Author Archives: deefduke

About deefduke

Pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church, ride a bicycle, fish, hunt, and have 25 grandchildren.

Fishing with Grandkids

There isn’t much in life that I enjoy more than doing things with my kids and grandkids. Today, Gary Brown, a good friend took me, my son-in-law, Aaron his two sons, my two grandsons fishing, and we all had a blast. I am sure it will be a very memorable time for both the boys, and especially for me.

Life is full of trials, disappointments, hassles, and pressures, but regularly there is a break, a bright light, a really cool experience that makes everything seem right and good. Today was one of those days for me. God designs life to be a character gym, a time and place where we are in training for the purpose of growing stronger and stronger in character. But all workouts need a renewing time, and today was a day when all my gas tanks got filled full and topped off.

Cancel Culture

There are so many new phrases coming out now to describe so many new ways of thinking and acting. I am regularly googling phrases and seeing what Wikipedia has to say about it. Of late I have seen the phrase ”cancel culture” pop up a bunch so I googled it and found lots of reading on the new way to control people, and exert power over them.

CEO of Goya Foods, Robert Unanue, publically declared his support for President Trump recently, and now there are a bunch of people boycotting Goya Foods to punish him for his views. I recently had a person unfriend me because they didn’t like what I wrote in one of my blogs.

Choosing to unfriend someone on Facebook isn’t the real problem, it is when along with distancing yourself from someone you slander them, attempt to embarrass them and even ruin them. It is motivated and driven by hate, and the goal control and vengeance.

Very few things that a society or country does gives the devil more power and control of that country than a general attitude of unforgiveness, bitterness, and vengeance, it is a rule of God.

Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone of a sin or an offense against him, seven times? Jesus responds by saying seventy times seven and the disciples are shocked at that answer, and then Jesus tells one of his longest stories in the gospels to illustrate the importance of forgiving others. At the end of the story in Matthew 18:34-35 ”And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

”The torturers” are demons, and God is permitting them to do what they want to the person who doesn’t forgive from his heart. When a whole ”culture” does that, that culture becomes increasingly more evil as the devil gains greater and greater levels of control and power.

Every morning I pray a prayer of personal commitment and dedication to Jesus Christ as Lord, master, and King of my life. I make a number of commitments in the prayer, and one of them is, ”Today I choose to forgive anybody of anything that they may have done to me, no matter how bad the offense and no matter how many times they have done it. I am choosing to do this quickly, not mulling over in my head the deed or words that hurt me. I am choosing to do this, not because they deserve it, but because Jesus has forgiven me of every sin and transgression in my life.”

Travel to other Countries

One of our parenting goals was to have each of our kids go to a Third World Country on a short term mission trip before they graduated from High School. We did accomplish that goal, and they went to countries like Vietnam, Haiti, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The reason for this goal was so that they could see how poor many other people in the world are, be both moved to do something to help if possible, and also to appreciate living in the United States, having a spirit of gratefulness as opposed to a spirit of discontentment, criticalness, and selfishness. Also that they would see how bad the governments in many of these countries are, how oppressive, controlling, corrupt, inefficient and ineffective, and again, appreciate what we have here in the USA.

People who are grateful, positive, and happy are attractive to others, and they influence others, things change, get better because of them.

I have six, 12-volt batteries on my pontoon boat. They run my electric trolling motor, start the 85 hp outboard motor, power the fish finder and GPS, supply power for the lights that I have on the boat for night fishing, and provide electricity for my two electric downriggers that I use when trolling for kokanee. Between fishing trips I carry them into my shop where I hook them up to a battery charger so that they are fully charged the next time I go fishing. Occasionally when I am not paying attention I will clamp the leads from the charger on the wrong terminals on the battery. When that happens, a light starts blinking with the words, ”polarity reversed.” If I left it that way, the positive terminal would become the negative one. It seems like a lot of people, somewhere in life, got charged backwards.

Often as I see pictures and videos of recent riots I think, I should make another trip to West Africa, invite a bunch of those people to go with me to build a school, help in a medical clinic, or drill a well by hand. It is a nice thought that won’t happen because I don’t have the funds to pull that off and they probably wouldn’t go, if asked, but I am pretty sure it would change their life. The polarity of their thinking might get changed back to where it should be.

Equal in Heaven?

Karl Marx said that those in heaven will all be equal in every way which is what makes heaven, heaven. The problem with his statement that he used as a premise for Marxism or Communism as a government form is that it is not true. Heaven is not a place where all the inhabitants are equal. if every Christian in the United States we’re polled I would guess that 80% would say that everyone in heaven will be equal, but that does not make it true. Socialism and Communism remove much of the human motive to excel and to press on to do better, become better, make more money, and to become a better person. The view that everyone who goes to heaven because of faith in Christ is equal also removes much of the motivation to grow and accomplish great things for God.

