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CLARITY – 1-8-20 You’ll Have to Read it Twice…At Least

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 1-8-20

You’ll Have to Read it Twice…

…At Least

What’s Happening: “Picture a police investigation white board, crowded with photos and lines connecting them…and a big question mark at the center (I had to read the article several times to follow the nefarious actions of the messed up family). Lori Vallow, who said she was god and on a ‘special mission,’ is being questioned by Chandler, Arizona Police in connection with her two missing children, murders of two husbands (or former husbands – I’m not sure), and the divorce of her current husband, Chad Daybell, 49, whose former wife may have died under suspicious circumstances…confused? (https://www.yahoo.com/news/mom-2-missing-kids-said-172131843.html). ‘Mother has also never contacted Father about JJ’s (7) well-being or requested any parenting time with JJ. Father is extremely concerned that Mother would abandon JJ and take JJ’s necessities without even attempting to communicate or see JJ,’ court documents said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Maybe she’s a cult member.”

Biblical Response:  “You think?! She might make Patty Hearst (probably the most famous cult-member of the 20th Century) look like a choir girl. There is so much divorce, murder, and neglect in her dossier…and then to claim she is god! Who knows what she’s guilty of, but this I do know, the title of God is reserved for only One (Exodus 20:3), and He takes a dim view of competition (Ex. 3:4-6).”

“Christians? We believe there is only one God and He knows the truth of all matters (read Ps. 139)…where those kids are, who killed whom, etc. There will be ultimate justice and I tremble at the guilty parties’ fate. Like has been said in other CLARITYs, ‘Justice makes hell necessary; mercy makes heaven possible.’”  

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help the authorities bring justice on the earth; eternal justice we leave humbly to 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 12-23-19 Slow But Sure

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-23-19

Slow But Sure 

What’s Happening: “Today courts in Saudi Arabia sentenced five to death in Kamal Khashoggi’s murder (3 others got a total of 21 years; 11 were tried). Remember that news event and the brouhaha surrounding it? Some thought Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind it (most of the Democrats in Washington, the U.N. special commission appointed to look into the matter, Turkish authorities, etc.); some thought he learned of it afterwards (Trump, many of the Republicans in Congress, etc.). I guess the truth may never be known this side of eternity (https://www.yahoo.com/news/saudi-sentences-5-death-jamal-095437622.html), ‘The prosecutor sentenced five hit men to death but did not touch those who were behind the five,” Yasin Aktay, the leader of the ruling party in Turkey (he was also a friend of Khashoggi), told The Associated Press.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “When will justice ever be served?”

Biblical Response:  “I guess it depends on to whom you talk. Obviously, some think it already has, while others think it probably won’t ever occur. Both may be wrong. One thing is for sure, truth and ultimate justice may be slow, but it surely will come…God will see to that. Besides, justice here and now (temporal justice) only affects the here and now (Heb. 9:27)…eternal justice is…well…for much, much longer, And, in the scope of eternity, is quite swift.”

“Christians? Oh, we believe in ultimate eternal justice. And that we are all subject to it (Lk. 13:1-3). However, the good news may be bad news for some. Sure, we are all resurrected (Acts 24:15), but to what? Eternal life or eternal death? As the saying goes: ‘Justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible.’”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to not paint with too broad a brush when we are not privy to all the facts…and to rely on You because You are; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (One mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 12-20-19 Emotions NOT in Check

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 12-20-19

Emotions NOT in Check 

What’s Happening: “A tragedy unfolded last weekend as two wedding-crashers, brothers, Josue Castaneda Ramirez, 19, and Rony Castaneda Ramirez, 28, beat to death the groom, Joe Melgoza, at his reception in Chino, California. An altercation escalated into a fight and the groom succumbed to his injuries at Chino Valley Medical Center. It was announced last Tuesday that the two alleged perpetrators would face murder charges. The two were arrested and held without bail (https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-groom-beaten-death-wedding-042617267.html). One of the groom’s relatives, Alice Alvaez, was quoted as saying, ‘He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way, He leaves behind his daughter Lilly who will be in good hands with Joe’s family.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Perhaps the two’s hot-headedness was why they were not invited to the wedding.” 

