Preconceived Expectations

Preconceived Expectations

In the Second Book of Kings, Chapter 5, there is the story of Naaman and Elisha.

Elisha was the understudy of the prophet Elijah and when Elijah slept with his fathers, Elisha became the man of God, the prophet.  Naaman was the commander of the army for the king of Syria and he was held in high regard by his king.

At that time the Syrian army had been making raids into Israel (see how long this stuff had been going on in the Middle East) and one of the captives was a little girl who ended up working for Naaman.

Naaman is described in the Bible as a valiant man, but he was a leper.  The girl from Israel knew of the prophet Elisha and told Naaman’s wife about him.  The little girl told her that Elisha could cure her husband. Continue reading

A Low Whisper

A Low Whisper

1 King 19:9-15

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria.

The prophet Elijah has fled to a cave to hide from the persecution of Jezebel.  Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab who did not walk in the way of the Lord.  Jezebel had slaughtered the prophets of God, except for one hundred who Obadiah, the overseer of Ahab’s household hid in caves. Continue reading

Presumption Is As Iniquity

Presumption Is As Iniquity

1 Samuel 15:22-23

And Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

and to listen than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of divination,

and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

he has also rejected you from being king.”

Saul has just been anointed the first king of Israel.  One of the first things he was instructed to do was pay back the city of Amalek for opposing the Israelites as they made their exodus from Egypt to the promised land.  His instructions were to totally destroy everything in the city, men, women, children and livestock.

Saul totally annihilates the residents but keeps the best of the livestock, figuring they would make good sacrifices to God. Continue reading

You Are Blessed

You Are Blessed

I recently reposted my piece “We Are All Angels”.  What prompted me to do so, was a conversation I had with my wife.

She joined NextDoor.com when we moved to our new location.  It has helped with learning more about the area.  But she also discovered that it is basically a Facebook for the locals.  It’s a platform for whining and bitching about the things that go on in the neighborhood.

This particular day my wife was reading to me the comments made by local residents in regards to the town “nut”, for lack of a better and more politically correct term. Continue reading

We Are All Angels

We Are All Angels

Hebrews 13:2

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

I have seen this theme used many times in art.  We have all seen the TV show where someone is unaware of the real identity of a stranger and unaware that their true nature is being tested by this stranger.  We have seen variations, sometimes it is where Christ returns in an unexpected form and is unrecognizable to the person to whom he appears. Continue reading

Seek Righteousness

Seek Righteousness

King Solomon is one of my favorite persons in history.  The wisdom and knowledge that he shares in the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes has become the cornerstone for my philosophy of life.  Not only does Solomon give us wisdom and truth that is ageless, he does it with simplicity.  I love simplicity.

In 1 King 3:5-14 we learn how Solomon gained this wisdom.

Solomon has just been anointed king by his father David who passes away shortly after anointing Solomon.

Solomon has vanquished those who tried to usurp his reign and now realizes just how much power has been placed on his head.  Solomon will reign over, “a great people too many to be numbered or counted for multitude.”

God asks Solomon, “What shall I give you?” Continue reading

What Is Christmas Spirit?

What Is Christmas Spirit?

(I wrote this post two years ago and thought I would share it again this Christmas Day.  Merry Christmas to all.)

This year is the first time I can ever remember not having much Christmas Spirit.

Honestly I’m not really sure what Christmas Spirit is so I thought I would write about it to see if it helps me figure it out.

I guess most people would say Christmas Spirit is the feeling of joy and the spirit of giving.

I know when I was a kid Christmas was the most anticipated time of the year.  The joy and the spirit of giving wasn’t the reason for the excitement, it was the joy of getting.

I was a kid and that’s what Christmas was all about.  It was the one time of the year (besides your birthday) that you got gifts, nice gifts.

But it wasn’t totally about me and what gifts I was going to receive.  I also loved the family getting together, the lights, the trees and the special once a year food.  (Steamed shrimp, yum / fried oysters and oyster pie, yuck)  Christmas Eve was the only time of the year my grandma got out her fine punch bowl and filled it with ginger ale and scoops of orange sherbet.

I grew up but hung on to the love that I had for Christmas. Continue reading