Saturday, July 23, 2016

Have You Un-Friended God?

George Bernard Shaw said, “Now that we have learned to fly in the air like birds and dive in the sea like fish, only one thing remains – to learn to live on earth like humans.” I started my page on Face Book with an abundance of skepticism but have since grown fond of some of the wit, humor and common-sense thinking that is shared every day. Of course there are some posts that aren’t worth my time which deserve a quick scroll past and one must be careful of sharing some ugly language with others unintentionally. All-in-all it is entertaining, sometimes educational and even uplifting with a spiritual quality I had not expected. Now the spiritual quality has a lot to do with who your “friends” are and my “un-friend” button has been exercised a few times making a choice to rid myself of unsavory characters. That brings to mind a post that says, “Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flattened squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.” I probably don’t have the numbers right, but we are sharing more digital photos of family, in real time every day, than all the personal photos ever taken by cameras that needed film processing. But alas, the closer we are getting to one another digitally the farther we seem to be drifting away from that up close and personal contact we all used to have as a family. Looking around one can see nearly everyone is in their own world struggling to survive without the support of friends or family because most have become untrustworthy. Another FB post reads, “R.I.P. America! You went soft on discipline. You raised the cost of living so high that both parents are at work, rather than spending time with their children. You took God out of the schools. Parents are told, ‘No you can’t discipline your kids’. Kids had rights blah, blah, blah. Well, America, you shall reap what you sow, and we have lost a whole generation turning them into selfish, disrespectful brats who have no respect for people, property or authority! Things need to change!” That generally gets my juices flowing and a few scrolls later I read, “If you find yourself a bit irritated or overwhelmed. It’s a sign you’re spending less time with God and more time with this world.” That’s generally when I log out and turn off my electronic pad to find something else to do rather than worry about the world’s troubles.

[Luke 17:10; Isaiah 64:6] After making a whopping $50 million donation to a gun control initiative, and because of his work against obesity and smoking, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted as saying: “I am telling you, if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in … I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.” The very thought that Mr. Bloomberg thinks he can buy his way into heaven must be very offensive to God. I have to ask, what makes you think you can earn your way into heaven by: Attending worship three times a week; Reading our Bible daily; Giving generously the first day of the week; Helping the poor; Being a good parent or obedient child. Heaven isn’t a matter of attainment, it’s a matter of atonement. We won’t get to heaven because we earned it or we wowed God with our own morality and righteousness. And it certainly won’t be because God is indebted to us. On the contrary! It will be because we are indebted to Him. I cannot repay the debt I owe my Lord and Savior, so: “In Happy Moments, I Praise God; In Difficult Moments, I Seek God; In Quiet Moments, I Worship God; In Every Moment, I Thank God” because everything I have comes from God (John 1: 1-5, 14).

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I Am A Christian First

I’m going to be right up front with you before I start ranting by telling on myself and confessing that I have games on my computer at work, and I play them too. I find taking a short break a couple of times a day to entertain myself with a game for fifteen minutes definitely soothes and calms the weary soul. I’m not a social butterfly and even though I have accounts on the inter-web connected to the “social media” craze, you’ll be hard pressed enticing me into a “conversation” of any length. I have a “smart phone” because it has become a necessary evil in our society for communication - like everything, it has its pros and cons about it. I treat it like the television most of the time, applying pressure to the off switch to resume more productive activities in my life. While most of the world seems to be anchored with heads buried in the sand over politics, racism and terrorism, a Japanese consortium between Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures has developed “Pok√©mon Go” to give the rest of the world’s “Yeh, whatever” crowd something to do while the wicked take over the planet. The warnings being shouted from the rooftops across this land are not coming from Chicken Little in a barnyard somewhere or a little boy crying wolf out in a field while tending the sheep. Our country and the world are being conquered by evil Godless men and women while the ignorant and inattentive unicorns are playing games. One day soon gamers are going to look up from their screen and the inattentive are going to pull their head out of the sand and in surprise say, “What’s happening here?” Wisdom must prevail in the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. Civil unrest, being provoked by those who want to destroy our country, could bring about “Marshall Law” and we could lose it all, including our Constitution, in one swoop of the pen at the desk of the oval office. Pray for righteous leadership.