Biblical Response:  “Who knows? There are a lot of unanswered questions here, but one thing is for certain: anger can lead to destructive violence. We are told, ‘Be angry, but sin not’ (Eph. 4:26). It is not a sin to experience any emotion…life would be pretty dull if passionless. The trick is to exhibit a little self-control BEFORE things get out of hand. The problem arises when we ‘fallen creatures’ (read Gen. 3) allow our passions to rule. Maybe we don’t exhibit any self-control because we were never told ‘no.’ If we did not get any discipline from the outside, we may look within for self-discipline and find the cupboard bare.”

“Christians? True believers have access to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), one of which is self-control. Without this, our unregenerate passions may rule…by default…and passion, unchecked, can escalate to violence.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to not let emotions take control…it doesn’t glorify anyone to let passion take over; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

Reader:

May I indulge in a little self-promotion? Many of you read CLARITY every day…and you hopefully forward it on to still others. Some even subscribe from the website. Thanks! (One mother wrote that she wanted to subscribe to read it to her children everyday – read away!) However you get CLARITY, would you consider donating on the website? I’m happy to find useful purpose in helping folks stay informed and supplying what I think God has to say on the subjects of the day…still, I want to get this word out to others…which is what I’ll do with your gifts. Thanks in advance.

Blessings,

Alan

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CLARITY – 11-20-19 What Love Looks Like?

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-20-19

What Love Looks Like?

What’s Happening: “In Cripple Creek, Colorado, Patrick Frazee, 33, was given a life + 156 years-sentence Monday for killing his fiance’ Kelsey Berreth, 29, by bludgeoning her with a baseball bat, then burning her body…her 1-year-old daughter, whom she had had with Frazee, was in a storage closet nearby. His ‘friend,’ Krystal Lee, faces three years for evidence tampering. She tried to use Kelsey’s cell-phone to deceive investigators about Berreth’s whereabouts. The jury only deliberated four hours and sentencing came only an hour later by the judge (https://www.yahoo.com/news/vicious-senseless-patrick-frazee-gets-114607879.html).  ‘Your actions were vicious, senseless, without reason or explanation,’ Judge Scott said to a dispassionate Frazee.” 

Knee-Jerk Response:  “If this is how he treats somebody he loves, I’d hate to see how he treats somebody he hated!”

Biblical Response:  “Really! I can’t even imagine… There was a time when an engagement period was for trying on mentally the idea of marriage. Before that it was called betrothal, and was even more serious (Deut. 22:23-30). Apparently, he got to have his way with her by virtue of a promise…and apparently the promise was worthless. I don’t know which is worse – what he did…or what he didn’t do. Obviously, the judge (and the law) thought the former was worse. A man’s word used to be his bond. What happens to a culture where words (and promises) are meaningless? Just read the papers or the news feed on your device.”

“Christians? We believe that words are valuable and only the precursor to the actions they betray (John 14:1012). What does love look like? Like God (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:8).” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to only promise what You can help us fulfill; 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.’  Copyright © 2019 Alan E. Sargent

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CLARITY – 11-14-19 Not as You Think of Swift

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-14-19

Not as You Think of Swift

What’s Happening: “If everything went according to plan (and there’s nothing to indicate anything went awry), Ray Jefferson Cromartie, 52, died of lethal injection last night at 7:00 p.m. EST, in Georgia’s Diagnostic and Classification Prison, 25 years after his conviction and sentencing for shooting a convenience store clerk in the head…twice…and killing him. Cromartie had entered the store to steal beer. The defense said it was never proven that Cromartie was actually the killer (https://www.yahoo.com/news/death-row-inmate-executed-hours-133406760.html). Quoting from the article in The Independent: ‘Cromartie was scheduled to be executed on 30 October, but proceedings were halted because an appeal was still pending before Georgia’s Supreme Court. On 1 November, the state secured a new execution order, setting it for Wednesday.’”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Which is worse, dying by lethal injection, or having to wait 25 years (!) for sentencing to be carried out?”

