Friday, September 18, 2009

The Heroes Rise UP

These were sharp young guys. No doubt about it.

17 -19 God gave these four young men knowledge and skill in both books and life. In addition, Daniel was gifted in understanding all sorts of visions and dreams. At the end of the time set by the king for their training, the head of the royal staff brought them in to Nebuchadnezzar. When the king interviewed them, he found them far superior to all the other young men. None were a match for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

Natural gifts. Talent. Plus God's favor. What a great combination. They were about to become the elite government servants.

19 -20 And so they took their place in the king's service. Whenever the king consulted them on anything, on books or on life, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his kingdom put together.

Daniel became a career statesman. Serving in the government for the rest of his life.

21 Daniel continued in the king's service until the first year in the reign of King Cyrus.

Out from despair - The Heroes Rise UP!!


Sounds like the name of a new video game!


Call it
"Dan the Man"
- "Bab smasher!"

6 -7 Four young men from Judah—Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—were among those selected. The head of the palace staff gave them Babylonian names: Daniel was named Belteshazzar, Hananiah was named Shadrach, Mishael was named Meshach, Azariah was named Abednego.

So - their country has been taken from them. Their families had been taken from them. Now their very identity was taken from them. They were renamed with Babylonian names. They had no choice about this. They were powerless pawns in the grip of the greatest military machine and empire of the world.


(Or WERE they?)

8 -10 But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king's food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God's grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, "I'm afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he'll have my head!"

These guys were like the elite pilots of the Stealth B2 bomber. The government says to them, "You may be smart, and elite, and the best of the best, and all that," "but we OWN you!" We are pouring millions of dollars into training you to fly a machine worth one and a half BILLION dollars. So you have to go to bed when we say. You have to eat what we say. You have to train in the regimen we set out for you. And if you don't like it? Well, there are thousands of other guys who would LOVE to take your place!"

11 -13 But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: "Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see."
14 -16 The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables. "
o
Yeah! Real food beats processed food any time!
o
And the heroes rise up!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tragedy!


Four young men. Friends. Handsome, intelligent, buff. Their lives ahead of them.

Suddenly - tragedy!

Their homeland is invaded.

Their country is trounced, and decimated.

They are taken as captives to a different land. Different customs, different language, different food, different religion.

Although Daniel is one of my favorite books, it begins with decimation, pain, suffering and loss.

1 -2 It was the third year of King Jehoiakim's reign in Judah when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon declared war on Jerusalem and besieged the city. The Master handed King Jehoiakim of Judah over to him, along with some of the furnishings from the Temple of God. Nebuchadnezzar took king and furnishings to the country of Babylon, the ancient Shinar. He put the furnishings in the sacred treasury.

Their God, Jehovah, is the God above all gods. The creator. Omnipotent. Yet His temple is ransacked. The holy articles are carried off like so much loot, and installed in a pagan temple.

3 -5 The king told Ashpenaz, head of the palace staff, to get some Israelites from the royal family and nobility—young men who were healthy and handsome, intelligent and well-educated, good prospects for leadership positions in the government, perfect specimens!—and indoctrinate them in the Babylonian language and the lore of magic and fortunetelling. The king then ordered that they be served from the same menu as the royal table—the best food, the finest wine. After three years of training they would be given positions in the king's court.

The four friends were selected for wholesale indoctrination into the pagan ways of the Babylonians.

God has been trampled underfoot.

Not only has he not rescued them and their families, but now they are being forced to learn and embrace blasphemy!

How can anything good come out of this?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Global Meltdown!

Joel 1
Get in Touch with Reality—and Weep!
1 -3 God's Message to Joel son of Pethuel:
Attention, elder statesmen! Listen closely, everyone, whoever and wherever you are! Have you ever heard of anything like this? Has anything like this ever happened before—ever? Make sure you tell your children, and your children tell their children, And their children their children. Don't let this message die out.
4What the chewing locust left, the gobbling locust ate; What the gobbling locust left, the munching locust ate; What the munching locust left, the chomping locust ate.

1 - 09 - 2003
Jubilee Research at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), the team that spearheaded global awareness of a third world debt crisis released provocative new research in September 2003 which argues that the “first world” is approaching a major debt crisis.
The report predicts that a giant credit bubble, created by central bankers and finance ministers (the engineers of decades of “easy money”) has now reached a “tipping point”. This point – at which the “bubble” of financial assets exceeds GDP by nine times – has triggered financial crisis elsewhere.
On a global level, there is $100 trillion of debt outstanding, but only $33 trillion of income with which to repay those debts. Even the drastic recent stock market falls have barely dented the credit superstructure. When this credit bubble bursts in the United States and Britain, it will be middle-class consumers that will first bear the brunt of the financial crash.

5 -7Sober up, you drunks! Get in touch with reality—and weep! Your supply of booze is cut off. You're on the wagon, like it or not. My country's being invaded by an army invincible, past numbering, Teeth like those of a lion, fangs like those of a tiger. It has ruined my vineyards, stripped my orchards, And clear-cut the country. The landscape's a moonscape.
8 -10Weep like a young virgin dressed in black, mourning the loss of her fiancé. Without grain and grapes, worship has been brought to a standstill in the Sanctuary of God. The priests are at a loss. God's ministers don't know what to do. The fields are sterile. The very ground grieves. The wheat fields are lifeless, vineyards dried up, olive oil gone.
11 -12Dirt farmers, despair! Grape growers, wring your hands! Lament the loss of wheat and barley. All crops have failed. Vineyards dried up, fig trees withered, Pomegranates, date palms, and apple trees— deadwood everywhere! And joy is dried up and withered in the hearts of the people.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Water of life... Water of healing...


Oh the water!
o
We love water. All over the world. Towns are built by rivers. Have been for thousands of years.
I am in real estate. The value of waterfront is easily 4 times as much as property just a few hundred feet back from the water. One of my fantasies is to own a cabin on a lake. To see the water, play in the water, sit by the water.
o
Today God talks to Ezekiel about water.
o
Ezekiel 47
Trees on Both Sides of the River
o
1 -2 Now he brought me back to the entrance to the Temple. I saw water pouring out from under the Temple porch to the east (the Temple faced east). The water poured from the south side of the Temple, south of the altar. He then took me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the gate complex on the east. The water was gushing from under the south front of the Temple.
o
In this case, the water came from God. (Come to think of it, it ALWAYS comes from God) It was coming from under the Temple, signifying that God is the source.

3 -5 He walked to the east with a measuring tape and measured off fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet, leading me through water waist-deep. He measured off another fifteen hundred feet. By now it was a river over my head, water to swim in, water no one could possibly walk through.
o
The water. First a gush, then a stream, then a wide flowing river.

6 -7 He said, "Son of man, have you had a good look?"
Then he took me back to the riverbank. While sitting on the bank, I noticed a lot of trees on both sides of the river.
o
Trees are beautiful to look at, and good for shade, and provide fruit and food. I think they represent God's pleasure, and abundance, and provision. The beauty and benefit of our relationship with God.

8 -10 He told me, "This water flows east, descends to the Arabah and then into the sea, the sea of stagnant waters. When it empties into those waters, the sea will become fresh. Wherever the river flows, life will flourish—great schools of fish—because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds. Fishermen will stand shoulder to shoulder along the shore from En-gedi all the way north to En-eglaim, casting their nets. The sea will teem with fish of all kinds, like the fish of the Great Mediterranean.
o
11 "The swamps and marshes won't become fresh. They'll stay salty.
12 "But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won't wither, the fruit won't fail. Every month they'll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them.
o
Out of a dry and thirsty land, God provides. He cares. His blessings flow. Not ankle deep, but abundant. Overwhelming. Over our heads. Love. Life. Relationship. Meaning. Provision.
o
Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing."
o
Thankyou, Lord. Thankyou.
Thankyou Lord. Thankyou...