I have bought a field…


247.jpgIt has been a true blessing to have so many people involved in helping during this time of transition. My wife and I have spent the last few weeks either planning or setting up our new home. It hasn’t been easy because we are working in one state during the week and traveling to another on the weekends. There are some dedicated friends and family helping out in big ways but this is still stressful times. Anyone who has ever moved or changed jobs can understand the unique stress of those types of changes.

An unexpected change has occurred in all this commotion. My time in scripture and prayer has been disrupted by a flurry of activity, planning, and projects. At first I convinced myself that once we closed on the new house I would be able to relax during the week because it appeared there wouldn’t be much to do. After all I am over four hours away from home during the week so it seemed reasonable I could spend time concentrating on spiritual rest and growth. That has not been the case at all. Instead my evenings are filled beyond full planning “priority” projects. One such project is much needed kitchen cabinet replacements. By the time the cabinets are purchased I will have spent multiples more hours in researching them then the time it will take to install them.

I do look forward to our new life and in particular the blessing of serving in a rural community as a minister. Somehow it seems unlikely that others will learn from me how to have fellowship with the creator God if I am so easily distracted in life. In thinking about this, the parable Jesus told about a great feast that many were invited to attend and yet they all began making excuses to not be dinner guests came to mind.

Luke 14:15-24 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”

16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ 18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ 23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”

The first excuse given really hit me hard. “I have just bought a field and must inspect it.” The obvious question is who in there right mind buys a field without first inspecting it? Before buying a house I am inspecting top to bottom and behind every hidden spot I can access. Time is spent looking at the neighborhood, yard, streets, and even the surrounding community. I would not even consider making an offer until after looking at every valve, outlet, cabinet, and tree on the property. If I inspect a property for sale it will be obvious to me what condition everything is in. Besides banquets are an evening event, who is going to be looking at a field in the dark? Then it occurred to me the excuse is the same one I’m using. My mind has become preoccupied with a large purchase. Most of my time is spent strategizing improvements and how best to get them done. So much for spending my free time in fellowship with God…

Think about a banquet. It’s more than food, it’s a time of celebration and fellowship. Nobody invites guests to a banquet and expects them to prepare the food and plan the entertainment. The guests are invited to relax, have fun, connect with the host and such. We as Christians are invited into daily fellowship with Christ. It should be a time of celebrating the day and not thinking about tomorrow.

I get it that this parable was not talking about our earthly fellowship with Christ but there are eternal connections. So often we focus on the temporal instead of the eternal. We make excuses such as “there is too much responsibilities with my job or house to spend time with God today.” Another one is “my family responsibilities don’t allow personal time in prayer.” What about the times we place our focus on relationships rather than God? In the parable an excuse given was “I just got married.” In other words “my new relationship is more important than your invitation to fellowship.”

If the time spent on earth is focused only on the things of this world a day will come when we will miss out on the great banquet in heaven. Think about that instead of the latest distraction in your life.

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

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Seeking a heart of intercession


I don’t like to be nice to people who are insistent, or wakes me in the middle of the night wanting my help. I like people who say “please” and “thank you” all the while waiting for an appropriate moment to make a request of me. There is a good chance you have a similar viewpoint. Yet Jesus describes the act of interceding in prayer as being purposefully insistent.

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Intercessory prayer includes having a sense of urgency, a willing love, and persistency that prevails. It is also important to recognize inadequacy, admitting you do not have what is needed. A faith in prayer will give confidence in the certainty of a rich reward.

It is not possible to schedule times of need that require intercession. Most often the need for intercessory prayer is due to some form of crisis that could not be readily foreseen. Look at the parable Jesus told as recorded in Luke 11:5-6 about a visitor that arrived in the middle of the night.

Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;

Notice the word “friend”. The requestor knows both the one he asks and the one in need. It is frequent in my work travels to be approached by street people looking for a handout. If I am in a giving mood I may give a dollar or two. Yet, I have friends that would provide me with thousands of dollars if I had a great need. The difference is the relationship that allows us to be friends.

It is selfless love causes us to act on the needs of others. It is a sense of urgency that motivates us to intercede for the needs of others. All that is required is a simple, confident faith that God will give. Intercessory prayer stems from a recognition of inadequacy, understanding we just don’t have what is needed.