Biblical Response:  “Right…to answer that question, I’d have to know whether you were referring to the wait by the convict or the family of the victim. Doesn’t the Constitution promise swift justice? Yeah, the 6th Amendment does provide for a speedy trial but the U.S. Supreme Court has termed it ‘ambiguous’… ‘amorphous’… and ‘slippery.’ Whatever our Founders originally intended, I’m sure they would have been appalled at 25 years! Something more akin to Achan’s stoning (Josh. 7:1-26), but maybe not as quick as Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11 – they died in a matter of hours, not even days). Of course, the latter judgment was by God, and He already knows the truth of every situation (1 John 3:20).”

“Christians? We believe in complete justice, whether it’s swift or not (our estimation of time from a temporal perspective can be confused with an eternal – God’s – perspective).”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to be in favor of truth (John 8:32)….and help us discover it sooner rather than eventually; 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 – 11-6-19 Mandatory Appointment

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 11-6-19

Mandatory Appointment

It’s Happening: “Another tragedy may have been a case of mistaken identity as 9 people from Utah with dual Mexican/American citizenship were brutally murdered early yesterday by rival drug cartels, four of them children, all on their way to a wedding they never attended. Several escaped, some of them wounded, and several are missing and feared kidnapped. The grisly details include the torching of one of the three cars they were traveling in and the murder of 4-month old twins. It all occurred in Sonora State just south of the border in Mexico and evoked a tweet by President Trump, offering help to the Mexican President (https://www.yahoo.com/news/least-10-members-mormon-family-124805674.html). ‘A wonderful family and friends from Utah got caught between two vicious drug cartels, who were shooting at each other, with the result being many great American people killed, including young children, and some missing. If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these…..’””

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I’m glad I don’t live in Mexico!”

Biblical Response:  “…or apparently in Chicago. I don’t know if it was a case of mistaken identity or delayed retribution (they were kin to activist Benjamin LeBaron, who was murdered in 2009). Perhaps they were just in the ‘wrong’ place at the wrong time. An acquaintance of mine just lost his 22-year old son to being shot by a robber a couple of blocks from me. He was trying to protect the four women who were also there. Perhaps another case of being in the ‘wrong’ place at the wrong time. In any case, we live in a fallen world (read Genesis 3) and the resultant evil that was unleashed occasionally has devastating collateral damage.”

“We all have an appointment with death. We shall get so many days…no more, no less (Ex. 23:26; Job 14;1-12); and after that comes judgment (Heb. 9:27). Just because God knew when it would occur (Is. 46:10), does that make Him culpable? Hardly! He’s just as upset about it as we are (Heb. 4:15). I thought He was in control of all things…He is! Just because we don’t like an outcome, doesn’t mean it wasn’t appointed.”

“Christians? We believe we all have an appointment with death, but that God is going to see to it that we get the full measure of our days (Ps. 39:4). Since we don’t know exactly when our demise is going to occur, we should live every day as if it were our last..”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to live meaningful lives…and keep short accounts…not knowing when our account may be called due: 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 – 10-3-19 Brother Does the Unexpected

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 10-3-19

Brother Does the Unexpected

What’s Happening: “I guess everyone has heard of the Dallas area police officer who mistakenly shot and killed a guy – he (Botham Jean) was entering his own apartment and the officer (Amber Guyger) had mistakenly (the apartment was exactly one floor below hers) shot Botham, thinking he was an intruder – but have you heard about Brandt Jean, Botham’s brother, who yesterday forgave Guyger from the witness stand and later hugged her? (https://www.yahoo.com/news/jury-deciding-sentence-former-police-officer-amber-guyger-202841301–abc-news-topstories.html). ‘I love you just like anyone else and I’m not going to hope you rot and die,” Brandt Jean testified at the sentencing portion after Guyger had gotten 10 years. ‘I personally want the best for you. I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family, I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want for you. Give your life to Christ. I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you.’”  

Knee-Jerk Response:  “Wow! Now that took guts!”

Biblical Response:  “Yeah…maybe even more than that. What is the quote? ‘To err is human, to forgive, divine’? (Alexander Pope, ‘An Essay on Criticism’) I’m reminded of Christ Himself, forgiving His executioners and the crowds who stood by and mocked (Luke 23:34). You might expect that from the Son of God, but from one of His followers?! I guess his faith is real! And our faith should be real. And, if real, it should produce a difference in us. Sometimes that difference is shocking and unexpected.”

