Posted by: T. Boyd | January 11, 2014

Awake, Sleepers!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

As I read the weekend edition the Wall Street Journal this morning, I found it just packed full of sorrow and evil that is so prevalent in our world.  It tends to just give me more depression, but I am thinking the righteous reaction is to soberly pray for the conditions of the sufferers.

I also just started reading a Randy Alcorn novel, Safely Home, that depicts very vividly and accurately (according to reviews) the sad situation in China of the Christians in the rural home churches.  The persecution is awful and very widespread, apparently.

The vast majority of Western Christians just don’t get it. We are asleep at the wheel, just keeping the throttle wide open, being part of society’s hurling toward disaster, crushing any that hinder our progress toward our prosperity and pleasure seeking.

Why are we not weeping, casting ourselves before The Lord in seeking His face to how we can join in the battle against evil, in spreading the gospel, in reaching out to widows (divorcees, unwed mothers) and orphans; to those in poverty and sickness; and those in prisons all around us?

Taking our place in the battle line does not need to be dreaded. It can be, it should be, “for the joy set before us”, knowing that we are finally fulfilling our purpose in being here, and of being called to be children of God, fellow sufferers of our eldest brother, Jesus Christ, God’s own Son. And in joining in the host of believers that are on the front lines, being cheered on by the “great cloud of witnesses.”

Here is the way Hebrews 12 says it in The Message:

 “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

I’m so glad to see churches like East End Fellowship where many young adults and teens have heard the clear, clarion call to rally to our commander, our Lord. The words of the old hymn come to mind:

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
W
ith the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!

 May we pause in this busy, crazy, 100 yard dash toward our next goal; may we get before our Lord, and wait to see His face, to hear this call, to pray for courage to respond; to take up the “whole armor of God” and enter the fray as He directs with His strong, encouraging voice; knowing that “He is our strength and shield, a very present help in times of trouble.”

Boyd

Posted by: T. Boyd | October 15, 2013

When I Run I Feel His Pleasure

1924-eric-liddell-stamford-bridge_n

Eric Liddell, at Stamford Bridge, London, in qualifying trials for 1924 Olympics, original at http://www.ericliddell.org/ericliddell/photographs/eric-liddell

In my morning bible study a few weeks ago, I noticed a new parallel I had not seen before, unless my memory fails me (which happens a lot these days 🙂 ).

I was reading chapter 9 of Deuteronomy, verses 4 and 5, where Moses is talking about going into the promised land – like us “going” [processing?] into our sanctification:

“Not because of your righteousness … are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you…”

The new thought that came to me: it is like what God is doing in making us more like Jesus. It is not because of our righteousness that he is doing this work: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ“, but it is because He loves us and wants to drive out the wickedness that lingers in our flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these… ” (Galatians 5:19).

That purging is not fun or comfortable – those “inhabitants” of past experiences, our natural inclinations, our prejudices which affect our relationships, those strong opinions that cause us to insist that we are right and others are wrong; all of these “works” have to go, have to be taken captive and destroyed by “Him  whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13).  And, although, by faith, we have been crucified and that dying is completed in one sense, (“we are complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10), in another sense it is an on-going, daily experience (“Take up your cross daily and follow me” Luke 9:23).

It is not fun, but it brings joy, because in the transformation process

 (“And we all , with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.  For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We begin to experience God’s pleasure.  As Eric Liddell, the olympic runner told his sister, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”  God made each of us for a purpose – in fact He had our purpose in mind before the world was created!

Can you believe that? It is found in Ephesians 1:4 – “He chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him”, and Ephesians 2:10 – “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  And when we walk in the path that He has planned, we feel joy in our hearts – we feel His pleasure.

Posted by: T. Boyd | August 26, 2013

Too Small to Fly!

I was upstairs in my “man cave” when I noticed something tiny flying around. This bug was tiny compared to a fruit fly which we sometimes find in the kitchen around the fruit. It was moving quite fast, so I didn’t get a good look at it, and it didn’t land as far as I could tell.  In fact, it seemed very busy.

And I started wondering.  How could such a small creature have all the equipment and the know-how to fly?  It seems impossible.  I looked on the web for the smallest flying insect, and the winner is the Fairfly (http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/text01/smallest.html).

