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

It’s All About Me Me Me

This is a minor departure from things I preach to myself about. Though this can be a preaching topic, it’s more of something that we all complain about from time to time. We observe this, yet can also find ourselves guilty of the very issue.

As we make our day-to-day travels, whether to the local store or to work, we are out and about sharing the highways and byways with our fellow humans. Because two solid objects cannot share the same place at the same time, we attempt to skillfully whisk by each other…sometimes at a “personal space” distance, sometimes too close for comfort. Either way, we try to respect the other person’s space.

But, as mankind has evolved over the centuries, we have become smarter, wiser, stronger, and more advanced exponentially. I believe this has created a greater egocentric mentality. Though not unique in human history, man seems to have grown even more ‘wise in his own eyes’ and became a chronic narcissistic in personality, even though since the beginning of time, self-exultation has been the norm.

Because of this self-adulation, people put themselves first over those around them. As a king would wave a hand to move commoners away, many have become so self-absorbed that putting others first is almost a chore, if done at all.selfish-leader-power-motive-900x400From as early as the accounts in Genesis through the final period in Revelation, the Bible has recounted stories of man’s arrogance. Not just toward God, as in man’s sin nature, but also toward each other. Many triggers are explained as to what causes men to act the way he does. From self-righteousness, greed, desire, and pride, humankind has an innate desire to ‘pat himself on the back’ and raise himself up as ‘the best’.

 

casting_the_first_stoneAll of this self-driven behavior though has caused more problems than anything else. Cain killed Able because he felt slighted by God. As in the days of Noah, everyone was wiped out except Noah’s family because of the wickedness of men…rambunctious for self-gratification. Many kings and leaders rose to power, grew egotistical, and created wars and atrocities…including their own demise…over people. Even in the end times recorded in the Bible, it’s the pinnacle of selfish pride that brings the final days of man.

Where has all this come from? If we are called to give, love, share, and ‘do unto others’, why, then, is there such a gross level of ‘me, me, me’ going on?

From the highest levels of world leaders and business greed to the simplest of people who think they have to park in three spots or cut off others in traffic because it’s all about ‘them’, humans have steadily become so selfish that even the daily commute or simple shopping trip creates such bitterness, anger, hostility, and anxiety. We all experience it, we all struggle with others and their self attitudes.

So what does all this say? It says that we need to buckle up, put on our patience-pants, learn to keep moving and stay focused! Why? Because this has been going on since time beginning and is going to continue till time ends. Absolutely nothing that you or I can say or do is going to stop the insanity of the inconsiderate egos who try to make life on this planet all about them.

You may vent until your heart’s content, but people are people, blinded by the god of this world, thinking that the more they glorify themselves, the better they will feel. They boast and puff themselves up in the hopes of gaining respect, admiration, and glory. This is exactly what the devil has been doing since the Garden of Eden. “If you…then you will be like God”. Mankind has striven for that since.

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The quickest and clearest example is: Hollywood. If ever there was a cloister of people who try to exalt themselves over everyone, it’s the ego maniacal minions of that entertainment world. They poise themselves above everyone else. They have to be first, have the best, have the most, be the biggest, be the most glamoured, be be be…me me me!

And that very mentality and existence doesn’t end there. The infection is as close as your backyard. Your neighbor, your co-worker, your children, the people we meet each and every day on those highways and byways I mentioned before.

Nothing you can do. Just be patient, love, pray, set examples, be humble, and stay focused the best you can.

Believe it or not, we all have that disease of self. With some, it shows more abundantly. But, we all have it. And until our self is quenched, we battle it inside and out every day. To overcome that problem through God, we’re taught to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (as stated in Ephesians 4:22-24).

But with so many who don’t seek God’s Word of redemption, the world continues to show the rampant display of selfishness, as is stated in 2 Timothy chapter 3;

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (underline of verse 2 mine for emphasis)

We see that in every direction we look these days. Through the help of God, we can put off our old self, and walk in newness with love, peace, joy, humility, and unselfishness. Though we might not be able to fix others, we can certainly start with ourselves! Amen

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Race Among The Ruins

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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!!!

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Jelly or Juice?

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Well, according to an article by Fox News, Jelly Belly is being sued by a woman in California (no surprise here…California=wackadoodles!) because she didn’t know that the jelly beans had sugar in them. WHAT?

So, right off the bat, I am going to throw this information out with a “You Are A Moron” attached!  Simply because we, as Common Sense people, can see the reality of this on the surface…without having to dive into the meat of the matter. Or, in this case, the jelly!

