Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Real Love: A Paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13

If I talk a lot about God, the Bible, and the Church, but I fail to ask about other people’s needs, I’m simply making a lot of empty religious noise.
If I graduate from a respected private Christian university and know all the answers to questions you’ll never even think of asking, and if I have all of the degrees to prove it…and if I say I believe in God with all my heart, soul, and strength, claiming to have incredible answers to my prayers, but I fail to take the time to find out what makes others laugh and why they cry, I’m nothing.
If I sell an extra car and some of my books to raise money for poor starving kids somewhere, and if I give my life for God’s service and burn out after pouring everything I have into the work, but do it all without ever once caring about the people, the real hurting people—the moms and dads and sons and daughters and orphans and widows and the lonely and forgotten—if I pour my life into the Kingdom but forget to love those here on earth, my energy is wasted, and so is my life.
Here is what love is like…genuine love. God’s kind of love. It’s patient. It can wait. It helps others, even if they never find out who assisted them. Love doesn’t look for greener pastures. Love doesn’t boast. It doesn’t try to build itself up to be something it isn’t.
Love doesn’t act in a loose, immoral way. It doesn’t seek to take, but it willingly gives. Love doesn’t lose its temper. It doesn’t keep changing its mind. Love doesn’t think about how difficult the other person is, and certainly doesn’t think of how it could get back at someone. Love is grieved deeply over the evil in this world, but it rejoices over truth.
Love comes and sits with you when you’re feeling down and finds out what is wrong. It empathizes with you and believes in you. Love knows you’ll come through just as God planned, and love carries on to the end. It doesn’t give up, quit, diminish, or go home.
Love perseveres, even when everything goes wrong and the feelings leave and the other person doesn’t seem as special anymore. Love succeeds 100 percent of the time.
That, my friends, is what real love is.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Right NOT to Remain Silent

It’s time that that a united church body across the land stand up for righteousness and align ourselves with Gods truth. We are called to love all, and we must never compromise on that command. But in loving the lost we must also not compromise on the rest of Scripture, which makes it clear that while God is merciful, He is also just and will ultimately punish those who are living in sin.

First Corinthians 2:5 makes it clear that our faith must not stand “in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” It is time for the church once more to boldly take its stand on God’s Word, empowered by His Spirit, declaring His mercy and truth to this generation.

Our nation has allowed evil to flourish.......We have come to the point of calling "evil, good" and "good, evil!"

The networks make a mockery of Christians, the Christian faith and Christian values with nearly every show they air.  Greed, materialism, violence, sexual immorality, and homosexuality are standard fare and in the face of our children daily.  Program after program, movie after movie, contains anti-Christian episodes and plots and mews articles condescendingly refer to the "fundamentalists, right-wing, extremist Christians",  those who speak out for the sacredness of life are branded as extremists!

And yet; 300,000 pulpits remain silent!

Christ wants you to be a soldier for Him; Pray that God will fill you with a "passionate intensity" to do whatever you can, to become involved, to get out of the bleachers and pews, and onto the field and become a visible and verbal "participant" in the greatest struggle in the history of the world--A struggle for goodness, a struggle for righteousness, a struggle for godliness; A struggle of Christ against Satan!

That is the real battle we are in today!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"The United States Constitution is the impassioned and inspired vehicle by which we travel through history. It grew out of the most fundamental inspiration of our existence: that we are here to serve Him by living free -- that living free releases in us the noblest of impulses and the best of our abilities; that we would use these gifts for good and generous purposes and would secure them not just for ourselves and for our children but for all mankind."

State of the Union address, Jan. 27, 1987
I've come to the conclusion that liberalism is not a mental disease, but a spiritual disease! It effects thinking and cauterizes the conscience preventing any form rational human reasoning. It has an antidote called repentance that is proven to work 100% of the time, but it is rarely employed.

How should a Christian respond to persecution?

