To Begin Twenty Seventeen – Happy New Year

This was working out to be a Presidential election year for the United States of America.

I am supposing that one of three things has happened: 1) Some major catastrophic event has occurred and President Obama has declared marshal law which stopped the Election, and he is still in “power”;  2) The election has gone through and a Republican is our next President and will take his/her seat on or around the twentieth of this month; or 3) The spiritual, moral and intellectual failings of this nation have been revealed, and Hillary Clinton will be our President on that date.

I do pray that every Christian went to the polls and voted your Christian conscience, and that you are at peace with your vote.

If the rapture of the Church has not happened by this date January 01, 2017, my prayer is still “Even so, Come Lord Jesus, Come soon.”  No matter who the new President is.

Even if He has come for me in my death, this will still be read, God willing of course on Jan. 01.

The Work of Thy Hands

As I was reading the Psalms this morning Psalm 143 verse 5 caught my attention in a particular and special way.

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands.”

The title above is the thought I will endeavor to dwell on in this post.

Do you ever stop to “Think” on the work of God’s hands?  It would do us all great good if we spent more time meditating and thinking on the works of His hands.  We are more often than not “Amused” with things, and people.  We are more often than not, even “Amused” by God and His works.

For those who do not know, “A” on the word means “No” or “Non”.  For those who already knew that I do not mean to be condescending or rude to you.  I pray you see the point I am making.  The word “Muse” means “Think”; and I fear that I sometimes put too little thought into the works of God’s hands; but instead I am amused by them.

There are so many things that could be mentioned that are the work of His hands.  It would include everything, except evil, yet even in evil He still works.  Do you have a problem with that?  It is your problem; not mine.

Let us think [muse] on a couple of things that are the work of His hands.  First, think about the ground upon which you walk or move about.  He created it.  He keeps it.  He keeps everything in its created order.  Secondly, think about you.  You are the crown of His creation.  You are fallen, indeed, and out of fellowship with Him; yet He loves you.  You are fallen, but can be restored through the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

Now, there is something to think [muse] about.

-t.a.

The End Of The World???

With a movie out called 2012, and other movies which have been made proclaiming the possibilities of the “end of the world” (Armegeddon, The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, etc) it seems there are children who are thinking the earth and all the people on it are in danger of total destruction.

The movies I have seen on this issue remind me of a cartoon.  Wiley Coyote, and the Roadrunner; where Wiley chases the Coyote, falls over a cliff with an anvil, to the bottom of a very deep canyon, with the anvil nailing him on his head, and he goes on to chase the Roadrunner in one more episode.  Laughable, entertaining, helping you forget; or put aside for a short time;  some real life situations.

Something we should take note of is that many who espouse the “Global warming” idea, and that if we don’t do something about it will mean “the end of the world”.  What I think we should notice is that some of these same “Scientist”, speculators; whatever they are; are also evolutionists who say by that theory that “The world is getting better and better”, and that “mankind is evolving toward becoming a better species”, and yet they warn us of destroying the earth.  Isn’t that a contradiction of thought and terms.  Just how could things be getting better and better, yet at the same time destroying the earth.

Something we need to think about is this:  The world will not end in 2012, or anytime in the near future.  I believe this because of the promises of a grand ole book.  He has told us in that book that He will not allow the destruction of the earth.  He is going to come, make all things new, changing the world as we know it, and He Himself will rule in this world and all evil will be put away.

That is the promises of the Word of God – the Bible.  The world is not coming to and end, but your life could end before the next beat of your heart, or your next breath.  The only assurances we have are found in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.  Call on His name 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

Just A Thought 04/16/09

Jesus, And The NRA

There is quite a bit of talk about firearms and whether we should regulate them, or even ban them.  I got to thinking about how would Jesus respond to the idea of firearms, and it came to mind that the weapon of Jesus’s day was the sword.

At one point in the ministry of Jesus He gave commandment for His disciples to get a sword;

” Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Luke 22:36 (KJV)

We have Christian and non-Christian alike arguing against having handguns, or arguing for having them.  In the United States of America it is the right of every American; except for former prison inmates; to keep and bear arms.  The Second amendment of the USA states:

Second Amendment –

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

People die in the USA every day probably by some kind of gun shot accident, intentional murder, or manslaughter; and many who see these things think the answer is taking away our right to “keep and bear arms”. 

