Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

More Autumnal Beauty

Autumn leaves

I Am One Of Only Four Percent In America...

who believe the following things:

  1. Absolute moral truths exist.
  2. The Bible defines these absolute moral truths.
  3. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life during His ministry on the earth.
  4. God created the universe and continues to rule it today. He is omnipotent and omniscient.
  5. Salvation is a gift from God. It cannot be earned through good works or behavior.
  6. satan is a real living entity.
  7. Christians have an obligation to share the gospel with the unsaved.
  8. The Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
This is according to a Barna poll that I learned about in an excellent article by Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

I must say that finding myself in such a minority in America is shocking to say the least. What was even more shocking was to discover that less than one in ten evangelical Christians hold to these 8 beliefs! (You can also reference the beliefs of those considered "Born Again Christians" by the Barna Group.)

According to Jackson's article,

Shortly after the Civil War, the Protestant church divided over this belief in a literal interpretation of Scripture. Liberals moved away from Scripture as the sole authority in order to accommodate “rational truth,” which they saw as incompatible with the Bible. These liberals embraced the “essence of Christianity” rather than the inerrancy of Scripture so they could synthesize their Christian thought with so-called scientific findings of the day.

One of the preeminent voices to emerge in defense of absolute truth shortly after the turn of the century was a Princeton Theological Seminary professor and Presbyterian minister, J. Grescham Machen, who would later lead a split within the Presbyterian Church over the rejection of biblical orthodoxy. In his definitive work, Christianity and Liberalism, Machen said that liberalism was not only theologically wrong but was not connected at all to true Christianity. “What the liberal theologian has retained after abandoning to the enemy one Christian doctrine after another is not Christianity at all, but a religion which is so entirely different from Christianity as to belong in a different category.” Machen felt that the argument was no longer between two views of evangelicalism, conservative and liberal, but rather a conflict between two religions. Liberalism is “a type of faith and practice that is anti-Christian to the core,” Machen wrote. (Emphases mine.)

I couldn't agree more. Mr. Jackson went on to share the statistics that I referenced at the beginning of this post and pointed out just how serious this problem is. He wrote, "Unfortunately, a growing number of Christians are influenced more by the popular culture than Scripture in terms of their worldview. Even younger evangelicals, who tend to track conservatively on most core social issues, do not consistently view the world from a biblical perspective." (Emphases mine.) If less that 10 percent of all EVANGELICAL believers hold to this definition of biblical worldview we have serious flaws in our foundation.

All standards other than the Bible fall far short of acceptability when judging the culture. The Bible is the only pure standard that we have. When we abandon that standard we are telling God that we are wiser and smarter than He is. That never ends well.

Mr. Jackson went on to say,

In light of these dispiriting statistics, Christians must return to emphasizing God’s truth and God’s love. America currently stands at a crossroad. Many of our national problems are a result of our churches abandoning truth. It is not the institution that needs to seek God – it is every individual in each one of the nation’s pews.

A truly repentant church will experience a spiritual renewal. A renewed church can once again be salt and light to the nation. A critical mass of godly Christians must be reached. If we use the imagery of today’s light bulbs we don’t yet have a high enough wattage light bulb to truly lighten our nation. Once we have reached critical mass, the Lord will pour out tangible blessings upon the entire nation in honor of a faithful church that lives and preaches biblical truth.

I pray to God that the church will repent. The consequences are too great if we fail to.

Thank you, brother for the awesome article.

Revive us O Lord.

Sonnet XII

Billions and billions of stars, galaxies, and nebulae

My God – A Sonnet To My King
By Jonathan D. Eller

My God, My God, who loves as well as You?
Your patience is more broad than all You’ve made,
And though all men are false your word proves true.
Your promises, vast as the stars arrayed,
Speak goodness, love, and mercy without end.
Your power stuns my intellect and yet,
The helpless and downtrodden You defend.
Your heart’s inclined to forgive and forget
The sins confessed by children penitent.
But anger flares towards those who mock Your path
And scorn Your truth with actions insolent.
They, sowing foolish seed, invite Your wrath.
Lord, let Your kindness cause them to repent.
Please draw them to the Holy Lamb You sent.