There’s no doubt that persecution is a stark reality of living the Christian life. The apostle Paul warned us that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus told us to expect persecution from the world because if they persecuted Him, they will persecute His followers also. Jesus has made it very clear to us that those of the world will hate us because they hate Him. If Christians were like the world—vain, earthly, sensual, and given to pleasure, wealth, and ambition—the world would not oppose us. But Christians do not belong to the world which is why they hate and persecute us (John 15:18-19). Christians are, or should be, influenced by different principles from those of the world. We are motivated by the love of God and holiness, while the world is driven by the love of sin. It is our very separation from the world that arouses the world's animosity toward us. The world would prefer that we were like them; since we are not, they hate us (1 Peter 4:3-4).

As faithful Christians, we must learn to recognize the value of persecution and even to rejoice in it, not in an ostentatious way, but quietly and humbly because persecution has great spiritual value. First, persecution allows us to share in a unique fellowship with our Lord. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul outlined a number of things he surrendered for the cause of Christ. Such losses, however, he viewed as “rubbish” (Philippians 3:8), or “dung” (KJV), that he might share in the “fellowship of [Christ’s] sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). The noble apostle even counted his chains as a grace (favor) which God had bestowed upon him (Philippians 1:7).

Second, in all truth, persecution is good for us. James argues that trials test our faith, work or develop (endurance) in our lives, and help develop maturity (James 1:2-4). For as steel is tempered in the flames of the forge, trials and persecution serve to hone down those rough edges that tarnish our character. Yielding graciously to persecution allows one to demonstrate that he is of a superior quality than his adversaries. It’s easy to be hateful, but an ugly disposition throws a light upon our human weakness. It is much more Christ-like to remain calm and to respond in kindness in the face of evil opposition. Without question this is a tremendous challenge, but we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us and the wonderful example of the Lord to encourage us. Peter says of Jesus, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

Third, persecution enables us to value the support of true friends. Conflict sometimes brings faithful children of God together in an encouraging and supportive way they might not have known otherwise. Hardship can stimulate the Lord’s people toward a greater resolve to love and comfort one another and lift one another to the throne of grace in prayer. There’s nothing like an unpleasant incident to help the more mature rise toward a greater level of brotherly love.

So, when we think about it seriously, we can move ourselves forward, even in the face of antagonism, whether from the world or within the church, and press on. We can thank God for His grace and for His patience with us. We can express gratitude for those whom we love in the Lord and who stand with us in times of distress. And we can pray for those who would accuse, misuse, or abuse us (2 Corinthians 11:24;Romans 10:1)

Monday, March 25, 2013

America’s greatest threat is APATHY.

America’s greatest threat is not Barack Obama. It’s not George Soros, Islamic Terror, Socialism, Communism, or Liberalism.
No… America’s greatest threat is APATHY.
America is suffering from an epidemic of selfish, gutless people who do not care, and will not sober up from their reality tv, politically correct, clueless stupor and get off their couch to stand up and fight for the things that made this nation great.
God, please help me to help them WAKE UP!!
The day that Americans feel as individuals, they are helpless to make a difference, is a day we all need to step back and examine what we have done with the gift from our Founders.
We were to be a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people… not a nation of the government, by the government and for the government. Our Founders designed this Constitutional Republic to be run by the people. The government is there to serve US. Somehow, we have lost sight of this pecking order and it is time to remind those who serve us, who is the boss. Apathy is the government’s best friend. It cannot grow, thrive and survive without it.

