Christian based commentaries and observations.

Quote of Note


At the end of a nation:
The people say, "all religions are the same"
The Atheists say, " all religions are wrong"
The politicians say, "all religions are equally useful".

Who is Jesus

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

In A World Ready to Explode


If you have ever been present at the birth of a child. You have seen the violent upheaval that contorts the shape and surface of the Mother's stomach with every contraction.
Christ said the end of the age would, "be like a woman in travail". There is no question in my mind that the geopolitical upheaval that is currently taking place is as Christ described.
Here in America we have enjoyed a long period of religious freedom that kept us insulated from the worst persecutions. That freedom is most probably going to change, as the forces lined up against us have their way. Remember We are promised to escape God's wrath but not persecution! So how are we to take this bitter cup if it is forced upon us to drink?
I have a couple of thoughts on this future.
My first thought is that of Glorifying God in the presence of his enemies. Remember when King David sinned word came to David that he had caused God's enemies contempt him?
2SA 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die."

Remember also, Ephesians Chap 3, v10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
It glorifies God when we stand fast in his name, in the face of persecution.
Lastly, I thought of the following quote, which I also made the Quote of Note for the month. Take courage that in the end through it all we, in Christ, will stand victorious through him.




We look back on history and what do we see; empires rising and falling, revolutions and counterrevolutions, wealth accumulated and wealth dispersed. Shakespeare has spoken of the rise and fall of great ones, that ebb and flow with the moon.
I look back upon my own fellow countrymen, in England. Once upon a time dominating a quarter of the world, most convinced, in the words of what is still a popular song, that the God who made them mighty will make them mightier yet.
I've seen a crazed cracked Austrian announce to the world, he would, "establish a Reich that would last a 1000 years".
I've seen an Italian clown saying he was going to, "stop and start the calendar with his [own] ascension to power".
I've heard a murderous Georgian brigand, in the Kremlin, proclaimed by the intellectual elite of the world, as a wiser than Solomon, more human than Marcus Aurelius, more enlightened than a shokur
I've seen an America wealthier, and in terms of military weaponry more powerful than the rest of the world put together, so that if, the American people so desired they could have outdone a Cesar or Alexander, in the range and scale of their conquest.
All in one lifetime. All in one lifetime. All gone, gone with the wind.
England part of a tiny island off the coast of Europe, threatened with dismemberment and even bankruptcy.
Hitler and Mussolini remembered only in infamy.
Stalin a forbidden name in the regime he helped found and dominate for some three decades.
America haunted by fears of running out of those precious fluids that keep her motorways roaring and the smog settling. with disastrous memories of a disastrous campaign in in Vietnam, as the media charge the windmills of Watergate.
All in one lifetime. All in one lifetime. All gone.
Behind the debris of all solemn supermen and self styled diplomatists, there stands the gigantic figure of one person, because of whom, by whom, in whom, and through whom alone, man may still have peace.
THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.

Malcolm Muggeridge

Quote of note from Nov. 09

It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.
George Washington

The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts... nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving
H. W. Westermayer

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beware


Beware of the "lucky First Timers Deer Hunting Hat" LOL

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What It Really Comes Down To!


I saw this bumper sticker the other day and I had my camera with me. I've seen it before, and most of you have also. It made me think though; Do we want Jesus love or the world's love? Yes I know that Jesus loves us all even when we are sinners, but the World stops pretending to love us when we become Christians. SO its Love/love with God, or polluted love/hate with the World. Which would you rather have? Isn't that what it really all comes down to: A friend of the World or a friend of God!?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Quote of note form Sept 09

"I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid."
G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Shall We Conduct Ourselves


Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, "...God is dead and we have killed him, but now how shall we, the murderer of all murderers conduct ourselves?"
What he was arguing for was that people got smarter and no longer believed in God. People have killed him in our hearts with our arguments. Now that they have killed him there is no longer any basis for moral law to live by. He knew that eliminating God would bring about any atrocity.
It is an interesting metaphor describing the murder of Christ. When Jesus before the Sanhedrin answered the question, "are you the Christ", he said, "I am".
To the Jewish leaders that meant he was saying he was God! They had two choices; fall down and worship him, or kill him! They had to ignore the evidence presented of his birth and ministry, and kill him in their hearts. They then used the Roman system take away his life.
Nietzsche did not consider, or did not think valid, the evidence for the existence and Resurrection of Christ, any more that the Jewish leaders had. He killed Jesus in his heart and mind, and began a lifelong assault aimed at getting society to kill God, yet again.
I like to think of this killing of God in our hearts as "striking the rock a second time". It was this sin for which Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. It is this sin which mankind outside of "God's rest" and in eternal separation for God. Since no provision has been made for eternal residence except heaven for God's people, and hell for the devil and his angels, it is to hell that these non-believers go.
Careful consideration of the evidences for the life and resurrection of Christ are very hard to ignore. There are 5000 documents validating the Bible. There are writings from Pagan sources of Jesus time discussing him. There is the change in the life of the disciples willing to go to a martyrs death. There are the 500 in the upper room who saw him appear to them alive, and watched the doubting Thomas put the resurrection to the test. All of these we are to believe kept the secret of a conspiracy in the face of horrible deaths and persecution. There is also the differences in the writ ting of the Gospels, yet congruent in their content. The evidence is overwhelming except to those who are looking to disbelieve so that they can live shellfish lives of their own moral making. There are the fulfillment's of the prophetic words of Christ. (How could a dead God make his words come true?)There is the answer to Mary, thinking he was the Gardener and turning away from angel messengers, "tell me sir where have they taken him?": the answer, "Mary"! (who but the God who knows your name could have answered this way?). He lives!

So Now, "how shall we to conduct ourselves", those of us who acknowledge that the tomb was empty and Christ/God lives!? If we are sure he lives and the tomb is empty, then what will we not do for our King, God and Savior!? This must be the thoughts running through the heads of all of those early church martyrs: "The tomb was empty and so will mine be"! "You can take away life and breath from THIS body, but God who was dead and yet lives, will give it back again! What he gave for me, I give for him!
Really "how shall we conduct ourselves", but with the highest of moral standards so that no one can have recourse against us. They will have to look at us and worship Christ or kill us as they did him! Is there any castle, office, city, town, or jungle that we should not storm for him. If in these last day we are to go out, lets go out with the brightest light, loudest explosion, and truest testimony since that of our risen Lord!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Against These There is No Law

The below news story was coppied from: http: //www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=69163
Dozens of nations dominated by Islam are pressing the United Nations to adopt an anti-“defamation” plan that would make Christians criminals under international law, according to a United States organization that has launched a campaign to defend freedom of religion worldwide.

“Around the world, Christians are being increasingly targeted, and even persecuted, for their religious beliefs. Now, one of the largest organizations in the United Nations is pushing to make a bad situation even worse by promoting anti-Christian bigotry,” the American Center for Law & Justice said yesterday in announcing its petition drive.

The discrimination is “wrapped in the guise of a U.N. resolution called ‘Combating Defamation of Religions,’” the announcement said. “We must put an immediate end to this most recent, dangerous attack on faith that attempts to criminalize Christianity.”....

The “anti-defamation” plan has been submitted to the U.N. repeatedly since about 1999, starting out as a plan to ban “defamation” of Islam and later changed to refer to “religions,” officials said. It is being pushed by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference nations, which has adopted the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, “which states that all rights are subject to sharia law, and makes sharia law the only source of reference for human rights.”

In the United States, a plaintiff sued his Internet service provider for refusing “to prevent participants in an online chat room from posting or submitting harassing comments that blasphemed and defamed plaintiff’s Islamic religion.”

“They’re attempting to pass a sinister resolution that is nothing more than blatant religious bigotry,” the ACLJ said in its promotion of its petition. “This is very important to understand. This radical proposal would outlaw Christianity … it would make the proclamation of your faith an international crime.”


