Tuesday, November 9, 2010

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Truth and Consequences

What follows is a potpourri of some things that have, from time to time, troubled my spirit. When I come across something that bothers me, I try my best to research it until I believe I have found the truth. For every action, there is a reaction. In other words there are consequences, either good or bad, for every action taken. Truth will lead you to positive consequences, and falsehood will lead to negative consequences.

I have known men who could, very accurately, quote the Bible, verse by verse, and yet did not have its knowledge in their hearts. I have seen how some of these men have distorted the Word and led people astray. The Bible is replete with accounts of instances of false teaching and false prophets. I guarantee you that Satan’s forces can quote the Bible better than you can. I have also known men who were not all that well versed in scripture memorization, yet did have its teachings in their hearts, and lived by them. Could this be what Jesus meant when he said you will be known by your actions? The knowledge of the Lord is to be stored up in our hearts so that through us, by what we do and by the way we live our lives, the world can see Him.

If you have been given the truth but choose to ignore it; whatever happens to you falls on your own head. The demons know who Jesus is and choose not to follow Him because of the decision they and Satan made long ago . They also have the knowledge of scripture; therefore, they know they are on the loosing side. Satan and his minions know that they cannot win, and must be satisfied to interfere with God’s plans as much as they can before the end comes. They do know that the end of man’s time is close. You have a choice of receiving the reward that they are destined to receive, or receive Christ as your Redeemer and duck out on what you really deserve. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God . Everyone is not going to be saved. It’s not that God doesn’t want everyone to come into salvation, but rather that He knows that not everyone will accept the gift He supplied. I have heard that God sees life like a river that runs around the base of a mountain. He is on the top of the mountain and can see all of history from the beginning to the end. That includes your entire life along with all the rest of us.

By more than one witness a thing is established. That is why we have more than one gospel account (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John). Therefore by eye witnesses the account of Jesus’ life and words are established as truth. Paul said that “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” . Therefore, since we have the Word of God (the Bible) and The Holy Spirit as witness; it is established that the facts of the Christ are true.

All food is good for our nourishment (this includes pork, shellfish and others). Jesus said that all food was ceremonially clean , and Peter was given the same information while on the rooftop . Paul, in Colossians, said that these rules about not eating certain foods don’t apply to Christians . If our faith is strong, we are allowed to eat anything , however, if your faith is weak, or you are interfering with the walk of a brother , we are asked to restrain our desires for the benefit of others. Everything is permissible because the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, and we are not to be condemned by others when we eat what we have thanked the Lord for . According to Paul when he wrote First Timothy; hypocritical liars will teach that you should abstain from certain foods . Enough said?

A Bible fact that bothered me for years was that it seemed that Jesus, when He called His disciples, left their families in the lurch. When Jesus called Peter, James, Andrew and John, He told them to follow him and leave everything behind . Just before He did this, He had them go back to fishing, and they returned with two boatloads of fish, to the point that they were almost sinking from the size of the load. This was a lot more than an average catch. Since these men were fishermen, it is my belief that it was done to sustain their families while the men were gone. God does supply all of our needs, if we are in His will. We do not count as loss what we give up to follow Christ because what we gain is so much more worthwhile.

There were times that Jesus would go off by himself to what the Bible calls lonely places. What we have to keep in mind is that He was here in human form and probably needed to get rested and refreshed once in a while . Even the best of us need to recharge our batteries; whether through rest or prayer.

We were first called Christian’s in Antioch , although at the time it was supposed to be an insult. It meant ‘little Christ’ and I’m sure it was said with disdain. That which was meant for evil however, has been imputed as good. These days we Christian’s are being called many things. It would be nice if once in a while something nice or true would be said. Christianity and Judaism seem to be the only religions for which there is no penalty for acting bigoted toward and ridiculing. Christian bashing has become a popular sport. It’s a good thing that the Bible has warned us to be on the lookout for this. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Rick Rahn

Thursday, November 4, 2010

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          The 2010 elections are over.  We won’t know who won however, until we see if those we put into office will do what the people want. The reason I titled this ‘NEXT’ is because when I was a salesman I always kept the word next in my consciousness. This meant to me that no matter how many customers said no, there was always the possibility that the next one would say yes.  If those that we just elected don’t do what we want, we will vote for someone else the next time.  If they do what is right in our eyes, they can get re-elected next time.  They need to know that we can always go for the next guy in the next election.