Jelly Belly has a product called “Sports Beans” that contain (somehow) extra carbs, electrolytes, and vitamins.  Because, all good things that are not good for you should have good stuff in them, right?  So, as the story goes, the ‘beans’ have what is called ‘evaporated cane juice’. And, it seems, that this lady, AND the FDA, deem that ingredient as misleading…that someone can construe that as “healthy” and “sugar-free”.

“You Are A Moron”.  First off, I’m pretty accurate in saying that there are many ‘juices’ out there that contain sugar.  I am also pretty confident that sugar is from cane…as in sugar cane.  And, I’m gonna venture further to assume that cane juice is made from sugar cane, and, even if evaporated (which takes out the moisture and leaves the crystals), is still…sugar. Hmmmm…..so, in conclusion…..Jelly Belly’s Sports Beans are, in fact, NOT SUGAR FREE!

Now, I mentioned before that she has the FDA backing this false advertising claim.  According to the article from Fox News, “In May 2016, the FDA announced that the term “juice” should not be used unless referring to that of a fruit or vegetable, and that calling sugar “evaporated cane juice” is in fact misleading to consumers.”

Well…I’m surprised we haven’t opened a congressional investigation into this heinous crime!!!

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Let’s just call this situation what it really is:  STUPIDITY!  Common Sense is once again being cast out of society and being replaced with Common Stupidity! Come on people! Really stop and think here. This isn’t about the shock of finding that candy has sugar in it, nor is it about some woman wanting her 15 minutes of fame and some money…this is about the continual decline of standard thinking!

I say ‘standard’ and ‘thinking together because once-upon-a-time, common sense was rampant upon the earth. People actually stopped and thought things through…on their own…without governmental assistance or direction! Weird, huh?

But, sadly, those days are fading faster than a sunset. It has almost become so common now days to say and do the ridiculous that “jaw hit the ground” descriptor will soon be the way of the dinosaur…extinct!  Please….for the love of God…don’t let this happen!!!

Think, people…think!  Jelly Belly is a candy manufacturer. They make candy. Candy has sugar in it unless it clearly say “sugar-free”. We have known this since the beginning of dawn! And to be so shocked and horrified by this late-in-life discovery that candy has sugar in it…well, to her and others like her, I say…SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP! Grow up. Wake up. Stop acting like the spoiled little brat and get a life/clue/reality!

Time to take these coddled people with nothing better to do but whine and complain and stick them in their safe-place, shut the door, lock it, and throw away the keys! Harsh? Yes…because life is real and if you cannot handle the reality of candy having sugar in it, you sure as heck are going to have a miserable existence outside of your little bubble…(and remember:  bubble gum has SUGAR in it…unless clearly marked SUGAR FREE!)

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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!

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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.

 

 

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Who am I today…?

Label-Maker

Label:  A word or phrase that describes someone or something.

One of the many definitions of the word ‘Label’.  A word that is cast about in our society today with a variety of intent. People like labels, people hate labels, people feel the need to label, people want labels removed.  This word has become the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” trigger.

Any given day, at any given time, you can hear and see labels being tossed around with such complacency…yet as quickly as used, are being cause to charged emotional reactions.

There are simple labels cast upon people, individuals, such as ‘black’ or ‘white’ to denote skin color. The popular labels used to designate affiliations such as ‘democrat’ or ‘republican’.  The newer generational labels to describe, such as ‘gay’ or ‘straight’.  All these types are scrutinized to see if they are using the label as a means of identification to good or if it is a tool to castigate someone ‘different’.

The funny part about labels is how they show the hypocrisy of people.  Humanity is so quick to charge themselves as this or thus, but when labeled by others, they anger at the thought of being pigeon-holed!  Really?  I’m confused!  You want to be labeled, but get upset when you are?  Huh?

So, that being said, our world has taken things to such an extreme of stupidity now regarding labels. People want to be labeled as non-labeled.  The “I identify as…” generation has promoted the label of ‘ambiguous’.

am·big·u·ous
amˈbiɡyo͞oəs/
adjective: ambiguous
  1.  open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.
    • unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made.

Ok. I get that you don’t want to be labeled with a political affiliation or a particular religion or even an ethnic background. It doesn’t change who you are! With or without a label, you are who you are inside and out and people are going to identify you one way or another.

I’m gonna draw the line at a point though. Gender.

