And I Wondered

I crossed into the promised land. The land flowing with milk and honey. I was shown all the promises of God. His Word was ever before me. I knew the statutes, I knew the laws. 

And yet I continually looked to the pagan cultures, the pagan places, the very people that I was to push away…I embraced them. I held their ways in awe, revered their lives, and I envied their gods. I became like them. 

And then…I wondered where did my God go? Why did God forsake me? I cried out…where are my blessings? Why do I feel alone? I wondered about this as I continually participated in the pagan ways that I knew God had called me out of.

 When I left Egypt, I denounced the old ways and turned my heart to follow God and His ways. And yet, in my heart I still longed for the life of Egypt. My heart still lived in Egypt.

When I came into the land that God was giving me, I told God I would follow Him. And yet I blended in with the cultures around and embraced them. I lived among them and I was like them.

God’s Word was still there. His words never changed. But I did. 

And yet I wondered…where is God? Why has He forsaken me? He has left me to my own devices.

And I wondered.

Sometimes in life we journey a particular direction, and yet God sees fit to re-direct our steps just before we reach what we believe to be our destination. To some, this would appear to be God denying us blessings and happiness…specially in light of promises He may have made regarding those blessings. And yet, we get re-directed, perhaps even to the point of having to retrace our steps, causing us to think that we are going backward in life. Such was the situation of the Israelites in the Old Testament, and such can be the circumstances we may face in life today. So, why does this happen? One simple thought is that God has plans for us and we might need to be put on a better path instead of our own. That happens more than we may know, but that also shows us that God is walking with us and guiding our very steps and that He wants the very best for us! But another look might show that perhaps God is redirecting our life’s journey because we are fighting against Him by doing our own thing. God took the Israelites back into the wilderness right when they were about to enter into the promised land because of their disobedience and, well, quite honestly, their whining! 

In my previous podcast/writing called “Between Two Worlds”, I spoke about the issues people have when they try to walk between two worlds; the ways of God and the ways of man. The lure of this world, to fit in and enjoy the fun and excesses it has to offer, is a temptation that many easily embrace, including those professing to be Christians. And yet God is clear when He tells us to “choose this day whom you will serve.” And despite what many modern and liberal churches may claim, there is no gray or middle area that is acceptable to God. Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus says “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” This is a bold declaration that tells us we are either walking in the ways of God or we will be rejected in the end, and that rejection is to eternal damnation. Harsh, yes…but a reality that we cannot afford to waffle on. 

I also pointed out the struggles that the Israelites had with falling into the temptations of idol worship that the pagan people around them would actively participate. These types of activities that the people of God would involve themselves with not only angered God, who is a jealous God, but would also cause loss of blessings because of their actions. You can easily see the direct correlation that I am drawing here! In our lives, in my life, the Lord is illuminating the reality that we are to be a people who worship Yahweh God and Him alone. We can learn to identify the many idols that take away our devotion and worship from God when we take the time to look into His word and then look around at the things that we count as important in our lives. The bottom line is that living contrary to God’s commands is a losing venture. Though you may enjoy some temporal pleasures in the here and now, eternity will have a completely different result.

As I read through the accounts of the Israelites in the Old Testament, I can’t help but put myself in their shoes (sandals) and wonder how my faith would hold up under those circumstances. One of the most important elements in reading and studying the Scriptures is to understand the time and culture associated with the words. Looking at the Word through a 21st century lens will cause us to misunderstand key elements of teaching. We specially have the conflict of having a modernistic, westernized viewpoint to begin with that can skew our application of the Scripture’s teachings and its Biblical worldview. But when we understand the people and places and times that are displayed within the pages, we then see how God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! And most of all how God’s words and decrees are still applicable to us today!

God’s plan for humanity was to set apart a people, the Israelites, and teach them who He is, what He requires, and His laws or statutes. Essentially through these holy (set apart) people, God’s Word would spread to all nations so that even the Gentiles (non-Jewish) could be grafted into God’s redemptive work through His Messiah, Jesus. The non-Jews were brought in by the promises of God when He set aside His covenant with the Israelites because of their stubborn and defiant attitude toward God. But now that the Gentiles (us) have been given the hopes and promises of God’s eternal salvation through His son Jesus the Messiah, we also have the commands to honor and worship God and Him alone. 

Yet, so many walk this world without a thought of God, and, in the same manner, even those who say they believe in God and His son Jesus and yet live life under their own ways and means…just like most of the Israelites did. And you easily see where their neglect of God as their Lord got them!

The temptations that this world offers people today can be seen as more intense, more available, and more accessible than in Bible times. The advent of television, computers, and the internet has seen to it that people can readily access any form of sin they wish just with the push of a button. Yet even in Biblical days, sin’s lure was potent and drew many to their demise. The Apostle Paul had to write many times to the church he planted in Corinth to correct them for their “worldly” and “pagan” behaviors and practices…some of which even the pagans themselves condemned! And sadly, Paul, were he alive today, would be writing those very words to many so-called churches today…most right here in America…because you literally cannot tell the difference between the church and the culture around it. The command to “come out from among them” was not grasped by the Corinthian church, nor has that command been adhered to with many of todays “churches”. 