So then WHEN, not IF, such a global law is passed against talking about Christ,forgiveness, and the Bible, how are we going to be able to fulfill the "Great Commission"?
One thing we are going to have to learn is to share our faith without denouncing another indivuals actions or religion. We had better start practicing. One of the rules for the advertising guru's of Madison Ave. is to build up the product you are selling without mentioning the name of the competition. Name recognition is everything. Don't advertise the other brand.
In his message "Who is Jesus", given to the Morman Church, Ravi Zacharias includes this thought, "a maeesage not delivered in love, makes the messanger seem obnoxiuos, and the message unreceivable". We must learn to stop beating people over the head.
Finally I come to the main reason for starting this post. In Galatians chapter 5 there are listed the "fruits of the Spirit"
GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Did you see it? "Against such things there is no law"!
Now this verse carries a double meaning. It shows that Christians are not under the Law of Moses, because we are under the law of grace. Living in such a manner automatically fulfills the law by walking in love of God and Man. This verse also shows us how to stand out as a light in a dark world.
I remember hearing the story of two young missionary women in Afganistan. they were there during the time before the U.S. led invasion, when the Taliban enforce Sharia law. I remeber hearing from on of them after being freed that is was their kindness and love that won over Muslims to the Bible and the Gospel. "AGAINST THESE THERE IS NO LAW"
The Bible usually says every good thing more than once. Peter repeats the win them over by the fruits of the Spirit theme in I Peter 3:1. Peter writes to women the they can win over their unbelieving husbands with such behavior.
In the present age it is time to start bearing much fruit!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An Honest Question

A man recently wrote me an email after having seen my website, "You've Been Left Behind". It seems that he was asking in an honest questioning tone. I am sure that some of you have heard the same question. How did/would you answer?
Here is his question and the answer I gave him. (I have renamed him):
Hi,
I saw your site. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe your religion is not the truth? It's been two thousand years since the Bible says that Jesus returned bodily to heaven. Didn't he say that his followers would be seeing him again?
Maybe the Jews were right to reject Jesus. I mean where is all of nature has a lion sat with a lamb and not tried to eat it?
Yours with interest,
Qwerty


Dear Qwerty,
I'll keep this short. Everything here is worth you time.
The words you wrote are almost an exact quote from the book of 2 Peter.

2PE 3:3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, "Where is this `coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.2PE 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.2PE 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

But how do we know the the time has finally come?

The "thousand years is as a day and a day is as a thousand years" Is a quote that Peter repeated from the Old Testament. Adam and Eve (mankind) were/was told that for 6 days that would work the soil and toil, but on the 7th day they would rest. They were also told before sinning that "in the "day" of eating of the fruit they would die. They died a spiritual death in a man day, they died a physical death in a God day- Adam living to be 930 years old.
Jesus speaking prophetically said, "on the third day I will raise you up". In three man days he rose from the dead. On the third God day we will be raised up.
Jesus also spoke these words:

MT 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" MT 24:4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, `I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. MT 24:9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. And...MT 24:32 "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Fig tree is the symbol of Israel. You may remember that one day after leaving a frustrating event with the Jewish leaders he was walking out of town and saw a fig tree without fruit. He cursed the tree and the next day the disciples noticed it had withered. The fig tree was symbolic of Israel. They had no spiritual "fruit" to recognized him as their God, creator, and messiah. For that reason they were destroyed as a nation and dispersed throughout the nations of the Earth. This event was prophesied by the prophet Daniel. Also prophesied by Daniel was the eventual return of the Jews to Israel and the coming of the end. We are now here! The times are different that ever before! The time has come!


Thanks for asking,
Mark

Quote of note from July 09

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man."
G.K.Chesterton

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Mid-Summer Nights Drama

There once was a man and a woman. They were drawn, out of the crowds of people, to each other.
One day the Man had to go away on business. It was an awful, terrible, out of balance week. He knew right away that it was her company, voice and tenderness that was missing. Realizing that she must love him, in the same way that he had just discovered he loved her, he decided to ask her to marry him.
The man bought a beautiful diamond ring, set in order plans to create the perfect setting for a proposal. Overlooking the ocean from a park bench they watched the sunset together. When the sky was full of color, the had moment arrived and he asked her to marry him. She smiled a gentle peaceful smile and whispered a loving thunderous, "not yet"! As the sun dropped below the horizon she gently kissed him on the cheek, got up, took his hand and walked quietly, arm and arm back to her home.
Now the man's head was spinning with questions. It was obvious that she loved him, and she didn't say, "no", she had said, "not yet"! What could it be that she was waiting for. How could he win her hand? Then came an idea. "I will impress her so that she will want to be mine forever".
Having been an athletic man in the past he embarked on a new passion of getting back into the best physical strength and condition of his life. He saw a T.V. program where athleticism was put to the test by "free climbing" cliffs and small mountains. "That would impress her", he thought, and he dove into this new sport.
When the day came to show her his newly acquired skills, he suggested a picnic at the same ocean overlook where he had proposed before. "I will meet you there an hour before sunset", he told her.
He arrived with tight shorts, a mid cut tight shirt, special gripping climbing shoes, a belt with a special attached bag for chalk and a water bottle, and began to climber. A half an hour later she arrived and laid out a blanket, basket, a jar half-filled with water and flowers.
Just as the sun was beginning to set a sweaty, dusty, muscle ripped, triumphant man, emerged from the side of the cliff in front of her. She let out a short laugh when she recognized him, got up looked over the edge of the cliff, and gently kissed him. Then she opened up the picnic basket, laid out a couple of plates, glasses, food and drink.
They sat there enjoying each others company, the sunset, the food, and drink. Once they had finished eating they sat side by side, her head on his shoulder, his head on her head, hand in hand. Seizing the moment, again the man pulled the ring from his pocket, thinking this time she will say, "yes". He asked her, "will you marry me now"? she replied a gentle, "not yet", and hugged his arm.
"What will it take?", thought the man, as they walked arm in arm back to her home. He left her there with a kiss and went home alone again! It was a restless night. He tossed and turned, got up, laid down, got up turned on the T.V. and saw a couple doing the Tango. "Women love to dance", he thought, "I will take her dancing". Pleased with himself, and his new discovery, he sat in his window and watched the sun rise, as red as his eyes!
After leaving work early the next day, the man stopped by a dance studio to inquire about ballroom lessons. He was going to romance and impress her now!
Two months went as he learned the steps and became comfortable with the moves. It was near Christmas. There was going to be an office Christmas party at a ritzy hotel. There he would show off his new abilities and create a romantic moment.
When the night arrived, He picked her up wearing a black tux that went perfectly with her gown. In the car he gave her a beautiful pair of dangley diamond earrings for Christmas. The party was marvelous, the food Delicious, and band masterful. They danced and danced, smiles and glistening eyes. It seemed as though time had stopped and there was no one else around. During a break they went to a balcony for fresh air, and to cool down. This he thought was the right moment. He pulled the diamond from his pocket, and asked yet again, "will you marry me"? She replied whimsically, "not yet"!
This time her answer somewhat shocked him. He had been so sure that everything was just perfect. The answer frustrated him and yet at the same time he could hear from her tone, and see in her face that she was saying, "Yes, I want to so much". That thought soothed him.
They enjoyed the rest of the evening together. He dropped her off kissed her good night. He watched as she walked up the steps turned, smiled, and blew him another kiss. "What is she doing to me he thought?", got in his car and drove home alone, yet again. This time he was so tired he slept through the night!
The next day all of the chit chat in the office was about him and his date. The women were all enamoured the men envious. From his cubicle he listened to their whispers. a couple of women were talking when on of them said, "I'll bet he even brings her flowers everyday. Where do men like that come from? I never had a man like that"! The truth was that he rarely brought her flowers. So he decided to bring her a flower everyday.
A month later on a visit to her place for dinner and a movie he brought a whole dozen roses. She got out a vase put water in the vase and set it as a center piece on the table. He notice 3 other vases full of his flowers around the townhouse apartment.
After dinner and the movie they were sharing a tender moment and she was sniffing a rose from the bouquet. He again seized the moment, yet again, and asked her to marry him. She answered a disheartening, "not yet".
Emotions went wild within him. He had to get out of there and cool his nerves. Going into the kitchen he notice the trash was full and grabbed the bag, heading for the garage. There was sign on the thrash can that said, "Tue" to remind her to take the can to the street for pick up. It was Monday night. He push the button on the wall that opened the garage door. The cool January air was just what his brain needed. He took the can out to the road. There he thought, "I can't do this any more". "I'll tell her we need some time apart to figure out what we are going to do".
Going back into the house He found her dancing around joyously. She fell to her knees in front of him hand clasped, face up with huge smile. She begged him to NOW ask her and she'd say "yes"! He fell to his knees, confused look on his face, but not willing to let the love of his life slip away, and asked,"will you marry me"? "Yes, Yes, Yes", came the reply. Hugs and kisses followed.
Finally, still confused, and dizzy from the roller coaster of emotions, he asked, "Why now after all of this time and all of these proposals did you want to marry me?
"I never want to be a nag like my mother, you took out the trash without being asked", came the reply.
They lived happily ever after!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Destroy the Messenger