           A TV reporter, the day after the election, suggested that since the 2010 election turned out the way it did, there would be quite a bit of tension in Washington.  Well now, do you mean to tell me that it’s not just us citizens who will be stressing about what goes on in Washington? 

          President Obama today[1] definitely showed that he has no idea of what the American people want, or he just doesn’t care.  I think it is the latter because he said it was a shame that so many of the politicians, who went against what their constituency wanted to vote for his agenda, had lost their elections.  This man has no idea what a representative government               is all about.  Hey, O’bambam[2], a representative is supposed to represent and vote for what the people that hired him want.  Next!

          These progressives really are true believers.  They are absolutely convinced they know better than you do.  This is called arrogance, and since it has no basis in truth, it is therefore based on emotion.  Next!

         At least now we know who to keep an eye on until the next election.  Democrat, Republican or Independent should be watched very carefully so we know what to do in the next election.  E-mail is a great resource (http://www.contactingthecongress.org ).  Let’s keep their feet to the fire.

          If, when the government first overstepped their bounds and started interfering with our rights, we had acted on our own behalf we would be in a lot better position today.  Our tactical position now has to be based on catch up and recovery.  When they told us we couldn’t pray before a football game, we should have done it anyway.  When they said we couldn’t pray at a graduation ceremony, we should have done it anyway.  Keep in mind here that our action would have been legal, and their restriction was unconstitutional.  Our freedoms of speech, religious expression, assembly and others are guaranteed to us by the constitution.  No federal changes in law, except for amending the constitution, can in any way infringe on our rights.  It is also against the law for a state or local authority to, in any way, infringe on federal guarantees. 

          As has been well established, our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principals, and that our rights are granted by God and not the government.  We also know that there are only two forces at work in the world; good (God) and evil (Satan).  OK, here’s the deal…. When confronted unconstitutionally by any form of government official, turn to them and say “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus; you are interfering with a right that is guaranteed by God and our constitution.  It has been established since the Nuremberg trials that ‘just following orders’ is not an adequate defense for breaking the law, which is what you are doing.”.  If they should persist you say “in the name of Jesus, come out of him you foul and evil spirit”.  This must be done with all the respect you can muster. 

[1] Nov. 3, 2010
[2] A Flintstone’s reference – Little BamBam with his club

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Silencing The Christian Voice

Are Christians being duped out of their saltiness and light? Matthew 5:13- 16 proclaims, “You (Believers in Christ as Savior and Lord) are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor (strength), wherewith shall it (the earth) be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Salt is used as a preservative. Yet look at how we have allowed the secular world to use the lies of Satan to deceive us in such a way as to diminish the effect of our saltiness and very nearly distinguish our light.

This country, for that matter, the whole world is in a battle. God is still in control and we know what the final outcome will be. Hallelujah, He has won the war!! However, until that time, there are battles to be fought. We, Christians, are supposed to be the Lord’s army. As such our saltiness is supposed to be used to preserve the ways, thoughts, values, and principles of the one true living God. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible. II Peter 1:21-“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Christ told His disciples that He would leave much unrevealed. The Lord sent His Holy Spirit to indwell the Believer to lead, guide and teach us the will and purposes of God as revealed to us in His written word.

