An Apostolic Man In An Apostate World Friday, Mar 3 2023 

An Apostolic Man In An Apostate World

What is an Apostolic man? Very simply he is a follower of the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. The current fads and social ideas swirling around him do not faze him. He is Apostolic in his thinking.

He is Apostolic in his doctrine. He is not confused by false teaching or fake Pentecost or plastic Christians. He has read his Bible, studied the doctrine, listened to his Pastor, and there is no doubt in his heart that he is an Apostolic man

He is proud to be an Apostolic. Not a sinful pride that would contaminate his Holy Ghost. But a pride born of thankfulness and gratitude, that in a world full of false religion, God has singled him out to be a bearer of the torch of truth. 

Apostolic men are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

  • They will stand in the defiant face of an atheist and proclaim that God is. 
  • They will openly laugh at  an agnostic when he says he is confused whether or not there is a God. In fact a true Apostolic man will lift his voice and tell anyone, I know there is a God for I felt him. I know him and He is personal to me.

The Apostolic man of 2023 does not hide behind the walls of his local church fearful and afraid. He rises each morning to put on the armor of God, and walks into a dark world as the bearer of light of the one true God Jesus Christ.

He looks like an Apostolic man. No punk hairdos or crazy life styles because he represents Jesus Christ. He refuses to disfigure Jesus Christ to the world. He does not get tattoos or earrings or foolish trivial things that contaminate his tabernacle. His appearance is clean, clean shaven, no beards or mustaches or goatees, simple, and godly. When the legions who live in darkness see him, they see a clean wholesome man that represents true manhood. There is no trans gender confusion in the way an Apostolic man dresses and walks through his world.

He acts like an Apostolic man. A true apostolic man puts a bridle on his tongue so that he speaks a language that edifies Jesus Christ. He has put away lying, gossiping, critical words, curse words, and he uses his voice to lift up the name of Jesus Christ~ at home and at the workplace. His speech and his words do not betray his testimony.

He leads like an Apostolic man. He surrenders his self will so he can lead his family in the things of God. He loves his wife, and prefers his wife, for he has read the instructions in the Holy Book, husbands love your wives. He does not provoke his children to wrath for the same Holy Book teaches him he must be gentle unto all men. He does not drive his family, he leads them. He leads them in prayer,  he leads them in being consistent,  he leads them in submitting to authority, and he is an example to his wife and family.

The Apostolic man is not confused. The shifting winds of social change do not deter his course. He has set his sails and he is headed for the Celestial City. His mind is made up, his gait is steady, his direction unswerving. He knows who he is in an apostate world. 

The Apostolic man of 2023 accepts his role of following in the footsteps of the truly great Apostolic men of the past. It began with the Apostles, Peter, John, and Paul. It has continued now for 2000 years and the Apostolic man of 2023 is not about to drop the torch of truth on his leg of the race. 

He is not intimidated by the challenge for he is of a rare breed of men that has survived for over 2000 years, and is as strong today as it has ever been. He is a warrior in the model of Shamgar, Gideon, and David. The Apostolic man does not cower in the shadows, he steps out into the bright sunlight of his world and continues the destiny of Apostolic men for the last 2000 years.

You are an Apostolic man in 2023. Stand strong. Be brave. Walk with confidence in a changing world. 

Stand beside your Pastor and hold his hands up as we continue the march of great Apostolic men of the last two millennials. 

Our forbears all handed us a trail that they blazed as surely as Lewis and Clark made the Northwest Trek. 

Today we proclaim here to reaffirm our commitment to being an Apostolic man in 2023.

Zugzwang Monday, Sep 27 2021 

Zugzwang, pronounced tsook-tsvahng, is a chess term. It is a situation that whatever you do you will lose something.

Chess is an interesting and worldwide game. As a consequence many words have been coined in other languages and are now used in the game of chess. Zugzwang was coined in the years 1900-1905. Zug means move or pull, while zwang means you are constrained or obligated. When this happens in the game of chess you are in a position that what ever you do you will lose something. You have no choice, you have to move, you have to do something. The challenge is always to cut your loss and get out of the mess.