We must stand up and fight APATHY!
Allow me to list the ways YOU as an individual CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
* We must not be afraid to take a stand publicly for what is right and speak against all that is wrong. We must share truth with our friends, family, and neighbors, even when it is uncomfortable to do so.
* We must educate our children about the importance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights so they are sensitive to any efforts by the government to infringe on liberty.
* We must stay on top of our children’s education. Know what is in their text books and what their teachers are putting in their brains on a daily basis.
* Teach your children or grandchildren gun safety, good marksmanship, and the importance of the 2nd Amendment. Without it we have no way to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
In the 20th century, over 270 million people have been annihilated by their own governments AFTER BEING DISARMED.
* We must stay on top of current events. Watch the news (not msnbc, nbc, cbs,and abc).. Read reliable news outlets on the net… Listen to Conservative news talk radio
* Get involved in active Conservative groups that are fighting for Constitutional causes in your state
* Financially support political campaigns of candidates who stand for the values that made this country great.
* If you can’t donate money, volunteer to knock on doors, work a phone bank or put up campaign signs
* Once your candidate is elected, you must stay on his or her back. Keep him/her accountable. You put them in office and you can remove them.
* Run for office. We need people,(not politicians) in office who know and understand what its like to live in real world America. Eliminating career politicians from our legislative branch of government is the fastest road to fiscal health and a sound Constitutional Republic.
* Financially support organizations that stand up for YOUR 2nd Amendment Right… NRA, Gun Owners of America, The Second Amendment Foundation, Oath Keepers, National Association of Gun Rights.
Those are just a few of my suggestions. America did not get in this desperate state over night and we will not recover overnight. It is going to be a long, tough, road but we must become determined, passionate, and consistent with our efforts to overcome. Only then will we be victorious! I look forward to celebrating that da

The Wisdom of Noah Webster

Consider the words of Noah Webster, a founding father who helped ratify the constitution, lawyer, politician, and the one who penned the dictionary to give us consistency in English: 

"Education: The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts, science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties."      - from the Webster 1828 Dictionary

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." 

"The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government." 

"Every civil government is based upon some religion or philosophy of life. Education in a nation will propagate the religion of that nation. In America, the foundational religion was Christianity. And it was sown in the hearts of Americans through the home and private and public schools for centuries. Our liberty, growth, and prosperity was the result of a Biblical philosophy of life. Our continued freedom and success is dependent on our educating the youth of America in the principles of Christianity." 

"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed." 
- Noah Webster

Friday, March 22, 2013

Love.....a Biblical Perspective

 It was once generally accepted that man's greatest problem was pride, an inordinate self-interest. Now society tells us that man's greatest problem is that he thinks, not too highly of himself, but too lowly. He has "low self-esteem." Virtually every vice, from disruptive behavior to murder, is interpreted as an expression of low self-esteem. Interpreting human behavior through the philosophical grid of "victimism," psychotherapists suggest that the perpetrator cannot really be blamed for his conduct. He is merely reacting to circumstances that displease him because he has no inner sense of significance and personal worth. What he needs, they say, before he can function properly in a social context, is a new appreciation for his own uniqueness, a new sense of his own importance and dignity. Once he has developed this "love of self," we are told, he will have the motivation to resist drugs, make good grades, and overcome the feelings of despair that come with life's inevitable disappointments. Pop singer Whitney Houston promotes the gospel of self-love in a contemporary song:
I believe that children are our future; Teach them well, and let them learn the way; Teach them all the beauty they possess inside; Give them a sense of pride...
The message is subtly packaged in a beautiful musical arrangement, accented by Houston's captivating voice. She continues:
I determined long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadow, If I fail, if I succeed, at least I'll live and die, believing, No matter what they take from me, They can't take away my dignity; Because the greatest love of all, is happening to me; Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.
Is "the gospel according to Whitney" consistent with the gospel according to Jesus? What did Jesus say was "the greatest love of all?" Learning to love yourself? Absolutely not! According to the Lord Jesus Christ, "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (Jno. 15:13). The Lord interprets love in terms of self-sacrifice, or if you please, unselfishness, not self-centeredness and self-concern.

Far from producing happiness and stability, self-love breeds heartache and confusion. Marriages disintegrate, not thrive, when selfishness prevails. The moment each partner begins to prioritize self before the other, the relationship is destined to fail. What would happen to a family of five if every member adopted a self-absorbed mentality? If each lived for himself and not for the other, what would become of the family? Sadly, the answer to that question is all too apparent in the demise of the home in western culture.

