Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If It Walks Like A Duck, Quacks Like A Duck...

If It Walks Like A Duck, Quacks Like a Duck……

Have you ever been haunted by a foul smell that just won't go away? You spray air freshener, open windows and try to discover its source but for some reason it still lingers.

One of the greatest political events in my lifetime was the fall of The Berlin Wall. Not a shot fired, not a drop of blood shed. Reagan lifted his finger to the Soviet Union and declared, "This wall must come down" and in November of 1989 it surely did. George H.W. Bush boldly announced to the world that the Cold War had ended and we were now entering a new age. "We live in a time when we are witnessing the end of an idea -- the final chapter of the Communist experiment."

Bush launched policies that decreased defense spending from 6.2% to 2.9% between 1989 and 2004. This 'guns to butter' policy increased entitlement spending from 28% to 40%. Americans have been known throughout their history as being 'fiercely independent'. Not so anymore. Nearly 50% of Americans get checks from the government.

It's alarming that such prominent politicians could be so easily duped. The Marxist ideas of the former Soviet Union just won't go away. Our own country seems to be lurching toward socialism. Mikhail Gorbachev supported a peaceful transition toward socialism in his own country. They called in Perestroika. The Russians are so good at playing chess. To win that game you have to be able to predict how your opponent will react if you move into a certain position. Naïve minds of the west thought the Russians were converting to Democracy because Reagan lifted his fist. Was it not all a deception? Were the political minds of the west being outmaneuvered on the political chess board?

Russia is now free to roam about and reclaim former satellites. Georgia thought we would come to their rescue but we passed them by like a motorist who pretends he doesn't see the stranded damsel in distress along the roadway with a flat tire. We've decreased our defense spending so much we are now no longer capable of fighting two major simultaneous contingences (MSC) like we did in WWII when we fought in Europe and in the Pacific.

Obama played into the Soviet deception when he withdrew defense missiles from Poland and the Czech Republic. The fact that Iran hates us and refers to us as "The Great Satan" is common knowledge. It is also well known that the Soviets are helping Iran develop its nuclear facilities. Only a fool would believe those facilities are for domestic use only. Why would we be so trustful of the country that is assisting Iran? If we don't have the right people playing the game we may soon find ourselves check-mated.

I'm not into conspiracy theories but I certainly would like to have some answers. Where did all that stimulus money go? Why all the panic about swine flu? Lenin once said, "A revolution s simply impossible without an overall national crises." Another hater of capitalism, Rahm Emmanuel, said earlier this year, "You never want to waste a crisis." I don't know if the economic crisis we are enduring was manufactured or not. I do know that politicians are using the crisis as an opportunity to promote policies most Americans disagree with.

I've been criticized for referring to Obama as a socialist. Socialism is taking away the ownership and control of the means of production from an elite group of owners and giving it to the working class. It is unifying the working class against the elite of society. Obama walked into General Motors, fired the CEO (elite of society) and turned leadership and control over to the unions (working class). 89% of General Motors now belongs to the unions. 55% of Chrysler now belongs to the unions. “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck" !!

A crucial question to ponder: How far leftward will the Blue Dog Democrats allow the Progressive Wing to take their party?

Monday, September 28, 2009

What Does It Mean To Be Saved?

What Does It Mean To Be Saved

The great dilemma of the gospel is this: How can God be just and also save us from our sins? (Proverbs 17:15) "He who justifies the wicked is an abomination to God." Yet we boast daily of how this just God regenerates us and saves us from sin. If God is truly just and men are truly wicked then a just God must necessarily condemn a wicked man. To solve this problem, our God, in his great love, sent forth his son who walked on this earth as a perfect and sinless man to become a sacrifice for us on a Roman cross.. He bore our sin and became a curse for us. A just God could now maintain his justice and save us still because his Son took upon him all our guilt and shame. Christ redeemed us from the curse of sin by becoming the curse for us.

Christ was able to redeem us because he was crushed under the justice of God. He is empowered to save us because the divine justice of God is satisfied. God may now justify the wicked. Charles Spurgeon made this message of salvation the central theme of his preaching career, "Greater men with greater minds than I have approached this doctrine of the Second Coming, but to no avail. It is a great and mighty doctrine. I will set myself to this: seeking to comprehend something of Jesus Christ and him crucified."

Abraham obeyed God when he was asked to offer his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice. He lifted his flint knife to complete this act of obedience when his hand was stayed. He was told that God would provide a ram for the sacrifice. That wasn't the end of the story, it was simply an intermission. The end of the story takes place thousands of years later when God the Father carried his only begotten Son to a cross and refused to stay the knife of his crucifixion.

Sin is what separates us from God. " But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:2) Salvation is the remedy to that separation. If man does not avail himself of that salvation he will be separated from God for all of eternity. "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." - (Matthew 25:46) We can avoid our deserved punishment for sins through the reconciliation made available through Christ.

Being saved or being born again involves our confession of sin. We are born a second time as it were into the family of God when we humble ourselves before him and confess that he is Jesus the Christ. We are adopted and become joint heirs with Christ himself according to the promise of God. We can now call him our Father and we have all the rights of a natural child. We are beneficiaries of his love and the security he can provide.

This is the beginning of a long journey. Our total salvation includes a journey into the sanctified life. We find that we now hate passionately the sin we once loved. Growth in the grace of God will eventually lead us to a state of glorification acquired in the life yet to come.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The True Nature of Man

The True Nature of Man

Wesley was quick to point out that the people of his day regarded human nature as being essentially good, and “a little less than God.” He was troubled that men considered human nature as generally being very “innocent, and wise, and virtuous.”

It is interesting to observe as an educator how our culture differs very little from the culture of the 18th century in this manner. The emphasis in American’s public schools is to make the self-esteem in every child a priority and perhaps teach them something along the way. As a result, we are graduating a whole generation of students who are very confident. Many inner city kids who play basketball are very cocky that they will one day be the next Michael Jordan. We have students who are convinced they are going to be brain surgeons even though they have failed Chemistry class. These kids are being taught that their innate nature is essentially good and they are taught to ignore their faults and failings.

Sin is deceptive. If you think you can become a doctor while playing video games throughout med-school instead of hitting the books then you may also think you can get to heaven without dealing with your corrupt and sinful nature. Wesley points out that the Bible does not teach that men are essentially good, it teaches that we are all “dead in trespasses and sins”, “without hope, without God in the world.” In contrast to the teaching of our modern culture the Word of God teaches that the “wickedness of man was great in the earth” and that “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

The Bible teaches that God is patient and tolerant but that there is an end to his patience and a time for justice. Men were utterly sinful and depraved in the generations following the fall of man. God’s grace was finally overcome by his justice and he destroyed the entire earth with water with the exception of Noah and his family. He did not call forth his justice until he saw that this evil in the heart of man was continual. Every moment of every day the heart of man rebelled against an Almighty God. God had to answer this rebellion with justice lest he cease to be God.

