3 years ago

Be sure your (Twitter) sins will find you out


 

 

 

 

 

Listen to the 10 min audio

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MODERN HEADLINES MIRROR BIBLICAL LESSONS, BOTH GOOD AND BAD

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I want to take you to a couple of stories, one out of The Daily Wire, the other out of Fox News.

The Daily Wire is reporting that, apparently, Twitter employees are paid to view private sex messages. All those people that have been doing things on their Twitter accounts who thought that nobody else would notice – well, apparently, at Twitter, there’s a whole group of engineers who monitor what you think are your private messages.

One Twitter employee was quoted as saying, “All your illegitimate wives and, like, all the girls you’ve been doing things with, they’re now on my server. I’m going to send it to your wife and she’s going to get you in a divorce.”

Then the second story, out of Fox News, three brothers – Ned, Roger and Steven Landau – their mom inherited some things from their grandparents and they, in turn, when their mom passed away, inherited it from her – things like a silver tea set, a couple of old paintings, perhaps, were worth a few hundred dollars.

As it turns out, one piece that was inherited, a painting, turned out to be a Rembrandt painting. What they thought they were going to get a few hundred dollars for, they got over $1 million.

DR. REEDER: Tom, when you brought these stories, first of all, they were interesting, but they were interesting beyond just a personal interest story or a human-interest story. They were interesting in that there are a couple of Biblical principles that are embedded in this.

YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW, EVEN ELECTRONICALLY

Let’s take up the first one and that is this fact that, here, people are gathering all of these messages that you think are private, and they’re together and, as one employee said, “You’re just a moment away from financial ruin as I collect all this data and send it in a package to your wife.”

I couldn’t help but think of the Book of Numbers that contains an amazing statement – and it’s supported, of course, in the book of Galatians – in Numbers, it says, “Be sure your sins will find you out,” and in Galatians, “What a man sows, he’ll also reap.”

And then the warnings of the apostle Paul that, “We must all appear before the judgment seat and we will give an account for all that we have said and done.” And the reality that the Lord says to us that, “The things that you think are done in secret will yet be revealed in the light of day and from the housetop, itself.”

Here are these warnings that what you think is done in private and what you think is done in secret actually will also see the light of day – if nothing else, the light of day at the judgment where we all give an account.

SIN IS NOT VICTIMLESS OR SECRET

I was absolutely convinced that my mother had some omniscient gift in that I could not get away with anything in my life. The reality is it not only comes out in knowledge; it comes out in effect, as well. When we sin, there’s no such thing as victimless sins.

What your sins do is they destroy something in you and when they destroy it in you, they destroy it in the relationships you have with other people. Secret moments of pornography, those are victimless? Well, no, it’s not victimless. Just think of what’s happening in the lives of the people that you are purveying and think of what’s going to happen in the way you now look at other people, including your spouse. They have consequences in life and they certainly have consequences in eternity.

JESUS MAKES US RIGHTEOUS DESPITE TRANSGRESSIONS

If anyone’s listening to me and you believe that there is a God who is holy, who will by no means leave the guilty unpunished and that we must all appear before the judgment seat to give an account, then you have got to be thinking, “Oh my goodness, every sin is worthy of the judgment of God – the wages of sin, singular – is death and here I will stand before the Lord with thousands upon thousands upon thousands of capital crimes. Is there any hope?” I want you to know today there is a glorious hope for you and that hope is to come to Jesus Christ.

The Bible said, “In Christ, He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us. He paid for all of the sins of all of His people.” The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5 that, “He did not count our trespasses against us.”

Now, by the way, it doesn’t say He didn’t count our transgressions – our trespasses, our sins – it doesn’t say that. He counts them. They are legally and experientially attached to us, but for all who are in Christ, He doesn’t count them against us. He did count them against His son and, when He counted them against His son, something else happened: He counted the righteousness of Christ for you.

Tom, there’s a wonderful moment when Jacob – and you can see the echo – Jacob knows what he did in deceiving his father Isaac, so when it came time for him to bless the children of Joseph, you remember how Joseph directed his hands to the younger and to the older. And now, so he reverses his hands and, by purpose, the blessings that goes to the older goes to the younger and the blessing to go to the younger went to the older.

