Tag: politicians

Maybe We Should Let Some Things Die

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How long can we keep gripping the slightest sliver of hope? Should we?

Is holding on for dear life always the best course of action?

If our dreams and plans, yes, even our lives, are deemed as utter failure, or they’re cut short before becoming that which we intended, is that so bad?

Even if we’re convinced we’re doing everything for a righteous cause, that God’s honor is at stake, isn’t there a time to stop our powerless efforts and yield to Him?

For honest reflection, we must remember there is no resurrection without first a death, and victory never comes before the battle.

In many cases, the best thing we can do is exchange what we’ve called hope for simple trust.

What do I mean?

Hope is a powerful thing, yet at times it’s nothing more than wishful thinking. As long as there’s at least a small percentage of things working out, we’re hopeful and perky. 

But if and when things take a turn for the worse, we work ourselves into a frenzy trying to maintain our hope.

So instead, why not just give up and trust?

Maybe pretend our situation is akin to the story of Eutychus and Paul (Acts 20).

“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.” (Acts 20:7-12 ESV) 

Our dreams, like Eutychus, can become so tired. All work, no joy, no life, and eventually they droop and sag until we’re worn out trying to keep them propped up.

But when we finally release our grip, and the results to the God of the resurrection, life becomes enjoyable once again.

At that point the plans and purposes, the calling of God, are within our grasp.

It’s the same with trusting God for our nation.

God has had a purpose, a calling, on this nation from its inception. But to make America great again will take more than a man, woman, or political party.

So maybe things need to die first, to make room for the resurrection.

Yes, we’re to do what we can. Faith AND works (and all that).

But you know what? Many times we never begin to REALLY trust until we’ve exhausted all our resources.

So, like I said, maybe things need to die, expire, or become even worse before we finally trust the God Who moves mountains and raises the dead.

Maybe THAT is what’s needed to make America great again…

 

Which Word Will Dominate Your Life In 2016?

There are a lot quizzes and games on Facebook, and each one is without error; if you believe everything they say. 

A fairly recent one is floating around, “Which Word Will Dominate Your Life In 2016?” 

Call me gullible, but I had to try it. 

And was I ever glad I did!

Our word, for Phyllis and I, is HAPPINESS. Every day of the year we’re going to have happiness. Yep, happiness. 

I read it on Facebook. 

I’d like to ask you the same question, with a bit of a twist. No, I don’t have any special quiz or “push this button and discover…”, but it’s something you can use to help you stay on the right course throughout 2016. 

“Whose word will dominate you in 2016?”

Let’s try a few different words, inserting some of the most popular ones into the scenarios.

The Media: It doesn’t matter which station, channel, blog, or newspaper. No one simply reports any longer. Basic reports do not sell subscriptions. If Media dominates you, no matter which way you lean, you’re still leaning. And he who leans while he walks will have a very difficult time walking straight.

The Politicians: As everyone knows, 2016 is an election year. A lot of words are being tossed around, with each one carefully chosen to affect your thinking, and voting. If you’re dominated by the word of the politician, be prepared to vote for your candidate and maybe not your conscience. The politician is fishing for your vote. Instead of listening to what they SAY, look at their record. What HAVE they accomplished before they started campaigning? How are they managing THEIR lives? Can you trust them with yours?

The Preachers: I kind of hated to include this group; after all, they are my own kind. And while MOST preachers are honest and sincere, there are some who will confuse you and put you into greater bondage rather than freedom. So if the word of a preacher, whether a big name, little name, or no name preacher, dominates you in 2016, you’ll probably wind up not hearing exactly what you need to be hearing.

It’s human nature, and you and I are human, to search out things and people who AGREE WITH US. So typically, we gravitate to those who preach the things we want to hear. 

The Bible refers to it as having “itching ears”. Wrong thing to be dominated by.

There are a number of others words we allow to dominate us; like entertainment, work, hobbies, sports, fitness, and even such wholesomeness as family. They all can be fine words, if kept in proper perspective; never our master.

But the word that SHOULD DOMINATE our 2016 and beyond is God’s Word!

To live, to live pure, to live pure, compassionate and productive lives, we must have God’s Word!

It needs to DOMINATE our thinking and our actions.

Here are some words to get you started.

“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”” (Matthew 4:4 ESV)

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9-11 ESV)

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3 ESV)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16 ESV)

“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV)

“And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32 ESV)

The year has just begun, and it could very well be your best year ever! Not because I said so; and not because some politician, television station, or slick tongued preacher gave you “a word” (for your generous donation of $50). 

No, we have a more sure word (2 Peter 1), and the more you and I pay attention to it, the more abundant our life will be.

What word will dominate you this year?

I hope it’s God’s word. 

Our Golden Calf 

imageAaron made a golden calf. Everyone was happy, as they danced the dance of worship and celebration, lauding the golden calf as their deliverer. The one who delivered them out of Egypt.

Everyone except God, Moses, and Joshua. 

America has made, or has at least tolerated, self absorbed, egotistical politicians whom we like to laud as our savior and provider. We dance to their tunes, and raise our voices in praise to our favorite “golden calf”; the one we believe will save us from the dreaded democrats or the repulsive republicans.

We mimic their values, tout their talking points, and dare anyone to tell us we’re wrong. We will fight for our right to worship our golden calf, because that’s the american way.

And all the while God is on the mountain watching. 

Watching and grieving.

Watching, grieving, and telling His people two things.