I was reading another blog the other day, by a brother in Christ who was proposing further gun restrictions due to murders, street battles and such.  He quoted the old adage, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people”.  Only he added his addendum on it by saying “Guns kill people”, or something like that.

Murders and hatred come from the heart.  Jesus told us that.  If you take away guns there will still be murders.  There were people murdered in Jesus’s day by the  sword, by stones and stoning.  Maybe we should ban kitchen knives, and stones.

The answer is changing the hearts of men.  Jesus said,

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:  These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:18-20 (KJV)

I still don’t know that Jesus would be an advocate of the NRA [National Rifle Association] the guard and protector of the Second Amendment of the USA; but I do know that He would advocate us presenting the Gospel of  His death, burial and resurrection; because there is the power to change hearts and lives.

Jesus also said,

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matthew 26:52 (KJV)

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 03/23/09

In these times of economic hard times, or in any period of despair, it does us good to consider this…

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Ecclesiastes 7:14 (KJV)

And, we do not know what tomorrow may bring, but “We do know Who holds tomorrow”.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 02/20/09

I don’t guess that anyone has noticed that we are in the midst of “Recession” in the United States and around the world.  I am smiling as I write that statement.  At least that is what we are being told that it is called. 

Far too many are fearful, because, they have all their lives tied up in their houses, businesses and such and have no life outside of those things.  That is truly the worst shame of all.  Remember there is a difference between a house and a home. 

I am hoping that the words I write here will be encourageing, and cause someone to think for at least a moment of something and even more someone who may be worse off that they are, and then to be grateful for what they have.

We don’t have to look to far to find people who are without a place to live, who have no job, no income, and who didn’t have a meal last night.  I was watching the evening news last evening, and there was a story of people in Chad who were refugees from Darfur, where there has been basically genocidal attempts toward many people there, rapes, murders, and all kinds of crimes agains humanity.  That made me grateful to be a part of the United States of America where we are blessed beyond what we truly deserve.

I am thankful to be a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ my Lord, to know that I have a place in heaven with Him, and that until then to know that I am truly blessed beyond what I deserve.  I thank YHWH for His bountiful blessings on my family, my church, my country, and myself.  I also thank Him fro His blessings upon on all.

May YHWH truly bless you all, and thank You LORD for doing so.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 02/17/09

Those “Fear Not(s)”

Sometime ago I read somewhere that God had included 365 “fear not” statements within the Bible, or something similar – “Be not afraid”, “Do not fear”, etc.  While I have been doing my annual read through the Scriptures I have been trying to make a point to catch these, underline them, and write there address down in a notebook.  I have found 27 after having read through the fifth chapter of Judges.

The twenty seventh one found is in Judges 4:18, and it reads:

“And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.”

When you get to looking at the story surrounding the event where the woman uses these assuring words, there should almost be a caveat with them; “BEWARE OF THE ONE WHO SPEAKS THE WORDS ‘FEAR NOT'”.  In this case it was a woman who was a friend of Israel, and the one to whom she spoke was the enemy of  Israel, but someone he [Sisera] thought he could trust.

It is certain that when we are on God’s side we need not fear; however when you are an enemy of God and enemy of His people then you had better be cautious of His “Fear not”, they are usually intended for those who hear and obey Him, as words of assurance.

Fear not, when you are resting in Jesus Christ.  Be afraid, O enemy of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 02/06/09

A Challenge For A Cleaner Mouth

Language is a means of human communication. Men speak with one another to communicate about many things. Sports, family, work, and sometimes God. Sometimes men speak with a language that is not honoring to humanity, little lone to God, and even some women get into the bad language mode. It sometimes doesn’t even make sense. Either some of these people who speak this way never received an education or they just don’t care. It would be better that it be a matter of the former than the latter, but who am I to know. If you have an education use it.

Has anyone noticed how children are speaking language which would make a sailor blush? It used to be that cussing men would not cuss or swear around women and children, but now it doesn’t make any difference. They talk that way too. They talk as though they fell into the sewer and came up talking that way.