If you’re a Christian, that’s exactly what happened to you. Jacob is a type of the glory and grace of God toward us. He took His hand and the consequences of our sin that ought to be placed on us, He switches and crosses His arms and it is placed upon the one who did not deserve it and that is Jesus. And the blessings upon his son are now put upon those sons of wrath so that we can have eternal life in Jesus Christ.

UNKNOWN TREASURE REVEALED TO FAMILY

Now let me go to the other story in the few moments that we have left and that’s this. You’ve got these paintings and, “Oh, this is just throw away stuff – went down to Woolworth’s and picked up a few paintings, here,” and then they find out, “Here’s a Rembrandt. You think it’s worth a couple hundred dollars and it’s worth a million.”

I’m reminded of the story of Randolph Hearst, who hired a guy to go find a particular Rembrandt and the guy searched and searched and he came one day and said, “Well, Mr. Hearst, I’ve got bad news and I’ve got good news.” And he said, “What’s the bad news?” He said, “The bad news is I have searched every art gallery, every treasure trove in all of Europe and everywhere for that Rembrandt and I cannot find it in any of those places.”

He said, “Well, then what’s the good news?” He said, “The good news is you already own it.” He finally came back and he went through the warehouse to look for something else and, as he came to the warehouse to look for something else, he found out that Randolph Hearst had already purchased this Rembrandt years ago or one of his agents had purchased it for him. He already owns it.

OUR TREASURE IN HEAVEN WAITS FOR US

I’m reminded of arriving in Heaven. One guy said, “You look at these boxes and you say, ‘Peter, what are these boxes over here for?’ and he says, ‘You don’t want to know.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I do want to know.’ He said, ‘Okay, they’re unclaimed blessings for believers.’ And he said, ‘Oh, Peter do I have any boxes over there?’ He said, ‘You don’t want to know.’ ‘Yeah, I do, Peter.’ He said, ‘Well, come here, let me show you,’ and here are these hundreds of boxes labeled ‘Unclaimed Blessings for Harry Reeder.’”

People say to me, “Have you gotten the second blessing?” I said, “Second blessing? I got the third, the fourth, the fifth.” Listen, I’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. The riches I have in Christ are untold. The problem isn’t do I have them already – the problem is am I using them now?

BELIEVERS MUST SEEK KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S MAJESTIC BLESSINGS

And that’s what that story reminds me of. You and I have in our possession untold blessings. “Harry, how can I find out about these untold blessings?” Get in a Bible-believing church that preaches the riches and responsibilities of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What you are and who you are in Christ is unbelievably majestic. You think your walk and blessings in Christ are worth a pittance – actually, they are majestic in worth and value. And that’s what you need to know: the blessings that have been given to you and purchased for you in Jesus Christ. Not these unbiblically defined blessings of the riches of this world, but the gloriously defined blessings of the riches of eternity.

Remember, your sins will find you out, but what you need to do is find Jesus, who finds you and, when He finds you, God switches hands. The blessings due to Christ He places upon all those who are in Christ but don’t deserve it. Those things that you deserve, those things came from God’s hand to punish Son, that you could have eternal life when He went to the cross. Now you have riches untold that are yours in Christ Jesus, the Lord of Glory.

TOMORROW’S TOPIC: NEW DISCOVERY OUT OF HOLYLAND

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, we are out of time for today. On Wednesday’s edition of Today in Perspective, once again, a little digging in the Holy Land has unearthed a major find and a confirmation of the accuracy of the Bible.

DR. REEDER: And why is that important? Well, let’s talk about archaeology, the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what does it mean in your life.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

23 mins ago

Nick Saban: Time for Crimson Tide to flip switch from practice to game mode

Alabama coach Nick Saban said his Crimson Tide football team is showing the right effort and intensity in practice, but it’s time to flip the switch and start finishing plays like they would in a game.

