What about their future?

This morning, less than a week after our Thanksgiving Holiday, news mentioned a person, not liking our duly elected President, stealing a private person’s flag and setting it on fire on the porch. It could have burned the house down as peaceful residents slept inside. What is going on now in our country? Why all this hate? Why are we NOT thankful for all we have been blessed with, in a nation built upon freedom of the individual?

I didn’t like our past President, but I prayed for him! It would appear that this so-called progressive political movement, a leftist movement, calling for diversity, is all about hate and confiscating freedoms. A black woman, Star Parker, wrote an ARTICLE published today that all people should read and pray about. Ms. Parker writes:

“Republicans and all Americans who care about bequeathing a free nation to their children and grandchildren need to think long and hard about how to communicate the importance of freedom to Americans of color. It’s our only hope of not losing our country to the left forever.”

I have hundreds of articles that support what she is writing. I have three grandsons; do you have any young family members you care about? What about their future?

Look Beyond Yourself!, You are Alive and Doing Well, Be Thankful

By the grace of God, we are living in the greatest nation on earth. We take care of most of the nations on earth. We are generous people, caring people, forgiving people. We were founded by Godly men wanting to create a Godly nation. This Thanksgiving Day, tomorrow, be thankful for all you have received!

Yet, as you view the negative (on purpose) broadcasts from our main media sources, you would not see this wonderful country we live in; you would see what they want you to see…strife, hate, jealousy, inequality, anger, racism…which all comes (they say) from the group of people that love America the most!

This Thanksgiving, I invite you to set aside politics, take a few minutes and read Ben Shapiro’s wonderful article entitled, The Ungrateful Nation where he writes, after mentioning all the good things that are going on in America, the following paragraph:

“Yet as of July 2018, fewer than half of Americans surveyed by Gallup said they are extremely proud to be American. Just 32 percent of Democrats, down from 56 percent in 2013, said they are extremely proud to be American; only 42 percent of independents said are were extremely proud to be American. That’s ridiculous. Regardless of political affiliation, we should be proud to live in a society founded on eternal truths, in which we have the ability to thrive based on our own choices.”

These people should be ashamed! How ungodly! You have been given so very much, yet your selfishness has blinded you and closed your heart. Look around you, be grateful, and then go out and spread some holiday cheer to brighten someone else’s life. Look beyond yourself!

What really matters?

This morning I heard that the death count in the California fires was at 56…56 dead and maybe more dead in forest fires! …and what about the thousands of abortions in the last day or two? …and what about all the other deaths due to sickness, substance abuse, gang violence, etc.? People are hurting! What REALLY impacts people? Is it truly politics? …some would say yes, but red or blue, it is just shifting sand! What REALLY matters?

We have such division and hatefulness going on in our country now; it didn’t start with President Trump. It has been building for many decades. Michael Brown writes today in a very worthwhile article Let’s Unite Around Jesus, Not Divide Over Trump  “To put it bluntly, it is Satan, the evil one, who wants to divide us (and thereby destroy us) while it is Jesus, our Savior, who wants to unite us (and thereby bless us). To whose voice are we listening? Whose promptings are we following? Whose example are we emulating?”

Let’s all step back, take a breath, look in the mirror, and ask…what really matters? Is it really the quicksand of politics and hate for our neighbor, or is it compassion-sensitivity and love for others? Male-female-black-white-red-yellow, it doesn’t matter for our blood is red, and we were all created in the image of God…that, my friends, makes us all brothers and sisters!

What We Really Need

Karen Kataline writes in her article entitled “Walking Away from Cognitive Dissonance” posted on 11-5-18: “The woman who claimed to write an anonymous letter accusing Justice Brett Kavanaugh of raping her in his car has admitted that she lied. Judy Munro-Leighton turned out to be a left-wing activist who admitted that she did it because she was angry. She has never met Justice Kavanaugh.”

Where does such anger come from? Is this anger stored up inside a person just waiting to explode when given an opportunity? This kind of behavior is simply illogical and has absolutely no basis in truth and balance…it is simply invented.

I think America needs a lesson in balance, compassion, sensitivity and civility. Stop your tongue and start up your heart. Set aside hostilities and political agendas…it is killing you from the inside out. Take time by yourself to gaze upon beauty…a song from a bird, a sun rise or sunset, a peaceful river, a flower. Recently New Yorkers discovered a Mandarin Duck in a Central Park lake Mandarin Duck Article; they wondered at its beauty! It made the news shows. Where did it come from was spoken by many. Little did they know that it was a gift from God! Peace, beauty, gentleness…we still can find it if we will look for it, but you need to close your hate-filled eyes and open up your heart to God to find what you really need…what we really need!

