4-12-2008 124

For many the bible is the best book they never read. I remember carpooling to the job-site everyday with a bunch of carpenters and I would read my bible on the days I wasn’t driving. One day “Little Dave” (the guy wearing his “Everybody needs to believe in something…I believe I’ll have another beer” tee shirt) was riding next to me in the back of that crummy cargo van, he turned to me and said sarcastically; “Are you ever going to finish reading that book?”
So why do I keep reading the same book? The bible has everything, history, poetry, prophecy, rebellion and redemption, reconciliation, resurrection, it contains our future and our past. It contains the truth of God and the philosophy of man, the law of God covered by His mercy. It contains my reason for living and my hope upon death.
The bible tells the most wonderful story of God becoming man so that man might one day be with God. It tells of God’s great desire is to have fellowship with you, with me, with us, and the bible tells all that He has done to make that possible.
The bible contains the story creation, but that’s not it’s not a biology book. It contains the history of man, but it’s not a book of anthropology. The bible tells of ancient civilizations but it’s not on archeology. The bible speaks of the stars of heaven but it’s not an astronomy book either. The bible is, from Genesis through Revelation, the history of redemption, my redemption and your redemption.
The bible tells of God obligating Himself to us…WHAT? When Jesus said; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God obligated Himself to give you everlasting life if you believe in Him.
So what did I tell “Little dave” in the back of that cargo van rumbling down the I-5 freeway? “I hope not, I hope I never lose the wonder of reading about what God has done and will do for me. I hope the bible never becomes just a book of old words and syrupy sweet platitudes.” Ok maybe I didn’t say it that nice, I probably said something like ‘shut your pie hole’ but I meant the beautiful and really well thought out words.
To leave your bible on the shelf unread is to leave your spouses love letter unopened, to leave your fathers words of wisdom gathered over his lifetime unspoken, and your mothers love for you unrealized.
So today is Sunday, crack that book open and let God speak love and redemption to you.

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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, maybe able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all fullness of God. Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3: 17-20
I look at this passage and wonder, even back to v. 14. Paul was praying that God would grant us, grant me, across the expanse of time to be strengthened with might in the inner man, that Christ would dwell in our hearts, that we would be rooted and grounded in love.
That we would comprehend the width and length and height and depth, that we would know the love of God that passes knowledge and I wonder how can I know what passes knowledge? I mean if God’s love passes knowledge then how can I know it?
Let me say, at least for me, I can read about God’s love but until I’ve experienced it I don’t really know it. I can read all about baseball know it front and back have all the stats know all the great players but if I’ve only got book knowledge and never hit a ball or slid into second if I’ve never caught the ball never thrown the ball gotten my pants dirty then I’ve never personally experienced it. Oh I’ve seen it, I’ve heard the crack of the bat but it’s others that know the smell of their gloves over their face.
It’s the same with God’s love until we’ve experienced His love in the depths of worry and doubt we can’t truly know the heights His love can take us to. We can truly know the height of God’s love after we’ve experienced his love in the depths of sorrow and pain. We can understand the width and length of God’s love after we’ve seen it in the midst of worry, doubt and uncertainty. When we truly know the length God went to to bring us His love in the death of His own Son, then we can know the width of it in our lives by the grace of God.
Close your eyes, come on close em’ and pretend you’re standing in a circle of God’s love….how bigs the circle? I found myself standing in a circle about the size of a manhole cover and my life was like ‘Step in His love step out of His love’. But God’s love is overwhelming and everywhere and everywhere includes in the midst of pain. There is no where you can go that God’s love for you can’t be experienced. Ok open your eyes.
I have a beautiful wife and three great kids I love my children and wouldn’t trade families with anybody. My daughter is beautiful and has a heart as big as all outdoors and my younger son is good looking and intelligent. But my oldest son, Kris, well he’s thirty-four and he truly loves the Lord. At eighteen he pretty much put himself through bible college and when he turned sixteen and got his license he never missed a bible study even though at that time I didn’t go to church as much as I should. Clear back when he was about six years old I remember taking him to a Wednesday night study and he would stand up in his chair during worship and raise his hands to the Lord. At six years old Kris didn’t just know God he truly loved God.
This is the son, my son, my oldest son, he’s the one the God chose, he’s the one God used to show me the depth of his love and he’s the one God used to teach me to trust in the Lord with all my heart.
My son was eleven when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctor said it was the size of a golf ball right dead center of his brain, the tumor didn’t allow the fluid on his brain to drain off and the pressure caused Kris to have seizures, that’s how we found out he had a cancer.
I remember driving to the hospital asking my eleven- year old if he’d taken any drugs, knowing he didn’t but you’ll check everything when one of your children is sick, by the time we got to the hospital Kris was in a coma.
The first thing they did was put a shunt in his brain that is just under his skin and runs from just above his ear to his stomach and allows the fluid to drain.
The doctor told Susan and I that Kris would need surgery to hopefully remove the tumor but at least find out what kind of tumor it was so they could treat Kris.
Susan and I knew we were in for a long hard battle but we weren’t sure what to do, have the surgery or not have it. Susan was pretty angry and I was just lost. I had the elders come and pray from CCSB and then I went over to big Calvary, surly they were closer to God. I sought out the advice of my father and friends and the whole time God’s asking me “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God my son has cancer?”
Okay we’ll do the surgery.
We waited with our family for hours and finally the doctor came out and talked to us. He took out a pen and drew a picture of Kris’ head on his surgical pants and told us “It looks like a briar patch wrapped around everything we call holy.”
They couldn’t get any of the tumor or even very much tissue and we were wondering what could be worse…we were about to find out.
After surgery Kris fell into a coma but not like a state of sleeping. He was all balled up tighter than a drum, he was eleven years old and I couldn’t straighten out his arms or legs, with all my strength, I would have broken his bones before I could have straightened his arm out.
All my Christian friends those people that I knew would be there for me… where gone nowhere to be found and now we were alone my wife and I.
Now before you think all my friends are jerks let me tell you, yea they’re jerks…cause they’re just like me. But if you have a friend going through some heavy trial don’t let them isolate themselves and don’t isolate yourself from them.
You get tired of answering all the questions over and over so you stay home from church and then you quite answering the phone and just leave “Kris Karr updates” on the answering machine.
But, God had to get me alone, you see I wasn’t trusting God as much as trusting in men, all the while God was taking care of us but I couldn’t see it.
My mom and sister Maggie moved in with us for a long time, months, and friends we knew from little league brought us meals every day but I was bitter and angry, where were my Christian friends.
Kris was in a coma for three weeks in ICU they were giving him mega doses of steroids to shrink his brain but they also covered his face chest and back with zits, everywhere, they had started Chemo so all his hair was falling out and we were so afraid that if Kris did live he’d be scared for life.
Meanwhile he had a Broveake Catheter put in his chest. You see the Chemo was so toxic if they just put it in his veins it would burn them so they put this tube into the main arteries in Kris’ chest so the Chemo would dissipate quicker.
Well Kris decided he didn’t like the tube so he pulled it out and so he had another surgery to put it on the other side of his chest.
All the while Gods asking “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God? Look at what’s happened to my son.”
“How can I trust you God? Where are all my Christian friends?”
“I know you cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust but how can I trust you? Can’t you see what’s happening?”
After Kris came out of the coma he spent some time in oncology ICU and then the regular ward and then finally we were able to start taking him home between treatments.
Every twenty-one days he went in for three days of Chemo and at home he got bags of liquid vitamins at a cost of about $3000 a week and we knew our insurance would only pay about 80% and the bills were so high our part was so much money we could never afford to pay. I mean how could we afford to pay for brain surgery?
Somebody told us to apply for CCS (Government aid) and that we should apply but they said we made too much money, the fact that Susan wasn’t working anymore didn’t matter. It’s not how much money you make now, it’s how much money did you make last year.
But we filled out the paper work anyway and we did qualify but our co-payment would be $750 a month for two or three years.
There was no way we could afford $750 but the other option was so much more money that we signed on anyway figuring we’ll worry about that later and as soon as we did the hospital took our insurance as 100%.
And all the while God was saying “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I God? The Chemo’s not working and now they want to use radiation. He could lose his eyesight!”
So we did the radiation and after we did that all the hair on the sides of his head that had grown back died again and it is still dead today, but the doctor said the radiation might have shrunk the tumor a little it’s hard to tell.
All the time Kris is getting weaker and the doctors think he’s so doing well we should do more than the seven Chemo treatments and even though the Chemo hasn’t helped he’s maxed out on the radiation.
So Kris did two more treatments and several spinal taps and every trip to the hospital was making him weaker and all the while God’s asking “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God?”
“The chemo’s not working, maybe the radiation is but Kris is maxed out on that and now they want to do more Chemo, but he’s so weak and where are my Christian friends? Don’t talk to me about trust, DO SOMETHING!”
So the doctors call us in for a meeting. They want to do more Chemo on our son because he’s “tolerating it so well”.
That’s when Susan and I said no more all you had to do is look at him to know he wasn’t “tolerating” it but was getting weaker with every treatment not better and we took Kris home.
I look back now twenty-some years ago and I can see God working in me teaching me to trust in Him and only Him.
Jer. 17:11 says, “Cursed is the man that trusts in man.” And that man was me.
But Proverbs 3:5 says trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
A few years ago I was reading the passage about the width and length and height and depth and knowing love that passes knowledge and all the while God is asking “Do you trust Me?”
“Yes Lord I trust you, because I know you love me, when my mom and sister gave up their lives to help us when the little league meals came when the hospital bills were paid, with my son’s life.”
“I can trust You no matter how high the high or how low the low. I know You love me so I know I can trust You.”
My son is thirty-four now and if you don’t think a child can have an affect on his parents you’re wrong.
You see I asked God, “Why Kris Lord why not me? He was only eleven Lord and I’m a man, his father, why him, why not me Lord?” And God told me, “Because I know he trusts Me Dwight.” That was hard to hear, hard to take.
You see this wasn’t only Kris’ trial but mine as well.
So when you see Kris and the hair missing on the sides of his head and his eyes that drift just a little, or you send him for fast food and he forgets what you ordered because his short term memory isn’t what it should be, or the tube that runs behind his ear and down to his stomach. When you see the little acne scars on his face and the scars on his chest and belly, say ‘there’s a man that trusts God’ and Kris’ scars are my scars and Kris’ trail is also my trial.
Do I trust God? Yes, because I know He loves me.
How about you? Do you know that God loves you? Really know that He loves you?
Then trust Him. Trust Him when you lose your job and your spouse leaves when your children are in the hospital and the doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong, when you think your children are using drugs and life seems out of control. Trust Him cause when you’re at the end of yourself Gods there and he wants to know…
Do you trust Me?
Close your eyes again and see the whole of God’s love for you. Now open your eyes to the world of love He’s given you. He loves YOU. Look into Jesus’ face. He sees you, He sees right into you. Receive His love….trust Him.
“Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