It seems to me this situation occurs in real life very often. We feel trapped. There is no way to get out of our situation. We have pondered, we have prayed, and there simply is no way out. This may prove true in the game of chess, but it is never true for a child of God. I suggest there is one move that always helps. It is the portal to every dilemma, the escape to every discouragement, and every disappointing circumstance. The move I recommend when your life is in Zugzwang —is the altar.

When life has you boxed in and there is no move that is without pain or confusion or failure -a trip to the altar is what we need. Many times we want a quick fix. The time at an altar cannot be pre-dispositioned. You cannot say I’m going to the altar and I’ll have my answer in one hour. Truth is it may be days, weeks, or years as it was with Hannah, Samuel’s mother.

Look at the Bible patriarch Jacob. He had a meeting with God at Bethel. Seemed his life was determined and things were fine. Over the next 20 years his life took shape and he became a successful wealthy man. And then there was Zugzwang. If he stayed where he was he knew there was potential trouble with his father-in-law. If he left and went back to his native land there was an angry brother waiting for him. No matter what he did, something was going to be lost out of his life. We know he found his answer at Jabok. The brook Jabok was an altar. When he arrived at Jabok he was saved. When he walked away from Jabok he had escaped Zugzwang. It was at Jabok the hopeless situation was resolved.

Most of us have had our Bethel. We have been saved. We attend church regularly. Most of us are involved in our local congregations. Many times our smiles hide our Zugzwangs. We are living somewhere between Bethel and Jabok. Our jobs, our marriage, our children, our health, COVID, can all have us in Zugzwang.

Go to Jabok.

Jabok will forever change you. That one experience will mark you for the rest of your life. It is the doorway out of Zugzwang.

Thanks for reading.

The Eternal War: Faith Verses Reason Saturday, May 8 2021 

In the inky blackness of eternity, before the first ionic blast of light, there was a plan. It was a divine plan from the mind of Almighty God. This divine plan was to allow mankind to be created, then placed on a battlefield, and be a gladiator for the world to see. Mankind would be granted free choice and free will with the possibility of being redeemed from sinful, harmful eternal choices. Up until this point in the eternities only angelic beings had been created. The angels also had free choice and free will, but they were not redeemable. Their sinful choices meant being cast from the presence of God without redemption.

Free choice has inherent in it the ability to reason and then choose. Thus man was the complex, ultimate creation for this eternal war. If there is no reason to evaluate the decision then mankind is doomed to predestination. Thus, the eternal war between reason and faith surfaced in the bosom of man. From the first inhabitants of the planet the war began. Reason said take and eat the forbidden fruit, for you will then be like Gods. (Genesis 3.5 KJV) Faith pleaded to accept God’s word without the shadow of reason. (Genesis 2.16-17 KJV) The war was engaged.

The first battle was won by reason when they ate the forbidden fruit. (Genesis 3.6 KJV) Throughout history there have been untold, countless, literally millions of battles won and lost by both faith and reason. The eventual outcome is sealed. Faith will dominate reason in the final moment of what we call time. (Revelation 10.6 KJV)

In the broad battlefield of the last six thousand years on planet earth, this unending eternal war has continued unabated. It has been identified by heaven, by earth, and the subterranean place called hell. It wages conflict daily on every continent, in every culture and language.

Both faith and reason have their battlefield heroes. Faith presents Abraham and Moses and Joshua, as well as Judges, Kings and prophets, and ultimately Jesus Christ. Reason has for its heroes philosophers like Voltaire and Descartes, as well as scientists, atheists, agnostics and eventually the antichrist.

From the earliest primeval civilizations mankind has exhibited faith in the unknown. They have made gods of wood and stone. History records they have brought their gods down to earth, and by reason have given them men-like qualities to make them more believable. By contrast faith has always striven to raise men to the level of God like qualities of the God that inhabits eternity.