A basic tenet of Christianity is that no one gets into heaven by being good because the standard is perfection. It only takes one little sin to keep you out. Jesus as God emptied Himself of all that He was as God, became a human exactly like us and lived a perfect sinless life. He was then nailed to a cross and while there God the Father took every person’s sins and put them on Jesus, and looked at Jesus as if He actually committed our sins, and punished Him for our sins. He paid the price of our sins so we wouldn’t have to by going to hell forever. We need to acknowledge that indeed we are sinners and lost and receive, accept the free gift salvation. It is a free gift, not earned nor deserved.

The problem now is that because I am saved, going to heaven not because of any good works, there is now no good reason to do good works, unless there is a judgment of believers and a reward or loss of reward for all those entering into heaven that are significant.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Romans 14:10-12 . . .For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. . . So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Colossians 3:23-25 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

What is the reward, the recompense that we receive for what we have done when we stand before Jesus.? It is meant to motivate us to faithful, sacrificial, devoted living and service. A person who is a fully devoted follower of Jesus gives his entire life to serving the Lord, sacrificially gives his time ministering to people, sacrificially gives his money to help the poor, never seeks for personal recognition or comfort in this life, dies and goes to heaven.

Another person who has trusted in Christ as his savior spends all of his money on toys for himself, doesn’t serve in any way, attends church but is critical of most that is done and continually causes problems, dies as well and goes to heaven.

They both stand before Jesus and give an accounting of their life and are rewarded for how they have lived and what they have done. What is the difference between the two in heaven?

Matthew 6:1 Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

What is the reward and does it make a difference in the quality of life one will experience in heaven? What about those who are proud, hypocritical, and do everything to be noticed by others for their praise? What is the difference in their eternity?

Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.

This verse follows a story Jesus tells to describe the Kingdom of Heaven, and in this verse He is saying that many who are first on earth will be last in heaven. What does that mean to be last in heaven, does it matter, does it make a difference. And again;

Matthew 19:29-30 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.

1 Corinthians 15:41-42 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.

Very few people who call themselves Christians are motivated by the future event called “The Judgment Seat of Christ”.

Equality

This life is short even if we live to be 100. Life after death is long, very long, in fact it is eternal. I have not personally experienced life after death, obviously, but the Bible describes it in detail. The Bible says that God has put eternity into our heart, that is, we have this internal sense of life after death, though some have stuffed that sense as part of their attempt to eliminate God from their life.

Karl Marx in his writings stated that the perfect government could produce “heaven on earth“, which is interesting because he was critical of teachings about God or heaven. He said, “if there is a heaven it is most assuredly a place of perfect equality among everyone there, which is what would make it heaven because then everyone would be perfectly happy.” It is obvious that Karl Marx’s understanding of heaven and eternity was limited.

The differences between people’s level of pleasure in eternity is going to be immense. Some people will be in heaven with Jesus and their life will be amazingly wonderful. They will have a glorified body that is like the body of Jesus that will not ache, hurt or get sick. 1 Corinthians 2:9 puts it this way, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” And then there is 1 Corinthians 15:50-52, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

On the other hand there will be those who spend eternity in the “Lake of Fire”as described in Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10 “they were thrown into the lake of fire and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

Some quick applications

1. Life on this planet is short and then comes eternity. The most important thing in this life is to know without a doubt where you are spending eternity. “I hope”, “I think”, and “I am pretty sure”, don’t cut it.

2. Life on this planet is short and then comes eternity. Doesn’t make make sense to fuss a lot about a place you are just visiting.

3. If you really care about people you will work hard to be a factor in as many lives as possible following Jesus. Nothing else really matters much.

4. There is so much that is wrong in this world but when Jesus comes justice will prevail.

Privileged

The term “white privilege” is being used a lot lately, and it is being stated as a bad thing, or as an unjust thing. The word “privilege” basically means to have an advantage in life, a kid born to rich parents would be privileged. The term “white privilege ” means that those born with white skin have an advantage in life over those with skin of color, especially black.

If every person born, let’s say between 1948 and 1999, that went on in life to grow and become an adult was evaluated on the basis of the advantages or blessings that they had at birth or lack of blessings, and then ranked against all the other people born during this time there would be some interesting observations.

The first observation is that, indeed the circumstances surrounding every person at birth are hugely different, some people are born with some major advantages from the get-go, and others with very few.

Second, to be successful in life because of those advantages is not wrong, it would be wrong if we weren’t successful, it is called being responsible.

