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Judges —

There was an occasion, in Exodus 18, when God spoke to Moses through his father in law Jethro. God ordained, by Moses, to set up this structure of judges that Jethro had described. The purpose of these judges was to hear and settle disputes. That way, Moses no longer needed to do this all himself. In the cases that needed to go to Moses, so he could pray for an answer, God gave laws that would address all such future cases (Exodus 18:16). So, ultimately, we had all of the needed laws. This was God’s providence for the time coming when they would no longer have Moses (Exodus 22:9, Leviticus 19:15).

This system of judges was established extremely early in the time when Moses was leading Israel. By the end of the 40 years, when God was handing leadership over to Joshua, He said, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8

Even after Moses and Joshua, there was a time of history when Israel continued to be governed by God, through His Law, and by judges whose basis for judgment was God’s Law. They no longer needed Moses to go to God and ask about the most difficult cases. The Law had already been delivered to Moses, and he wrote it down (Deuteronomy 31:9), so they had this as the basis for their judgments. They did not need to legislate, only judge.

Most of this historical time of judges is covered in the book of Judges in the Holy Bible. When they were living in accord with God’s design, this was the mode of civil government and criminal justice in Israel. When they departed from God, He afflicted them. They eventually repented and re-established the proper system, “and the land had rest.” This cycle repeated several times over many generations for more than four centuries.

1 Samuel 2:25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him?

1 Samuel 7:15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.

The demolition of this system is found in 1 Samuel 8, when the people demanded a king instead. It is extremely important to note that God said, in verse 7, that they were rejecting God as King by ending the time of the judges and starting the time when the king was merely human. This was also emphasised as God described the great problems that would result from their destruction of God’s design for justice and authority.

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Reminder: One-Year Bible Reading Schedule —

Tornado+Lightning

We would like to highly encourage you to read through the Bible each year, in conjunction with other biblical studies. That is why we have been posting this each December, even though it is the same schedule each year. This reading schedule has been incorporated into our online software, for KJV Bible reading and searching, that you can access for free without any advertisements or cookies.

We have tried several Bible reading schedules. There are some preferences that we wanted to incorporate into the plan, so we have made our own. Here are some of the features of this schedule:

  • It is designed for reading aloud.
  • The amount of reading is fairly consistent each day, about twelve to fourteen minutes, so you can reliably fit it into your schedule.
  • Each chapter is read completely, instead of breaking the chapter up across different days. We have found it to be distracting to keep in mind a specific verse number to end the day’s reading. When we know the entire chapter is included, then we can focus on reading and just check the schedule chart between chapters.
  • The chapters are isolated when they include many names that are hard to pronounce, so easier passages fill in that day’s reading. Consecutive chapters of difficult reading are on separate days, requiring less endurance of the tongue.
  • The schedule can be printed double-sided on a single sheet of A4 or US letter size paper.
  • It can be folded in quarters and used as a bookmark for the next day’s Old Testament reading.

We have been using this schedule since the beginning of 2015 and it has worked well for us. We plan to continue using this plan for the foreseeable future. As we have done with other reading schedules, we make a pen mark on the date for today’s reading, then fold it with the pen mark inside, so the fresh ink does not rub off inside the Bible. By the end of the year, the paper is fairly well worn, so we just print a new one.

Dogma Kennel —

Toastmasters Speech

The following information is not a transcript of the speech video. This blog post is here to provide additional details.

Pathways, Effective Coaching, Level 2, project 3 (7th speech) — Mentoring

Project objective:
Write and present a 5- to 7-minute speech about a time when you were a protégé. Share the impact and importance of having a mentor.

Please see the video on LinkedIn.

Here is a link to the book I referenced.

Another awesome book, in synergy with the above, is from John Maxwell.

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Coronation —

chickCoronation

The “fact checkers” cannot block this post! It is my opinion! And that is a fact!

It is commendable how so many people have responded to the quarantine regulations — making the best of a very bad situation. This is a good attitude, in general, that stems from our concern for others.

This sudden and drastic shift took much effort and attention. It also handed significant additional power to the bureaucrats.

Please consider this: It is extremely easy to shout danger, safety, risk, and caution — like Chicken Little. In contrast, it requires deep research and good judgement to confidently endorse a measured amount of caution.

