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Monday, December 25, 2017

When God’s “Yes” is Second Best

By Rick Blumenberg @rickblumenberg

Some people think the primary purpose of prayer is to convince God to a change of mind so we get what we want or think we need. But God’s choice for you is for the best. We’re reminded of this in Luke’s version of the Christmas story. The last verse of the angels’ song was about mankind “on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 1:14NIV)
God is not our enemy
Jesus came to earth to tell us personally that God is not our enemy. He is our Heavenly Father and loves us unconditionally—regardless of whether or not we deserve it. He is not trying to defeat us but to help us succeed. His goal is not to harm us but to help us.
God is on our side
In other words, God is on our side. We are the people on whom his favor rests. But which people? Not white people, or black people, or brown people or yellow people, but all people. His favor is not on, rich people, or poor people, or middle class people, but on all people. Actually his favor is not even limited to people. Even though I believe mankind is God’s highest and most favored earthly creation, I believe he loves all of his creation. I base that on my limited knowledge of the incredible care he exercised in creation. No creature is too small to be exquisitely designed. No earthly creature is without purpose and value. With every creation God is the Creator “par excellance” and I believe this indicates his love.
Then why would God say “No”?
Through the years I have heard many things about prayer with which I strongly disagreed. One person said, “What good does it do to pray? God is going to do what he’s going to do anyway.”
According to this line of thinking, the purpose of prayer is to convince God to a change of mind.
Another person commented that if I had any faith I would not pray for God’s will to be done. “Just pray for what you want with faith God will provide.”
But if God’s will for each of us is based on his favor, then surely what God desires is the best thing for us. Whatever God wants for us must be what’s best for us, or at least best for his kingdom. And if my goal in life is that “God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done” (Matthew 6:10NIV) then even if it isn’t what I think I want for me personally, if God knows it will benefit the kingdom in some way (even if known only to him) then I at least want to want it.
Never pray for a Divine change of Mind
So the upshot of all this is that we never, ever, under any circumstances, pray for God to change his mind. If (as I believe) God knows what is best and if (as I believe) God wants what is best in the situation for which I pray, then why would I ever try to change the mind of God? Our task is to help accomplish the will of God through our prayers. Why, you ask, does God need our help if he is really God? Good question! The answer is, God doesn’t need our help but welcomes it none-the-less. When we work together with God we share in his glory and the glory of his accomplishment. Our heavenly Father, loving parent that he is, wants that for each of us.
So God’s “No” is just as loving as a “Yes”
When is God’s “Yes” second best? When we convince him to change from a “No” to a “Yes”.
A “No” from God is just as loving as a “Yes”. If we convince God to a change of mind (from a “No” to a “Yes”) the best we could ever expect would be second best.
I'm Rick Blumenberg and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

All People have Ultimate Worth!

All people are created in the image of God.

All have absolute and ultimate worth. 

Differences such as color, hair, eyes, skin, etc.—

Are all examples of, and merely reveal,

God’s great love of variety and beauty.

Don't ever doubt how much God loves You!

I'm Rick Blumenberg and that's My View from Tanner Creek.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pure Water, Fresh Air, New Birth

By Rick Blumenberg  @rickblumenberg

Years ago Mutual of Omaha, a large insurance company, studied the salesmen who failed to discov­er the rea­sons for failure and "weed out" likely fail­ures before spending so much money tra­ining them. This would also help many avoid fail­ure. 
Many Ways to Fail
They discovered there are unlimited ways to fail. They finally admitted the study was a fail­ure. Every time they thought they knew every possible way to fail somebody discov­ered a new one!
In any situation, the gate that leads to failure and de­struc­tion is wide with numberless ways to get there. Multi­tudes of people find their way t­o and thru it. Every generation invents new methods and previously un­known ways to go to hell. 
On the other hand the gateway that leads to life is narrow. You have to search to find it. Many lose their way and perish before they  get through. That's why the Bible is so important. It tells The way to get to heaven--the way to put all the various parts of life together so life is a meaningful whole. But it only tells one way of salvation and that way is Jesus.

Some don’t like only one way

Several years ago I watched the Donahue Show as he inter­viewed Billy Graham. When Phil asked how to get to heaven he quoted Jesus' state­ment to Nicodemas; "You must be born again."

As you can imagine, Phil didn't like that answer. He knew before asking he would­n't like the answer. He knew what the answer would be. I think his pur­pose, was to make Graham look stupid to his audience because Phil did­n't think it made sense that God would be so "narrow-mind­ed". Logic says if there is a God he would not make only one way to get to heav­en. Anyone who thinks so is illogical, nar­row minded, and bigoted.

I’m constantly amazed that a per­son who is not smart enough to create even one tiny single-celled amoe­ba, much less anything as com­plex as an insect or worm, would still think he/she is smart enough to tell God how to handle His crea­tion!

But perhaps you've asked that same question. Why did God only make One Way to get to heaven—One way to be saved? Does the Bible really teach that? Let's see.