Fairy Fly, from Wikipedia

Fairy Fly, from Wikipedia

This fly is only 0.139 mm long. To compare, I got my micrometer, pulled out a hair from my beard (ouch!) and measured its width: 0.21 mm.  Imagine! This fly could land and turn around on the hair without it overhanging the sides.

So I say again, as in the title, it is too small to fly! But, obviously, it does.

Imagine what it would take to build and make such a small flying object which would also be autonomous (self-governing). Not only is the physical makeup of this fly very complicated – just as complicated as a large wasp, I imagine; but to give it the mental ability to maneuver its body and decide where to fly to, how to land safely, and what chore to accomplish, is stretching the best engineers’ abilities today.

The latter have developed small autonomous flying aircraft, but with much less ability that one of these flies, and not near as small (so far). Again, I come to the conclusion, that the ability our creator is accurately described when He says,

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)

Posted by: T. Boyd | April 18, 2013

Forever He Will Run

Return of the Prodigal Son – Rembrandt – used by permission of Wikipedia

I love the song by Freddie Rodriguez, “I will run”.  The chorus has these words:

Forever I will run
So I will run
Unto You, oh God
Now You have my heart
So I will, I will run
Forever I will run
Run to You, oh God
Where else can I go
Forever I will run

And they do express the desires of my heart most of the time, but they are not strictly true, because I am not faithful in my walk.  I will not forever run to God.

But He will forever run and pursue me, and consequently I will always return to Him, because He is God and He will not give up on me.

Posted by: T. Boyd | March 21, 2013

Ideas for Science Projects

I hope to expand the ideas below to give details – this is just an outline of the first few ideas I thought of.  

Physics Categpry ( several are advanced physics)

  • Atmospheric Static Electricity – see flames of fire
  • Measuring the speed of light using radio or tv – see Measuring…
  • Finding micrometeorites in rain water – see Collecting micrometeorites
  • Modeling the nuclear force using the Coffou theory for the 3-body problem – see Wiki article on the 3-body problem and A simple model of the Triton
  • Chaos and the 3 body problem – see Finding Rest at a Lagrangian Point
  • Building a rubber-band refrigerator
  • Studying the effect of electrical fields upon seedlings
  • Studying the light output of eclipsing binary stars
  • How much UVA and UVB get reflected by sunlit surfaces, or transmitted through clouds on cloudy days, or transmitted through sun protective clothing
  • Can we create periodic traveling heat waves in a metal bar with a pulsing heat source?
  • Using stellar light to determine the composition of the stellar atmosphere
  • Studying light interference with simple hand-held lasers
  • Studying a magnetic torsional pendulum

Engineering Category

  • Studying strength vs. shape of arches – see egg shapes and arches
  • Consumer studies: comparing generic vs namebrand batteries – see Science Projects for…
  • Hearing aid batteries, air activated – life of batteries under hearing aid load compared to shelf life after activated by removing tag.

Bio Physics Category

  • Detecting location of a sound by our ears listening through stereo mikes feeding stereo earphones
  • How many seeds (say one kind of seed, like a black sunflower seed) does a bird have to eat to gain back the energy it took to fly to the feeder?

I missed the first week, but glad I caught this one.  Pastor Tim Matthews is teaching from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, and today was the first part of chapter 6.  Here is the recording of the teaching and the discussion.  Hope you are challenged by it like we were.

Pastor Tim Matthews

Boyd

Click here to download, or play it. Tim_Matthews_19Mar2013

Or click the player here:

https://brightmysteries.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/tim_matthews_19mar2013.mp3″

Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

As I read the New Testament, I sometimes find a passage that puzzles me.  Many theologians believe that Jesus, in His divinity, retained His omniscience, knowing all things.  And some of them explain that in the passages where He seems to not know something, that it means that He was self-limiting Himself at those times.  Others think that He was limited by the incarnation itself to not know everything.

Here are some examples of passages that seem to show He did not know everything:

  • Mark 13:32 (ESV) “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”
  • Luke 8:45-46 (ESV) “And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.”
  • Luke 2:52 (ESV) “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

Those passages still puzzle me, but the one that has my present attention is the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, which He prayed three times: Luke 22:42: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but your, be done”.