As warriors in the Lord’s army we are urged to put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6: 10 – 18: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil
day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness (that is not of ourselves, but that of Jesus); and our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; and above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”

Further we are to ask the Lord to give us His words to speak boldly (Ephesians 6: 20) and not be ashamed of Jesus or the wisdom of the Lord’s written word. We are to study His word that we can be a “workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2: 15) For unless we study the word of God, we will not be equipped to think, speak, or behave as we ought. (II Tim. 3:16, 17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect (complete), thoroughly (completely) furnished unto all good works.” (II Tim. 4: 2 – 4) We are to “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” To be “in season, or out of season” means to be able to proclaim His words rightly whenever called upon to do so in any time or circumstance. Remember, we are taught to stand fast in the scriptures. “As ye have therefore received Christ the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”(Coll. 2:6,7)

Followers of Christ, are forewarned to be secure in our own faith and able to witness and share the gospel with others? “Beware lest any man spoil (rob) you through philosophy, and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (principles) of the world, and not of Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (in bodily form)(Coll. 2: 3, 4) Also, we are informed, “For the time will come when they will not endure (accept) sound teaching; but after their own lusts shall they heap to teachers, having itching ears; and they will turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (fiction).”(II Tim. 4: 3, 4) In other words, man will look to learn, but will be unwilling to learn the truth. They will seek to learn only from teachers who will water down or pervert even the word of God so as to tell only those things that are “pleasing” to the ears of the hearer. You got it, they will hear only what they want to hear and do only what they want to do. That warning is for all of us to heed lest any of us be deceived and fall into the same pit of doubt and unbelief and willingly worship false gods. Remember the atheist is his own god for, in arrogance and pride, he proclaims there is no God and he worships self. The sin of pride is the very same as that which led to the expulsion of the devil and his followers (demons) from heaven.

“Those who are “rooted and grounded” in the limited wisdom of man, that is wisdom devoid of the knowledge of God, are presently winning the battle for the minds of men. The secular world is robbing the Christian of their saltiness and light. We are receiving the lies of the secular humanistic religion. They spread the lie that the voice of the Lord does not belong in the
public places of our society. I do agree that we can not put Jesus on the end of our finger and try to shove Him down the throats of others. But I don’t agree that our voice is to be silenced as is now being proclaimed. Values of the humanist are now being proclaimed as the only ones worthy to have place and predominance in the public places of society. Believers, if we don’t stand up for our Christian values and principles then we have no one to blame if they are completely forgotten. Christians are being shoved into the closet, while every way and thought that is against God’s will is coming out of the closet and being condoned and accepted as good and right. Thus proving that mans’ ways are right in his own sight. We are truly living in a world where right is made wrong, and wrong is accepted as good.

We are constantly told that, “We can’t force our beliefs on others.” Okay, but then look at what is happening. The values of the secularists are being forced on us. So the result is that the only acceptable values are theirs and ours are being cast out and “trodden under foot of men.”
Look at one incident that happened recently in Washington D.C. A group of young believers, standing on public property in front of one of the monuments, spontaneously began to sing our national anthem. A security officer came up and told them to stop as it was not aloud in the public forum to do so. What happened? The young people’s voices were silenced by the persuasion of the power of intimidation, tyranny.

The hate crimes that have recently been passed are really what amounts to be criminalizing thought. They are mainly directed at silencing our pastors from preaching the full Word of God. John Hagee was recently sued for saying that we are under attack of Islamic Fascists. He won the case at the cost of $10,000,000. It’s politically correct to trash and bash Chrisitians in every arena, but the Islamic religion is treated as though it were a sacred cow. People who believe that the practice of the sin of homosexuality is not acceptable to God as taught in His Word, are now bigots and hate mongerers. The thought police say that we are guilty of a crime for our beliefs. Yet, where is the cry of outrage when women are stoned to death for just being seen in the company of another man other than their husband. The life of a turtle is protected by the building of special tunnels as a route of passage across roadways, but viable babies as late as nine months are aborted in the name of womens’ Right to Choose.

This is accepted and condoned as right in the eyes of man. The hate crimes and thought police are only aimed against doing away with Chrisitan values.

I thought tolerance was suppose to be a two way street. I have family members that are practicing homosexuals. God loves them, even if they don’t love or obey Him. Anyone who says that God hates homosexuals is a liar and the love of God is not shed abroad in his heart. God says that we are all sinners and have fallen short of the mark. He loved us first, even when we did not know Him or worship Him. He does not want any of us to perish, but rather desire that we would all have eternal life through faith in Jesus our Lord and Savior. Each of us is given the liberty of free will, to reject God’s ways or to believe and walk in obedience. That being said, Chrisitans are being criminalized, not tolerated, for their belief that practicing homosexuality is a sin.