"I'm not getting what I want out of this relationship," one mate says to another. "I don't think I love you anymore." I suggest that this person has not even started to understand the meaning of love. In fact, I maintain that many people who say "I love you" are really saying, in the words of the automobile commercial, "I love what you do for me." Self-love is not missing; love is. "I don't think I love you anymore" means "You don't do for me what you once did and I love myself too much to stay here any longer." Self-love, expressing itself in self-protection, self-defensiveness, self-assertiveness, and self-righteousness destroys relationships. It doesn't build them. Christianity, on the other hand, expressing itself in self-denial, self-humbling, self-forgetfulness, and self-sacrifice provides a rock-solid foundation for a marriage that sings.

People do not have to "learn" to love themselves. Because man was created in the image of God, he is a self-conscious creature. Sin has perverted and distorted this natural self-awareness, however, so that fallen man tends to idolize and deify the self, devoting his every energy and affection to the service of the self. "No man ever yet hated his own flesh" argues Paul (Eph. 5:29). If a man has a headache, he takes an aspirin, because he loves himself too much to allow his body to hurt. If he is fatigued, he rests, because he loves himself too much to allow himself to be uncomfortable. On the basis of this principle, Paul argues that men should love their wives like they love their own bodies. In other words, a man should take the same pains to relieve his wife's burdens and promote her welfare that he takes for his own body. His primary interest should be her well being, not his own comfort. That is real love - selfless, sacrificial behavior that "esteems others more important than self" (Phi. 2:3). This kind of love must be "learned" and developed, for it doesn't come naturally. But in a fallen world, it is the only kind of love that will produce the happiness that comes from a stable relationship.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Power of Words

Words Are Powerful Things

Lately, I have been reminded of the power of the words that I and others choose to use. Words have the power to build someone up, and words have the power to tear someone down. The words that we choose to use combined with our tone of voice can be a powerful force as well.

Consider the truth of the power of the tongue as described in James 3:3-12: When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
In light of this powerful Scripture passage, we could all do a better job in controlling the words that come out of our mouths.

Biblical Wisdom

God's Word contains practical wisdom on using our tongue for a force of good to those around us. Here are just two simple suggestions based on multiple verses in the Bible:
Use wisdom when you speak and refrain from talking if necessary. Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue (Proverbs 11:12). Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity (Proverbs 21:23). Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless (James 1:26).
Use soothing, healing words when you speak to those around you. The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18). The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit (Proverbs 15:4).
Words Have The Power Of Life And Death

From both a practical and spiritual standpoint, we know that words from those who have influence in our lives have a powerful impact on us. Proverbs 18:21 states, The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

When I think back on key, positive, pivotal points in my life, I recall influential people who came alongside me and spoke truthful, encouraging, correcting, loving, and healing words. They may not have always been the words that I wanted to hear, but they were definitely the words that I needed to hear at that point in my life. As God spoke to these influencers, they listened to His voice and allowed His words to flow through them to me. I'm grateful that they were obedient to God and He was able to use them for good in my life.

And, I can also look back at some of the more difficult times in my life when people spoke to me who were not under the control of the Holy Spirit. They spoke harsh, negative words of death to me. They were running their own agenda. They had no concern how their words impacted my life.

Go Out And Make A Difference

You have a choice today. You have a choice to speak words of life or words of death to people. You can be a force for positive influence in people's lives through the way you speak to them, or you can be a negative, destructive force in their lives.

Consciously evaluate your speech on a regular basis. Have you fallen into negative, destructive speech habits that maybe you weren't even aware of? If so, what do you need to do to turn that around in order to speak life-giving words to those around you that you love?

