Article for April , 2019
“…What Truth Really Is.”
You wonder what is true; what is lying. No doubt you heard it said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” That is taught to children. Really? Words can and do hurt. One doesn’t have to be very old in years to know this. You might say ‘Truth hurts’ but I say telling lies hurts more.
Talk comes cheap these days as news channels have people saying whatever they please trying to convince us what they say is true. It seems anyone can say whatever they please and this should be accepted. I heard on a radio station that the ground hog is blamed for lying.
We receive part of a story with portions removed. Blame goes forward with pointing fingers.
Remember about 8 years ago when we were told by Newt Gingrich that gas prices could go down to $ 2.50 per gallon? He was blasted as lying when gas was on-average about $ 3.80 at the time. It looked like even our president didn’t want you to believe what was true. Strong people used their influence and power to discredit what, we now know, was possible. They wanted you to believe them because they wanted to control what you were thinking.
One has to use diligence in looking to sources of what we hear and be careful. A lot of people look to Google and YouTube to find information. Did you know major companies use their power to promote what they wish you to hear and block other views? That is a game played to get you and me to believe what they want us to. They want to control what we are thinking.
Yes, there is a lot of talk about truth these days. It seems difficult to know what is true. We need be careful not to be taken in by what seems popular, things made up by people to be stated as true. You can even go to churches where people get angry if you bring up what God has to say and not leave out parts. They want to make it seem truth is whatever they want it to be. They hide some truth so to control what you are thinking. That is not okay.
I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise to hear someone use the statement “fake news” in a church fellowship hall. We hear on certain channels news cleverly twisted. People might say they know what is true without a trusting source and twist it into what they want things to be. Such is the case made by many. You can find truth if you search for it.
I have been reading a book about Britain during the 1500s to early 1600s. Many discoveries were coming about. People were beginning to travel the world in big ships and even learning to read. Powerful people in charge did not want you to search out truth. During the reign of King James of England ancient texts inspired by God were carefully searched and compared, then translated into modern language so people could read Truth for themselves from a reliable source. The Bible was made available for the multitudes. Now the Word of God was available, no longer just getting a construct made up by a few in power intentionally leaving out parts so to control what people were thinking. Common people could read the new King James Bible in the English language.
Such stuff has been going on for thousands of years. People with power tried to discredit Jesus as the Son of God. The miracles were not enough to convince them. They worked to make Him a mockery. The coming of the Savior was foretold by prophets hundreds of years prior. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in spite of what some few tried to make true. But others recognized the Truth following Jesus’ teaching to inherit life eternal.
When an innocent Jesus was in his court King Herod made a statement asking, “What is truth?” He listened mostly to human voices and did not know God’s Truth when it was right there in front of him. The Truth of Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life is available for everyone to know. He is wanting you to come into a relationship with Him so you can end up where He is in that wonderful paradise called heaven.
Please consider the whole of The Bible, God’s truth, with the story of this Living Jesus and discover what Truth really is.
Pastor Leslie White, CrossFire Church, West Union, IA
There are many things my mother taught me. Don’t touch the hot stove. Wash your hands. Always tell the truth. Don’t use God’s Name in vain. Eat all you have on your plate, including the vegetables; don’t waste. There were countless other things, some lost in the conglomeration of details throughout years of use and disregard.
At the time of hearing many of those things she diligently taught might seem without meaningful reason, but all of it mattered. She wanted the best for me wanting to prepare me for things to come. Whether quickly or at some later era the words transformed and influenced actions. The vast amount of information would become useful to cope with life.
An inestimable amount hours were spent with diligence and care. Mother’s seeming tireless onslaught took place only because she loved me so much. My mom would heat the water for a bath in a kettle and place the tub near that hot cook stove so I could stay warm when exposed. She could have spared telling me not to touch that wood-fired cook stove in winter. The heat radiated so profusely into the surroundings you just ‘knew’ right from wrong. Playing games like Parcheesi, counting windmills as we travel, guessing games as we sit on the open front porch breaking beans for dinner, her answers to my many questions all speak of her love for me. Mom took great care of us, providing good memories.