The unregenerate heart of man is still evil. Indeed, there is “none righteous, no, not one.” The quickening of the Holy Spirit is the only remedy to the perpetual blindness in the heart of evil men. They are in a state of extreme depravity but somehow they have convinced themselves that they are essentially good. We cannot possibly know God in our natural state. We must have the light of his Spirit to shine into the darkness of our mind and soul before we can perceive Him.

We cannot not know him in our natural state and we cannot love what we cannot know. Therefore, we can only love him when he reveals himself to us through his Spirit. We cannot love God in are carnal nature, we can only love him after he has revealed himself to us and changed our nature.

There is within every man an intrinsic desire to worship. Even an atheist worships something. Usually we worship our own idols, not idols of wood or stone but idols we’ve set up within our own hearts. We generally worship ourselves through pride. Because pride is the vehicle through which many men lose their own souls, God passionately hates it.

We often worship our sinful appetites. We allow our flesh to dominate our lives. Men who think they worship nothing when they refuse to worship God are often worshippers of their own flesh; pornography, gambling, alcohol and drugs, along with all sorts of sexual perversity. They are worshipping idols that will take them to an eternal hell unless God providentially intervenes.

The great hope of all men in regard to the terrible malady that besets them is found in the Great Physician. He has devised a way to cure our bent toward sin. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ sin can be forgiven and conquered

Two men were having a discussion about living a pure life.

The first man said, “It is impossible for a man to live pure and holy?”

The second man asked if he thought Christ had lived a holy life?

“Oh, yes,” replied the first, “that is clearly taught in the scriptures.”

“Did Christ live a holy life everywhere, all the time?” asked the second man. “Yes indeed. “ replied the first.

“Do you not think that Christ can live a pure life in and through you?” answered the second man as he ended the conversation.

We can be more than conquerors, not through our own efforts, but through Christ who strengthens us with his own power and presence.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Last Line of Defense Against Islamization

Last Line of Defense Against Islamization

The airways are full of talk about Islamic nations acquiring nuclear weapons. We have heard threatening diatribes from the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Muammar Gaddafi. Another facility for manufacturing nuclear material has been discovered in Iran. Anxiety between nations has risen as threats are mixed with teases for negotiation. Is it all really a distraction? Is Iran really a nuclear threat to anyone?

While we fuss about who gets to be the next member of the nuclear club the Islamic peoples are quietly invading Europe. A study at San Diego University recently projected that the Muslim population in Europe would reach 25% within 12 years. France seems to be an especially favorite destination to Muslims where the history of Hitler’s killing of the Jews can no longer be taught in their schools because of the sensitivity of the Islamic peoples who live there. School teachers in The Netherlands no longer mention a farm because every farm has a ‘pig’.

While Christian churches in Europe are emptying at alarming rates, thousands of Muslim mosques are rising up throughout the continent. Muslim fanatics control the Islamic ghettos where their women walk three paces behind the men and Western women are taunted as “whores”. Millions of Muslims who are invading Europe have no desire to assimilate. Most of them feel a stronger loyalty to Islam than they do toward the country in which they live. Clearly, the strategy is to overtake the western world by sheer numbers. The strategy for overpopulating is to immigrate by the millions and procreate large families. Meanwhile, Europeans, especially Jews, are migrating away from the prevalently anti-semitic areas and their families remain small as a result of birth control and abortion.

These Islamic peoples claim to come in the name of peace but their founder, Mohammed, was anything but a man of peace. He was a warrior, a murderer and a despot. Islamic religion is a set of rules forced on a society by a theocratic government. If you refuse to convert to their way of life your deserved destiny is death. The reward for your death is heaven along with 72 virgins. Their government is much closer to communism than it is to the democratic governments under which many of them choose to live.

It is most troubling that these people are in love with our president. Qaddafi declared his loyalty to Obama at the United Nations saying he wished he could be president forever and referred to him as a son, a son of Islam, I presume. My father told me growing up that a man is known by his friends and the company he keeps. Why is Obama so friendly with Chavez, Castro, Qaddafi and other self-proclaimed haters of America?

This Islamic worldview hates the western world. Israel has been on the frontlines of that war for decades now. Europe has silently fallen to the Islamic masses who are moving in to overwhelm their populations. America is the last defense against this Islamic onslaught on western civilization. The decisions we make in regard to the assault on our own country during the next few years will set the stage for a final showdown. Try to imagine the America’s task of preserving western civilization after Europe has gone Muslim and Israel has been defeated. We have had very little terrorist activity within our borders because Israel has been there to take the brunt of it.

Mr. Obama, members of Congress and the peoples of America…don’t abandon Israel. If we do we’ll be the last man standing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Indoctrinating the Next Generation

Eze 14:3 "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?" Is our next generation being indoctrinated? "We are all equal in his sight"! The word 'his' is not capitalized. Can we can sing a song of adoration to Obama but not to Jesus? Are we are being carried away by our idols and we have not enquired at all of the one true God!?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

America….You Are Not Racist!!

America….You Are Not Racist!!

We dehumanized millions because of it. We fought a brutal war to resolve it. 600,000 lost their lives to purge it. America's greatest sin was slavery. Slavery is the ultimate expression of racism. Our national government opposed it and some southern state governments supported it. The anti-slavery proponents in the Federal government won the war against slavery and power centralized and shifted to Washington, D.C. It has been growing out of control ever since.

Racism wasn't eliminated when the slaves were set free. Our nation continued to discriminate until Martin Luther King and others fought for civil rights in the 1960's. Laws were written and rights were granted and most of America embraced Martin Luther's King's dream of a color blind society. Slavery has been eliminated. Discrimination has been addressed. What remains is guilt, an overwhelming amount of guilt. Some would even argue that Obama was elected, not in spite of his race, but because of it.