Reason brings man-made gods down to earth so man can identify with their god by their reason. To those born of reason they must understand their god or reject him. Faith says you cannot and will not ever understand God. God is as high above us as the heavens are above the earth. (Isaiah 55.9 JKV)

Faith elevates mankind to the qualities of God that are eternal, and seeks to metamorph and change men into saved eternal beings. In short, reason brings down and faith elevates. Both consequences are eternal. Reason, the carnal mind, is enmity against God (Romans 8.7 KJV), and brings ruin and eternal death, while faith brings salvation, release, and eternal life. (Hebrews 11.1-6 KJV)

Each of us, every day, fight this war. To every person it is a daily battle, but in particular for a Christian. In all areas of Christian conduct, lifestyle, and obedience our faith is tested by reason. We serve a God who does not bring himself down to our reason but rather remains in the heavens and remains as he has always been. His goal is not for you to understand him, but rather to believe him. (Hebrews 11.3 KJV) The average Christian, and the majority of all Christians, and possibly every Christian, serves a God they do not understand. Faith does not bring him down to our human logic and reasoning. Faith accepts him as omniscient and omnipresent. He remains God. Great is our God above all gods. (2 Chronicles 2.5 KJV) He remains infinite, majestic, elusive, and eternal. (Psalm 139.8 KJV)

Sometimes after a battle has been fought and won or lost, we can understand some things about God. But more often than not he is elusive and unknowable. This is exemplified often in the holy Scriptures. In fact, the entire old testament is a story of man trying to find and understand God. Running parallel to that throughout history are the scores of people who attempt to use reason to understand God. Sometimes when they fail they simply say there is no god. They reject a God they cannot make like them selves.

Since the French revolution the modern battle of faith versus reason has centered around “New Atheism”. New atheism places scientific evidence (so called) as proof that God does not exist. The rebirth of this battle simply shows man has not changed since the Garden of Eden. In a symbolic revolutionary act, the Jacobin leaders of the French Revolution changed the name of the Cathedral of Notre Dame to the “Temple of Reason.”

In sheer numbers both sides have grown in population of their adherents. There are more atheists today than ever before, and there are more people of faith than ever in the history of planet earth.

(Proponents of Reason; the New Atheists)

The stated goal of the New Atheism is to delegitimize and extinguish the religious point of view. (1) The leaders of New Atheism are prominent scientists and best-selling authors. (2) They believe that religion—and evidently religion alone—threatens the existence of the human race (3) New Atheists are blind to all the positive influences religion has had on human behavior, and they ignore all the atheist-inspired genocides of the last 250 years. In the twentieth century alone, Communist atheists slaughtered more than 100 million people in Russia, China, and Indochina. New atheism looks around them and sees the fallen nature of mankind. It is once again the attitude of Lucifer who wants to be like God. This is the child of reason.

Reason perpetuates its dogma by statistics of so-called science. They tout education, inoculation, the conquest of diseases, medical advances, child survival rates and social progress as proof that reason is superior. Worldwide -people have greater education than ever before. More people on planet earth have been vaccinated against deadly diseases. Democracy has spread far and wide on planet earth, and across our globe. These are the markers the proponents of reason present to prove it’s superiority.

(Proponents of Faith; Historic Christianity)

The proponents of faith believe by contrast that religion, and salvation, and God are the only hope for the human race. Civilization was built and improved by men of faith—believers like Locke, Newton, Washington, Wilberforce, Sojourner Truth, and Abraham Lincoln. (4) For the five millennia of recorded history, with few exceptions the most rational, compassionate, and successful decision makers, both military and civilian, have been people guided by a belief in God. (5) These men looked up and saw perfection to be striving for. This is the child of faith.

Reason stands arrogantly and aloof and looks down upon faith as some prehistoric, unworthy, modern consideration. Reason smiles derisively as though it has won the argument and the war.