Luke 11:7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?

In this parable the person bringing a request runs into an obstacle. “I can’t help you right now.” In intercession it may seem that God is saying “I can’t help you right now”. More likely God is saying “the timing is not right” or it could be that God is teaching you perseverance.

Luke 11:8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

God desires us to be persistent in prayer, seeking Him having the confidence that He will provide. You cannot grow in strength lifting a heavy weight just one time and you cannot grow in faith facing a challenge just one time! God highly prizes our confidence in Him. Expect that He will do whatever is necessary to train us to trust Him to do what is right and best for us.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Moving forward


There are several reasons I have not written any blogs lately. Near the top of the list is low readership. I wish the number of readers and followers did not dictate what and how often I blog but it does. After all who really uses social media because they are interested only in what other people are doing? We all want a little spotlight on ourselves. It’s human nature. Not being sarcastic just a little transparent.

Another reason why I haven’t written is because many big changes are occurring in my personal life. The story really goes back about five years ago when I answered God’s call for me to become a pastor.

There are a few ways to be “qualified” by human terms to be called “Pastor”. The easiest by far is to click on one of those cultic internet sites, pay your $15 or whatever the current going rate is and print out a piece of paper that calls you Reverend,  Pastor, Elder, or whatever title you choose. Good luck finding a church job with that!  Another way is to attend an accredited ministry school or seminary and follow the prescribed procedures to “earn” credentials as a minister. That happens to be the route I took. There are some people that faithfully follow God and are raised up in the church and through scripture study and a fruitful life are elevated to position of Pastor. There also exists those that are family, close friends, or politically connected that are hired into church positions just because they know the right people. Unfortunately this is often the case of church employment. What, did you think that only happens at secular jobs?

Back to where I am and a little of how I got here. About five years ago I began a three year ministry school track. With great ignorance it seemed to be a sure thing that with a personal calling, a little schooling, and perseverance many opportunities would present themselves as a minister. Actually many opportunities did occur just not in a church setting. I counsel, marry, teach, etc. and so forth on a consistent basis.

Once I finished school I excitedly began applying at churches in need of a Pastor. After all so many say that it is difficult to find anyone that wants the job of lead Pastor. With my enthusiasm it seemed fitting that it would be difficult to decide what church is where God wanted me. Well, the big truth is there are a lot of lies that people believe. Such as the lack of qualified ministers. (One church that turned me down admitted to having over 120 applicants.) Another is that credentials mean anything to other people. They are as self serving as writing blogs and a lot more expensive to maintain.

At some point in time, that is a little fuzzy in the memory banks, my wife and I heard clearly that we would sell our house and move. After eleven months with very few lookers we took it off the market. The next couple of years was an emotional roller coaster that shook me to the core and rattled loose almost all my pride. Lost a job because I let my temper get the best of me. Lost the next job due to politics completely outside my control. End up working for a man with multiple psychological issues that still haunts my dreams. In God’s infinite wisdom He has placed me in a position that has allowed me to heal some wounds.

After two years of unsuccessfully seeking work as a minister I quit applying. Literally I told God that if this was going to happen He would have to do it because I quit. His answer was clearly “I have been telling you to get out of your own way!” Just a few days later a Pastor friend of mine asked me to consider helping him at the church he leads in another state. That was last year around October, I think. A lot has happened since then and dates are lost in memory. Anyway, my wife and I prayed about it and wouldn’t you know that God impressed on our hearts to say yes.

I am not willing to share the location of this church right now nor the size of it. It is not important to you as a reader anyway. What is important is that there are people in that church and town that God has placed in my life path to minister to. Many of them are smarter, better looking, funnier, wiser, and whatever else a person is judged by. But God did not call me as a judge He called me to be a Shepard. A persons calling is way more important than social status.

In late February of this year (2017) we put our house up for sale. It took only two weeks to sell. If I wrote down all the blessings we have experienced since then most folk would think it an exaggeration. Part of that blessing was finding a new home, in a different state and closing the sale of both houses on April 28, 2017. I will tell you that the rain stopped every time we were loading or unloading the moving truck just long enough for us to finish what needed done. That was really neat! We will spend the next several weeks traveling between one state and the next because  we have job commitments When you have made a commitment it is proper to do anything possible to keep it.