Manipulative and crafty individuals have learned to use our guilt complex to perfection. The most feared of all the guilt inducing accusations today is to be called a "racist". The racist accusation is like the magic key that will unlock any door. Massive organizations and powerful individuals have been brought to their knees under a false accusation of racism. All of our congressmen tread in fear daily of a career ending racist accusation accept Mr. Byrd from West Virginia. He was actually a grand wizard in the KKK and unlike his colleagues, he was immune to the career ending blunder of using the 'n' word by the liberal shield that protected him. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FIBJt-c2o0)

Our national guilt over slavery and segregation runs so deeply in the veins of conservative Americans that it becomes an extremely affective tool in the hands of their political opponents. I witnessed this national guilt in another venue when I visited eastern Germany many years ago. The people I met there believed they would never earn a place at the international table because of their sin against the Jews. That stigma runs very deep and Nancy Pelosi tried to capitalize on it by referring to the town hall attendees as "swastika-carrying angry mobs" out to "destroy Obama".

The assumption by the master manipulators of intimidation is that there is no forgiveness and guilt is everlasting. As a father I can't answer for the sins of my offspring nor am I responsible for the sins of my forefathers. I am responsible for my own behavior only. "A son is not to suffer because of his father's sins, nor a father because of the sins of his son." (Ezekiel 18) My question for those who would accuse our country of perpetual racism is: upon whose moral code do you base your accusation? If your standard for racism is the Holy Bible then must not we embrace the whole truth of the Bible. Racism is a forgivable sin. When it is repented of, expunged and eradicated we are no longer accountable. If the accusation is not based on Biblical truth, then on what basis does anyone have the moral authority to call another a racist? This accusation is so lethal it utterly destroys the lives and families of the accused and yet it is used freely, carelessly and spontaneously with no regrets or repercussions.

I am not suggesting that all racism has been eliminated from our society. Of course it has not. But I am firmly declaring that the United States is NOT a racist country. We just elected a black president. Those who oppose the far-left, socialist agenda must be free to complete their mission. If they are bound by the fear of being accused of racism then they have been rendered ineffective by their opponents underhanded manipulation of their own guilt.

America, you are not racist. Conservative America has little hope of winning this contest if they fail to disarm their enemy of their most effective weapon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What We Believe About Sin

What is Sin?

Scripture reveals clearly to us what sin is and explains clearly how sin entered the world. God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden. He explicitly commanded that they not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17) This seemed an easy one to obey but Adam and Even fumbled and now we find ourselves in the mess we’re in.

When Eve succumbed to the temptation to disobey she yielded to the lust of the flesh because the fruit was “good for food” and she succumbed to the lust of the eyes because the fruit was “pleasant to the eyes.” (Gen. 3:6) Sin is simply a separation from God. I learned a more detailed definition in Bible college: Sin is a voluntary transgression of the known law of God. Adam and Eve knew what the law was but they chose to violate that law. Sin is disobedience. Sin is choosing our way over God’s way.

Salvation was certainly delayed for Adam and Eve because they failed to claim responsibility for their sin. Adam blamed it all on Eve. Eve blamed it on the Serpent. It even seems at one point that Adam is blaming it on God himself when he refers to the “woman….thou gavest me.” There is salvation available to all who have “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Repentance is being accountable for our own actions and ceasing to blame God for our failures.

Along with sin come consequences. The “wages of sin is death”. Adam’s body began to deteriorate and die. His once perfect body was subject to disease and decay. His heart began to wear out and his mind weakened. Had he not sinned he would have lived forever but eventually he died. The word ‘death’ means separation. Three specific consequential deaths resulted from the sin of Adam. Physical death is the separation of man’s soul from his body. Spiritual death is the separation of man from God caused by his sin. Eternal death is the result of refusing the salvation offered by God, it is separation from God that lasts forever.

God graciously offers solutions to these sin consequences. Physical death is answer by the resurrection of Christ. We who are Christians have a hope that we will be resurrected after death. Christ made regeneration possible so that we can overcome spiritual death but eternal death is final and it can never be fixed.

All of mankind inherits the sin nature from Adam and Eve. All men have sinned because we have a sinful nature. “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” – (Romans 5:12) Modern man likes to blame sin on the environment instead of the true nature of man. But Adam lived in a perfect environment and still sinned. Judas walked three years with the very Son of God and still sinned. Lucifer was an arch-angel in heaven and he still sinned. It is not our environment that causes sin, it’s our nature.

Jesus declared that we must all be born again and scripture teaches we can be transformed from a nature of sin to a nature of holiness and Christ-likeness by being set apart and sanctified. By his grace we can be conquerors.

Walmart Greeter

Walmart Greeter?

I have refrained from commenting or writing anything about Jimmy Carter's accusations that those who disagree with President Obama are racists. I was so frosted by his comments I didn't trust myself.

In case you missed his quote: "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American. Racism…still exists, and I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of a belief among many white people…that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country."

President Obama, an African-American, was elected in 2008 in a country where African-Americans make up only 13% of the population yet he received 53% if the vote. Mr. Carter, 87% of America is not African-American and yet we elected an African-American president. Where is racism in that picture? Race wasn't a factor.

Thankfully, President Obama doesn't agree with the peanut farmer from Georgia. In 2006, Michael Steele, a Republican African-American, ran for office in Maryland against his white counterpart. Obama supported his white opponent and made this statement, "Listen, I think it's great that the Republican Party has discovered black people. But here's the thing…You don't vote for somebody because of what they look like. You vote for somebody because of what they stand for." Mr. Carter, was Obama demonstrating a racist attitude because he refused to support an African-American candidate? Race wasn't a factor.

I, among many, was very surprised last year when California voters cast their ballots in favor of changing their constitution to abolish same-sex marriage. The deciding factor in that vote was probably the African-American vote against same-sex marriage. Obama strongly opposed this action. The California black voters who voted Obama into office opposed him on same-sex marriage. Race wasn't a factor.

Since coming into office, Obama decided to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan. Most conservative Republicans supported him on this issue. Race wasn't a factor.

Joe Wilson was overtaken by emotion when he blurted out the words, "you lie." He was referring to a policy, not a man's skin color. Race wasn't a factor.

When Bill Clinton was president his wife tried to push through a similar health care bill being parlayed in Congress today. Republicans opposed her then as they do Obama today. They didn't oppose her because of her race or her gender. They opposed the policy. Race wasn't a factor.

Mr. Carter, Americans are opposing the socialization of their country, not the color of their president's skin.

I'm thinking maybe the former president would do less harm as a Walmart Greeter rather than of a former "statesmen".

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pondering About Heaven

Pondering about Heaven
71% of Americans believe in heaven but hardly anyone ever talks about it. If we assume that 99% of our existence will take place in heaven, isn’t it a little bizarre that we simply ignore heaven, acting as if it doesn’t matter?

