Christian based commentaries and observations.

Quote of Note

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation

: 'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free.
: Amen!'

Who is Jesus


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 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 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

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quote from March/April

Crucifixion was humiliating. It was so humiliating that the Romans who specialized in the art of torture assured their own citizenry that a Roman could never be crucified. But not only was it humiliating, it was excruciating. In fact, the very word “excruciating” comes from two Latin words: ex cruciatus, or “out of the cross.” Crucifixion was the defining word for pain. Does that not give us pause in this season before us? Think of it: humiliation and agony. This was the path Jesus chose with which to reach out for you and me.

Ravi Zacharias