How many times have people viciously verbally attacked you. They deride your looks, clothes, job, social status, family, and faith. They will go so far as to belittle your talents an gifts that they know are good. What are they doing?
Remember the quote that I posted back in Feb 09 “There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.” (Irish Evangelist Gypsy Smith)
You are a carrier of the gospel: the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "MT 21:33 "Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
MT 21:35 "The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. `They will respect my son,' he said.
MT 21:38 "But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, `This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.


We are also now heirs through him Gal 4:4 God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

As the world get darker, our light will seem blindingly bright to them. The holy Spirit on us is like that of the glow on Moses face when he came down from the mountain. The people of this world try to tell us to "shut up, cover up that light. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to see it."
The world next tactic is to try to paint us black by heaping insults and belittling us: try to make us less than them.
These attacks even come from those that love us. Just standing in front of them is like Christ standing there saying, "what are you going to do about me?"
Don't hide your light. These abusers/murders are conflicted inside. In the dark alone they are afraid and angry at themselves. In that state they are drawn to the lights comforting glow. Pray for them, that they have reason and trouble enough, to get up and seek the light's source.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

America's Founding Father Quotes

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. –John Adams, October 11, 1798

Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the ajge by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system. –Samuel Adams, October 4, 1790

Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments. – Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence

God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. – Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention of 1787

God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever. – Thomas Jefferson

We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart. – James Madison
We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God. – James Madison

Public utility pleads most forcibly for the general distribution of the Holy Scriptures. The doctrine they preach, the obligations they impose, the punishment they threaten, the rewards they promise, the stamp and image of divinity they bear, which produces a conviction of their truths, can alone secure to society, order and peace, and to our courts of justice and constitutions of government, purity, stability and usefulness. In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy quiet conscience. – James McHenry, Signer of the Constitution

I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law. . . There never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations. – Justice Joseph Story

Bible Stories

Some years ago Yoko Ono, now widow of ex-beatle John Lennon, stood on stage at a concert, holding a Bible. She waved it at the audience, tore the pages, and threw it into the seats declaring that it was, "just a bunch of stories".
In the post "the meaning of life" I recorded that in the early years wonder, awe. and learning are primary. We love a good story with all of its imagination and fantasy. As we grow older though the quest for the knowledge of truth takes center stage. Isn't awesome that the stories, taught to us as children, from the Bible are revealed to be truth! Furthermore, if taken to heart, they yield a heart of love, and the security we need in old age.
The truth revealed in the Biblical stories lead us to a proper world view of origin, morality, purpose, and destiny. Not only do they lead us into truth, but they also continue to instill awe and wonder as the many many layers of understanding contained within them are revealed. Yet, each new layer of revelation does not trump, or ruin the previous understanding, they support each other. They not only give us a right world view, but also give us the perspective of God's view the world.
All of those stories teach of the worth of the individual, love of good friendship, love of God, and God's love for us.
All of those stories, Old Testament and New, Point to the one perfect person, his perfect character, divine personality, messiah-ship, mission, relationship with the Father, and redemption of mankind.
Blessed are the Sunday school teachers!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A God that Cares


There was a popular song a few years back that said, "From a distance God is watching us...."
There are some who subscribe to the Deist theory of God. That is that God created this Earth and its inhabitants and then just walked away, or stands afar off watching, but not interfering, and uncaring. I do not subscribe to this point of view!
Consider the Gospel of Mark Chapter 4 and verses 33-38. Here the crowds have gathered around the waters edge and Jesus is teaching them from bow of a fishing boat. He is using parables to teach them. Then he decides to put his disciples into the middle of a living parable:
MK 4:33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

MK 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

MK 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

MK 4:40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

MK 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"


Notice that verse 36 says, "...they took him along, just as he was, in the boat."
When the storms came up Jesus was in the boat with them! It could not be made any more plain: when the storms of life come up, he is "in the boat" with us!
So why doesn't it seem that way to us? It is because we are focused on the waves, and he is focused on our faith. We are too concerned about the natural experience going on around us, he is concerned with our spirit. When the disciples cried out, "don't you care if we drown?", Jesus' reply was, ["where is your faith"].
This was about teaching them faith and trust. He told them to go to the other side, he was in the boat with them. You could say that he put them in that situation for the trying and growth of their faith.
This life and this world are temporary. God gave both to us. He is able, and has promised to give us a new life, a new heaven, and new Earth, based on faith! He cares, he cares, he cares, but his priorities are on the eternal. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."(1Peter 5:6,7)
I leave you with this post 9/11 apologetic:

THE STAIRWELL

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news
On September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called
his wife to say "Good-Bye."
I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say,
"Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK...I am ready to go."

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children.
I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help.
"I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!" I said.
"Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now."

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the
injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven.
He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer..
I was with the crew as they were overtaken.
I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Kansas, London. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.
Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face.
I knew every name - though not all know Me.
Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor.
Some sought Me with their last breath.
Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames;
"Come to Me... this way... take my hand."
Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.
But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do.
However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?
September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you.
But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well.
Seek Me now while I may be found.
Then, at any moment, you know you are "ready to go."

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.


GOD OUR FATHER

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Meaning of Life



In comprehending the meaning of life one could get lost by just dwelling on the end result. Consider first what things bring meaning to life and how we get there. It is much easier.
I picked this up from a question and answer session following a Ravi Zacharias lecture. He had lectured on pluralization, secularization, and privatization. The series had to do with how we got from of God fearing unified society to the empty, divided, and depraved one we have today.
On his topic of pluralization he argued that, since in Post Modernist society, pluralization has come to mean and equality of ideas with no way to test for truth, the end result is a loss of meaning!
This prompted a student to stand during the question and answer period and ask." since post modernist pluralization resulted in a loss of meaning, what was the meaning of life"?
Ravi answered by stating what brought meaning to ones life. They were WONDER, LOVE, TRUTH, and SECURITY Now lets unwrap these simple answers and see where it is that each on eventually is fulfilled and yields meaning.