C.S. Lewis said, “…the Christians who did most for the present world are those who thought most of the next…”

Imagine, ponder what it would be like if you were at home tomorrow morning getting ready to go to work or school. Your bed is unmade, you have shaving cream on your face or make-up on one eye when suddenly you hear a great, thundering voice, “Come up here and let me show you things that are yet to come.” (Rev. 4:1) Would you fall to the floor in a trembling heap of fear? Would you declare, “Oh, yes, let me see!” or would you whimper something like, “That’s all right, I’ll pass for today. Maybe some other time. Not sure I’m ready for that.”

You might find yourself at the very center of the throne room of heaven itself. You see Christ himself sitting on the throne. You are overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells of heaven. Surrounding the throne you see bolts of lightning and you hear thunder rumbling. You smell sweet fragrances you’ve never smelled before.

There are unusual creatures here, they are not human nor are they angels. They are a part of God’s creation unknown to man. Six winged creatures with faces of a calf, a lion, a man and an eagle. Surrounding the throne are two dozen minor thrones. Twenty four men sit on these thrones. Their identities are hidden from you.

A spirit appears at your side. He escorts you all about this place. He shows you things no mortal man should see. These are things you couldn’t possibly describe because there are no words in any human language to describe them. There is gathered about this throne a great company of men, women and children whose number is unknown. They are gathered in perfect harmony and they are of all races and every skin color. There is no racism here.

Then you hear a unity of voices, it sounds like the crashing of the waves against the shores of the beach, like all the thunders of heaven rolled into one. “Worthy, worthy, worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, strength and honor and glory and blessing. Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever and ever.”

Your knees buckle under you and your forehead touches a golden surface as you worship the King of Kings. You worship as you’ve never worshipped before. You see him as never before. You love him as never before. You are overwhelmed by happiness, and joy and peace and security.

The unpaid bills no longer matter. The worry over a wayward childe is now gone. The problem with your spouse or your boss or your neighbor is now but a lingering shadow of a time long ago. It doesn’t matter who is president. It doesn’t matter whether his policies are Democrat or Republican. There is a plan for you here and there is so much for you to do and to discover.

But then your spirit guide slips up beside you and says, “It’s time for you to go home now.”

“But why? I don’t want to go.”

“But you must. Your mission on earth has not yet been fulfilled.”

In a moment you find yourself again in your home. Its morning and you are getting ready. There is shaving cream on your face, your face is half made-up and your bed is still unmade.

But your life is radically changed. You find that you have no more interest in self-promotion. It doesn’t matter if you get a raise. You have little interest in the pleasures of this world. The leisure activities that others crave have little meaning to you. You have an unbearable burden for the lost. You pray without ceasing. Worry no longer plays a part in your life.

Does it sound like a fantasy? Jesus never failed to keep a promise. Those who are born again and set apart find great hope in a particular promise found in John 14. “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
Hear “In My Father’s House” by Russ Sukhia


Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black
I recently read an article in the New York Times by Maureen Dowd (see attached link) referring to Joe Wilson’s infamous “you lie” outburst in the joint session of Congress during Obama’s speech. Ms. Dowd wrote these words,

“Surrounded by middle-aged white guys — a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men’s club — Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!” at a president who didn’t.

But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!”

So, Ms. Dowd makes an assumption that Mr. Wilson is a racist and this is affirmed because he was surrounded by “middle-aged white guys”. So desperate is she to depict him a racist she puts words in his mouth to make sure it’s so. In spite of what Ms. Dowd heard, the rest of us only heard ‘you lie’, not ‘you lie, boy.’

Ms. Dowd’s feeble attempt to convince us that Joe Wilson is a racist is beyond the pale. In fact, isn’t this a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black? In Ms. Dowd’s ultra feminist world all ‘middle-aged white men’ are the true enemy. The assumption is that all middle-aged white men are racist. Their racism prevents them from accepting the fact that a black man can be a legitimate, affective president. How then, Ms. Dowd, is it that those same ‘middle-aged white men’ obvious feel Clarence Thomas can be an effective Supreme Court Justice even though he is black? These same ‘middle aged white men’ were first in line to cheer Michael Jordan in his hay day and they hope Tiger Woods wins every tournament he plays. Many of them offered strong support for Colin Powell when he was considering running for president several years ago.

Ms. Dowd has a political agenda and her liberal prejudices spur her to use fabricated racism as a tool to attack the conservative ‘middle-aged white men’ whom she perceives as those most responsible for obstructing the ultra-feminism she wants her culture to embrace. My dictionary defines racism as devaluing the individual worth of a member of a racial group based on one’s membership in that group. Memo to Maureen Dowd: those ‘middle-aged white men’ belong to a racial group. Ms. Dowd’s attempt to smear Joe Wilson by adding the word ‘boy’ to his statement in order to paint him as a racist is in itself a form of racism.

Luke 6:41 "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

Can we not consider the possibility that Joe Wilson hasn’t a racist bone in his body? Maybe he just disagrees fervently with the policies this president is promoting. I know dozens of people in my circle who disagree with Obama and I also know they are not racists! Many of them look like Obama.


"I Shall Return"

“I Shall Return”

General MacArthur was probably the most controversial general of the last century. His interactions with diplomats and presidents set a standard for those who would follow. In 1942 General MacArthur was forced to retreat from the Philippine Islands to Australia as the Japanese made their assault on the area. MacArthur was obsessed with retaking the Philippines and upon his arrival in Australia he did declare, “I came through Bataan…and I shall return.”

In October of 1944 MacArthur’s forces landed in Leyte, Philippines and he declared, “I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil” You know the rest of the story. The Japanese were forced to abandon the islands and eventually the Allied Forces won the war in the Pacific.

I am reminded of another controversial Great General who made a temporary retreat from the battle. Sensing some anxiety in his followers when they realized he was planning a retreat he gave them specific instructions: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 1:1-3)

Christ never made a promise he didn’t keep. One day he will stand on some shore and declare “I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God….I have returned.” His retreat was as a lamb to the slaughter but his return will be as a great Warrior to lead us into the final contest. His coming will mark the final retreat and the final defeat of an enemy who has attempted to deny us the freedom and liberty offered us through the grace of God.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Obama should say...