Faith smiles back demurely with a calm assurance because the most brilliant minds in history have attacked and been silenced. Her proof is simply the most intelligent people of history have never slowed her conquest. Her opponents have never been up to the task of bringing her down. Today faith stands more powerful than ever.

The summation of this war is best exemplified by the wisest man that ever lived. Solomon declared fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12.13 KJV)

1. Maher’s views accurately reflect the attitudes of a movement called the “New Atheism,” whose leaders are prominent scientists and best-selling authors ( Dark Agenda: The War To Destroy Christian America, page 10)

2. “Religion must die in order for mankind to live,” proclaimed left-wing commentator and comedian Bill Maher in Religulous, the most-watched documentary feature of 2008.

3. Maher and the New Athiests are blind to all the positive influences religion has had on human behavior, and they ignore all the atheist-inspired genocides of the last 250 years. In the twentieth century alone, Communist atheists slaughtered more than 100 million people in Russia, China, and Indochina. (Dark Agenda: The War To Destroy Christian America, page 10-11)

4. Civilization was built and improved by such irrationalists—believers like Locke, Newton, Washington, Wilberforce, Sojourner Truth, and Abraham Lincoln. (Dark Agenda: The War To Destroy Christian America, page 11)

5. For the five millennia of recorded history, with few exceptions the most rational, compassionate, and successful decision makers, both military and civilian, have been people guided by a belief in God, ( Dark Agenda: The War To Destroy Christian America, page 11)

Andrew Wednesday, Sep 25 2019 

Morning study today:

Today I am thinking about the Apostle Andrew. Andrew was a good person from the beginning, he was a disciple of John the Baptist. He brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus. He was the first apostle called. At times he was included with Peter James and John. But other times he was not included. I wonder how he dealt with those feelings? Sometimes we don’t get what we think we deserve in serving Jesus.

Reactions Wednesday, Sep 25 2019 

Reactions; Zacharias was visited by an angel and he doubted. Therefore he was struck speechless. He did not write his song until after the child was born. By contrast Mary was visited by the same angel and she immediately accepted the vision and wrote her song. Zachariah could not speak until after his miracle. Mary spoke before her miracle. What is our reaction when God sends us a divine message?

The Return Friday, Aug 16 2019 

Return, O Yisrael , to Hashem your God, For you have fallen because of your sin.

SHU-vah yis-ra-AYL AD a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha KEE kha-SHAL-ta ba-a-vo-NE-kha

14:2 Return, O Yisrael , to Hashem your God. Hoshea concludes his prophecy with a direct cry to Israel to repent and return to Hashem .

This is a central theme of Hoshea’s prophecies; in this short book, the Hebrew word for ‘return,’ shuv ( שוב ), appears twenty-five times. Hoshea holds out hope that if the people wholeheartedly repent and return, the upcoming devastation can still be avoided. But for that to happen, two things must occur.

First, the people must recognize that their sinfulness has led to their predicament, as he says “you have fallen because of your sin.” More importantly, the commentators note that Hoshea uses the word ad ( עד ), which means ‘to,’ instead of el ( אל ) which means ‘towards.’

For repentance to work, it cannot be a fleeting fancy or a mere turning in God’s direction. Rather, the people must embrace a sincere commitment to renew the relationship with God and return, not just towards, but all the way to Hashem .

(Note from The Israel Bible in Hosea 14.2) Yisrael=Israel, Hashem=God. Hashem is used because the Rabbi felt God’s name too holy to speak. Hashem means name.

Have a blessed day….

Loots Tuesday, Aug 13 2019 





A primitive root; properly to make mouths {at} that {is} to scoff ; hence (from the effort to pronounce a foreign language) to {interpret} or (generally) intercede: – {ambassador} have in {derision} {interpreter} make a {mock} {mocker} scorn ({-er} {-ful}) teacher.

I would surmise in my years of ambling around the country I could safely say I have met several thousand people. It is interesting that the Bible speaks considerably about a certain type of person called a scorner but I do not remember ever meeting a person who admitted being diagnosed with this condition.