It is leadership, not technical expertise, that is needed to weigh the risks and chart a course forward. When there is a void of leadership, the shouts for safety drown out reason. A risk-averse society will over-compensate for dangers, and end up destroying its vitality instead of protecting it.

In many regions of the world, Chicken Little is now king and the bureaucrats are celebrating the coronation!

Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools

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Oxygen For The Soul —

Toastmasters Speech

The following information is not a transcript of the speech video. This blog post is here to provide additional details.

Pathways, Effective Coaching, Level 2, project 2 (6th speech) — Communication Style

Project objective:

Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting about a communication style and its impact on professional and/or personal relationships. 

Please see the video on LinkedIn.

Links to information about Truett Cathy:

Wikipedia

Recommended book

Link to 5 languages book:

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Father, Glorify Thy Name —

GloryOfGod01

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

It is effortless to be humble when we see the glory of God. If you come to your god with any sense that you deserve his favour, then your god is too small.

Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

“Everybody wants to know God. They’re created to know God. The reason they don’t know God is they have a wrong picture of Him. You see, if I had a wrong picture of God, I wouldn’t want to know Him either.” — John Maxwell

If you said a prayer, merely as insurance against the possibility of eternal Hell, now continue your journey to seek God’s glory. If you seek you will find. Then you can truly confess that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and He will also be your Saviour.

Romans 10:9-10
9 If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 4
2 If Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Yes, we can earn rewards. Yes, we reap what we sow. Not because God owes us, but because He is gracious, kind, generous, loving. He is a good Father

John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, [saying], I have both glorified [it], and will glorify [it] again.

In the book of Job, God spoke of the glory of His creation, then connected this with His own glory. The righteous conclusion that Job came to, from this sermon, was that he should not have complained against God at all. This is a key lesson from the book of Job.

Even though God was not addressing His sermon towards Job’s three friends, He expected them to repent also, as Job did. This is similar to the lesson of Romans 1:20, that we have no excuse for any of our sin, nor our lack of repentance, because we can see the glory of God in His creation.

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Innocent Blood —

ChooseLife

For their unpardoned evil here on Earth, each person will be judged, convicted, and sentenced. Some of the consequences for these actions will come in this life, some in the next life. Nations are also judged for their actions. But a nation does not have an after-life, so all of the consequences for unpardoned national actions must be faced here on Earth. God is a just Judge and requires justice.

There are several times in the Bible when God pronounced His judgement on a nation. With one exception, each time God gave the option to repent and avoid destruction. There is one time in the Bible when God said He would not offer pardon for the nation. It was when that nation had shed much innocent blood. 2 Kings 24:4 “The LORD would not pardon.” The king, who was responsible for the bloodshed, had already repented, after decades of evil, and had become a believer, but that was not sufficient in this case. The only options they were given were different forms of national destruction. There was no option available to avoid the downfall of the nation.

Government is an institution of God. The purpose of government is criminal justice. When a nation’s government turns to promoting evil, it does not make sense to expect that nation to get away with this evil for long.

Because they have shed much innocent blood over the years, America is doomed. This is why we left.

Proverbs 22:3 A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

We have no intention of aiding the fall of America, but when God tells me where lightning is going to strike, I don’t stand there.

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Leadership Solar Energy —

LeadershipSolarEnergy02

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Toastmasters Speech

The following information is not a transcript of the speech video. This blog post is here to provide additional details.

Pathways, Effective Coaching, Level 2, project 1 (5th speech) — Leadership Style

Project objective:

Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share some aspect of your leadership style, or leadership styles in general. You may choose to discuss your style preferences when working with others, your style and how you can adapt it to situations, or leadership styles in general and how they impact a group.

Please see the video on LinkedIn.

Coach Wooden

There is a nice 34-minute documentary about Coach John Wooden.

Here is my favourite version of his pyramid of success.

Wooden-Pyramid-of-Success

Leadership Affirmation

Before I share my personal leadership affirmation, it is important to explain the purpose of such a list. Everyone has virtues. Because no one is perfect, everyone can become more virtuous. I have a choice. I could convince myself that there is no hope, so I might as well give in to every temptation. If I make that choice, not only will I have a rotten life, my life will be a negative influence on others. When someone encourages me about some virtue they see shown in my life, I am drawn to grow in that virtue. This urge to become better comes not only as a boost from others, but also from what I say to myself. Of course, I am not saying these affirmations as if I have attained perfection in every aspect of these virtues — they are reminders to myself to keep growing.