Wonder

Wonder is euphoria of excitement, awe, discovery, learning, and revelation. It is the primary driver in a humans early years. As wonder is realized, it takes greater and greater experiences to stimulate an episode of wonder,enchantment.
An infant might be awed by the music and turning of a mobile hanging over the crib. Eventually wonder wears off and the parent must find a new way to distract the infant from its discomfort. The parent may stick a rattle into the hand of the infant, and in a feisty cry the rattle is shaken. The child hears this new sound and begins the realization the it is in control of making the sound.
Next comes the Fisher Price activity station with a beep, a ratcheting sound, a squeak, and a bell. As the child grows and there are dogs and frogs, balloons and baboons, planes and trains to be taken in. Not satisfied the growing little person wants to know how each of them works!
Extreme sports, the latest special effects movie, the newest euphoria producing drug, and fads are all the result of our quest for wonder. It can become a dangerous, and even deadly quest, if there is no moral compass applied in the chase.
The person who gets off on the tangent of fulfilling excitement through drug may start of with a cigarette or a beer, but the need for greater stimulus leads them down a path of addiction and slavery. Eric Clapton in his song, "Cocaine" included these words about that first euphoric high: "just remember this fact, you can't get it back"!
A lost soul finding wonder in sexual passion will travel down the road to perversion and fetish.
We never completely out live the need for wonder. In fact, it is the wonder filled need to learn, that drives our discoveries into the next 3 topics. Eventually, however, there is very little in the created universe that is shocking and awe inspiring enough to thrill.
I remember Steven Hawking narrating a program on physics. In describing a Black Hole, he began to turn the mathematics into a picture of what it would all look like. He had to admit that the math model broke down at the bottom of the black hole. To know for sure its shape would be, "to know the mind of God". Ultimately in the human learning experience, when you seem to have done it all, only God is big enough to still inspire wonder, excitement, awe, discovery, learning, and new revelation!.
It seems that this is true of every endeavor of serious study. When you have torn apart every aspect of a subject you find that God is at the bottom of it all.

Love

The quest for love starts as early as infancy. The child cries not because it is hungry, or in pain, but because it just wants to be held, and feel loved. The drive for finding love does not really kick in gear until the teens and twenties and is dominant into the 30's.

There are 4 kinds of love: four Greek words for "love" in the New Testament.
Eros: "is passionate love, with sensual sexual, desire and longing".
Philia: "...means friendship, a dispassionate virtuous love".
Agapē: "...self-sacrificing, giving love to all... divine love or the love of God
Storge: "...natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring".
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_four_greek_words_for_love_and_their_meanings
Whether or not you agree with the Bible as God's word, you probably don't argue with the title "the Book of Love". If you give it some contemplative thought you will agree with these 4 very different loves. The individual looking for love is seeking fulfillment in all four categories.

Erotic love is generally not the first kind that we learn. I think that there is a reason for that. If we did not first learn friendship love (philia), then our Eros love would be relegated to rape and prostitution. Erotic passion can be completely selfish and mechanical. Such love would leave both participants empty, without joy, or fulfillment. Passion with a friend is far better and more enJOYable.

We learn friendship love even before elementary school. The give and take, sharing, and caring is fundamental for human development. We finally “get it” when the day comes that we realize there is joy in giving a gift to others.
The formation of a cities and countries, is the out working of friendship love. We make a pact of friendship to create an atmosphere where we can live, work, love, have families, and grow with those of like desire. We join together in a pact of mutual protection, raise armies and build defenses for mutual protection. In the nuclear age people are trying to create a unified world. It is a desperate attempt to stave off self annihilation.
Friendship is more than just protection though. We also need these friends to help keep us in line, sort out answers to problem, shoulder some of our burdens. The warmth of a smile or hug is both contagious and encouraging. We make friends because we need each other!
All of this is set up to care for our basic needs in life. It is a foundation from which base our quest for Meaning. Not much else takes center stage in our minds until food, water, and shelter have been set up.

Agape love is the highest form of love. Agape love is a spiritual heart felt love that is above self interest and cannot be destroyed. Once you have given this love to someone you cannot take it back. It will tug or tear at your heart but it cannot be forgotten. It is binding. It cannot be explained in Darwinist terms. It cause the strongest to sacrifice themselves for the weakest! NO ONE is happy or complete without giving and receiving this kind of love! It is a most important part of a MEANINGFUL life.
The Apostle Paul in the letter to the Church at Corinth perfectly described and listed the laws of this kind of love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1Co 14:4-8)

There is NO greater, or perfectly executed example of, Agape love than that of God, who left heaven, entered time, put aside his power and authority, and gave up his life, willingly, on the excruciating and humiliating cross, to ransom humanity. Once again the quest for meaning, through love, finds its ultimate in GOD. In fact what you even think about Agape love shows what you think about God.

What passes as love or a loving act brings up the questions of MORALITY and ORIGIN. If the Theory of Evolution is based on survival of the fittest, then what is the PURPOSE of a love that causes the strongest to sacrifice themselves to protect the weakest? It takes no love whatsoever to make offspring it does however take loving sacrifice to nurture them to adulthood. Finally there is always the question of DESTINY in love. The couple in a relationship ask. "where is this 'love' relationship going? Will it last? Is it real? All responses to the above questions are shaped by the respondent's view of God!

The Bible says, "...God is Love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God"(1John 4:16). If God is Love then it follows that, love comes when God gives a part of himself, to another, as a gift. (If, it is not a free gift then, it is not love.)
The one who receives God's gift of love must now decide what to do with it. Here are the options:

1) Dwell in it, enjoy it, and give it back to God (love God). The result here is the love multiplied and sent back from God. Thus a relationship is established with God. To succumb to love is to die to self and be made alive in Christ.

2) Give the love to another person. The result here is that, when the cup is poured out, it is refilled by God, with the same measure that it was given out. The more you give the more you get. The new receiver of the love must now also decide what to do with the love that was given to them, because, "Love continueth"(never fails, never stops, 1 Corinthians 13.) They might return it to the giver and a relationship is established.

3) Taint the love with selfishness and use it to enslave another for selfish purposes. This person perverts love, abuses it, and tries to keep it manageable, it is the same way they think of God. They want a humanized, manufactured, manageable God. In this case the love grows cold. "In the last days, do to increased wickedness, the love of many will grow cold.(Matt 24:12)

4) Reject the love, deny its author, and call it a genetic weakness. This person sees love as purely chemistry and hormones. To him there is no God we evolved from a bath of chemicals. This person runs from love so as not to give up self on the throne of their heart. Sometimes this person rejects the love because of feelings of guilt and unworthiness The result is death of the spirit, leading to death of the wretched soul, and finally merciful death of the depleted body.

In each case; what a person does about Love is what they believe about God, and influences their answering of the other four big questions of life.
George Herbert understood that Love was a drawing card from God to pull humanity closer to himself when he wrote "Love bade me welcome"

Love Bade Me Welcome

Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here";
Love said, "You shall be he."
"I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee."
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
"Who made the eyes but I?"

"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve."
"And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?"
"My dear, then I will serve."
"You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat."
So I did sit and eat.


-- George Herbert

Truth

Post Modernist thought says that , “everything is relative, there is no such thing as truth or absolute”. If that is true then the statement is also untrue. The statement obliterates and disqualifies itself. One has to wonder how it ever got taken seriously.
I can see where such a thought might be a good frame of reference for an attorney. It would free the lawyer from the inhibitions that would prevent him from doing everything possible for his client. It could never be a valid philosophy for life, however.
A lie is cruel. The purpose of a cruelty is to enslave. The post modernist not only puts the lie into the soul of humanity, but also takes away the possibility discovering the lie. The enslavement becomes permanent! The cruelty is absolute!
Each and every man, in a desire for freedom, embarks on a quest for truth!

