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CLARITY – 8-31-19 To the Fullest

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-31-19

To the Fullest  

What’s Happening: “Jessi Combs, 39 when she died, probably had no regrets (obviously, other than a promising career ended in her rocket-car crash death), She was a TV Host (Overhaulin’, All Girls Garage, Extreme 4X4, Mythbusters and perhaps prophetically, The List—1001 Things To Do Before You Die) and did things most women leave to a man’s world – working on cars and motorcycles, fabricating, car racing, etc. She set the woman’s 4-wheel land speed record (483 mph) and was seeking to break her own record when her life tragically came to an end (https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/jessi-combs-meant-180300754.html). ‘It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire. Those who are willing, are those who achieve great things. People say I’m crazy. I say thank you,’ said Combs.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “What a tragedy! She was brave…and STUPID!”

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps…at least she was passionate…which may not count for much when you stand before the Eternal Judge of the Universe. That judgement is way above my paygrade. Did she fulfill the purpose for which she was made? She did live her life to the fullest…at least by her definition.

Are you fulfilling your purpose? Perhaps. Is ‘living your life to the fullest’ what you were created for? Is your life the ‘good works’ to which Ephesians 2:10 refers?

‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.’ (NASU)

“Christians? We believe the ‘good works’ might have more eternal significance than entertaining…but, like I said, it’s way above my (our) paygrade. Still, it’s a question worth asking.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us not to fritter our lives away fulfilling our own passions, while Yours are neglected; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-30-19 Secret?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-30-19

Secret?

What’s Happening: “A ‘secret’ cyberstrike was carried out by the U.S. on Iran in June, seriously limiting their ability to target and attack oil tankers the New York Times said yesterday, This might have been the reason President Trump seemed to decide to call off retaliation for the downing by Iran of a U.S. drone. Other than the taking of a British tanker in retaliation for the seizure of an Iranian one off Gibraltar, Iran has not seized a tanker since (https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-waged-cyberattack-database-used-iran-target-tankers-135150575.html). ‘We are not seeking conflict with Iran. We want to engage with them diplomatically,” Defense Secretary Esper said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Another not-so-secret revelation…I wonder who leaked that?”

Biblical Response:  “Me, too. There was a saying during WWII that everybody was encouraged to operate by: “Loose lips sink ships.” Back then,  everyone realized that we’re all in this together…that a little indiscretion might actually cost lives. Hopefully, the potential for deadly culpability will begin to outweigh the desire for a scoop. Presently, the MSM has become an enemy from within. I’m all for transparency. That’s the intent of John 8:32, but the timing of truth being revealed is often as important as the truth itself (Prov. 5:1-2).”

“Christians? We believe He reveals truth in a timely fashion, realizing the Holy Spirit will tell us what we need to know, WHEN we need to know it (John 16:12-13).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be patient for Your revelation, and not so anxious for news that we become talebearers of innuendo; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-29-19 A Pilgrim’s Progress

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-29-19

A Pilgrim’s Progress

What’s Happening: “Some see it as a publicity stunt, some want to hi-jack his feat by an appeal for environmentalism, some want to follow his progress on Facebook, but I think paddleboard adventurer Antonio de la Rosa is looking for something…an elusive something that had him cross the Atlantic…then the Arctic Ocean…and now the Pacific from San Francisco to Hawaii…under his own steam….on a paddleboard! The journey of 2,951 miles took him 76 days and was without any supporting boats (https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-crosses-3-000-miles-140153623.html). ‘I had to overcome some difficult currents when I left San Francisco, wind sources that pushed me south, several hurricanes that have passed me close, great waves that shook my small boat as if it were a washing machine, sleepless nights, heat and humidity. But I am here, I have succeeded, I almost do not believe it,’ said de Rosa.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Whew! I’m tired just reading about it…and for what?!”

Biblical Response:  “I’m tired too! And I don’t know ‘for what?’…but I surmise he is looking for the same ‘something’ that John Bunyan tried to capture in Pilgrim’s Progress (written in two parts in 1678 and 1684 – now made into a movie). In my opinion, everyone seeks this ‘something’…either admittedly or not. What is it? I think it’s a quest for God, ultimately. And He can be found. Read what Deut. 4:29 says:”

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (NASU)

“You don’t have to journey around the world. In fact, He is all around you (Ps. 139). ”

“Christians? We believe He reveals Himself to all who diligently ASK (Matt. 7:7-8).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to find what is not as hard to find as we make it: You; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-28-19 Mixed Priorities

