teaching Myself

Sometimes I ask myself, “Why do I write this blog?”

I know that I am hell bent on trying to see this thing through, whatever that means.  I’m trying to improve it, make it better, improve my writing and stay honest.  I’m not writing to sell something.

I figure if I keep working on it at some point I’ll have something that will be of value to someone and help others.

I also write for the same reason a lot of other people write, it’s very cathartic for me. Continue reading

Children Whose Heart Is Set To Evil

Children Whose Heart Is Set To Evil

Ecclesiastes 8:11

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

We have all asked the question how do such evil people get away with doing such evil things and yet here I am toiling away doing it the right way and getting nowhere?

In Ecclesiastes 8:11 King Solomon is addressing that question because just as today, people had the same thoughts in ancient times.  To quote Solomon, “there is nothing new under the sun”. Continue reading

If The Root Is Holy

If The Root Is Holy

Romans 11:16

If the dough offered as first fruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

I took some time to read commentaries by biblical scholars and theologians in regards to this verse.  All of them seemed to deal with civilizations, tribes, congregations, etc..  They were all saying this verse could refer to the church, meaning Christ was the first fruit, the root, thus making the early Christian church holy.  Some of them also referred to the Jews, going back to Abraham as being the first fruit.  And some referred to the Gentiles, who through their acceptance of Christ were the first fruit and were made holy.

I took this on a more personal level, which is how I tend to treat the whole Bible.

Much of what I read by scholars and theologians deals with the Bible as a history book, which it is.  Many of the theologians seem to use it as if it is a corporate manual, telling them how to setup their organizations.

But after reading through the Bible a number of times I have found it to be a personal life manual, an instruction book on what you can expect and how to handle it.

So this is what Paul is saying to the Romans.

If at your core, at your very base as a person, if you truly want to be righteous and do what is right, then your actions and decisions will be right, they will be righteous.

“…if the root is holy, so are the branches.”

I’m not saying with this righteous core everything you do will be right.

We all know no one is perfect.  Like a tree you need to trim the branches, remove the dead and non- producing limbs.  You need to trim the branches that are growing in a way that hinders the overall growth of the tree.

Sometimes you may let the tree go and not keep up with the maintenance required to have it produce to its maximum ability.  The tree becomes unsightly and its production is stifled by deadwood and branches that utilize the vital nutrients but produce nothing.

But if the roots are good, if the tree has an established, strong, root system you can trim the tree back to its trunk and it will again start to produce branches to be properly pruned and produce the sweetest of fruits.

Paul is telling the Romans, and Paul is telling me, if your core principles are right and strong, if at the heart of yourself is a true desire for righteousness, no matter how far you stray, you can always prune it back.  You can remove all the sin, the distractions or worldly desires and return to your roots.  You can return to righteousness and be saved.

Or as I like to say, you can save yourself.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When Our Drink Is Gone

When Our Drink Is Gone

Hosea 4:18

When their drink is gone they give themselves to whoring, their rulers dearly love shame.

I knew what this meant to me when I first read it and wrote down the verse.  But I thought I would read what scholarly people think of it and compare my thoughts with theirs.

The scholars and theologians say this verse deals with the tribe of Ephraim, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, that has become a bunch of drunks, alcoholics, the people along with their leaders.

That may be true for the times this book was written but here is my modern day assessment of this verse.

Society today loves its “feel good”. Continue reading

Happy Fathers Day – They Are Going To Be OK

Happy Fathers Day – They Are Going To Be OK

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there.  I thought I would re-post this one to let you all know that all that work does pay off.

This post is from May 19, 2015.

Today I wanted to write about a nice moment in my life that happened the other day.

My mother had been in the hospital for a couple of days.  She had been suffering from acute anemia among other issues.  The doctors could not seem to figure out the cause.  All the tests had come back normal.

My father was home alone and is capable of taking care of himself but was having issues with his land line phone. He could call out but incoming calls were going directly to voice mail.  Both my mom and dad have cell phones but never have them turned on.  You know it might run up the bill if they were to leave them on.

My son was doing the weekly mowing for my grandfather’s estate.  One parcel of land that he mows for the estate is located adjacent to my mom and dad’s house. Continue reading

Lost My Enterprise, Have My Juliet

Lost My Enterprise, Have My Juliet

This goes out to my wife, who I adore, on our thirty eighth wedding anniversary.

I have been in my new home for a few months.  I have been settling in and enjoying my new residence and location. Yesterday I came to a somewhat sad realization but at the same time it affirmed to me what really makes me happy and what is most important in my life.

If you’ve read my previous post (Star Trek In A Band) you know that I have an affection for the original Star Trek TV show.  And you would know that what I liked most about the show was the comradery of the crew, the all for one and one for all attitude, the common goal of the core characters, the brothers and sisters in arms.

When I was young, and still to this day, the brothers in arms attitude in a band was one of the things that attracted me to music.  I thought I had found it in one band when I was much younger, and have been looking for it ever since. Continue reading