I’m not much of a fashion plate. Comfort and utility have always been higher on my criteria list for clothing than fashion has been. Yet the Word of God is very clear – clothes make the man.

Pressure is an external force applied to the surface of an object. In yet unknown circumstances, the combined pressures of velocity, gravity, and friction destroyed the Space Shuttle Columbia and her precious crew several days ago. On the other hand, people need pressure regulation to survive in unnatural environments, such as in a space orbiter, in an airplane flying at high altitudes, or in a submarine cruising deep beneath the sea.

At the turn of the 20th century, in a small town in Italy, lived a small boy named Angelo. Angelo was born into a circus family. He, his father, and his brothers were trapeze artists while his sisters tamed animals. Angelo was the youngest boy, but the star of the show. The main part of his act involved walking a high wire with a wheelbarrow to balance him. The act was made more difficult by putting objects into the wheelbarrow, sometimes to near over-flowing. As his act grew in fame, Angelo eventually hired a manager who took him and his daring act to America.

Famine is a slow and merciless killer. While most of the world constantly has the prospect of famine on their radar screens, we in the USA pay it no attention. Yet every man, woman, and child on earth needs to be keenly aware of famine.

We usually forget things we need to remember and remember things we need to forget. On this painful day of remembrance, we need to remember some things we may have forgotten.

1. The One, True, and Living God Who loves us sacrificially is on the throne and in complete control of all circumstances. We may be rocked to our foundations by events but He is never surprised. God is sovereign. That has always been true and always will be true. (Jer 10:10, Is 46:9-10)

Satan is a liar. He is the father of liars (John 8:44). I know that, but I still listen to him. Too frequently I listen with the ears of my flesh rather than the ears of my spirit. Satan will lie to me through my physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. He even lies to me through my emotions. My flesh cannot discern the truth because the Truth is a spiritual reality (John 14:6). I need to see everything, hear everything, and touch everything with my spiritual senses in order to discern the Truth (1 Cor 2:13-14).

Earlier this week a fierce storm ripped through Phoenix, uprooting trees and damaging physical property. Today, an unfathomable storm is ravaging Stanton, California, with the news of the kidnapping and murder of a beautiful five-year old girl. Elsewhere, lives are being ravished by the storms of physical disease, financial ruin, or the collapse of a relationship. 

Last week was a very trying week for me. An issue in my family could have shattered relationships. Issues in the church family threatened the unity of the Body. Every issue was very intense. It was a tough week, it was a week for – rejoicing!

The Word of God says in the hard-hitting epistle written by James, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

The born-again believer has two natures, the nature of Adam and the nature of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:44-45). 

We are physically born and spiritually stillborn with the fallen, worldly nature of Adam (Gen 2:15-17, Gen 3:1-7, Gen 3:17-19). This first nature is sinful and corrupt, characterized by love of self, self-centeredness, misery, discontent, condemnation, and defeat (Gal 5:19-21, Matt 15:10-20, 1 Cor 6:9-10). As such, by that nature, man is born separated from God (James 4:4).

Today the Unites States of America celebrates its independence as a sovereign nation. In the eyes of the world, the form of government selected by our founding forefathers was a radical experiment in freedom for the common man. All other nations were, and had been for centuries upon centuries, monarchies but this bold group of rebels chose to build a democratic republic built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mocked and scorned by thrones all over the world, this passionate “experiment” has endured and prospered, far beyond the expectations of the monarchies of 226 years ago.


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