The Children’s Crumbs Under the Table

There is a need for genuine faith. The faith that trust the Lord, and no one, or nothing else. The faith that a Christian has is not based on assumptions, or myth, but substance and evidence provided us by God Himself (Hebrews 11:1).

The verses we look at today tell us of a Gentile woman who trusted the Lord Jesus, for just the crumbs from the table:

“And from thence He arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but He could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of Him, and came and fell at His feet: the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought Him that He would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto Him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.” Mark 7:24-30 (KJV)

There are some who think as they read the above verses that Jesus was being cruel. It certainly would not be politically correct in the U. S. of A. today. It is not cruelty; but a test to show that she truly has faith in Him, His word, and His mission.

First of all Jesus had came to the people, the nation of Israel. He in fact was Jewish Himself; was one of them. He was come to redeem the house of Israel. Did she know and understand that? Evidently so.

She was willing to believe the Lord, His word and work, and to receive only the “Crumbs” from the children’s table. You will notice that He spoke words of healing to her. The demon departed from her daughter, and there was a Gentile woman redeemed by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Believe Him. Trust Him; and His Word today.

Healing a Withered Hand

“And He entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.  And they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse Him.  And He saith unto the man which had the withered hand, ‘Stand forth.’  And He saith unto them, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?’, but they held their peace.  And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, ‘Stretch forth thine hand.’  And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”  Mark 3:1-5

A Bite And A Look

“And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived”  Numbers 21:9  (KJV).

Many people do not realize the dangers of complaining.  Anyone who has ever read this chapter in Numbers realizes that God does not delight in complaints from His people.  He despises complaining, or murmuring.  In chapter eleven and verse four of Numbers there is the mention of “a mixed multitude”, and these were probably a source of the complaints, though God’s people often need no help in complaining.

The result of their complaining was that “fiery serpents” came into the camp and bit people and they began dying from the poisonous bites.  Do we realize just how poisonous or deadly complaining really is?  I don’t think so.  The individual who complains is spreading a deadly toxin throughout their body.  It may take many years for it to show up, but can lead to death earlier.  It is probably toxic to the people who hang around the complainer as well.  If we are not careful about hanging around complainers we will find ourselves complaining.  This is a complaint that robs us of faith, and puts more trust in self, or selfish desire than in God.  Complaining may come because of fear.

The people, or our text, grew quite fearful, and came to Moses for help, even confessing “We have sinned” (v. 7).  Moses prayed for the people and God gave Moses answer.  The answer was to build the brazen serpent on the pole.

The promise is, “Any man [anyone], when they beheld the serpent of brass, she/he lived”.  This serpent on the pole is a picture of a New Testament truth, with a present reality to the text.  There was deliverance that day for all who believed and looked.

Today, our hope is in Jesus Christ.  Sin was placed on Christ as he hung on the cross, becoming our sin, receiving God’s judgment [brass], and when we realize our sin and its death, we can look to Him and live.  “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life”  John 3:14-15 (KJV).  Look to Jesus and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 08/11/09

Those “Town Hall” Meetings

I generally don’t get involved in the political arena, but there are times I feel something needs to be said, so I will say it.

As most American’s know in recent days our politicians who are in favor of a government health care bill coming to pass have been having “Town Hall” meetings to hear your voice. It seems to me that many of them cannot take the heat.

Maybe I am wrong about what I am about to say, but I don’t think so. When a man or woman is elected to the position of serving in the Senate or Congress do they not serve all the people in their district, whether they voted for them or not? If that is so why are many of them complaining about “plants” at these meetings? If they are people from their district, they are the Senator’s, or Congressman/woman’s constituents. That is at least the way I understand it. Unless, that is, they only represent those who voted for them.

If that is the case, then who are the “plants”?

Now, in saying what I have said, I will say this. It is rude, and unbecoming of true American [USA] citizens to do what I have seen many doing on the news reports. The beating of a man outside one meeting whom the people did not agree with. Cutting the representative off when he/she is trying to speak. Whether we disagree or not doesn’t give you or me the right to be rude. To me when we become rude, unwilling to listen to disagreement, and being disagreeable in our actions; it is because we are afraid the others may be right.

When you believe you are right you have nothing to fear. Listen to the opposing view. Voice your opinion and be passionate about it, but without rudeness, name calling, or bad language. When you listen you are learning.

Someone has said, “God gave us two ears and only one mouth. I suppose that means He meant for us to do twice as much listening as we do talking.” That is good advice to follow.

That is my opinion, and I’m sticking with it.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Much, For Which To Be Thankful

We hear everyday how bad this nation is economically.  How many people are without jobs.  The numbers of people who are without health care.  The crimes in the nation.  These are bad, and some of it is down right evil.

Let us give some thought today for that in this country for which we ought to be grateful.

First of all let’s be grateful to our Creator who has allowed such a great nation even come to be.  He has not only allowed it to be but put it in the hearts of  the men and women who were inspired by His Spirit to be free from a tyrannical government.  Men and women who risked there lives at sea, and in coming to a new land.

Let’s thank God our Savior for inspiring Liberty, freedom, and caring for others without government aid.  Let’s be thankful for the men who have fought the enemy for these past 232 years to keep us free and at times helped give other nations freedom as well.  Freedom is the gift of our Creator, inspired through hearts of men who give their lives as our Savior has said,

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13 (KJV)

And we have had many a soldier lay down their lives to protect and to keep us from the harm of the enemy.  In the beginnings of this country soldiers were farmers, doctors, lawyers, blacksmiths, etc. who laid down their lives for their neighbors, families and friends.  Many soldiers today come from such families.  Thank you men and women of the United States of America who have risked life, limb, and economic status, for the freedom of the USA.

You may be one today who has found yourself without an income; had your home foreclosed on; and lost everything you had.  Be grateful that you still live in the land of the free, the home of the brave; and take a bold step forward, and thank the Lord above for the gift of freedom.  There is so much for which we can be grateful.

Family, friends, associates in the workplace, the air we breathe, the ground upon which we walk.  There is no place on earth like the United States of America.  Where else is there where people want to get, rather than get out of it.?  Thank God for the struggle of immigration.  Most of our families were immigrants who came here from Europe or some other place.

Health care is available to all.  It is not free, nor should it be.  Let’s be thankful for the doctors and nurses, and all medical personnel who work long days and nights just to provide health care to people who are in need.  Thank you.

You can finish it from here.  I pray that I have inspired you today to see some things for which to be thankful in this God blessed nation; even with all that is wrong within it.  There are still some things that are right.

May God continue to bless America.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Quickly Perishing

When I look at our society today I see so many who are quickly perishing, and are completely unaware of it. Why do I say they are unaware of it? They live as though there was no end. They live as though there is no God. They live as though they will answer to no one.

We are all fickle at times. We can so easily be led astray, be deceived and deluded. There is something we all must realize and that is, that, there is more to life, than “Me”. “Me” will one day end, and then what. Hear what the apostle Peter has written,

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Peter 1:24-25 (KJV).

It is a terrible thing for man who is quickly perishing to give so much confidence and power to things which we cannot take with us. I heard the story of a woman who was married to a wealthy man, on his death bed, who wasn’t leaving anything to her, and wanted it all cashed out before he died and, then, put into his coffin with him at his burial. She went and cashed everything out, and the day of the funeral put a box in the coffin before they closed the lid. A friend who was with her asked, “What was in the box?”, and she proceeded to tell her of her deceased husband’s request, and that she had placed it in the box. She went on to say, “I deposited the money in my checking account, and wrote him a check. Now he can cash it any time he chooses.”

Any one with any sense knows when you die, that, silver, gold, or paper money will be of no service to you. It too will rot, rust, decay, and one day blow away in the wind with the rest of the dust.

There is only the “word of the Lord” that endures for ever, and that will be in the lives of those who put their faith and trust in Him through His Son Jesus Christ, and His death, burial and resurrection. “Forever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89). Those who will come to God the Father through God the Son will have an eternity with Him in glory. Call on His name today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Travelling Religion – Ritual Washing

In the Old Testament Law the only washing which I can recall is for the priesthood as they conduct the duties of the tabernacle in the wilderness, at the brazen laver (Exodus 30:17-21). It was for the washing of the feet and hands of Aaron and his sons in going about their daily duties of the tabernacle. Somehow a tradition came to be for every Jew to wash their hands before they ate. So it seems they were condemned if they did not.

Now I would be the first to admit in our day and time that is a good practice, but for health reasons, not religious reasons. To test another Jew because of not washing their hands was what these religious leaders were up to; in particular questioning the Lord Jesus and His disciples; measuring whether He could be the Christ determined by whether He washed His hands ceremonially or not before He ate meals.

Our verses say,

“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” Matthew 15:1-2 (KJV).

We are not told how many of the scribes and Pharisees came to question Jesus; just that they came. They had travelled from Jerusalem to Galilee on a mission of question. Jesus’s popularity was growing. They wanted to check Him out, as though they had not already done so a few times. Oh how miserably we fail when we try to win people to traditions which are not based on Scripture, conviction, and the saving or betterment of society.

There is no tradition which can save a soul from the condemnation of Hell, unless you want to call repentance, and faith a tradition.

These men come to Jesus actually making a charge against Him with their supposed question, “Why do thy disciples transgress…”. It is already in the accusatory form. They were not coming to Jesus to learn from Him, but rather, to accuse Him and His disciples of breaking tradition.

I have a thing about washing hands, especially after visiting the restroom. I was in a men’s restroom in a steak and buffet place a few years ago, when I grew passionate about this washing hands. There was another man who was just leaving the urinal and walked right out the door, right to the buffet line. When I got out there, and yes, after washing my hands; there he was; picking up the utensils for dipping out the food, and I had to touch it if I wanted what he did. I didn’t. I watched where he went, what he dipped and I steered clear. Some have said that the phrase, “Cleanliness is next to godliness” is in the Bible, but it is not. It sure is a good thought though.

It is a good practice to wash your hands, and regularly. You can help prevent colds, flu viruses, and conduct all around good hygiene by doing so. However, it is not the means of judging whether one is holy or not. These would judge Jesus, and reject Him because of their tradition, which really had no merit in the Law.

We are declared righteous and just by our Creator, through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our sins. It is God’s declaration, not our good behavior or good deeds which cleanse us.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Precious Life

It is my opinion that the value of human life is on a low scale among humans.  It comes across at times that the lives of animals – dogs, cats, horses, etc. – are of more value than the human being who may not be able to “contribute much to society…”  If they are going to be born with a medical problem many parents are now given the suggestion “Abort this baby.  He/she is not going to be able to contribute much to society” or something similar to that.

The following is a quote from the mother of a child with Down syndrome:

“I’d much prefer society eradicate prejudice than eradicate all babies with Down syndrome. I could go into all the ways our son has made our lives better — and certainly our hearts bigger. Our lives would not be better if, as we were advised even before we declined the recommended test, we never had him. But society won’t listen.”

The quote if from an article in Baptist Press by Andrea Higgins, titled, “Don’t Use The ‘R’ Word”.  If you would like to read the article you may by going to Baptist Press.  I think you will enjoy the article.

Another thing, back off of Sarah Palin.  She is a responsible mother, and the fact that her oldest daughter is having a child shows that our youth today have a problem.  No one’s young people are exempt, not even a Presidential or Vice Predential candidate.

The daughter has determined to keep the child, and raise him/her, with a husband and the father, themselves.  Applaud her, but don’t condemn her or her mother.  You better look at your own life before you condemn.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Stem Cell Research – Changing???

Here is an interesting article from FAITH AND FAMILY VALUES:

LIFE DIGEST: Researchers moving to reprogrammed cells from embryonic ones

By Tom StrodeAug 19, 2008

Prominent scientists previously committed to stem cell research that destroys human embryos apparently are shifting their allegiance to reprogrammed stem cells that do no harm.

Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s George Daley, a former president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, is talking up reprogrammed, or induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs), the online newsletter BioEdge reported Aug. 14. Only three years ago, Daley testified before a U.S. Senate committee that reprogramming was “extremely high-risk” and cloning for destructive embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) was preferred, according to BioEdge.

Daley and fellow researchers have used reprogrammed stem cells to produce cell lines for 10 diseases, including muscular dystrophy, juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Down syndrome, according to a report in the journal Cell, Bio Edge reported.

“We wanted to produce a large number of disease models for ourselves, our collaborators and the stem cell research community to accelerate research,” Daley said. “The original embryonic stem cell lines are generic, and allow you to ask only basic questions. But these new lines are valuable tools for attacking the root causes of disease. Our work is just the beginning for studying thousands of diseases in a Petri dish.”

As a result, Daley and other scientists have progressed further using reprogrammed cells “in six months than he had in years toiling over embryonic stem cells,” BioEdge observed.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) appears to be moving toward IPS cell research as well, according to BioEdge. In an Aug. 13 news release, CIRM described itself as “the largest source of funding for embryonic and pluripotent stem cell research in the world” after long calling itself a funding source only for ESCR, according to the newsletter.

“It appears that the CIRM’s love affair with slow, inefficient, expensive, ethically fraught and legally complex human embryonic stem cells may be drawing to a close,” BioEdge commented.

Bioethics specialist Wesley Smith wrote of the developments on his weblog, “It may not yet be a full fledged exodus, but it would appear that the tide has changed dramatically.

“If this continues, and it becomes clear that the tide is irreversibly flowing toward IPSCs, the political ability to create an international ban on human cloning with the catcalls of CURES! CURES! CURES! to distract leaders from doing the right thing will increase. We may actually be able to throttle human cloning before it gets too far out of the test tube.”

Reprogrammed cells, or IPSCs, gained worldwide attention in November when research teams in Japan and Wisconsin reported they converted normal human skin cells into stem cells that were, in effect, embryonic in nature.

Embryonic stem cells are considered “pluripotent,” meaning they can develop into all of the different cell types in the body. Adult stem cells, also referred to as non-embryonic stem cells, typically have been regarded as “multipotent,” meaning they can form many, though not all, of the body’s cell types. The 2007 study results showed adult cells can become “pluripotent.”

The stunning reports were issued only days after cloning pioneer Ian Wilmut startled the scientific world by announcing he had abandoned research, or therapeutic, cloning in favor of the reprogramming method.

Stem cells are the body’s master cells that can develop into other cells and tissues, giving hope for the development of cures for a variety of diseases and other ailments.

BioEdge says its seeks to promote ethics and compassion in medicine.

You can find this article and more at this link.

-Tim A. Blankenship