  • I am leading for the benefit of others — the most rewarding life is to make the world a better place by improving the quality of people’s lives — “Leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves, but how far we advance others.” ~ John Maxwell
  • I am developing my leadership and communication, so I can help others grow and rise to God’s calling in their lives.
  • I am leading because I want REAL success:
    • Relationships
    • Equipping
    • Attitude
    • Leadership
  • I am leading by example
  • I am leading by valuing the contributions and insights of each team member — teamwork
  • I am leading by sharing wisdom: information that is both highly valuable and highly trustworthy — authoring documents, participating in meetings, teaching, equipping
  • I am leading by sharing contacts — introducing people
  • I am leading by being authoritative, rather than authoritarian
  • I am leading by being authentic, rather than merely honest — vulnerable, rather than hiding my shortcomings — giving trust
  • I am leading by prioritizing — investing time doing important things, not just the urgent
  • I am leading by changing myself for the better — open to coaching, seeking training and self-education, goals program
  • I am leading by changing business processes for the better
  • I am leading by encouraging — coaching, mentoring, guiding
  • I am leading by managing risk — due diligence in reducing the impact and probability
  • I am leading by taking initiative — ambition, hunger, industriousness, resourcefulness, adaptability, creativity
  • I am leading with responsibility — earnest, gravity, loyalty, reliability
  • I am leading with confidence — assertive, not aggressive — knowledge, not arrogance — faith: belief, trust, hope, peace, optimism
  • I am leading with joy — happiness, cheer, good humour, gratitude, enthusiasm
  • I am leading with vitality — energy, endurance, health
  • I am leading with prudence — good judgement based on wisdom 
  • I am leading with integrity — high standard of ethical principles
  • I am leading with grace — giving kindness, patience, forgiveness, honour

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New Testament Marriage —

Wedding-Cake-Top

Dispensations

There are things that God has not told us. That is no surprise, because it would be impossible for us to learn the vast depth and expanse of all wisdom, even if God told us all of it. Yet, each one of us is responsible for the wisdom that we have been told.

The Bible clearly teaches of certain truths that had not been revealed earlier. God has given added revelation throughout history and the final dispensation was given at the time of Jesus, as confirmed by His Twelve Apostles.

The patriarchs had not been given as much revelation as we have today. That also gives us a higher responsibility. They were not held to this standard before because it had not been revealed before.

Clarity of Scripture

The Holy Bible is our source of Truth. God wants us to know the Truth. Yes, it will require study. Yes, we can study the Scripture for a lifetime and still find deeper and broader understanding. Yet, we are responsible for doing what is right, so God will help us understand well enough to do right.

Satan’s first attack is against the authority, and clarity, of God’s Word.

Genesis 3:1 “Yea, hath God said?”

Marriage

This is an institution of God that was ordained on day six of creation, when Adam and Eve were created. Marriage is defined by God as one man and one woman becoming one flesh for life. This couple does not end until death parts them. Though it was established from the beginning, it was not confirmed until the dispensation of the new testament. Some people had figured this out before Jesus explained it, so they were able to benefit from the blessing of living their lives according to God’s design.

The biblical term “help meet” explicitly indicates that one wife is sufficient. In all of God’s creation, no animal exists that could fit this degree of helpfulness. As helpful as a horse is, or an ox, or a dog, etc., “help meet” does not apply to any of them. This same Hebrew word is used to describe the help we get from God. There is no way such help could be considered insufficient. We need to be content with what God has provided.

1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Even if, as some say, the above verse is merely Paul’s advice, it would make no sense if poligamy was considered to be a biblical choice in the new covenant.

Jesus expected that anyone should be able to see, from Genesis, that God designed marriage for one man and one woman. When Jesus pointed this out, He was exhorting us to a standard that was established from the beginning of creation. Those who lived in accord with this design received a blessing, and those who did not, suffered the consequences.

It seems quite clear, from the below verses, that the intent, plan, design, and expectation is that this would be done once, rather than repeatedly.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Thou shalt not commit adultery

We have a new dispensation regarding marriage. Jesus said it was designed this way all along, but He was now making the picture complete for those who did not already understand. He said that Adam and Eve were the true model for God’s design in marriage. One man and one woman to become one flesh as long as they both shall live.

Fornication is the general term for sexual sin, and adultery is a form of fornication that is specifically denoting involvement by someone who is married.