There are laws against beating, killing others, etc. and they should be enforced fully. A crime is a crime and therefore should be punished. But criminalizing “thought” that may or not be attached to a crime therefore assumes that reading the mind of the offender is a valid bases for prosecution as a second crime added to the first. This is very close to the assertions put forth in a recent movie whereby persons were arrested and tried for crimes that they were suspected of committing some time in the future, rather than a crime that had actually been committed. Criminalizing thoughts or beliefs is tyranny, not valid rule of law.

Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because He continued to openly worship the one true living God, and he refused to bow down and worship any other person or being. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to bow down and worship an idol, but stood, even to the death, for their belief and commitment to the one true and living God. Christians, where is that same willingness to stand and speak in boldness for our right to practice our faith even in the public arena, even at the cost of being ridiculed and persecuted? We can continue to cower and bow down to the politically correct “gods” of the present religion of Humanism, or choose to stand and live our lives boldly for God. Where is our boldness to stand, pray, and praise God in any place whether in be in private or public? When those around us tell us that we can not pray at a football game, what would happen if all believers refused to bow to the tyrannical rule of the secular world, but stood in mass in prayer or praise to our Lord?

I witnessed something the other day that occurred at a board meeting that simply warmed my heart. Someone asked, “Are we going to open the meeting with the pledge of allegiance?”

The official leading the meeting began to expound on the inappropriateness of doing so. While she was doing so, someone boldly stood up and began reciting the allegiance. Before you knew it, many others stood and they all joined in. This was certainly an excellent example of the positive change that can occur when we are willing to stand for our values and stop the barrage of power that would have us be silenced forever.

We have bowed to and swallowed the lie that our praise to God is not acceptable, while the open ridicule of God is not only accepted but condoned. We are letting the world rob us of our saltiness. We have bowed to secular politically correctness to the point that we have actually received the lie that the body of Christ, collectively and individually, should be silent and hide our light under a bushel, or in the ‘closet’. When Martin Luther King began practicing peaceful civil disobedience to right the wrongs of society against people of color, he was first willing to stand as one lone voice crying in the dark, when all else around him said, “No, be silent or you will pay a great price.” Then a few others began standing with him, in spite of the ridicule and danger. He, and others, knew the danger they were placing themselves in. Yes, eventually it cost him his life. He was fighting for equality and the hope that one day people would be looked at not for the color of their skin, but for the quality of their character; as one race-the human race. Where is that self same willingness to begin as one crying in the dark, that others may be then inspired to join with us against the evils of this increasingly godless world? Christians, be the bold army of God that we were meant to be. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Throw off the bonds that would silence your voice and mine for, “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”

Ginger Rahn

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

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Endure To The End

What does it mean to endure to the end? I often think that we are setting up newly born again Christians for failure in their walk with Christ. We hear the phrase, “Give your life to the Lord, and He will change your life.” Given the overall view, that is a true statement. However, if it is not balanced with more complete wisdom from the Lord, it is the perfect set up that Satan will take full advantage of to cause the believer, even some of the more mature Christians, to fall away from the faith.

To begin with, it can give the false impression that following Jesus means that your life is going to be changed so that miraculously from then on your life is going to be nothing but rainbows and completely devoid of any struggles or effects of those struggles. Do you see the utter danger and fallacy of such a viewpoint? For me, Romans 4, 5 and James 1, 2 contain a great big nugget of gold that, if taken in and thoroughly digested, can give such strength to guard against a falling away from the faith. I insert portions of those scriptures, along with my own thoughts, to share with you. May His Holy Spirit use this to enlighten our understanding that we may be built up in our faith to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy.

Romans 5: 1-5
Therefore being justified (just if I had never sinned) by faith,We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom we also have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience (steadfastness), experience; And experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed; because the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts By the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

James 1: 2, 3, 12
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (various trials)
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh (develops) patience. But let patience have her perfect (complete) work (in you) That you may be perfect (mature) and entire (finished), wanting (lacking) nothing. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: For when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, Which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.