Earl! Earl Harvy Karr, come out here to the front yard!”That’s my grandfather and Mr. Fitzpatrick they were on the front porch refighting the civil war with Mr. Simmons even though it was fifty years past. Mr. Simmons fought for the southern states and every time he walked by our house Granddad and Mr. Fitzpatrick would talk about the great Abe Lincoln while Mr. Simmons would yell about how “the south gonna rise again”. It was an old battle that they fought a couple times a week.I was in the back yard and as happy as a twelve year old boy from Brook Indiana was ever gonna get. School was out for the summer and yesterday was my birthday. Now yesterday I wasn’t so sure I would be getting any birthday presents, cake or anything and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. You see when I was five years old Santa left me a lump of coal and I remember thinking what could a five year old do to make Santa so mad at me that he’d give me a lump of coal, which was worse than getting nothing. If he gave me nothing maybe he just forgot but no Santa took the time to come down my chimney and make sure I knew he knew that I was a bad boy. So since that time I made sure of a couple of things, if you weren’t going to get something because you were bad make sure you where bad enough to make it worth while and don’t get your hopes up for anything good cause your not gonna get it anyway.So anyway yesterday morning the delivery truck came all the way from Chicago to my folks restaurant “Karrs cafe” with the new refrigeration unit and Cramer the truck driver told me (when your twelve nobody ever asks you) to get the box off the front seat. Right then I was wishin’ I’d gone fishin’ instead of getting ordered around on my birthday by Cramer with no hope of getting paid for all the work I was going to get stuck doing just to see the first refrigeration unit in Brook but then Cramer added “There’s something in there for you.” Well I tried not to hope too much but I did run right over to the truck.When I got to the open door there was the box and saw it twitching and heard it scratching and right then the lid popped off and I saw the furriest ball of white and black dog you ever saw yelping and crying. Well you never saw a boy smile so big I picked him up and turned around everyone else was smiling too Cramer, my dad and even the waitresses.“Is she really for me?”“Yes Earl,” my dad said “she really for you, happy birthday.”That puppy was crying so much I named her right then ”You’re whining and being such a baby I’m gonna call you Babe”.Then Babe and I made our first of many mistakes. I carried her into the restaurant for something to eat. I’d barley set foot in the back door when I heard my sister Lois “Mother Early’s got a dog and he’s bringing it in the kitchen!” Then my mom started yelling. “Don’t bring that… that mutt in here your father got you that dog not me so keep it out of my kitchen.”Both Babe and me shrank out with our tails between our legs. Those two were always yelling at me! ”Dad” I said “ I hate it when she calls me Early and when you’re not here she calls me Squirrely Early and I can’t stand it anymore!” But dad just said, “I’ll talk to her” which meant nothing. I figured she needed a good whippin’. But dad said, “It wasn’t proper whipping girls especially sixteen year old girls.” which I could never figure out cause it always seemed “proper” to whip me no matter how old I got. But dad took me home and got me a bowl for food and one for water and he even had a rubber ball for Babe.Well that’s were I was, rolling that ball for Babe, the prettiest Llewellin Setter you ever saw white and black with tan over her eyes and ears when Granddad started yelling.“Earl come on out here.”So I ran around the house and watched Babe run after me, even tripping over her own feet I was sure she would be the best bird dog this town ever saw.“Earl come up here on the porch I need you to do something for me.” Now I was looking at Mr. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Simmons who were being awful chummy all of a sudden not saying anything just sitting there smiling. “ Sure Granddad what ya need?”Now Granddad and I sure loved each other probably because we where always in trouble with my mom and always getting told on by my big sister. Well he flipped me a twenty-five cent piece and said “I need you to go down to Brodersons store and get me three bottles of lime Ricky.” Well I said “Okay Granddad.” And started down the stairs picking up Babe, who had made it halfway up the stairs. Then Granddad says “Earl don’t go down Main Street but use the alley, okay?” “Sure Granddad” I said and off I went.Right away I knew two things. First I was going to make seven cents because at seven cents a bottle three bottles of lime Ricky was twenty-one cents and later I’d get a penny a piece for the bottles and seven cents was a lot of money to a twelve year old in 1927. The second thing I knew was Granddad didn’t want mom to see me, what I didn’t know was why?

It was a Tuesday about eleven o’clock, when the women can play all day and Mrs. Bonn was playing with her usual group and like usual she wasn’t very good.  Because of their lack of ability, what you’d do is, one caddie would go down the fairway by the out of bounds fence so if the ball went out you could see where it went and go get it.  The other caddie would carry both bags down the fairway and you’d switch on each hole.  Well we were on the fourth hole and I was straddling the tee marker carrying two bags and Mrs. Bonn was teeing off and as I said before she wasn’t very good.  She didn’t take the club back as much as out and up and cut across the ball and this caused her incurable slice.  So she took the club out and up in her typical way, Mrs. Bonn was also very tall and thin and seemed to be all elbows and knees, her swing kind of looked like a flamingo riding a bicycle, and when she brought the club down she just clipped the inside edge of the ball sending it directly away from her and directly into my….  my…. lets see how do I word this.  The ball hit me right on the tip of my tallywacker and no sooner had the ball hit me, that I hit the ground twisting and screaming bags flying and clubs splayed out everywhere.  You see the problem isn’t that the golf ball is so very hard it’s that some body parts are so very delicate.  So there I was screaming and Mrs. Bonn and her friends bending over me and yelling over my screams “I’m so sorry Earl.”  “Can I help?”  “Grab him by his belt buckle and pull that will help.”  When I heard that a rolled over onto my stomach so they couldn’t get to me and started yelling.  “I’m okay, I’m okay, it hit me in the thigh really I’m okay. Don’t touch me I’ll be okay just let me catch my breath.”  That was the worst pain you could ever imagine if childbirth is worse that’s only because it lasts longer because nothing is more intense.