The day after closing we moved into our new home. My wife and I were blessed by many people that spent nearly twelve hours helping us unpack and set up house. There are no words to express how grateful I am for that. In fact there were a couple of young men that did not know us that helped. At lunch when it was time to bless the food those young men immediately removed their hats and bowed their heads. I felt a lump in my throat witnessing that. Folks there are still some respectful younger people in this world!

It will be a bit of a struggle to always be sure that the sermons I preach are not self serving. Just like writing blogs the temptation in preaching is to try to be someone different. It really does not matter how many people attend the church God places me in it only matters that I attend to the needs of those people.

All this blathering to say that the best place to be in life is in God’s will. Maybe you just need to get out of your own way to get there…..

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

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How did Peter step out of that boat?


Well, I find myself in a season that requires a major step of faith. It is very reasonable to think I am being foolish in my actions. Almost all the surrounding circumstances point to the probability of failure. All I need to know is  Jesus is already where I want to be. He has answered my prayers and it is now for me to step out in faith.

It happens to all followers of Christ to take on certain challenges in faith. A very famous example is found in the story of Jesus walking on water.

Matthew 14:25-32 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

It is easy to pick on Peter for losing his sight on Jesus and having to be rescued from drowning. Let’s not be too hasty in our judgment of that spontaneous fisherman. First, Peter dared to step out of the boat. Second, the disciples were only with Jesus for three years. Many of us have been “with the Lord” for many more years and haven’t taken any real steps of faith. My big question is “how did Peter step out of that boat?” Seriously what causes a man to step out of the relative safety of a comfort zone and into the storm without so much as a life vest?

Look again at verses 28-29; Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. Before stepping out in faith it is best to be sure of who is calling you!

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Feeding goats and killing sheep


At a recent meeting of Ministers the leader talked about feeding the sheep. I do not recall who he quoted by saying “Don’t set out to kill goats in the congregation. If you do, when the smoke clears you will have a bunch of dead sheep and the goats will still be standing there being goats.”

I am no expert in the area of goats and sheep although in my younger day our family had both for a time. One thing I know for sure is goats can cause a lot of frustration and sheep will follow both their masters voice and other sheep. That includes following sheep that are curious about what the goats are doing.

It’s been harder than ever these last few months to not take shots at the goats in my life. Most people have become firmly entrenched in their political and social views to the point of being downright nasty to others. This doesn’t surprise me much about those who claim no affiliation to Christianity but seriously there are a lot of folks sitting in our churches need to open their Bibles more and their mouths less.

Still, I understand the analogy Jesus was using when he told Peter “if you love me feed my sheep”. If only it were humanly possible to teach others how to love and respect all humans a preachers job would be easy. One reason God gave us His word is because left to ourselves all us sheep would perish.

A vivid memory I have of raising real sheep has taught me a valuable lesson in life. One day I got home from school and discovered one of our ewes had gotten stuck in a mud hole up to her belly. That sheep weighed about as much as me at the time but it would be a couple of hours before dad got home. So it was up to me to rescue the trapped sheep. After quite a struggle I managed to get that animal out of the mud. It lay there on the ground too exhausted to move. Being honest at that point it wouldn’t have bothered me if the dumb thing died right then. I was covered in mud and lost a boot as well.

Sometime after hosing myself off and changing clothes and taking care of my other chores, that sheep got her front legs stuck in the same muddy area. I put the ewe in a pen for the night and the next day built a fence around the muddy patch.

Over the years I have witnessed many times people acting like that dumb animal did. People will get themselves stuck in the mire and God will send them someone to help. Sometimes people will walk right back into the same muck they were just rescued from. I think that must be why God puts certain fences up in our lives, because we need protection from our own stubborn choices.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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They demanded a king


There is little doubt that as a culture America has rejected God. Many have fully embraced a god of convenience. The worship of such a god is seen in the sacrificing of the unborn, the demand for more “free stuff” from the government, and the flagrant rejection of natural sexuality to name a few things. All sense of identity as a unique and valuable creation is lost when the creator God is rejected. As a result those who reject God become enslaved to any entity or vise that enters their life.