Count it all joy when troubles come into your life? As a natural man, without the Holy Spirit to teach me God’s ways, that sounds absolutely ridiculous. Can the natural man really have peace and contentment even when things seem to be falling apart in his life? Can we really glory In tribulations ? We can, only if the “love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” Without the love of God in the heart of the believer, trials can have just the opposite effect causing him to become bitter and critical and lose the “crown of life.” Time and time again, we may go through periods where it seems that if one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong. At times, I have felt like my life was some kind of horrible destructive soap opera. You know how soap operas are with everyone cheating on each other, and one disaster is followed by another. Well, my husband and I never cheated on each other, but troubles often seemed to come in an avalanche form. And I’m supposed to Count it all joy?

Yes, that is exactly right. The worse thing I could do is to walk in the attitude of blaming God, and asking Him, “Why me Lord? Why are you letting this happen to me?” That is the destructive path to take that only leads to pity parties and depression. It is looking at my life through my own limited view rather than the over all view that God has. Remember, He knows the beginning from the end, while we may be in the middle of a tunnel and can’t see the light at either end. What He has been teaching me is that the important thing is not what is happening to me, but what is He doing in me. Instead of focusing on “Why me?” He’s teaching me, “Okay Lord, what is it that you want me to learn?” Troubles can be a part of His precious refiner’s fire through which He takes us
to melt and mold us more into His image. He knows what is further down the road, and He is making our faith stronger to face the coming steps.

My nephew, Eddie, was diagnosed with stage four cancer. For three years he battled against it with a courage that could only be given by God. He was given the unconditional love of his family to help encourage him and see him through this- to endure to the end. No, he didn’t just exist. He lived life with a purpose for three years, continuing life in such a way that would touch and change forever lives of others. With each step in his fight, he would face it with “Okay, this is the next step.” He lived each day with a purpose of accomplishing all that he could in the allotted time given to him. He could have chosen to just quit, but he didn’t. He endured to the end with a
purpose filled life. For me, he exemplified God’s work of “patience.” Then when his work on earth was done, God took him home where that work in him is now completed and that crown of life is received.

Unwavering faith is not something that happens just by chance. Growing in faith is a process that takes time. It is a journey in which God works in gradual steps to perfect us and make us fit for that journey. The purpose of the journey is to teach us to turn to Him so that He can remake us more into His image. Now, who wouldn’t want to be more like Jesus? I feel like I was blessed very early in life. I don’t mean that my family was always totally God centered. However, I was brought up in such a way that the seeds of the knowledge of God were planted in my heart as a very young child. Jesus had always been a reality in my life as far back as I could remember. Later as an adult, I realized that I wanted and needed a deeper walk with the Lord. I knelt in prayer and asked Jesus to come into my heart to be my “personal” Lord and Savior. In other words, I wanted Him to be Lord of my life as well as my Savior. I’m not sure exactly what I expected to happen, but because the earth didn’t shake and there was no sound of trumpets to announce my entrance into His Kingdom, I felt unsure if anything was really made different in my life. I didn’t realize that really walking with the Lord was a life long process and not just one single moment or event in ones life. Nor did I realize that the cares and storms of life, not just the powers and principalities of Satan and his demons, could or would be elements that would continually try to beset me to try to weaken, or even destroy, my decision to stay true to my commitment of faith in the Lord.