I crawled up on my hands and knees and forced myself to stand up and with all my courage looked up at the ladies and they all looked very concerned and though their mouths were worried their eyes where smiling.  I paid no attention to them because right behind them my so-called friends and fellow caddies where rolling on the ground laughing and I knew then that the teasing I got later would hurt worse than my tallywacker did now.  Then I got mad and wanted to thump their heads but the ladies were coming at me again Mrs. Bonn leading the way.

“I’m so sorry Earl are you sure your okay?”

“Yes Mrs. Bonn I’m fine I’ll be fine.” I bent over to pick up her clubs and fell over again.

“Earl!  Just be still sweet heart and don’t worry about those clubs.  You boys…”

They stopped laughing when she gave them a stern look, but just barely.

“Come over here and pick up these clubs.  And stop that giggling this could be very serious.”

“Yes ma’am.”  They both said in unison.

By this time I’d managed to get back on my feet and Mrs. Bonn was rubbing my back, which felt good but right then I needed to save face so a shrugged her off.

“I’m okay!”  I yelled.

“I know you are Earl.  You’ll be right as rain in just a minute.  You sit down on this bench for just a little while.”

So I sat down very gingerly for just a few seconds while the rest of the ladies teed off and by then I could stand and I took Mrs. Bonn’s clubs though somebody else took the other ladies bag and some how finished the round.

When I got back to the clubhouse I went right to where Babe was, lied down and just rested.  About five minutes later the other caddies came around and the mocking began.

They where rolling around on the ground wreathing in mock pain and saying, “Are you okay?”  “Don’t you worry about those clubs sweetheart.” And “Grab his belt buckle.”  They where having a lot of fun at my expense and if I could have moved some of them would have felt some pain of their own.

Just as the last of them was clearing out Dr. Bonn came into the little side area and he shut the gate as he came through.

“Earl, I heard you Mrs. Bonn hit you with an errant tee shot today.  Is that so?”

“Yes Sir.”  I said as I sat up with Babe in my lap.

“Where did the ball hit you son?”  Dr. Bonn said.

“It’s okay I’m fine Dr. Bonn.”  The last thing I wanted to do was go over the gory details with anybody especially somebody I barely knew.

“Did it hit you in the testicles Earl?”

“What?!”  I said.  This was starting to get kinda weird and I was wondering why I was in this enclosed area and how I could get out.

“Did the ball hit you in the testicles?”  Dr. Bonn started walking towards me.

“No.”  I said  “But close enough.  I’m fine really.”

“Well, I’ll tell you what Earl” Dr. Bonn was looking around now.  “This area is pretty private.  Why don’t you just drop your drawers right here and let me have a look.”

Now I was down right scared and when I get scared I get angry, real angry.

“You touch me and I’ll knock you right in the teeth and then my dad will pop you a few more after I tell him.”  I was flaming mad.  “My daddy told me about men like you.  You just stay away from me.”

And just like that I grabbed up Babe and high tailed out of that place but quick and sore or not I headed for home.

When I got out on the highway and headed for home I spotted someone up ahead on the road, it was Moses you could tell even from a quarter mile away  as there weren’t too many black men that big anywhere and only one in Brook.

Babe and I started running to catch up to him and we were about two hundred yards away when a couple of cars went wizzing by as they got close to Moses the man riding in the front car leaned out the window yelled “Die nigger” and spit right on Moses’ head.  Moses kind of ducked and turned  as the rider in the second car threw a bottle at him with a burning rag in it.

The bottle landed right at Moses’ feet and burst in to flames.  Most of the burning gas went on the side of the road in front of him but his shoes and his pant legs were on fire.  Moses fell to the ground and rolled into the ditch as the two cars sped off down the road.

I stopped dead in my tracks.  I couldn’t believe what I just saw.  Moses was nowhere in sight the road was ablaze and I stood there with my mouth hanging open like a mailbox on a country road.  It was Babe that woke me up she was pulling on the rope I had tied to his collar.

When we got to where Moses had disappeared we found him laying in the ditch with his legs in the water, and he was talking to Jesus.

“Thank you Jesus!  Thank you Lord!  Thank you Jesus!”

He didn’t even know we were there and I was wondering why he would be thanking Jesus for somebody spitting on him and lighting him on fire.  “Are you alright!”  I yelled

Moses snapped his head around and saw it was me.  “Earl, what are you doing here?”  “Did you see that.”  “You shouldn’t be here.”  You could tell he was nervous and scared and kind of happy all at the same time.

He got up and looked down the road where the cars had gone and then were they had come from.  When he didn’t see anybody he started kicking dirt onto the burning road while I just stood there with my mouth open.

How could he not be hurt he was on fire, I saw it, he was on fire but not hurt. I began to wonder if maybe that’s why he was thanking Jesus, but it was still all kinds strange.

When he got the fire out he yelled at me “Come on Earl lets get off this road.”  And we headed off down into this wooded area.

During the second world war my mom and dad were on opposite sides of the pacific ocean and this is the card dad had drawn for his wife. Well I don’t have artistic talent but here are a few more things I’ve written over the years to my “Lil’ Suzie- girl”

DO YOU KNOW?

Did you know that I’m crazy about you?

Did you know that I love being with you? Hate being away from you?

Did you know I love sitting next to you, crowding you out of “my” spot?

I love touching you and loving you, looking at you and talking with you,

walking with you, being seen with you.

Did you know that you’re just my size? Just my shape? Did you know that you’re perfect in every way?

Susan, do you know I’m crazy about you?

That I love you?

DESERVE

I don’t deserve it…

The early mornings off to work

The headaches, the argument, the tiredness

And all the traffic on the 405 freeway!

I don’t deserve it! Not one bit.

The never ending lists of things to do.

The yard work and school work and our dogs too.

I don’t deserve it,

The love and caring and the blessing you are

You see every body has work and headaches and arguments

Every body is tired and they all drive on the 4 or 5 hour freeway

They have their lists and their work…

But they don’t have you

Of all the things I don’t deserve

I don’t deserve you!

STOP THE WORLD

Some times it seems like the world is spinning

So fast, this race is so hurried

I don’t have time to act, to think, to say anything

And I find myself just reacting

But for right now, for this one moment in time

I’ll stop the world and this hurried man

Will slowly turn into an embrace of souls an embrace of friends

An embrace of lovers

So for this one moment may I share my heart’s love for you

My Passion for you

You are the one who stills my world

The sight of you, the thought of you, the smell of you

Stops my heart

Yes the world mat be spinning

Spinning so fast

But we’ll stop the world

For this one moment in time

We’ll embrace our love, our passion

Our thirty-one years.

SLEEPING

Good morning Mrs Karr, how did you sleep last night?

I don’t mean did you sleep well,

I mean “How did you sleep last night…

with that big hunk of a man sleeping right there beside you?”

It must be very distracting.

Susan,
I found myself thinking of Mom today, I’m not sure why, but what a great mom she was and the longer we’re together (just twenty-nine years) the more I’m sure what a great mom, wife, woman you are.
You’re as tough as nails, yet soft to the touch. You’re a sexy young thing, yet sweet and naïve. You push me to be better, yet you take such good care of me.
You’re smooth as silk and smell so good. You’re little pug toes keep me cold at night, but in the mornings, oh in the mornings, I can feel the warm.
It’s been twenty-nine years spent with you, little Suzie-girl. Those are years well spent and I’ll spend the rest on you, I’ll spend every one and when they’re all used up I’ll wish I would have saved one, just one, so I could spend that with you too.
Love, Dwight

Suzie-girl,
I was buying these flowers today and everybody wanted to know if they were for “them”, or if I was in trouble with the “little woman” (very few people know you’re my little missy).
Well some would buy flowers to get “lucky” and some would buy them for love, but these flowers are yours because you deserve them. Not just for my love for you but also for your love to me.
If the truth be told a field of flowers is not so special as you and a field I’d give you if it were mine to give.
So I hope these little roses and all the flowers to come will be your field of flowers from my heart to yours.
Love, Dwight

Our 

This coming week will mark thirty-six years since Sue and I were married so I wanted to share my vows from our thirtieth anniversary when we renewed our vows.

