Give Thanks to God, our Creator, Provider, and Savior!

Those of us who are in Christ sometimes think that today is much worse than in the past. We see polarizing messages from all forms of media. The news can be selected by which camp you live in. Government schools indoctrinate children. Social media treats you like a trained chicken tapping a lever for food pellet, or in this case, and endorphin boost. Movies, and music, cooperate with the government schools, and further pervert the minds of the youth against us, against God. They are being taught to reject God, and to treat the idea of being thankful to God as a reminder to an unjust, colonizing past. We know the lies. We want to make others see the truth, but unless God opens their eyes, and makes them able, they will continue to shake their fists, and grit their teeth, as they live raucous lives, and die angry, unfulfilled, and alone. Hell is a long time my friends.

I’m as guilty as the next person. I get angry when I see lies being extolled as the truth. I get angry when young minds are perverted, but do I give thanks? Do you thank God? After all, He provides for us all, even those who hate Him. All the world is stealing His air, robbing His larder, and squandering their days in selfish pursuits of fleshly pleasures. Now, for Christians we should be living in the Spirit. We should be denying the sinful desires of the flesh, but some are so weak that they are barely hanging on by the whites of their finger nails to a ledge of faith that can only confess, “I am yours Lord. Save me!” The world refuses to thank God.

“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22  Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” Romans 1:21-23

Let’s not be like those enslaved to the sinful world system that is leading to eternal death. Let’s stand out, and contrast the world system of death, and dying. Let’s show the world what true life, and liberty look like in Christ. We should proclaim all the truths of God. We should let our behavior be consistent with belief in the truths of God. When the world says, “They are too old to be of any good. Let them be euthanized. It is better use of the environmental resources for them to die now.” Let us say, “Dear one, you have lived a life of labor, and love before the Lord. Let me now help you, and care for you, the way you lovingly cared for me as a child. Recount your life’s history to my children, so they might be wiser.”

Abortion, adultery, sexual perversion, idolatry in all of its forms, (planet/environment worship) veganism, (which can be animal worship) hatred in all of its forms, (sectarianism, bigotry based on skin color or nationality, (socially constructed and called racism used for division) political ideology, etc. are all part of the larger world view of death. This world view is founded on lies, and murder.

Satan murdered the human race by his lies, and demonstrated his hatred for God by the murder he worked. “1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4  The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5”

Jesus said this to the Jews who were trusting in their descendance from Abraham, “39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but  He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand  what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:39-47

The world does what their father does. They hate, lie, and murder. They don’t see it that way. They can’t see it that way. When they look at the Church, they see in us, what they are. They accuse us of being, and doing what they themselves are guilty of. Worst of all, they accuse their Creator. He is odious to them. They have enmity with God.

“as it is written,

14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4

What is the alternative to death and dying eternally? It is life, and living eternally. How are we to live knowing that we are surrounded by death, murder, perversion, and lies? We are to be truly alive in Christ. The stark contrast between the two realities is a testimony to God’s goodness, longsuffering, patience, mercy, and grace. We should respond with love, and with truth. We cannot love without being honest.

“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21  Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:19-21

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified  by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved  by His life. 11  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11

9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12  for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the  knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14  As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
The Christian’s Walk
17  So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding,  excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which  in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26  BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no  unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30  Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Be Imitators of God
1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10   trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even  expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,
“Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16   making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20  always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to  God, even the Father; 21   and be subject to one another in the  fear of Christ.” Ephesians 4:9 – 5:21

The system of true life is of God. Those who have been translated from death to life now live for God’s glory, and that living is their greatest joy, and fulfillment. It is found in God. He is the truth, the life, and the way. He is the one true and living God. Jesus exampled the triune God to us. He lived a perfect, and sinless life. He is our spotless Passover lamb. We have learned to truly love because He has showed us love by way of the cross. There, our precious Savior did bleed, and die. He atoned for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day. He conquered sin and the grave. We should respond with a humbled heart, that repents of sin, and trusts not in its own works, but the justifying work of Jesus our God!

If you are in Christ, you can and should live peaceably with all men, as much as you are able, and demonstrate the love and truth of Jesus. He left us the mission of preaching His good news to all the world, and of making disciples of all men. Let us be about His business of bringing the elect in, and showing true love to the lost, dying, world. Be thankful for God’s plan. Be thankful for His work on the cross. Be thankful for your adoption, and all that entails.

If as a Christian you can find no reason to be thankful this year perhaps it is because you are focused too much on the problems of the world system, and not enough on the glorious Savior? If you are downcast, look up to Him! Fix your gaze on Him! Read His word! Think about the wonderful miracle He has worked in your new birth! Remember it! Remember His mercy, and love! Remember how you came to it! Thank God for all His provisions!


Remembering Sandra, Part 1

My oldest daughter writes a bit about my mother.