October 27, 2008

Another installment in the poetry series!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Country church in autumn

Sound Familiar?

Was reading this the past couple days: the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Is it me or does this sound eerily familiar?

Friday, October 24, 2008


Autumn gorge

Still waiting for the leaves to change here, but at least there are pictures!

One More

Worship should be reserved for Sunday mornings, not Election Day.

- Cal Thomas

Don't They Know? "Hosanna!" Is The Proper Greeting For The Messiah

Was just reading a very scary piece by Oliver North. In it he wrote of an experience he recently had in Washington:

During Wednesday afternoon's rush hour, I was making my way home on the Dulles Greenway, when a phalanx of police motorcycles and cruisers stopped all traffic and ordered us to pull our vehicles off the highway and onto the shoulders. Over a loudspeaker, we were told to stay put until the Obama campaign convoy passed. They were on their way to a rally in Leesburg, Va.

Instantly, hundreds of people were out of their cars. Directly in front of me, a group of supporters -- evident by their bumper stickers -- jumped out with cameras, cell phones and banners. They began chanting: "The messiah! He's coming! Obama is coming!" The shouting only intensified as the candidate and his entourage -- motorcycles, police cars, black Secret Service Chevy Suburbans, and buses -- roared past us.

What I found so disturbing was seeing so many of my countrymen who apparently think -- or believe or hope -- that the next president of the United States will save us from ourselves. Sen. Obama has said we cannot "wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for." He would do well to remember that unfulfilled expectations are the greatest cause of anger on the planet. That's true whether it is between husbands and wives, students and teachers, employers and employees or leaders and the led. He also might recall that humility is a virtue that has distinguished our greatest leaders.

What all this means to the future of this republic, I don't know. I'm a military historian, not a prophet. But I do know the first name of the Messiah. It's not Mike. And it isn't Barack, either.

Ollie is right again. It will be scary to see their reaction if Senator Obama wins and doesn't walk on water.

Quote Of The Day

Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.

- Charles Krauthammer

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I am utterly undone by this song this morning.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

A lovely autumn woodland landscape


Joe The Plumber

Barack Obama
I just saw an excellent video that encapsulates very well why I do not support Barack Obama's economic "plan." (Scheme seems a more appropriate term.)

If you want to see most of the conversation between Barack and Joe you can see it HERE.

Neil Cavuto of Fox News interviewed Joe. It was also worth viewing.

Barack Obama is a master of obfuscation. In another video that I saw today Charlie Gibson pointed out that in both cases when the Capital Gains tax was lowered (by Bill Clinton and by George W. Bush) that tax revenue increased. Barack objected that he didn't care about revenue he cared about fairness. Then, of course, he turned around and said that you have to have enough revenue to "pay as you go."

I have a real problem with this Obamanomics. First of all, it is utterly socialist for the government to redistribute wealth. In fact, it really goes beyond socialism - that is more a tenet of communism. The communists "redistributed the wealth" by taking all of the wealth so that everyone (except for those in charge) were dirt poor. Odd thing was - it still wasn't fair. And it deincentivised the workers in the society by removing any reward for their labor.

This is what Barack Obama proposes: The government is all-knowing and all-wise and knows what a "fair wage" is far better than you do. If you (or your business) get above that level of income the government should knock you back down to size and take your "excess" because it can waste money far better than you ever imagined was possible.

As a former small business owner, I can testify that the amount of revenue that a company brings in is in NO WAY a reflection of the income that the owner takes home. My "prosperous" real estate business bled out three times what I took home in expenses. In one good year where I actually managed to make about $10,000 more than the average my taxes knocked me back down to making LESS than I had the year before. Even with revenue over $100,000, my take home pay was not enough to make ends meet, and I do not live an extravagant lifestyle by any means. (I live in a modest home under 900 square feet. I own one vehicle. I don't have any "toys" like boats or 4-wheelers or things like that.)

This will only get worse under Obama's "brilliant" plan.

