Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just Food For Thought!

Proverbs 11

New International Version (NIV)
11 The Lord detests dishonest scales,
    but accurate weights find favor with him.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.
Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
    but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
    all the promise of[a] their power comes to nothing.
The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
    and it falls on the wicked instead.
With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,
    but through knowledge the righteous escape.
10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
    when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.
12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
    but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.
13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
    but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,
    but victory is won through many advisers.
15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,
    but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.
16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,
    but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,
    but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
    but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
19 Truly the righteous attain life,
    but whoever pursues evil finds death.
20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,
    but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.
21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,
    but those who are righteous will go free.
22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.
24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
25 A generous person will prosper;
    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
26 People curse the one who hoards grain,
    but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.
27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
    but evil comes to one who searches for it.
28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,
    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.
29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and the one who is wise saves lives.
31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,
    how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How Are We To Behave During the Storm?

Luke 8:22-26
One Day he got into a boat with his disciples and he said to them let us go across to the other side of Lake so they put out, and while that was selling he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up shouting master, master, we are perishing! And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased and there was a calm. He said to them, where is your faith? They were afraid and amazed and said to one another, who then is this that he commands even the Wind and the Water and they obey him? Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.

We had been in the Sea of Galilee all of 15 minutes  as our boat was turning around and we begin to head  back towards the shore  someone said  pejoratively what would happen if a storm came now, right out of nowhere? I looked  down at the amazingly calm waters of the Galilean sea and begin to take a quick inventory of the width,  and length  of the sea of Galilee. Briefly gazing along the shoreline and at other ships around us our  guide Ramseys told us the sea is over 150 feet deep. Realizing all of this I began to envision how afraid the disciples must have been stuck out on the sea in the middle of a horrible storm, nowhere to go, with no escape, nothing to hold on to. The disciples only had three options 1) Panic, 2)Wait, 3) or call on Jesus!
As we travel through the Holy Land we have been privileged to see great and historic places to our faith and the scriptures. We have been allowed to travel freely, eat great cuisine and take advantage of all that Israel has to offer. However we have also been challenged to the core of our hearts. The liberties that we are experiencing  have been denied to many who have been born right here. Many Arabic people born in the land live through daily storms. Storms filled with check points, unfair laws, racism and oppression, many live in a situation not unlike the twelve on the boat; where they can either panic, accept the situation and wait or turn to God. Today I have come to the realization that we al will have enormous storms in our life, that is a promise as sure as we need air to breathe. The realization I have come to is that we are not to feel defeated in the storms, it’s how we behave in the storms of our lives that give us power. I have been encouraged at how the Arabic/ Palestinian people I have encountered  have chosen to behave in the storm. They have not been defeated but have called on God to empower them , and they have the faith to endure until Justice prevails and ture love is unleashed in the land. I pray that you and I can use the examples seen here and behave the same way in the midst of our storms, by turning to God.
Finally, I remember the words or Rev. Charles Albert Tindely “ In the midst of tribulation, stand by me. When the host of hell assail, and my strength begins to fail, thou who never lost a battle, stand by me.” Dear God remind us how you have never lost a battle,  remind us how you are with us during the storms of life giving freedom to the captives and release from oppression for the oppressed.  Show us how to behave during the storm.