I am fairly certain that some of this came from television and movies which seems to have the license to speak vulgarity and anything they please, but this is not good for our society. There are some children who still endeavor and do speak in good English and do not bring shame to their name, their families name, nor to the name of God. To them I give my applause.

It did my heart good the weekend of January 24 to see a segment on FOX AND FRIENDS weekend where they spoke with [interviewed] a fifteen year old boy who had started a website, and a movement called NoCussing.com, and he has written a book about it. I quickly went on line and joined the group, which had reached 30,000 by that time.

I want to encourage adults and children of all ages to join this group and make a commitment to speaking right words which will fill hearts with light rather than darkness.

Go to Nocussing.com and become a committed member for free. Then learn the proper English language, or whatever language you speak, and speak it with the pride of accomplishment. This is one place we can clean up America and our homes. At least it will definitely sound better. Even those, such as me, who butcher the King’s English, can speak without vulgarity, swearing or cussing.

Some may want to equate this to “Freedom of speech”. That is not freedom that is stupidity; that is bondage; that is doing what is popular; that is doing what is easy. Let’s take a challenge for a change, and become spokes people for a cleaner mouth. Now, for some that may be a real challenge. Don’t take the easy way. Take the challenge. Check out Nocussing.com and make a difference in your life, and those around you.

-Tim A. Blankenship

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

Just A Thought 01/07/09

…Or maybe two or more thoughts.  In dealing with the book of Genesis we see the creating hand of God, and the journey leads us to death.  Now, that does not sound so pleasant, but it is the destination which we all face.

From the first chapter to the end of chapter two we see the wonders of the creating hand of God.  Placing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, giving them dominion over all the created order, and giving them one lone commandment – not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

The temptation was too great for Eve, and for Adam, and then begins that journey of death, and a journey of life which continues throughout all of Scripture.

In chapter 22 we have seen the faith of Abraham tested even to the offering of the only son who was to be the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to him.  Offering Isaac as a burnt offering unto God.

For three days Abraham, Isaac and servants had travelled going toward the place God would show Abraham.  On that third day Abraham sees the place “afar off”,  and here is what the Word of God says,

“Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.” Genesis 22:4-6 (KJV)

Without question, Abraham has journeyed without informing Isaac of this test.  He has brought all the necessary items, the knife, the wood for the fire, the fire; and Isaac [the sacrifice].  For three days thought has been flooding the mind of Abraham (I am only assuming this because I am a father too), and he must have been thinking, “Surely, if God allows this to go through, He will rasie Isaac again, or He will provide a substitute when we arrive”.  We have no way of knowing his thoughts, but can only put ourselves in that same situation.

That “…place afar off” became the city of Jerusalem, and it is believed that this same place, this same mountain [hill], is the place where Jesus was crucified.

Oh that the believer of today had the faith of Abraham.  Notice his words to the servants, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”  Abraham’s heart was set on worshipping God, even in the sacrifice of his son Isaac, yet fully believing that they both would return together.

The father and the son went “…both of them together,”  but alone up that mountain to worship, and do the work that only they could do.  Many years later God the Father and His Son Jesus would make the journey up this hill for the judgment of all sins.  The Father struck His Son in our behalf. 

Read Isaiah 52:13 – 53; and Matthew 27:45-46.  Jesus Christ is the only sacrifice for sin.  He died, was buried, and rose bodily from the grave three days later.  Call on His name; trust Him and believe.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 01/01/09

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!   To one and all who may read Fire and Hammer, and welcome to 2009.

The thought I have for today is concerning faith, and I want us to consider the “faith of Abraham” when the LORD called him to sacrifice Isaac.  When I last wrote of this event covering verse two, we saw that it was THE TEST OF A LIFETIME.  This time let us look at verse 3:

“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.” Genesis 22:3 (KJV)

This was something completely new to Abraham.  God had promised Isaac from since before entering the promised land from Ur, and now God was saying “Sacrifice your son…”  It seems as though Abraham does not question, but rises early the very next morning, following the command from God, makes all the preparations, saddling his donkey, gathering servants to help him; getting his son Isaac up and about, cutting the wood, then heading off for “the place of which God had told him”

From the time Abraham left he was being obedient to the “heavenly vision”, following God’s direction.  He had no clue how this was going to end, but Abraham journeys on in the direction he was to go.  In the mind and heart of Abraham Isaac was dead, but he believed in the power of God and bodily resurrection (Hebrews 11:17-19).  After all, God had promised him to be a great people, and nation.

