Will be away for a While…

Many of you have noticed that I have not shared anything for several days; as a matter of fact, for a whole month.

It may be some time yet.  It seems I have either reached a point of lack of desire, or brain block, something.  “Lack of desire” for posting on blogs, not for the gospel of Jesus Christ or the whole counsel of God.  I could use your prayers in this matter.

I may reblog some others, but I will not be writing anything new for a while.  Thanks for your support of prayer and reading these post.  God bless you all.

-tim

Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

The following article is borrowed from Kairos Journal.  I found it quite interesting and informing.  I pray the readers here will as well.

“Alone against Islam”: Henry Martyn (1781-1812)

The debate inside the tent soon matched the soaring temperatures outside as the solitary, sickly Christian rebuffed the arguments of his Muslim opponents. Henry Martyn (1781-1812) had reached Tabriz in May 1812 hoping to present a copy of his Persian translation of the New Testament to the Shah, the nation’s ruler, for his commendation. But before that could happen, the Shah’s vizier (1) ordered him to dispute with the mullahs. After an hour or two the vizier finally intervened with an ultimatum. “You had better say ‘God is God, and Muhammad is the prophet of God.’” No-one moved. All eyes focused on Martyn. Later he recalled, “I said, ‘God is God,’ but instead of adding ‘Muhammad is the prophet of God,’ I said, ‘and Jesus is the Son of God.’” The mullahs rose in disgust and the vizier refused his visitor’s request. (2)

Fifteen years earlier, few could have imagined such a scene. In October 1797, Martyn entered Cambridge University to read mathematics and five years later became a fellow in classics. As a brilliant scholar and linguistic genius, an academic career beckoned, yet Martyn turned his back on it. Charles Simeon (3) asked him to serve as his curate in 1803, and under his influence the young man set his heart on serving Christ overseas.

Leaving behind the woman he loved, Martyn arrived in India in April 1806 as a chaplain of the East India Company, responsible for the souls of the locally stationed British soldiers. But his heart burned for the indigenous Muslim and Hindu populations, and before long he was preaching to them despite heat, opposition, and ill-health. Putting his linguistic skills to use, he started the simultaneous translation projects of the New Testament into Persian, Arabic, and Urdu and completed the Urdu edition in February 1809.

His desire to revise the Persian and complete his Arabic New Testament led Martyn to leave India and enter the formidable domain of Islamic Persia in May 1811. Setting out for Shiraz, a prominent center of Shia Muslim scholarship and poetry, he traveled with a wet towel around his face and neck because of the fierce heat. Once installed in his new home, Martyn worked with a local, Mirza Seid Ali, on the Persian translation, and in less than nine months he completed the New Testament and a version of the Psalms in an accurate and readable vernacular. “No year of my life was ever spent more usefully,” he wrote. (4)

Yet Martyn’s time in Shiraz was far from tranquil. As the only Christian in a Muslim city, he was an easy target for abuse, and the governor had to intervene to stop the constant stoning of his house. He defended the gospel in lengthy discussions with the mullahs and wrote a reply to a defense of Islam published by the leading mullah, Mirza Ibrahim. Always willing to engage the Sufis, his conversations invariably reached an impasse over the deity of Christ. Before he left Shiraz to see the Shah in May 1812, only one man had turned to Christ. Yet the fruit of Martyn’s life appeared after his untimely death that October. His Persian edition reached people in 1846, being used until 1910, and his work still shapes the current edition.

Reflecting on his life, Martyn commented, “Even if I never should see a native converted, God may design, by my patience and continuance in the work, to encourage future missionaries.” (5) Today, Persia (modern day Iran) is still held in the vice of radical Islam, pouring forth a message of threat and triumphalism backed up with arms and money. As political and military solutions are considered to contain its influence, Henry Martyn’s sacrificial example shows the only sure way to challenge Islam. May God be pleased to send many more like him to confront the nations with Christ’s truth.

Footnotes:
1     A high official in certain Muslim countries and caliphates, especially a minister of state.
2     Richard T. France, “Henry Martyn,” in Five Pioneer Missionaries, ed. S. M. Houghton (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1965), 291.
3     Vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge, England.
4     Ibid., 285.
5     Ibid., 263.