“Flee immorality.” Simply put, you cannot serve the flesh in the ways of this world and expect God to walk with you. Not only is the dishonoring of our bodies by fleshly lusts an abomination before God, but our willful drive to put self first in our day to day life is just as bad. The world embraces, and even pushes, open sexuality and fleshly desires just as the many pagan temples did back in the Biblical times. Nothing new under the sun here. But neglecting God and His decrees because you want to do things your way because it makes you “happy” or “feels good”, is the very thing that caused God to withdraw His Spirit from the people in Biblical times and that punishment still happens today. Having the “me first” mentality is the very issue that drove the people in Corinth to put self-pleasure as a priority over God’s decrees and, sadly, we see this irreverence to God and His Word even among the many self-professing Christians today. Truly a sad testimony to the very lost and pathetic people that are wandering this world without knowledge of God. 

How do we defeat the issues of “me-ism”? How do we fight the temptations that pound at the doors of our soul day in and day out? How can we stand against the waves of worldliness and selfish desires? Before any solutions can be implemented, we must first and foremost know who God is by knowing His Word. So many men and women all around the world have views and opinions as to who God is and how we should worship and follow Him, yet there is only one true source that we need to focus our time and studies on and that is the Word of God, the Holy Bible! It is in the pages there, God’s inspired complete Word, that gives us what we need to know about God, His son Jesus our Savior, the redemptive work that God has laid out for us, and how we can walk through this war zone with faith that He, alone, will bring us to our promised land in the end! Though the Word appears to be deep with complexities that some may think they cannot understand at first, it is important to know that our Lord has given to us His Spirit, that will illuminate the very Word to our souls and open our eyes to its truths! This we do with simple faith, like a child who trusts his parents for all things to sustain them through life. 

This walk might not be on an easy road that is evenly paved with clearly marked signs and directions. We might be on a path that has many hills and curves. We may be on the wrong road in life and need to turn around and go back to a new starting point. We might be traveling rough roads that have caused us deep pains and sorrows for many years. We might be in a position where we are totally lost and have no point of reference where to go. What I can tell you is that the Israelites as well as many believers in Christ Jesus have been exactly where you might be now. Each one of our current locations might be unique to us but, like the people before us who have sojourned through rough and hostile places, we can be assured that God above knows each of us personally and knows exactly where we are and how to get us on the road that He has for us to reach the Celestial City of Heaven. Our road map is the Holy Bible and our guide is God’s Holy Spirit! We do not travel this journey alone! We just need to trust completely in Him. We may not like some of the ways and means we go, but He does know the best way. He may be taking us down a particular path for a season and for a reason that we need! We have to just trust Him and stay focused on His Word!

Like those that have gone before us, we may have a tendency to think we know better. We might want to do things our way because it brings us instant gratification. We may think that we know a good shortcut through life. We may want to go a different way to experience firsthand the pleasures of the world along the way. But deviating from God’s plan for our life only brings us to ruin and misery. At some point God will let you go (give you over) to navigate this life by yourself. But one thing that is important to know is that you will never arrive to the eternal joy in the heavenlies by your own power. You will not be able to enter into the rest for eternity by doing things your way. Only God’s way will lead you to that peace and joy that He alone can offer. And only through God’s way will you be able to have peace and joy during the journey…knowing that God is in control for our best.  

The journey might be rough, difficult, confusing, and even completely different than what we thought was the better way, but we can know for certain that God will never leave you or forsake you. He will never put you in a direction that is beyond your capabilities with His help and guidance. God knows you. He says in Jeremiah 1:5 “before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” He also says in Luke 12:6-7 “are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” If God is for us, who can be against us? 

Therefore, we can take comfort in God’s plan for our lives by trusting in the salvation work of His Son Jesus, who took our place on the cross and bore the penalty for our sins upon Himself unto death, yet rose from the dead and lives today…defeating death for us! He sits at the right hand of God, interceding for us! Jesus said that no one comes to the Father except through the Son and that by putting our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can be restored to a rightful relationship with God! We repent of our sins, submit to God, resist the devil’s lure to sin, and walk in faith guided by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God! By this only can we enter into the promised land!

Amen

Is 2021 The New 2020?

Time for God

So as I write this, today is January 1st of the year 2021. The new year that everyone hopes is a refreshment, a new start, and a definitive change from last year‘s chaos and utter pain. I recognize that this is a bit late coming to publish, but pray you can forgive me…it has taken a bit to shake off last year!

Normally for the new year people will make resolutions. They resolve to do things differently or to just do something, anything. Weight loss, quit smoking, eat better, be nicer, and so much more, the lists go on! I, for one, am not a resolution maker. I don’t need to set myself up for failure! On average, only 8% of Americans who make resolutions keep them. 80 percent fail by February 1st! But if I were to make any resolution, I would think that following in the footsteps of the great preacher Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) would be the best.

In the early 1700’s, he wrote down over 60 resolutions that covered a variety of topics. Areas such as relationships, spirituality, overall life mission, and devotion to God. He categorized things under good works, time management, and character. He resolved to a deeper self examination for sin and keeping a personal check on things like pride and honesty. He had many powerful resolutions for a better spiritual life. And with these many resolutions, he would lay them all at the throne of God declaring; “Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake”.

He then noted that he would “remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.” That is one sure way of keeping them!