Instruction is important in order to walk the correct path through life. All good moms make efforts to prepare us for living better lives. To my misfortune, and Mother’s dismay, I did not always choose to follow that path. I wanted to explore, learn on my own, doing what sounded pleasing and discovering what made me feel good; thereby I made some poor choices. Along with those poor choices came unpleasant consequences. My mother wanted me to live a more satisfying life.
It would be better if those of us who live in this world would heed proper instruction like that given by a loving parent. Future heartaches would be reduced by mindful observance and obedience.
The Holy Bible provides proper instruction. The greatest book ever written, it gives us the information how to live a more satisfying life. After all, satisfaction is what we long for.
I remember the moment in time when realization struck that the time had passed and I could no longer go to mom for information. No more could I simply ‘call mom on how to make that.’ I either had the recipe or not.
Our time will one day pass. For you and myself, our lives here will come to an end. No longer will we have the opportunity to interact with those we love. Do you know where you will go when you die? Because we live we can have the assurance of heaven if we follow the correct recipe laid out in scripture. If heaven is where you want to go there is only One Way to get there. That is found through a proper relationship with Jesus Christ.
Choose a right relationship with Jesus and you will come to discover that ‘The God Who Loves Us’ provides a better way to live while you are yet in this world. Life will become much more satisfying than anything you make up.
As she knew The Way I eagerly look forward to heaven and seeing mom again.
Pastor Leslie White CrossFire Church, West Union
“The Fayette County Union” newspaper
Faith and Hope, No Doubt
God looked over His creation and watched the people wandering from faith lost in a darkness of their own making looking for a sign. He looked upon us with a Love beyond anything we deserve and sent His Son, Jesus, to save us.
Here we are in the Christmas Season and there are people out there doubting the Truth of Jesus, The Christ. A few days ago I was listening to the evening news and heard of an atheist billboard at New York stating “…it’s a myth.”
Some are probably shocked that with all the proof of God With Us, Jesus’ coming to earth to save us from ourselves that some could doubt. Many doubted during that time when Jesus walked the earth as human that He was also God.
Is it any surprise they still doubt today? Perhaps if they heard the angels. Perhaps if they saw the sky lit up, the star shining over Bethlehem. Perhaps if they could see some miracles? Well, the miracles are still happening in God’s Church. They can still be seen if eyes are open.
People are healed beyond understanding of the highly trained doctors. I have witnessed a person who was healed from a medical condition he’d been hospitalized for, and there were doubters. The elders of the Church prayed at the altar while laying on of hands and a man was healed. The doctors could find no sign of the malady upon later examination. Upon hearing prayer in church a man rises up from his seat to say there’s going to be another prayer, and he asks to receive Jesus into his heart to become his Lord & Savior. Is it any wonder? The only way to the Father is through His Son Jesus. There is power in the name. I have seen Meth addicts’ lives changed. They have overcome addiction by surrender to the power of Jesus Christ. My own life has been changed through the Love of Jesus.
The Bible tells us the Message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, that you must be born again of the Spirit. We are to be in prayer for the lost ones who don’t realize their peril. Seek a company of believers in a Christ-centered church. There you can find or rediscover the best gift of Love in a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. Through Christmas The Spirit can change people forever and save them from destruction. You might witness the miracle!
There is so much more to Christmas than the troubled people wandering the aisles lost in a search for happiness. The gifts and the friendships may make one cheery for a day or for a season. The true Spirit of Christmas can cheer their heart for an eternity.
The Spirit of God is alive and working in this world today in spite of the doubters.
Oh, yes! And God is watching us.
Pastor Leslie White, West Union
We sit at Mid-Winter’s End and people turn their hearts to warmer thoughts as St. Valentine’s Day prompts people to send cards. The cards are second in number only to Christmas. Hints of love point us toward an anticipation of future promise and hope for good relationships.
