Why the title?
"Pioneers take the arrows"
Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.
So, let me amend that statement.
It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.
The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.
Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.
In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.
Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
A Reminder from Bible Study Class
Anyway, a notation at the bottom of the list was based on Acts 3: 12, which reads:
“But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, "Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?”
The notation written on the board was this one:
“Why do you marvel at what God has done? You should marvel at what he has not done, as you are still alive after what you have done.”
The thought comes to mind of an early minister, one John Edwards (not a politician, I should add), who in one of his sermons described that we live in a precarious position. Allow me to paraphrase his sermon.
“We hang above the “lake of fire” by a single thread as small as a single strand of a spider’s web. Below us, we can see the roiling turmoil of the surface of fire, we can smell the sulfurous odor, we can hear the voices below crying out in their torment, and we can feel the heat rising from that world of eternal torment. It is one which promises much enduring suffering because our bodies won’t be the same as our earthly ones in that they won’t be destroyed by that fiery lake.”
What is there that prevents God from simply taking away that single strand that prevents our eternal damnation? Have we not deserved such a bleak outcome because of our past deeds? What is there that we may have done to warrant hope that our future is brighter than the one pictured in words above? (By the way, can you understand why that early John Edwards was fired?)
God’s grace is our salvation. As the Bible teaches, “He knew us before we were born.” Perhaps it is likely that He knew us before His creation was even begun. Yet, knowing that we would sin, that we would sometimes deny Him, that we would harden our hearts in our selfishness, He still granted us life on this earth and hope for life in another place with Him. From 2 Peter 3: 8-9:
“8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
The key part is that last phrase that is underlined. He has certainly seen to it that some would die, but almost all of those occasions have been so that the glory of God could be revealed. One thing in this day that still amazes me that he hasn’t revealed his wrath to this world is that we have done such atrocities to our fellow man. Many like to point to Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and others to show the absolute number of those murdered for no good reason but the leader’s own desires.
It amazes me that we still exist as a nation. In Genesis, after Cain killed Abel, God said to Cain that the blood of his brother cries out to Him from the ground. If the blood of one man cried out to God in such a manner, think of the sound that he hears from roughly 50 million aborted babies. (Incidentally, those numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and the Guttmacher Institute.)
After a nap today, I sat down to watch another lesson from The Truth Project from Focus on the Family. While there is much in the preceding paragraphs to make me somewhat melancholy, the wonderful lessons from that series always encourages me. It is ALMOST as good as standing in a mountain meadow or at a beautiful waterfall.
Silver Falls near Pagosa Springs Colorado; August 2009