“We haven’t played a game in a long time,” Saban said. “We’ve got to get out of practice mode and make sure we’re practicing to develop the habits that are gonna become a part of our DNA as competitors in terms of how we play in a game.”

Alabama opens the season on the road against Missouri at 6 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Nick Saban: Crimson Tide focuses on finishing as season kickoff approaches from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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1 hour ago

College football picks — SEC week 1 and more

The Season of Sankey officially gets underway today. The SEC takes the field for the first time this fall as a result of conference commissioner Greg Sankey’s well-planned approach to playing football amid COVID-19 conditions.

During the last two weeks, a parade of conferences have backtracked on plans to cancel their seasons and put in place schedules set to kick off beginning next month. If only they had followed one simple rule: be more like Sankey.

No doubt the season will be unusual. Expect the unexpected. And, as always, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are a few picks.

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THE BASICS

No. 2 Alabama (-29) at Missouri: The Crimson Tide have the fewest non-COVID questions of any team in the country. They also have the most talented roster. Missouri will have a tough time scoring while Nick Saban gets to pick his team’s score.

The pick: Alabama 41, Missouri 9

No. 4 Georgia (-28) at Arkansas: Not a lot of intrigue here, either. The D’Wan Mathis era begins. Georgia wins. Maybe the only real question is: how will Kirby Smart handle dipping and wearing a mask at the same time?

The pick: Georgia 34, Arkansas 7

No. 5 Florida (-14) at Ole Miss: Everyone loves Lane. We get it. But there is a difference in these rosters. Through rain, sleet or snow — or direct deposit — Kiffin will recruit better talent to Oxford in the coming years. Right now, Florida is a markedly better team top-to-bottom.

The pick: Florida 52, Ole Miss 20

No. 8 Auburn (-6.5) at Kentucky: Everyone and their momma is taking Kentucky and the points in this game, not to mention the number of people picking the outright upset. Is it bowl game fatigue? Is it Auburn’s losses on the defensive line? We don’t know. What we do know is that Chad Morris may be the best offensive coordinator in the country if Gus Malzahn lets him cook.

The pick: Auburn 35, Kentucky 24

BUYER BEWARE

No. 16 Tennessee (-3.5) at South Carolina: This is a “the barely proven head coach got a raise the week before playing the first game” pick. Plus, South Carolina finally has some actual structure on offense with the addition of Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator and a serviceable starter at quarterback in Collin Hill.

The pick: South Carolina 20, Tennessee 16

West Virginia at No. 15 Oklahoma State (-6.5): This pick breaks two important rules: 1) don’t make a pick because of a coach, and 2) be very wary of the heavily public side. Neal Brown is a rising star. Mike Gundy is something other than that. Neither team has played a game that matters yet, but they looked very different in their respective first weeks. Let’s join the crowd.

The pick: West Virginia 30, Oklahoma State 21

BONUS

Mississippi State at No. 6 LSU (-16.5): How can we not make a pick in the first-ever SEC game coached by two non-English speakers? All offseason we have heard people ponder about whether Mike Leach’s system will work in the SEC. Any system will work if you have good enough players. The Bulldogs currently do not. On the other hand, one can only imagine the carnage in Baton Rouge post-national championship. At least Coach O gave us this gem.

The pick: LSU 33, Mississippi State 16

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

2 hours ago

Gus Malzahn: Auburn ready to host Kentucky, kick off delayed season

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said he is happy game week has finally arrived, even though he knows his Auburn Tigers football team will be tested by the visiting Kentucky Wildcats.

“It’s been a long time coming to get to this point,” Malzahn said. “We’re playing a really good Kentucky Wildcat team. When you look at them offensively, last year they were one of the best rushing teams in all of college football. To be able to do that in this league says a lot.”

But Malzahn said he is also impressed by his own squad.

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“Overall, I’m really excited about this year’s team,” he said. “We have all kinds of new faces out there. I believe we have 13 new starters, so I’m really excited to watch this team grow. I really feel that if we stay healthy, we’ll have a chance to improve each game, and of course with 10 SEC games, it’s important for teams to improve throughout the year. I’m really looking forward to watching our guys play. I’m excited.”