I am wondering why the Bible speaks so much about a type of people who are seemingly extinct? If anyone knows how to identify this disappearing riff I would like your observation.

I read these verses and wonder why so much biblical verbiage for such a diminished group.

Any thoughts?

Psalm 1.1 Blessed is the man

that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,

nor standeth in the way of sinners,

nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Proverbs 9.7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame:

and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

The Hebrew word here in these verses (h3887) is also translated interpreter, ambassador, derision (Psalm 119.51) and mocker (Prov 20.1).

So I am scratching my head saying being I have never met one, and there seems to be none around, and the Bible uses the word 27 times, who are these people?

Can anyone help me nail this down?

Tribute To Bishop Paul David Walker Wednesday, Mar 13 2019 

On a day long long ago a man said to his leader -Joshua 14.11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.

Caleb, the speaker in this passage simply went out and conquered his mountain.

Men who conquer mountains are a rare breed. They are not the norm. Deep inside them something is different from other men. They are individuals. They don’t run in packs. They are self sufficient. They have amazing amounts of courage. They believe in themself completely. They are bold. They are daring. Their conquests are stark and can be seen by all because of the high mountain top vantage point.

There is something special about the image of a solitary man fighting and winning. Shamgar standing over 600 men in his pea patch with an ox goad in his tired cramped hand. Samson holding the bloody jawbone of an ass with piles of dead Philistines all around him. These images are rare because the men who achieved them are rare.

Mountain men had a rare trait of fearlessness. They possessed depth of endurance other men lacked. They were not timid, or uncertain or cowardly. For you see mountains thin men out and only the strong survive.

Bishop Walker was a mountain man in the spirit. He possessed all these traits and more.

To start a church from scratch is an incredibly hard thing to do. To bring that church to a success is even another level of hard. Bishop Walker did it not once but twice. He did it without fanfare or braggadocio. He quietly slayed his giants without bravado.

In 1985 he walked into this Coachella Valley and took on the modern day Anakims. Like Caleb he acknowledged there were great and fenced cities. Like Caleb his mindset was: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, and he did.

One writer said I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. ( the word here is mountain). With even a casual glance the majesty of a range of mountains stands out in a cloudless sky. The peaks seem to kiss the sky. The Rocky Mountains in America are beautiful but they do not compare with the Canadian Rockies. Same height but not as majestic. Why? Because the Canadian Rockies have no supporting hills around them. Standing at their foot you see all the 14,000 feet and it is breath taking.

The life of Bishop Walker is similar. He stands alone without supporting background. He is not great because of others. He stands alone in his greatness.

I was Western District Home Missions when he came. I called him each month like all the others who were starting churches. I sent whatever funds we had to send divided up among all the missionaries. Bishop Walker was different. In the kindest way you can imagine he’ll let me know he was not depending on my phone calls and my small offerings. If you will allow me to say it this way- he was saying I asked God for this mountain and he will give it to me. Even then among his peers he was head and shoulders above them all. He was confident- I never called and heard him whine or complain about how hard it was. I never heard him make one single excuse. I never heard him brag or boast. He calmly, methodically, bravely conquered his mountain. He asked for no help, he requested no awards or recognition. That’s why I think he was the spiritual mountain man. He conquered the giants, he routed the cities and built a Church and asked no one to help him but God. For three years I called him every month, 1985, 86, 87, he was always the same. He was too busy killing giants for banal conversations.

He was a pioneer, a builder, quiet, successful, comfortable in his own skin, he was an unheralded hero.

He was the kind of man mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

That was Bishop Walker. Today as we say goodby he joins an elite list of great solo spiritual heroes.

Mountains give a clearer view, when you stand on them they allow you to see farther. Strange and powerful things happen on mountains. It was on Mt Sinai the Ten Commandments were given. The 10 commandments are the bedrock of western civilization even to this moment. Jesus was transfigured on a mountain, He taught the multitudes on mountains, he was crucified on a mountain, and left this world from a mountain.