MY TREASURE
Our anniversary is now upon us
A time to renew our vows but
We’ve no need to renew, for we have fulfilled our vows…
All but one
We’ve loved and honored and cherished
We’ve been together, for better and for worse
We’ve been together for richer and for poorer
In sickness and in health
We’ve been together in life
And through all this I’ve found a treasure, My Treasure
Some people find their treasure in money or property,
Some possession they can own.
But My Treasure is like a secret place, a secret that’s mine alone
A place of loving and love,
a place of comforting and comfort
But it’s a secret that everybody knows
My Treasure is You, Susan
My Treasure is You

As our life goes on we will continue to fulfill our vows
We’ll fulfill everyone
And I do vow, I vow to Love You and honor you and cherish you
I vow to treasure You
From this day forward until death do us part
For you are My Treasure, Susan
My secret place
My vow
My Wife

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, maybe able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all fullness of God. Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3: 17-20
I look at this passage and wonder, even back to v. 14. Paul was praying that God would grant us, grant me, across the expanse of time to be strengthened with might in the inner man, that Christ would dwell in our hearts, that we would be rooted and grounded in love.
That we would comprehend the width and length and height and depth, that we would know the love of God that passes knowledge and I wonder how can I know what passes knowledge? I mean if God’s love passes knowledge then how can I know it?
Let me say, at least for me, I can read about God’s love but until I’ve experienced it I don’t really know it. I can read all about baseball know it front and back have all the stats know all the great players but if I’ve only got book knowledge and never hit a ball or slid into second if I’ve never caught the ball never thrown the ball gotten my pants dirty then I’ve never personally experienced it. Oh I’ve seen it, I’ve heard the crack of the bat but it’s others that know the smell of their gloves over their face.
It’s the same with God’s love until we’ve experienced His love in the depths of worry and doubt we can’t truly know the heights His love can take us to. We can truly know the height of God’s love after we’ve experienced his love in the depths of sorrow and pain. We can understand the width and length of God’s love after we’ve seen it in the midst of worry, doubt and uncertainty. When we truly know the length God went to to bring us His love in the death of His own Son, then we can know the width of it in our lives by the grace of God.
Close your eyes, come on close em’ and pretend you’re standing in a circle of God’s love….how bigs the circle? I found myself standing in a circle about the size of a manhole cover and my life was like ‘Step in His love step out of His love’. But God’s love is overwhelming and everywhere and everywhere includes in the midst of pain. There is no where you can go that God’s love for you can’t be experienced. Ok open your eyes.
I have a beautiful wife and three great kids I love my children and wouldn’t trade families with anybody. My daughter is beautiful and has a heart as big as all outdoors and my younger son is good looking and intelligent. But my oldest son, Kris, well he’s thirty-four and he truly loves the Lord. At eighteen he pretty much put himself through bible college and when he turned sixteen and got his license he never missed a bible study even though at that time I didn’t go to church as much as I should. Clear back when he was about six years old I remember taking him to a Wednesday night study and he would stand up in his chair during worship and raise his hands to the Lord. At six years old Kris didn’t just know God he truly loved God.
This is the son, my son, my oldest son, he’s the one the God chose, he’s the one God used to show me the depth of his love and he’s the one God used to teach me to trust in the Lord with all my heart.
My son was eleven when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctor said it was the size of a golf ball right dead center of his brain, the tumor didn’t allow the fluid on his brain to drain off and the pressure caused Kris to have seizures, that’s how we found out he had a cancer.
I remember driving to the hospital asking my eleven- year old if he’d taken any drugs, knowing he didn’t but you’ll check everything when one of your children is sick, by the time we got to the hospital Kris was in a coma.
The first thing they did was put a shunt in his brain that is just under his skin and runs from just above his ear to his stomach and allows the fluid to drain.
The doctor told Susan and I that Kris would need surgery to hopefully remove the tumor but at least find out what kind of tumor it was so they could treat Kris.
Susan and I knew we were in for a long hard battle but we weren’t sure what to do, have the surgery or not have it. Susan was pretty angry and I was just lost. I had the elders come and pray from CCSB and then I went over to big Calvary, surly they were closer to God. I sought out the advice of my father and friends and the whole time God’s asking me “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God my son has cancer?”
Okay we’ll do the surgery.
We waited with our family for hours and finally the doctor came out and talked to us. He took out a pen and drew a picture of Kris’ head on his surgical pants and told us “It looks like a briar patch wrapped around everything we call holy.”
They couldn’t get any of the tumor or even very much tissue and we were wondering what could be worse…we were about to find out.
After surgery Kris fell into a coma but not like a state of sleeping. He was all balled up tighter than a drum, he was eleven years old and I couldn’t straighten out his arms or legs, with all my strength, I would have broken his bones before I could have straightened his arm out.
All my Christian friends those people that I knew would be there for me… where gone nowhere to be found and now we were alone my wife and I.
Now before you think all my friends are jerks let me tell you, yea they’re jerks…cause they’re just like me. But if you have a friend going through some heavy trial don’t let them isolate themselves and don’t isolate yourself from them.
You get tired of answering all the questions over and over so you stay home from church and then you quite answering the phone and just leave “Kris Karr updates” on the answering machine.
But, God had to get me alone, you see I wasn’t trusting God as much as trusting in men, all the while God was taking care of us but I couldn’t see it.
My mom and sister Maggie moved in with us for a long time, months, and friends we knew from little league brought us meals every day but I was bitter and angry, where were my Christian friends.
Kris was in a coma for three weeks in ICU they were giving him mega doses of steroids to shrink his brain but they also covered his face chest and back with zits, everywhere, they had started Chemo so all his hair was falling out and we were so afraid that if Kris did live he’d be scared for life.
Meanwhile he had a Broveake Catheter put in his chest. You see the Chemo was so toxic if they just put it in his veins it would burn them so they put this tube into the main arteries in Kris’ chest so the Chemo would dissipate quicker.
Well Kris decided he didn’t like the tube so he pulled it out and so he had another surgery to put it on the other side of his chest.
All the while Gods asking “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God? Look at what’s happened to my son.”
“How can I trust you God? Where are all my Christian friends?”
“I know you cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust but how can I trust you? Can’t you see what’s happening?”
After Kris came out of the coma he spent some time in oncology ICU and then the regular ward and then finally we were able to start taking him home between treatments.
Every twenty-one days he went in for three days of Chemo and at home he got bags of liquid vitamins at a cost of about $3000 a week and we knew our insurance would only pay about 80% and the bills were so high our part was so much money we could never afford to pay. I mean how could we afford to pay for brain surgery?
Somebody told us to apply for CCS (Government aid) and that we should apply but they said we made too much money, the fact that Susan wasn’t working anymore didn’t matter. It’s not how much money you make now, it’s how much money did you make last year.
But we filled out the paper work anyway and we did qualify but our co-payment would be $750 a month for two or three years.
There was no way we could afford $750 but the other option was so much more money that we signed on anyway figuring we’ll worry about that later and as soon as we did the hospital took our insurance as 100%.
And all the while God was saying “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I God? The Chemo’s not working and now they want to use radiation. He could lose his eyesight!”
So we did the radiation and after we did that all the hair on the sides of his head that had grown back died again and it is still dead today, but the doctor said the radiation might have shrunk the tumor a little it’s hard to tell.
All the time Kris is getting weaker and the doctors think he’s so doing well we should do more than the seven Chemo treatments and even though the Chemo hasn’t helped he’s maxed out on the radiation.
So Kris did two more treatments and several spinal taps and every trip to the hospital was making him weaker and all the while God’s asking “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God?”
“The chemo’s not working, maybe the radiation is but Kris is maxed out on that and now they want to do more Chemo, but he’s so weak and where are my Christian friends? Don’t talk to me about trust, DO SOMETHING!”
So the doctors call us in for a meeting. They want to do more Chemo on our son because he’s “tolerating it so well”.
That’s when Susan and I said no more all you had to do is look at him to know he wasn’t “tolerating” it but was getting weaker with every treatment not better and we took Kris home.
I look back now twenty-some years ago and I can see God working in me teaching me to trust in Him and only Him.
Jer. 17:11 says, “Cursed is the man that trusts in man.” And that man was me.
But Proverbs 3:5 says trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
A few years ago I was reading the passage about the width and length and height and depth and knowing love that passes knowledge and all the while God is asking “Do you trust Me?”
“Yes Lord I trust you, because I know you love me, when my mom and sister gave up their lives to help us when the little league meals came when the hospital bills were paid, with my son’s life.”
“I can trust You no matter how high the high or how low the low. I know You love me so I know I can trust You.”
My son is thirty-four now and if you don’t think a child can have an affect on his parents you’re wrong.
You see I asked God, “Why Kris Lord why not me? He was only eleven Lord and I’m a man, his father, why him, why not me Lord?” And God told me, “Because I know he trusts Me Dwight.” That was hard to hear, hard to take.
You see this wasn’t only Kris’ trial but mine as well.
So when you see Kris and the hair missing on the sides of his head and his eyes that drift just a little, or you send him for fast food and he forgets what you ordered because his short term memory isn’t what it should be, or the tube that runs behind his ear and down to his stomach. When you see the little acne scars on his face and the scars on his chest and belly, say ‘there’s a man that trusts God’ and Kris’ scars are my scars and Kris’ trail is also my trial.
Do I trust God? Yes, because I know He loves me.
How about you? Do you know that God loves you? Really know that He loves you?
Then trust Him. Trust Him when you lose your job and your spouse leaves when your children are in the hospital and the doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong, when you think your children are using drugs and life seems out of control. Trust Him cause when you’re at the end of yourself Gods there and he wants to know…
Do you trust Me?
Close your eyes again and see the whole of God’s love for you. Now open your eyes to the world of love He’s given you. He loves YOU. Look into Jesus’ face. He sees you, He sees right into you. Receive His love….trust Him.
“Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