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-28-19

Mixed Priorities

What’s Happening: “If you listen to Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, the fires in the Amazon are necessary evils (for development). Besides, his country has already set aside $7 Million and readied 44,000 troops to deploy to fight the fires. It wouldn’t even be news except G7 countries have pledged $22.2 Million on Monday to fight what they consider is a global environmental threat (many consider the Amazon rainforest as vital to defeat global warming). Trouble is, the Brazilian President apparently mocked the presence of French President Macron’s wife over the weekend, creating a political brouhaha which is now a backdrop to the G7 offer…at least in some eyes…it justifies Bolsonaro’s refusal of the offer (https://www.yahoo.com/news/amazon-fires-effort-quell-rainforest-073740153.html). ‘We cannot accept that a President, Macron, issues inappropriate and gratuitous attacks against the Amazon, Nor that he disguises his intentions behind an ‘alliance’ of the G7 countries to ‘save’ the Amazon, as if it were a colony or no man’s land,’ Bolsonaro tweeted.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “How can a few (okay, a lot:4600!) fires in a remote jungle matter globally?”

Biblical Response:  “How indeed?! But it’s complicated. Let me see if I can unpack it for you. Bolsonaro wants to take his arguably 2nd-world country of Brazil to a first-world economy. He knows his country is rich in natural resources and ran his campaign on deforesting the Amazon for development. After trees were cut, they were left to dry out so they could be easily be disposed of by burning. The fires got away from them. He responds by pledging money and troops. Enter the G7 and their environmentalism (seen by Bolsonaro as meddling in Brazil’s sovereignty…besides, he’s a proud man and looked on their offer of help as condescension).”

“The real question no one is asking (everyone just assumes global warming and climate change are real and human-caused). Are climate change and global warming real? Yes. Thousands of scientists worldwide are correct. Are humans the primary cause? NO…though that’s not politically correct. I could talk about how what the U.S. and the rest of the world does is irrelevant if China (and other major offenders) are not cosignators on any agreements, but Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and  harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (NASU)”

“It’s not that humans have no effect…they do…but their effect must be taken into consideration with the devastating effect that the carbon tax and other environmental proposals would have on economies worldwide. Some change can occur…over time…which if you believe AOC, we don’t have. I’d rather believe God.”

“Christians? We believe we have the primary responsibility for managing the environment (Gen. 2:15). That does not, however, give us license to act stupidly. Isn’t there a rise in global temperatures? Perhaps. So? The temperatures have fluctuated globally since creation. So have the Sun’s cycles (an influence?). Do we need to act responsibly? Of course, It’s just that some might disagree on what that looks like.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, while we need act, help us to not react, and to consider Your Word as the source of ultimate truth; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-27-19 Another Storm

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-27-19

Another Storm

What’s Happening: “As if the devastation of Hurricane Maria (nearly two years ago) was not enough, Puerto Rico is being warned that tropical storm Dorian may strengthen to a Category 1 Hurricane before it hits. The islands of Barbados and St. Lucien were also warned and the lines for groceries, water, and generators are beginning to form (https://www.yahoo.com/news/strengthening-tropical-storm-dorian-heads-135812239.html). ‘Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Dorian is expected to be a hurricane when it moves near Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola,’ the hurricane center said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Great! Add that to the recent flooding, tornadoes across the midwest, and wildfires in California…is God trying to tell us something?”

Biblical Response:  “The better question might be, ‘Is anyone listening?’ Seriously, almost everybody is in the path – or will be – of some storm…if not a natural disaster, or one of our own making, it’s some health crisis we or a family member experiences. God uses these calamities to get our attention (two brain stem strokes and a tornado got mine). The real question is do you get the message? Oftentimes, we have to have consecutive calamities (I’m thinking of the three times the Bible records Saul throwing a javelin at David before he finally fled – 1 Sam. 18:11,19:9-10 – ).”

“Christians? We believe God uses calamities to get our attention or to communicate poignantly something to which we have previously been deaf. But we also believe that God then (once we listen up) turns our ‘curses’ to become our blessings (Rom. 8:28). The trick is to get the message the first time.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be attentive and please don’t let there be anything in our lives (like a competing loyalty) that would cause you to have to test it out (isn’t that what ‘lead us not into temptation’ means?; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-26-19 Color Blind

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-26-19

Color Blind

What’s Happening: “There were audible gasps in the audience as City Council (Marysville, Michigan) candidate Jean Cramer made a comment that opposed bi-racial marriage (https://www.yahoo.com/news/doubling-down-racist-comments-council-211915006.html). As incredible as that seems, it is not an isolated incident this political season. Mary Ann Lisanti,  apologized Tuesday after reports that she referred to a legislative district in predominantly African-American Prince Georges County as a ‘n—– district’ Both candidates were  Dems (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/02/28/maryland-officials-demand-del-mary-ann-lisanti-resign-over-racial-slur/3013957002/).  In the instance of the Marysville council meeting, one member said he wanted to check his calendar and make sure it was 2019, He said he thought we settled civil rights issues 50 years ago.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Whoever thought inter-marrying was a good idea?”