We yearn for a ‘perfect’ relationship. We respond to this yearning by gifts of candy, flowers, and cards. The hope is to either capture or increase a good feeling of love. After all, we say, whoever heard of too
The book of Genesis in the Bible tells us about the creation of good things. The Bible begins by stating “ In the beginning…” There we are able to read on and find God has a perfect plan for mankind. He created mankind male and female and afterward saw it was very good.
A perfect world, a garden, was created where man and wife were meant to live forever in peace and a harmonious relationship with God Himself. Because humans lost their privilege to dwell in that perfect place constant attempts are made to find satisfaction in human relationships.
On Valentine’s Day we see money and effort spent to re-kindle hearts toward loving relationships. There you find a hint of how a satisfied relationship should look. Instead of a constant focus of desire on what we want there is ‘giving in’ to think about others’ desires instead. Through ‘gifting’ love is found and the promise of love returns.
There is no gift greater than the giving of life. Valentine’s Day is all about love and the greatest love story is the true story of Christ. Followers of Jesus Christ know The Father who loves us. He is the giver of life. He loves us so much He gave us His only begotten Son. Through this Son, Jesus, is the cornerstone safe to again build a relationship with God Himself. The relationship that acknowledges Jesus as Lord is the best building block for satisfaction while in this world. Also it is the only hope of Man’s attaining the promise of entering that perfect place we call Heaven. In heaven we will be with God once again in a perfect relationship.
Following God’s Word we discover His plan for our life. There we find the way to develop the relationship which brings satisfaction above anything we can come up with on our own.
The weather outside may be cold, or not, but as Valentine’s Day has you thinking warm thoughts turn your heart toward Jesus. You can have joy in the fact that nothing will warm your heart with long-lasting satisfaction better than a personal relationship with Jesus.
Pastor Leslie White, West Union
Life, How Precious!
It’s a joy to see signs of new life becoming visible around us as we move from darkness of winter and enter into the season we call Spring. What seemed to be lost in darkness of winter comes forth with promise of new life. We gaze upon God’s creation and it is great, both mysterious and wonderful!
New buds are on the trees as the land is turning green harboring future grandeur. Some consider the outdoors and look forward to fresh-mowed grass. Shoots emerge from the dark earth to later become a vast array adorned in many colors.
I can’t help but think of how the process develops. There is teeming life at work before we see the visible signs. The mysterious working of life takes place unseen within the earth before the new shoots become blossoms. We wait in earnest to see what flowers will come.
As I ponder these mysteries of Spring I think about the wonders of human life. I recognize only God is the creator of all life. The Psalmist writes: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:v13-14 (New International Version, ©2011)
When the human baby is born it is the visible blossom of the baby which began at conception. Just look for a newborn baby to see the loving attention by those gathering around! Just as we yearn for warmth of spring days after cold winter women yearn for the privilege of giving of their loving arms to hold the infant. They compete to meet the baby’s needs. What a natural wonder to respect, a parent and an infant!
This tender love is but a likeness of how God loves His children. He looked at people and had compassion on us. He met our needs by sending His only begotten Son. This is why Jesus came.
We are lost in darkness and are in need of a Savior. Through the forty days of Lent preceding Easter we have the reminder of darkness. Easter waits. We anticipate the Truth of Jesus Christ who rose up from the dead to show us there is no other God than the One who gives us life. People who have turned from darkness and embrace the true promise of Jesus through a relationship with Him look forward with joy to new life forever. This grand design from God is all a great spectacle to behold.
As we consider the coming of Easter we rejoice in the visible promise of new life and can look ahead to greater life than we could ever hope for on our own.
Easter is coming. Have you escaped the darkness and found satisfaction in a new and better life through a relationship with Jesus? Easter is a perfect time to begin this precious new life.
Pastor Leslie White, West Union
Wow! 4G! All these gadgets and electronic toys are supposedly adding to our quality of life making all things easier and more manageable. Only because my desktop computer failed I recently purchased a top-of-the-line Ultrabook i7 with Windows 8. What more could anyone want for Christmas?
What a wonder that everyone needs these latest high-tech items; or so it would seem according to the advertising. Are you remembering all the cables that hook everything electronic together? Amazingly someone came up with making it easy by inventing USB connections. All the devices should use common USB ports so you can do away with those multiple cables of confusion. You can even get phones to hook into computers.