It Is Later Than You Think

It’s November 19, 1945. A gallon of gas runs 21 cents, Harry James, Tony Bennet, and Dinah Shore are top of the pop charts, World War II has just ended, and Sandra Summers (Shumskis) is born. Her mother, the daughter of the wealthy Nacarado family, receives her with great joy. This is her second daughter, and Sandra is a mirror image of her except for her bright blue eyes. These she was given by her father, Bernard Summers (they changed their name from Shumskis), the son of poor Lithuanian immigrants. When they met dancing one night, they fell in love. The Nacarados disowned Lucille for this. She was to marry another well-to-do Italian man, a Catholic of course. Instead, she married this poor nobody whose parents were Russian Orthodox.

I wish I could say she never lived to regret this choice. Sandra told me of the many times her mother…

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Bible Reviews · Bibles

A review of the E.S.V. Panorama New Testament from Crossway.


A review of the E.S.V. Panorama New Testament from Crossway.

The folks at Crossway were kind enough to send me this edition for review. I have to admit, I don’t know what to think of it, or what niche it fills in the Bible lineup. It is too tall to fit standing vertically on most bookcases. It is too thin to lay horizontally unless it is on the bottom of the stack or it will warp. It is to wide across to not stick out of most bookcases when laying flat at the bottom of a stack.


I understand that on each page there are pages worth of Bible so that the reader gets to follow the theme of a section uninterrupted longer. I don’t have a problem keeping ideas in context while turning pages. I don’t find it inconvenient, or difficult. I don’t imagine many readers do. It might be a problem for some people. Who knows? I don’t anticipate that it is a large enough problem to necessitate a volume like the Panorama. In other words, it seems to be a solution for a problem that I wasn’t aware of. That being said, I’m not the sole arbiter of problem declaration. I imagine someone saw a problem that needed fixing in their estimation and designed the Panorama.

I know it sounds like I’m knocking this edition, but I’m not. What it was designed for, it does. The paper is very thick, and doesn’t show any ghosting. The text is Crossway’s single column E.S.V. text, but it is laid out in double columns. Each page has what would amount to pages of text in a regular single column Bible.


Here is what Crossway has to say about this edition,

The treasures found in God’s Word do not come to his people out of context. Even our most beloved verses of the Bible come in the midst of chapters, of carefully reasoned arguments, of intentional flows and patterns of thought—and of entire books. Therefore, the goal of the ESV Panorama New Testament is to allow readers to see as much of a biblical book at one time as possible. In this Bible, any one of 17 of the books of the New Testament can be viewed in its entirety, without the need to turn the page; the other 10 books comprise as few pages as possible. The advantages of a panoramic, two-page spread are many. For instance, users may desire to trace the use of key words or phrases across several chapters of biblical text, or throughout a Gospel or Epistle. The format of the ESV Panorama New Testament allows readers to follow the uses of such words or phrases while turning as few pages as necessary. Furthermore, this edition provides generous spacing between each line of biblical text, with plenty of room to mark or circle words being studied. This panoramic view of the New Testament also encourages readers to consider the large-scale outlines and thought patterns of the writers of Scripture. Preachers or teachers planning sermon series or Bible study lessons, for example, will be able to utilize this edition in a way that allows them to appreciate the major sections and transitions of the book under examination. Line spacing and margins allow for outlining or other ways of marking the biblical author’s flow of thought. These are just a few ways in which the ESV Panorama New Testament will facilitate users’ undistracted interaction with God’s Holy Word. In a style reminiscent of the large scrolls of antiquity, this Bible encourages readers to encounter the New Testament as it was first delivered—as complete Gospels, Epistles, history, and apocalypse. It is our prayer that this edition will foster users’ appreciation of the unity, depth, and beauty of our God’s precious and inerrant Word.”

After looking this edition over, and spending some time with it, I can say that it could help in tracing a thought through in context. If you find yourself having that problem, you could give this edition a try. Let me know what you think afterwards. I think the oddity of this edition might even be sufficient reason alone to purchase it for your collection.

This edition is well made. The gray cloth over board hardback cover is very handsome, and durable. The spine is sewn. The paper, as I said earlier is heavy and offers a nice contrast to the text. The layout is pleasant enough, and the text is free of distractions. There is room on most pages for some note taking. There are 3 very large blank pages at the back of the edition where copious notes could be written. There are no helps at the back of this edition. This is a black letter edition, and does not have a ribbon marker. The only exterior writing on this edition is in silver stamping on the spine. The spine is rounded however, the corners are not. The page edges are not gilt. This is a case bound edition. Overall, I find it well made, and legible.


Here are the stats from Crossway’s product page,


  • 10″ X 12.5″
  • 8.2-point Lexicon type
  • Double-column format
  • Thick, cream-colored book paper
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Extra-large page size

Product Details

Format:Cloth Over Board
Type Size:8.50
Page Layout:Double Column
Page Count:192
Size:10.0 in x 12.5 in
Weight:36.26 ounces
Case Quantity:10
Published:February 26, 2021

All things considered, you can make an informed decision about purchasing this edition. If after reading this review you think this would be useful, or interesting to you, you don’t have to worry about the quality of the edition. It is in keeping with Crossway’s standards. If you are interested in picking up a copy you can purchase it through Crossway’s site, or Amazon. Make sure to check out the rest of the pictures I took of this edition on my Flickr page.