 

Inspiration of the Scriptures? This aint no joke, He’s for real

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God”2 Timothy 3:16

  Do you believe this? Do I believe this? It is at the core of our faith as Christians. We must have confidence that our bible does not just contain the word of God but that it truly is the Word of God, that what it teaches about life and godliness is God’s message to me personally and to the whole world. How can we be sure that this message to us is true? That the message we carry to the world is inspired by God? The purpose of this paper is to show that “All Scripture is God breathed” and that we can have confidence that the bible we read is His word to us.

  What is meant by the term “inspiration”? Inspiration is the means by which God gave His revelation to mankind and has many facets to contemplate, consider and appreciate. Ron Rhodes defines it as “Biblical inspiration may be defined as God’s superintending of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities (and even their writing styles), they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs. Inspiration means that “the Holy Spirit of God superintended the human writers in the production of Scripture so that what they wrote was precisely what God wanted written.””

  While I agree with this definition I find it laborious and I dislike the term “superintending” it is difficult to read and understand. For me the term “oversee” sounds better and conveys a more personal God having a “hands on” approach to putting forth His word. This may be my back ground in construction and the crummy superintendents I’ve experienced over the years, but I much prefer God overseeing my life rather than superintending my life.

  Evans defines inspiration as “Holy men of God, qualified by the infusion of the breath of God, wrote in obedience to the divine command, and were kept from all error whether they revealed truths previously unknown or recorded truths already familiar. In this sense, “all scripture is given by inspiration of God,” the bible is indeed and in truth the very word of God, and the books of the bible are of divine origin and authority.”

  Whether we use the word superintending, overseeing or infusion it is important that we know and understand that the words in the original autographs (letters) were and are given by God to man and are not the writers opinions, Peter writes “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”2 Peter 1:21 Inspiration of the scriptures does not mean that the men wrote what inspired them or that they are inspirational in the same sense that the “Star Spangled Banner” is inspirational to many Americans or that the writers were under some illuminated trance (though the bible does record such occurrences Acts 10: 10), and even while God is quoted often and men like Daniel and the Apostle John were told what to write the words were not always dictated while the authors waited pen in hand. The bible is God’s words to us that we might know God, what he requires of us and what He has done for us.

  John writes the purpose of His gospel “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31. Ultimately all the writers were inspired to bring us to this point; God wants us to know His Son, Jesus Christ, and by believing we have eternal life.

Inspiration in the Bible

  There are two key verses in the bible and we have already touched on both. 

2 Timothy 3: 16, 17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 

  This passage starts will “All” I’ve heard it said this way “all means all and that’s all all means” every jot and tittle every word of scripture is inspired by God so to pick and choose which words or verses are of God like the bible was some sort of spiritual smorgasbord becomes very dangerous, like deciding which red traffic lights “really” mean stop. John finished the book of Revelation with a stern warning “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”Revelation 22:18, 19 God sees all scripture as very important to His message of salvation and offers very harsh words to any who would seek to diminish, change or cloud that message.

  The words are inspired as they are written in context from the smallest possible sentence. The words themselves are not inspired individually but in their context from the smallest verse such as “Jesus wept” in John 11:35 to Jesus answering the devil saying “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “Matthew 4:4. It cannot be over stated that every word of God is inspired and therefore important to all believers.

  2 Peter 1:20-21 “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” All scripture that has been given by God came from Him, He moved men by the Holy Spirit. Scripture has a heavenly origin, the will of man has an earthly origin and a local application for a place and a time but God’s words are for all time and all people “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

  In times past God spoke to and through the prophets by angelic visitations (Genesis 18 and Daniel 8), in dreams (Daniel 7 and Numbers 12), in visions, by miracles, in nature with a still small voice with the Urim and the Thummim and God spoke to the prophets through other prophetic writings. Now the bible says that God speaks to us through His Son “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” Hebrews 1: 1, 2 

  Jesus is the voice we want to hear the face we long to see. The disciples walked with the Lord for three years they saw the empty tomb and the burial cloths inside they saw the risen Lord and He offered up His hands and side to Thomas for inspection “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27 Thomas responded by recognizing who Jesus is “My Lord and my God!” (28) In Luke 24: 39 Jesus appears to the disciples who believe they’ve seen a ghost and encourages them to inspect Him saying “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a 

spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

  “What kind of faith did Peter and John have at that stage in their spiritual experience? They had faith based on evidence. They could see the graveclothes; they knew that the body of Jesus was not there. However, as good as evidence is to convince the mind, it can never change the life. Those of us who live centuries later cannot examine the evidence, for the material evidence (the tomb, the graveclothes) is no longer there for us to inspect. But we have the record in the Word of God (John 20:9) and that record is true (John 19:35; 21:24). In fact, it is faith in the Word of God that the Lord really wanted to cultivate in His disciples (see John 2:22; 12:16; 14:26). Peter made it clear that the Word of God, not personal experiences, should be the basis for our faith (1 Peter 1:12-21)

. We are comparable to the men on the road to Emmaus that Jesus taught “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27 He is the reason for the bible the bible is the history of redemption Hebrews 10:7 says “Behold, I have come– In the volume of the book it is written of Me: 

  We do not have the blessing of seeing the risen Lord of seeing the nail prints in His hands and feet, yes we walk with the risen Lord but our walk is by faith, but we have His word, we think of the Jews during the wilderness wonderings seeing the pillar of smoke and fire seeing the manna the brass serpent, the only thing they didn’t get to see is the Promise Land because faith does not come by seeing, faith comes by hearing, the bible says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.Hearing His word builds our faith.

  In 2 Peter 1 we read that, grace and peace, His divine power, all things that pertain to life and godliness, exceedingly great and precious promises are ours through the knowledge of our Lord. Through this Knowledge we can be partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in this world through lust. Peter tells us, no, instructs us through the inspired Word to add to our faith this knowledge and instructs us that if we do we will not be barren and unfruitful in our knowledge of Jesus Christ.

  In John 17: 20, 21 Jesus is praying to the Father for us each of us that would believe in Him. He acknowledges the inspired word of His disciples “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” The spoken word and the written word of these men were and are ordained, commissioned and inspired by our Lord; He prayed that the words of the bible would bring us to faith in Him.

  God’s word is also preserved by Him for us and all generations “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 In Psalms 138 David writes that God magnifies His word above His name.