Once God is rejected by a culture the people will look to another human as their source of comfort and security. This is evidenced by the great division we currently have over the elected President. Really our choices in the last election were two greedy individuals. Both desire power, wealth, and fame. The difference is in how they choose to seek these things. If you think a President is a personal savior for this country you have rejected the one true God!

There was a time when judges that would seek after God’s will were appointed to guide the people of Israel. One day the people of Israel rejected God’s leading for a human to lead them. 1 Samuel 8:1-22 As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba. But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.

Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”

Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. “Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.”

10 So Samuel passed on the Lord’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. 12 Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. 13 The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. 14 He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. 16 He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the Lord will not help you.”

19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. 20 “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.”

21 So Samuel repeated to the Lord what the people had said, 22 and the Lord replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home.

So began the long history of various kings bringing a wide range of problems on God’s people. Some kings were evil and some followed God. None of the kings brought true peace to the people.

Many today are looking for a world leader to both embrace selfish desires and bring peace to their lives. The fact is you cannot have peace and selfish living simultaneously. As a result great numbers of people are displaying hate and fear as they struggle to hold onto idols of selfish living.

Jesus came as the one true King to bring us both salvation and peace. He is the only true hope we have. The question is will you reject him in order to worship man or some other god? The choice is yours. Only Jesus Christ can provide true peace.

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Giving what you have to help


One day last week I had a work assignment in Chicago. Nothing unusual about that. The timing meant going into Chicago during the so-called morning rush hour. Driving in downtown Chicago is like running barefoot in a briar patch, painful and regrettable. It would be reasonable to assume that eventually a person would become either tough skinned or numb to the pain of city driving, not for me. I would rather slam the car door on my hand then have to face downtown traffic. Buses will change lanes and run over your vehicle after their signal has flashed once. Taxis do not signal or obey much else about traffic rules. I am convinced that Uber drivers are not even qualified to be Taxi drivers. The right of way is often determined by the driver with the most bravado. To top it off there is always large crowds of people crossing the streets with or without a crosswalk. Oblivious pedestrians will walk into traffic without so much as acknowledging their life was spared by chance or skill of a driver. And who had the brainy idea of constructing a hundred story building and giving it two parking spots?!

Sorry, I had to rant for a moment. On this particular day my travel route had me exit 90/94 E at Lake St. Not a fun exit anytime of day, especially when driving a truck. Lake street runs under the elevated train in Chicago. The road and tracks were built long before modern automobile traffic. It is quite narrow for oversize vehicles. I will often avoid that exit completely. This time it appeared that drivers were being polite. It is a two way stop but several cars would go through the intersection while others waited patiently. It was both amusing and confusing. As I approached the intersection it became apparent that a homeless man had taken it upon himself to direct traffic. That man had no authority over traffic and he did not try to disguise himself. Unbelievably most of the drivers were following his signals. Some were pausing long enough to give him money. Admittedly I was more than happy to take advantage of the situation and get through the intersection as quickly as possible. The stranger that decided to help traffic flow changed my mood for the rest of the day.

I would not suggest anyone takes on the responsibility of directing traffic without being properly trained and given the authority. I wonder what made that homeless man decide to direct traffic. Maybe he had watched the traffic issues at that intersection for years and knew he could ease the problem. Whatever the reason, that day someone did something to help complete strangers with a problem.

You may be familiar with the beggar at the gate in Acts 3. Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,  get up and walk!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them. All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.

Have you noticed this beggar was placed there daily? Chances are Peter and John walked by this man several times before. It is even possible that Jesus had walked by this man on the way into the Temple. On this particular day Peter took notice of a problem and knew exactly what to do. With authority given him by Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit the lame man was healed.

Is there a situation you have seen for years that you can help with? An elderly neighbor in need of assistance or just conversation. A troubled youth in need of direction. A struggling ministry at church. Maybe you know someone that needs help learning some basic life skills such as doing laundry or balancing a check book. We all have something to offer, just ask God to show you what He wants you to help with.

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

 

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I triple dog dare you…


It was zero degrees Fahrenheit this morning where I live. The high of the day is not expected to be over twenty degrees. For some reason a scene from ‘A Christmas Story’ entered my head when I saw the temperature.