All for One Stupid Night!

I had a dream the other night; most of us have dreams…dreams of all types, good & bad, etc. Let me tell you about this particular dream because it is quite telling of many.

As I stood lying before a great board of officials trying to explain my actions aboard my very expensive and extremely fast speed boat. It was simply just too fast! A great boat with which to show off, and as I recklessly showed off, I endangered a large group of people on a dock, I almost ran over two playing in the water, and nearly hit the shore line. I was simply out of control.

At a party excessively drinking beer, seeing old friends, I continued to show off, being the big guy at the party. Old friends told me I am 3 months behind in payments; of course, I tell them it is someone else’s fault. Heck, I have a $100,000 check in my pocket I can’t deposit! The lie continues.

I told them we will talk later…f or my focus and drive was to continue to show off and party. I refused to be responsible and under personal control! My friends, the real friends that try to care and warn me, are rejected. The devil has me firmly in his evil grip, a great smile on his receptive face.

Wake up time! Yes, this was a dream; I actually awoke and wrote down these notes. It seemed to be something I should share, hence this post. Many in our society are falling into holes of quicksand as the fellow in this dream. One reckless night can ruin your whole life; whether it is getting drunk or having a one-night stand.

This massive downfall occurred last week as a prominent doctor knowing better than to drink and drive, hit a motorcyclist killing him, fleeing the scene, wrecked his car and later caught by the police facing a dozen charges. What an awful tragedy for all involved: the motorcyclist and his family, the doctor and his family, and the hospital and patients entrusted into his care…all for one stupid night of excess! Are we not smarter than this?

Are You Sure the Bible is Man’s Work and Not God’s?

When was the last time you read the book of Daniel? How about Daniel Chapter 6? Even those non-Christians have heard the Daniel and the Lion’s Den story. Are you sure it is just a story, maybe you think of it as just a kid’s story?

Daniel, now in his 80’s was high in the Darius Kingdom (6:3); for many years he stayed true to Yahweh and yet was most favored by the various kings of Babylon since his exile. His so-called friends, jealous and corrupt, hated Daniel, yet could find no basis to bring charges against him. So they tricked King Darius to issue a decree (6:12) that would get Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. A stone was rolled over the entry to the lion’s den and sealed (6:17). The king went to the den in the morning and found Daniel alive (6:19-22).

The story of Daniel, six centuries before the birth of Jesus, parallels the story of Jesus, high and mighty God, yet falsely accused by evil men who argued that the ruling governor should kill Jesus. The body placed in a tomb, a stone rolled over the entry and sealed. The next available morning, Jesus was found alive.

Lions throughout history are often tied to chaos, evil destroying and consuming, in the universe. Without Jesus the Christ, there too would be evil destroying and consuming the earth and the whole universe which He created. Obviously, these two  events are tied together…the evil men who falsely accused Daniel were thrown into the lion’s den (6:24), and the evil men who falsely accused Jesus, their “lion’s of chaos” never allowed them to see the Messiah they longed for, never for them to receive mercy and grace! Without Jesus, there is death; this is no kid’s story!

 

Should Christians be Different from Others or Blend In?

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after his encounter with God, he was physically changed. When we become a new creation in Christ, we are changed as well; the old has gone away. There should be a difference between a Christian and the rest of the world; unfortunately, many cultural statistics remain the same whether the surveyed group is Christian or not. One should wonder if there is really a change or not; for Jesus said many would call Him LORD and He would say, I don’t know you (Matt. 7:21-23). We are to be imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1). We are to strive to be like Him (Romans 8:29). As Christians, when people see us they should be able to tell that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). In boldness and in love we should stand up for Jesus and be His disciples no matter what the world thinks of us. Be holy as Christ is holy; be loving as Christ is loving…search and find Jesus Christ, then strive to be like Him.

We searchers of light are not perfect, but we try to be. When we fall short, we are supported by the Spirit and forgiven by God’s grace. So what then is our action toward those that hate us? Shall we return the hate? Fight fire with fire? No! Jesus forgave those that tortured Him and killed Him on that rugged cross. No, we are to love our enemies; though in a way they are not “our” enemies, but we are “their” own enemies. Actually, the love we are to show is not our love at all but God’s love, we are only instruments [disciples] used to pass that love [Agape love-God’s love] around to all that will receive it. Strange that “God’s love” is such a threat to so many; they have no eyes to see.

 

Christmas…Jesus’ Birthday…Why Did He Come?

I have shared this story before; it is not original to me. This question can be illustrated by the following example. I have had many relatives spend time out on Catalina Island.

Out in Southern California, there is an island off the coast called Catalina, twenty-six miles from the pier at Newport Beach. Suppose that one day three men are standing on the end of the pier.