What Obama should say…..
I have never seen my country so polarized as I see it today. The great rift that separates the Democrats and Republicans, the liberals and conservatives is only exacerbated by charges and counter charges of racism, communism and anti-Americanism. Barack Obama ran his campaign as the great unifier. He seemed so confident he could bring us together. Yet, he now seems to being saying and doing very little to actually keep that all important promise. Last week Obama tried to lift his approval ratings by addressing our youth. At great risk of appearing arrogant I propose that he could raise his approval ratings much more by giving a speech that would contain words similar to these:
“I am here today to address the great citizens of America. We live in the greatest country in the world. We have proven ourselves over and over in times of extreme adversity. We came together to revolt against the British in our infancy. We survived a brutal Civil War that would have completely meant annihilation to most countries. We were victors in WWI and WWII. We sacrificed many lives to preserve the freedom we now enjoy. We unified during the Great Depression. We wept together when our presidents were assassinated. We bonded when the terrorists attacked the Twin Towers. We proved ourselves a loving and compassionate people when the Tsunami hit Indonesia and when Katrina devastated New Orleans.
We have always successfully resisted the forces that have attempted to divide us and tear us asunder. I take no pleasure in admitting to you today that we are still struggling with the powers that would polarize us. Civil disagreement should be a part of every civilized government. It is acceptable, it is reasonable and it is beneficial. But when the discourse turns ugly it is not becoming of who we are as proud citizens of America.
Many of our ancestors died to preserve freedom for all Americans. As some families were just starting out on the road to freedom other families were burying sons willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Those brave men died to purchase freedom but they also died to destroy hatred. My heart is saddened and deeply troubled when we trample their sacrifice by hurtling racist remarks at each other. It is time we realize that racism is a pain none should endure and its time we understand that an accusation of racism against the innocent is every bit as harmful.
I loved my father and I loved my mother. I am a member of both races. I am uniquely qualified to bring understanding and unity to a country divided too long along racial lines. To those who oppose me, I respect your opinions and hold no animosity toward you. To those very few who harbor racist attitudes toward me and those who look like me, please know that I am unaffected by your hatred. My skin is thick, I won’t play the victim and I refuse to ride on any wave of sympathy your racism creates for me.
Let us continue in our disagreement about health care. Let us continue to be loyal to the party of our choice. Let us carefully and respectfully dissect our offerings until we can hammer out policies we can all live with. Let me respectfully request from both parties that you put your race cards away. In fact, let us pull them from the deck and set a flame to them. We are better than that, far better than that. Let us not fuel the issues that divide us but let us work together to resolve the issues that define us as the greatest people to ever form a nation.
Thank you and may God bless you and may God bless our great nation.”
Racism will never be resolved by writing another law or appointing another Supreme Court justice. It is not a government problem, it is a heart problem and we who are Christians recognize it as a problem for which only the grace of God is a solution.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

He Will Be Praised!

He Will be Praised!

Christ will be praised. He accepts praise from the mouths of babes and sucklings. This praise may be imperfect, its source may not be traditional but it is praise none the less and wholly acceptable to the Savior.

Mat 21:16 …Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Christ must receive praise. Should men praise him he is much pleased but should men not praise him he shall be praised yet. Were the situation be one where no man should praise him the very stones themselves would cry out praise to the Savior. When Christ was hanging on the cross surrounded by Roman soldiers and unbelievers, did not the skies turn dark and the earth shake? The very elements of creation will spring forth in praise to Him. If God can lift up children of Abraham out of stones so can he raise up praise from those children. (Matt. 3:9)

Luk 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Some Sunday mornings I stand in the pulpit and wonder how in the world can God bless what I have to say. My preparation is so fragile, my words so frail. My thoughts are so not His thoughts nor my ways His ways and yet I am often continually amazed how God can use my weak presentation to glean some glory to himself. 1Cor. 1:21 it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. I offer up a lot of foolishness when I preach but God finds a way to use that foolishness.

Who would have thought that God would use this master of comedy, this king of foolishness to render praise to himself? I’ve laughed many times at and with Steve Harvey but this is a different moment for him. If God can use the simple minds of children, if he can receive praise from inanimate objects, if he can use the frail, foolishness of preachers…then he can surely use you, or me, or Steve Harvey.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What I've Learned From Obama

What I’ve learned from Obama…

I was so amazed recently when Americans were so vehemently opposed to their president speaking to their children in school. His speech was pretty harmless, in fact, I found it to actually be motivating. So, what caused such widespread panic. I thought back through all the presidents we’ve had in my lifetime and I couldn’t think of one that would cause a similar reaction among the American people.

So, what were Americans fearful of? What did they think Obama would teach their children? I reviewed the last year and asked myself, “Just what have I learned from Obama in during last 12 months?”

I learned that Obama thinks less of Israel and more of the Palestinians. He has pretty much shunned Israel. They don’t seem to know where they stand with this administration. Recent polls show the majority of Israelis don’t feel confident about Israel’s relationship with the U.S. I learned that Obama thinks more of Cuba and less of Columbia. I have been recently criticized for considering Obama a socialist but I have observed along with millions of other Americans how cozy he is with Castro, Chavez and Ortega. Among the most shocking things he did when he took over the White House was send a bust of Winston Churchill, that had been presented as a gift to the previous administration, back to the British. So, he shuns our staunchest ally, Britain, while showing great deference to Putin’s Russia.

I learned that Obama, like his wife Michele, lives in a country he has little respect for evidenced by his great apology tour. America isn’t perfect by any means but we certainly don’t want our leader magnifying our sins to our enemies while emphasizing the ‘great’ accomplishments and contributions of the Islamic nations. Most American’s would square America’s ingenuity and genius with that of any country or previous civilization.

I learned that Obama’s African-American roots and his early training in Islamic schools seems to be extremely important to him. But in all the speeches I’ve heard him deliver I’ve never heard him brag on the exceptional accomplishments of America.

I learned that Obama’s portrayal of himself as a fiscal conservative during his campaign was all a sham. He blasted Bush for out-of-control deficits and then proceeded to add nearly $11 trillion to our enormous debt. How could someone vow to reduce or eliminate our debt and propose an enormous health care plan that is so completely unaffordable?

I learned that for all of Obama’s promises about developing independence from foreign oil by using our own resources (offshore drilling) while we searched for new energy sources was also a sham. After Obama took office he appointed an environmental czar (Van Jones) who strongly criticized America’s agriculture, America’s economy, America’s energy producers and just about anything else American. The press gave this man a pass when he used foul language to describe Republicans in Congress and called our former president a crack head. But no pass for Joe Wilson who may have actually told the truth when he declared before a joint session of Congress that Obama was not telling the truth.

I learned that all the talk of unifying and bringing Americans together was just “sounding brass and tinkling symbol.” He quickly chose sides in the Cambridge Controversy and tried to bury his blunder by sharing a beer. Obama has taught me that racism is alive and well in our country. I believe that Obama does face some opposition simply because of his color. But I also see blatant racism in his pastor and mentor, “God _________ America” Jeremiah Wright, “downright mean country” Michele and “Bush is a crack head” Van Jones. It saddens me to see such hatred and vitriol on both sides of the issue. But one thing for certain, Obama is no unifier.

