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Friday, August 14, 2015

Cecil the Lion vs. Anonymous Human Babies

lion image:

Great argument against abortion by Mr. Chandler:

I noticed that in a recent TIME magazine, they devoted 6 pages with color photos to talk about Cecil the Lion, and lions in general who are raised to be hunted in South Africa. 

A few pages later, I saw half a page of text. It was about the videos leaked of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts to middlemen. Half a page of text. No color photographs. Not even a full page. At the end of the article, the reporter compared using baby's body parts to using human organs from (adults) people in car accidents or shootings. No one wants someone to get shot or be in an accident, but it can help other people. The only problem with that argument is this: the adults can choose to be an organ donor, but an unborn baby has no choice! 

When did lions become more important than human babies

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:13-14 

 My baby sister and I in 2007. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thoughts on the book of Daniel

I read through the book of Daniel July 6-July 9. I wrote down some aspects that stood out to me and am sharing them here. I hope something I gleaned can be of encouragement to you. The Word of God is precious and living. The Lord is showing me that practically more and more. 


Daniel Chapters 1-3

Opens with a mention of the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon was located in modern day Iraq.  

"Babylon was situated on the Euphrates River, about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. Baghdad is located on the Tigris River, approximately 40 miles east of the Euphrates. The Tower of Babel was built there and Hammurabi, the great lawgiver, reigned there in the nineteenth century before Christ. It was from Ur in Babylonia that God called Abraham to go into a land that he would show him.

In the Neo-Babylonia era, Nebuchadnezzar was the ruler (605-562 B.C.) in the height of its glory. It was during his time that Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed (586 B.C.) and the Jews were taken captive for 70 years. From there Daniel was prime minister and from there Cyrus the Persian issued an edict allowing Jews to return to their homeland. It was there that Alexander the Great died (323 B.C.), while planning a new capital. Babylon was overthrown in 539 B.C. by the Medo-Persians." 

Daniel and his three companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah learned about the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 

They were given new names: "To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego." (Daniel 1:7)

They had 3 years training. After three years, they served the King.

Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself.
He and his companions from Judah were tested ten days. They only ate vegetables, not meat. 

The Chaldeans spoke Aramaic to the King. The King had a troubling dream and his wise men could not interpret the dream's meaning. 

Daniel sought mercies from God (to not be killed along with the other wise men)

Secret of the king's dream revealed to Daniel. (By night vision) Daniel blesses the God of heaven.

All the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped. (The gold image)

The Chaldeans accused the Jews. 

The three men say this to the King: "Our God is able to deliver us and He will deliver us from your hand but if not, we do not serve your gods." 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” 
(Daniel 3:16-18)

They are willing to die for their beliefs, but trust the Lord whatever the outcome.
Whether death or life.

Daniel Chapters 4-8

Nebuchadnezzar the king,
To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:
Peace be multiplied to you.
 I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.
How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

(Daniel 4:1-3)

Dream of great tree. 
In the middle of the earth.
It could be seen to the ends of the earth.
a watcher, holy one, came down from heaven.
He cried aloud: "Chop down the tree! But leave the stump and roots for 7 times."

Nebuchadnezzar was like a beast, in a field.
After he is restored to his right mind, He praises God.

New king.
King Belshazzar has feast.
A thousand lords in attendance.
Writing on wall appears.
"God holds your breath in His hand" (Daniel to Belshazzar)

And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. (Daniel 5:23)

Belshazzar is slain that night.
Darius the Mede reigns.
Daniel protected in the lion's den. Not harmed.
Cyrus the Persian reigns.

Daniel's dream:
Four great beasts
Eyes like the eyes of man and a mouth speaking pompous words.
The Ancient of Days is seated.
His garment white as snow.
His hair like pure wool
Throne: fiery flame
Wheels: burning fire.
Fiery stream issued forth from before Him (The Ancient of Days)

A thousand thousands ministered to Him
Ten thousand multiplied by ten thousand stood before Him.
Court seated.
Books opened.
The beast slain, body destroyed, given to burning flame.
Behold One like the Son of Man
Coming with the clouds of heaven!

He came to the Ancient of Days
He was given dominion, glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him.
The end of time.
The things in this dream to happen many days from Daniel's time.

Daniel Chapters 9-10

Wore sackcloth and ashes,

Three things. I should be doing these things more in my life. Not as works to show that I am a "good" christian, but out of a humble heart. The nation I live in, The United States of America, is wicked. This fact is made worse, because we have more knowledge of God than other countries. We can easily find a Bible in English at a local bookstore. 

Yet, how many Americans read the Bible? Believers in Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, China, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan have to hide their Bibles, and risk going to prison, or being killed for owning the Word of God. Too many Americans are "cultural christians." They would say, "Of course, I am a christian." But their life during the week is drastically different from how they act in a church meeting on Sunday. I am guilty of this as well, it is easy to act loving and kind to people on Sunday morning, but at home, your family knows the real you. 

May we fast and pray for unsaved souls and the spiritual warfare going on as I write. I am not sure if we should wear sackcloth and ashes, I need to study up on that. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.  But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
(Luke 12:42-48)

"Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."  (Luke 12:40)

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.  (Daniel 9:3-5)

"Shame of face" 
belongs to the man of Judah,
and all Israel,
and Jerusalem.
Daniel identifies three groups of people to whom shame of face applies.

Mercy, forgiveness belong to God
even though we rebelled against Him.
(Daniel 9:9)

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.  Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.
(Daniel 10:12-14)

Our words are powerful. The angel came to Daniel just because of his words. Amazing to think about! The spiritual battle of angels against fallen angels (demons) is mentioned here. 

Daniel Chapters 11-12 
King of the North
King of the South

Vile person replaces the King of the North
He comes peaceably, seizes kingdom by intrigue
His heart will be moved against the holy covenant

verse 30, ships go from Cyprus

Daniel 11:32-35
Lovely, but also challenging verses about Christians. 

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 

And some of those of understanding shall fall, 
to refine them, 
purify them, 
and make them white, 
until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.
(Daniel 11:32-35)

will help the Northern King
"following at his heels."

Daniel Chapter 12

Verse 3, message to soul winners:

Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.
(Daniel 12:3)

Verse 10, 
Many (christians) shall be:
made white,

But the wicked shall do wickedly;
The wicked won't understand.
But the wise shall understand.

The end of Daniel.