I John 5: 11-12 "...God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Now let me ask you a question: How many liquids do you know that will pre­vent a person from dying of thirst? I only know of one—water. It can come in many forms— milk, cola, cof­fee, or other drinks that are water-based. You can drink gasoline, motor oil or brake fluid but they won't sustain life. In fact, they de­stroy it. If we don't have water, we die. That's pretty narrow isn't it? It just isn't logical. Anyone who would believe such a thing would have to be narrow-minded and bigoted. The problem is…'s true

How about breath? How many gases can we breathe to maintain life? I only know one—oxygen. We can breathe many gases. Some will kill us, some are harmless, one makes us laugh, but none sustain life. If you don't have oxygen, you die. That's pretty narrow isn't it? It just isn't logical. Anyone who believes such a thing is nar­row-minded and bigoted. The problem is…'s true.

If we take water out of the liquids we drink, we die of thirst.

If we take oxygen out of the air we breathe we're soon asphyxiated.

If we take Jesus out of the picture, we are "dead in tres­passes and sin". And eventually, when separ­ated from our physi­cal bodies by physical death, that spiritual death be­comes ete­rnal. Without Jesus, life as we know it would not even exist.

Thank God for Water!

Why did God create the human race (and as far as I know, all other forms of life) so we must have water to sur­vive? That's easy. You know the answer. Because water is e­nough! Water is a mar­velo­us li­quid! It brings wealth to a nation, health to it's peo­ple and to all of creation if it's kept clean and pure. Not­hing tast­es bet­ter than a cool, re­fresh­ing drink of spar­kling pure water!  Thank God for water!

Thank God for Oxygen!

Why did God create us so we could only breathe oxygen? Ano­ther easy answer, He only created one gas to sus­tain life be­cause oxy­gen is fully adequate! Oxy­gen is a marve­lous gas! It gives health and strength to all the dif­ferent or­gans in the human body. Nothing feels bet­ter than a deep breath of fresh, clean air! Thank God for oxyg­en!

Thank God for Jesus!

But how about salvation? Why did God plan only One Way for peo­ple to be saved? Why couldn't there be "many roads, winding their way to one God"? The answer is the same as the answer to the two previous questions—because One Way is enough.

Jesus Christ is a marvelous Savior! He brings whole­someness and joy to all who believe! Absolutely noth­ing is as wonderful as living life fully surrendered to the lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the only true and Living God and our Creator!  Thank God for Jesus!  

I'm Rick Blumenberg . . . and that's My View from Tanner Creek.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Maintain Net Neutrality!

By Rick Blumenberg  @rickblumenberg
It is vital to free speech that net neutrality be maintained and that the internet should continue to be the possession of all people.
The big cable and internet companies are committed to profits and that is not wrong. I am fully in favor of the profit motive as a way to encourage productivity and enhance entrepreneurial creativity. But it is the vital responsibility of government to be sure no one gets an unfair advantage and that those with less power or financial resources not be unfairly hampered in their life pursuits by the power and financial resources of others.
Net neutrality continues the status quo, which, in this instance is working for the good of both the individual and the majority while it also prevents discrimination against individuals and against small and start-up businesses that might otherwise be negatively impacted in favor of the internet business giants.
The above is my note to the Federal Communications Commission (edited and amplified) that I sent through the Mozilla Foundation to preserve net neutrality.
The date of sending brings warm memories
The FCC note was sent and this blog posted on July 12, 2017, which would be my father’s 103rd birthday if he were still alive. He died on December 3, 2007 at the age of 931/2.
I remember the wisdom of Roy Blumenberg.
Dad was a wise man who blessed me with many life lessons. I think especially of the concept of “Conflict of Interest”. He helped me to understand this and it is just one of many lessons he shared that guided me throughout my life. There were numerous times when I was in decision-making meetings that I was able to help the attendees understand how the concept applied in the decision we needed to make. Dad continued to teach long after he had gone on to heaven.
Dad was also a stickler on treating people fairly—especially if you had an advantage that would make it easy to take unfair advantage. (The concept of Net Neutrality certainly brings this attitude to mind). His moral values continue yet today in the lives of his children and generational descendants.
On this his birth date I am reminded of how greatly we were blessed by being his children.
I remember Larry Blumenberg as an “Old Soul”.
 It is also a day after the birthday of my double-cousin Larry Blumenberg. (For those of you not familiar with the “double-cousin” concept—our mothers were sisters and our fathers were brothers, so we were cousins from two different families). Because of that relationship our families were very close.
Tragically, Larry drowned in their farm pond in the summer of 1959. He died June 8, 1959 shortly after High School graduation. Uncle Elmer (his Dad) was watching from the bank of the pond and tried desperately to save him, but was unable to do so. He would have been eighteen the following July 11, 1959. That was 58 years ago yesterday.
Larry also taught me important life lessons. Once when he, my brother Barry and I, were together—Barry and I had a disagreement about something. We did not come to blows, but were obviously very angry with each other. (I have no idea about what).
Larry told us, “If I had a brother I sure wouldn’t fight with him!”
Larry was what we today call an “Old Soul”—with wisdom far beyond his years. He always seemed to be more mature than the average teenager and had a gentle way about him (much like his Father, my Uncle Elmer) that endeared him to everyone who knew him. An example of this was a friend of ours who felt especially close to Larry. He was working in the field driving a tractor when his Mom came out to tell him she had just heard the news of Larry’s death. She also told him Larry’s funeral was going on right at that time. He told me later that as he drove the tractor he wept for the loss of a really good friend and also because he couldn’t go to his funeral.
It’s interesting how modern day events bring us memories from the past. I thank God for such memories and how they enrich our lives.
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s “My View from Tanner Creek.”