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Lowell Brueckner

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The Last Straw

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The Book of the Prophet Daniel

“… some stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire!” Hebrews 11:33, 34

Chapter 5:1-31                                                  The Last Straw

1.  King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand. 
2.  Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 
3.  Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 
4.  They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. 
5.  Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. 
6.  Then the king's color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. 
7.  The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, "Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom." 
8.  Then all the king's wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. 
9.  Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed. 
10.  The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, "O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. 
11.  There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, 
12.  because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation." 

Of all the accounts of history that are available, none are as authentic as those of God’s historians. That is as it should be, because for that purpose God has raised them up in the most strategic places. There are quite a number of secular individuals, who have written of Babylonian history and its kings. However, they wrote from a distance, in time and place, whereas Daniel’s had, we might say, “a ring-side seat”, writing from the palace of the emperors in the city of Babylon. No one saw these occurrences with more clarity and detail than he had. Yet the world, in its rebellion, tend to give secular writers more credence and criticize Daniel.

When it comes to the life of Jesus Christ, no historical records of ancient history are more accurately confirmed than the four Gospels, written by eye witnesses or those very closely associated with them. We conclude that the Bible is the greatest historical authority available. Constantly, as time unfolds, more evidence is discovered, proving its authenticity. We, who are believers, know it to be inerrant and only to be criticized by men out of rebellious unbelief. That, in itself, goes to prove the biblical assessment that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 Jn.5:19).

A Kingly Conversion

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The Book of the Prophet Daniel

“… some stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire!” Hebrews 11:33, 34

Chapter 4:19-37                               A Kingly Conversion

19.  Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, "Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you." Belteshazzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! 
20.  The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, 
21.  whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— 
22.  it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. 
23.  And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, 'Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,' 
24.  this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 
25.  that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. 
26.  And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. 
27. Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity."

God’s providential ways are unique and not according to the patterns of men. He sent Daniel as His ambassador to Babylon and to King Nebuchadnezzar, as a captive, supernaturally equipped with wisdom and a gift for interpreting spiritual messages. The enemy tried desperately to thwart the Lord’s purpose and neutralize His elected vessel in this godless society.

Samples of Dave's photography

I wanted to give a few examples of our son, Dave's,  photography this past year or so. Some of his work has been placed in a 2018 calendar, but don't you think they should find their place in a magazine? If any of you have connections with some kind of publication, please put in a good word. Contact me at loelmarga@telefonica.net and I will pass it on to him. Dave is also hired to do weddings. (For larger view, click on any photo)
























The Tree Dream

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The Book of the Prophet Daniel

“… some stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire!” Hebrews 11:33, 34

Chapter 4:1-18                                       The Tree Dream

1.  King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! 
2.  It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me. 
3.  How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation. 
4.  I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. 
5.  I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me. 
6.  So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 
7.  Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation. 

This chapter tells one of the most amazing testimonies in all of Scripture and there are few that surpass it, in all the centuries of church history. It is the first person account of a world emperor, which he sent to his kingdom throughout the earth. In it, he praises God and relates his experience of conversion in the common Aramaic language. The writing is worthy of the quotes of a couple commentators:

Adam Clarke: This is a regular decree, and one of the most ancient extant (voc. note: still in existence); and no doubt contains the exact words of Nebuchadnezzar, copied out by Daniel from the state papers of Babylon, and preserved in the original language.”

Matthew Henry: The royal style which Nebuchadnezzar makes use of has nothing in it of pomp or fancy, but is plain, short, and unaffected. If at other times he made use of great swelling words of vanity in his title, now he laid them all aside; for he was old, he had lately recovered from a distraction which had humbled and mortified him, and was now in the actual contemplation of God's greatness and sovereignty. The declaration is directed not only to his own subjects, but to all to whom this present writing shall come - to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth. He is not only willing that they should all hear of it, though it carry the account of his own infamy (which perhaps none durst have published if he had not done it himself, and therefore Daniel published the original paper), but he strictly charges and commands all manner of persons to take notice of it; for all are concerned, and it may be profitable to all.

The God Who Overrules

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The Book of the Prophet Daniel

“… some stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire!” Hebrews 11:33, 34

Chapter 3:13-30                               The God Who Overrules

13.  Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 
14.  Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, "Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 
15.  Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?" 
16.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 
17.  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 
18.  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." 
19.  Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. 
20.  And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 
21.  Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 
22.  Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 
23.  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. 

Nebuchadnezzar has constructed a costly and impressive idol and, from his high position over the population, he expects immediate and total consecration to it. This is not just an imaginative invention construed in the mind of the emperor; its construction was inspired by a religious experience that shook him to the core of his being. He is serious about this.