Come out from among them and be separate. Don’t fall into the dance of idol worship.

Pray for those caught up in the hype, the razzle-dazzle, the dance.

As Moses asked the people, “Who is on the Lord’s side?“, so the Lord is asking you and I.

The Levites responded to Moses call. 

Will we respond to God’s?

No Longer A Christian Nation 

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I’d like to go on record as saying there’s at least one thing President Obama and I agree on. 

We are no longer a Christian Nation. 

Actually, he said, “We are no longer a Christian Nation; at least, not just…” 

Here’s more to his June 28, 2006 quote:

“Given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation; at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

Gasp!

He said that? What an evil man! How DARE he say that! Why, he’s attempting to pull us away from our Judeo-Christian heritage! Who does he think he is?!

On and on whiners whine, complainers complain, ad nauseam…

Did you ever stop to ask yourself whose idea it was for this nation to be a Christian Nation anyway?

May I remind you that it wasn’t God’s idea?

Oh, sure. There are godly principles we all should live by, and His word is a great template to use in forming a new government. For in the bible are instructions on how to live as a society, and within a society.

However, it’s an error to believe God intended for the U.S., or ANY nation, to be a Christian Nation.

It just isn’t so. 

If it was, wouldn’t you think He would have intimated it somewhere in His book?

Instead, we find things such as:

Strangers and Pilgrims

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13 NKJV)

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” (1 Peter 2:11 KJV)

Citizens with the Saints

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners (to God) but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19 NKJV)

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20 NKJV)

Now I’m just about as patriotic as the next guy. I spent four years in the U.S. Army, and am proud to have done it.

There’s no other nation on earth where I’d rather live.

And while I would just as soon see the former morals be upheld by our society, I’m not going to be surprised when they don’t.

Why?

Because I’m only passing through.

I’ve chosen to live for Jesus, and He’s promised that where He is, that’s where I’ll be.

Jesus isn’t an American citizen.

This earth is only temporal. My body is merely temporary housing.

No, this isn’t a Christian Nation. Yes, there were many God fearing men who helped establish the laws used to govern this great land.

Yes, as a follower of Jesus Christ I’m supposed to share my faith and His gospel, and make disciples everywhere I go. But, no, I’m not going to try and make this a Christian Nation.

Whether you’re a fan of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or any else who’s an “authority” on every single subject; don’t get so upset when they say things that are not in line with God’s word.

Don’t get all bent out of shape when a politician says something, or a gun toting, flag waving, Glenn Beck wannabe touts their opinion.

You see, there’s a higher, more permanent calling on which to focus.

The eternal kingdom of Heaven.

And that’s where our allegiance really should stand, if we claim to be a Christian.

So don’t be misled; we are no longer a Christian Nation.

Civil Rebellion 

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One of my favorite movies is the first National Treasure, with Nicolas Cage. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it. At least a dozen, I’m sure.

I especially like the part where Ben and Riley are looking at the Declaration of Independence, and Ben tells Riley he’s going to steal it.

Ben, reading from the Declaration… “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –“

Sounds like revolution talk, doesn’t it?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this nation is a mess. And it appears the government is doing its very best to run every aspect of our lives, whether we like it or not.

So what’s this mean where you and I are concerned? Are we to start another revolution? To listen to some people, that’s exactly what we should do. 

I’ve talked with people who say things like, “If the government wants my guns, just let them try and take them.” Really?

Mr. One Man Army, eh? 

I know it may sound a bit like a cliche’, but I’ll say it anyway.

What would Jesus do? 

If the Bible is true, and there are many of you readers who believe it is, then what do we do with scriptures such as:

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.” (Daniel 2:20-22 ESV)

“…to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17 ESV)

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:37 ESV)

Should we ignore them?

And just in case you don’t care for the Old Testament scriptures, here are a couple from the New Testament:

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1-2 ESV)

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” (1 Peter 2:13-15 ESV)

Please keep in mind, when Paul and Peter wrote their letters to the churches, they weren’t saying the government or government officials were right. In fact, if they had been allowed by God to express their opinions about the leaders, they may have been tempted to say how bad things were, and how evil their government was.

As followers of Christ, I believe we have a responsibility to obey God first and foremost. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be patriotic, but the scriptures really don’t advocate patriotism.

Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to him, and to God that which belongs to Him.” That, in a nutshell means we are to obey the laws of the land, unless they contradict God’s laws.

Should we riot, or take part in a revolution with AR-15’s and the like?

I say no. 

What we ARE to do I’ll refer to as CIVIL REBELLION.

Rebel against the world’s spirit and systems. Rebel against living like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry who complains about the president and every other politician who doesn’t agree with them.

Listen, there are a lot of things happening I don’t like, but I’ve got to rebel against the urge to waste my time moaning with people who, like me, haven’t the slightest idea what it would really take to turn things around.

Civil Rebellion. 

Rebel against letting the world and its opinions squeeze you into its mold.

Vote for candidates who align best with the scriptures. As long as we can vote, we have somewhat of a say.

Pray for the leaders. Maybe, just maybe, God can reach their hearts and minds.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”  (Proverbs 21:1 NKJV)

Of course, and this may be hard to take, you and I COULD BE ignorant about what’s best for the country. Maybe, huh?

If we say we’re Christ followers, let’s follow Christ. To the polls, to the prayer closet, all the way to CIVIL REBELLION. 

It’s best for the nation and for the kingdom of God.

And it’s best for you and I.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1 – 2:4 ESV)

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