Men who live in the rare air of mountains become addicted to the solitary-ness. They learn to thrive in the clear visioned altitude. Some men never breathe mountain air in their entire life. They are busy with their friends, borrowing ideas and re-designing and recycling someone else’s plans because they live down on the crowded plains which also have crowed dreams and recycled ideas.

Bishop Walker learned Deuteronomy 11.11 that spiritual land is a land of hills and valleys, and he chose the higher ground.

Satan knows the high ground is the most valuable so Satan tries to capture the high places. Great men of God take this land back for the kingdom. Men like Gideon, and Jehu, and Paul Walker. Bishop Walker came to the Coachella Valley and fulfilled Deuteronomy 12.2 Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

Lastly; mountains are unchanging. Valleys transcend over time. Crops are planted to feed the masses. Cities are built, empires and civilizations arise like the Sphinx in the desert. But the mountains are eternal. The Bible declares they are the everlasting hills.

In 1985 a modern day Caleb came to this valley and said to his great God, give me this mountain. Bishop Paul Walker liked to say “I did it my way.” There was and will not be anyone like him again. He and his brother Jack were unique men. Organizations and religious bodies did not ultimately build this church. It was Bishop Walker and his God who took this mountain.

From 1810 until 1870 America birthed a group of men who became known as “Mountain men”. Their names are American lore and legend. Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, and a few thousand others. It is estimated there were about 3,000 of these unique men. They were different. They asked no quarter and gave no quarter. They were an important part of our history. They opened up trails other people did not see and were afraid to pursue. We owe a debt to these solitary men who faced heat, cold, wild animals, and Native American tribes in countless battles and skirmishes.

By 1870 they were gone. Today they are only legend and memory. They were powerful men not to be trifled with. One man is noted to have hunted down and killed 800 grizzly bears by himself- a powerful feat. Probably few if any here today can even name him (Seth Kinman), but he was a mountain man. They were a different breed.

In my mind Bishop Walker was a spiritual mountain man. He fought battles that will never be mentioned or even known this side of glory. I doubt we will see his like again. Like the mountain men of American history these spiritual mountain men have vanished.

Here today we pay our last respects to one of, if not the last, of this magnificent breed.

Bishop Paul David Walker I honor you as a great man today, I’ll see you on the other side.

Rev 21.10 says And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Bishop Walker has climbed and conquered his last mountain.

The Culture Of Discontent (2) Thursday, Feb 14 2019 

Today we will take a look at the cause and effect of discontent.

Discontent can leak outside an individual and effect other people. If it is not stopped it will become a hemorrhage and ultimately become a culture.

Culture is the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place or time. It is a way of life for a society of people who interact. It is also a way of thinking, behaving or working. With this definition in mind I would like to look at Israel in the wilderness and present my thoughts that Israel developed a culture of discontent.

Israel came out of Egypt in a tremendous display of God’s favor and power. This aura lasted for a while, but slowly discontent began to pop up in various ways and places. The discontent began to spread and eventually produced a culture.

This seems to be a parallel in America today. America has such a rich history of glory and valor. So many points of victory to celebrate. A nation of emigrants melded into a powerful entity. America became the world’s best and most powerful country. Somewhere the discontent began to fracture the harmony of Americans.

The turn for both Israel and America seems to be rooted in selfish desires of individuals. It includes forgetting the past glory and victory and only, or primarily, sees the current discontent of the individual. The individual begins to disseminate this to a willing fellow discontented person and viola the discontentment finds fertile breeding ground. Discontentment is always spread by people. It is not a virus or disease of the human body. It is an attitude based in the selfish interest of a person or people. It is born and bred in selfish feelings about the person who is discontented.

This is important because the nature of a discontented person always, and I repeat, always places blame outside themself. It is always the leader or the government or someone or something that the discontented person attaches the blame to for their situation. This is the soil discontentment must have to survive.

My premise is; the cause of discontentment is obsessive preoccupation with self. Thinking about self. Keeping score how others treat you. Your self position becomes the precipice from which you view the world. This is contrary to the teachings of John the Baptist, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of Paul the apostle to the gentiles.