In fact, Obama's many assurances that he plans to lower taxes for us peasants appear to be prevarication. According to a recent email that I received:

Obama plans to charge 28% Capital Gains Tax on profit from ALL home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.) How well do you think that will help the housing crisis? Funny how he didn't mention that part in his discussion with Joe.

Obama plans to raise the dividend tax from 15% to 39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.') Remember what Charlie Gibson said in the debate? Lowering taxes INCREASED tax revenue.

This increased dividend tax will also hurt small business owners who have incorporated under an "S" corporation. They are able to reduce their tax liability by paying themselves dividends instead of income. Yet one more way Obama is planning to pillage the little guy.

Obama also wants to reverse the Bush Administration tax cuts in the income tax. Currently these liabilities are as follows:

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

Under Obama's plan?

Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!

And Obama wants to bring back the inheritance tax too. This tax was never fair. All of the items in an inheritance have already been taxed throughout an individual's lifetime. Yet the government decided that they could rape the heirs by stealing the estate that a person worked so hard for all their life through taxes. Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes. This is basically the government playing God. By this tax they are saying, "I have given you all of these things and so I deserve to take them back."

In addition to these tax increases, Obama plans to penalize people for buying houses that are too large (new government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet.) The government under Obama will suddenly have the right to determine how big a house you should have. He also plans to add new taxes for natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) because the government should also save the world from "global warming," no doubt. Communism, my friends.

Oh yes, and then there is the increase that Obama plans for the gasoline tax. And plans to tax your retirement accounts. And new taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

If Barack Obama was interested in "fairness" over revenue, then he should be talking about the fair tax plan proposed by Mike Huckabee and others. Why not have a flat tax based on consumption rather than based on income? Think of the reduction of government expense if they didn't have to employ an army of auditors to keep the people of our country afraid to do their taxes. Turn those auditors against the government bureaucracy! Let them find the waste in the government and root out the dead wood. That would account for a huge reduction in revenue needed to run the government.

Wouldn't it be much nicer if no one had to worry about doing taxes? If they were handled whenever you made a new purchase? Those who spend less will pay fewer taxes. Those who spend more will pay more taxes. Makes sense to me. Accountants will be able to keep normal hours throughout the year and focus on other aspects of their business that are more enjoyable and incur less liability than personal and business income taxes do.

Barack Obama's economic/taxation policy will bankrupt America. It will take a shaky economy and send it in an unrecoverable tailspin. I pray to the Lord that he never gets his way.

(The text in italics is taken directly from the email that I received. A couple links were offered as verification for the claims made, but there are about 50 articles between the two links and I have not had time to fully investigate. And both links take you to CNN sources, which I hardly trust as unbiased or trustworthy. Is everything contained in this email true? I don't know. The articles that I have tried to scan seem to be all over the place, just like Obama's answers to every question that is asked him.)

In the end, regardless of whether this data is completely true or not it does not influence my decision one iota. I had already made up my mind before I saw this, and it only serves to reinforce that decision. I may take the time to verify all of this data, but realistically I probably won't. I don't have the time, interest, or patience to deal with a whole lot of political hooey right now. You can check the links that I provided above if you have an inquiring mind.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Autumn: An Exercise In the Use Of Color

Autumn leavesGod does pretty good work, eh?

Fresh Stuff

Here is the latest in my sonnet series. I hope you enjoy it.

Sonnet VII

My Treasure – A Sonnet To My King

By Jonathan D. Eller

Oh Lord, how sweet Your presence is to me.
Its worth exceeds by far the whole earth’s gold!
And yet I find sometimes I run from Thee
To cherish something not worth laying hold.
A foolish man I am, and there’s no doubt
To think that the created may compare
To He who made and stretched the heavens out
And notes each fallen sparrow’s end with care.
Yes, fool was I to choose something ‘fore Thee
When lovingly You wanted me to wrap
Up tightly warm within Your arms safely
And snuggle there with You upon Your lap.
“My son if you into My arms will fly
Your joy will grow as each new day draws nigh.”

October 14, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Fall

Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Thoughts About the State Of Christian Music

We are taught that the world is treacherous and dishonest, but the shock of betrayal is stunning when a young Christian finds it within his own religion.