Biblical Response:  “Using that very word shows prejudice…it shows there are categories of people. This is directly opposed to Scripture (Acts 17:26):

…and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation…’(NASU)

In the 80s, I got what I thought was a strange request from a friend of mine. She was  currently a student at Rhema Bible Training Institute in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma where we lived. She asked if she and her fiance’ could have their wedding at our house. As we were business associates (her and her fiance’), I saw no problem, but I did ask why she didn’t just get married at Rhema. Without any approbation, she stated that as a bi-racial couple they were not allowed (he was from Haiti and dark black; she was a very fair-skinned blonde from Minnesota)). I never checked the accuracy of her statement, but conducted the wedding and everything went off smoothly. There is no place for racial prejudice in the kingdom of God. We serve a color blind God. In fact, inter-marrying may one day remove all racial distinctions. Won’t there be some raised eyebrows (indeed, when I mentioned this at an all-black chuich I was preaching to in Las Vegas, they raised some eyebrows, too)? Sadly, yes…but less and less as the generations march on.”

“Christians? The color of all men’s blood is red…including Jesus. His sacrifice on the cross for ALL Mankind makes any race valuable (What is something worth? What someone is willing to pay for it. Since the same price was paid for all, ALL must be equally valued by God).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, keep us from expressing our prejudices, and may we grow to be as color blind as You; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-24-19 Emotion Gone Awry

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-24-19

Emotions Gone Awry

What’s Happening: “The accused (manslaughter) Michael Drejka, has been found guilty for taking the life of Markeis McGlockton in front of his family at a convenience store in Clearwater, FL, yesterday, and will return to court for sentencing October 10. Though everyone’s story is different, he apparently got into an altercation over Mrs, McGlockton taking a handicapped parking spot when there was nothing on the car to indicate a handicap. Mr. McGlockton exited the vehicle to confront Drejka, putting him on his back in the parking lot. Drejka says McGlockton took a step toward him and then he shot with a concealed handgun he was permitted to carry Mr. McGlockton, killing him as he stepped toward Drejka…the video camera outside the store does not record a threatening step, but actually a step back (https://www.yahoo.com/news/michael-drejka-invoked-stand-ground-defense-shooting-unarmed-025715170–abc-news-topstories.html). ‘We are incredibly grateful and thankful to the prosecution, We are grateful to the jurors of this case that they saw what we saw and I’m so proud and honored to stand here with Markeis family,’ said the lawyer for the family. Drejka’s remark was predictably different: ‘What’s going through my mind is he’s coming after me again. I was thinking he’s going to finish what he started.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Sounds to me like justice was served.”

Biblical Response:  “Maybe…I wasn’t there. That’s why a jury of his peers voted. In any case, it was overreaction on steroids. Mrs. McGlockton should not have taken a parking spot to which she was not entitled…and Drejka probably should never have shot. Nothing good comes from unbridled emotions and actions have consequences (Gal. 5:22-23; 6:7). Of course, a whole lot more  may go into play here…racial tension, recent stand-your-ground laws, etc…but we have a culture of taking things into our own hands, too…then there’s the whole flawed nature of Man to consider.”

“Christians? Thankfully, there is One Who knows all hearts (Rom. 8:27; Luke 16:15). Temporally, we have to rely on juries, judges, and attorney skills…sometimes we get things right and justice is served…sometimes not. In heaven, The Eternal Judge always gets it right and His justice is always just.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to look forward to a truly just time…and give us the grace and patience to endure till then; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-23-19 Victims AND Champions

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-23-19

Victims AND Champions

What’s Happening: “The New York Times’ 1619 Project was introduced this week and immediately it was pounced on by conservatives as an attempt to reframe America’s early history…and there is some truth in both (https://www.yahoo.com/news/newt-gingrich-says-slavery-needs-170017001.html) and (https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/new-york-times-1619-project-leaves-out/). Early African-Americans were victims of oppression, but they also were champions, doing some pretty heroic deeds which didn’t fit the NYT victim narrative. The omission of various positive contributions throughout our history rewrites our record to give a distorted view of reality. Perhaps this is a prelude to a real push for reparations, Many of the Dems running for the Presidency in 2020 have this as an important plank in their campaign to win a lion’s share of the African-American vote.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Does it really matter how we got here? We’re here…good or bad…and we just need to learn, and move on.”