A third observation is that many who are born with great advantages do nothing with their life and squander the opportunities that were given to them, in fact the greatness of the opportunities seems to be a demotivator in their life. And many who are born with very few advantages and blessings overcome all the obstacles and become very successful. These rags to riches stories are what America is about.

A fourth observation in life is that if the various advantages or privileges are listed and ranked in regards to the degree of influence they have on a person becoming successful in life the world as a whole will have the list of the blessings upside down, that is they will give great credence to an advantage some have over others that actually results in very little difference in the end, and almost totally ignore the ones that are huge difference makers.

So, what is number one? The greatest advantage one can have in life is to have two parents, Mom and Dad, especially Dad, who love each other and do a really good job parenting their kids. The most important determiner of true success in life is character and generally kids that come out of a healthy family and have been well taught in regards to Biblical values, faith in God, loving others, self-control, and diligence will excel in all areas of life. This advantage is true across all skin colors.

1. 85% of youth who are currently in prison grew up in a fatherless home.

2. 7 out of every 10 youth that are housed in state-operated correctional facilities, including detention and residential treatment, come from a fatherless home.

3. 39% of students in the United States, from the first grade to their senior year of high school, do not have a father at home. Children without a father are 4 times more likely to be living in poverty than children with a father.

4. Children from fatherless homes are twice as likely to drop out from school before graduating than children who have a father in their lives.

5. Girls who live in a fatherless home have a 100% higher risk of suffering from obesity than girls who have their father present. Teen girls from fatherless homes are also 4 times more likely to become mothers before the age of 20.

6. In 2011, 44% of children in homes headed by a single mother were living in poverty. Just 12% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty.

7. Children who live in a single-parent home are more than 2 times more likely to commit suicide than children in a two-parent home.

8. Living in a fatherless home is a contributing factor to substance abuse, with children from such homes accounting for 75% of adolescent patients being treated in substance abuse centers.

9. 85% of all children which exhibit some type of a behavioral disorder come from a fatherless home.

10. Children who live in a fatherless home are 279% more likely to deal drugs or carry firearms for offensive purposes compared to children who live with their fathers.

11. Over 80% of those involved in inner city gangs are fatherless.

12. About 90% of mass murders were raised in a single parent home.

I was raised in a home with a mom and a dad who loved each other, and who both excelled in their parenting skills. I was well taught and coached in every character trait, and left home highly motivated to excel in life and to accomplish something with my life that really mattered. I am indeed privileged. One of my goals in life is to use my privileged status in life to help as many other less privileged people as possible.

PS. Almost half of all black children born in the United States are born and raised in a single parent home. A little over 10% of white children are. Why is that? Not just the obvious, immediate reason, but the underlying causes and the history of those causes, but that discussion is for another blog.

Noble Goals but Faulty Methods

In all of the hoopla going on today so called leaders are expressing concern about present conditions in a variety of areas, and most often they express a goal that is noble, but upon further investigation we find that the method outlined to achieve the goal is foolishness. The method is often based on a Marxist philosophy and world view that is in total opposition to Biblical principles and those principles that have been the foundation of the United States from it’s beginning.

Naive people buy into the goal but have little understanding or awareness of the method, and then become angry at those who resist the method accusing them of being against the goal. It is really the ultimate in foolishness and the main scheme of the devil to get us to sin.

If an obese friend of yours who had major health issues because of his weight announced that he was going to lose 50 lbs you would be happy for him, but then you learned that his planned on method was to cut off one of his legs to accomplish the goal. Would you be excited about the goal then? Of course not. Imagine that you say to your friend, “ don’t do that, that is stupid”, and other friends accuse you of not loving your friend because you don’t want him to lose weight. You would accurately come to the conclusion that someone is not thinking logically in this situation. A noble goal does not justify or excuse a foolish method. Much of the controversy happening today is because of bad methods being used to attempt to accomplish good goals, and the methods are being justified because of the goal.

New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees expressed that he was against kneeling during the National Anthem because it was disrespectful to our flag, our country, and to those who had fought and died for our countries freedom. He was immediately called a racist by many, even some of his own team mates. He explained that he was very much in favor and support of the goal of racial equality and justice, but did not agree with the method. His logic and his love and respect for his country were lost in the emotionalism of the goal, and he later was forced to apologize for his statements in order to keep peace on his team.

Wise people pursue goals that help others and make the world a better place, but they use methods that are good, just, and as noble as the goal.

“Black Lives Matter“ have a noble goal, but wise people will observe and read what their expressed strategy is to accomplish their goal, and ask the question, “are their methods, good, just, and noble”?