As part of the search for truth we must all answer for ourselves the questions of origin, morality, purpose, and destiny. Where did human life originate from. What is right? What is wrong? What is life’s purpose? What happens to me after life?
The search for truth and an absolute reality becomes a dominant drive in the ages 30 to 50. It seems to really start during the rebellious adolescent stage though. During that rebellious stage we throw off all the morals, values, and teachings that were given to us by adults. We then begin to test for ourselves what is truth and worth keeping. It is a dangerous time. If, the methods of testing for truth are not sound, the result can be death, insanity, enslavement, or incarceration. We can become lost, in soulish anarchy, never to be found.
One may start by asking , “are there any absolutes”? “Are there any moral absolutes”? The answers become frames of reference for establishing a personal philosophy and world view. Those asnwers become our personal government. As we divide truth from fiction, for ourselves, we pick these up and make them permanently our own.
If you examine humanity’s cumulative collective union of truth, you will find universal agreement on some fundamental truths regardless of teaching, social status, culture, or upbringing. These are called Moral Absolutes. There are some who would like to deny that Moral Absolutes exist. They want to deny it because, if Moral Absolutes exist then, it means there was a Moral Law giver that put it into the conscience of every person. Either Moral Absolutes exist, and God exists, or no Moral Absolutes exist and God does not exist!
Now if you decide there are Moral Absolutes and God exists then you have begun to answer the question of origin and purpose. If you deny Moral Absolutes then you have some more questions to answer.
Even those that deny the existence of Moral Absolutes will point a figure at another and angrily proclaim them to be a liar. They will balk at saying, “murder is O.K. for personal gain.” They will call the police when they have been robbed. (for what if not to exact punishment, restitution, and stop the “crime”) Even atheists are upset to learn that their spouse or lover has been sexually violated by another etc.etc.
Ultimately there will neither be peace on Earth or in a man’s heart outside of a moral law equal to the 10 commandments given to Moses by God.
Let me illustrate this with the life of Martin Luther the Reformer.
Luther was in the middle of his own quest for truth when Rome began selling Indulgences to raise money for cathedral building. In effect this was selling the Right to do what was wrong. Luther had subjected himself to various kinds of self flagellation in a futile attempt to reconcile himself to God. He said, “though I subjected myself to wakings, freezings, and fasting, I could not reconcile myself to my baptism”. He knew deep from within that he had not yet discovered truth. The fire to find it exploded at the careless treatment of morality by Rome. When he nailed the “95 thesis” to the Wittenberg door it was a challenge to other professors to debate the questions. It was an effort to collectively come to some truth.
Later when he rediscovered, “salvation by grace through faith“, he knew in his heart that it was truth. No one could ever tell him differently again. No one could ever again enslave him with “salvation by works”.
God was the creator of reality and truth. Any altering of the reality is a lie and an attempt to enslave. Jesus said, “ I am the way, the truth, and the life…” He was either a liar, a lunatic, or creator God. Each and every human must put this statement to test.
Once again the search for meaning ends at God!

Security

The drive for security takes center stage later in life, 50’s to 70’s. This is the need to know that as our body weakens, we will be safe and cared for. It is also the need to feel secure in our love. Will those we love be safe and secure? Have we saved enough for retirement? Is our home, neighborhood, and nation safe? Have we made good relationships with others or will we age and die alone? Are we secure in our belief about what is truth? Have we made the right decisions? We want to know that our life HAS meaning. Can we sleep at night with our expectation of destiny?
We want to know that as we give up control, or as we loose control, that everything will be alright, that all is not lost. Can we sleep at night with destiny we have carved out? As we fall backwards, from the stage of life, into the mosh pit of the grave, can we trust the arms extended to catch us? Can we “go calmly into the night “ with our expectation of destiny?



If you say there is no God then you are saying there is no meaning. If there is no meaning then there is no purpose to life. If there is no purpose then, as Sartre said, “why not commit suicide”? Jesus said. “ I am the way, the truth, and the life…” ( John 14:6) He backed it up with his own resurrection and made us this promise of security: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life( John 3:16).
Paul wrote: “ By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.” (1 Co 3:10-13)

It sounds like a better way to go to me! Again we find meaning for life in God!
There is nothing that can ultimately bring security, at the end of your days, like God! You can spend a life of restless nights, in a quest for meaning, and end up at God, or go through life with God, and have a life full of meaning!
To quote Ravi, meaning comes to your life when you can, "combine a sense of wonder, under girded by truth, experience the richness of love, with the knowledge of security".
I will add that only God is great enough to establish that, and only in a relationship with him can it be obtained securely!

“ Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil."
((ECC 12:13&14)


For those of you who already have put you trust in Jesus Christ and the Bible, let me give you some Biblical examples that support this “Meaning of Life” idea I have written. Each of these examples went through the same stages and principles.

John the Apostle

The New Testament account of John Shows that he saw the miracles of Jesus This was awe and wonder. He was being taught who Jesus was. (Matt 8:14,15, Mark 5:37, Luke 5:10, Matt 17:1, Rev 1:1 -22:21)
He had a deep friendship love with Jesus (John 13:23-26, John 21:20) Knew family love (John 19:26)
Came to know it all as the truth after the resurrection ( John 21, 1 John 1:1-8)
He was secure in his destiny (1John 5:10-12)


John the Baptist

John was in awe at the presence of Jesus before they were both born! (Luke 1:39-45) Awed at Jesus’ baptism (Luke 3: 21&22)
Knew the truth of Jesus (Matt 3:11,12 , John 1:6-8)
John questioned his security in the truth of Jesus (Matt 11:2-6)

Israel

The Children of Israel were brought out of Egypt with much awe and wonder. The plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the Pillar of Fire. And all of the miracles in the 40 years of wondering. (Ex chap 1-Jos chap 1).
During this time they were given truth (Ex 20:3-17, Ex 28). As they entered the promised land the learned the importance of the responsibility of community. (Jos chap 7). Throughout their history God showed them his love, even during times of devastation and discipline. (Isaiah, Jeremiah Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, MT 23:37 and others. Just pick a page!) You can’t forget the Song of Solomon!
Israel’s security is garunteed forever but they knew times when their security was in jeopardy for disobeying.

The Church

The Church also had it beginning in awe and miracles. I’d have to begin with the resurrection of Christ, but then there is the whole book of Acts. This is the Churches infancy of awe and wonder driven growth. As the New Testament proceeds love of all men, each other as a family, and of the savior is taught. The learning of the Epistles becomes the entire message of truth. Security is promised in eternal life and the Church is established as the Bride of Christ to reign forever and ever (Rev 22: 1-6).

Quote of Note from June 09

"Who am I? This or the other? Am I one person today, and tomorrow another? Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, And before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling? Or is something within me still like a beaten army, Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved? Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine. Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, June 22, 2009

Worship: Creation or Creator


There has been a disturbing trend in churches in the last few years. After a Song or play has been performed, there has been applause!
I was in a church a few years ago when a woman with an obviously trained and developed voice sang a powerful number. The song itself had something to be desired spiritually. Although it spoke of spiritual things, it could have been played on any secular radio station without complaints from the anti-God squad! When she had finished the congregation jumped to their feet and cheered, clapped and even whistled. This was not a special event this was Sunday service!! I sat there embarrassed, in shock, and fearful. As I looked around only the man seated beside me was not also in standing ovation. We shook hands and introduced ourselves in a diversion from the embarrassing show!
At another large church This was the scene during praise and worship:
A praise band took the stage. The lights were dimmed, colored stage lights and a spot were turned on. Dry ice fog rolled across the stage. Three large flat panel television screens broadcast close-ups of the singers.
I remember being taught in Jr. high school that we don't applaud sacred numbers. I guess that since the sacred is not allowed in schools any more they don't feel the need to teach it any more. I don't blame just the Schools though. Churches have become entertainment centers under the "user/seeker friendly" plan. What is wrong with applause? Everything!
The only two reasons that I can think of to take the podium in God's house is to glorify God or to build up, edify, encourage the body. In either case the inspiration is to create worship to God. The proper response from the body is "Hallelujah", "praise God", "thank you Jesus", "Amen" etc. When inspired by truth and testimony we worship the creator not the created!
When you place your worship on to an person you kill them. Remember what happened to Herod?
AC 12:21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

There is another way in which you kill them. Look at these verses which speak of the day when Satan fell from heaven:


ISA 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!

ISA 14:13 You said in your heart,
"I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

ISA 14:14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."

" `You were the model of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

EZE 28:13 You were in Eden,
the garden of God;
every precious stone adorned you:
ruby, topaz and emerald,
chrysolite, onyx and jasper,
sapphire, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.

EZE 28:14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.

EZE 28:15 You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.

EZE 28:16 Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.