Book Reviews

A review of, “Benny’s Diner” by D.F. Lopez

I was solicited to do this review by the author. He sent a copy of his book to me at no charge for the purpose of an honest review. First, I do not want to harm the author. Honesty demands that I give bad news as well as good news. The book is in dire need of editing, and rewriting. It was a difficult book to read. So much so, that it took away from the author’s message. The poor writing was so bad, I did not finish reading the book. You only need to eat so much of a sandwich made from rotten meat to know you won’t be nourished by consuming more of it. You would also know by that analogy that you may even be poisoned, and made sick by it. This is how poor the writing was.

I don’t want to give the impression that the review is based solely on the poor writing. It is also on the focus of the author which seemed to be an eschatological one. The book is a collection of short fictional stories, set in a diner, focused on the end times. I want to encourage the author here. Christian allegories, and stories, if done right, can be very inspirational, and thought provoking. When done wrong, they can lead people into heterodoxy, and be a waste of time. The stories that I read lead me to believe that the author should focus more on the glory of God, and seeking first His kingdom, and less on eschatological pursuits. In my opinion, he was passionate about what he wanted to communicate. He should take that passion, and use it to further improve his writing skills. It would help to take a few classes on writing, and literature. If that is out of the question, he should read the classics. If he coupled that with a class or two at a solid seminary, he might have something of value to add.

At the end of the day, his story telling skills are going to be subjective. If you like reading self-published books, with subpar writing, then you will like this book. I don’t. I usually grade a book for Christians either one of two ways. Does it add value to an individual’s personal Christian library? If the answer is, “No” I don’t recommend it. If the answer is, “Yes” I recommend it. In this case, the answer is no. I might change my mind if the author gets an editor to go through his work thoroughly, and he makes the necessary revisions. Again, what do I know? I’m just some guy, sitting at home, hacking away on an old Unicomp keyboard for his own web site. I apologize for the blunt summation, but I didn’t want to flatter the author, or protect his feelings, when he could really crank out some good work if he gets the education.

ps. Dave, you need to learn the difference between the book of Revelation, and revelations. You called the last book of the Bible, “Revelations” numerous times. Don’t start sentences with a conjunction.


A side by side comparison of four translations of Colossians 2.

I made a table, and then converted it into a very large graphic. Then I added a link to the graphic on my Flickr page. You can view the file in its full size by clicking on the image below.

Now, I know many of you are like minded along with me that the differences in these texts are negligible, and don’t have an effect on the intended meaning. Yet, there are some out there who would disagree. I believe they do so out of a misguided devotion to a human tradition known as King James Onlyism. It is one thing to prefer one text over another, but these folks go further and make it into a primary article of faith. In other words, they don’t consider anyone using a different translation other than the 1611 King James to be a Christian. Pretty strange right? Well, it is more common than you might think. The KJVO people would claim that I am ignoring the most meaningful examples of how the other translations have got it wrong. I admit, I’m not going to do a thorough treatment here as many more people have already done so, and their work is readily available for free on the internet. What I am doing is simply asking you to think. For those who claim it must be the KJV, which version of the KJV are you talking about? There have been several editions over time. Usually they insist that it must be the 1611, “Authorized” edition. I think this is quite humorous. Many of them are surprised to find out there are different editions of the KJV, but the ones who insist on the 1611 make me laugh. The 1560 Geneva Bible was the first complete Old and New Testament Bible in English, with chapter and verse numbers to my knowledge. It was translated from the same collection of texts that the 1611 KJV was. Yet, most KJVO people have never heard of the 1560 Geneva Bible. Did you know it was the translation the Pilgrims took with them to America? Well, it was. It sure wasn’t the 1611 KJV lol! There is a reason the Puritans fled England, and Europe in general. It wasn’t because they weren’t locking them up in prison, hanging them, and burning them at the stake for being anabaptists…

Anyhow, enjoy your cult KJVO peeps. Remember, knowing is half the battle! G.I. Joe is there… or something like that.


Christian, obey your conscience!

We are to seek what is good, and right. We know what we are to seek because God has given us His word. When the government is so corrupt that it insists you accept a lie as the truth, and not only accept it, but repeat it, and act as if it is true, they are requiring you to violate your conscience. If you go along with them, you are guilty of lying, and much more. When they tell you that there are more than two genders, it is a lie. This lie does harm to the people who believe it, their families, their local communities, and the nation. When parents pervert a child into thinking they are a girl instead of a boy, this is child abuse. It will have life long effects. If you go along with the lie, you are complicit in the abuse. You might think you are being polite by not causing drama, or hurt feelings, but the truth is a necessity. God knows the truth of all things, and He is truth. If the government would have you violate your conscience to obey them, and your conscience is captive to God, then you must obey God instead. This by necessity of consequence will bring persecution to your very door. Remember, they crucified our Lord. We can expect no different treatment from a bloody, murderous, and satanic world.