But what makes his resolutions special is that they were to address his walk with God first and foremost! If there be any resolution for a Christian, it should be made to draw closer to God and be more keenly aware of our spiritual lot before Him.

We all (preaching to myself here!), have a tendency to walk complacent. Because we don’t see/feel/hear God’s presence every moment of every day, we tend to go about our daily lives in the light of what is around us at the moment. We focus our thoughts on things that involve our livelihood, react to the things happening to us, and interact with those people and things we see and remember, but, yet, in the larger scope of things, we often forget God.

Sure, we pause and think of God here and there, maybe toss a prayer now and again, or get a spiritual zip on the Lord’s day once a week. But to energize our desire and passions to follow wholly and completely…that is something that many Christians, specially American Christians, struggle with.

When looking at how our attitude toward God in our lives should be in light of Scripture, I thing many of us can say that we are a far cry from God’s heart. Paul exhorted the Thessalonians “so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:12). He also said to the Colossians to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord”. And to the Galatians in 5:25 said “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

In the Old Testament, there are numerous examples of God’s people living in a deep reverence and fear of God. Their entire lives were God-centered. Yes, they faltered and would stray. A lot. But have we gotten ourselves to the point where we can say that we are daily even remotely God-centered in the slightest bit? When you look at the lives of the early Puritans, you have to understand that they left home and family to travel across an entire ocean just to live a life that was God-centered, Biblically founded, and completely committed to God in all they say and do. It certainly would be a rare sight in today’s times to find people like that.

People today walk a thin line with God. Having a flippant attitude and approach to His holiness is something that I’m sure will draw His wrath. And His wrath is something that many churches refuse to even acknowledge. But unfortunately for many, that doesn’t dismiss the reality that God will exact is wrath on people. Edwards is famous for one of the most powerful sermons ever given that occurred back in July of 1741, called “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God”. The text was a simple line from Deuteronomy 32:35 that states “their foot shall slide in due time.” The opening text states “There is nothing the keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.”

I personally truly recognize more and more every day that by God’s grace and mercy I still exist on this planet, and that is a true testament to God‘s character and love! He holds back His wrath on us! But that isn’t forever. His patience extends only so long! Though the sermon actually speaks more about the love of God and His lovingkindness toward us than the title would give cause to believe, that doesn’t mean we can be complacent with our relationship to God.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
— 2 Peter 3:9

Though I’ve studied the Word of God more last year than I had previously regarding our relationship with God, I still look inward and recognize that I, too, am complacent in my walk with God often, that I am lacking in my prayers and devotions daily, and that I tend to forget my religious duties. So, for me, I find it very simple to come up with resolutions that need to be addressed. I find there are plenty of things I preach to myself about!

Just as we are to take up our Bibles daily and study, we should also be taking time out of our lives to the devotion of our sanctification as Christians. It is written in scripture that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and always be striving to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And we can through the power of the Holy Spirit! It says in James 4:8 that we are to “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded”.

When it says in Matthew 6 to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you, that isn’t seeking God for benefits and pleasures, but that is seeking God‘s righteousness and holiness into our life, which means walking upright daily, the way God wants us to.

We are to use the Scriptures as a mirror to see the blemishes of our sins and continue to beseech God‘s help by the power of the Holy Spirit to strive daily to mortify the flesh. That is the meaning of taking up our cross DAILY!

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
— Romans 12:1

2020 was a tough year for many. People are looking for answers. It has been reported that Bible sales were at an all-time high. We can reflect Christ to people looking for hope and show them God’s peace and love by our own lives. But we need to make sure our resolutions are set with God, so as to strengthen our righteousness that we can “in the same way let your light so shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven“.

So my prayer for us this new year is that we continue to offer ourselves a living sacrifice, examining ourselves daily by diving into the Word fully, and submitting ourselves in prayer and worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We all must continually take His Word that has been given to us and preach to ourselves daily! For 2021, if the Lord wills, I will continue to share with you those things that God impresses on my heart and mind as I look to His word and learn as well!

May God bless you richly this year, may His healing hand be upon you, and may you grow in sanctification daily, drawing closer to the Lord! Amen

Truth Or Emotion

I live in a country that has long declared itself a “Godly nation”, founded on “Biblical principles”. Historically, these are somewhat correct statements. The United States was founded by people that wholly believed in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, that the Bible is to be the guide from which all life should follow. 2nd Timothy, chapter 3, verses 16 and 17 state All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

A couple of things regarding these declarations:

First is that many people, groups, cultures, and countries have all started out under a basic and commonly held belief system. Many churches were started by a group of people who hold an identical theology. Governments have been formed based on a collective of ideologies and goals. And the United States began with people seeking out a place together where they can worship, govern, and commune together under the umbrella of Christianity.

Secondly, starting out with one philosophy doesn’t mean that the intended direction continues uninterrupted. When you look at institutions of learning such as Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and the likes, you might be surprised to know that they all started out as seminaries. Christian religion studies were so important in the early days of first settlers that many schools of Bible were created. Yet, if you look at the formats and leanings of these once great schools, you’ll find that they are almost diametrically opposite from their beginnings.

This type of falling away from initial beliefs has definitely happened within the USA. We have become a nation of godless trappings. Quick to cast aside any foundational roots that once made this a great nation on the earth. Isaiah 5:20 says “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” I think we can look at our history and see how the tides have gone in opposite directions. Perhaps the Glory has departed? Why?