EZE 28:17 Your heart became proud
on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings.

EZE 28:18 By your many sins and dishonest trade
you have desecrated your sanctuaries.
So I made a fire come out from you,
and it consumed you,
and I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of all who were watching.

Some Bible scholars believe that His body was actually a musical instrument. In his position, at the alter, the argument can be made that he was a "praise and worship" leader. At some point in the heavenly proceedings he took his eyes off of God and duty, and noticed that he was beautiful. He allowed for just a moment some of God's praise and worship, coming up behind him, to be for him. It filled him with pride, puffed up like a blow fish. He had stolen what belonged to God. According to Pagan tradition, "he then flew up to God and asked, "why should you be the one to be worshipped?" The result was pride, ego, and fall.
A short time later Satan found Adam and Eve worshiping God in the Garden of Eden with their love and obedience. Satan enticed them to take their eyes off of God and consider that they had something to gain, by disobeying God, and eating from the forbidden tree. The result was pride, ego, and fall.
2000 years later Satan inspired Nimrod to break the covenant of Noah with God. He ordered the building of an unholy mountain, the Tower of Babel, so he could ascend it "push back the heavens" and be god of his domain. The result was pride, ego and fall.
2000 more years go by and: LK 4:5 "The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours."LK 4:8 Jesus answered, "It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'
2000 years later Some young people are singing in the church choir. Tina, Whitney, Aretha, and Elvis perform a inspiring number. Everyone tells them how wonderful they did, and how great they sound. One of Satan's servants takes note. He waits for them outside.
"I'm from R-E-S-P-E-C-T Records. That was Great! I'd just love to get you down on trax. These are my assistants Turner and Brown. We're staying with Proud Mary, Down by the River, At the Heartbreak Hotel. I can make you a star".
A few year later after performing for and audience of 5-10,000 the jubilation of being worshiped by so many gives them such a high that it must be rounded off with alcohol and barbiturates. A few days after that cocaine and amphetamines get them up for another performance. A few years go by and the result is early unexpected death.
Meanwhile, back at the church The pastor is having trouble getting up a choir and finding a piano player. Our best, our first fruits, our utmost, ought to be for the Lord.
When a crowd worships an entertainer, politician, or spiritual leader, they are calling up that spirit that wants to be worshipped. Humans weren't made for worship. Their souls cannot handle the role of God, or the guilt of playing God. They are destroyed.
American Idol is the show on T.V. that I dislike the most. The honesty of the show's title. It is an in your face trivializing of idolatry. The performers are given huge doses of pride, ego, greed in exchange for promoting the World's system. A system put in place by Satan after the fall of Man. Praising that system is praising it creator. It is Satan worship!
Please don't turn our churches into another episode of American Idol! Please worship Creator God, and not the created persons!

The Heart of a Home


On the Piano Man album, Billy Joel, sings "You're My Home", with the lyrics:
"...Home could be the Pennsylvania turnpike
Indiana's early morning dew
high up in the hills of California
home is just another word for you".
It was a fancy way of saying, "home is where the heart is". A person tends to think about these things when they are away from home for a while. When we say "home is where the heart is, aren't we saying that, "a house with love is a home"? What makes a house a home?
Before I begin to relate my observation, I will state that this is decidedly a man's perspective. Much of the same principals make a house a home for a woman, but there are differences. A woman might include safety and protection on her list, and although a good man will seek to provide that for her, it is not high on his list of needs. There are several blogs written by women that I regularly read to get an honest view into the soul of a Christian woman. I will leave it to one of them to pour out their side of the equation.

There are four greek words for "love" in the New Testament.
Eros: "is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing".
Philia: "...means friendship, a dispassionate virtuous love".
Agapē: "...self-sacrificing, giving love to all... divine love or the love of God
Storge: "...natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring".
.http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_four_greek_words_for_love_and_their_meanings Most Christians have heard these preached on many times from the pulpit. I want you to consider that as a "homemaker" a woman, plants, promotes, and nurtures, these four "loves" in her house. It is these that turn a house into a warm and fuzzy nest called "home".
In his lectures at Georgia Tech, Ravi Zacharias uses a story by the philosopher Camus. In the story, a simple married country woman, gets an opportunity to fulfill a youthful sensual fantasy, during a visit, with her husband, to a city. After an emotional mental struggle she gives in, leaves him sleeping in bed, goes out into the night and indulges in the passion. She then comes home and cannot sleep but sits up in bed weeping. He awakes and asks, "what's the matter". She replies, "nothing, nothing"!
Ravi's take on the story is that, just when you think life has delivered the ultimate in fulfillment you find it leaves you empty chasing after the next excitement. He adds a few more examples to the point that God is needed to fill our emptiness and that secularization of society will result in hedonism and a loss of shame. Later during the question and answer session a student had the presence of mind to ask that, "since we all struggle with the desire for the sensual, had the professor found any means of fulfillment in this area". Ravi related the "four loves" and that only within the framework of marriage do they all come together, in an uncorrupted fulfillment".
We don't usually think of it in such terms, but imagine the heart of a man when he understands the way in which a good wife has made his home. Behind the scenes she has been creating fulfillment without his even knowing it. She has allowed/promoted herself to be the object of his lust and then risen to indulge his passion. She has not only been his best friend, but also allowed/promoted good friendships with others. She has encouraged his relationship with God, prayed for him, and prayed and worshipped with him. She has provided him with family both close and extended. How much more will that man look on love at his wife and praise God for her?! How much greater will the bonds of marital union be when he sees this with "the eyes of his heart"?!
There is a flip side to all of this. Woe to the woman who has selfishly withheld these loves, so that she can have him completely for herself. If love is the perfect expression of the Holy Spirit, in and through a woman, a perfect gift, then the withholding of it is the perfect cruelty! The purpose of cruelty is enslavement. Enslavement is the perfect result of selfishness and there is no love in it! No MAN will remain a slave if there is any way out.
It doesn't take much time to come up with living examples of people we know, both men and women, who withhold, deny, and fight, to keep their significant other from one or more of these loves. Think about them momentarily and you'll notice a few similarities. They are very unhappy, hurt and hopeless. They chase fulfillment in other ways/things, and are never satisfied. They are probably on your prayer list!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Point of Focus


If the photographer focused on the dark background the flower would have become blurred.

This is going to be a different kind of post for me. This is not coming from out of some cerebral cleverness, but from a long worked out churning in my spirit. I cannot attest to the fact that it is finished, but some important points have finally come into focus. I want to get them down so as to have a solid foundation to build on.

It is so easy to FOCUS on light. Even while still in my mother's womb, I could see no light, but I could feel the darkness in my soul. We are so sensitive to light and drawn by it, because it overpowers our senses and obliterates the darkness. This is the reason why the prophecy of Christ's birth stands out from all of the others prophetic scriptures.
ISA 9:2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

ISA 9:3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.

ISA 9:4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.


This is the reason (Luke 1:41) When Elizabeth [the mother of John the Baptist] heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. John knew immediately the presence of that great light. Later, as a man, surrounded by the darkness of prision, John lost FOCUS and fell into of doubt. MT 11:2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"

MT 11:4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."

Jesus set is FOCUS back on the light!