A Good Discussion

In my search for greater levels of wisdom I enjoy debating a topic, a view, or philosophy with someone who has a different opinion then mine. Although it is a rare event in my life because it is hard to find someone who can do that, defend a personal view logically, intelligently, and graciously. Many people will take exception to something I write in my blog and I offer to discuss it with them via email and read their argument for why they believe what they do. A few will start but very few last long. Many just don’t want to take the time to think through their position and then write it out clearly and persuasively. Many are incapable of doing that because they really don’t know why they hold the view or position that they do, it is pretty much based on an emotional response to an event or events in their past. Many times I pull the plug on a written discussion because the other person doesn’t know how to debate an issue without attacking my character, motives, or intelligence. I will often point that out in an attempt to help them and prolong the debate, but usually it is met with more insults. I see it all the time on Facebook between people who are at odds with each other. There is no attempt to understand the other persons view point or understand why they believe it, instead they verbally club their “adversary” using words that attack their intelligence, motive, and character.

Key principle: Clear thinkers who carefully craft their beliefs logically with accurate information and facts can talk graciously and persuasively to others treating them with dignity and respect. The power of their influence is in the logic of their words. Those who have not thought deeply with wisdom about their view, and can’t clearly and logically express their belief must use intimidation and anger in their attempt to persuade others.

One of the reasons I enjoy listening to people like Thomas Sowell is because of their dignity and composure as they communicate which is a clear indicator of their strength, confidence, and intelligence.

If you read or hear someone communicating their opinion in anger, or insulting another person recognize this fact, they really don’t know what they are talking about, they just feel strongly about what they are expressing, which does not make it true, though they think it does.

Personal application: If you are talking or writing and you feel yourself getting emotional, shut up, don’t sin with your words. Think through what you believe, write it out clearly and then when opportunity comes share intelligently and graciously. If the person you are talking to “rants” say, “God bless you”, and change the subject or move on.

Here are a few verses from the book of Proverbs in the Bible for your reading pleasure.

Proverbs 17:7 Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool,

Proverbs 14:7 Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.

Proverbs 20:3 Keeping away from strife is an honor for a man, But any fool will quarrel.

Proverbs 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

Proverbs 29:11 A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.

Proverbs 29:20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Blue Funk

I road my bicycle a 1000 miles, got home Saturday afternoon, preaching my heart out yesterday at our outdoor service, this morning I got up at 4:00 am and drove Patty to the airport, and now I don’t feel like doing anything but sitting in my recliner and binging on ice cream. I occasionally have a “Blue Funk” day like this where I am just totally unmotivated to do anything. I used to have them a lot but only occasionally now, and rarely more than a day long. I don’t get to alarmed at my “crappy” attitude when these days happen, just wait it out. I am doing chores around the house in 15 minute increments with a 15 minute break sitting in my recliner going through the Cabella’s catalog, or writing some goals for next year, or writing this blog or eating or taking a nap! One thing for sure I don’t want to do is drive to Sportsman’s warehouse with my credit card! I think I will take my grandson fishing this evening.

Wisdom and Logical Thinking

Dogs make choices, what is the basis for the choices they make? People make choices and they speak words, what is the basis for those choices and words? First, we do what we do and we say what we say in order to accomplish our desires and wants in life. If our desires are evil our choices will be evil. Many people’s dominant desire in life is for revenge, for others it is greed, and still others are driven by the want for power. God is all wise, that is He always chooses and plans perfectly, because He is all good.

A second factor is the information that we use to decide what course of action will result in our wants and desires being realized. If the information that we are using is faulty our choices will be stupid. Some of my greatest and strongest desires in life are to please the Lord with my life and to sense His pleasure in me, to love my wife well, to accomplish a lot with my life that matters for eternity, to influence and motivate people to live for the Lord, and to catch a lot of fish😀. I need wisdom to accomplish those desires, where do I seek it? One obvious source is the Bible, but Proverbs says that a major source ought to be wise people who are living the way I want to live.

So, the people I listen to and those whose stuff I read I try to find out as much about their life as possible to see if they are living healthy, balanced lives that are mostly free from evil desires, and who have the values and desires that I have.

One of the blessings of reading the Bible everyday is that I have developed an inner “stupid buzzer”. It is like when a singer goes flat on a note, a little shiver goes up my neck. I read a lot of books, articles, blogs and listen to a lot of sermons, lectures, and commentaries, and when I read or hear something that is “off” even a little bit my inner “buzzer” starts going, and I know that what I am reading or hearing is not wisdom, but foolishness.

One of my favorite writers is Thomas Sowell, and I recently heard him on a news interview say that deep, logical thinking is very rare today. Instead people react emotionally to events, and come to conclusions about what is right and call it thinking. Those conclusions are not wise, and therefore the choices that they make and the words that they speak will be slightly better than that of a dogs. We are seeing a lot of that kind of thinking and acting today.