  In my life inspiration has not been a big personal issue even though I did not grow up reading or even having a bible when I did become a Christian I just believed that what was in the bible was true. But as I’ve grown in my walk with the Lord and had to face trials and tribulations and even my own flesh it is the Word of God that has brought me strength and comfort. In the midst of marital discord it was the Word of God that instructed me “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” Ephesians 5:26. “But Lord how can I do this?” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 Yes Lord!

  I’ve learned through family sickness that I “May be able to comprehend with all the saints what the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” Ephesians 3:18, 19. And I’ve thought ‘Lord, if it passes knowledge how can I know it? But I learned that I cannot truly know the height of God’s love until I’ve experienced it in the depth or worry and pain, I cannot know the width of His love until I’ve seen the lengths He will go to show His love to me. Yes Lord!

  When confronted with my own flesh and guilt of failing again Jesus said “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit” John 15: 7, 8. “What fruit Lord? I want to bear fruit, I want to walk this walk, I want to be Your disciple!” “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5: 22 

  I am so blessed that inspiration is not a concept and not a wish. Inspiration is the Power of the Holy Spirit working through God’s Word bringing all things Jesus has said into remembrance (John 14: 26). It is the hope of eternal life for me (Titus 3:7) It is water in a dry land (psalms 63:1).

  I am a man most blessed from the time I got my first bible in 1975 (a full two years after I got saved) I have loved reading His word, studying His word, seeking to find out what His Word has said to me and I found it, right there in the book, the very words of Jesus Christ my Lord said to me “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Bibliography

Rhodes, Ron “The Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Authority of the Bible” Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministry

http://www.ronrhodes.org/Inspiration.html

William Evans, “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” Chicago: Moody Publishers 1974

Warren W. Wiersbe, “The Bible Exposition Commentary” Colorado Springs: Cook 2001

http://www.blueletterbible.org

Chuck Smith, “The Word for Today Bible” Nashville: Thomas Neilson 2005

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God”2 Timothy 3:16
Do you believe this? Do I believe this? It is at the core of our faith as Christians. We must have confidence that our bible does not just contain the word of God but that it truly is the Word of God, that what it teaches about life and godliness is God’s message to me personally and to the whole world. How can we be sure that this message to us is true? That the message we carry to the world is inspired by God? The purpose of this paper is to show that “All Scripture is God breathed” and that we can have confidence that the bible we read is His word to us.
What is meant by the term “inspiration”? Inspiration is the means by which God gave His revelation to mankind and has many facets to contemplate, consider and appreciate. Ron Rhodes defines it as “Biblical inspiration may be defined as God’s superintending of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities (and even their writing styles), they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs. Inspiration means that “the Holy Spirit of God superintended the human writers in the production of Scripture so that what they wrote was precisely what God wanted written.””1
While I agree with this definition I find it laborious and I dislike the term “superintending” it is difficult to read and understand. For me the term “oversee” sounds better and conveys a more personal God having a “hands on” approach to putting forth His word. This may be my back ground in construction and the crummy superintendents I’ve experienced over the years, but I much prefer God overseeing my life rather than superintending my life.
Evans defines inspiration as “Holy men of God, qualified by the infusion of the breath of God, wrote in obedience to the divine command, and were kept from all error whether they revealed truths previously unknown or recorded truths already familiar. In this sense, “all scripture is given by inspiration of God,” the bible is indeed and in truth the very word of God, and the books of the bible are of divine origin and authority.”2
Whether we use the word superintending, overseeing or infusion it is important that we know and understand that the words in the original autographs (letters) were and are given by God to man and are not the writers opinions, Peter writes “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”2 Peter 1:21 Inspiration of the scriptures does not mean that the men wrote what inspired them or that they are inspirational in the same sense that the “Star Spangled Banner” is inspirational to many Americans or that the writers were under some illuminated trance (though the bible does record such occurrences Acts 10: 10), and even while God is quoted often and men like Daniel and the Apostle John were told what to write the words were not always dictated while the authors waited pen in hand. The bible is God’s words to us that we might know God, what he requires of us and what He has done for us.
John writes the purpose of His gospel “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31. Ultimately all the writers were inspired to bring us to this point; God wants us to know His Son, Jesus Christ, and by believing we have eternal life.
Inspiration in the Bible
There are two key verses in the bible and we have already touched on both.
2 Timothy 3: 16, 17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
This passage starts will “All” I’ve heard it said this way “all means all and that’s all all means” every jot and tittle every word of scripture is inspired by God so to pick and choose which words or verses are of God like the bible was some sort of spiritual smorgasbord becomes very dangerous, like deciding which red traffic lights “really” mean stop. John finished the book of Revelation with a stern warning “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”Revelation 22:18, 19 God sees all scripture as very important to His message of salvation and offers very harsh words to any who would seek to diminish, change or cloud that message.
The words are inspired as they are written in context from the smallest possible sentence. The words themselves are not inspired individually but in their context from the smallest verse such as “Jesus wept” in John 11:35 to Jesus answering the devil saying “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “Matthew 4:4. It cannot be over stated that every word of God is inspired and therefore important to all believers.
2 Peter 1:20-21 “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” All scripture that has been given by God came from Him, He moved men by the Holy Spirit. Scripture has a heavenly origin, the will of man has an earthly origin and a local application for a place and a time but God’s words are for all time and all people “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
In times past God spoke to and through the prophets by angelic visitations (Genesis 18 and Daniel 8), in dreams (Daniel 7 and Numbers 12), in visions, by miracles, in nature with a still small voice with the Urim and the Thummim and God spoke to the prophets through other prophetic writings. Now the bible says that God speaks to us through His Son “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” Hebrews 1: 1, 2
Jesus is the voice we want to hear the face we long to see. The disciples walked with the Lord for three years they saw the empty tomb and the burial cloths inside they saw the risen Lord and He offered up His hands and side to Thomas for inspection “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27 Thomas responded by recognizing who Jesus is “My Lord and my God!” (28) In Luke 24: 39 Jesus appears to the disciples who believe they’ve seen a ghost and encourages them to inspect Him saying “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a
spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
“What kind of faith did Peter and John have at that stage in their spiritual experience? They had faith based on evidence. They could see the graveclothes; they knew that the body of Jesus was not there. However, as good as evidence is to convince the mind, it can never change the life. Those of us who live centuries later cannot examine the evidence, for the material evidence (the tomb, the graveclothes) is no longer there for us to inspect. But we have the record in the Word of God (John 20:9) and that record is true (John 19:35; 21:24). In fact, it is faith in the Word of God that the Lord really wanted to cultivate in His disciples (see John 2:22; 12:16; 14:26). Peter made it clear that the Word of God, not personal experiences, should be the basis for our faith (1 Peter 1:12-21)3. We are comparable to the men on the road to Emmaus that Jesus taught “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27 He is the reason for the bible the bible is the history of redemption Hebrews 10:7 says “Behold, I have come– In the volume of the book it is written of Me:
We do not have the blessing of seeing the risen Lord of seeing the nail prints in His hands and feet, yes we walk with the risen Lord but our walk is by faith, but we have His word, we think of the Jews during the wilderness wonderings seeing the pillar of smoke and fire seeing the manna the brass serpent, the only thing they didn’t get to see is the Promise Land because faith does not come by seeing, faith comes by hearing, the bible says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.Hearing His word builds our faith.
In 2 Peter 1 we read that, grace and peace, His divine power, all things that pertain to life and godliness, exceedingly great and precious promises are ours through the knowledge of our Lord. Through this Knowledge we can be partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in this world through lust. Peter tells us, no, instructs us through the inspired Word to add to our faith this knowledge and instructs us that if we do we will not be barren and unfruitful in our knowledge of Jesus Christ.
In John 17: 20, 21 Jesus is praying to the Father for us each of us that would believe in Him. He acknowledges the inspired word of His disciples “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” The spoken word and the written word of these men were and are ordained, commissioned and inspired by our Lord; He prayed that the words of the bible would bring us to faith in Him.
God’s word is also preserved by Him for us and all generations “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 In Psalms 138 David writes that God magnifies His word above His name.
In my life inspiration has not been a big personal issue even though I did not grow up reading or even having a bible when I did become a Christian I just believed that what was in the bible was true. But as I’ve grown in my walk with the Lord and had to face trials and tribulations and even my own flesh it is the Word of God that has brought me strength and comfort. In the midst of marital discord it was the Word of God that instructed me “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her” Ephesians 5:26. “But Lord how can I do this?” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 Yes Lord!
I’ve learned through family sickness that I “May be able to comprehend with all the saints what the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” Ephesians 3:18, 19. And I’ve thought ‘Lord, if it passes knowledge how can I know it? But I learned that I cannot truly know the height of God’s love until I’ve experienced it in the depth or worry and pain, I cannot know the width of His love until I’ve seen the lengths He will go to show His love to me. Yes Lord!
When confronted with my own flesh and guilt of failing again Jesus said “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit” John 15: 7, 8. “What fruit Lord? I want to bear fruit, I want to walk this walk, I want to be Your disciple!” “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5: 22
I am so blessed that inspiration is not a concept and not a wish. Inspiration is the Power of the Holy Spirit working through God’s Word bringing all things Jesus has said into remembrance (John 14: 26). It is the hope of eternal life for me (Titus 3:7) It is water in a dry land (psalms 63:1).
I am a man most blessed from the time I got my first bible in 1975 (a full two years after I got saved) I have loved reading His word, studying His word, seeking to find out what His Word has said to me and I found it, right there in the book, the very words of Jesus Christ my Lord said to me “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Bibliography
Rhodes, Ron “The Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Authority of the Bible” Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministry
http://www.ronrhodes.org/Inspiration.html

William Evans, “The Great Doctrines of the Bible” Chicago: Moody Publishers 1974

Warren W. Wiersbe, “The Bible Exposition Commentary” Colorado Springs: Cook 2001

http://www.blueletterbible.org

Chuck Smith, “The Word for Today Bible” Nashville: Thomas Neilson 2005

 

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, maybe able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all fullness of God. Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3: 17-20
I look at this passage and wonder, even back to v. 14. Paul was praying that God would grant us, grant me, across the expanse of time to be strengthened with might in the inner man, that Christ would dwell in our hearts, that we would be rooted and grounded in love.
That we would comprehend the width and length and height and depth, that we would know the love of God that passes knowledge and I wonder how can I know what passes knowledge? I mean if God’s love passes knowledge then how can I know it?
Let me say, at least for me, I can read about God’s love but until I’ve experienced it I don’t really know it. I can read all about baseball know it front and back have all the stats know all the great players but if I’ve only got book knowledge and never hit a ball or slid into second if I’ve never caught the ball never thrown the ball gotten my pants dirty then I’ve never personally experienced it. Oh I’ve seen it, I’ve heard the crack of the bat but it’s others that know the smell of their gloves over their face.
It’s the same with God’s love until we’ve experienced His love in the depths of worry and doubt we can’t truly know the heights His love can take us to. We can truly know the height of God’s love after we’ve experienced his love in the depths of sorrow and pain. We can understand the width and length of God’s love after we’ve seen it in the midst of worry, doubt and uncertainty. When we truly know the length God went to to bring us His love in the death of His own Son, then we can know the width of it in our lives by the grace of God.
Close your eyes, come on close em’ and pretend you’re standing in a circle of God’s love….how bigs the circle? I found myself standing in a circle about the size of a manhole cover and my life was like ‘Step in His love step out of His love’. But God’s love is overwhelming and everywhere and everywhere includes in the midst of pain. There is no where you can go that God’s love for you can’t be experienced. Ok open your eyes.
I have a beautiful wife and three great kids I love my children and wouldn’t trade families with anybody. My daughter is beautiful and has a heart as big as all outdoors and my younger son is good looking and intelligent. But my oldest son, Kris, well he’s thirty-four and he truly loves the Lord. At eighteen he pretty much put himself through bible collage and when he turned sixteen and got his license he never missed a bible study even though at that time I didn’t go to church as much as I should. Clear back when he was about six years old I remember taking him to a Wednesday night study and he would stand up in his chair during worship and raise his hands to the Lord. At six years old Kris didn’t just know God he truly loved God.
This is the son, my son, my oldest son, he’s the one the God chose, he’s the one God used to show me the depth of his love and he’s the one God used to teach me to trust in the Lord with all my heart.
My son was eleven when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctor said it was the size of a golf ball right dead center of his brain, the tumor didn’t allow the fluid on his brain to drain off and the pressure caused Kris to have seizures, that’s how we found out he had a cancer.
I remember driving to the hospital asking my eleven- year old if he’d taken any drugs, knowing he didn’t but you’ll check everything when one of your children is sick, by the time we got to the hospital Kris was in a coma.
The first thing they did was put a shunt in his brain that is just under his skin and runs from just above his ear to his stomach and allows the fluid to drain.
The doctor told Susan and I that Kris would need surgery to hopefully remove the tumor but at least find out what kind of tumor it was so they could treat Kris.
Susan and I knew we were in for a long hard battle but we weren’t sure what to do, have the surgery or not have it. Susan was pretty angry and I was just lost. I had the elders come and pray from CCSB and then I went over to big Calvary, surly they were closer to God. I sought out the advice of my father and friends and the whole time God’s asking me “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God my son has cancer?”
Okay we’ll do the surgery.
We waited with our family for hours and finally the doctor came out and talked to us. He took out a pen and drew a picture of Kris’ head on his surgical pants and told us “It looks like a briar patch wrapped around everything we call holy.”
They couldn’t get any of the tumor or even very much tissue and we were wondering what could be worse…we were about to find out.
After surgery Kris fell into a coma but not like a state of sleeping. He was all balled up tighter than a drum, he was eleven years old and I couldn’t straighten out his arms or legs, with all my strength, I would have broken his bones before I could have straightened his arm out.
All my Christian friends those people that I knew would be there for me… where gone nowhere to be found and now we were alone my wife and I.
Now before you think all my friends are jerks let me tell you, yea they’re jerks…cause they’re just like me. But if you have a friend going through some heavy trial don’t let them isolate themselves and don’t isolate yourself from them.
You get tired of answering all the questions over and over so you stay home from church and then you quite answering the phone and just leave “Kris Karr updates” on the answering machine.
But, God had to get me alone, you see I wasn’t trusting God as much as trusting in men, all the while God was taking care of us but I couldn’t see it.
My mom and sister Maggie moved in with us for a long time, months, and friends we knew from little league brought us meals every day but I was bitter and angry, where were my Christian friends.
Kris was in a coma for three weeks in ICU they were giving him mega doses of steroids to shrink his brain but they also covered his face chest and back with zits, everywhere, they had started Chemo so all his hair was falling out and we were so afraid that if Kris did live he’d be scared for life.
Meanwhile he had a Broveake Catheter put in his chest. You see the Chemo was so toxic if they just put it in his veins it would burn them so they put this tube into the main arteries in Kris’ chest so the Chemo would dissipate quicker.
Well Kris decided he didn’t like the tube so he pulled it out and so he had another surgery to put it on the other side of his chest.
All the while Gods asking “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God? Look at what’s happened to my son.”
“How can I trust you God? Where are all my Christian friends?”
“I know you cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust but how can I trust you? Can’t you see what’s happening?”
After Kris came out of the coma he spent some time in oncology ICU and then the regular ward and then finally we were able to start taking him home between treatments.
Every twenty-one days he went in for three days of Chemo and at home he got bags of liquid vitamins at a cost of about $3000 a week and we knew our insurance would only pay about 80% and the bills were so high our part was so much money we could never afford to pay. I mean how could we afford to pay for brain surgery?
Somebody told us to apply for CCS (Government aid) and that we should apply but they said we made too much money, the fact that Susan wasn’t working anymore didn’t matter. It’s not how much money you make now, it’s how much money did you make last year.
But we filled out the paper work anyway and we did qualify but our co-payment would be $750 a month for two or three years.
There was no way we could afford $750 but the other option was so much more money that we signed on anyway figuring we’ll worry about that later and as soon as we did the hospital took our insurance as 100%.
And all the while God was saying “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I God? The Chemo’s not working and now they want to use radiation. He could lose his eyesight!”
So we did the radiation and after we did that all the hair on the sides of his head that had grown back died again and it is still dead today, but the doctor said the radiation might have shrunk the tumor a little it’s hard to tell.
All the time Kris is getting weaker and the doctors think he’s so doing well we should do more than the seven Chemo treatments and even though the Chemo hasn’t helped he’s maxed out on the radiation.
So Kris did two more treatments and several spinal taps and every trip to the hospital was making him weaker and all the while God’s asking “Do you trust Me?”
“How can I trust you God?”
“The chemo’s not working, maybe the radiation is but Kris is maxed out on that and now they want to do more Chemo, but he’s so weak and where are my Christian friends? Don’t talk to me about trust, DO SOMETHING!”
So the doctors call us in for a meeting. They want to do more Chemo on our son because he’s “tolerating it so well”.
That’s when Susan and I said no more all you had to do is look at him to know he wasn’t “tolerating” it but was getting weaker with every treatment not better and we took Kris home.
I look back now twenty-some years ago and I can see God working in me teaching me to trust in Him and only Him.
Jer. 17:11 says, “Cursed is the man that trusts in man.” And that man was me.
But Proverbs 3:5 says trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
A few years ago I was reading the passage about the width and length and height and depth and knowing love that passes knowledge and all the while God is asking “Do you trust Me?”
“Yes Lord I trust you, because I know you love me, when my mom and sister gave up their lives to help us when the little league meals came when the hospital bills were paid, with my son’s life.”
“I can trust You no matter how high the high or how low the low. I know You love me so I know I can trust You.”
My son is thirty-four now and if you don’t think a child can have an affect on his parents you’re wrong.
You see I asked God, “Why Kris Lord why not me? He was only eleven Lord and I’m a man, his father, why him, why not me Lord?” And God told me, “Because I know he trusts Me Dwight.” That was hard to hear, hard to take.
You see this wasn’t only Kris’ trial but mine as well.
So when you see Kris and the hair missing on the sides of his head and his eyes that drift just a little, or you send him for fast food and he forgets what you ordered because his short term memory isn’t what it should be, or the tube that runs behind his ear and down to his stomach. When you see the little acne scars on his face and the scars on his chest and belly, say ‘there’s a man that trusts God’ and Kris’ scars are my scars and Kris’ trail is also my trial.
Do I trust God? Yes, because I know He loves me.
How about you? Do you know that God loves you? Really know that He loves you?
Then trust Him. Trust Him when you lose your job and you spouse leaves when your children are in the hospital and the doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong, when you think your children are using drugs and life seems out of control. Trust Him cause when you’re at the end of yourself Gods there and he wants to know…
Do you trust Me?
Close your eyes again and see the whole of God’s love for you. Now open your eyes to the world of love He’s given you. He loves YOU. Look into Jesus’ face. He sees you, He sees right into you. Receive His love….trust Him.
“Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