Before class, Flick and Schwartz argue over what would happen should someone stick their tongue to a frozen flag pole, engaging in a delicate nuance of phrase during which Schwartz dares Flick to stick his tongue to the pole. But as Flick sticks his tongue out to the pole, complication ensues for the poor boy.flick-and-the-flagpole

That is something you should not try at home. However I do have a list of “triple dog dares” for you.

I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU TO; 

FIND A REASON TO PRAISE GOD TODAY. Psalm 150  Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!

VIEW THE BIBLE AS FOOD FOR THE SOUL.  The Devil tempted Jesus to turn rocks into bread. Matthew 4:4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

To eat food the body takes in either healthy or unhealthy substance. The result is either sickness or health. That is the only two choices. The same applies to our spiritual health.

REPENT AND PRAY FOR OTHER BELIEVERS TODAY. James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

STOP WORSHIPPING TECHNOLOGY AS A FALSE GOD. Exodus 20:4-6 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. Chances are you go nowhere without your phone but don’t remember the last time you checked the Scriptures for instruction.

INVITE A NEIGHBOR OVER FOR A MEAL. Mark 2:15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.)  Jesus enjoyed having meals with all kinds of people. There may be a hidden blessing by following his example.

THANK GOD FOR HIS BLESSINGS AT THE START AND END OF THE DAY. 1 Chronicles 23:30 And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him. 

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

 

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A need for social justice


As a matter of habit I frequently listen to the Bible on my way to work. This may be just a religious habit at times but it’s important to me. Yesterday I was listening to Judges and when it came to chapter 19, the story of a Levite and his concubine, absolute disgust rose up inside me. In this chapter is detailed how a Levite took a journey to bring his concubine back home that had left him. On the way back they stopped in Gibeah for the night. A stranger took them in to protect them from the towns people. Several men from the town came and demanded to have sex with the Levite. The concubine was thrown out the door and the men raped and beat her all night and at daybreak she crawled back to the house and died at the door. We read in Judges 20 the resulting war and large scale deaths as a result of the woman being killed.

My mind cannot fathom the depths of depravity that these people sank to. First demanding, as if it were some privilege, to have sex with the man that is passing through town and then to rape a woman to death as if such an act is common entertainment. The gory details are documented for all of history in the Bible.

As much as this story does not sit well in my mind a news story I heard later in the day was even more repulsive. Four people, two male and two female, kidnapped and tortured a retarded man for hours and used Facebook live to document it. This happened in Chicago not some distant land with strange laws. To be sure their will be trials and more news coverage but will there be justice? The grandmother of one of the girls was quoted as saying “she’s a good girl with her ups and downs”. How can anyone try to justify such sick behavior and identify such people as good? It is quite clear we have become so far removed from God that the depravity is beyond reasonable comprehension. Worse than that it is quickly becoming socially acceptable! Personally I think we would be better off bringing back public flogging. If you think that sounds harsh consider the fact that a man was publicly tortured just for laughs.

I have said it, you have heard it, the Christians of this country must repent and turn back to God. If you believe that somehow you are insulated from the disgusting behavior of the morally bankrupt you are wrong. The deviant social behavior of our society will have a far reaching impact on the entire nation.

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Getting my attention


So I discovered a prayer journal on my shelf that has never been read. It is a daily devotional titled ‘The Best of Andrew Murray on Prayer’. It seemed like a worthwhile task to start reading it January 1 and today is day 3 and I haven’t missed a reading yet. Not bad for a person with the attention span of caffeinated squirrel.

Anyways today’s verse was John 15:9 I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. Maybe you just read that verse the same way I did this morning, that is without any enthusiasm for the message. Let me give you this excerpt;

  People believe that at conversion their sins are forgiven, that God accepts them so that they may go to heaven, and they should try to do God’s will. But they do not realize that, even as a father and his child on earth enjoy being together, so they have this intimate fellowship with God each day.

God is getting my attention! I write about God. Preach and teach about His mercy and goodness. But truth is I really do not spend much energy seeking the Holy Spirit on a daily basis to lead me into the deep love of Christ. I don’t have it all figured out but somehow my relationship with Christ is becoming more real and urgent. There’s plenty of Jesus for the all of us. Want to join in on seeking a deeper relationship?

Rev. Burt Schwab

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