Archives for 2018

Fourth of July Reflections

 

17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.    2 Corinthians 3:17

 

As we look to celebrate this Fourth of July this week, we cannot help but be frustrated over the state of politics. And that state of politics has gone awry from the beliefs of those who were courageous enough to seek independence and knew what was important to maintain that independence – maintaining a dependence upon Jesus as Lord and Savior. Here are some of their thoughts.  It would be good for all of us to remember what our forefathers believed in and trusted in. 

 “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”       John Adams

 “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?” “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity”?   John Quincy Adams

 “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”     George Washington

 “What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.”    George Washington

 “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”     George Washington

 “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.”   Patrick Henry

” The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”   Congress, 1854

 “I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament.”  Benjamin Rush

©2018 Charles A. Kalkomey

July 4, 2018

Don’t Fly Blind

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

 

A pilot was taking a trip in his small airplane one day. Suddenly, the weather around him changed. The clouds engulfed him. He couldn’t see where he was, or where the ground was. The storm that was brewing created some interference, and not all of the gauges in front of him were working. Soon he realized he was flying blind.

At least his radio still worked. He called out on that radio for anyone who was listening. An air traffic controller heard the call and responded. He could see the pilot’s aircraft on his radar screen.

The air traffic controller was able to direct the pilot to the airport. He could tell the pilot which way to turn and when to turn. He was able to tell the pilot whether he needed to gain altitude in the aircraft or begin to descend. Using the radio, the air traffic controller was able to guide the pilot through that storm and to a safe landing.

During all of this, the pilot had a choice to make. Was he going to try to land that aircraft by himself? Or was he going to trust the person on the other end of his radio? He couldn’t see that person. He didn’t know that person. But if he was going to safely land that airplane, he had to put his trust in someone he couldn’t see or didn’t know.

At some point we all go through life that way. We are flying along doing our own thing, and then something goes wrong. And when that happens, we desperately reach out for someone to help us. We search for someone we can trust. And it may not be someone we can see, or we even know.

Until we allow Jesus to come into our lives, we don’t know Him. We certainly can’t see Him face to face. Yet Jesus is the only One who can direct us safely through this life by directing us to the Father. He is the One who knows which way we are to turn.

But we must learn to trust Him. Not only when things are not going the right way, but trust Him always and in all things. We can’t see Him, but if we look, everything around us shows us His hands at work in everything. We may not know Him at first, but He knows us, and He wants us to know Him more than we realize.

We must make that choice to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. We must learn to trust Him to show us the way we are to go. Until we do, we are flying blind in this life.

The storms will continue to come. Even after we accept Jesus in our hearts, we sometimes still think we know the right way. But when we continue to put our trust in God’s promises, God’s Word, and God’s love, He will guide us safely through those storms. We may not be able to see everything around us, and those “clouds” may be gathering around us, but with God, we aren’t flying blind.

 

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

March 11, 2018

Got Your “Shot” of Jesus?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   John 14:6
Inoculation refers to the intentional introduction of a small portion of a form of an infectious disease into a person with the purpose of causing the body to produce antibodies to fight the disease. The concept is to cause the body to develop an immunity to the actual virus.

The process is thought to have started in China during the 10th century to fight small pox. The need to fight that disease continued as it spread across the world as man spread across the continents. The first recorded use of the practice in America was in 1721, when a prominent Boston minister finally convinced a physician to inoculate his two sons.

The practice continues today as we are all urged to get flu shots. A yellow fever vaccine is needed if you travel to Africa. There are meningitis vaccines and a vaccine for pneumonia. Polio has been eliminated through the polio vaccine, which some of us received in a sugar cube.

What we are missing is an inoculation from the evil of the world. But it’s not really missing, we just don’t let it work.
Jesus is that inoculation. Jesus is our vaccine against the evil. We let Jesus come into our lives and we begin to build some resistance, “antibodies” against the enemy; against Satan. But then something happens.
Why does the small pox vaccine work? Why does the polio vaccine work? It’s because our bodies were designed by the Maker. He made it possible for our bodies to build those necessary antibodies without us doing anything. It’s all programed into our DNA.

But many people get that “inoculation” of Jesus, of the truth, and it doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. The world around us appeals to our flesh, to our senses, to our eyes and ears, and we don’t allow for God’s Word to grow in us, to reveal the truth to us, to keep us on the right path. We become “weak” in fighting evil, we give in to the temptations of life, and we become spiritually dead.

Sometimes, something else happens. We get inoculated with Jesus and we catch the disease of religion. We develop a closed heart and mind as to what it means to develop a personal relationship with God, and we don’t ever find God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Each of our lives depend on us repenting of our sins, turning away from the past, and turning to what God wants us to do. But we can’t do any of those by ourselves. We need Jesus. He must be Lord and Savior to us. We must trust in Him and turn our lives over to Him.