You can make a powerful difference in somebody's life today through the words that you choose to use. Choose wisely.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The real Christ

Most Christians have heard of or read a specific chapter in the Bible which gives a view of Christ found nowhere else – Isaiah chapter 53. Here we see that Christ as a perfect man lived a lowly and sorrowful human life. He didn’t “look nice” nor was he famous and charismatic – rather, He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. His birth was lowly, in a despised and lowly place, and His family was also not rich – rather, it was a family in a low state.His whole human living was also full of sorrow. This is altogether different from the “Superstar Christ” or this handsome charismatic Christ portrayed in the icons and paintings in Christianity today. He had no attractive form, no comeliness, nothing that would make one desire Him. All these things fully qualified Christ to be our Redeemer and Savior! He grew up before God in His humanity and He was eventually perfected in His humanity – to become the One who ministers God, expresses God, and accomplish God’s economy. What a Christ we have! Here are some of the main points found in Isaiah 53:1-3 regarding the Lord Jesus’ human living:
These matters and the rest of chapter 53 of Isaiah shows us that Christ was fully qualified to be our Redeemer and Savior. No, these matters were NOT for our redemption – they were for perfecting Him and qualifying Him to be the Savior of fallen mankind. Christ being such a man and living such a lowly and sorrowful human life FULLY qualified Him to be the Savior to save fallen man! He saves us mainly from four things – Satan, Sin, Death, and the Self. He grew up like a tender plant before Jehovah – He grew up in His humanity(not in His divinity) before God – and He was perfected through the things that He suffered that He might be the One who can pay the highest price to redeem us and save us! How we love Him and appreciate Him for all He is and all He did for us!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Walking the Presidential Dog....

Can't afford to let school kids tour the White House, but we can afford to pay a federal employee $102,000 a year to walk the Obamas' dog? 

Since when is the care of a family pet a legitimate expense related to the office of the president? Does Bo the dog have official duties we don't know about? Or is Barry Obama's $400k yearly salary (plus the millions more he makes in royalties from the books he didn't write) not enough to allow him to pay for his own personal expenses -- despite the fact that his and his family's housing, food, transportation, medical expenses, etc., are all already paid for by taxpayers? 

I don't begrudge the Obama girls a pet, but come on. The Obamas are multimillionaires now, thanks to their "public service" careers, so it's long past time for them to stop fleecing the public that has made their lives so luxurious and posh. Pay for your own damn dog walker!