Just A Thought 01/16/09

I received a friend packet from our satellite TV provider.  It says it is to help friends be able to keep watching their televisions after the “Big Change” to DTV.  They keep telling us, as though to warn us, that if you don’t have Cable or Satellite, and no Digital Television you will no longer be able to view your local channels.

Are things so bad in the television world that they, ie., the television people, must spend millions of dollars telling us that we could lose our signals if we don’t update?  Would it really be so bad to be without television?  It is as though our world would end without it.  How do people get so full of themselves?

There are a lot worse things that could happen to people.  Jesus Christ could return, and billions be unprepared.  The USA could be overthrown by a third world country.  There are probably thousands told everyday that they have some form of cancer.  There are thousands daily that lose their jobs, and are left without any income, or health care.

For one whole year, and maybe more we have heard:  “We are changing to DTV signals, and your old TV will no longer receive the signal.”  Would that those of us who are Christians would make such a bold effort to tell the world about the wonder love, grace and mercy of our God through His Son Jesus Christ.

If we did lose our Television signal that wouldn’t be so bad.  If we lose our signal with our God, Jesus Christ; now, that would be bad.

Just a thought for today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Value of a Farmer

There are people living in the large cities, even adult people, who have no idea where their food, milk, ice -cream treats, vegetables, and meat come from. At least that is the way many people act. “You go to the grocery store, WalMarts, Kroger, Ramey, Giant Foods, Piggly Wiggly, or whatever and you get what you want.”

While you can go to the grocery store, which is Oh, so convenient; there are farmers “breaking their backs”, and in many cases risking their lives in order that you might have food on your table, or in front of your television. Even many of the snacks that we eat today is food that has been prepared from crops, for you to have a ready to eat snack. Doritos, Potato chips, snack cakes – being made from flour, which requires wheat, and then there is the sugar in the cookies which is from farms as well. The Sugar farmer may prefer to call his place a Sugar Plantation, but it is none-the-less still a farm.

Many of the big farms may produce much milk, grain, and fruits and vegetables, and they make a good deal of money. Don’t dare think that farming is a lucrative business. Let me give you and idea of the money that is made in farming. A farmer may bring in a cash value of 200,000 dollars per year, but by the time they pay for the fuel of the tractor, farm labor costs, feed for the cattle, fuel for their other farm vehicles; the maintenance and upkeep of all farm machinery, etc.. After all the expenses and farm costs are paid the small farmer; if he is blessed; may have 20,000 dollars per year. And that would be a fairly good year.

After they have made that kind of profit [wow!!!:)], can you believe that, then the government wants to tax more than what they actually have in spendable income?

When farmers have a bad year with a drought all our government wants to offer them is a low interest loan. When farmers in the country of Columbia want to make a deal with the United States that’s a different situation. Our farmers can just suffer, but we can’t let foreigners farming suffer. We will take their meat, their crops, and pay them a great price for it; and at the expense of our own people.

I have heard in Hollywood productions and from people who don’t know much that the oldest profession in the world is prostitution. Well that is not true. The oldest and grandest profession and vocation is farming. There were farmers long before any woman or man ever thought of selling themselves for cash.

What makes a man or a woman want to be a farmer? Some grow up on the farm and don’t know much of anything else. They decide at an early age they want to take over the family farm, or have a farm of their own. There are some who grow up and go to Agricultural Schools/Colleges/Universities to learn more about farming, the soils, trees, and vegetables. They may come back to the farm to help make it more productive, and they may not. The outdoors, fresh air, fresh turned soil, and its fragrance, sunrises and sunsets, are all things that farmers enjoy. Not to mention the planting of the seed in that freshly worked soil, watching it come up through that dirt day later, then, weeks and months later it reaches its peak, and it bears fruit. From one little seed of grain comes thousands of seeds of grain. The farmer can look at that and thank the Lord for giving the increase, and thank Him also for giving him the strength to plant and harvest the crop. Farming is one vocation that gives a person a sense of worth, and accomplishment.

