Payh Blog
Apr 30, 2008

Boomer Died Today

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Scriptural Basis:
“There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 2 Samuel 12:1-3
Anderson’s Applications:
One of the beloved pets of the Paul Anderson Youth Home family died today, after being struck by a truck on one of the roads bordering the Home. Boomer was a delightful black Lab, full grown, though only about two years of age. He loved his home and all the young men, and they loved him back. He was a tireless retriever; of balls, Frisbees, pine cones–anything you could throw. He never tired or stopped; it was we who grew tired of throwing. Boomer did not simply return what he retrieved; with a smart flip of his head he actually lobbed the ball or object into your waiting hand and prepared to go after it again. His death was painful to us all; and we were struck with the empty, terrible feeling of loss.
I imagine most of you have experienced the loss of a pet, and perhaps this story will remind you of your feelings at such a time. Most of us are united by our love for animals, God’s creatures: “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all. This love for animals is certainly reflected in God’s image in us, and we learn both about Him and about ourselves in our care for and enjoyment of animals and pets. For some people they become their only family and companion. It shouldn’t be so, but it is. And most probably God thought even of this when He made the myriad, colorful kaleidoscope of animals that grace his creation; more diverse than mankind itself. Conversely, those who abuse animals abuse themselves in so doing; will think little of abusing their fellow man; yet most seriously, they abuse the Creator who gives them life.
God from the very beginning revealed how He sees His remarkable and zany creatures, and Adam must have enjoyed hilarious delight in naming the animals God paraded before him in the Garden of Eden. We do not have an abundance of passages in Scripture speaking specifically of pets in the home. The Old Testament prophet Nathan’s story in 2 Samuel which he spoke to David to expose his sin, nevertheless, reveals the poignant truth of the love of animals, especially those animals which become a beloved pet in the midst of a family. And just as we learn in this story, inspired by the Spirit of God, of how we ought to live in relationship to one another, so these pets, especially dogs, teach us of the fruit of faithfulness, loyalty, love, and non-irritated devotion. They fix their eyes on our face to see what we want them to do. In a living picture they portray how we ought to wait patiently and earnestly upon God for direction and guidance in all things, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and completer of our faith.
Meditate on what God is teaching you of your relationship to Him and to others the next time you enjoy a few moments with your pet. They are more than mere companions; they reflect the beauty and creativity of their Intelligent Designer; for just as the trees of the field clap their hands in praise of the Creator, so these pets praise Him in loving you.
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for me and expressing it in the way you created all your creatures.


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Payh Blog
Apr 24, 2008

Counting on A Long Life?

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Scriptural Basis:
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4
Anderson’s Applications:
This week the news carried the picture of a 115 year old “young American lady who is now the oldest person in the world, the other 115 year old from Asia, older by a few months, having just died. We are told today that for any number of reasons we are living longer on average than those since early Biblical days. Thanks to modern medicine, and the eradication of many ailments and diseases, there is certainly the potential for longer life. The Bible itself is not short on promises concerning living to a ripe old age in this world, though its formula for attaining old age is not found on the pages of most “health magazines. There the focus is on what you can do for the “machinery, the physical body, with little mention of the spirit that empowers it and directs your steps.
God’s Word speaks about long life for those who fear the Lord, who honor their parents, who walk in His ways, who guard their tongues from evil and deceitful speech, who hunger for righteousness, who practice obedience to His commands, “fixing His words in their heart and in their home, while teaching them to their children, and their children’s children. It is not the prescription of the “health magazines. But it is the prescription of the One who made us and controls every life for good or ill.
Yet it can still be shown that God in His wisdom has seen fit to cut short the lives of those who in our estimation and His (see for example Stephen in the New Testament) lived such a life. This is the mystery of Providence, and one of the many questions we shall have for Him in eternity, when we see our Lord face to face, and not through a “glass darkly as the Scriptures put it. It is for us who desire to see and influence the lives of our children and theirs, and the lives of others, by the example of our own life of godliness, which rest on the promise that “gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.
My own father, whom I love dearly, is now approaching his 91st birthday. He is certainly, in his own words, yearning for home (heaven) where his sweetheart of 62 years of marriage awaits, but better still His beloved Savior. Yet he is content to rest in His Providence who determines the length of his days and knows each one of our life’s end (Psalm 139:16).
Would you like to know what your date is? How would it change the way you approach life today? We live now, and we shall live tomorrow by faith alone, trusting in the Word which is ours for the hearing any and every day. We do not “see the day of our death, already ordained for us. But we can see and know the One who has ordained it. Many “things and people can get in the way of prioritizing Him, but it is your spirit that “fixes your choices. Job’s counselors were not renowned for the accuracy of their counsel, but Eliphaz was not off the mark when he rightly prophesied of Job, “You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. (Job 5:26) This is another way of saying, “Finish well!
Encouragement:
Heavenly Father, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)


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Payh Blog
Apr 17, 2008

A Date that Will Live In Infamy: Dec. 7, 1941 or April 15th?

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Scriptural Basis:
Then He said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s. Matthew 22:21
Anderson’s Applications:
“A date that will live in infamy, is how President Roosevelt described December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day; but many Americans seem to believe it is as well an apt description for April 15th in any given year. We are often told around this time how many days (months) we must work after January 1st before we begin paying ourselves, instead of the government. The wit of Ben Franklin expressed many years ago that “nothing can be certain but death and taxes; yet he also told us, “Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may more easily bear the latter. Believe it or not there is a spiritual element to paying taxes, and Jesus did not avoid the subject; though admittedly when He said what we read above in the Gospel of Matthew He was answering a question put to Him craftily for the purpose of tripping Him into such an answer that would finally silence Him and end His public mission.
The evil intent of Jesus’ enemies, the Pharisees, was to collaborate with their own enemies, the tax-supporting Herodians, to do their dirty work in putting a question to Jesus that would infuriate either the tax-paying national populace of the Jews or the governing Roman authorities. They thought His answer would surely make one of these two so angry that Jesus’ mouth would be stopped and His mission from His Father in Heaven aborted. Instead His wisdom so amazed them, they fled the field of battle, themselves silenced!
We also can be amazed by the wisdom of Jesus in quieting their tongues, and still miss the import of His words to our own sanctification. He desires that we not only hear what He says, in every instance, but express our love for Him through obedience. Tax collectors and taxes both were hated in His day, and we, being honest, grate under the “burden of paying taxes in our day. But what Jesus teaches us here is that the Christian faith is no enemy to civil government. Indeed, the government of Jesus’ day was far more odious than the one we live under in America today. The Jews under Roman rule had no voice concerning the rate of their taxes, or changing their government at the ballot box. Yet God raised up the authorities in their day just as He has the authorities in our day for the purposes of order and justice in the society. Jesus was aware of that and honored the government even though they became His unjust executioners.
He has given us in our day a privilege not enjoyed by every Christian in every age; the honor to say something about how we are taxed and who taxes us, as well as who rules over us. To not exercise that honor is a sin; not just idleness, not just oversight, not just ignorance; it is a willful sin. Give to Caesar (civil government), Jesus said, what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s! Jesus tacitly admonished Caesar for putting an inscription on his coins falsely claiming his own divinity, in saying give to God what is God’s. We are to obey God rather than men when man’s rulings are disobedient to God’s expressed will. And we are to worship Him alone. But we are to obey the authorities over us (Romans 13) in all things that are not in direct disobedience to God and His Word. What we cannot do is exempt ourselves from voting. We are citizens of Heaven, but we are also citizens of our home country. It is our spiritual duty and precious privilege to exercise both responsibilities. We do not put purple ink on one of our fingers when we vote, but think when you vote of those who do, at the risk of their life, and value what you have with thanksgiving to God.
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, help me in Your strength to give honor where honor is due, and live as one who is in submission to my Lord and Savior.