I believe that the church as a whole is at fault for this. Before the apostasy levels that we see nowadays, even differing denominations all held core beliefs that were tantamount to biblical living. People believed, lived, worked, governed, and worshiped scripturally.

Since the church isn’t a building or even a denomination, the true core of fault lies with the individual believer. The church body by definition is a group of believers, dedicated, diligent, and determined to follow the Word of God, through Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That was once the way. That used to be the church. Yes, there were many many conflicts and disagreements…since the beginning…but nothing to the magnitude you see now. In fact, the vast majority of mainstream denominations have completely fallen away from scripture being the complete governing mandate. In Romans chapter 1, Paul points out this type of godlessness, where people have cast aside God and followed after their own thinking and started worshiping themselves instead.

And so it has become that being a true, Bible-believing Christian today is an invite to derision. Since the “church” has fallen to the lures of false teachings, prosperity preachers, new age thinking, social gospel and the likes, scripture is looked at as outdated, archaic, and not keeping with the times…so much so that the leaders of this new “church” mock and scorn those who hold the Bible as the infallible Word of God. Fortunately, there are still a core, though small, group of Biblical adherents in the world today.

Why have so many fallen away? Three key things since the fall of man in the garden of Eden; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Satan easily tempts those who don’t know the Word of God. And though many false teachers and ‘believers’ spend a ridiculous amount of time, effort, and energy blaming the devil for every evil or ignoring evil altogether and focusing only on “feel-good” theology, there is a deeper reality that most Christians forget as the source of problems in the church.

The first and foremost enemy that we face in our spiritual battle is not the devil, but it is our self. The devil has already tripped humanity. Since we have this fallen state within ourselves, most of the shortcomings and failures of our walk are self-inflicted. We spend so much time blaming everything else: the devil, the church, the government, the neighbors, et al. But now is the time to stop and reflect on our own accountability. We are sinful by nature and are a wretched people, in and of, ourselves.

I can’t account to have the fix for this speeding train-wreck that is the current “church” situation. America, as a whole, isn’t about to change it’s course either. Instead of utilizing Common Sense and logic and knowledge of the past, people run everything based on emotions. Every single person has individual emotions regarding every little facet and unfortunately, that is currently what is running every decision and thought process. Emotions are unstable, and so is the driven plight of mankind.

The Bible clearly states that the god of this world has blinded the eyes of many. They won’t see the Scriptures anymore, lest the scales drop from their eyes by the grace of God. The remnant has become smaller over time. This is actually all prophesied in the Word. We must maintain though. Keep fighting the good fight, striving to finish the race that is set before us. Keeping our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. He will finish what He started.

So, this is the truth: 1) that we are NOT a Godly nation anymore. The old church has fallen away like so many before us (including the chosen nation of God; Israel). 2) The devil is not the purveyor of all evil we befall. We are fallen in nature and have our own evil momentum going and we must take responsibility for our actions. And 3) that we who do continue to call the Word of God as infallible need to be directing our every step, staying focused and uncompromising in these last days, so that the God of the universe, who is sovereign and supreme and worthy to be glorified, can tell us when we reach the shores of Heaven “well done, good and faithful servant”.     Amen

Race Among The Ruins

confused-meme

Inundated and overwhelmed  by the barrage of mixed messages that are filling my brain (and heart)!  That is where I have been at for the last several years.  This is from the pattern that has built up within me over the years.  Conflicting messages that seep, beg, demand, and suggest multiple ways that I am supposed to think, act, and behave.

From the sweeping changes of the 1960’s race equality movements to the violent segregation mentality of today, the war of unity/separation of humans has been a roller coaster of chaos that has created and divided relationships in such a way that I am sitting here with my hands over my ears and screaming “stop the world, I want to get off!”

With a push for equality among humans in the 60’s from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., growth and maturity had seemed to bring people together in such a way that almost made the 70’s and 80’s look like a time of peace among the people. But, as I reflect back in comparison to todays’ events…I confess a deep confusion.  It seems that the messages of anti-segregation in the 60’s have turned into a strong segregationist movement.

Before you start raising pitchforks and burning torches to me, let me explain.

In a sneak-up-on-you kind of way, many of the groups that fought for equality have created a very separatist ideology. Examples include:  NAACP, BLM, NOW, and various other groups. But, not only these formalized organizations, but the demands of political and religious leaders such as Farrakhan, Jackson, and most recently, Maxine Waters.

Waters, a politician from the state of California, has recently declared that there should be a “black-only” political party. I’ll wait. Let you gather your senses a bit before going on.

As much as I am all for equality of the races…I stand absolutely dumbfounded by such a remark from a woman who, for all intents and purposes, was very much alive and active during the 60’s and 70’s racial movements.  And, to declare such a segregationist goal has me scratching my head as to what happened!  Where did the universe take a U-turn?

I have recently looked back over the past several years to see from where and why this momentum been gathering steam, and I have to conclude that the key perpetrators of this anti-equality movement are the very people that demanded equality in the first place! Call it whatever you want to, but to place such an emphasis demanding special treatment to one people group is the very thing that MLK and others fought against.

So, I will go on record here and now, declare them, (those who demand this segregational and special treatment), racists! The very people who get upset and call others racist are, in fact, the ones who are being such!