Maturing in Christ is truly a process that is joyful and glorious, but it also means that for growth to truly occur, we are going to experience pain and even great heartache along the way. Does that mean then that when those hard times come into our life that the Lord has failed us? Far be it! Look at the greatest example of what it means to truly “endure to the end” as given by Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. First of all, He didn’t consider it to great a price to leave His heavenly kingdom to come to Earth to be tested and tried in all ways that we are tried. He, the Creator in whom and by whom all things were made, didn’t think it was too great a price to be crucified that you and I might be redeemed through faith in Him. During His life on Earth, He suffered everything and far more than any of us could ever imagine. When people spat on Him, mocked and ridiculed Him, He had the power to destroy them, but daily He chose to do His Father’s will and walked in love and forgiveness even toward His enemies. Did He lose faith, give up, or quit because things got rough? No! He chose to endure to the end. When He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He could have said, “No, this is far too much to ask.” Yet He said, “Thy Will Be Done.” He chose to endure to the end. When He hung on the cross, those passing by hurled insults at Him saying, “Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” “Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’.”(Matt. 27: 40 – 43) Yet Jesus, all man, all God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, still did not shrink from His commitment. He chose to endure to the end. They did not take His life. He, who knew no sin, did not quit. He suffered separation from His Heavenly Father, suffered the agony of our sins laid upon Him, and ascended into the depths of Hell in order to become the resurrected Christ who paid the full price for our redemption. He didn’t quit. He endured to the end as He said, “it is finished” and commended His Spirit to His Father in Heaven. He demonstrated the importance of the journey on earth without ever asking “Why is this happening to me?” By this, He also showed us the importance of true trust and faith in the Lord that will see us through all the trials and tribulations of this life.

I’m now 68 years old. I’ve been through a lot and hopefully learned a lot. At the same time, I know He is not finished with me yet and will “continue to perfect that which concerns me” until I see Him face to face. I am still learning what it means to “count it all joy” when trials and tribulations come into my life. Hopefully, I am learning to respond to troubles by turning to Him with the questions of “Okay Lord, what is it that you want me to learn this time? What work are you doing in me this time?” I don’t glory or boast in my suffering, but I do want to give Him all the glory and honor for He alone is worthy of praise. At times, I have known Him to miraculously take me out of the pain of the trial, but more often I have learned to praise Him for being with me and in me as He takes me through to the other side.

At one moment in my life years ago, I stood at the door of my house and heard His voice speaking to me. He said, “If you loose this house and everything in it, God is still God.” At the time, I didn’t understand the full significance of what He was telling me. I just accepted it and said, “Okay God.” Every person on earth, Christian or not, can not get through life without experiencing trials, tribulations, pain, tears, bad times, as well as good times. It is not going to be the good times that are most instrumental in drawing us closer to God. However, the bad times can have one of two effects in shaping the direction that our lives will take. We can choose to say, “Forget you God. If you don’t do what I want and expect you to do, I reject you and refuse to have anything to do with you.” He has given us the liberty to choose. It’s called free will. When troubles come into our lives, we could ask Him, “Why is this happening to me?” and choose to wallow in a real pity party. Or the better way would be to say, “Lord, no matter what happens to me, I choose to have faith in you, to trust in you, and believe that whatever does happen to me, you will use it to perform your good work in me. I ask you to give me wisdom, which is to see life from your viewpoint. Help me to know what is right, and have the courage to do that which is right in your sight. May I always choose to praise you in and for all things.” In the bad times especially, we learn that we can’t buy, work, or think our way out of them; we can draw near to Him and trust that He will carry us through them and accomplish the strengthening of our trust and faith in Him. In doing so, He makes our faith deeper and stronger, enabling us to continue on the road of life with real purpose. Eventually, when we see him face to face, we will truly glory in the blessings He has stored up in heaven for those who do endure to the end. Because of that, we will have eternal life with Him where we can not begin to imagine the total blessings that He has in store for us. For the present, we have the joy of His presence with and in us by the power of His Holy Spirit who comforts us and gives us the kind of peace that passes all understanding. Therefore count it all joy when you fall into divers tribulations, “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

II Corinthians 4: 8, 9, 16
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; We are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; Cast down, but not destroyed;
…but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

Trust in the Lord always, and endure to the end.