To put it succinctly the cause of discontent is self preoccupation.

The effect of discontent is multifarious and at times hard to pin down. It is most observable when it gains followers and evolves into a culture of a church, a society or a nation.

Tomorrow I will attempt to point a few of the moments this happened in the journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Their discontent became a culture that ultimately denied them the promised land.

Never underestimate the fallout of discontent.

The Culture Of Discontent Wednesday, Feb 13 2019 

Matthew 13.23 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 — He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The parable of the tares is about confusion, poison, seeds of Satan. They are not harmless weeds or seeds. These seeds have the power to kill good wheat. Especially when they are removed. An example is Korah’s rebellion.

Perhaps no author is quoted more than William Shakespeare. Perhaps no Shakespeare quote is more popular than ‘Now is the winter of our discontent, the famous quote of King Richard III.

That is the famous opening line to the William Shakespeare play Richard III (1592). The first scene of the play is a soliloquy, or speech a character speaks to himself, by the future king of England, Richard III. Alone, the line is a bit confusing. Is Shakespeare saying that winter means the end of the year and spring is just around the corner? So, the quote means that we’ve been in the cold harsh winter but we are near the end of our unhappiness. Or is Shakespeare trying to say that our unhappiness is like winter: cold and gloomy? I believe the later is the meaning.

In my opinion the first two lines are self revealing. It is about discontent and so presents itself.

John Steinbeck’s final novel was titled the winter of our discontent.

The Winter of Our Discontent is the story of Ethan Allen Hawley, a member of a once great family turned broke.  Ethan, an honest man, spends his days reliving the old days of family glory, while working as a grocery clerk in a store his family once owned.  Yet on Good Friday, his way of living is questioned by some of the people closest to him.   These people, as well as his children and other members of the town, all encourage him to bring back the riches and glory of his family name.  He feels they reproach him for being so unsuccessful, when his name implies that he should be a great success. 

These temptations pressure Ethan to devise a plan to regain the riches that his family once knew.  The three part plan consists of robbing the bank; turning his illegal immigrant boss over to the authorities so that he can purchase the store; and taking a very important plot of land away from the town drunk, Danny Taylor, who also happens to be Ethan’s ex-best friend.  As Ethan enacts his plan he convinces himself that means of obtaining the wealth that he will gain are justified because immorality is the method used by the rich to obtain wealth.

Ethan’s plan is altered in that he does not rob the bank in the end.  He succeeds, however, in having his boss deported.  He is even further rewarded because his boss gives him the store because he was a good and “honest” worker for so many years.  Ethan also obtains the plot of land that his ex-best friend owned.  Danny wills him the land because Ethan makes it look like he was trying to get Danny sober by giving him $1000.  However, Danny uses the money to kill himself.  Unfortunately, Ethan knew that this is what his friend would do with the money, and, therefore, knew he was going to cause the Danny’s death.   

As Ethan’s family and friends celebrate the success of his new accomplishments, the family learns that Ethan’s son, Allen, won an essay contest.  Ethan finds that he cannot celebrate the families’ new success as his conscience begins to get the better of him.  The last blow hits when Ethan finds out that his son plagiarized the essay he submitted to the contest.  Ethan leaves the house and tries to kill himself.  But before he does, he notices that his daughter left the family talisman in his pocket.  He realizes that the only hope in the future rests in his daughter, Mary Ellen, now the only untainted member of the Hawley family.  He returns home to pass the talisman off to her, “Else another light might go out.” (Summary from Wikipedia).

I believe in America today, we have developed a culture of discontent. This is contrary to the message of John the Baptist and of Jesus and of Paul. Once this becomes a culture it is hard to eradicate it. Our country is there right now. The conflict of self verses good of the whole.

No era better represents this than Moses’ day. These things happened for our admonition (counsel, advice, caution). We are to learn from them.

Continued tomorrow……the cause and effects of discontent.

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