One is an alcoholic, grubby, sick, living in the streets. The second is the average American, and the third a fine, upstanding, “pillar-of-the-community” person.

All of a sudden, the alcoholic leaps off the edge of the pier five feet out into the water. The other two yell, “What are you trying to do?” The man in the water yells back, “I’m jumping to Catalina!”

The second man, the average man on the street, says, “Watch me. I can do better than that!” He proceeds to jump, landing ten feet out, twice as far as the alcoholic. The third man, very moral, upright, outstanding person that he is, laughs disdainfully at the two men in the water.

He moves back about fifty yards, takes a running leap and lands twenty feet out, twice as far as Mr. Average, and four times as far as Mr. Alcoholic.

The Coast Guard fishes them out of the water and asks what they are doing, to which they all reply, “We are jumping to Catalina,” and Mr. Average boasts of his beating Mr. Alcoholic, and Mr. Great boasts of his accomplishment in beating both of them.

The Coast Guard officer could only shake his head and exclaim, “You fools! You are all still twenty-six miles short of your mark.”

Although modern man considers himself better than—or at least as good as—others, he is still far from the target God has set for us. It is impossible for anyone to jump from the pier to Catalina, and it is impossible for anyone to reach heaven by his own deeds and apart from Jesus Christ. This is why we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our LORD and Savior, for Jesus came into the world to seek out the sick sinners, that they would repent and follow Him all the way home.

God’s Revelation is Always Present

When I was around 12 years old, I knew there was a God and that there was something much more great, much more powerful going on than what little I heard in church. Don’t get me wrong, I desired to hear the sermons, but I knew somehow there was so much more. I wanted to be holy! I set up an old footlocker in my closet, got a candle, a cross and a Bible. It is said that we are born with a sense of divinity; I believe it. So why do so many reject that there is a God? Romans 1:20 tells us God is revealed in His creation, so people are without excuse..they can’t say that no one told them about God.

My first book, I Am, the Great Creator GodAmazon Books, was written to help people see how great how real God is by having the eyes to see His wonderful creation in a much different way. From the first century, people have tried to alter the truth, create their own revisions (heresies), and reject outright that God exists or that God is in fact the Creator of all creation. All relationships have their source and origin in either the acceptance or rejection of the knowledge of God. But to reject something, don’t you first have to acknowledge that “the something” first must exist?

M. Eugene Boring & Fred B. Craddock wrote a wonder way to understand this issue of knowing God in “The People’s New Testament Commentary”, referencing Romans 1:20-21:

“The revelation of God in the created world could be compared to radio waves, which are always present, whether people are ‘tuned in’ or not. But the situation Paul describes is not that ‘waves’ are present but we have no ‘receiver’. Rather, our situation is that the radio waves of God’s revelation are always present; we do have a receiver, we have heard, we didn’t like what we heard and not only switched off the set but unplugged it, with no possibility of switching it back on ourselves. God’s revelation is universally present, but we cannot hear because we will not.” 

There is a difference between God’s “image” and God’s “likeness”.

Ephesians 1:4, “Before the world was created, God had Christ choose us to live with Him and to be His holy and innocent and loving people.”

God wanted to be in relationship with us, so this is why He created everything. Adam and God walked in the Garden and had conversations; there was closeness.  Adam and Eve messed things up by their disobeying God, and God kicked them out of the Garden before they could eat of the Tree of Life and be forever in sin.

I believe that our omnipresent God, knowing all from creation’s beginning to the end, knew us as individuals as well as “a people” (Ephesians 1:4 and Matthew 10:30). God knew us, created us as a good creation (physically and with ability to reason), but we have been burdened by Adam’s original sin and God’s curse on the land.  We are no longer in God’s “likeness”.  I can live my life and make sinful choices and accept Jesus or reject Him…my choice.  God is standing at the door, wanting to be in relationship, but I may choose to not let Him in.

Not trying to split hairs…do you believe there could be a difference between God’s “image” and God’s “likeness”? I believe that man (mankind) took on a new nature of sin, sickness and death.  To me, this is all quite the opposite of God’s “likeness” and nature, but are we still not created in the “image” of God physically?  I guess what I’m trying to say is:  the wonderment of our physical bodies, the bones & structure, the movement of joints and cartilage, the heart and the circulatory system, the brain and nervous system, the ability to reason…these are all most magnificently created…is this not still the creation whereby God said it was good?  Would this still be a creation in God’s image physically?  Because the Creator loves His creation, I believe God still seeks to be in relationship with us, but until we can become a New Creation in Christ Jesus, doing away with our nature to sin, sickness and death…to become more like Him, we will never walk in the Garden again.