In 1927, Leon Trotsky, a Jewish Bolshevik Marxist revolutionary, used the term racist to browbeat dissenters of the communist ideology.  Prior to him, though, was Richard Henry Pratt. His use of the term was related to the issues of white men and Indians in early America. He said “Segregating any class or race of people apart from the rest of the people kills the progress of the segregated people or hinders their growth. Association of races and classes is necessary to destroy racism and classism.”

Lieut_Richard_Henry_Pratt_Founder_and_Superintendent_of_Carlisle_Indian_School_in_Military_Uniform_and_With_Sword_1879

Hmmmm…….that mentality goes against the grain of today’s segregating movements!  And, it seems to parallel the ideology that blacks and other proponents pushed for in the 60’s and 70’s.  So, it stands to reason that the Maxine’s and Sharpton’s of today are trying to recede back in time…..(or is there something else? I am not here to start conspiracy theories!)

No matter where you stand on the issue…be it with BLM or KKK or CAIR or whatever alphabet organization you want to associate with, the bottom line is that this country has taken two steps forward, but now working on three steps back!

Extremism has cost lives, trust, rational thinking, and most importantly…Common Sense!!!!!

Sadly, people have this demand that it’s “all about” them.  They want special and preferential treatment.  They want everything handed to them. Well, I’m here to tell you…it doesn’t matter what your color, race, religion, ethnic, or gender background is: if you want respect and a place in this civilized society…you have to earn it! Just because you are this or that doesn’t give you a standing any different than anybody else!

The greatest line I’ve heard from some very respectable people over the years is “they put their pants on the same as everyone else…one leg at a time!”

And guess what folks…..you are no better or worse than me or anyone else! Call me what you will, but in the end, we all end up in the dirt.  So, get off your high horse, your mightier-than-thou attitudes, and get common sense!!!

MW-FC881_gravey_20161230131836_ZH

 

 

Ichabod: Where did the Glory go?

The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.    -C. S. Lewis

conceptual sign post with, danger slippery slope

As many permit themselves comfort from the woes of this world, there exists a jagged edge that they drift dangerously close to, careless to the reality of the fall that awaits them.  As gloomy as this sounds, I must persist in casting some reality toward you in the hopes of jarring your slumber!

In ancient biblical times, wars existed between the factions of believers in God and believers of everything else. Though the spiritual realm has its casualties, there was also an effect to the physical as well.  Death tolls in these wars, per the accounts of history and Bible, were in the 10’s of thousands! The followers of God, the Israelites, had won a fair share of battles, but also suffered great defeats as well.  In most cases, the stories relayed the importance of God and his following his commandments.

In one particular situation, Israel was facing one of their great foes, the Philistines. In 1 Samuel chapter 4, the Israelites had taken a beating and decided to bring up the Ark of the Covenant to the battle front. This represented God’s presence more than anything.  The wild cheers of elation rallied the troops and even the Philistines feared God showing up.  But…to no avail.  Israel got their butt kicked and the enemy ran off with the Ark.

The high priest and judge of Israel, Eli, lost two of his sons in the battle. That information, along with the Ark being taken, literally killed the poor guy.  His daughter-in-law was so despondent about the losses that she gave birth and died.  The midwife names the boy Ichabod, meaning ‘the glory of the Lord has departed’.  Great start to life! (Sarcasm intended!)

It seems historically that when a people decide on their own volition of self first, it isn’t too long afterward that their demise hits. The United States of America was essentially founded on a basis of the Bible as the core moral and spiritual compass. The founding fathers forged our first governing documents on the whole of scripture, keeping that, with God, all things are possible. But, as with any great nation, corruption seeps in…slowly, assuredly, and with a purpose of demise. Even the learned institutions, such as Harvard and Yale, started out as seminary schools teaching the Bible! Yet, now, you would be fortunate to find scripture anywhere within the walls of the university. We are on the safest road to hell!

So, how did this happen?  How did we get to this drowning point? The primary place to point out the failing is our own ‘churches’.  Now, I am not going to get all denominational or call out particular names.  That is not the intent of this.  But, I will shake a fist to any and all who claim Christianity as their faith, yet deny the Bible as the word of God.  Without the Bible, we do not have the compass of direction. Without the Bible, we do not have instructions. Without the Bible, we do not have a reference point to keep ourselves on the correct path!

All that said, when we cast aside His Words to us, we begin to wander aimlessly.  We become “I Chabod”….without the Glory. When we are travelling and feel uncertain about our direction, we consult a map. Now days, we are constantly looking to our smart phones for information and direction. Well, the Bible is our map. The Bible is our smart phone that has all the answers we need.  And without it…well, we rely on our own understanding. Our own views. Our own mess!

The father of lies, the great deceiver, has crept into the fabric of God-fearing churches and cast doubts, dissensions, and destruction from within.  And since pushing aside the Bible as the beacon of truth, these churches have turned into social clubs and feel-good parties…with no truth being taught! Whitewashed Tombs! Pretty on the outside, empty and dead on the inside!

Mark 7:9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”

The churches today (not all) have essentially rejected the Bible as the Word and have, instead, decided that soft, gentle talks regarding social issues are more important than knowing God and His Word!  And with the disregard of God’s Word as authoritative and commanding, man has put himself in God’s place and now determines what is and what isn’t sin! What was once revered as Gospel has since become edited so as not to offend anyone! Sins are acceptable and they just avoid talking about His Words and commands!