- Larry Norman

I just read a very interesting article by the late Larry Norman about the Christian music industry. It is a well-thought (albeit long) article worthy of a critical read when you get the chance.


Yes, you read that right. Poetry. In High School I absolutely hated poetry. I just couldn't get it. Meter? Rhyme scheme? Iambic pentameter? And I couldn't see how everything that we were reading was supposed to be referring to sex.

Once I got to college and finally gave in to the inevitable destiny that I would major in English (in spite of futilely working through High School to avoid even having to take an English class in college) poetry finally began to click. I think it was in my second or third survey class - an English Literature survey - that it dawned on me that meter seemed contrived because it was. And it finally occurred to me that everything was iambic pentameter unless it wasn't.

These were great revelations. But then I discovered why they even mattered at all. The whole point of drawing the little accents and slashes on a poem was to force you to read it in a detached enough manner for your subconscious mind to begin to churn on the words and images of the poem. The revelations received while doing this to poems such as Xanadu were shocking enough to inspire me to blush. It really WAS about sex!

I think one of the things that really helped me to grasp poetry in general was music. I had taken up guitar in college and had turned my hand to writing some songs. Lyrics have a meter to them. The beauty of music, though, is that you can cheat. You can stretch things out and get more syllables out of a word than are really there. But this was the thing that opened the world of poetry to me.

Since then I have written many songs, and I like to think that my meter and rhyme has gotten much better and more sophisticated. The truth of that opinion remains to be seen, but at least my newer songs are much better than the earlier ones.

One form that had always eluded me was the sonnet. I had tried many times when enamored of some young lady to pen a sonnet, but the constraints of meter and rhyme scheme foiled me every time. (Perhaps the Lord was keeping me from wasting creative energy and praise on someone who was unworthy?) However, recently I finally triumphed over the sonnet.

Alas, you will not be allowed to read the first two that I have written - at least not for a while. They are, shall we say, private. But I have written several others that I do not mind sharing - and don't worry; they're not about sex. These are sonnets that I have written to God. I hope that you will enjoy them. As I write additional ones I will probably post them here. I also welcome suggestions from those of you with literary experience on things that I may do to make these poems better.

Here is the first (actually Sonnet 3):

A Sonnet To My King
By Jonathan D. Eller

Thy grievous wounds received for my defense
Hath paid in full my fearsome debt to Thee,
As age and wisdom show my full offense
And conscience aches rememb’ring my folly.
On what ground can I claim so dear a gift?
For righteousness or goodness on my part?
Nay on my own I’m naught but dust to sift
And bear the blame for my contrary heart.
“But God…” what words with joyous rapture filled,
Hath loved me and hath sent His only Son!
In shocking love His precious blood was spilled
And raised to life that death may be undone.
O glorious Captain, Savior, Lord, and King,
My life is Thine. I give Thee everything.

September 26, 2008

Here is the second (Sonnet 4):

Homecoming: A Sonnet to My King
By Jonathan D. Eller

When breath is gone and mortal life is done
How precious will that moment be to Thee,
As spent and bruised my finished race is run,
Collapsing in Your arms in victory.
But crowns and garlands I do not deserve,
For truly it was Christ who bore me through.
In spite of flimsy flesh and failing nerve
Your Spirit worked within to make me new!
At times I wondered if the cost so dear
Against my flesh were truly worth the prize.
Yet now beholding You suddenly near
Hath destroyed doubt and caused my joy to rise!
From here the trials were transient, short and light.
My joy is full as faith gives way to sight!

September 26, 2008

And here is my most recent (Sonnet 6):

Atonement - A Sonnet to My King
By Jonathan D. Eller

The Master summons me. What shall I do?
For I am in no state to meet the King.
‘Cause I am marred by sin without and through,
And next to Him I’m such a filthy thing.
My sins are numerous as ocean sands:
For other lords I’ve served in vanity,
And bowed myself to gods made by my hands;
I’ve stolen, lied, and despised family;
I’ve blasphemed, hated, been consumed by greed;
I’ve lusted after women not my wife;
And Sabbaths have I worked to meet my need.
A sinner I have been for all my life.
The Master shakes His head and calls again.
"The Lamb has made atonement for your sin."