Ginger Rahn

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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America's Future

          Some explanation is necessary before I begin this rant.  First of all, Replacement Theology is not based on a true interpretation of scripture, but rather a distorted rendering that is made to fit the plans and wishes of men.  For one thing, it asserts that the Church replaced the Jews because of Jesus.  Jesus said that He had not come to destroy the scriptures, but rather to fulfill them.  A covenant of God is irreversible, irrevocable and stands forever.  An example of this is when the Lord said He would give the Promised Land to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as an inheritance forever.  Jesus did not negate this promise to the house of Israel, but rather confirmed it.  The Lord looks on replacement theology as prostitution[1].  An example of innocent blood being spilled would be abortion on demand.  Making our people financial slaves of the state would be the government taking control of various industries and healthcare along with making us dependent on the government for our subsistence through entitlement programs.  The banishment of ‘The Lord God Almighty’ from the public discourse has been taking place slowly but surely for the better part of the last fifty years.  The right of free speech and religion seem to be the major stumbling block to the progressives.  If the foundations of our republic, such as our rights and freedoms can be treated as if they were granted by the government, rather than as is the case are granted by God, they can be taken away by the government.


          As I write this, I fully expect to be ridiculed as in the days of the Lord’s prophets.  When they brought word from the Lord that the people didn’t like, they were ostracized and beaten.  They were ridiculed and killed because they trusted in the Lord.  “O LORD, you persuaded me, and I was persuaded; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long;
everyone mocks me.  Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction.  So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, “I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”[2]    It’s not that I am a prophet of the Lord, but rather one who has recognized the error of our ways.  As the ‘Chosen People’ (the Israelites) of the Lord fell into and out of the favor of the Lord, we too have removed His protection form our country because we have abandoned the foundations, inspired by God, of our nation.


          Just as the ‘Chosen People’ went astray and worshiped man made gods, we have abandoned the Lord to worship the man made gods of progressivism, Socialism and Marxism.  Replacement Theology(including Black Liberation Theology, collective salvation and social justice), the shedding of innocent blood, making the people financial slaves of the state and denying that it was the Lord that set this country on the right course as a Judeo-Christian nation are what the rest of the world touts, as well as our own political leaders.  Even those professing to be Christian, such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright (the president’s former pastor of 20 years), Rev. Jim Wallace, the president’s current spiritual advisor and even the Catholic Church, along with the lack of the commitment of many of the main line denominational churches, have run away from the ‘One True and Living God’.  If you don’t believe in what He has said, then you don’t believe in Him.


          The president’s men are false prophets.  “The doctrine of Replacement Theology makes God a liar. It is a heresy that is straight from the pit of hell.”[3]  The following are some examples of this abomination.


1. “There are 2500 verses in the King James Bible about poor people.  One time in seminary we cut out of the Bible every reference to poor people, every single one; it took us a long, long time, when we were done that Bible was in shreds. It was falling apart; it was literally in holes….a Bible full of holes.  I would take it out and say brothers and sisters this is the American Bible, it’s full of holes.”[4]  Rev. Jim Wallace said this; he believes in income redistribution as well as other non Biblical teachings.

2. Rev. Jeremiah Wright seems to hate our country.  He, despite all the evidence to the contrary, espouses Black Liberation theology (the theology of the Black Panthers), social justice and collective salvation.

3. “We Christians cannot speak of the Promised Land as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people.  This promise was nullified by Christ.” “There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”[5]  I can’t think of a better example of revionist theology than this.  We Christian’s have not displaced the Jews but rather have been joined to them, grafted into the vine, through Christ.  “The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”[6]


          “Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.  They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the LORD. They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘the LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’” For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, and has perceived and heard His word?  Who has marked His word and heard it?”[7] “Thus every one of you shall say to his neighbor, and every one to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?’ and, ‘What has the LORD spoken?’  And the oracle of the LORD you shall mention no more. For every man’s word will be his oracle, for you have perverted the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.”[8] 


          Do not listen to what the politicians tell you. They will tell you that we Christian’s need to be more open minded.  As far as I can see; those people’s minds are so open that their brains have fallen out. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man puts forth, that shall he also receive back.”[9]  “Proper respect for the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but those that are morally deficient despise wisdom and discipline.”[10]  Try being informed instead of just opinionated.  


          His people, whom He established in the United States of America, have sinned against Him.  They have worshiped the gods of Progressivism, Socialism and Marxism.  Therefore, He has turned His back on them.  However, “if my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.”[11]  How long this will take will depend on the motivation of our hearts.  Lip service will not be enough.  The Lord can see into your heart and knows your thoughts.   “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD.”[12]  “I, the LORD, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”[13]


          “I warned you when you felt secure, but you said, ‘I will not listen!’
This has been your way from your youth; you have not obeyed me.”[14]  We have had things so good for so long we became complacent. 


          Because the Lord deals with us individually as well as nationally we still have the hope of salvation.  We may not be able to get our nation saved but we can, through Jesus, get ourselves saved.  We do not have to suffer throughout eternity for the sins of our nation.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”[15]  The world can be saved; however, it is done one person at a time.  There is no such thing as collective salvation.  To say that Jesus is the only way to the Father and Heaven is not hate speech but rather an invitation that is open to anyone willing to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  In addition to the individual salvation, we need to get our nation healed.  This we cannot do without the cooperation of our politicians.  In the Old Testament, the Lord punished or withdrew his protection from a nation based on the actions of its leaders.  How long will the Lord contend with a wicked people like we have become?  The Philistines are within the gates of our government.  We must expel them.  Because of this, we need to turn to Him as a nation in mind and deed.  It seems that this will be difficult since our president says we are not a Christian nation.  It is my belief that he has no idea of what a Christian nation is, much less what a Born Again Christian is.  It would seem that since the president surrounds himself with like minded people as advisors, we may need a new administration before we can request justice from the Lord.  Although the Lord didn’t promise us a rose garden, he has given us one.  Perhaps we should take better care of the garden by removing the thorns (the godless), and the weeds (the progressives).  “The respect of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”[16]


“Be still. Be patient. Wait for the Lord to act.  Don't be upset when other people succeed.  Don't be upset when they carry out their evil plans. Keep from being angry. Turn away from anger.  Don't be upset. That only leads to evil. Sinful people will be cut off from the land.  But it will be given to those who put their hope in the Lord.  In a little while, there won't be any more sinners.  Even if you look for them, you won't be able to find them.  But those who are free of pride will be given the land. They will enjoy great peace.  Sinful people make plans to harm those who do what is right. They grind their teeth at them. But the Lord laughs at those who do evil. He knows the day is coming when He will judge them.”  Remember that the Lord is in control and He doesn’t want us to resort to violence.  He does want us to pray and to take our rightful part in our government.  Use the Vote instead of the fist.  If you are slapped on one cheek, turn the other.  I know that the progressives have said they would use violence and that the Socialists and Marxist have been responsible for the deaths of millions but they are no match for our God. 


          Remember that where sin abounds, righteousness does more abound.  In the sixties the hippie movement (Progressives) caused a lot of contention in our country.  At the same time there was another movement called the Jesus people.  Throughout His Story, His people have repeatedly gone astray.  Each time however; when the people returned to the Lord, they were restored.  When the Rapture takes place, if I am still alive, I want to do what Mike Warnkie said he was going to do – grab a heathen in both hands and when I reach 40,000 feet ask them if they believe in Jesus. 


          How long the Lord will wait for us to return to His values I do not know.  How long we have left on this earth I have no idea.  I do know that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I also know that he would not like anyone to perish or be lost to the Devil.  I do know that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.  Our trials help us to grow in the Lord.  The progressives may be a test from the Lord.  We proved that our faith was strong enough to overcome the progressives in the 1930’s; let’s see if our faith is strong enough today.

[1] Ezekiel 16
[2] Jeremiah 20, vs.7-9
[3] Hal Linsey
[4] Rev. Jim Wallace, spiritual advisor to President Obama
[5] Monsignor Cyril Salim Bustros – Greek Melkite Archbishop
[6] Romans 11, vs.29
[7] Jeremiah 23, vs.16-18
[8] Jeremiah 23, vs. 35-36
[9] Galatians 6:7
[10] Proverbs 1, vs.7
[11] Chronicles II 7:14
[12] Jeremiah 17,vs.5
[13] Jeremiah 17, vs10
[14] Jeremiah 22, vs.21
[15] John 3, vs. 16,17
[16] Psalm 111,vs.10