Auburn hosts the Wildcats at 11 a.m. Sept. 26 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Gus Malzahn: Kentucky presents a challenge for Auburn’s opener from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

3 hours ago

Gulf State Park section succumbs to Sally’s surge

One aspect of living on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast is the realization that the best-laid plan is no match for Mother Nature.

The original plan was to gather on September 16 at the Gulf State Park Pier to celebrate the grand reopening of the 1,542-foot pier after a $2.4 million renovation.

Although I’m a veteran of many tropical storms and hurricanes in my 28 years on the Gulf Coast, including back-to-back hits by Ivan and Katrina, the system that turned into Hurricane Sally threw me and many Gulf Coast residents a wicked curveball.

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Off to bed with a predicted peak of 85 mph winds, I was awakened by an ominous roar. With one peek through the high windows on our vibrating front door, it was obvious this was not a clone of Hurricane Danny from 1997 that dumped copious amounts of rain on the area but did not have the wind-damage potential of Sally.

As Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said, “Sally sucker-punched us.”

Sally made landfall in Gulf Shores in the early hours of September 16 as a strong Category 2 hurricane with winds clocked at 105 mph. A wind-speed detector on a nearby tower clocked a 121-mph gust.

However, Sally’s brutality was magnified by her crawling forward speed of 2 mph, which made the incessant winds seem to last forever. Like my friend Dwight Lores said, “A human can easily walk at 3 miles per hour. That’s why Sally did so much damage.”

When the first hint of sunrise allowed a minimal assessment through the aforementioned door, trees were down in every direction. Unlike many Baldwin County homes, thankfully ours was not damaged by any of the falling trees, but it was almost three days before we could even leave our driveway. On the fourth day, a utility crew from Warren County, Kentucky, restored our power, a remarkable feat considering the extent of the damage. All hail to a hot shower.

Of course, I prayed for the best for everybody on the Alabama coast, but I feared it was not going to be the outcome we wished, especially for those structures vulnerable to storm surge.

I soon got word through the little cell service available that the northern Gulf Coast’s premier fishing and educational pier, which opened in 2009 after Ivan razed the previous pier, had succumbed to the constant battering of Sally’s surge.

The section of pier closest to the end octagon was gone. The majority of the blowout deck panels were scattered all along the sugar-sand shoreline.

The good news is the new Lodge at Gulf State Park and nearby structures were relatively unscathed because those buildings were designed to withstand winds of up to 150 mph.

Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), and Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks Director, were able to perform cursory assessments late last week.

“We had damage in places we didn’t expect, and in other places where I expected to have a lot of damage, it turned out to be not as bad,” said Commissioner Blankenship, who toured the area with Governor Kay Ivey last Friday. “The damage to the pier is the most obvious that everybody has seen on TV and had the most questions about. We were very surprised by the amount of damage to the pier. The cabins at Gulf State Park on Lake Shelby took a beating. I’m afraid a lot of them will be total losses. But I was pleasantly surprised by how the dune system held up on the beach. And the Lodge at Gulf State Park, which was built to fortified building standards, fared very well during the storm. The FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) administrator was there, and we showed him the Lodge. He was very impressed with the resilience of the Lodge and how building to that standard has a big impact on the recovery.”

Commissioner Blankenship said divers are scheduled to assess the damage to the pier and determine the structural integrity of the remaining pilings.

“After that is finished, we will be able to make plans to get the pier reopened at least to the part where it broke off while we repair the entire structure back out to the octagon,” he said.

Director Lein said the campground at Gulf State Park suffered quite a bit of damage.

“It wasn’t until Friday that staff was able to access all of the park and assess the damage because of the water and downed trees,” Lein said. “A lot of the electrical distribution panels in the campground were impacted. That system will have to be assessed by an electrician to see what repairs are needed. Now that the conditions have improved, we’ve been able to clear all the campsite pads. All the modern buildings at the park appear to be okay. A couple of campers that were left on the site were tipped over by the wind. A few of the campers in the storage area were pushed together, but only one was overturned.”

The cabins and cottages on Lake Shelby highlighted how construction standards can make a big difference in potential damage.