The Glory has departed! And with His departing, so has His hand which has held back the enemies of God’s people!

exorcism-e1476509452483

One of the greatest preachers of all time, Jonathan Edwards, in 1741 preached a sermon that shook the very core of believers and unbelievers alike. That sermon, titled “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” was filled with fire and brimstone that convicted people to remedy, or assure, that their relationship with God was of utmost importance!  We have fallen so far from that reverence, passion, and belief in the God of the Bible, creator of all things, through his Son, by which we have forgiveness and restored fellowship.

There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.  – Edwards

So, I ask: Why?  Why has the Word of God been rejected by the very people who claim to believe in God? Why have we allowed His Glory to depart from us? Are we so delusional as to think that God would never cast anyone into hell? Because, if we are sitting at such a comfort level, in disbelief of God’s wrath, as to think that…I really suggest you reconsider what His Words really do say!  There is no free rides to Heaven! The Bible is very clear on that! His own people, the Israelites, were destroyed in a battle because of their own complacency and denial of His Supremacy!  YOU are no different. The church is no different.

God has never promised to save us from Hell, except for those contained in Christ through the covenant of Grace.  – Edwards

The churches have rejected God’s Word.  The Glory has departed.  Man stands alone on a wayward path leading toward destruction of soul:  hell.

I guess I challenge anyone to look at their ‘churches’ and ask the question:  Do they fully accept God’s words as complete revelation from God, or are they picking and choosing what they want to keep and what they don’t?  It literally is an “all or nothing” situation.  You either believe in the Bible or you don’t. And, as Edwards based his sermon from in scripture, ‘their foot shall slip in due time’ (Deut 32:35), there isn’t a middle ground with God.  You (and the church) are either hot or cold. Lukewarm is the path that leads to destruction.

 

 

Fotolia_859018_XS_jpg_cropped525x195o117,0s276x195

 

 

Don’t Believe Anything You Read…

images87PK2TOV

I have never claimed to be a grammatical writer, nor an original thinker. In fact, some of my writings have been graded by elementary students using crayons. That’s ok. I really can live with that….somewhat!

I confess that my early years in school, (and some later years), were often filled with wandering thoughts and fidgeting hands, as opposed to an attentive mind and a notebook filled with knowledge being passed on to me by the teachers.  My lack of writing skill is not due to the failure of the teaching staff, but to my own faults.  However, that may all be changing soon. In fact, it already has begun in New York!

According to an article I read by Lucas Mikelionis, published on the website HeatStreet, it is reported that “New York education officials are planning to scrap a literacy test for people trying to become teachers, claiming too many non-white individuals fail it and therefore weaken diversity within the profession.”

So, instantly I put on my Common Sense goggles and could CLEARLY see the errors about to happen! Common Sense Goggles

Let me put it this way…how do the words ‘train wreck’ fit into that impeding scenario? How about the great line from the movie “Forrest Gump”?  “Stupid is as stupid does“!  I could go on and on, but, that won’t be necessary because even the most basic of human understanding can see that the dumbing down of America is still moving in the direction of destruction of intellect!

People! Seriously! Do you really want someone teaching your children things that they themselves don’t know? Are the educational programs going to be led by people who can’t pass the required aptitude tests?  Are we going to be reliant on Google or Siri for all our knowledge?  I hope and pray not!

This stupidity has been going on longer than just this situation. Did you know that universities such as Yale, Harvard, and Princeton were once schools whose primary purpose was to teach theology and biblical studies?  People, then, understood that solid biblical teaching and advanced education created citizens with strong morals and inventive thinking!  But, sadly, over time, the demise of these once great institutions came when right thinking became challenged by wrong thinking. The importance of good morals was cast aside in favor of self and acceptance of anything.

Absolutes were destroyed during these transitions and, even though evidence to the contrary was presented over and over…people cast a blind eye and embraced the cultural changes of “Anythingism”.  (My word for everything is good and nothing is bad)

To the point:  Because of the curse of Anythingism, even the acceptance of the undereducated teaching our future leaders will further the dumbing down effect. To have someone telling our children and grandchildren that they don’t have to gather knowledge to succeed is a poison creeping through the veins of family, business, growth, and most importantly…good morals!

The degradation of society continues because people like the education leaders in New York are willing to compromise knowledge in order to appease people who feel that they should teach, even though they don’t know how to read or write.

Weak minds will only produce weak minds.

Missing: Common Sense

Xtesb1rIt has been such a long time. So many things have happened that alter one’s thinking patterns toward new paths. This, in, and of itself, is a good thing. Continually traipsing wayward down roads leading to unfulfilled chaos is no way to live life!  Remember, many moons ago, that I started this blog to root out the evil that worms its way into society, destroying the one semblance of necessity that we, as a people, need to survive:  Common Sense!

What has happened between then and now is no small matter! It appears that the world has continued the downward spiral it was on…not slowing one iota! Hmmmmm…..what to do, what to do!