PropitiationPropitiation? What the heck is that? It is the act of appeasing a ruler or king by way of bringing a gift to assuage his anger. In the case of us and God there is nothing we can bring to take away the coming judgement of God, so God provided His Son Jesus to be the propitiation, making peace between God and man. You’ll notice in our relationship with God that He provides everything so we can have fellowship with Him.

I see the propitious act as a locomotive full of God’s righteous judgment against my sin coming down the tracks of my life at full speed I can’t dodge this train or jump out of the way it’s coming and it’s headed straight for me. But at my conversion the cross of Christ is set between the coming judgment and me. Jesus doesn’t push me out of the way and then save Himself, and He doesn’t stop the train from coming. Jesus isn’t superman. The train doesn’t crash into Him at pile up on the tracks. Jesus steps between me and judgment at takes this train for me as though the train is swallowed up by the wounds in His hands and feet and in the crown of thorns. I see His wounded side open up and take my judgment as a full steam locomotive and held there by the lashes on His back. I’m left a free man on the tracks of my life, free to follow Jesus not fearing judgment but serving Him for what he did for me.
There is nothing we can do to appease Gods judgment and it’s wrong to believe God is angry with us, an angry God does not send His son to be propitiation for those He hates. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son”(italics added) There is nothing we can do for it has already been done, we can only accept or reject the act of Jesus on the cross.

“Earl! Earl Harvy Karr, come out here to the front yard!”That’s my grandfather and Mr. Fitzpatrick they were on the front porch refighting the civil war with Mr. Simmons even though it was fifty years past. Mr. Simmons fought for the southern states and every time he walked by our house Granddad and Mr. Fitzpatrick would talk about the great Abe Lincoln while Mr. Simmons would yell about how “the south gonna rise again”. It was an old battle that they fought a couple times a week.I was in the back yard and as happy as a twelve year old boy from Brook Indiana was ever gonna get. School was out for the summer and yesterday was my birthday. Now yesterday I wasn’t so sure I would be getting any birthday presents, cake or anything and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. You see when I was five years old Santa left me a lump of coal and I remember thinking what could a five year old do to make Santa so mad at me that he’d give me a lump of coal, which was worse than getting nothing. If he gave me nothing maybe he just forgot but no Santa took the time to come down my chimney and make sure I knew he knew that I was a bad boy. So since that time I made sure of a couple of things, if you weren’t going to get something because you were bad make sure you where bad enough to make it worth while and don’t get your hopes up for anything good cause your not gonna get it anyway.So anyway yesterday morning the delivery truck came all the way from Chicago to my folks restaurant “Karrs cafe” with the new refrigeration unit and Cramer the truck driver told me (when your twelve nobody ever asks you) to get the box off the front seat. Right then I was wishin’ I’d gone fishin’ instead of getting ordered around on my birthday by Cramer with no hope of getting paid for all the work I was going to get stuck doing just to see the first refrigeration unit in Brook but then Cramer added “There’s something in there for you.” Well I tried not to hope too much but I did run right over to the truck.When I got to the open door there was the box and saw it twitching and heard it scratching and right then the lid popped off and I saw the furriest ball of white and black dog you ever saw yelping and crying. Well you never saw a boy smile so big I picked him up and turned around everyone else was smiling too Cramer, my dad and even the waitresses.“Is she really for me?”“Yes Earl,” my dad said “she really for you, happy birthday.”That puppy was crying so much I named her right then ”You’re whining and being such a baby I’m gonna call you Babe”.Then Babe and I made our first of many mistakes. I carried her into the restaurant for something to eat. I’d barley set foot in the back door when I heard my sister Lois “Mother Early’s got a dog and he’s bringing it in the kitchen!” Then my mom started yelling. “Don’t bring that… that mutt in here your father got you that dog not me so keep it out of my kitchen.”Both Babe and me shrank out with our tails between our legs. Those two were always yelling at me! ”Dad” I said “ I hate it when she calls me Early and when you’re not here she calls me Squirrely Early and I can’t stand it anymore!” But dad just said, “I’ll talk to her” which meant nothing. I figured she needed a good whippin’. But dad said, “It wasn’t proper whipping girls especially sixteen year old girls.” which I could never figure out cause it always seemed “proper” to whip me no matter how old I got. But dad took me home and got me a bowl for food and one for water and he even had a rubber ball for Babe.Well that’s were I was, rolling that ball for Babe, the prettiest Llewellin Setter you ever saw white and black with tan over her eyes and ears when Granddad started yelling.“Earl come on out here.”So I ran around the house and watched Babe run after me, even tripping over her own feet I was sure she would be the best bird dog this town ever saw.“Earl come up here on the porch I need you to do something for me.” Now I was looking at Mr. Fitzpatrick and Mr. Simmons who were being awful chummy all of a sudden not saying anything just sitting there smiling. “ Sure Granddad what ya need?”Now Granddad and I sure loved each other probably because we where always in trouble with my mom and always getting told on by my big sister. Well he flipped me a twenty-five cent piece and said “I need you to go down to Brodersons store and get me three bottles of lime Ricky.” Well I said “Okay Granddad.” And started down the stairs picking up Babe, who had made it halfway up the stairs. Then Granddad says “Earl don’t go down Main Street but use the alley, okay?” “Sure Granddad” I said and off I went.Right away I knew two things. First I was going to make seven cents because at seven cents a bottle three bottles of lime Ricky was twenty-one cents and later I’d get a penny a piece for the bottles and seven cents was a lot of money to a twelve year old in 1927. The second thing I knew was Granddad didn’t want mom to see me, what I didn’t know was why?

Propitiation.

Jesus is speaking, so listen up.

Our Love.

Earl and Babe Chapter 7.

Earl and Babe Chapter 6.