[Matthew 28:18; Colossians 1:18] Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” and Paul writes, “…he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy”. I still hold the title of sinner, but as a follower of Christ I am forgiven, saved from the wrath of God for my disobedience. Christ must have first place in my life (I’m working hard at it every day). My relationship with Christ must take first place in all I do (a challenge for everyone). Above all other things in this life, I am a Christian first! As a citizen of this country I am a Christian first! My citizenship must not deter me from my first priority. Rather, being a Christian should make me a better citizen and my nation a better place to live. As an employee with a job, I am a Christian first! My job must not deter me from my first priority. Rather, being a Christian should make me a better worker and my jobsite a better place. As a member of my family, I am a Christian first! My family must not deter me from my first priority. Rather, being a Christian should make me a better spouse, parent, child or sibling and my home a better place to live. As a friend to others, I am a Christian first! My friends must not deter me from my first priority. Rather, being a Christian should make me a better friend and my relationships closer. As a member of various organizations, I am a Christian first! My involvement must not deter me from my first priority. Rather, being a Christian should make me a better member and my organization a better one. I must remember – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7) and, “…if God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Lord, Save Us!

Many years ago my brother was a frequent traveler of the highways and by-ways of the U.S. and I can remember him boasting about the great roads of Texas and how well they were maintained. I still think Texas does a great job taking care of its transportation infrastructure, even through it seems to be forever under construction. I do have a problem with the logic of toll roads when millions of dollars of fuel and tire taxes are pouring into system on a regular base, but some of that money being intercepted and used for other things. I guess a subject for another day. Anyway, our local roads and highways simply fell apart when the oil boom came rushing in with trucks and heavy equipment the likes we’ve never experienced before. Trying to keep up with the broken down roadways has been a monumental task for the state, but with all the reconstruction activity around our local area it appears a fire has been lit under someone to get some repairs made and I mean like right now. Of course the same people complaining about the bad conditions of our roads are the same people who are now complaining about the construction delays. Oh well, I for one am glad to see the work getting done and because there’s no magic wand to help it along, these things take time and it involves getting nasty and dirty and causes delays along the way. Just pray the right construction companies have been hired and they’re doing a proper, masterful job, which will benefit us all for a long time.

There was a time when the world boasted about the people and the civil society of the U.S. and how our government maintained the free republic for its people, with liberty and justice for all. But today it’s being infiltrated by “one world order” educators coming into leadership and trampling on the rights of the people in the name of equality, through their abuse of power, in an attempt to form a socialistic society. Those same educators have worked for years to suppress the history of not only the U.S. but of the world in order to produce an ignorant people that are willing to submit to, and relinquish their freedoms to, a government that no longer represents them. We were promised “change” eight years ago and the voters fell for it. So, how do you like the change so far? I feel like I’m living the 1960’s all over again! Folks, you better seriously look at the new leadership we’re hiring this fall and pray they can reconstruct what’s been torn down - benefitting us all.

[Nehemiah 9] “If you see your brother standing by the road; With a heavy load, from the seeds he’s sowed. And if you see your sister falling by the way; Just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way. Don’t walk around the down and out; Lend a helping hand, instead of doubt. And the kindness that you show every day; Will help someone, along their way. You got to try a little kindness; Yes, show a little kindness; Just shine your light for everyone to see. And if you try a little kindness, then you’ll overlook the blindness; Of the narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.” (Glen Campbell) Read the history of God’s people, the history our leaders have also suppressed from our educational system. The Bible used to be a textbook in our schools. From it children were taught right from wrong and great citizens with Godly attributes is what made this free republic great. The citizens of this great country had better get down on their knees, and not pray to God for his help, but confess our sins against Him as a country that has rebelled against His law. God will save this country, but only if we ask for His forgiveness and start walking the path He has laid out before us. Shine forth God’s light.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

CanWe Make It To 250?

Happy Birthday America! 240 years ago July 4, 1776 representatives from the thirteen British colonies in the new world signed their Declaration of Independence to separate themselves from the tyranny of King George of England. It marked the beginning of God given rights to the citizens of a brand new country with a novel concept of government never seen before in the history of the world. The government consists of three branches - Legislative, Executive and Judicial - each with its own rules of operation and with the right to watch over the other branches to prevent one from becoming stronger than any other - a system of checks and balances. The citizens are to be represented in the Houses of Congress as to the laws written, governing their independence and pursuits of happiness in a proper God-fearing manner. So what happened? We seem to be almost living under a Godless, government-fearing reign of leadership that is ignoring its citizens and dictating how they will or will not live. The only king that should be overseeing this country is Jesus and the guidance for governing the Word of God as the original representatives intended. And if you disagree maybe you need to stop listening to the trash being taught by those who don’t want you to know the truth and actually look into the real history of this country and its founding fathers. Look at the original organization of education. You’ll be surprised to find out the Bible was taught every day and the principles of honesty, hard work, family, rewards and consequences where illustrated which develop the strong upright men and women who made this country great. So what happened? The silent majority had better wake up and loudly speak up to their “representatives” or this country of independence may never see 250 years old.

