Monthly Archives: January 2015

Free Range Bear

Bear and Cub

Free Range Bear

As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.   Proverbs 28:15

Years ago, we had the privilege of living in a small city in the heart of the Monongahela National Forest in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia.   We enjoyed living there and were always blessed to see the “Wild and Wonderful” wildlife of West Virginia.  We had many black bear in our area.  It was not uncommon to see a mother bear and her cubs playing, or a bear running up a hill.  Even though the cubs look like teddy bears, they grow up fast and when hungry can be dangerous to humans.

I understand that black bear are territorial and have a certain “circuit” they travel in their search for food.  Berries and nuts are their primary food source.  Many times a bear will defend its area so as to not run out of food.  During times of drought, or when for some reason food is scarce, a bear may expand its area to find more food.  These “free ranging” bear will come into cities and areas where people live in seasons like this.  Our dog was really excited one morning when a bear showed up in our back yard!

One day, we were at another church family’s house on the mountain when we noticed a bear near our truck.  This bear was lying down in the driveway.  He looked hungry as his body was not plump, but very skinny, almost emaciated.  Some corn from feeding the chickens was in the driveway and this bear was laying there licking it off the ground.  The other man banged pots and pans together and we rushed at the bear, trying to appear bigger in an attempt to chase him away from the truck so we could leave.  The bear was ranging, but expanding his territorial range. He was in an area that he was not supposed to be in because he was hungry.

Ranging in this verse has to do with a “running a course, and eating greedily.”  This verse indicates that a governmental leader that is roaring like a lion and ranging like a bear is a wicked leader.  Speaking many words, but saying very little is a common tactic of governmental leaders, especially when involved in political campaigns.

Consider then the ranging bear.  Just as a bear gets into areas that it should not be in, the government can also get into areas that it should not be in.  Wicked leaders can be like the bear.   When the “wicked ruler” of this verse is too involved in the life of his citizens, he is in reality interfering with their lives.  When the ranging bear goes out of his territory it is because he is hungry and wanting more.  When governmental leaders want more control they are acting the same.  Greed, lust, power, and manipulation of the poor people is the result.  An ever hungry government is like the hungry bear, looking for more food to devour.   It is the poor among us who are affected the most.

This application can be seen throughout history in nations with Kings, Parliaments, Congress and Presidents.  We should pray for our leaders no matter which party they may be a part of.  I suppose the solution to this growing problem would be to elect leaders who do not extend themselves beyond the range of their office.

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Streaming and Singing

Streaming and Singing

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…”   Ephesians 5:19

From the earliest chapters of the Book of Genesis, we discover that music has been around for a long time.  In Genesis 4, Jubal is listed as the creator of the organ and harp.  Many musical instruments are listed in the Psalms.  Perhaps the pinnacle instrument for music is the human voice.  The Lord desires to hear His people praise Him.  Music and singing are important to the Lord.  Psalms 108:1, A Song or Psalm of David, says:  “O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.”  Perhaps you enjoy singing.  With a terrific voice, or even an unsteady voice, we can offer praise to the Lord in song.  Godly music can set your life on a good note for rest of your day.

I hope that you pick up the hymnal or follow the congregational song leader and participate in the congregational singing at your church.  There is nothing like a body of believers collectively lifting their voices to the Lord in a church service.  That is what the passage in Ephesians 5 is speaking about.  The music portions of the church service are refreshing to our souls.

Could we bottle up the music at church and enjoy it at other places?  Yes.  You can sing along with good music CDs.  In fact, with the internet, there are now many good radio stations that offer conservative, Bible based music that you can listen to and sing along with.  We can stream on the internet good songs today.  Mobile devices offer many of these same options.

Free internet radio you may enjoy, depending on your preferences, could be found at:

http://btmradio.org/

http://www.fbnradio.com/

http://www.rejoice.org/

http://knvbc.com/

http://www.bbnradio.org/

As with any resource; while recommended, not everything may be endorsed.  The point is, there are many good options in which you can continue to be edified with spiritual, helpful, God-honoring music.  Be encouraged – sing to the Lord.  Sing along with your favorite songs wherever you are today.

For the Minus 25 Days

For the Minus 25 Days

Today as we prepared for this work / school day, the temperature outside was well below 0.  In fact the “feel” temperature, factoring in the wind, was a brutal minus 25.  The Lord sends the seasons, and cold is included.  Some schools close because they do not want their students waiting outside for the school bus.  Going to school or work is not the issue; it is waiting outside that can be harmful.  No matter where you live, it is good to have a plan for dealing with the sub-zero temperatures.  At minus 25, exposed skin can become frostbitten in 20 to 30 minutes.  We must still go to work or school; and do not want to miss worshiping the Lord at church.

Peter was warming himself by a fire of coals in John 18:18 which says: “And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.”  He was trailing Jesus and following the Lord as He was being “tried” just before going to the cross.  Coals and building spontaneous fires may not work in our society today, but there are a few ways we can ensure warmth.  Even though Peter is about to deny Christ, he is following the Lord on a cold night.  We want to follow Jesus too.  Cold weather does not have to stop us.

Here are some ideas to help stay warm and safe on minus 25 days:

  1. Bundle up. 3 layers (tops and bottoms) can really help a person stay warm.  This is clothing that can remain on you, even while in the building at school or work.  The extra warm socks are great on days like this.
  2. Dry your hair.  Allow to “air dry” or use a hair dryer.  No one should go out with wet or even damp hair.
  3. Wear a winter coat.
  4. Wear gloves. There are many different levels of insulation available in gloves today.
  5. Wear a scarf. Scars are helpful for children too.  On days like this, we cover our faces(mouth and nose) with scarfs.
  6. Wear a hat. Much heat escapes through the top of the head.  A hat is a great way to keep the body temperature up.
  7. Wear earmuffs. Sometimes the ears need extra protection.  Scarfs can also be used for the ears.
  8. Plan ahead. Putting all of the above clothing on, and wearing the extra layers will take additional time in preparation, and even assimilation after you arrive at your destination.
  9. Warm up the car. Give at least 10 minutes head start to your car to warm before you venture out.
  10. Have “HotHands” hand warmers in your car. These are handy warmers in a small package that can really help.  We carry these in the event that our car is in an accident or will not start.
  11. Have blankets in the car. These would come in handy in the event of an accident or the car not starting while out.
  12. Stay hydrated. Be sure to have taken in plenty of fluids before venturing outdoors.  Keeping the “insides” of your body functioning can help you stay warm.
  13. Walk fast. Moving from the vehicle to the building you are entering should not take a lot of time.  Move fast, but safely, considering the possibility of ice or snow on the ground.
  14. Use lotion. Our hands can use the extra protection hand lotion provides.  Even face creams can help our faces and necks against the coldness.   If going to be out for an extended time (not recommended) use sunscreen.

Perhaps you know of other ways to plan for the bitterly cold days.  Always take into account your current state of health and the doctors’ orders if you are sick.  If you know your car will not start or is having battery issues, correct those issues before traveling.   In a normal circumstance, we should plan ahead and continue to serve the Lord in spite of the cold.  We can still follow Jesus.