Biblical Response:  “I’ll agree with the need to move on, but  an accurate understanding of how ‘we got here’ is of paramount importance when it comes to charting a course to where we go from here. If we are to eliminate the division in our country, we have got to quit using hyphenated American terms. We are not African-Americans, Native-Americans, Hispanic-Americans…just Americans! Of course this also eliminates the victim card the left is so quick to play. Have these important contributing groups been treated poorly in our past…even our very recent past? Absolutely. But painting them as victims and in need of a groveling populace who can never adequately assuage their guilt…well, it’s not helpful, motivational, or productive.

The ‘can-do’ American spirit is stifled by victimhood. It is difficult to reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7), if you are told repeatedly that others reaped where you sowed…you will have a tendency to quit sowing. This may be true in some cases, but the Lord is quite capable of rendering justice (Rom. 12:19).”

“Christians? We need to be examples of even-handedness (Col.4:1; 1 Cor. 11:1); we can’t invite people to do as we do, if we are not fair ourselves. We need to let truth be our guide (John 8:32), and face our true history whether it’s to our liking or not.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to move on…in truth and justice; there’s a lot of work we all have to do; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-22-19 Unreliable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-22-19

Unreliable

What’s Happening: “A press conference was called this week by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) and Tlaib ‘teared-up’ when referring to her Palestinian grandmother – ‘sitty’ in Arabic – who, though barred because of her antisemitic remarks and calls for a  boycott of Israel, has received a waiver to visit in the West Bank. Though initially accepting this invitation, she later rejected it amid emotional expressions (https://www.yahoo.com/news/blocked-visit-tlaib-gets-emotional-220606966.html). ‘All I can do as my Sitty’s granddaughter, as the granddaughter of a woman who lives in occupied territory, is to elevate her voice by exposing the truth the only way I know how, by humanizing the pain of oppression,’ Tlaib said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’d be emotional, too, if it was my grandmother.”

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps…but can you cry on command? Seriously, I’m suspect of the tears of any granddaughter who hasn’t visited her grandmother in over a dozen years. Don’t get me wrong…they may be real…or just convenient. Tears may be regret on her part, too…so why didn’t she accept the opportunity when it was afforded? I’m just saying emotions are unreliable. When Joseph was confronting his brothers for the treachery they’d done to him, he lost control and had to retreat to cry in privacy (Gen. 43:30-31). Maybe Tlaib should have done that…of course, emotion expressed can underscore sincerity…or increase manipulation. Truly, only God knows the heart (Lk. 9:47; Acts 1:24).”

“Christians? It is one thing to express emotion (indeed we are told to ‘weep with those who weep’ – Rom. 12:15), it is another to manipulate with the emotions expressed. Thankfully, we have been given discernment to know the difference (Prov. 10:13; Ps.119:66 ).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us wisdom and discernment; and help us not to be manipulated by manufactured emotion, if You’ve determined it’s only that; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’ 

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CLARITY – 8-21-19 Watchful But Not Rattled

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-21-19

Watchful But Not Rattled

What’s Happening: “North Korea keeps testing short-range missiles (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pompeo-says-north-korea-missile-125513626.html), China keeps threatening the Indo-Pacfific region where U.S. and allied bases are located (https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-could-render-us-military-104141882.html), and now that both Russia and the U.S. have abandoned the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement), the testing of those intermediate missiles has been resumed by the U.S., launching its first ground-based missile from California since the early 80s (https://www.yahoo.com/news/pentagon-conducts-1st-test-previously-182317892.html). All this to challenge America’s undisputed leadership militarily: A report has described the US military as an ‘atrophying force that is not sufficiently ready, equipped or postured for great power competition…’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Another arms race…great! Next we can expect our taxes to go up or our deficit to increase!”

Biblical Response:  “Or both. Still, threat-of-force seems only to be deterred by further threat-of-force. Why is that? Because you’re dealing with natural men (Is. 53:6) and fear is the denomination of terror (1 John 4:18). As long as we (metaphorically speaking) ‘trust in horses’ (Ps. 20:7: Is. 31:1), we will be in an arms race. Maybe we should just increase our vigilance (Ezek. 33;3)…through increasing our satellites, I guess…that might be cheaper…still, as long as you’re dealing with natural men, maybe it’s just not possible to completely eliminate the possibility of armed conflict. There will never be peace on earth until the Prince of Peace rules in the hearts of all men. Sounds like heaven. Exactly!”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in dealing with men as they are, not the way you want them…but we also believe in calling those things that are not, as though they were (Rom. 4:17). Hopeful, but not naive.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, give us wisdom, but help us to look positively…You know, ‘trust, but verify’…but trust; in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Share as you like, just give credit appropriately. For buying any of Alan E. Sargent’s books or to subscribe or to comment on any of his CLARITY blogs, go to the following link:subdeo.com.’