Guess what? They are coming out with a new USB to replace all those other connections.
5G is in the news as coming into the marketplace about March ’14. Microsoft has plans to make Windows 8.2 available in 2014 according to the latest news.
Windows 8.2 will bring back many features missed by those of us who were used to the desktop where a ‘Start-up Menu’ appeared. This should satisfy what many miss in the current Windows 8 operation and have resisted the changes forced upon us by manufacturers.
We are in Advent looking forward to Christmas. Some want to see what newest presents await them. Others are yearning for days gone by wanting Christmas to be what they remember. Some will attend a church service looking for the old traditional contemporary music while others will look for modern music. So many looking for what will satisfy.
Things are always changing. I can even remember the song ‘Times They Are A Changing’ by Bob Dylan. Do you?
In this day of so many changes being forced upon us we can take comfort in knowing God’s Love never changes. One of the modern songs we sing during worship is ‘Your Love Never Changes,’ by Chris McClarney & Anthony Skinner. We sing in the style as performed by ‘Newsboys.’ We are reminded through words addressed to God; “You stay the same through the ages. Your love never changes.” New yet old and totally pertinent in today’s always apparently changing world.
The first Christmas God’s Only Begotten Son Jesus was born into a difficult and changing world. The news changed history forever. People came to know the certainty that God loved his people. God Himself sent a Savior to deliver us from evil, certainly as pertinent and needed today as in that time.
Today people are coming to know what truly gives satisfaction, the certainty of a God who never changes, One God whose Love never fails. Celebrate this Christmas as what it is. It is a beautiful reminder with lights and celebration that God Is With Us, Emmanuel, Jesus the Christ is born.
Jesus, the best thing ever, never changes.
Pastor Leslie White, West Union
Better Than Mere Expectations
It is such a sad thing when expectation turns to disappointment. I recently watched two separate movies with an account played out concerning Noah. Noah was a singular righteous man through whom humanity was spared from the great Flood that covered the earth in ancient times due to God’s judgement.
These movies took liberty to change the accurate historical account given to us through the Bible. Both movies changed the story greatly into what it seems the author would wish it to be dividing truth into opinions. That made the shows a great disappointment!
Perhaps the authors did not research with diligence for Truth or they simply decided to re-write the story to what they wished it were instead. The Holy Bible is in fact an historical documentation of events and circumstances, including places, as well as times in which these events took place. The scriptures even foretold of events far in the future. It is a Book of Truth meticulously copied and passed through generations and can be trusted. Only minor spelling and grammar errors are found in original documents.
Today I hear of some people who want to change wording of The Bible, not simply translating into language more easily comprehended. They want to change the meaning into saying what they want it to say. Everyone desires to have their own way. Growing up is hard to do and somewhere along the way we think our way is best. What disappointments lurk throughout life when we fail to follow the advice and wise counsel of those who know Truth. The Holy Scriptures are readily available for those who can read and the opportunity exists to know Truth.
God’s only begotten Son, Jesus, said He could lay down His life and take it up again. 17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again.18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” John 10:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT) We just celebrated that historical event on Easter.
In those recent ‘Noah’ movies; the whole point of what took place to cause the Flood in the first place was ignored. People were living whatever way their desires led them. Because so many wanted to believe their own way judgement came upon the earth, an accounting. There will be another judgment and an accounting.
Jesus called himself the son of Man and told His disciples of His return at a future date when there will be an accounting. 25 But first the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation.
26 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all. Luke 17:25-27 New Living Translation (NLT)
Some simply do not take the time to study scripture or they reject what is stated because they want and wish it said something different. That is a cause for great sadness.
We are often confronted with many disappointments in life. There is coming a second death. But those who are followers of Jesus will have eternal life.
That will be in a place far better than here. It will be a place where expectations will not lead to disappointment. When you follow Jesus and trust Him, today’s disappointments will change and turn into better than mere expectations.
Pastor Leslie White, West Union