Traits of Godly Men

As Christians we get caught up in our daily living, and sometimes we forget that being Christian is work. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians prove that when we are saved, we don’t automatically become mature in Christ, but we are babies along with all that implies. We are given certain character traits simply because we are new creatures in Christ because we have the fruit of the Spirit given freely to all God’s children who are joint heirs with Christ. Those wonderful traits are found in Galatians 5:22-23. We know that these are traits that must be nurtured and encouraged to grow stronger within our souls for Paul encourages the Corinthians to “watch, stand fast in faith, be brave and be strong” in 1 Corinthians 16:13 which is a strong indication we must work at our exhibition of godly attributes. There is much throughout the Bible that exhorts believers about love, peace, gentleness, self-control, as well as the rest of the fruit so that the war over the fleshly nature will be won by the godly nature that we have been given as a result of our being transformed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
There are traits that we can deliberately cultivate which will lend greater strength to our Christian lifestyle. Because of the loose, societal morals which are gaining greater acceptance each day, the men of Christian faith have a responsibility to choose a more godly lifestyle than what is basically accepted today. That is a scary thing for men these days especially when they are being mentally and emotionally castrated by commercials and TV shows that come into our living rooms every night. I cannot understand why women sit back and allow this balderdash to happen. But, that’s another rant.
Biblical men can teach us a lot about godly characteristics. Let’s look at a few…
Purity of Joseph — There is no telling exactly how beautiful and exotic Potipher’s wife was. She was obviously spoiled and demanding. Her fixation on Joseph was first aroused by his beauty and youth, but was enflamed by his remaining steadfastly pure. Solomon’s advice to his son was quite blatant, “drink water from your own cistern… let your fountain be blessed and rejoice with your wife you married in your youth… always be enraptured with her love…” But what if you are not married, young man? Then “don’t let your fountain be dispersed abroad like streams in the street.” Proverbs 5. Potipher’s wife wanted Joseph most likely because she couldn’t have him. From Joseph’s point of view it was unholy so he ran away from the sin. No matter what the world says, purity of heart and body is a quality highly treasured by God. When a man pleases God, the Windows of Heaven are opened and blessings are poured out. That is priceless.
Wisdom of Josiah – It would so easy to say “the wisdom of Solomon”, but frankly he may have been very wise in worldly matters, but when it came to godly things, Solomon got a “D” for disobedience. God went to him twice to exhort him to turn from the foreign wives and foreign idol worship and both times Solomon refused. Because King Solomon allowed so much foreign idolatry, Israel fell apart; the people turned from worshiping the one, true God to worshiping wood and stone fashioned by their own hands. Josiah was eight years old when he ascended to the throne of Judah. He succeeded his grandfather, Manasseh who was the bloodiest monarch of Judah and who the Bible says filled the streets of Jerusalem with the blood of her children because he worshiped and caused the people to worship the god Molech, the god of child sacrifices. Manasseh humbled himself and repented from his wickedness; and God forgave him. Josiah followed in David’s footsteps and that of his grandfather’s latter days of reign. The high priest found The Book of the Law. When Josiah had it read, he tore his clothes and immediately set about asking the will of the LORD, for he knew great was the wrath of God. Josiah turned his face from the prevailing wickedness of Judah. He crushed idolatry, sorcery, and put away all mediums. He tore down all the places of worship. But that was not why God granted Josiah peace from the calamity that would befall Judah. God said in 2 Kings 22:19, “because your heart is tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD… and because you wept before Me, I have heard you.” To have reverential awe, to fear the one whose justness will pour forth burning wrath against the wicked is wisdom beyond comprehension.
Responsibility of Boaz – What a sweet love story we find in Ruth who is one of only four women listed in the lineage of Christ. Boaz has more godly qualities than just about any other man. He has compassion for a widow, beautiful she may be, but he wanted her to stay close to his men, to eat with his people, and caused his reapers to leave enough behind for her to glean. This is empathy for her self-worth that she would work for her and Naomi’s food. The obedience of his men depicts a respect for his fairness in dealing with his people, and his leadership qualities. He cared about Ruth’s reputation and had her on her way before his people awoke after the harvest feast. (She had slept at his feet in request of his covering protection and actually a marriage proposal. When he threw his robe over her, he had accepted her proposal.) He made himself responsible for her and for his cousin Naomi by marrying Ruth and bringing them into his household. He took his duty as head of his clan seriously and with great wisdom thus he earned his place in the royal lineage of Jesus.