October 11, 2008

So there you have it. Hopefully, I'll get better at these too!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Homemade Fireworks

This is a picture of the Jules Verne re-entering earth's atmosphere. I can't remember exactly what the Jules Verne was and I'm too lazy to look it up right now, but it made one heck of a cool light show!

Some Thoughts On The Election

I have talked to many people who are extremely dissatisfied with their choices for the election in just a few weeks. I can understand their frustration. What concerns me most is the confusion that seems to be attending this frustration. As I have been pondering the election this morning, and particularly as I have been thinking about the confusion of the people I have talked to, I thought it would be worthwhile to write about it here this morning.

The political spin doctors have done a very good job of obfuscating the real issues that are at stake. Instead of really getting down to the key points they have tried to draw people's attention to the inexperience of either candidate. The reality is that the core issues at stake haven't changed.

As a Christian I have one issue that is to me a make or break issue for any candidate. Any candidate that supports abortion is an automatic no in my book as long as I have a pro-life choice. Thankfully, this year I don't have to choose between two pro-murder candidates. This year the delineation between the two presidential tickets is clear on this issue. Senator Obama has consistently and publicly declared his support for the murder of the unborn, and has gone even further by supporting infanticide for babies that somehow survive an abortion. He supports partial birth abortions. In fact, there is nothing about abortion that he opposes at all. His running mate, Joe Biden is also in favor of abortion.

On the other hand Senator McCain and Governor Palin are both staunchly opposed to abortion. Senator McCain has a long voting record that gives testimony to his opposition. Governor Palin has demonstrated by her own choices her support for life. I am not as impressed with the stance Senator McCain has taken on cloning, but the difference between him and Senator Obama is stark.

To me this makes the decision simple.

This is, of course, not the only reason that I support the McCain/Palin ticket. I am sure that McCain will be more fiscally conservative than Obama. I am certain that he will not be as likely to raise taxes as Obama will. I believe that McCain understands what really needs to happen in Washington - regardless of whether or not he can make it happen or not. I believe that Senator McCain really does have the country's best interest at heart. (I cannot help but question the sincerity of someone who has spent the majority his short time in the Senate doing little but campaigning for the presidency. It offended me when John Edwards tried it, and I am similarly offended by Barack Obama.) I am certain that John McCain is more fit than Obama to be Commander-In-Chief. And I believe that he understands the dangers that our country faces in this world far better than Obama does. I do not believe that Senator McCain would compromise our sovereignty to make himself look better.

If Governor Palin is inexperienced, Senator Obama is even less so. If you don't agree with all of Senator McCain's past actions, statements, or positions, how many of Senator Obama's do you agree with?

Don't buy the lie that it is better to not vote or to vote for a third party candidate to show your displeasure with the choices. A non-vote or a third party vote is the same as a vote for Obama.

I believe that God is sovereign, and because of this I believe that the choices that we have were sovereignly chosen by Him. I think that the disparity between the candidates is offering America a clear choice - a choice that will determine the future of our country. God is holding up a measuring line. Will we choose someone who values life and holds to the values that have influenced our country since its founding? Will we choose someone who has demonstrated his courage and character through many trials? Or will we choose someone who is confused about what the Bible really says? Someone who is confused about when life begins? Someone who has more experience campaigning than he does governing?

To me the choice is clear. Even though there are things about Senator McCain that I am not wholeheartedly in agreement with, the alternative is absolutely unacceptable. I pray that an unquestionable majority agree with me.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm Back

Hello, friends. Sorry for the long absence. The main reason for my silence was a problem caused by WindStream. Fortunately (after about 3 weeks and much hoop jumping and much frustration) they finally got someone involved who could and did fix the problem. I didn't have internet connectivity from September 9 through September 27.

I could have posted from my parents' house, but blogging - to me - is something that I need to be in familiar surroundings to do. I need to feel like I have the luxury of time to be able to write well. Usually when I am at their house, I am busy with outside chores and computer work is pushed to the back burner. By the time I am done with outside work, I am generally ready to get a bath and go to bed, not sit and type on the computer!