“The cabins suffered major damage,” Lein said. “They lost portions of their roofs. Some of the walls collapsed. It appeared the wind got under the roofs in the porch areas and ripped them off. On the cottages, the roofs are intact. The older cabins had significant damage, but the modern cottages were not as affected.”

Lein said the good news about the pier is that the staff has been able to recover more than 200 of the deck panels that are designed to blow out to protect the infrastructure.

“They found some about 4 miles down the beach,” Lein said. “A couple were found in swimming pools down there. It’s amazing our crew has been able to recover so many panels. The pier will be inspected. If it’s structurally okay, we’ll be able to put a lot of those panels back, and we may be able to reopen a portion of the pier. The pier house appeared to not have any damage.”

Lein said strike teams were formed several years ago in each district of the State Parks system to assist in natural disasters. The teams are comprised of employees capable of running chainsaws, skid steers, backhoes and tractors.

“We had more than a dozen strike team members down there to join the men and women from Gulf State Park, working together as one team to clear roads and paths so support personnel had access to all of the park,” Lein said. “They achieved a huge amount of relief to the park in three days. They brought generators with them to power part of the Lodge and the park office. I can’t say enough about the strike teams and how successful their deployment was in supporting the Gulf State Park staff. The crews were all fed by the chef and staff at the Lodge’s Food Craft restaurant, and that was such a morale booster for the teams to get a warm meal.”

Commissioner Blankenship said he has been impressed by the spirit of cooperation and willingness of folks who don’t live on the Gulf Coast to lend a helping hand.

“I appreciate our strike teams that came down to assist at Gulf State Park,” he said. “They have done a great job of cleaning up the park. It will help us get the park reopened a lot quicker, and it allows for some of our employees who rode out the storm to take care of their families and limit the damage done to their homes. That’s extremely important. Every single employee was without power for a certain amount of time and had damage at their residences they needed to attend to. Having people come in from areas that weren’t impacted helped those affected people. It is very important to me to have our employees taken care of.”

Meanwhile, Commissioner Blankenship said the Alabama Marine Resources Division (MRD) facilities in Dauphin Island sustained significant damage. The MRD office building suffered roof damage, and the docks at the office were destroyed.

“But Meaher State Park on the Causeway and 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center seemed to do okay,” he said. “There were trees down but not a lot of other damage.”

David Rainer is an award-winning writer who has covered Alabama’s great outdoors for 25 years. The former outdoors editor at the Mobile Press-Register, he writes for Outdoor Alabama, the website of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

15 hours ago

New COVID-19 cases at the University of Alabama down 95% from three weeks ago; Less than 2% of isolation space being used

The University of Alabama System on Friday afternoon released its weekly update with COVID-19 related data from each of its three distinct institutions: the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

The data — covering the seven-day period from Friday, September 18, through Thursday, September 24 — was impressive for all three universities.

The University of Alabama saw yet another incredible decline in the number of new cases week-over-week.

Only 48 students tested positive at UA during the latest period, a 60% decrease from the week prior and a monumental 95% decrease from earlier in the month.

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Another great sign is that UA set a record high for the amount of quarantine/isolation rooms available on-campus. Only 1.74% of these rooms are occupied (9/518), down from 3.88% seven days ago.

Additionally, numbers at UAB and UAH continue to look strong. In Birmingham, 16 students tested positive compared to 13 at UAH. These are both week-over-week decreases.

At UAB, zero isolation rooms are being used — a landmark feat; at UAH, 25.9% of isolation rooms are in use (22/87 rooms), a slight improvement from the previous week.

A release from the System advised, “No cases have been traced to contact in the classroom on any of the three campuses. There are no reports of current hospitalization.”

Finally, sentinel testing of students, faculty and staff is ongoing System-wide, with less than 1% of individuals from this form of sample testing being positive. A release from the System advised this indicates “virus mitigation strategies are effective and there is a very low rate of asymptomatic positive cases throughout the UA System.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, has credited the “strong leadership” and meticulous planning of the UA System for its successful return-to-campus efforts.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn