Wednesday, February 16, 2011

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          “There I go again; I’m thinking of the time when I will stand, and look into the eyes of my redeemer”.      These are words from one of my favorite Christian songs, and I am truly looking forward to that time.

          Each of us has a record being kept in Heaven containing everything we have done in our lives.  This record contains the good and the bad. 

          Christian’s can rest securely in the knowledge that they are not going to be condemned when they are judged.  We will however be judged on what we have done for the furtherance of the kingdom of God.  We, by our belief in and acceptance of the Christ as our Lord and Savior, have been redeemed from the fires of Hell.  We are going to give an accounting for what we have done that either furthered or hindered the cause of Christ.  This judgment will determine our reward in Heaven. 

          It is true that Christian’s are not perfect; simply forgiven.  The term backslider refers to a Christian who had slipped in his walk with the Lord.  This doesn’t mean that he has lost his salvation, but rather that he is not doing what is best for himself or the body of Christ.  “‘Sins’ are wrong acts that are committed without any necessary reference to a known law; ’transgressions’ are wrong acts committed in open disobedience of a known law.  ‘Sins’ are therefore compared to a ‘cloud’, but ‘transgressions’ to a ‘thick cloud’.  That is to say, ‘transgressions’ are the darker of the two.  However, God’s grace and power are more than sufficient to blot out both the one and the other.”[1]  If a Christian sins and later asks for forgiveness the sin will not be counted against him.  When we become a Christian; God the Father, from that point on, sees us through a veil of the blood of Christ.  This veil keeps the Father from seeing our sins because He has placed the responsibility for judging us in the hands of Jesus.  “If any man's work abides which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”[2] 

          Those who are not in Christ will be judged for everything they have done.  The most severe judgment will be for those who could have, but refused to receive Christ as Savior. 

          Doctor Maurice Rawlings, a medical doctor, wrote a book about the testimonies of people who had been revived (sometimes referred to as near death experience).  Among other things that they told him, was that some of them went down into hell while others had a heavenly experience.  One of these patients was a Baptist Sunday school teacher who went to hell.  Needless to say, he was later born again.  Simply professing to be a Christian holds no value; you have to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. 

          The Bible says that God sees what is in the hearts of men.  This is why we are not allowed to judge anyone.  We can’t know what is in their hearts.  “If God failed to judge America, He would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”[3]  Is God judging us now through our slipping world status and financial woes?  The Bible says that it is a sin not to pay a workman his wages.  The wages of sin is death.  Since God cannot sin, He must therefore judge sinners, as that is their wages. 

[1] Derek Prince
[2] 1 Corinthians 3: 14-15
[3] Billy Graham

Friday, February 11, 2011

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Second Amendment

         Amendment two of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States, the Right to Bear Arms, was ratified 12/15/1791.  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        “You will be told that the second amendment is about militias, but it is not and that is an intentional lie. It was written to protect the right of the people to defend themselves and have an armed populous to defend the country from foreign and internal threats to our liberty, I.E. the Government trying to take away our Rights. This amendment uses the word People I.E. you and I, the same as it does in every case that it is used in the Bill of Rights and Constitution, it means the common citizens. The founders were clear when they meant State I.E. Government and when they meant People. They did not give the right to the government at any level to regulate your right to self defense or to keep and bear arms; they in fact wrote that it "Shall not be infringed". It is no coincidence that the right to keep and bear arms comes right after the right to free speech. When we lose these rights and the others in the Bill of Rights will shortly follow, and we will be no longer a free people”.[1] 

          When gun control was instituted in Australia and Great Britain, the crime rates went up.  When Texas instituted their right to bear law, the crime rate went down.  When the government confiscated citizen’s guns in New Orleans after Katrina the crime rate went ballistic.  I admit that the crime rate might have gone ballistic anyway, but at least the citizens could have protected themselves. 

          Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Castro, Qaddafi, Idi Amin, Pol Pot and Kim Jong-il all know that when the citizens are stripped of their arms, they are easily controlled.  They know that gun control works.

          Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government,”[2]

          James Madison said, “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

          “James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American politician and political philosopher who served as the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817) and is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.  He was the principal author of the United States Constitution, and is often called the "Father of the Constitution". In 1788, he wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, the most influential commentary on the Constitution. The first president to have served in the United States Congress, he was a leader in the 1st United States Congress, drafting many basic laws, and was responsible for the first ten amendments to the Constitution and thus is also known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights". As a political theorist, Madison's most distinctive belief was that the new republic needed checks and balances to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the majority.  The Bill of Rights is a series of limitations on the power of the United States federal government, protecting the natural rights of liberty and property including freedom of speech, a free press, free assembly, and free association, as well as the right to keep and bear arms.”[3]  James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights to congress.  I really think he knew what he meant when he wrote the second amendment.

          “Pens and rifles are the tools of our 1st & 2nd Amendments. It is our intent to use our 1st Amendment right to tell the story of, and stand in defense for, our constitutionally enumerated 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”[4]

          “The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights”.[5]

          “In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second Amendment decisions. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Additionally, the Court enumerated several longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession that it found were consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits State and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.[6]

            “State and federal courts historically have used two models to interpret the Second Amendment: the now generally accepted individual rights model, and the "collective rights" model which holds that the right is dependent on militia membership. While having influenced a number of past court cases, the "collective rights" model has been discarded by the U.S. Supreme Court, in favor of the individual rights model.  The primary U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment cases include Robertson v. Baldwin, (1897); United States v. Miller, (1939); District of Columbia v. Heller, (2008); and McDonald v. Chicago (2010).  In Heller and McDonald the U.S. Supreme Court supported the individual rights model, under which the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms much as the First Amendment protects the right to free speech. Under this model the militia is composed of members who supply their own arms and ammunition. This is generally recognized as the method by which U.S. militias have historically been armed.”[7]

          As a practical matter, it might be a good thing if we were all to carry firearms.  With the nuts that go on killing sprees and terrorists all around us, we might be able to save lives.  As I have stated before, my interpretation of the Second Amendment is that we have the right to keep (own and possess) and bear (carry - concealed or in plain sight) any form of weaponry that we see fit.  Since this is a federal guarantee, no state or local government has any right to restrict these rights.  No state or local government can supersede a federal guarantee.

          In Luke 11:21 we see Jesus say: When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace.  In the United States, Guns are used in self defense 2 million times per year – average of 5,480 times per day.  The police set the example for the size of the magazines needed by ‘we the people’ to protect ourselves.  The 9mm’s most police officers carry hold 9 to 15 rounds.  They also have assault rifles available.   Their weapons are for use on the same criminals that are breaking into your house.

          In my opinion, the government should never be allowed to ban any weapons that it might consider using against its citizens, at any time in any circumstance. This includes ships, planes, land vehicles, artillery and hand weapons. The vote is only the best weapon when the government doesn’t use weapons to prevent it.

[2] Thomas Jefferson
[3] Wikipedia
[4] Guns and Patriots website
[5] Wikipedia
[6] Wikipedia
[7] Wikipedia
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So You Say You Believe In Jesus

So you say you believe in Jesus, but do you love Him? So you say you believe in Jesus, but do you know Him? So you say you believe in Jesus, but do you seek to please Him? So you say you believe in Jesus, but does your life show it?

The marriage relationship between a man and a woman is probably the closest example I could think of to convey what our personal relationship with Jesus Christ is supposed to be like, though even it falls so short of what God has in store for those who choose to follow Christ.

When Rick and I first began dating, I could say that I knew him. But did I really know him? Well, I knew his name, where he lived, where he went to school, and how old he was. Could I say I really loved him? It could be said that I liked him, and thought he was ever so pleasing to look at. Could I say that I knew and did all that would please him? I knew he liked dancing, but does that cover everything that would be pleasing to him? Hardly, one has to spend time with someone to even begin to know what pleases them. The process of dating is supposed to provide time for people to grow in their personal knowledge of and relationship with each other.

Marriage is supposed to be founded on a firm foundation of love between a man and a woman. This love should be strong enough to keep vows to one another such as “to love, honor and obey, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for poorer or richer, till death do you part.” They are to leave their mother and father, and cleave to one another, esteeming the other more highly than themselves. That means considering the other even before them selves. Can you imagine how wonderful each marriage would be if the husband always put the needs and desires of his wife before his own, and visa versa? Of course, this can only be done when God is placed first in any relationship. It is God’s unconditional love for us and in us that enables us to know true love without self being first and foremost. That’s why God warns us not to become unequally yoked. However, God can even overcome that when both are willing to know and trust in Him, and Him alone.

Even the best of marriages is going to have its trials and tribulations. Each partner must be willing to do all that it takes to work at keeping the relationship growing and blossoming into all that it can be. It’s not a one time effort deal, but a continual effort project if your personal relationship with one another is to remain alive, vital, and well. If this is done, even when you are old and gray, you will never cease to be amazed at how much you are still learning about one another, and how much you are still seeking to fulfill and please one another. The embers of the fire that keeps your love for one another still burning hot will not grow cold or luke warm. When Rick was getting ready to retire, most of his colleagues were telling him that he was going to regret it. They said, “Before you know it you are both going to be getting on each other’s nerves and at each other’s throats.” Well, it has been a short ten months now, and their predictions have yet to become true. We just look at each other and praise God for blessing us with the gift of each other. Now don’t get me wrong. Yes, we still have our ups and downs, but He has given as a love strong enough to weather the storms of life.

I have always said that the other guys I dated gave me a wonderful gift- a greater appreciation for my husband. There are no doubts that God gave me the very best life mate that I could ever have received. My Mom once told him, “You better be willing to give her a lot of attention and affection.” Well, he has certainly more than met that requirement. I believe that I have returned the same to him. However, whenever I say “I love you,” he retorts, “I love you more.” What a lovely ongoing debate to have.

Spending time with one another, hearing one another (not just letting words go in one ear and out the other, but truly listening and seeking to understand and comprehend), developing common interests, doing little things with and for each other; these are all actions that help to develop a long, lasting, and fulfilling relationship –one that shows, or demonstrates so clearly, not only to one another, but even to those who may not even really know you, that anyone can see and appreciate the love you have for one another. That’s when we hear, “I want what the two of you have.”

Let's take a look at what I might have had. I once dated a guy whose values and desires were far removed from my own. He once said, “I want you to really think about whether I’m the kind of guy you want to marry. You know me. If I want to take off and go fishing or hunting, I’m going to do just that. Will you be satisfied with that?” I don’t believe he thought I would really take his advice. But I did just that. I concluded that I would definitely NOT be satisfied. Neither would I be happy with someone who thought Jesus was a nice guy, but revered money as the real god to worship. Thank you Lord, you saved me from a fate worse than death. In my minds eye, I can see the outcome or that kind of relationship. It would not be characterized as two people so in love, that spending time together was the greatest joy in life for both of them. In stead, either the marriage would end in divorce, or the two would just become room mates, each seeking fulfillment in their own separate lives, and neither of them really caring about one another. Is that the kind of relationship that would make you say, “I want what you have?”

I’m not saying that those who don’t believe in God can’t have s good marriage. Unbelievers may practice God’s principles which are going to produce positive consequences. The reverse is also true. If Christians do not apply God’s principles to their lives and marriage, they will suffer the negative consequences of not doing so. God’s law exists and is true whether we believe in Him or not, just like the law of gravity works whether you believe in it or not.

Do you think I have veered from my original theme? Far from it! I have
attempted to describe just a little bit of our marriage relationship, in hopes of demonstrating what others should be able to see about God’s love toward and in each of us. Our personal relationship with Jesus should be so vital that others will look, see, and say, “I want what you have.”

For me to say about Rick, when I first met him, that I truly believed in him, knew him, loved him, and sought to do that which pleased him, would be a complete lie. Yet that is the very thing that you and I are very often guilty of when we say, “I believe in Jesus,” but there is very little evidence in our lives that would prove the truth of that statement even to our selves, much less to others, and more importantly to God Him self. If we say we believe in Him, but do not seek to obey Him, we are the same as the devil who believes in Jesus. That is, the devil and his demons “know” who Jesus is. They even know the scriptures verbatim. But they will never obey Him(seek to do that which is pleasing in His sight), nor will they ever love Him.

Obedience in serving the Lord does not come forth as some may imagine. Some think of obedience and envision a tyrant or dictator who demands obedience through force. However, with God, our obedience to Him arises out our love for Him. If we truly love Him, we would never want to do that which is not pleasing in His sight. The following incident that happened between my Daddy and I has helped me understand the kind of obedience that we are supposed to exhibit in our walk with the Lord, our heavenly Father. Before my sophomore year of college, not knowing what I really wanted to major in, I told my Daddy that I was not going to return to college. He became very upset with me and began to exuberantly declare the harm I would be doing to my future if I just threw away the gift of an education that he was willing to freely give me. He loved me enough to “chastise”
me that I might see the error of my ways. He used the combination of laying down the “law” tempered with love to cause me to turn around and repent of my choices that he knew would bring harm to my life. Within five minutes, I turned around 380 degrees in my decision. Had I all of a sudden discovered what field of study I wished to pursue? No, but having seen just how much my education meant to my Daddy had convinced me that I should obey him. I loved my Daddy very much and did not want him to be displeased or disappointed in me. In learning the importance of doing my earthly father’s will, I have been able to understand that much more, the importance of being obedient to the will of my heavenly Father.
You see my Daddy had wisdom beyond my own limited knowledge at that time.

He had told me that even if I never used my education, at least I would have it if there ever arose a time in my life when it would be necessary. He was providing the opportunity for me to be equipped and prepared for the future. Therefore, I was able to help provide for my family upon several occasions. Not only did it help our family economically, but it also gave me an opportunity as a teacher, to reach out to my students and hopefully help to mold their lives. God also combines His love and His law to instruct and correct us, not for the purpose of reigning over us in tyranny, but to keep us from harm. In refusing to be obedient to the Lord, we have to suffer the consequences of not heeding His will for our lives. Serving the Lord willingly, that is obeying His Will as given to us in His Word, is for our benefit, not His. God is love and He is just. If He does not chastise us, we are not His sons and daughters. What loving earthly father would not willingly discipline his children? To not do so is to destroy the very one that you proclaim to love. Love and law must be combined. Read Hebrews 12.

Let me put it another way. How many of us would willingly enter into a marriage if we knew beforehand that it would be characterized by infidelity, neglect, abuse, and indifference? Yet that is the kind of relationship we seem to think is valid for Jesus to have in our lives. All too often, we don’t try to truly draw near to Him in daily praise and worship. We don’t seek to know Him through studying His Word. Or we may read His Word, but then not truly listen and then apply His Word in our daily life, but continually place our own opinions above His. That’s like a husband saying to his wife, “You talk too much. I can’t be bothered by your constant blabbing.” Is that what we really want to say to God? “Hey Jesus, don’t bother me with your silly thoughts. That stuff is old fashioned and for people that don’t having any thing better to do. What you have to say couldn’t possibly have any real validity to my life today. And besides that, why should I be faithful to you and you alone. That stuff about ‘having no other gods before you, and loving you with all my heart, mind, soul, and body,’ man you’ve really gone overboard with that hogwash. I can make it just fine following my own opinions. After all look at all those other enticing gods out there that will give me all I want; you know like the gods of money, work, sex, intellectualism, humanism, socialism, paganism, witchcraft only to name a few. I can follow after any and all gods for there are many paths to God. I can pick and choose any, all, or none. Who do you think you are to try and tell me I have to choose to follow only you? And as for obeying you, forget that! I can do anything I want as long as it does no harm to others. You know – if it feels good, do it! Hey, everybody’s doing it, aren’t they? So it must be okay, right?”

So where is our true love for Jesus if any other god will do just as good? Why would God the Father send His only Son to be crucified for OUR sins, if belief and obedience to any god or belief in no god would have the same outcome?
If we say we believe in Jesus, but do not have a personal relationship with Him as our Lord and Savior, then the truth is not in us. It is equivalent to being room mates and married in name only.

You say you believe in Jesus. But do you LOVE HIM? If you love your wife, wouldn’t it be a funny way to show it by only spending time with her for the purpose of just getting what you want her to do for you, and never thinking of what you could do for her? Some marriages are characterized by an attitude of “what have you done for me lately?” One reaches out for affection only to be pushed aside, or one forces selfish desire without consideration of the other’s feelings. One can be just as detrimental as the other because love of self has become more important than truly cherishing your mate. Similarly, our love for God, or lack of it, can be characterized by the same selfish attitudes and actions. When was the last time you told the Lord how much you really loved Him, just for the sake of letting Him know how much he means in your life.? When did you last wish you had more than mere words to pour out your heartfelt love to Him? All too often, we don’t think of prayer as a time to worship the Lord giving Him all glory and honor for which He alone is worthy. Instead, prayer time, or talking with Him, is very often characterized by an attitude of presenting a wish list, as if He was our butler.

He loved us first. He gave us Him self through His Son, His Holy Spirit, and His written Word. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father; for the Father and I are One.” (Read John 14 & I John: 5) All too often, what does He get from us? An attitude of, “What have you done for me lately, God?” Or we present Him with an attitude of “do this, fix that, and give me that.” It’s as if we think we can go to God with the same attitude as going to McDonalds to order a burger and fries. Then to top it all off, if He ‘gets the order wrong’, that is He didn’t answer our prayer when and how we thought He should have, we respond with an attitude of doubt, unbelief, or even worse “Forget you God. If you don’t do what ‘I’ think you should, I don’t need or want you in my life.”

How would we like it if all we ever heard from our spouse were complaints and demands? Or how long do you think you would cherish your spouse if all He/she ever cared about was the fulfillment of their own selfish desires? Yes, God does want us to “bring our burdens” to Him. But love, in any relationship, is supposed to be a two way street, both giving and receiving. We need to remember that some of the best answers to our prayers were when He said, “NO.” We also need to realize that our experiences in life do not define or limit God. One of the best lessons given to us in scripture is the Book of Job. He lost everything, yet he refused to reject God. God is still God no matter what the circumstances of our lives may be. Just because we don’t know the beginning from the end is no excuse. That’s why we are told to stand and endure to the end. So maybe our time spent with the Lord should contain less complaining and more praises and thanking Him for being who He is, for He alone knows the beginning from the end. Most of all, we need to praise Him for the fact, that no matter how many times we fail Him, still His love for us is true, and He will never leave us or forsake us. His grace is sufficient. If we truly love Him, He assures us that we are “carved in the palms of His hands,” and nothing can separate us from His Love. He loves us so much He even knows the number of hairs on our head. Why and how can we neglect so great a love?

There have been precious moments when I felt the nearness of Jesus so real as if He was physically right there with me. Oh how my spirit within burned with love for Him and from Him. I treasure those times and wish that it could always be that way. The fact that it isn’t is not His fault, but my own. Yet I hold tight to those moments as gifts of little periods of time given that I may rerun them again and again. They are small glimpses of but a part of the glories we will experience when we go to be with Him in eternity. Like the song says, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years…we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.” Tenderly and sweetly He calls us into His presence that we may experience here and now a small part of the glories He has stored up for those who believe in and obey Him.

Again I say, so you say you believe in Jesus. Then where is the evidence of that love in your life? Just think what it would be like if your husband/wife had you on a starvation diet of only crumbs of attention and affection? Then relate that to how our Lord must feel when we dole out our love, attention, and obedience (doing that which is pleasing in His sight) as to practically be non existent. No wonder He said that because we are neither hot nor cold, He will spew us out of His mouth. We need to hunger and thirst after Him for our eternal life depends upon it.

I have known the wonderful love of family and friends. Think of how wonderful the most intimate moments have been between you and your loved one as you have shared your love with one another. Now try to understand that that love is but a mere shadow when compared with the treasure found in the love of our Lord, for He is more precious than silver or gold.

I urge myself, as much as the reader, to seek the face of the Lord while He may be found. Search the scriptures that we may eat of the bread of life. Jesus said, “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” Learn at His feet. Find the eternal joy of the Lord; seek to Know Him, Love Him, and Serve Him that your life may be full in the here and now and for eternity. Again I ask, do you KNOW HIM, LOVE HIM, and SERVE HIM? Draw nigh unto Him, and He will draw nigh unto you. He will be our God, and we will be His people. May His love so shine in and from each of us that others will say, “I WANT WHAT YOU HAVE!”

Hebrews 10: 23 – 25
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Psalm 34: 3, 8
“Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”
“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”

Ginger Rahn

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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          Socialism is a theory of government based upon the ownership and control of capital, land, and means of production by the community as a whole.  Marxism is the political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society's allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.

           Communism is a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.”[1]

          What has socialism given us over the years?  Marxism, socialism, progressivism, and communism, in essence, amount to the same thing. Mao’s regime was responsible for the deaths of 70 million people.  Stalin’s regime was responsible for the deaths of approximately 100 million people.    Hitler’s National Socialist party was pretty terrible but it wasn’t the beginning.  In many ways it was the result of Socialist ideas like Eugenics and political correctness; resulting in his attempt to exterminate the Jews, homosexuals and the retarded.  If you don’t believe like they do, your chances of survival are limited.  In America, there was even a group in the sixties that estimated there would have to be 25 million Americans eliminated to forward their plans of a socialist take over.

          The new modern language for these is: New World Order, Open Society, Social Justice, collective salvation, and Progressivism.  These are catch phrases used to lull you into complacency.  Liberation theology is the modern equivalent of the inquisition.  Be leery when you hear the words democracy and social justice used together.  There are reasons why our country was set up as a republic instead of a democracy.  A democracy allows the people, by simply the power of numbers, to dictate the redistribution of wealth.  The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”[2]  "Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."[3]  “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”[4]

          The road to hell is paved with progressive intentions.  The progressives really are true believers in what they are trying to do.  Progressivism is in fact just another false religion that places mans’ will above all else.  They don’t believe that there is a god; therefore they want those who believe in God to be rejected in the marketplace of ideas.  In the past, I have called these people bastards because they have no founding fathers.  In reality these people reject all fatherhood, the Lord as well as the founding fathers of our nation.  They believe that they know better than you do in every area; therefore they need to control you for your own good.  I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”[5]

          Is our government of the elite, for the elite, and by the elite?  Is this what our founder’s wanted for us, or is this the foundation of Socialist thinking?  This sounds more like an oligarchy to me.  “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.[6]

          Five different judges have found five different parts of the patriot act unconstitutional.  Two Judges have found the health care bill unconstitutional.  Despite this, what form of thinking is our government using when they implement these things?  Socialism is very like a family structure.  The ones at the top (the parents) dictate to those below (the children) and decide according to what they think is best.  Are you a child that needs to be led?

       “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.[7]

[2] Thomas Jefferson
[3] John Adams 1814
[4] Thomas Jefferson
[5] Thomas Jefferson
[6] Patrick Henry
[7] Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, February 3, 2011

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My Will Or God’s Will?

How many of us, before we were born, would put in our order to be born either mentally or physically handicapped, thus making our life on earth even more challenging that it is already? Yet we born again Christians seem to be determined to do that very thing when it comes to our spiritual growth and development. We cause ourselves to be spiritually handicapped, or challenged, when we ignore, or live out our daily lives without regard to the owner’s manual, the Bible, and the power source, the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it ironic that when good things happen in our lives, we are quick to give ourselves the credit for our success? Yet when we find ourselves in a quagmire of chaos and defeat, we question the very existence of God or at the very least, blame Him for the mess we have made out of our lives. It seems as though we are all too willing to blame God, the devil, or others for the ills in our lives, rather than taking responsibility for the consequences of our own poor choices. Aha, now that is the very root of the problem right there! We are told to seek first the Kingdom of God, yet more often we seek the kingdom of “self”. The Lord’s Prayer says “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

The bottom line is whose will do we really seek to apply in our personal lives – our own will, or God’s will? Yes, our life as a Christian is a journey that is supposed to be one that seeks to be ever transformed into the image of our Lord, to become less of our old selves and more like Jesus our Savior. But how can that development take place when we think we can just ignore His will for our lives. He bought and paid the price for our redemption, we are no longer owned by “self”. To live our lives as though we can just pick and choose to accept the parts of His Word that we feel ‘comfortable’ with, is equivalent to trying to walk correctly by cutting off one or both of our legs.

Yes, God does give us free will, but then we better at least be honest enough to accept the consequences brought upon us when we have chosen to apply our own opinions to run our lives instead of God’s opinion, directions and instructions that He has freely given us in His Word. When we choose to follow our own will we elevate our own opinions above His, thus we make our selves gods. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be one of those that He looks at and says that He never knew me and spews, or vomits, me out of His mouth. How can we say that we are truly Christians if we say that we believe in Him, but we do not seek to know and obey His will? For those who have (spiritual) ears, let them hear.

We are to renew our minds by the “washing of the water of His Word,” and study to know His Word that we wont need to be ashamed. A house divided can not stand. Picking and choosing only parts of His Word, or distorting and perverting it in the application thereof, results in a seriously handicapped Christian life that may bring little recognizable glory to God, and definitely adds fuel to the hypocrisy in our lives. When we are not rooted and grounded in His Word, we are easily deceived and the truth can not be fully manifested in us. Instead, we will be tossed to and fro, forever becoming entangled in half truths that limit our ability to stay on the straight and narrow path that the Lord has prepared for us.

Yes, we are flawed humans that will never reach perfection while on earth and will constantly fall short of the mark. That being said, it is no excuse to exalt self and then turn around to God and say, “Where are you Lord, and why did you allow this and that to happen to me?” I repeat, if we don’t heed God’s instruction book for our lives or seek the guidance of His Holy Spirit, we have no one else to blame for the mess in our lives than that very being that we have exalted to the position of god in our lives, namely ‘self”.

Welcome then to the world and consequences of being our own god. “The wages of sin is death.” When we replace God with the little god, self, we choose to follow the wide path of life that leads to death at the worse and a life of self destructiveness at the very least. Since we have elevated ourselves to the ‘god’ place, nothing can really be our own fault. Therefore we can not be held responsible for our own actions. No, instead we are heard to say, “He/she made me do it”, “The devil made me do it”, or “It’s really your fault God because you made me this way.” Forever pointing the finger in any direction but towards ourselves results in an unrepentant state of being that then produces no positive change in our lives. No repentance = no recognition or confession or sin, wrong doing, = no constructive change or solution to the problem = slavery to that sin(s) = a life of self destruction and entrapment in which we are doomed to continually repeat over and over again the thing that keeps us from being all that we are meant to be. II Timothy 3:1-7 rings a bell of urgent warning that we live in perilous days when
men shall be “lovers of their own selves…having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Time and time again, we are reminded to be aware of our need for and importance of the Word in our lives. Psalm 119 deals explicitly with the many virtues of the Word in our life. If we store His Word in our heart as a great treasure, it will be: a “lamp unto our feet” that gives us knowledge and understanding, protection from deception, freedom from dominion of sin in our lives, preparation to know and speak the truth, and much more. Psalm 119:11 pretty much sums it all up for me. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, (why?) that I might not sin against thee.” We can’t use the Word to strengthen our own lives, or to help others, if we do not take the time to read, learn, and apply it so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we may be changed and perfected.

God’s will, as conveyed through His Word, is to be stored and applied in the development, not only of ourselves, but also of our children. Parents who neglect this responsibility towards their children are leaving them vulnerable to falling into doubt and unbelief. Yes, it is true that each person must make his/her own choice to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s why He is a “personal” Lord and Savior. But if we parents do not prepare the ‘soil’ of our children’s hearts and plant the seeds of truth, they will become fallow ground to receive any lie that comes along. Is that really the future we want for our children.

I have reproduced part of Deut. below to show just how very important it is to God that we consume and digest His Word. We need to realize that we should treasure it as more precious than gold, a very dear part of us that is deemed just as necessary as our very breathe is to our life. His Word is the bread of life.

Deut. 11: 16 – 26 -28

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children…”

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command ye this day: and a curse, if ye not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”

Is it not amazing that God has offered us a choice between blessings and curses, and yet we so often turn aside to follow our own opinion, and thus choose the curses? To choose our own way is to choose to follow after a false god to destruction, whereas choosing God’s way is to receive eternal life. (John 5: 24)

Search the scriptures for yourself. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart of flesh (not one that is stiff necked and hardened) that you be a fit vessel to receive His truth in your heart. Even as Christians, believers who hear and obey, we must constantly guard against the lies and deception of this world. The Holy Spirit was sent to indwell each of us for a purpose. He is our comforter, counselor, and perfector of our faith. It is He that opens our minds and hearts to understand and receive the truth of the scriptures, thus building our faith and drawing us nearer to the Lord. He gives you and me the needed insight to put God’s Word into action in our life.

If we put our trust in the Lord, seek to do His will as revealed to us in His Word, He will keep us from harm. That does not mean that we will never have to face pain or adversity in our lives. It does mean that, even through trials and tribulations, He will be right there with us to comfort us and give us the “peace that passes understanding. Ultimately the choice is ours – blessings or curses, obedience or rebellion, acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, Self will or God’s Will. I pray that each of us will diligently seek to hear and obey the voice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the voice of no other – AND LET IT BEGIN IN ME.

** Additional thought for food.
Salvation is not earned through obedience to the law. Rather, it (salvation) is freely given by grace and mercy of our loving Father through faith when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Our Father loved us so much that He gave His only Son, that through faith in Jesus who bled and died for us, paying the full debt for our sins, we would have eternal life. But Jesus did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. Therefore, Jesus said that those who truly believe in Him will be doers of the Word and not just hearers. After all, Jesus himself did not do His own will, but rather the will of His Father who sent Him. We glorify God when we willingly choose to obey Him, doing that which pleases Him. The action of obedience signifies that we choose to follow His thoughts and ways which are higher than ours. All glory and honor be unto our Lord who first loved us. May each of us hunger and thirst after His Word to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in thought, word, and deed. Jesus said: “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt.4: 4 and Deut. 8: 3) We must study the scriptures that we may be equipped to know and do the will of God.

When studying, I came across the article seen on the next page. I include it as further evidence of our need to understand God’s Word in order to know and do God’s will. I hope that, combined with my own reflections, each reader will be inspired to seek the Lord’s knowledge and will in his/her own life. Let our minds be renewed through His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit

Ginger Rahn

Lack of Knowledge
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children" (Hosea 4:6).

This grave judgment spoken almost three thousand years ago reflects a timeless principle that is just as applicable today as when it was penned. When people die without being saved, it is not that God did not want them to be saved, for He would "have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:4). He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).

The problem is that when men lack the knowledge that would bring them to Christ for salvation, it is because they have already rejected knowledge that would have led them to the knowledge they need. Paul writes that "in the last days" men would be "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Timothy 3:1,7). And the next verse tells why. It is because they "resist the truth" (v.8). "They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (4:4).

Peter says that those who question God's Word in favor of an assumed naturalistic view of history "willingly are ignorant" (II Peter 3:5), and Paul says that if they refuse to see the evidence of the Creator in His creation, they are "without excuse" (Romans 1:20). Whether or not they have read God's Word, they have an intuitive knowledge of God and His law in their consciences (Romans 2:15) with their thoughts "accusing or else excusing one another." The Lord Jesus promised that "unto you that hear shall more be given" (Mark 4:24). But then He also warned, "he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath" (v.25). HMM

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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          Marriage is like a three way light bulb.  The first level is the joining of the husband and wife.  The second level is the building of the family.  The third level is the love of God that illuminates everything.  It is true that the right marriage gets better as the years pass.  This does not mean that there won’t be bumps in the road but that they will be overcome.  What needs to be decided when choosing a partner is, was it your choice or has the choice involved God’s help.  Just as a light bulb needs electricity to work, a marriage needs the spark of love.

          When a man gets married, his primary responsibility in life transfers from himself to his wife[1].  His responsibility is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church and be willing, if necessary, to die for her[2].

          When a woman becomes a wife, according to the Bible, she becomes submissive to her husband[3].  This is because the Lord has placed the responsibility for the well being of the family squarely on the shoulders of the husband[4].  If the husband is not fulfilling his responsibilities, he needs to ‘man up’.

          When a family begins to have children, the man picks up a secondary responsibility which is that of his children.  Children should never be placed above the wife or husband.  If a marriage partner feels that their children should come first, they are in wrong relationship with both their spouse and God[5].

          Marriage is the joining of two souls as one entity[6].  I literally believe that the marriage partners become spiritually and soulfully joined as one.  If you can believe in the trinity of God, you shouldn’t have trouble with this.  Their physical bodies become the property of each other[7]. 

          Divorce, although not the best for us, in my mind can be justified for a variety of reasons.  If a marriage partner does not, physically or in mind and spirit, truthfully become a full partner; the contract was not entered in good faith, which is a breach of contract.  If there is physical and, or mental abuse involved, the Lord wouldn’t want you to stay locked into a catastrophic union.  Couples who ‘grow apart’ were not truly joined together in spirit.  If sin causes a problem, such as a jail sentence or continued infidelity which cannot be forgiven, it would be up to the injured party to decide whether to continue in the marriage.  Divorce is not an unforgivable sin.  It is simply admitting that you are involved in an intolerable situation from which you cannot recover.  What we see a lot of today is people not willing to put any real effort into the marriage and therefore it fails. 

          If you think that your marriage is in trouble you should seek outside help (hopefully Christian based) before the problems fester beyond the point of no return. 

          Remarriage is an option, if you are so inclined.  This is especially true if your first marriage was to the wrong person.  I believe (and have seen it) that the Lord has a perfect mate for anyone so inclined.  There are situations that qualify as wrong reasons to get married such as lust, boredom with the single life, thinking you need to get a family started or being unequally yoked[8]. 

          Some people get married for all the wrong reasons.  The only reason for marriage, in my opinion, is that the couple is so much in love that they can’t survive, in spirit and soul, without being joined together.  The secondary reason for marriage is to begin a family.  True ‘Love is a Many-Splendored Thing’[9], and when the Lord directs the relationship it becomes all that much better[10].  I know from experience.

[1] Ephesians 5:33, 5:28-31
[2] Ephesians 5:25
[3] Ephesians 5:22-23, 33
[4] Ephesians 5:29
[5] Genesis 20:20,
[6] Matthew 10:6
[7] 1 Corinthians 7: 4
[8] 2 Corinthians 6:14

[9] Lyrics by Frank Sinatra

[10] Ephesians 5:20