I learned from Obama that the Constitution is faulty and needs to be rewritten. I learned that this nation’s doctors care little or none at all about the welfare of their patients, they only care about making another buck. I also learned they get paid as much as $50,000 for amputating the gangrenous limbs of our nation’s diabetics.

So, after reviewing all I’ve learned from Obama, I asked myself that question again: “Why were Americans so fearful when he addressed our children?” And the answer was obvious.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Unhappy Farmer and His Unhappy Neighbor

The Unhappy Farmer and His Unhappy Neighbor

There was once a man who lived on a very large farm. He was a simple man who dressed in plain overalls. His wife and children all helped him on the farm. There were always fields to plow and a garden to weed. There were cows to milk and eggs to be gathered. His home was a typical white farm house with a wrap-around porch that had been passed down to him from his father and grandfather. Huge oak trees sheltered the house from storms and sun. He owned a Ford Escort which he used to make infrequent trips to town. All in all he made a good living.

Across the road from the farmer lived the CEO of a very important company in the city. He lived in a three story brick home with all the most modern accoutrements signifying great wealth. His wife had no need to work so she did volunteer work in town and play in the local tennis club. His wore the most expensive suits. He owned the latest model BMW, his wife drove a Jaguar and they leased an Escalade for their teen-age son. All in all he made a good living.

The CEO came home every evening and looked across the road at the farmer’s spread. One particular evening they saw each other and sent each other a formal wave and smile. The CEO thought to himself, “He is always smiling. He must be so happy. His life is so simple. I wish I could spend my days smelling fresh cut hay and milking cows instead of managing people. How did I ever allow my life to get so complicated? How I’d love to have a simple life like his.”

The farmer happened to be in his front yard on this particular day and he saw his neighbor arriving home in his sporty car. The farmer thought to himself, “He is always smiling. He must be so happy. His life is so exciting. I wish I could spend my days as an important executive telling people what to do instead of milking cows. How did I ever allow myself to be enslaved to this simple life? How I’d love to live an exciting life like him.”

Both the unhappy farmer and the unhappy CEO thought the other was happy. They both repeated these same thoughts to themselves over and over. They never questioned their conclusions about each other. Had they happened upon the actual truth they would have realized that neither were happy. They might have understood that the source of joy in life is not your home, or your job or even your family. Ecclesiastes 2:26 “God gives…..happiness.” If God gives you joy you can be happy with any job or with any home. If God doesn’t give you joy no home or job in the world will make you happy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How was Jesus NOT born with original sin?

This question was brought to me recently. It was one of those questions I just couldn’t answer off the top of my head. Other questions followed closely behind this one like, “If Jesus was the son of Mary, he would have inherited sin from her” and “Was Mary purified before the birth of Jesus to make his sinless nature possible?” It was one of those ‘hard to answer’ questions that usually get lost somewhere in the deep recesses of your mind before you decide to try to address it. Sort of like skipping rocks across a still pond. The rock skips two, three, four times and then it disappears forever into the deep water never to be seen again. But, I think this question deserves an answer.

Original sin is that sin which we inherit from Adam. Its existence is evidenced by our own experience. Everyone feels a ‘bent’ toward sin. Sin is in our nature. This depravity, or tendency to sin, is passed down to every human being from our common father, Adam. Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." Sin came through Adam, redemption comes through Jesus Christ.

Jesus was born without sin and he lived his entire life sinless. Had he not, there would be no redemption possible for us. How could he be sinless if he had a sinful mother? Is it not possible that the sin nature is passed down through the father. The Bible references to the descendents as being in the “loins of their fathers.” Because Jesus had no earthly biological father no sin nature was passed down to him. Col. 2:9 says "For in Him dwells all the fullness of deity in bodily form." Jesus had two complete natures. He was both fully human and fully divine.

The question about the sinless Christ is not explicitly answered in the Bible. We know he had no sin, we just don’t know exactly how that was accomplished.

Another explanation is that Mary was purified, indeed deified, so that Christ could be born sinless. There is no evidence at all of this. In fact, this idea violates the truth in the Word of God. The Bible teaches that there is only one God. That entity has three separate persons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. To add Mary to the triune God is heretical. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” Mary was chosen to give birth to Christ and her conception was supernatural but she is still only fully human.

It’s such a good question to which I can only surmise an answer. There are some things God chose not to reveal to us. Now we see through a glass darkly, perhaps one day we will see clearly.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I pledge to be a servant to Obama!!

I did not think Obama's speech to school children on Sept. 8 was an attempt to indoctrinate our school children. But the suggested assignments in the supplemental curriculum did seem to lean in that direction. I don't have a problem with Obama telling our kids to work hard and stay in school. I would want any president to say that. But they were going to ask our school children to write a paper explaining how they could support and help our Community Organizer in Chief. That smacks a bit toward indoctrination. The attached video was shown to some school children in Utah. Asking our children to pledge themselves to this liberal agenda is definitely out of bounds!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Twenty Random Questions for Barack Obama.

Some Random Questions for Barak Obama…

1. Why did you change your name from Barry Soetero to Barack Hussein Obama?

2. Your failure to release your birth certificate has stirred so much speculation. If you have a legitimate certificate, why not release it and put to rest all the fuss about it?

3. What are you trying to hide? Is the man you claim to be your father your actual father?

4. Just exactly what did you mean when you said on October 31, 2008 that “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”?

5. How do you feel about the beheading of Danny Pearl? Would you express how you felt when the terrorists hit the twin towers? I’ve never heard you express any outrage!

6. Why have you appointed so many ‘Muslim friendly’ czars?

7. Why is your administration filled with countless communist sympathizers?

8. Why do you feel little or no passion about honoring the remains of the first American to be killed in Iraq in defense of freedom but you seem to be very, very passionate about protecting terrorists by prosecuting ‘so called’ torturers at Guantanamo Bay?

9. How do you propose to keep America safe if the penalty for terrorist attacks is a red carpet leading to a cell with all the comforts of life provided?

10. The great uprising of opposition to “green jobs czar” Van Jones created a grand opportunity for you to boost your falling approval ratings by firing him. Instead, he just walked away. Did you not fire him because you didn’t want to be wrongly associated with those who oppose his communist beliefs?

11. Are you aware the John Holdren, your science czar, wants the power to make some abortions compulsory and believes that adding infertility drugs to the nation’s drinking water might be a good idea!?

12. Are you aware that Czar Carol Browner is jeopardizing American sovereignty by promoting the idea of a “global community” to oversee the environment?

13. Are you aware that you appointed a Czar that believes that animals should have the right to sue people? That would be your regulatory Czar, Cass Sunstein.

14. Do you remember addressing Planned Parenthood on July 17, 2007? You said, “In my mind, reproductive care is essential care. It is basic care.” Are these code words for abortion? Are you willing to admit that American taxpayers will actually foot the bill for your abortion program?

15. You tried, but failed to get the Kennedy Memorial Health Care bill passed before Congress recessed. Why was it so important to get it passed so quickly when the program wouldn’t take effect until 2013? Seems we have plenty of time to debate this.

Might we suggest some honest answers: “I was in a hurry to get it passed before Congress actually had a chance to read it and find out what it contained.”

“I was in a hurry to pass it before the American people found out what was in it. I just knew they would pull these tea party and town meeting stunts on me.”

“I wanted to delay the actual action of the bill until 2013 because I wanted to get reelected in 2012 before the American people actually started to experience the consequences of the bill.”

16. You frightened the American public and their weak representatives in congress by declaring that if they didn’t pass the stimulus bill immediately the sky would fall and we would all perish within days. You got what you wanted but then the bill sat on your desk for three days awaiting your return from vacation. What was the hurry? Why hasn’t that money been pumped into the economy to save us? Many speculate that it will be another year before even ¾ of that money is spent. Are you planning on going on a spending spree with our money right before mid-term elections?

17. In regard to the previous question…were you afraid that the economy might actually start recovering on its own and so it was necessary to create panic so as not to “let a crises go to waste”?

18. Are you not alarmed by the tremendous distrust expressed by American parents when they resisted your endeavor to speak to their children? They are afraid of you, sir. They are afraid of the influence you might have on their children? Can that many people be wrong about you? Are their fears justified?

19. You’ve pledged to withdraw our troops from Iraq. That’s one pledge I believe you will keep. The rise in violence in Iraq seems to correlate with our gradual troop withdrawal. If Iraq descends into social chaos or even civil war will you man-up and take responsibility for that?

20. My last question is very personal and satisfies my own curiosity. Could you be more specific about your Christianity and do you consider yourself a Christ-follower?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Are Faith and Reason Compatible?

Are Reason and Faith Compatible?

Both the atheist and the theist face a similar danger. The atheist will base all of his ability to acquire and know truth on reason and will attempt to eliminate faith altogether. He looks at faith as a primitive thing and a copout for non-thinking Christians who need a crutch when the rubber meets the road.

The theist will often place a great emphasis on faith to the point of nearly eliminating reason all together. Hebrews 11:6 is often used to emphasize the importance of faith, “But without faith it is impossible to please him”. But, did not the prophet of old call for a response to reason? Isa. 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord”. As a Christian, I find reason and faith compatible not only because the Bible sets forth both reason and faith as a viable means of acquiring knowledge but also because my Christian worldview finds no conflict between reason and faith.

The atheist will often criticize the theist for readily abandoning reason in favor of faith. I can understand why the theist is vulnerable to this criticism. In the early years of this republic great men like George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Patrick Henry and even a short term deist, Ben Franklin, were very strongly influenced by the prevalence of Christianity when they laid the cornerstone for our liberty. Most were men of faith but they were also men of reason and logic. They were strongly influence by a biblical worldview of man (depraved in his nature) and government (instituted by God to bring social order).

American Christians will often throw barbs at their non-believing critics by declaring that our country was stolen away from us. We often hear it phrased like this: “We came here to establish a country based on biblical truths. Because we were here first we demand the right to order the policy and direction of our government.” One hundred and fifty years after the time of our founding fathers many American Christian leaders chose to hide away in their ‘faith’ monasteries and find contentment with an “our four and no more” attitude. We ceded the intellectual high ground to the skeptics and atheists. It’s not that we couldn’t hold our own in the world of reason, we simply found it much easier to thump a Bible and slide into a philosophical sloth. When we withdrew from the world of reason and logic the likes of Dewey, Neitzshe, Darwin and Marx were quick to fill the void.

The truth of God is contained in the scripture. The problem is that the ability of man to understand scripture is limited. That limitation was established by God himself. Does that mean he gave us a great hunger for knowledge and then made it impossible for us to acquire a full knowledge of all things? Yes, exactly. He limits our ability to acquire knowledge through reason because faith is such a vital part of his plan for our own salvation and eternal destiny. There would be no need for faith if we could ‘reason’ our way to God. Both faith and reason are vital parts to our understanding of God and his plan of salvation.

Jesus didn’t say to the woman who anointed his feet with oil, “By your ability to reason you have been saved”. Instead, he said, “By faith are you saved.” Faith trumps reason but doesn’t denigrate it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Obama Needs A Bigger Bus

Obama needs a bigger bus.

Few would argue that Obama didn’t do the right thing when he threw Van Jones under the bus. The problem is there is little room left under the bus. Obama learned his Chicago politics well. It’s a ‘dog eat dog’ world out there. The objective is to climb to the top, acquire as much power as possible and if anyone gets in the way plunge that knife deep in their back.

Bend over and look at all the people under the bus already and he’s only six months into his presidency!

One of the first to go was Reverend Wright of the Trinity United Church. Obama was a faithful attendee who somehow missed the fact that Rev. Wright is a black liberationist with a strong racial hatred for Jews and whites. That didn’t seem to bother Obama who sat on the first row for twenty years, asked Rev. Wright to marry he and his wife and baptize his children. But when Reverend Wright’s extremism threatened Obama’s campaign it was knife in the back time. Twenty years of friendship…no problem.

In Dreams of My Father, Obama trashes the woman who raised him, cared for him in his childhood sicknesses, helped him with his homework, etc. He portrayed her as a “typical white woman” who fears and hates blacks. When the campaign got hot and heavy he didn’t hesitate to throw Gran Gran under the bus. Was he trying to build solidarity with the likes of Reverend Wright? Was it really necessary to knife his grandmother twice in order to win an election? Memo to those serving in Obama’s administration…if he would do that to the one who loved and reared him you are not safe!

What about his friend, Tony Rezko? They had been close friends for years. They had exchanged political favors as is often common in Chicago politics. But when investigators started digging up dirt on Rezko which had a negative effect on Obama’s campaign ….yep, under the bus he went.

I think Van Jones was an outrageous appointment and I’m glad that enough American’s voiced their opinions and he was ‘fired’. But, more troubling is what the appointment of a man like Van Jones says about our president. If he knew about Van Jones former radical, anti-American activity then we can pretty much judge a man by the friends he keeps. If Obama didn’t know about his pro-communist past then Obama gets an ‘F’ for not doing his homework.