[Psalm 60: 1-5; 11-12] As citizens of this country we fly a banner, a flag with meaning. As you know, our flag is - Red, White and Blue. Do you know the meaning behind those colors? Red stands for courage. Many men and women from the very beginning of this country have had the courage to stand up and fight for their citizenship. They have defended our country against our enemies and even died in their service to keep it free. White stands for purity. Purity means to do what is right and we pray that our country will always do what is right. Blue stands for justice. When we pledge allegiance to the flag, we end with the words, “With liberty and justice for all.” That means that in our country, everyone should be treated fairly and with respect. The colors red, white and blue remind me of our great country, but they also remind me of my spiritual King and Savior, Jesus. Red reminds me of Jesus’ blood that was shed when he died on the cross for my sins. That is very important to know, because the Bible says, “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). White reminds me that thru Christ my sins can become “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). The Bible also teaches that when you are baptized, “…you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11). Blue reminds me of God’s faithfulness. The Bible tells us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). When it comes to “God and Country” that’s the order they should be in. Greed and power are overwhelming and destroying this nation and the world. “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:25)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Needed: Leaders With Wisdom

Well, I finally have gotten over my illness which put me down for three weeks plus. It was just in time to go see my throat doctor for another post-surgical inspection on my vocal cords. A small spot was noticed a month ago and hoping beyond hope it would slough off and go away during the remaining healing process has not come to fruition. So, my doctor/surgeon asked me what I thought we ought to do about it. I’m not one to sit around waiting and watching when I know darn well what we have to do, so it’s back to surgery again July 5th. From the way everything looks at the moment this could be the last time and if this new laser has done its job well I may never have to return to the surgical theater again, at least not for my vocal cords. Recovery from the two surgeries this year with the new laser has brought about much improved healing and use of my voice, very surprising to everyone, and I only pray that I recover from this surgery with at least as good results as I have right now. I’ve never really worried about any of the eight surgeries I had on my vocal cords because right from the beginning I felt the Lord has supplied the right people to perform my surgeries and it seems He has performed healing that has enabled me to continue singing praises to His glory and teach his Word to a lost world. That’s kind of hard to do without a voice. Anyway, I expect the Lord to continue His work in me both physically and spiritually for I look forward to my continuing work in His name for many years to come. I do appreciate your prayers each and every time I go to surgery and I ask you for them again. Let God know you love me – it can’t hurt.

So anyway, here I am feeling really good for the first time in three months and I’ve got the lawn mowed and a few other household chores done, so I figure I’m going to treat myself with a present. There’s nothing like buying your-self something to make one feel even better - right? I went to Sears and bought me a new battery operated weed-eater and blower. I charged up the battery over night and put it to work the next day. I had no idea it would take so long to run down that battery, but it was a good workout. The next morning I got out of bed and my back muscles decided to punish me with a spasm that put me down for four days. My back has always given my problems since my teen years and it seems to always rear up its ugly head at the most inopportune times. Oh well!!

[Romans 1: 18-32; Job 28] I really don’t want to get off on a rant here, but I’m very confused when it comes to our leaders praying to “God” and quoting scripture from the Bible. For one thing, they are only doing it when it is convenient and opportune for them to be in the limelight to convince the nation they really care. In reality they are doing it to promote their causes and support their agenda. And, they certainly aren’t praying to the God of our forefathers; otherwise they would be confessing the sins of the people of this country and begging His forgiveness. If they did, maybe we wouldn’t be suffering the wrath God is initiating upon this land with floods and fire and inconceivable atrocities being acted out by disciples of Satan. The God of our forefathers and the God of the Bible, “…established the force of the wind; made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm; he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it. And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding’.” I see the leaders of this nation sorely lacking in wisdom and the want-to-be leaders of tomorrow aren’t any better. Father, grant us leaders with backbone, and wisdom. Amen.