Honesty of Job – One of the bravest requests of a man to God is spoken by Job in chapter 31:5-6 “If I have walked with falsehood, Or if my foot has hastened to deceit, Let me be weighed on honest scales, That God may know my integrity.” Being weighed on honest scales is asking our heart to be weighed by God’s heart. We all fall short of the glory of God, therefore man can never come up balanced when weighed with honest scales. God said in all these things Jom did not sin. His faith never wavered, his responses to his friends, his responses to his wife, his responses to his circumstance, and his responses to God Himself remained pure of heart. No greed, no deceit was ever found in him. To be able to do this on a daily basis, a man must yield to the Holy Spirit. No person can face Satan’s wiles alone. The world’s siren song is drawing men away from God and toward all the things God abhors as the seven things found in Proverbs 6 such as a lying tongue, a proud look, hands that shed innocent blood, devising wicked plans, feet that run to evil, a false witness, lips that incite discord among the brethren. May no believer ever do these things.
Courage of Paul – No man other than Jesus suffered continually for his faith and for his brothers as Paul did. Certainly every disciple suffered death, and hardships, but the Bible doesn’t record in depth their trials and tribulations except in the case of Paul. Although, other authors such as Polycarp and Ignatius did record the horrors Christians faced. Paul was flogged with thirty-nine lashes by the Jews five times, thrashed three times with Roman rods, he was stoned and left for dead once, in travels often, in dangers of rivers, in dangers of robbers, in dangers from the Jews, in dangers from the nations, in dangers in the city, in dangers in a wilderness, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among false brothers, 2 Corinthians 11:27  in hardship and toil, often in sleeplessness, in hunger and thirst, often in hunger, in cold and nakedness, besides his great concern for the churches for when someone was desperate, he felt it to his bones and when someone was duped into sin, anger burned in his gut. Yet, he faced each day with joy in the LORD, he rejoiced and encouraged all to rejoice with him. It takes courage to fight lions and bears, but it takes monumental courage to stand firm in the faith.
Forgiving of Ananias of Damascus – A certain persecutor of Christians met a certain Savior on his way to Damascus. God was ready for him, and had already forgiven him of all the murders he had committed in the name of the LORD. Saul’s reputation was known far and wide as a most uncompassionate, murderous soldier of the Temple. Ananias was called upon to minister to this fiendish man by order of God Almighty. He stepped out of his doorway full of trust in the LORD, most likely knees knocking, hand trembling in anticipation of meeting the Temple’s Monster. He laid hands on him, spoke kindly to him, and he gave him words of prophecy from the LORD. Forgiveness is obedience to God in more ways than we can count. We are called to it, commanded to do it, given it freely for the asking, and blessed with it from our siblings who obey. There is nothing so liberating or cleansing as giving and receiving forgiveness. The man of God can move mountains bestowing it freely.
Compassion of Jesus – In Mark 10 there is a story about the Rich Young Ruler who asks Jesus what must he do to be saved. When Jesus tells him that he must follow the commandments, the young man said, “Teacher I have done all these things, I have kept them from my youth.” Every person who has tried to be good has realized sooner or later that it is impossible to obey the Law without slipping sideways once in a while. The arrogance and pride this young man exhibited was like a puffy balloon. Jesus could have pointed out each and every slip the young man had committed; and He could have literally sliced him to the core for his arrogance. But He looked at the young man and loved him. Jesus knew he would walk away, still full of his pride, and full of his love of money plus secure in his own wealth. Jesus knew it, but loved him anyway. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners. Jesus commanded us to love one another, and that the world would come to know Him by our love for one another. How can we disappoint Him?
No one would argue that Jesus wasn't a man's man, or that He wasn't a manly man. His strength abounds in His characteristics. He was angry at injustice, forgiving of frailties, and He was politically incorrect while standing firm against societal wickedness. He dealt fairly with friends and enemies alike. Men of faith have the Mind of Christ, so they are well armed against the wiles of Satan and against worldly pressures. It is never easy, but the battle is most worthy so that a godly man will hear those coveted words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
The faith of a Christian woman is powerful. Even in her darkest hour, she can stand, knowing that God will fulfill His promises in her life. God promises strength for the faint of heart, mercy for the weak, forgiveness for the repentant, protection for the vulnerable. Because God is faithful, every Christian woman can rest knowing that she has put her faith in Someone who will never disappoint her.