This “cup” is explained very well by Pastor Michael Daily in the article: What is in the cup .  I am wondering why Jesus prayed this prayer.  Of course I understand in a very limited fashion the agony He was facing the next few hours, and was praying for strength to go through with it.  But surely He knew that this was the only way that redemption could be granted to mankind, that this was the reason He came from heaven to earth.

Maybe this is one of the many mysteries that the Bible does not reveal at this time.  After all, it says in 1 Peter 1:12: It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”  If the angels are longing to understand some things, then it should not be surprising that there are many things we too long to look into.

Speaking of longing, I am in hopes that some of you will respond in the comment section below or through email or Facebook with your thoughts about it.  Thanks.

Posted by: T. Boyd | January 16, 2013

What Hath God Wrought?

From my journal:

16 December 2012

In re-reading I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh I am reminded of how close she walked with God and could instantly sense when the pleasure of His presence would begin to fade. She would seek a reason for it and usually it was some decision she was about to enact, or something that she had done, that was not His will. She learned to quickly repent of the action or thought and would then experience a return of the warmth and comfort of His glorious presence.

I don’t know if I have ever had that closeness. I can remember a few times – the times that I call “mountain top experiences” but I never imagined that I could stay in that ethereal atmosphere by just yielding completely to His will, to abide there as a real resting place. And yet there are many scriptures that point to that very possibility. What else could Jesus mean, for example, in John 17 where He talks about our having His joy fulfilled in us. And “that they may be one as we are one.” And “I have revealed you to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be theirs and that I myself may be in them.”

So, by faith, I declare that this can be my reality also. I pray, Lord, that You would sharpen my sensitivity to leaving the narrow path that You have set before me, to hear that voice, “turn neither to the left or to the right”, even though the way seems dark and bewildering at that moment. Help me, Lord, to follow the guidance of this scripture.  Amen

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9

17 December 2012

It occurred to me today a possible answer to the above question. Is it possible that I too can learn to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in the way that Bilquis Sheikh was? I think I may have have that sensitivity “meter” already – maybe the absence of the Lord is evident whenever I get that dark cloud over my soul which I get when I am depressed. Whether or not that is a true indicator, I think my tendency to “indulge” in those negative moods is certainly a sin for me.

I ask You, Lord,  to remove whatever has caused my separation from You, and if it is some bad decision or a reaction to some irritation, I ask You to pinpoint what it was and that I repent of it. Amen

30 December 2012

Wow! The above prayers have been miraculously answered. I have been relatively “upbeat” ever since. I don’t think I have been critical, even in thoughts, of my wife the last 2 weeks. That is truly a miracle because I am constantly critical of everything about her. And I seem more sensitive and attuned to the feelings of the Spirit of the Lord in my heart.

Thank You and praise Your name, Lord! Amen.

03 January 2013

It finally happened: I dreamed late this morning that I had lost it – that there was something wrong – that the glory of the Lord that I have been experiencing for several days had faded. And I awoke to the realization that I had drifted from gazing at the face of Jesus and had found something else to take pleasure in. And it came to me that last night at the men’s bible study, while we discussed the first chapter of Genesis, that I had climbed up on my platform to pontificate about why evolution was wrong – trying to use intellectual arguments to convince the other guys of my point of view. And as I examine my true motives, I was in reality trying to get them to acknowledge my wisdom and knowledge as a scientist – it was all about me.

While I was delivering my dogmatic opinions, I even had a check in my heart to stop, but I ran right through that road block (the Lord is always gentle), hurrying to get my ideas across before the other guys had a chance to interrupt me. My flesh is so ugly when the covering of the Holy Spirit is removed – and I was the one who cast off that covering.

I am so sorry, Lord. Please come back and immerse me again in your glorious self. I sinned and I ask for your forgiveness.

Thank you, Lord. Praise Your glorious Name. Your joy has returned. Amen.

16 January 2013 – “How Soon You Have Fallen”

Oh Lord, now the “normal” times seem to be returning when I lapse back into being used to Your absence. I have been aware of getting grumpy toward my wife and generally being unhappy. I know You are not surprised that I slip and yet You still love me. You even see ahead to the day when I will remain in Your presence full time.