The next time you go through that grocery aisle, and you pick up a head of cabbage, or broccoli, or some Apples, Peaches, Oranges, or a can or frozen bag of peas; and a gallon of milk remember there were some farmers who rose early many mornings to get that milk and cheese to you; spent many hours plowing the ground preparing it for the seeds that produced that cabbage, broccoli and other veggies. Many Orchards spend hours protecting their trees from freezing in the seasons of their blooming in order that we might have fresh fruits. When you pick them up remember where it came from. It first of all came from God who gives the increase; and it came from hard working farmers who have given their lives to feed the American citizens and the world.

-Tim A. Blankenship

People Deportment

There are people who are “Bird watchers”.  These people will go and watch the dilapidated, redheaded woodpecker show up however and wherever it shows up.  You can tell I am not a “Birdwatcher”, though I love to hear the sounds they make, and I know that description I gave of the woodpecker is not accurate.  I hope if you are, you get humor from my gross inaccuracies.

There are people who like shopping, driving cars, and just for the sake of driving – even though that is getting to be a rather expensive venture nowadays.  When it comes to shopping; that mostly involves women and girls, though there are some men who enjoy it as well – I am not one of them.  There are times when it comes to shopping that people will pile into stores, the day after Christmas, and practically, or all together stomp on one another to find and get whatever it is they want.  You know there have been a few injuries in this gang shopping.

If there is anything that I enjoy watching, even more than a good movie, is people.  I have been know to sit down in a Mall, on one of their benches, and just watch the people as they go by, as they window shop, as they eat and drink.  Sometimes, I see a fuss and  quarrel.  I don’t enjoy seeing people fighting with one another.  I don’t enjoy fights at all, and I especially don’t like being in the middle of one.  To be the cause of one is an anathema event for me, and I will do almost anything short of lying to avoid it.

I never cease to be amazed at the gullability of people.  Just last week I heard the story of a man named Robert Salisbury, from Jacksonville, OR. who came home to find all his household goods, work tools, and even his horse being carted away.  It seems that someone had in jest put a notice on a website called “Craig’s List” that was supposedly placed by Robert, telling the people who read the site that he was being forced from his home, would not return, so everything in the house and outside it were free for the taking.  When he arrived home to find people carting things away; he was met by rudeness, an “I don’t care” attitude, “It’s too late now”, and Robert lost about everything.  Gullable people who because of a prank, end up becoming thieves.  I don’t know how this turned out for the people who stole Roberts possessions, or for Robert; but I do know this certainly proves the gullability of people.

Then, there are those who are just out in out thieves.  On March 12 or so, within seven miles of where my wife and I live some Bank Robbers broke into a bank, took a safe, and opened safety deposit boxes.  They did this in the late night, early morning hours, under the cover of darkness.  Isn’t it amazing how evil is done mostly under the cover of darkness.  Dark hearts work best in the dark, I guess.   These thieves broke in the back door of the bank, disarmed the alarm system, spray painted the security cameras, they had turned the outside security cameras backwards.  The more I think about this the more it sounds as though they had help from inside the employment of the bank.  My thoughts only, and a few others probably.  The employees of the bank arrived around 8:00 a.m. to find the back door broken and a mess on the inside.  These thieves had planned this to the max.  They had evidently worn gloves so as not to leave fingerprints.  They had stolen a truck for a while and then left it behind in another location.

Some things like the above really disturb me about people.  It would even worse if I didn’t know that people are all basically evil.  Even myself.  A man whom I know was recently convicted of bad check charges of $500 dollars or more, and sentenced to three years in prison.  I had sat and ate breakfast with him a number of times.  It hurts when you see people do these things.  We are truly an interesting lot.  How God must laugh, and my  how He must cry at times. 

There are so many things happening in this world right now.  All involving people.  Most all are drawn to the gathering of more things.  All on a search for love, and some finding it, and some not. 

Now is the greatest time in the history of man to be the Christian God has called us to be.  Mankind has never had the opportunities which we have now for telling others.  The means I am using right now, this computer, and the internet, are great tools for telling the world about the true source of love.  Love is of God, for “God is love”.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).  Jesus said also, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6).

People Deportment will not change until people give themselves to Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  Will you turn to Him today?  He died for your sins, was burried, carrying sins away, then He rose from the grave and is forever alive and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

-by Tim A. Blankenship