Faith is what drives the heart that won't quit, even when the circumstances look bleak. Something inside of a woman of faith says that she's not going anywhere until God comes through. She will not be moved. No matter how she feels, no matter how things look on the outside. No matter what anyone says, no matter how long she has to wait. Faith is what plants her feet firmly on the promises of God.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm personally horrified by much of what counts as "progressive" politics. It's taken me a long time to truly understand how deeply corrupted society is by the disease of leftism. I don't know how we turn things around, how we help young people realize that their interests are harmed by the Kool-Aid of radicalism, but whatever the answer, it's a program of civic renewal that should be the cause of any real conservative activist.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Healing our land: Taking America Back to Her Foundation 

By Jenny Gardner Whaley 

The last three generations of Americans simply have not been told the truth about American history as its Christian heritage has been disparaged. 

For example, ask most Americans if the "separation of church and state" is in our Constitution, and they will answer yes. You can scour the Constitution of the United States, and you will NOT find the phrase, "separation of church and state" or anything close to it.

In the Constitution of the Soviet Union, however, the doctrine of the separation of Church and State is found: "In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the State, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of antireligious propaganda is recognized for all citizens" (Article 124). Article Twelve of the 1918 Soviet Constitution decrees that no church or religious organization"shall enjoy the rights of judicial person." Instruction of children under age 18 in religious matters, whether in public or private, is against the law.

While the concept of separation of church and state might be implied by the First Amendment which states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....", it says nothing about the "separation of church and state." And, even if you accept the principle of the separation of church and state being implied by the First Amendment, it's implication is not there to protect Americans from religion, it is there to protect religious Americans from the government.

In their desire to promote their secular humanist philosophy using the power of government, many liberals today want to alter America's Christian heritage and replace it with the 10 Planks of Communism. They want to remove religion from our history and replace it with the Soviet doctrine of the separation of Church and State. They don't want to safeguard denominational neutrality by the state as the Founders intended, rather they want to eradicate every vestige of religion from our public institutions.

In the 1892 Supreme Court ruling in Church of the Holy Trinity vs. U.S. (citing 87 precedents), "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian." Throughout history, the U.S. Supreme Court continually cited previous cases in order to maintain our Christian Constitution. However, in 1962, for the first time in American history, the court cited no previous cases and ruled in Engel vs. Vitale that; because of Separation of Church and State, the government needed to be separated from Christian principles. So, the simple school prayer, "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee and we beg thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country" became unconstitutional and the eradication of Christianity from public institutions began.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. [Isaiah 5:20]
The Supreme Court, the President, or Congress do not shoulder the entire blame for these profound changes in the American cultural fabric. Far from it. Indeed, past generations of Christians and other religionists who were not involved in society or who sat silently by as the culture embraced the secular worldview are also greatly responsible.
The future of America will either be a national revival or it's total destruction. We're on the edge now of real national self-destruction. The past few generations of Americans have witnessed the collapse of moral and ethical values unlike any time in our history. We're looking at the very strong probability of economic collapse, unless there is a tremendous change. We're going to spend ourselves, tax ourselves into total oblivion.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. [2 Chronicles 7:14]

The essence of what God is requiring of the Christians in America is repentance. If we Christians think that simply by political involvement we're going to turn the country around, we're crazy. If we think that we can adopt an antagonistic triumphalism that says we're going to get organized and throw all the bad guys out and take over, we will be brought face to face with our own sinfulness.

We must recover the original American vision and we must put into practice 2 Chronicles 7:14.

What we need is a Christian nation - compared to the pagan nation we're becoming. By "Christian nation," I don't mean that everyone is forced to be a Christian or forced to go to church or to believe in God. People are free to be Buddhists, atheists, or whatever. The job of government is not to convert or force conversion to any kind of faith. The job of the government is to do for the people what they can't do for themselves. And the job of bringing people to faith belongs to the private citizens, the churches, the synagogues and the religious leaders of our nation. That separation should always be kept. What I mean by a Christian nation is a nation whose laws are self-consciously built on the laws and principles of the Bible.

We have allowed organizations like the ACLU to strip away every vestige of our Christian heritage for long enough. We are tired of them destroying our country by declaring God unconstitutional. Our nation was founded on the principles laid out by the God of the Bible and we're saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Where there is no foundation, there are no laws and what results is anarchy brought forth by moral relativism. Their way has failed. The time has come for us to take back that which once was and let the healing begin.

"Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it an inscribed for our motto: "Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever," and exclaim, Christ first, our country next!" -- Andrew Johnson