I wonder where I turned off the ancient path this time? Well, I guess I can be encouraged that it was less than 13 days ago according to this journal. That is better than my recent history when I go on for weeks and weeks or maybe months without any intimacy with You. I think that this time it was my usual way of getting distracted, fixing my eyes on the “good” things around me, for example, good novels and good TV shows/movies. And I guess it started with my illness which I have suffered for those two weeks.

And it is by Your grace that “I hear You calling, ‘Come, come, come’ “

 I Will Run by Freddy Rodriguez – YouTube

Only Your grace
Only Your grace
Only You can set me free

Only Your love
Has captured my heart
I hear You calling
Come, come, come

So I will run
Forever I will run
Unto You, oh God
Now You have my heart
So I will, I will run
Forever I will run
Run to You, oh God
Where else can I go
Forever I will run

Thank You for that song. Since I became aware of Your “absence” the last couple of days, I have been searching my mind to find what I can do to get back to You, what works can I do to reacquire the intimacy. And this song reminds me that there is nothing I can do – this too is all grace. It is a matter of surrender to Your love. Amen.

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 43:5

Once again, Lord, I ask you to increase my sensing of Your absence.
Thank You, Lord. You have returned (I know that really means that I have returned). I feel Your presence and am full of joy once again. Amen.

15 January 2013 (written 16 Jan):

This was my birthday and I really enjoyed the attention that I received from many friends and my family. But I turned to Chambers for Jan. 15 and saw that it fit exactly what happened on Dec. 17 of last year. I think I finally attended my own “white funeral” as Chambers calls it:

My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers January 15

Do You Walk In White?

We were buried with Him . . . that just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . even so we also should walk in newness of life” — Romans 6:4

No one experiences complete sanctification without going through a “white funeral”-the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crucial moment of change through death, sanctification will never be more than an elusive dream. There must be a “white funeral,” a death with only one resurrection-a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can defeat a life like this. It has oneness with God for only one purpose— to be a witness for Him.

Have you really come to your last days? You have often come to them in your mind, but have you really experienced them? You cannot die or go to your funeral in a mood of excitement. Death means you stop being. You must agree with God and stop being the intensely striving kind of Christian you have been. We avoid the cemetery and continually refuse our own death. It will not happen by striving, but by yielding to death. It is dying— being “baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3).

Have you had your “white funeral,” or are you piously deceiving your own soul? Has there been a point in your life which you now mark as your last day? Is there a place in your life to which you go back in memory with humility and overwhelming gratitude, so that you can honestly proclaim, “Yes, it was then, at my ’white funeral,’ that I made an agreement with God.”

“This is the will of God, your sanctification . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Once you truly realize this is God’s will, you will enter into the process of sanctification as a natural response. Are you willing to experience that “white funeral” now? Will you agree with Him that this is your last day on earth? The moment of agreement depends on you.

And that is the testimony of the miraculous work that my Lord has wrought, or rather is in process of doing it. Amen.

Posted by: T. Boyd | November 13, 2012

Pastor Bob Worley Summarizes Jude

On our final day of studying Jude at the Chick-fil-A bible study, our dear 95 year old brother, Bob Worley, does a good job in challenging us with the message of Jude to present day believers. As brother Gene Mills commented at the end of the study, God asks us to “raise the bar” in our goal to “building up yourselves on your most holy faith” and “Keep yourselves in the love of God”.

Here is the recording, started shortly after Bro. Worley started speaking. Also, the notes from our brother are pasted in below.
Bob Worley Notes_ Jude 19-21 Nov 13 2012
https://brightmysteries.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/bobworley13nov2012.mp3″

For other messages by brother Bob, click “Pastor Bob Worley” below.

Posted by: T. Boyd | October 23, 2012

Pastors Bob Worley and Michael Daily speak on Jude 17-23

Listen to our dear Brother Worley speak on Jude, verses 17 to 23, followed by Michael Daily talking about the plural “you” throughout this passage.

Click here to listen or download (right click) ,

or use this built-in player: https://brightmysteries.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/bobworley23oct2012.mp3″

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