“Christians? We believe that our love for our fellow man might help us change our defaults. Our love, after all, is the result of a nature change…that’s why our defaults have changed. Where Brandt might have acted like any other brother…full of hatred and revenge…yet he saw Amber as just another human in a mistake…a deadly one, for sure…but just a mistake.” 

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us default to the nature change that having You as our Father produces in us; 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 – 9-30-19 The End of Road Rage

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events – 9-30-19

The End of Road Rage

What’s Happening: “I guess a look can be provocative…in any case, that is all (at least as far as we know) that Alex Mixon, 26,  stopped at a red light in Phoenix at 2:40am did when he was allegedly shot by adjacent motorist, Nicholas Elliot, 30. Fleeing the scene and later captured, Elliot admitted that the handgun and drugs authorities found with him were his. There was perhaps nothing other than the look that provoked the road rage that ended in the murder of Mixon (//www.yahoo.com/news/motorist-killed-looking-another-driver-012251551.html). Three eye witnesses said, Mixon ‘merely looked over at (Elliott) which in turn enraged (him) to fire his handgun at (Mixon),’“

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess my Dad was right. He said, ‘Nothing good happens after midnight.’”

Biblical Response:  “Perhaps. There’s probably a higher percentage of people on the street that are up to no good then. But this guy Elliot was set off by something other than a look…for sure. Maybe it was drug abuse….or a history of physical or emotional abuse in his home growing up and Mixon was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe Elliot’s parents never taught him restraint…or maybe somebody had said something ugly and demeaning to Elliot, and he was bent on taking his pent-up anger out on the first person that he encountered…who knows…only Elliot (and God) really knows.”

“Christians? We all get angry…but we are to ‘sin not’ (Eph. 4:26). Of course, sin really begins in the mind (Matt. 5:28). So, what are talking about? Mind control? Yeah…sort of. Read this scripture:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: …” (Phil. 2:5 KJV)

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us all to submit our thought processes to You; ours sure can’t be trusted; 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 – 8-14-19 Justice is Inevitable

CLARITY

A Biblical Response to Current Events -8-14-19

Justice is Inevitable

What’s Happening: “Some are complaining of justice denied, because of the apparent suicide (by gunfire) of Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, the two teens that were the subjects of a huge manhunt in Canada and suspected of three murders a few weeks ago. They were themselves considered missing, until their bodies were discovered  a few days ago amidst dense brush five miles from their burnt-out car. The medical examiner just released Monday that they were killed by self-inflicted gun-shot wounds (by the same guns that committed the murders?) (https://www.yahoo.com/news/canadian-fugitives-suspected-three-murders-223905624.html0. Officials said two firearms were found with the teens. ‘The two died in what appears to be suicides by gunfire,’ police said.”

Knee-Jerk Response:  “I guess this is one case where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police didn’t ‘get their man.’”

Biblical Response:  “That may be true, but that does not mean that ultimate justice won’t be served in the cases of McLeod and Schmegelsky. They may not stand trial for the three murders before a Canadian judge, but they will stand trial – and for five murders (their own lives were not theirs to take, either – Jn. 5:26). And only the Eternal Judge of All Men knows their hearts (Ps. 44:21; Acts 15:8; 1 John 3:20)…so only He can decide their fate. This reality may be the only comfort those left behind (the families and friends of the deceased) have…if they are believers.” 

“Christians? We believe in ultimate justice; that there is a Judge who knows the truth of all matters. It’s not that we all don’t fall miserably short (Rom. 3:23), but, thankfully, there is Someone who took the punishment we deserved (Rom. 6:23). As far as suicides are concerned, some of them are repentable – you have the time it takes for your body to fall from the bridge to the water to repent – others are more immediate. Where is the Good News in all this? Indeed, justice makes hell necessary, mercy makes heaven possible.”

Here’s a Prayer You Can Pray:  “Heavenly Father, help us to trust in inevitable and ultimate justice…and in the gracious provision of mercy through Your Son; 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.’