I have been in a small bit of a darkness for a couple of years now. I knew it was true but could not put my finger on it. It is actually possible for the Christian to be depressed, although difficult. I made this statement to my Pastor recently and his take was that it is a "conflict of interest" for the Christian. It is so because in Christ there is hope, and all things are new. His mercies are new every morning, and in his presence there is joy. All of these things are true and it is often sung, "turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things of the world will go strangely dim". We however walk in the spirit through a dark and dying world, and live in a body. I could stop here and say "consider the lillys...", "think ye on these things, whatsoever is lovely...", and be done with it: lesson learned. The depth of the truth would be lost and forgotten as soon you click the little red "close" box in the upper right corner. The impersonal shallowness would insulate me, but be of no service to the reader.
First I want to say, I think depression is mourning the loss of life. In this case it is one's own life. I'm thinking it would be the result of bad decisions or situations that have reduced the hoped for fullness and richness of life. The song "wasted years" comes to mind here. In such as state one is putting themselves in a coffin. A difficult condition to maintain when you have the uplifting life giving resurrection power of the Holy Spirit living in you! Never the less there is a time for mourning. Mourning is needed to put a loss behind you so as to move on.
My coffin is different though. It is a coffin with both ends knocked out, also called a rut! This rut seems to be dug in a circle. There are actually several of these, in which, I'm walking at the same time.
You've heard that definition of insanity, where insanity is: "doing the same thing you always did, in the same way you always did it, and expecting a different result". What could be more insane than spending your life going around and around a circular rut.
Does anyone remember that movie where an American got caught trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. He ends up in a prison walking round-n-round a circle, and told the broken machines must stay on the path. They attempt to institutionalise him. A visit from his love helps him reFOCUS reality and he breaks in the other direction. He plans an escape, from the prison, and announces "he's going, to go, to the place, where they fix the broken machines". Lets go there.
I have two jobs both pretty much full time, low level, menial task. Of course the Bible says, "MT 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other....". Those words come from Jesus. You just know they've got to be truth! They are truth! I love on of these jobs and hate the other. I will use my enjoyment and lack thereof to illustrate how FOCUS can influence joy and depression.
Job #1 I've done for 18 years. I stock shelves third shift in a grocery store. I have taken on the responsibility of being the overnight boss, but the mundane menial repetition is maddening. Round and round in a circle we go. Bring in the load, put it on the floor, put it on the shelf: repeat! The only thing that ever changes are the supporting cast of people I work with. If I do my job of training them properly, they become clones of each and every co-worker previous. The problems I encounter and solve on this job are trivial, unnoticed, and forgotten. Notoriety is almost always a bad thing, insignificance is a virtue, but an almost unbearable humility. The darkness I go into each night is a weight. If we have done our job properly the bosses of the daylight never have to bear us in mind.
Job #2 I have done construction and remodeling since, I put nails into siding, on a barbershop, at age 5. I have done similar Job #2 only 5 months. It would be too easy to think that I haven't yet had time to observe the rut. While, it is possible there may be a rut yet to develope, it will be a straight line rut, not a circle. On job #2 I maintain 27 "timeshare" condominiums. They have aged and need some reconstruction and much repair. Each task is different however, and although it is sometimes performed 27 time over, at the end, it will not have to be done again in my career. There is a sense of progress and accomplishment. AS time goes by, and tasks are completed, the property looks increasing better. Variety yields excitement and accomplishment stokes pride. Compared to the suppression of the night job, the day job is a lightness of being!
O.K. I laid it on pretty thick, but the result put you into my shoes and mood in each case. Why bother you with all of this because all of the institutions of life are the same way. And our enjoyment of them is a matter of FOCUS.
Didn't your thoughts shout at the screen, "why not quit Job#1, and just do Job #2, if its that bad"? Well, I thought the same thing. I discovered, that in answering that question, my displeasure was a matter of FOCUS. The grocery job has twice the pay, all of the extra-benefits, job security, and prospect for advancement. It enables me to enjoy the day job without all of the other pressures. That is not to say that the maintenance job could not be built into one with greater pay, security, and advancement potential. Breaking out of a rut takes some work and planning though. The American in the Turkish prison movie did not just decide on a whim to make a break for it. He saved, planned, had help from the outside and bought help on the inside. (I don't remember it in the movie, but you better believe that a person in his situation prayed to God for aid as well!)He waited until all of the pieces came together at the right moment, then he made a break.
I mentioned that I'm walking several institutional ruts simultaneously, some hand in hand with others. Grieving be done. It is time to focus on the lillys. Focus on looking into God's eyes. FOCUS on the good aspects of the current institutions, and make an exit strategy. Work a plan, assemble the pieces, pray, and go for the breaks, as each one comes.

"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K.Chesterton

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quote of note from May 2009

" If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear"
George Orwell

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Knowledge of Good and Evil : Knowledge of God


How many people have said to you, "How can you believe in an all knowing, all powerful, all loving God, when there is so much evil in the world"?
In seeing all of the evil they fail to see the good around them. The typical apologetic answer for such a person is to point their eyes to the good saying, "how do you know there is "evil" except that there is "good" by which to draw a contrast? How do you know that there is "good" except that there is a "moral law" by which to differentiate between "good" and "evil"? How can there be a "moral law" except that there be a "moral Law" giver, which is God? No God - no moral law, no moral law - no good, no good - no evil! If you believe in evil you must believe in God!

It is interesting that in the Garden of Eden, when there was no "evil", and there was full knowledge of God, there was also implanted, in the very first act of evil, the seed for the acknowledgement of God. The very act of rebellion, that was the first sin, included the sequence for not being able to deny that God existed!

GE 2:9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil... GE 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."...
GE 3:4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Knowing good and evil makes it impossible to deny the existence of God, the giver of the laws of morality.

When Adam and Eve did sin they instantly know the difference between right and wrong.
GE:9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." 11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

When God said, "who told you that you were naked", it was like saying how did you know that it was wrong/evil be naked?
Then God went on to prove that he was all loving. Speaking to Satan in the serpent he said."GE 3:15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel."
This was the first promise of Christ the Redeemer of mankind from the bondage of Satan and sin.

"Plainly speaking, there are only four possible worlds. The first is that there be no creation at all. Would it not have been better for God to have not created a world than to have created ours—where good and evil are both possibilities? The second is a world where only good is permitted, a kind of robotically beneficent universe. The third option is a world where there is no such thing as good or evil, an amoral world. There, right and wrong would not even be legitimate categories for consideration. The fourth is the world that we live in, where good and evil exist with the possibility of choosing either.In the final analysis, our world is the only one where love is genuinely possible because freedom is a precondition for authentic love. We intuitively recognize that love is the supreme ethic and where love is possible, freedom is necessary. Where freedom is real, so is the possibility of suffering.{Four Possible Worlds, Ravi Zacharias}

So why would God create such a world? He would create such a world because he was all knowing, all powerful, and all loving! What other kind of world could he have created where real love between creation and Creator could freely exist, but this one completed through the suffering on the Cross of Calvary.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Your Old Men Shall Dream Dreams"


O.K. So you KNOW you're old when God thinks your old! Yeah, that's what happened to me last week. I had a God given dream, not a vision. If it was a vision I could still claim to be young.
JOEL 2:28 ...I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.

I work two jobs 1st and 3rd shift. I sleep from 5pm-10pm everyday. I'm usually pretty tired and go right into deep sleep. I wake up with the alarm clock. There is no in between stage where most people have REM and remember their dreams. On my night off I sleep longer, maybe as late as 3am. That was the case Tue a week ago when I had this dream.