Scoot over, Van Jones, make room under that bus for more, many more.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nation of Czars

Nation of Czars

There are so many things about this administration that leans Russian. How about the excellent Russian title of ‘czar’. Did you know that President Obama has appointed 34 czars already. The privilege of appointing as opposed to electing is very troublesome. Elections represent the will of the people, appointing represents the will of one man. It is a tremendous power that can be easily abused.

Glen Beck has been hammering the appointment of ‘green’ job czar, Van Jones. He is an openly avowed communist and revolutionary, so devout he named his son after a communist leader. He seems to be a socially challenged, anger filled individual who had no qualms using a descriptive term to refer to Republicans that I choose not to repeat on this blog. Are we to feel comfortable while our President, who sat for 20 years under Black Liberation pastor Jeremiah Wright, is appointing czars with anti-American sentiments?

Our founding fathers created a three tier government. Each branch designed to balance the power of the others. Many times throughout history there have been power grabs by one branch over the others. The executive appointment of czars is a blatant power grab over the legislative branch of government. Obama’s attempt to govern through appointments rather than election is taking power away from the voting public.

To discover what powers the executive branch is vested in just review the 34 czars: AIDS czar, energy czar, climate czar, intelligence czar, Iran czar, science czar, education czar, economic czar among many others. Each of these appointments make about $175,000 per year. A Republican congressman (Jack Kingston) from my state (Georgia) has introduced the Czar Accountability and Reform Act to regulate the activities and salaries of these Obama appointments. But, with a Democratic controlled Congress, it won’t see the light of day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Choose you this day whom you will serve" - Government or God

"Choose you this day whom you will serve" - Government or God??

Does it not seem like our federal government has declared a war on God? They've taken the ten commandments out of our court houses? They've taken the Bible out of our classrooms. We teach our children to say grace at the dinner table but there are dire consequences should they say grace before consuming a meal in a public school!

When our government was established it was as if our founding fathers thought themselves to be partners with God in this great experiment for religious freedom. But now, it seems our government officials are anything but friends of God. It is as if God is a great competition to them for the hearts and minds of the American people.

Obama's team seems to be especially sensitive about the ‘God’ factor. This administration has a lust for power that excels any previous administration. In the last six months General Motors has been transformed into Government Motors. Insurance companies have been targeted. Banks have been hypnotized into submission by offers of vast sums of money.

God cleary directs us to have “no other gods” before Him. But Americans by the millions have put their trust in big government instead of God. He offers to carry our burdens for us. He asks us to cast our cares upon him and depend on him during the difficult times. Instead, we have sold our soul to the company store. The government has become our protector and provider. When the government takes the place of God in one’s life there are dire consequences that follow.

iPersonal independence used to be a virtue in this country. From the days of our founding fathers we embraced a “no work, no eat” policy. We recognized our first experiment with socialism was a complete failure when sloth nearly destroyed the colony of Jamestown. Everyone felt entitled to more than their share from the colony storehouse whether they contributed or not.

America is infected with a sense of entitlement. For some strange reason we feel we are all entitled to “40 acres and a mule.” This sense of entitlement makes people feel like they don’t need to work for anything. Many actually feel like work is some sort of punishment rather than a privilege. We sit on a social time bomb because the masses are so convinced they are entitled to monthly gifts from the government that, were those gifts to cease, the result would be an uncontainable anger. Our big cities would experience rioting that would make the ‘60’s look like child's play. So, the government must keep the checks coming no matter what!!

Those who feel they are entitled feel no gratitude toward a government idol that takes care of them. There is no love in that relationship, only contempt.

We offend God when we ignore his offer to care for us. He invites us to run to Him in our times of distress. He instituted the family to take care of each other and especially the elderly. Instead we look to our idol for those things. God’s purpose for government was to establish a system of law and justice that would enable us to live in peace and safety. When we need grace and compassion look to the Savior rather than to the government.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

“Come and have breakfast.”

“Come and have breakfast.”

When we were kids we called them ‘fraidy-cats’, ‘wimps’ or ‘yellow-bellied”. I suppose in the adult world you would hear them described as ‘gutless’, ‘wuss’ or ‘faint-of-heart’. These are words that would describe someone who faced a crisis in their lives but lacked the courage to do the right thing. These are words that would describe Peter as he stood in the court where Christ was bound and falsely accused. Peter heard the rooster crow as he denied Christ a third time.

Have you ever hated yourself for your failures? Peter delved into a period of self-loathing. He ran from the court and sobbed, the kind of sobbing that causes one’s body to shake and heave. The kind of sobbing that brings a torrent of tears and causes one to gasp for air.

That last, long penetrating look that Jesus gave Peter must have haunted him in the lonely nights that lay ahead. If he had seen what he expected to see maybe he wouldn’t have been so troubled. If he had seen anger, if he had seen disappointment, if he had seen disgust…but he didn’t see any of those things. He saw only unconditional love. In his fear, in his most cowardly moment, when presented with the opportunity to stand with Jesus, he had failed miserably. Jesus’ eyes were compassionate, they were forgiving, they were tender. They communicated better than a spoken voice and they tenderly revealed to Peter that in spite of his cowardice, forgiveness was available.

I believe Jesus was communicating to Peter that it was for this moment of weakness in his life, this moment of fear and faithlessness, that he was going to the cross. His eyes said to Peter, “I am shackled here for you. The sweat on my brow and the blood dripping from my chin is for you. I still love you, Peter. I’ve invested so much in you. You may feel like I’ve let you go… but I haven’t. Indeed, my sacrifice will enable you to have courage in your weakest moments.”

We feel so unlovely in when the darkness invades our souls. He sees us when we are feeling most miserable. He sees us when we feel overwhelmed by despair and confusion. He sees us when we are floundering about in a sea of sin and addiction and he loves us still!

“Peter”, the eyes of Christ said, “I see how disappointed you are. I see that sin has defeated you once again. I’m going to take that sin upon my shoulders and bear it for you to the cross. I’m going to make it possible for you to be free from your sin.”

Jesus didn’t reprimand him. Jesus didn’t fuss at him. Jesus crushed Peter’s stony heart with a hammer of love. That love penetrated Peter that day in the court like a powerful spotlight, revealing the true nature of his heart.

Peter returned to his previous occupation, fishing. Days of brooding and disappointment finally ended when he and his companions saw a man walking on the shore.

The custom in those days was to invite an enemy to a meal to hash out

differences. “Friends, have you any fish?” The man asked from the lake’s shore. When Peter realized it was Jesus he dove into the water and swum to shore. “Come and have breakfast”, Jesus said.