Without those vaccines, we are in danger of becoming ill and dying. Without Jesus, we are dead. Forever. For eternity. Have you received your “shot” of Jesus in your life?

2018 Charles A. Kalkomey
March 4, 2018

A Very Present Help

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

We spend much of our time planning for the future. We are always thinking about what we need to do now to be ready for tomorrow.

Now, there is nothing wrong with planning. Some people are just obsessed with it. They go through each day as if they had to make plans for themselves and their family for the next 50 years! Such questions haunt them. “How much money do I need to live on when I get old? What do I have to put away for college for the children? What do I have to do to make sure the boss notices how hard I work?” When do I need to think about looking for another job so I can move up the ladder quicker? What do I need to do to impress that girl over in the accounting department?”

Notice in all of those questions the emphasis is on “what I have to do” or “what do I need to have.” It’s as if everything depended on each of us to control the outcome we desire.

Then something happens, and we soon realize we are not in charge. We get hit with the reality of just how little we actually control. The outcomes of life are not simply all in our hands.

Just ask 17 families in south Florida. That college fund is not important any more. What type of car they drive is no longer a priority. Where they will spend spring break no longer matters.

An act of evil that is beyond comprehension, beyond understanding suddenly changed the course of life for those families. They had a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, a friend, that was suddenly taken away from them. No one can plan for a day when a loved one goes off to high school, never to walk through the front door of their home again. And what makes it even more unbearable? It seems as if it could have been prevented by the authorities a month earlier.

Life is not about what “I” can do or make happen. Life is about being a part of what God wants to do in each person’s life. When life is turned upside down, we need a place of refuge.

A refuge is a place of safety; a place we can trust. Strength allows for one to stand firm. God is that only true place of safety. He alone gives us the strength to hold on; to keep going. And God has been tried many times, but He has proven to be always present in times of trouble and tribulation.

The lives of many people changed in an instant last week. A person can question and wonder where God was in all of this horror. A person can ask God why He didn’t stop this from happening. That question we cannot answer. But be assured God was there in the middle of it all. He didn’t flee from those students and teachers. He was that present help in time of trouble. And He continues to be that present help for those who are left to mourn and grieve; for those who continue to ask why; for those who are struggling to move forward.

Remember, as we plan for tomorrow, we are not promised a tomorrow. But we are promised that if we will seek Him, if we will have a relationship with Him, He will not abandon us.. He is the refuge and the strength that gets us through each day. He is always present. Will you let Him be your very present help in times of trouble?

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

February 18, 2018

God For All Times!

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.   James 4:8

There seem to be many in this nation who know how to call on the name of God at certain times; at times when there is no place left to turn. When trouble comes and it seems that all hope is lost. When the unthinkable is all that we can think about. When someone can walk into a school and take the lives of 17 others.

Columbine. Sandy Hook. And now Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Remember the University of Texas tower shooting? That claimed 17 lives 41 years ago. There have been 30 such events since 1900.

And with each of these tragedies, people cry out to God. People who haven’t prayed in months start to pray for God’s help; His comfort; His healing; His peace.

It has been the same way throughout time. In Exodus, God’s people were in bondage and they cried out to God to deliver them. When they were trapped at the Red Sea, they cried out to God. In Judges, Israel cried out to God because God had delivered them into the hands of the Midianites because of the evil they had done.

Why is it that we cry out for God’s presence in our lives when things go wrong? Why have we taken God out of our presence when things are good?

Why have we taken God out of the schools? There is no more prayer, no more scriptures read in public schools. Why have we taken the Ten Commandments out of public display? Why is it that there are those in this country that tell us it is not right to talk about God in public because we may offend someone?

The reason for the most recent school tragedy? God is gone from our lives in times of peace. We only fellowship with God on Sundays and in times of trouble. We have forgotten we are to be in relationship with Him.

We have forgotten God’s plan for the family. The family is not just important, it’s critical to our existence. It’s what holds society together. The family is meant to reinforce the difference between right and wrong.

Do we need a louder cry for revival? At what point do we realize that we are nothing without God in our lives? When we chose to take God out of schools, work, the public, our everyday routines, we chose to tell God we don’t need Him. We are capable of doing things ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. But the way which seems right to man is actually the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

Can something good come from all of this? If we, as a nation, wake-up. If we, as a nation, realize that God has to be a part of all of life; that we can’t put Him on a shelf until we need Him. If we trust Him in all things.

Yes, God hears our prayers. He hears our cries in times of trouble and pain. But He also wants to hear us each and every day, even if it’s just to tell Him how much we love Him, and hear how much He loves us. God is the God in times of trouble. But He is also the God in times of peace. He is the God for all times!

©2018  Charles A. Kalkomey

February 25, 2018