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Payh Blog
Apr 10, 2008

Sin's Black Box Will Always Beep Until It's Discovered

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Scriptural Basis:
“And you may be sure that your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23b
Anderson’s Applications:
There are many people who do not believe this is true. Otherwise, why do they do what they do? So often sin is willingly entered into with the thought, “Who is going to know? Or, “How can this really hurt me? We hear about the Bill Clintons and the Eliot Spitzers of the world fairly frequently. We do not always know about those whose notoriety is not of such company; but their number is, nevertheless, legion. Most of us can count ourselves among them. Notoriety or not, our sin hurts someone, and if we ever think about who it hurts, especially when it is exposed, we do not always include the One who leads the list: the Lord Himself.
This verse has been hidden in my memory from a very young age. Unfortunately, its truth with its warning of consequence was not always foremost in my mind. The context is illustrative of similar situations in which we find ourselves today. Read Numbers 32 and consider the request to Moses of two of the twelve tribes of Israel: Reuben and Gad. The Israelites were still on the wilderness side of Jordan preparing to enter and subdue the “Promised Land of Canaan as God had commanded. The Reubenites and the Gadites greatly desired the land this side of Canaan for their herds and flocks, their wives and children; a land which in essence was already conquered. It afforded them immediate gratification, and hopefully, they thought, no need to pursue the hard work of taking Canaan by force. Basically the lust of their eyes had taken their hearts desire away from the Lord’s “Promised Land. “A bird in the hand was worth two in the bush. Moses was not pleased with their request anymore than he was with the bad report of ten of the twelve spies who had reconnoitered the land of Canaan, including representatives from these two tribes. Only Caleb and Joshua brought a report that pleased the Lord, because it was in agreement with His revealed will.
Moses conceded to the request only when he secured the promise of the participation of Reuben’s and Gad’s fighting men in the herculean task set before the whole nation of Israel. But his warning to them includes the verse, “be sure your sin will find you out if you do not do what you have promised before the Lord, and complete the work to its full satisfaction.
It is no different with the believer or even the unbeliever. Unbelievers enter into trusts with a person or people to whom they make a promise of fidelity and honor, such as the two notorious individuals above. The believer enters into an agreement to serve the Lord with his whole heart. If the promise is betrayed God says, believer or unbeliever, “you may be sure your sin will find you out. It is a given in the world in which we live, a world created and ruled by its Creator. You may not believe it; the exposure or the consequence may not be immediate; it may linger for some time; but it is inevitable. And believe it or not, God proves it over and over again.
We may be genuinely shocked by the suggestions that enter into our minds, especially if we are not convinced of the depravity of the heart of man; but we will not act on them, if we are convinced of the truth of this verse and the pain and shame we bring on the Lord Himself. Joseph exclaimed in his heart when under the severest of temptations, “How can I do such a wicked thing and sin against God? The hurt and shame to others is severe enough, but even it is not nearly so powerful an antidote as to understand the fear of the Lord and see Him with the eyes of your heart.
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, before I act upon an urge to sin or the lust of my eyes, remind me that Your eyes are upon my every step, and I cannot flee from Your presence; nor, if I sin, the inevitable consequence of it.


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Payh Blog
Apr 03, 2008

Friends:The Chief Happiness in Life?

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Scriptural Basis:
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Anderson’s Applications:
“Friendship is the greatest of worldly goods. Certainly to me it is the chief happiness of life. If I had to give a piece of advice to a young man about a place to live, I think I should say, “Sacrifice almost everything to live where you can be near your friends. I know I am very fortunate in that respect; so penned C.S. Lewis in a letter to a friend. But do not confuse his advice as it relates to what kind of friends may come to your mind. Lewis also said, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are. He wrote quite a bit about the value and the meaning of friends, because it was so precious to him. He did not marry until late in life, and then but for a brief time, though a time and relationship of great joy. Friends, like the wife he loved in brief marriage, and those male friends before, do not come in great numbers. This side of eternity there is but time for a small number of friends who are “soul mate travelers in traversing successfully a most weighty (a “weight of glory), yet treacherous pilgrimage of life.
Yet there are those who have never experienced such a friend, even though they are or have been married. Friendship of this quality with a spouse is “worth far more than rubies. (Proverbs 31:10) But God’s revelation speaks also of the friendship we have with those where romance and the love of lovers is not its nature, but as Lewis describes, “We picture lovers face to face but Friends side by side; their eyes look ahead. In Lewis’ The Four Loves, you can study in detail the different “loves that characterize friendship in marriage versus a friend of the same gender, often not even a relative; like Jonathan and David, or possibly Mary, Joanna, and Mary (Luke 24:10).
We are all in need of such a friend, or if so blessed, friends. A word study of “friend(s) in the Bible will lay before you a diversity of “friends, some of whom are a snare, and others who are of precious value. If we do not enjoy the treasure of a mutually wise and spiritually beneficial fellow traveler or travelers, we need to be in the business of earnestly asking our Father in heaven. “We have not because we ask not. Consider Lewis again, “For a Christian there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to his disciples, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, can truly say to every pair, or group, of Christian friends, “You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.
This present culture is certainly not an incubator for such friendships or the valuing of them. The frenetic pace of 21st century living is the enemy of those friendships which cultivate holiness and a hunger for godliness. It is easier to succumb to the entertainment of technology than to “sacrifice time to discussing the deep things of this life and of eternity, while encouraging a mutual pursuit. “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. (Malachi 3:16) It may well be “easier, as falling off a mountain is easier than climbing one; but it is never, ever as satisfying or as rewarding.
Encouragement:
“Abba Father, give me a friend or friends who have my righteousness and eternity in their heart as I do theirs.


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