Fortunately, our moribund society is salvageable! Not because we have a new President. Not because morals have made a resurgence. And, not because a news/commentary talking head has said so!  We are salvageable because we have believers!  There are many of us still walking forward believing that we can do better! There are many sides to every issue, good and bad, that attempts to sway our grasp of solution. Unfortunately, the bad can often outweigh the good and implement a course that creates a bigger monster than before.

Take the example of my favorite monster of all…Godzilla! Now, before you start casting judgments my way, keep in mind that as a child of the…ummm…..era a while ago, Godzilla movies were fun, campy Japanese creations that pitted a man-made catastrophe against the society we cherished. That humanity was above all, including nature…even God, Himself, and could tamper with our life-existence was pointed out to be our arrogancy!  So, I guess what I am saying is that, even though we still continue to exist as a society of arrogant, selfish, and indulgent fools, the monsters we create will not just go away because we say so!

Not everyone walks on the side of the monsters, though! We can still grasp at the true solution to many of societies problems. By embracing Common Sense, we have the weapons and shields needed to crush the monsters of stupidity!

One example of this, not to get too political, is Minnesota’s Governor and the “criteria” to conform to federal mandates of a “real ID”.  I’m not completely sure what the whole fuss is about the real ID thing in respects to what I carry in my wallet: a valid Minnesota Driver’s License. The state issued that to me after showing that I can pass a written test and drive a car around a test track. It also acts to identify me to various agencies and such because it has my picture. Well, the argument continues with our state geniuses about passing this “real ID” thing so that we would then be able to fly using the special “real ID”.  One hold up here in the great state of Minnesota is that our Governor thinks that people who are illegally in the country should be able to get a driver’s license as well.

I’ll let that soak in for a minute. Let the Common Sense flow within you. Look at the situation through the Common Sense Lenses!

Why, on God’s green earth, would you give someone who is in the country illegally a valid state identification? Well, according to our state ‘leader’, it will make them safer drivers and reduce accidents. (Shall I pause here and let that reasoning soak in as well, or just continue since we all can easily understand the dumbfounded thinking?)

Dear Gov;

Please explain to me how giving someone, who doesn’t obey the laws of the United States of America, a driver’s license is going to make them a better driver?  Please explain how said person is going to suddenly become a conscientious member of society with a photo ID that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be verified…since they are probably not running around with other forms of legal identification to back up the driver’s license?

Thank you in advance,

The Legal People of the United States of America/Minnesota Chapter

Just a wild thought…..but, Common Sense would indicate that they shouldn’t have a driver’s license, which is a given privilege to the citizens. And, here is your definition of citizens:

cit·i·zen
ˈsidizən,ˈsidisən/
noun
noun: citizen; plural noun: citizens; noun: cit.
a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.
I’m just going to close with this:  Because you stand in a yard, it doesn’t make you a resident. Because you travel down the road, it doesn’t make you a car. Because you swim in the water, it doesn’t make you a fish. And, because you are within the borders of a land, it doesn’t make you a legally recognized subject or national of that place.
This is only one example of our missing Common Sense….but, we still have many who view life through the lenses of it! People, we can alter the path, change the direction, and turn the ship around and make this a better world…..all with a little help from our friends, and Common Sense!
Godzilla_facepalm

An Open Letter To Mr. Claus

Dear Santa,

It’s been over 30 years since my last confession and I have to confess that things have really gone askew!  I’m not even sure my toilet swirls in the correct direction when flushed.  The world has gone mad and I was hoping that you could get things fixed.  I know you’re a busy guy this time of year, with all the labelling and legal hurdles you have to clear before you can bring goodies on your sleigh, but, I just need to know if the old Santa is still there…the one that can put fear in children that they might be on the naughty list.  The Santa who can actually have children sit on his lap without the threat of lawsuit.  Where have you been all these years?  I mean, you are still Santa, right? The jolly ol’ elf that has an independent operation in the north pole? You haven’t become the “Elf formerly known as…”, or “And now, here’s Santa, sponsored by…”?  You didn’t get caught up in any Ponzi schemes, did you? I don’t know why I worry about these things. Just do.

Are you feeling severely limited these days with all the regulations, restrictions, taxations, and legal ramifications? A person of your position is probably scrutinized 24/7.  Labor watchdogs, potential whistle-blowers, children services and such.  No wonder you don’t have the power you once did!  It’s a serious shame!  Innocence is lost, but not solely to perversions.  It seems that it’s lost to the governmental controls, corporate greed, and the individual narcissism of people today.  With all that going on, sorry to say, you never really did have a chance to survive.  The world today is heading down the path of anti-Clausism.  No one, save but a few, have the desire to believe in miracles. The days of dreaming have been replaced by the days of medication.  Your role is being replaced by paranoia.  How sad is that!

I’ve done my own tally and the best I can discern is that your “nice” list has to be really, really short.  I firmly believe that all the idiots that refuse to go beyond 40 MPH down the freeway on-ramps until after they have a mile or two under their belts should not be on that list.  I think you would have to agree that most of our world-wide government leaders have probably slipped from one list to the other.  There is so many situations of violence, mayhem, and, just plain disorder throughout the world that one would have to imagine your trip time would be half from what it once was.  Too bad you can’t take some of these “naughty listers” out behind the reindeer barn and give them all a yule log upside their heads!