As we begin this New Year, we are somewhat like Abraham.  No we are not called to sacrifice our children – sons or daughters – but we are entering a time when we do not know what is ahead, and of course, every new day is like that. 

As a Christian I have been called to give my life a “Living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him” (Romans 12:1).  Christians are also called to go in the direction of a place which God has told us of.  With our eyes on Jesus we will make it.  That faith of Abraham is our faith.  It is the faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross of Calvary.  Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

Are you going to that place Jesus is preparing for you.  If so abide in that faith that comes through Jesus Christ.  If not, look to Jesus Christ and begin that journey today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 12/30/08

There are many questions, and at times many accusations, and arguments over the issue of marriage.  Biblically, marriage is between one man, and one woman “until death do we part”.  The issue of same sex or homosexual marriage is playing a large part in that definition today.

As a Christian I take the Biblical view of marriage, and will until the Lord returns to take me home with Him.  A question comes to my mind, however, “Why has marriage been so cheapened, so degraded?”, and I must answer that with this.

The divorce rate is around 50 percent.  That sounds awful to me.  Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce.  Is that what is meant by that statistic?  If so, that is truly terrible, and a shame to be attached to something that God has ordained. 

There is something that makes the matter even worse to me, and that is the divorce rate among those who profess to be “Christian”.  It is at the same rate, and maybe even higher.  It seems that many Christians have bought into the “Me” lie.  They may not admit it, but live as though their living life is all about “Me”, and there is no surrender, no commitment, no loyalty to the spouse (husband or wife).

Let me ask this question, “Who has really cheapened marriage; those who have no commitment, or the issue of same sex marriage?”  I dare say that had we Christians stood firm on faithful marriages, and committed ourselves to our own wife or husband, then there would not be the issue and debate of same sex marriage.

Here is the Biblical idea for marriage.  “Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22); and “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her…” (Ephesians 5:25).  When these are followed there will be happiness in the marriage, along with joy and peace.

Just my thoughts for today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 12/23/08

Here we are again at the time of year when the birth of Jesus Christ is remembered, and many either don’t want to remember Jesus, His birth [first coming], or they only want to remember a baby in a manger without remembering why He came.

He came as the Savior of all mankind. Yes! He was born as a baby, wrapped in “swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”.

At this time of year let’s make sure there is room in our hearts and lives for the man who lived among us, was in fact God among us, or God with us (Emmanuel), and He still desires to be with us.

Remember that same baby, who was laid in a feed trough, grew to be the man who went to the cross, took all the sins of the world on Himself (your sins and mine), received the judgment, the wrath of His Father toward sin, offering redemption to all who would turn from their sins and believe Him.
This is the marvellous, wondrous and wonderful gift of Christmas.

Jesus was born to die for our sins.

Remember Jesus this Christmas.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Just A Thought 12/17/08

I received this from an email group that I am on, and thought others might find it interesting.

With people going “politically correct” and “Pluralistically friendly” this tends to fit well with things.

Seasons greetings

To All My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Paul Dudley

I don’t think I would associate all Democrats in the above category, or all Republicans in the other, but I do think it gets a clear message across.

T.A.

Just A Thought 12/15/08

Here we are in the Christmas season of 2008, and my how things have changed from the past years.  It just seems that every religion or no religion wants to get their “hands in the pot”.

In the State of Washington, the State Capital has a Christmas exhibit, and would you know it even the Atheists want to put in their “two cents” or whatever it is worth.  The little plaque they want next to Christmas says something of reason, and evidently they have none, because they are standing on the popularity of Christmas to get out their unreasonable message.

Why can they not display their unreasonable message on the only holiday which they can be noticed.  Yes!  They have their holiday and it is on April 1 of each year.  Read Psalm 14:1.

That is my thought for the day.

-Tim A. Blankenship