The Dream
I was driving north on the country road that I grew up on. Behind me to the left (drivers side) I saw a black line in the sky. Then I realized it was a swarm or flock. Suddenly it dove straight down to the ground. The car and landscape around was immediately filled with locusts and I realized that I was wearing a mask. The mask was like the medical masks that everyone is wearing for SARS and swine flu. On the side of the mask there were numbers, part of an automatic counting system, that numbered the number of times one had been bitten, stung, and swallowed bugs. Now the reason that I was in the car was to go pick up someone at school. When I got to the school it was more like a dormitory. My passenger turned out to be a Hispanic teenager. The school suddenly hit by the locust swarm was in panic. As the boy and I headed to the car people began dying. He got in the back seat and we left. Before we got out of the parking lot he died. I picked up a teenage girl who was going to her grandmothers house. The grandmother lived in a small old Cape style house all grown up with flowers and roses, like something out of a Thomas Kinkade painting. She met the girl at the door went inside and died. Then the girl died. A large fluffy cat came out of the house, now orphaned. I picked up the cat, put it into the backseat of the car, and headed home. The cat died. I woke up!
The dream troubled me for several days. I told two people that I work with about it. By Friday the troublesomeness of the dream had let me go. Then came Sunday.
Sunday I went to Church. The pastor was finishing up a series about our churches 100 year anniversary (history, people, efforts, and going forward). He is moving into a series on showing Jesus to the lost by becoming like Jesus, you know, the 5th Gospel. (“There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.”
Irish Evangelist Gypsy Smith).
Well Pastor has been meeting with a group of pastors from the area for prayer every week. There is a general feeling among the group that God is about to do something big! He used this to segway from one series to the next and brought in the often quoted 2CH 7:14 which says,
"14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."
The idea was that our 100 year old church had been consecrated to him so that God's name, eyes, and heart would always be there. And that some great revival and growth was about to take place. He didn't stop there though. He called special attention to verse 13. This verse often gets left off when people quote this passage of scripture. It says,
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, v 14..."
I sat there just stunned. So that is what the troubling dream was about! The locusts my not be actual bugs, but could be any manner of judgement; economy, terrorist action, natural disaster with national consequences, crop failure, and drought. The plague may be something as simple as a growth in swine flu. ( I think it must include animals though, because of the cat, in the dream) God is about to move! His people called by his name are about to get humble, really humble and pray, really pray, "then will he hear from heaven..."
It is about to happen. The Cloud/Pillar of Fire is lifting and is about to move. Get ready we're going to the mountain by way of the valley.


2CH 7:13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So I guess I'm A Terrorist: Not

On April 4th 2009 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a report to all law enforcement agency's in the country. The report was warning them to be on the lookout for individuals or groups which might become domestic terrorists.
What is shocking about this report is that at the beginning of each section it starts out taking about extremist groups, recruiting and potential anti-government actions they might take, but then suggests that "Joe Christian" and "Joe Republican" might join them. It does this by attaching the issues we believe into the issues of domestic extremists Groups. The whole purpose of the report is to stigmatize the moral "political right" and Christians as extremist anti-government terrorist hate groups.
If, you believe; in the Second amendment right to bear arms as a personal right, if you are anti-abortion, if you disagree with a completely open border immigration policy, if you believe that the Bible teaches there will soon be a "One World Government" ruled by the AntiChrist, if you believe in marriage as "one man and one woman"; if you are a returning Iraqi War Vet., then The Department of Homeland Security believes you will be among those involved in the next big bombing of a government building.
How fitting that the Party opposed to the establishment of the DHS, because they saw potential for abuse against Americans, is the party that so eagerly embraced abusing its power. There is nothing in the report about American (domestic) Islamic groups, or the recruiting of American boys for transport to foreign Islamic schools.
Some parts of the report seem to telegraph what the Administration is planning to do, and they are preparing for resistance to it. The report also shows who will be scrutinized if something bad does happen in response to administration actions.
This is nothing new in the history of the World. It has happened to God's people throughout history.

Haman and Xerxes
Ester 3:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai's people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai's people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes...
EST 3:8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king's laws; it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them...
EST 3:12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman's orders to the king's satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews--young and old, women and little children--on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

Daniel
Daniel 6:3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God."

DA 6:6 So the administrators and the satraps went as a group to the king and said: "O King Darius, live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions' den. 8 Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered--in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed." 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.

Jewish Leaders and to Pilate
Luke 22:70 They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?"
He replied, "You are right in saying I am."
LK 22:71 Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."
LK 23:1 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king."
LK 23:3 So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.
LK 23:4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."
LK 23:5 But they insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here."

Hitler
Hitler did not just come to power and start killing Jews. He first had to turn the national anger against them. He blamed them for the Economic Depression that Germany and the World was in. He started this by saying that the Jews owned and controlled the banks and would not lend out the money. Does this sound familiar? He used their blessing prosperity and tightness of community against them. That was just the beginning they were labeled as anti-Germany and anti-Government. Sound familiar?
Remember that the Nazi's got their name from The Nationalist Socialist Party. They were Socialist's, not right wing, but left wing! They were labeled "Right Wing" by the Stalin government who was angry that Hitler and Germany would not come under the authority of socialist mother Russia.

Below I have compiled parts of the report for you to read. It should be noted that the report has not been recalled. It doesn't matter, the damage has been done and her position has been exposed. I'm sure the pressure put on her job for issuing the report will only strengthen her resolve.
Issued on April 7th, the DHS warning is entitled: “Right wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”


“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”
Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the
1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility
and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement’s
opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those
with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as
well as white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion,
inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage. During the 1990s, these issues contributed to
the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an
increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks,
and infrastructure sectors.Historically, domestic rightwing extremists have feared, predicted, and
anticipated a cataclysmic economic collapse in the United States. Prominent
antigovernment conspiracy theorists have incorporated aspects of an impending
economic collapse to intensify fear and paranoia among like-minded individuals and to
attract recruits during times of economic uncertainty. Conspiracy theories involving
declarations of martial law, impending civil strife or racial conflict, suspension of the
U.S. Constitution, and the creation of citizen detention camps often incorporate aspects of
a failed economy. Antigovernment conspiracy theories and “end times” prophecies could
motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons.
These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist
individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and
extremist members of the militia movement.Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception
that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to
work at significantly lower wages. They also opposed free trade agreements, arguing that
these arrangements resulted in Americans losing jobs to countries such as Mexico.Many rightwing extremist groups perceive recent gun control legislation as a
threat to their right to bear arms and in response have increased weapons and ammunition
stockpiling, as well as renewed participation in paramilitary training exercises. Such
activity, combined with a heightened level of extremist paranoia, has the potential to
facilitate criminal activity and violence.On the current front, legislation has been proposed this year
requiring mandatory registration of all firearms in the United States. Similar
legislation was introduced in 2008 in several states proposing mandatory tagging
and registration of ammunition. It is unclear if either bill will be passed into law;
nonetheless, a correlation may exist between the potential passage of gun control
legislation and increased hoarding of ammunition, weapons stockpiling, and
paramilitary training activities among rightwing extremists.(U//FOUO) Rightwing extremist paranoia of foreign regimes could escalate or be
magnified in the event of an economic crisis or military confrontation, harkening back to
the “New World Order” conspiracy theories of the 1990s. The dissolution of Communist
countries in Eastern Europe and the end of the Soviet Union in the 1990s led some
rightwing extremists to believe that a “New World Order” would bring about a world
government that would usurp the sovereignty of the United States and its Constitution,
thus infringing upon their liberty. The dynamics in 2009 are somewhat similar, as other
countries, including China, India, and Russia, as well as some smaller, oil-producing
states, are experiencing a rise in economic power and influence.
— (U//FOUO) Fear of Communist regimes and related conspiracy theories
characterizing the U.S. Government’s role as either complicit in a foreign
invasion or acquiescing as part of a “One World Government” plan inspired
extremist members of the militia movement to target government and military
facilities in past years.(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and
radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from
military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the
capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out
violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist
groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from
the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.Outlook
(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo
the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and
returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain
economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating
rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements.
To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength.
(U//FOUO) Unlike the earlier period, the advent of the Internet and other informationage
technologies since the 1990s has given domestic extremists greater access to
information related to bomb-making, weapons training, and tactics, as well as targeting of
individuals, organizations, and facilities, potentially making extremist individuals and
groups more dangerous and the consequences of their violence more severe. New
technologies also permit domestic extremists to send and receive encrypted
communications and to network with other extremists throughout the country and abroad,
making it much more difficult for law enforcement to deter, prevent, or preempt a violent
extremist attack.
(U//FOUO) A number of law enforcement actions and external factors were effective in
limiting the militia movement during the 1990s and could be utilized in today’s climate.
— (U//FOUO) Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal
building in Oklahoma City, the militia movement declined in total membership
and in the number of organized groups because many members distanced
themselves from the movement as a result of the intense scrutiny militias received