When a married man is longing after another woman, that is a form of adultery. We need to be faithful to our spouse both in action and in thought. We are being sinfully unthankful to God for the spouse that He has given us, when we long for someone else.

Jesus has one bride

Highlights below: The plural for wife is only used when the plural for husband is also used. In other words, there is a group of husbands, and their wives. But when the singular for the man or husband is used, the singular for the wife is always used. This aligns with the singular form of the word when the church is mentioned as the bride of Christ.

Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Ephesians 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.

Elders and Deacons

Paul understood this requirement, thus the reason for its inclusion in the qualifications for deacons and elders.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Each elder, and each deacon, has the requirement to be the husband of one wife. If this was ambiguous, it could mean:

  1. No more than one wife, OR
  2. Exactly one wife, OR
  3. No less than one wife.

It is pointless for this requirement to be included in Scripture, if there is no way for us to know which of the three options is the correct meaning. In other words, this requirement is not ambiguous.

  • Considering the teachings of the New Testament, there is no doubt that the requirement is to have exactly one wife.
  • Considering the context of the passage, there is no doubt that the requirement is to have exactly one wife.
  • Considering the structure of language, there is no doubt that the requirement is to have exactly one wife. The question is asked, “Do you have one wife?” If a man has exactly one wife, only then can he answer, “Yes.” If a man has two wives, then answering, “Yes” would be a lie.

The fact that a man is disqualified as an elder or deacon, if he has more than one wife, makes the doctrine even more clear.

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Corona Butterfly Effect —

superhero-silhouette-art-14

Small Talk

Virus outbreaks have taken their place beside sports and weather as topics of casual conversation. Over the decades, with the increasing movement of people and information, virus outbreaks have become much like weather. Reporting, forecasting, small talk, big talk, fear mongering — it would be difficult to say for sure if the information outweighs the disinformation.

Regarding the corona virus, please feel free to read on if you would like to hear why, in my humble opinion, I believe there is:

NO conspiracy
NO biological engineering
NO criminal or malicious intent
NO cause for panic

The Industry

There is a segment of the population that is addicted to adrenaline. These people are much more likely to be drawn to the news profession, because they get their daily fix of excitement. Without this charge, they don’t feel well. The adrenaline addicts, who are not in the industry, are faithful to keep up, on a daily basis, with the drama, providing a very significant audience. More adventure, more rage, more fuss, more fear, more hysteria, more tumult, more audience, more advertising revenue, so the buzz is reinforced and they stay employed to keep the thrill going.

Government Salvation

Another factor that feeds this cycle is a worldview that wants the government to save us. Whenever some tragedy happens, many people look to the government to step in as the hero to fix the problem. Even when something is not a tragedy, yet can be portrayed as the weak needing a defender, they are knocking on the politicians’ door demanding action. It is as if the government is seen as a superhero that could right every wrong.

superhero-silhouette-art-14    superhero-silhouette-art-14     superhero-silhouette-art-14

An individual, who has this kind of worldview, is not very satisfied with the influence they can have on the state. However, if someone has an audience, like someone in the news industry, it is very satisfying to initiate a groundswell of support for the cause, and spur many thousands of people to clamour for the authorities to rescue us.

The Stage Is Set

There are always variations in virus strains every year. Some strains are always more lethal than others. There is always some percentage of the population at death’s door, whether anyone knows it or not. Tens of thousands are pushed over the threshold each year by a bug that was going around. So, there is a ready supply of helplessness for use to play on people’s emotions.

Clearing The Air

Recently, a random sample of many hundreds of people were tested for coronavirus, regardless of their symptoms. The results showed that far more people have the virus than was previously thought — they just don’t have the extreme symptoms. So, the initial figures for the fatality rate can be thrown out the window.

The Butterfly Effect

This phenomenon has to do with the weather. The flutter of a butterfly on one continent contributes to the rise of a tornado on another continent. This nasty virus has a marketable name, and is reported to be tracked back to a source that raises suspicion. It sounds like a plot for a bestseller. It is no wonder that there is so much more attention for corona, even though many other things are killing far far more people.

The flu is boring. Without even googling it, I am sure you can think of several previous bugs that were made famous, even though they had a much smaller effect than the common flu, because they had a catchy name and were associated with a specific geographic origin.

This year, the butterfly is corona from Wuhan.

If you are a Christian, there is an antidote to the fear.