The Tongue

God: “If anyone can control his tongue, it proves that he has perfect control over himself in every other way. We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in his mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark.

“Men have trained, or can train, every kind of animal or bird that lives and every kind of reptile and fish, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is always ready to pour out its deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our heavenly Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against men who are made like God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Dear brothers, surely this is not right!” James 3:2-5, 7-10 TLB

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your saving grace, for the gift of today, and for your promise of life everlasting. Please keep me mindful of the words I speak, and write, and post today. Let them all glorify you and advance the Kingdom. Amen

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Emissaries Of The Kingdom

The role of the ambassador or the emissary is to represent their homeland. To speak for the interests of their king and their country.

As citizens and emissaries of The Kingdom of The Most High God, our primary message is that you take up the yoke of our Prince and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who promised, “for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Not an effortless yoke, but one from a Savior who is compassionate and merciful. (Matthew 11:28-30)

From the #imjustsaying series

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His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 136 ESV

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Just be available. You never know what God will do with a life that is surrendered. Darlene Zschech

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Insignificant Details

Beware of ever thinking, “Oh, that thing in my life doesn’t matter much.” Nothing in our lives is a mere insignificant detail to God. He keeps trying to teach us and He never loses patience.

Whenever God causes a doubt about something, stop it immediately, no matter what it may be.

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Sabbath Rest, An Indivisible Part of Creation

By the seventh day God finished what he had been doing and stopped working. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart as a special day, because by that day he had completed his creation and stopped working. Genesis 2:2-3 GNT

God set the seventh day apart and made it a special day. He sanctified it (made it holy), not to rest in the traditional sense, but to abstain from the regular order of the other six days. It is a time of reflecting on the majesty of our Creator, on the beauty of His creation, and of realigning ourselves to His created order and will.

Sabbath observance was a command given to God’s chosen people, Israel, that they would eternize God’s creative acts through rest and excogitation. It is also a reminder to Christians to enter the spiritual rest God has provided through the Jesus the Messiah.

Shabbat Shalom

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Derby Day

It’s the first Saturday in May
And Kentucky Derby Day!
All are a-buzz at Churchill Downs,
This is leg one of the Triple Crown!

The forecast is rather sublime,
It’ll be 75-degrees at post time. 
Mighty fine for a day of racing,
For victory sought and glory chasing.

Twenty thoroughbreds ready to run,
Fans gathered for a day of fun.
Known Agenda in first pole position.
Will Like the King show top condition?
From New York is Brooklyn Strong,
Keepmeinmind‘s odds are long.
The number five horse is Sainthood.
Next is O Besos, and win he could.
Mandaloun might take the lead
But Medina Spirit may do the deed.
Hot Ross Charlie shows good odds
Though Midnight Bourbon gets some nods.

Eleven is Dynamic One, let’s wait and see,
Then Helium, victor of Tampa Bay Derby.
Another long-shot is Hidden Stash
But Essential Quality gets the favorite cash.
Rock Your World will also contend
Or King Fury might win in the end.
May we see Highly Motivated rock
And dominate Super Stock?
Soup and Sandwich is a pretty grey,
Even Bourbonic could win the day.

As the sun sets and the track closes
The main question that poses,
Is who will be draped with the blanket of roses?

BC, May 1, 2021

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The Run For The Roses

The 147th Kentucky Derby is set for tomorrow, May 1. The Derby is the highest profile horse race in the country. It is the biggest event of the year in Louisville, at least to those of us who don’t live within a 50 mile radius of  the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

No doubt protesters will be out, as has been the case for many years. This politicization of everything accomplishes little of the protesters goals, and ruins the good institutions and traditions of society.

There’s a long history of alleged racism and failure on the part of Churchill Downs to do enough for the community.  The controversies in 2020 were mostly related to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a young black woman.  A Louisville police officer is charged with the shooting. 

A long controversy surrounds the 100-year old tradition of singing (or playing) “My Old Kentucky Home.” It is suggested that the song embellishies Kentucky and its history of slavery. And so the writer of the song is deemed racist. This is more (political) cancel culture where events and people from the past are judged by modern day mores. We submit that it is a betrayal of history to judge people and events of the past by current standards. Better to understand them for what they were, in the context of their time, learn from them, and move on.

It can be reasonably argued, whether right or wrong, that Stephen Foster didn’t write the song with any bias, and that his compositions presented blacks positively. The original lyrics of the famous song were actually a condemnation of Kentucky’s slavers who sold husbands away from their wives and mothers away from their children. It’s the lament of an enslaved person longing to return to the cabin with his wife and children. In his autobiographical book, My Bondage and My Freedom, abolitionist luminary Frederick Douglass wrote that the song “awakens sympathies for the slave, in which antislavery principles take root, grow, and flourish.” Foster was friends with a Pittsburgh-area abolitionist. And he also wrote an abolitionist play. So, although much of his music was written for the mid-1800s popular tradition of blackface minstrel shows, we do our history and this American legend a disservice by judging him as racist. Or laying the same on the Derby for singing it.

Others will try to create controversy around the sport of horse racing itself – that it is cruel and inhumane treatment of animals. We reject that claim. Are race horses subject to more injuries and harm than other sports? We think not. Horses were created to run. Race horses are exceptionally well cared for. The owners, trainers, jockeys and other stable hands share a profound love of these impressive creatures.

We recommend ignoring controversy that might swirl around the 2021 Derby.   Set aside efforts to politicize a wonderful American tradition.  Savor the sights and sounds of the Derby.  Pick a horse to cheer for. Enjoy the fastest two minutes in sport.

And try a mint julep. Traditions matter.

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Walking The Talk

Let none of us imagine that an orthodox creed can be of any use to us if we lead a heterodox life.” Charles Spurgeon

Or, in more common parlance, if you are going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. There can be no half-way to Biblical Truth.

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God is Calling, God is Calling, God is Calling,

Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Isaiah 40:3-5

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. Mark 4:9

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