Enough of that, though.  I am worried for you.  It is certainly hard to keep your mental and physical health intact these days with all that is going on.  I remember that song with the kid singing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”.  I still sing that nowdays because I can’t afford the dental work.  Have you seen the out-of-pocket prices? Wow!  So, I sing….and sing….and wish upon a star, (or HMO, or bank loan).  Plus, it is really hard to keep one’s sanity together during these times.  I’ve found that the reindeer games really take a toll on folks these days, and all you end up with is the droppings! You must know that one first hand!  How do you cope?

Well, I suppose I should get on with my self-indulging list of ‘what I want’ for Christmas.  I am not going to ask for world peace, family love, food and shelter for the poor in the United States, bringing home the troops from overseas, justice for Caylee Anthony, our political parties to pull their heads out, jobs for the unemployed, corporate greed to subside, the end to selfishness, medical and dental care for everyone in the U.S., religions to calm down, crime to decrease, and several million other things.  I am not going to ask for any of that because I believe that you have already heard those requests from the folks on your “nice” list.

What I am going to ask for is you. The Santa Claus.  The one I knew as a kid.  The one that captured my excitement of Christmas and kept me dreaming of magic.  The Kris Kringle that created dreams inside each and every one of us.  The Jolly Ol’ Elf of yesteryear is what I ask.  I want to have that happy, carefree feeling within my heart, if but just for a moment. To experience the power you once radiated throughout the world that said ‘it’s ok to believe!’  If all the adults felt that, imagine what could really happen!  Common Sense says that the results would be wonderful!  The world needs you now, more than ever!

Sincerly,

The Cannon

 

Let Freedom Ring

This writing comes to you with a heavy heart.  A deep sadness that runs the course of my veins and has me filled with waning hope in some people.  Today is a holiday, a day marked on the calendar since 1919 to be held in reverence, reflection, and salute.  I share with you Veteran’s Day.

This day each year on November 11th is where we remember.  Remember the men and women who served this great country with bravery and honor, defending against the storms of evil that desire to creep into our borders and usurp our great way of life.  Remember the men and women of the armed services!

As you know, I love history.  We learn from history so that we can have common sense!  So, why today?  How did this day start? My message today is not so much about where this holiday came from, but it helps to know where it all began.  As the end of World War 1 neared, various peace accords were being brokered between the countries involved in that large-scale war with Germany and her allies.  Though differing truce dates ran from September of 1918 all the way through to the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th of 1919, we would officially note the 11th hour of November 11th, 1918 as our countries armistice day.  It officially became a national holiday the following year and was to be commemorated each year on that date.

In 1954, President Eisenhower wanted to assure that the dedicated veterans of World War II, those who came home and those who never did, were remembered as well and officially changed Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day, a day to remember all military personnel who gave the greatest sacrifice for our country.

Fast forward to today.  The date has never changed, the holiday is still marked as Veteran’s Day.  What has changed is the people.  The people who mark this day as a ‘day off’ from work, or a shopping sale date, or a day that passes like any other day in the calendar.  Quite honestly, this particular year is only getting a bigger notation because the date and time will be a rare, once every hundred years, palindromic occurence.  So, novelty wins out on patriotism.  It’s sad when so many stupid things win out over patriotism in this country.

The (thankfully) former Governor of Minnesota, Jessie Ventura recently went on a tirade in front of the news media declaring that, even though he is a former Navy Seal, he is giving up his love of this country that he served.  He has bellowed that he will not stand in due respect during the National Anthem.  He will not salute our flag.  He is even adamant about locking-in his citizenship with Mexico (since he lives there now, half of the year…).  All this whining and fussing because he was violated.  This self-proclaimed rough and ready ex-Seal was violated by a TSA agent who patted him down during a trip to the airport.  Really?  Sadly, yes…that’s his big reason for hating America now.

I know that there are many opinions regarding that TSA process, and quite honestly, I am not going to go there right now.  I have personal issues with people getting onto airplanes and either blowing them up or flying them into buildings, so I will just shut my mouth regarding that matter.  What I will say is simply this:  if you love this country, then show it!  If you don’t love this country and would rather see it over-run by crazed lunatics who blow up their own people, kill their own children, violate and treat people as animals, restrict freedom to choose, and force their beliefs on to you….well then, get the hell out!

I don’t know about you, but my heart is heavy with sadness that the people of this country have forgotten.  They’ve forgotten how we got here, why we got here, and how we stay here!  Is it so tough to ask for even one day out of 365 each year to stop and really count your blessings?  I’m not talking blessings as in turkey and stuffing, I’m talking about blessed that we have freedom to choose, that our country (though mismanaged at times) is still the greatest country in the world to live in and raise a family!  We can’t even get folks to really put aside the novelties that seem to get attached to a day of remembrance like today and reflect on who we are to this great land.

I’ll just close with this:  Whether you served in the military, whether you supported someone in the military, or whether you just have great respect for the protection of our way of life that our armed forces have given, and continue to give, to each of us….remember to stand for the flag, salute our troops, and always, ALWAYS remember how we got this freedom in America today.  A lot of sacrifices were made so that we can be free.  And if you and Jesse don’t like it, me and some of my true patriot friends would be more than happy to help you out the door.  You want to live here because of the freedom, then thank a Veteran.

This message is brought to you today by a Veteran, because of Veterans.  God Bless these United States and all who have served and still serve!