Of course I am sure that many of you are perhaps wondering about the gap since I got my service back. Well, there are some reasons for that too. I have been busy transitioning things in the garden from the summer crops to the fall crops. That has taken a good bit of work. I have felt like I have been behind the 8 ball trying to keep up with everything here at the end. However, things seem to be settling down nicely. I have only 3 tomato plants left and have picked the last of the purplehull peas that I plan to pick. The okra has slowed down considerably and I only expect to get a couple more pickings from the lima beans.

My green patch is doing very nicely. I picked three nice messes of greens yesterday and there is plenty more where they came from. The collards finally seem to be taking off and my cabbage is looking good. I have rutabagas coming up and will be thinning and transplanting them when they are big enough. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some pumpkins on before the season ends. God has truly blessed my efforts this year. What a good God! It has been a great opportunity to learn and to see His hand in operation. I never dreamed when I started the garden that I would get to witness so many miracles first hand. It has been awesome.

Another reason for the delay in getting back to writing on this blog is that I have started a new private blog that is a personal prayer journal. I had hoped to write in it daily, but unfortunately, that hasn't been the case so far. It has been a very good endeavor, though. The only problem is that it takes time and we all know that time is in pretty short supply. Writing in one will often mean neglecting another.

Yet a third reason that I haven't written is that I have been avoiding politics lately like the plague. I am so sick of this unending campaigning. I am tired of the bias. I am tired of everything about it. I have already made up my mind and am sure that nothing that any of the candidates is likely to say will sway me to go in another direction. So, I have been insulating myself against that too, and as you know, much of my material is a reaction to the headlines.

God seems to be doing some interesting things in me lately. Some of it is very unconventional. I often wonder where it will lead me. I don't know if I could put a finger on anything specifically - I doubt that I would write about it even if I could - I just feel that something is going on. Something good.

I guess that the final reason is that I have just gotten out of the habit of writing. I have a goal to do 365 posts on this blog this year. I may have a little catching up to do to make up for the pitiful showing last month, but I think I can still make it. Thank you all for the inquiries and concerns about my whereabouts. I haven't been kidnapped (at least not physically) and I haven't joined the Foreign Legion. I've just been restrained, distracted, and busy. God bless you all and thank you for reading.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy Holy Day

Sundown today was the beginning of Yom Kippur - the Day of Atonement. Fortunately, I thought to look up when the holiday falls this year earlier today and discovered that it began this evening. I found out just in time.

I have often wanted to celebrate this holiday and have marginally a few times, but my fasting was often in conjunction with work. Tomorrow I have the opportunity to really take some time and focus on what the day is all about. However, I wonder if I should do the fast like Isaiah 58 suggests.

The day is technically supposed to be a complete sabbath to the Lord - working takes away from being able to focus on how you have fallen short of God's standard. I think the point being that God wants our undistracted attention on this, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

So how does a Christian celebrate the Day of Atonement? That's a good question. I mean our sins have been forgiven by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. I suppose a good use of the day would be to reflect on His sacrifice for me. But I think that it is also helpful to remind myself of just how much I need a Savior. Would it also not be a good day to do some things that show sacrificial love for others too? I will continue to ponder this question through the night and into tomorrow. I hope that the Lord will give me a clear picture of how He wants me to celebrate this day.

I have often wondered why the Day of Atonement was so far removed from the Passover. Perhaps it is so that God's people would have a semi-annual reminder of their need for God's grace. I guess Christ's sacrifice came at the Passover because the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread is a more joyous one - one that shows not only the crucifixion, but also the resurrection, and the cleansing that God's people display after He has justified them.

Regardless, I am looking forward to celebrating this day tomorrow. I truly hope that my Jewish brothers will come to know the truth that Y'eshua (Jesus) is their Messiah - the final, perfect atoning sacrifice for all that will receive God's gracious gift. I look forward to seeing the days that Isaiah foresaw so many years ago. May they come to pass in my lifetime. And may God richly bless you today and draw you to Himself.