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BLINDERS ON-BLINDERS OFF


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
BLINDERS ON-BLINDERS OFF

There are seeing folks who are blind, and there are blind folks who see! Pity the former, for there are none so blind as those who will not see. Their kind is described well in Acts 28:27, “For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” A common tactic of Satan is to instill fear of the unknown in the hearts of men, and induce them to blind their own eyes to spiritual reality.
Memories of childhood recall times when dad had a mule or two for plowing and other domestic chores. To get one of them to cross a creek on a very sturdy bridge was tricky. Most of the time success was achieved only when blinders were applied and the animal coaxed to follow its leader. Otherwise, the green pasture just ahead was obscured by the possible pitfall. How many animals have perished in barn fires because panic caused them to perceive the structure offered more safety than passing through it to the outside. In cases such as these, blinders were a good thing, designed to save their life, but spiritual blinders applied to men are designed to destroy life.
Moreover, men are not animals, but one cannot overlook the obvious parallel here. Needed are personal, spiritual and moral blinders to evil, and opened eyes to truth. After all, the human mind is only good when it is as an operating parachute: OPEN! It is not unusual to hear men who aspire to high places of judgment vow to keep an open mind on matters that come before them. God can speak to an open mind, but Satan wants a blinder on as many as possible: he succeeds too often.
Jesus addressed this problem in Revelation, chapter three. He enjoined the church at Laodicea, and the rest of us as well, to apply eye salve that they might see: namely, the Word of God. Disseminating the Word then is practical application of eye salve that the Holy Spirit will use to instill true sight. It may be called salt, or light, or eye salve. It is the precious Word that is light and life to those who walk in darkness. Furthermore, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ remains under the obligation of the Great Commission, and the joy of seeing should be more than enough to induce Christians to open their storehouses of knowledge to others in need of what they know and have, even if it should be in the face of criticism and opposition.
Heaven’s knowledge is true. The hope it instills is more valuable than all the world could ever offer. Uniquely, these things were procured, and are offered in and by the Lord, Jesus, the Christ. The truly good news to a sin burdened world is that He may be had by faith. “I once was blind, but now I see!”

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Second Chance


It was Sunday, March 13, 1977, and a group of people from our church, including my wife and I, were preparing to leave for a ten day tour of Israel and the cities of Rome and Amsterdam. I don’t remember if I hugged my mother as I said goodbye to her, but I probably did. However, at almost twenty-six years old, I was too old to hug my father. I’m not even sure if I said, “I love you,” before we boarded the motorhome that would take us to Little Rock. From there we would fly to New York City and then on to Amsterdam. The trip was enjoyable and uneventful, that is, until the following Sunday, March 20, 1977.
I remember that day as if it had just happened. We were getting ready for a day of touring and worship services when, shortly after seven o’clock, our pastor called and asked if he could come to our room to talk with me. I agreed but told my wife, “I hope he’s not wanting me to read a verse of Scripture or lead in prayer somewhere with all these preachers here.” (I was dealing with God’s call to preach at the time.) When our pastor and his wife arrived at our room, he informed me that my dad had been in an accident. He said he had fallen off a ladder and broken his leg and was in the hospital. This both concerned and confused me. I wondered, “How tall was the ladder? From what height did Dad fall?” That’s because my dad was always pretty tough, and what might cause a major injury for some would hardly phase him. Also, I could not understand why Dad was in the hospital with a broken leg. I had a broken leg once, and, yes, I was taken to the hospital to have it x-rayed and have a cast put on it, but I was not admitted as a patient.
Our tour continued, and finally we left Israel and flew to Rome. I think it was there that I first talked to my mother about the accident, although I did not get a lot of additional information. Our next stop would be Amsterdam again, and then home, and I was anxious to get back and check on my dad.
The day finally came to leave Holland and fly back to the United States. I remember the excitement I felt when the pilot announced that we had just entered U.S. air space. Just about every passenger on that KLM 747 began to sing “God Bless America.”
After a layover in New York City and a late flight toward home, we finally arrived at Adams’ Field in Little Rock. It was late when we started back to Texarkana. On the van ride home I learned a little more about my dad’s injuries. Not only did he have a broken leg, but he had lost the end of his right thumb. My wife and I arrived at our house around two in the morning, and after a restless night I was ready to go to the hospital to see my dad.
The next morning I met my mom at the hospital where she had spent every night since the accident in the ICU waiting room. My dad was in ICU! Upon arriving at the hospital, I learned the full extent of my dad’s injuries. He had fallen around thirty feet, not from a ladder, but from an electric pole. Yes, his leg was broken — into about a hundred pieces. He had lost the end of his right thumb. It was literally ground off by the asphalt when he landed with his right hand under him. His right hand was broken. His hip was out of joint. His pelvis was broken, and his scalp had been torn off. He had been give eight and a half pints of blood on the day of his accident as he spent from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in surgery. Two weeks after his accident, when the doctors were finally able to get good x-rays, they found that he had a hangman’s break in his neck. He spent eight weeks in the hospital and many more weeks recovering at home. Dad made as full a recovery as one could from such a horrible accident, but, with his right leg about one inch shorter than the left, he walked with a limp for the rest of his life.
In March of 1978, we went to Israel again. This time, as we prepared to leave for Little Rock and our flight to New York City, I was not too old or too much of a “man” to hug my father goodbye and tell him that I loved him. I had been given a second chance to show my dad how much I truly loved him, and i was not going to take it for granted.
I did, eventually, start preaching and pastoring churches, and until just a few years ago none of them were near where my dad lived. But, when we would come back to Dad’s for a visit, before we left to go back to our home, I would hug Dad and say, “I love you.”
Dad died on October 13, 2008. I had talked to him at 6:25 a.m. as I did every morning. Other than his saying that he didn’t feel well, things seemed normal. Less than three hours later I received the phone call that no one wants to get. It was my brother tell me that Dad was gone. The last thing I said to my father was, “I’ll talk to you later.” (I had told him “I love you” when we had talked the night before.)
I was given a second chance to publicly demonstrate my love for my father. It is neither childish nor unmanly to do so. We do not know how long we will have our parents with us. (My mother died in 1995.) I am thankful that I told my dad (and my mom) how much I loved him while he was living and could hear it. It makes being without him a little easier to bear.
If you are young, or if you are older, and you still have your parents (or a parent) living, take time today to say, “I love you, Mom, Dad.” As one who is now a parent of two almost grown children, I can tell you, it will mean more to them than any gift you could give them.

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Dedication of David’s House


 

Psalm 30:1-12

 

Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper,” Psalm 30:10.

 

I will never forget the overwhelming feeling of helplessness as I held our firstborn son in my arms for the first time. At first, I was not thinking about how awesome fatherhood is or how blessed I was to have a son. No, my very first thought was, I do not know what I am doing, and I have no idea how to be a dad! Since then, God has blessed us with three more children, and each day we are reminded that we are walking in uncharted territory, desperately dependent upon God to be patient with us, to protect us from ourselves and to intervene when we make mistakes.

 

As David sang this song at the dedication of his home, the verse that rings out the loudest is verse 10, in which David cried out, “Have mercy on me.” History tells us that David did not always make the best decisions, and his erroneous choices caused much hurt to himself and others. David was familiar with pain and understood the importance of God’s mercy.

 

Today, as we seek to build our homes and dedicate them to God’s honor and glory, may we never forget to daily cry out for God’s mercy. As long as we are in the flesh, we will make mistakes that cause hurt and pain to us and to others. We need a God who is patient with us and who will intervene on our behalf because of His steadfast love.

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you cry out for God’s mercy today?

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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