So, you are trying to push on me that you are neither male or female? This is where my Common-Sense-Meter is jumping off the scales! I don’t care how flaky and extreme you are, but, the facts are facts. You have a penis, you are a male. You have a vagina, you are a female. You can lop it off or add one on all you want, but the fact of the matter still remains: You ARE what you were born with!

I use this Bradley Manning person that is in the news as an example.  Aside from him (yes, I am using the proper pronoun to describe this human) being a traitor to the country; aside from our government allowing him to be associated with our army; aside from him whining and demanding that he wants to play dress up in girls clothes…aside from all that, he is still MALE.

You pee standing up, you use the men’s room. Putting on a dress doesn’t make you any more a woman than putting lipstick on a pig changes the animal. The label doesn’t change who or what you are!

“But, I was born with the wrong parts.”  “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body.” “I identify as a….”

Sorry.  Not gonna buy into that game. You want to play dress up and act a certain way because you have ‘feelings’ for the same-sex, go right ahead.  But, don’t you drag me into accepting this. Not my circus, not my monkeys!  I don’t have to accept you playing gender games anymore than you have to accept me as a good writer.  We all play pretend from time to time, but I will not be forced into accepting every and any label people want to attach to themselves!

Today, I am this…tomorrow, I think I’ll be that!

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The issue here, folks, is not that you have to believe the same way as everyone else, the issue comes down to how your beliefs or claims or labels are pushed on others.  I believe in the Bible as the inerrant word of God…but that doesn’t mean you better make concessions for me in all ways because of this!  Think about the common sense level we are talking about here! There has to be a point where the spiral is stopped! Everything is getting pushed so far to the extremes that the free-for-all of lunacy is a blurred and borderless line!  Where does it stop?

I’m going to leave that to moral judgement.  I have my line…and it is a pretty fair line at that. Considering all of the labels that people love/hate out there, I figure that common sense and a moral base need to be used to filter reality from the label-land of make-believe!

1 Cor 13:11 says “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

Good advice.

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Looks like we got us a convoy…

 

Hello (insert name here)!

I want to first thank you for our time together this morning!  It was absolutely wonderful of you to take the lead in our convoy of commuters, all heading to our places of employment.  You really held a steady and sure pace!

I remember back in the day, driving in military convoys throughout the world! The commander’s words to “keep convoy integrity” tight. The constant checking in the rearview mirrors to assure that the person behind me was still in sight and close by.  The speeds were always relegated to the last vehicle’s pace, so as to leave no one behind! Ah, yes…a tight-knit unit we were!

The only slight drawback to our convoy, though, is that WE ARE NOT A CONVOY! We are traffic on a freeway! We are pressing toward a goal, solo, without worry about the fellow behind us!

I want to take a quick minute to just say that I completely support our traffic laws and do take into consideration that 70 means 70.  Believe me, I know that many take 70 as a ‘suggestion’.  And, on occasion, I have taken liberty to adjust my driving speeds a wee-bit faster than the posted signs.  But, that is not to say that 80 is acceptable.  And, neither is 60!

With all that said, my dear slow pace-car driver…I would like to offer you a suggestion;  GET OFF OF THE ROADS!

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The string of cars that were bottlenecked behind you were not there to support your make-up applying, breakfast eating, cell phone texting, drive-at-your-leisure morning!  They were there because you are traveling well under the posted speed limits, in the ‘passing lane’, with no one in front of you for well over a mile!

Road rage is all the rage these days!  The unfortunate result from that rage is sometimes horrific violence.  People have such selfish attitudes whilst driving that it can easily enrage others, simply because they have their own selfish attitudes.  Once someone has entered into their vehicle, that metal wrapped around them becomes a cocoon of sorts.  The world outside is of little relevance and that it’s all about “me” and whatever “I” want.

So, let’s have little or no regard for anyone else around!  Who cares if your actions upset the balance of traffic! The balance of humanity!

Xtesb1r

So, feel free to pat yourself on the back, worry not about anyone else out there, because it’s all about you!  Your freeway.  Your hallway.  You’re the king/queen/prince/princess!  Just do as  you please!  Lead that convoy of unsuspecting travelers at your pace!  We’ll wait!  Stand in the middle of aisle while you’re playing on your phone!  We’ll wait!

I mean, time is not important…it’s not like we are living in the last days, or anything like that!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV)

Godlessness in the Last Days

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

So, carry on!

See ya on the roads tomorrow!

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