February 7th, 2019

the atomic bomb

It is 10:35 AM Thursday morning here in Michigan. It is a cold rainy wet gray day. A day to sit by a fire and sing old songs about coal miners and cowboys.

Carol left around an hour ago to have a meal with a close friend. We had a AT&T tech fellow come to our house this morning to find out why our WiFi was running slow. The AT&T tech replaced our modem and that seemed to fix our problem.

Carol and I both got up this morning around 6:45 AM. When I got up I made myself a portion of oatmeal for breakfast. Carol made a pot of coffee for us to drink throughout the morning hours.

I ate my oatmeal messing with our main computer this morning. The AT&T tech showed up at 8:15 AM and left around 9 o'clock AM. I wrote in my paper diary this morning and have been reading from a book titled, 'The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century' by John Brewer.

Yesterday was a quiet day. Right now I can't remember much about yesterday. Last night Carol went to a Woman's Study at her church. I read yesterday from these books when not wandering my cell-

'Books: A Memoir' by Larry McMurtry

'Ninth Street Women Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art' by Mary Gabriel

'Paris In The Present Tense' A Novel by Mark Helprin

I read 'Paris In The Present Tense' yesterday late into the night. Now it is another day. I am still feeling out of it. But Time keeps flowing by. I suppose I will close to read some more of the book,'The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century' by John Brewer.

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the struggle of faith

I received many encouraging comments after posting this video, but this one really comforted me-

written by Fruit Tree-

We know that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” We also know that Satan means ‘Accuser’ and that he is given believers to ‘sift’ (Lk 22:31). If he can have believers questioning their salvation and the promises of God then he is doing what he did in the garden, ‘Did God really say.....?” (Gen 3:1).

You have a profound faith in God and perhaps your doubt is actually not about Him but in the genuineness of your walk WITH Him? You mentioned at Christmas that you sometimes look at your quiet existence, see your wife’s fruit and feel you are not living out the faith and being fruitful yourself. We know from Galatians (5:22-23) that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..” Johnny, you show many of those fruit when you are talking about the Lord in your videos.

We often cannot see our own fruit and it can naturally make us question our walk. I believe it is for the good that this is so, otherwise we might become proud or boast about our fruitfulness. Paul, who we would say produced orchards of fruit, acknowledges this when he says, “ I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. “ (Rom 7:18-19.) And maybe he too experienced these kinds of ‘siftings’ and moments of accusation or fear because he also described being tormented (perhaps in his mind?) by a ‘messenger of satan’ which God had allowed in order to keep him humble and trusting in the Lord for His endurance. (2 Cor 12:7)
Yet in the midst of knowing he fell constantly short, he clung to the rock of Christ and we must do the same.

Remember too, the account of Mary and Martha? Martha served in one way and Mary in another when she sat at Jesus’s feet and listened to His Word, which we also do when we read the scriptures. Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her,” (Lk 10:42) and I know you spend a lot of time at the Lord’s feet in His Word just as Mary did.

I have had some pretty terrifying ‘siftings’ which I won’t go into here, but you are most definitely not alone in having your mind taken to these sorts of places. There is tribulation for Christians that can’t be seen with the eyes, but instead bores into our thoughts. Rest assured though, whether tribulation is out there or inside us, the accuser is behind it. But even then, God always ‘works for the good of those who love Him...’ (Rom 8:28). If these experiences make you fear the Lord and draw closer to Him for refuge, then God will indeed have worked it for the good, for you and for His own Glory.

As you know a church isn’t a building but a called-out people, an ‘ekklesia’ who can encourage and love one another in a myriad of ways, including on YouTube. You are doing just that when you make videos about your love for Christ, your scripture readings, devotions, commentaries etc. I would love to hear more of these because you have spent a lifetime studying the Word of God and it would be a blessing to many to share your grain with us. You may not be able to see fruit and the working of Christ in you sometimes, and the enemy may use that to try to knock you off track, but the Lord sees all and He is faithful when we are weak and His “power is made perfect in weakness”. (2 Cor 12:9). God bless you, Jonny.
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