Archive for July, 2015

I believe in God, why do I need to read the Bible?

That’s a fair question. We’ve all heard the preachers tell us that all we have to do is believe to be saved, so why go through the work of reading it?  John 3:16 says so and that’s a pretty popular verse.

If we were to say that we believe in Queen Elizabeth, that doesn’t mean that we have any relationship with her. To get to know her we would have to learn about her. Otherwise you might as well say that you believe in a cabbage. So what? That means nothing. Satan believes in God, you haven’t impressed anyone. That’s just poser Christian talk.

Luke 11:25-28 tells us, in Jesus’ words, the greatest commandment.

” There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him,”What is written in the law? How do you read it?”  He said in reply, ” You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,  with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, ” You have answered correctly; do this and you will live”

Hmmm, that sounds like a lot more work. You see God isn’t interested in your theoretical belief. He wants a working relationship with you. Yup, a living active relationship. So how would that really work? God is so incredibly powerful, I don’t think we even have the capacity to understand Him. Still, if He was patient enough to teach us about Himself and love us enough to help us get closer, maybe we could get to know what He wants to reveal.

Friends God loved us so much that He sent a message that was so finely tuned that it applies to everyone today from every continent, language, race, and every person that has ever lived. One solitary message, 66 books written by 40 different authors, that reveals Himself to us. Not so much how powerful He is ( The creation of everything in existence only took 2 pages, 56 verses), but His tender vulnerable side. How He loves us and how we hurt Him and how far he went to save us from this horrible mess we’ve created. He wants to save us, but He won’t violate our free will (that wouldn’t be love if He forced it on us). We don’t have the capacity to understand how great His love is for us, but I want to get to know Him. I study my Bible to find Him. I can look back and see how He pursued me. The circumstances and the people that have crossed my path are no coincidence. I know me and with glassy eyes, I can tell you that I wasn’t worth His effort. The hound of Heaven saved me from a horror I can’t even understand.

Now the tables have turned, I’m chasing Him. He’s teaching me things that He wants me to know, although I don’t always understand at the time or like every challenge. I’m hunting Him down and He gave me the map to find Him. I won’t solidly grab hold of Him while I’m on earth, but when I die, He’s not getting out of my grasp and I’m not getting out of His. Not that fake, just for church stuff, this is real and personal. He is my Savior and my friend. He wants that type of relationship with you. He wrote you a love note too. Learn to love God with all your heart, being, strength, and mind.

Don’t be a fake conformist, if you believe in God and what He’s done for you, prove it. Go to church to learn about Him, not thinking that you did Him a favor by showing up and singing a couple songs. There is a time coming that the posers and the true followers will be divided up. Posers will be lost. Be a true follower, friend, He’s a good God. Trust and obey.

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Like or Love?

There seems to be a bit of confusion today about what love is and what like is. They are worlds apart. I occasionally listen to a radio show from Moody Radio called “Midday Connection”, and its generally women from a collegiate setting talking about issues that women relate to and how they “feel” about different topics. While it would be interesting to delve into why they think their feelings matter when talking about truth, the most annoying thing about the program is that they “love” everything. Love, love, love, they love everything! They cant go 30 seconds without using that word. So do they really love every book they read and every comment anyone makes? No, of course not, its demeaning to the word. If they love everything, that means they love nothing. The term that they most likely mean is that they like something, but what is the practical difference between love and like? Can they be interchanged and is our society mislead in the real world meanings of those words?

Love and like are both powerful, affirming words that we all enjoy hearing. They’re nearly always used in a positive context, but entirely different. Consider it this way, we use” like” to describe how something makes US feel. Its entirely selfish(although positive), all about us and subjective. As soon as something stops making us feel good, we don’t like it anymore. I like my car till it breaks down, then it has to be replaced by one I like better. Like serves me.

What we’re seeing in America today is a lot of people are getting married because they like each other. The Supreme Court has even made it possible for same sex people that “like” each other to get married and I’d hate to imagine what else is coming. Society is changing not only the definition of marriage, but the foundation of it. The Biblical foundation is love, not like.

Love is entirely different from like. Love is a commitment of servanthood. How many women getting married today are dreaming of serving her husband and putting him above her? Likely none. They’re in “like” with their groom, thinking about how he’s going to make her feel and all the stuff they’ll buy. Likewise, How many men are thinking of serving and cherishing their wives? Few I’d guess. Free sex and someone to do his laundry are on his mind. Shortly, car seats, Cheerio”s everywhere, and diapers show up and they are no longer in “like” and they head for their lawyers with a cheering crowd of friends giving bad advice. That’s modern marriage and its leaving a generation of wounded kids with no foundation or even belief in love. Todays love has become a cruel trick to them, not even believing in marriage as  sustainable.

Love is different in that there is no way out. When that woman who used to spend an hour getting ready for a date, now only has time to slip on sweat pants because she has to care for your kids, and you can look at that exhausted, disheveled woman and proudly say “That ones mine”, friend that’s love. When a woman is stretching their food budget for every penny because her husband decided to start his own business and things aren’t going too well, but she is dedicated to that man and will live broke with him rather that get out, that is love. When life gets ugly and things seem out of control and you’re both determined to get through it because you haven’t allowed any other option or “get out ” clause, that’s love. There isn’t a drop of selfish temporal “like” in it.

My hope for you friends is that you are able to discern between “like” and” love”. Never marry someone that you’re in a like relationship with. Demand, expect, and be more. There are generations of people that are counting on your wisdom and yes, love, not like, is the answer.

If you’ll allow me a personal moment, I’d like to honor my Father in law and Mother in law. They are celebrating 50 years of love and dedication. I’m a grateful beneficiary of that dedication through their lovely daughter. Thank you, Butch and Lily, for demonstrating what love is, and giving the rest us hope when we are weak. Much respect.

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Sodom Sentinel

I was very fortunate to locate a copy of the Sodom Sentinel newspaper from an antiquities dealer in Hampshire, England. Evolutionary biologists get most of their specimens from this dealer and he has a great reputation with them, so I’m certain that my newspaper is the real thing. It has the date of July 19, 2015BC.

Its quite fascinating actually. The headline reads “Men of God run out of Sodom”. According to the article, a minority group of religious zealots were trying to deny people the right to freely exercise their sexuality with whomever or whatever they choose. Thankfully the fundamentalist  bigots are gone. It was thought that after years of government crackdown and sensitivity training they would have adapted with society, but you how those tablet thumpers can be. There was a brief negotiation for some virgins that the perpetrators had bred, but the open minded folks marching were insistent on showing the perpetrators’ guests a new way of life. They escaped, but good riddance.

Also, there was an ecological section in the paper. Apparently science has saved the day with regards to dealing with those unwanted pregnancies that are really taking the pleasure out of their sexual revolution. An article titled “Make a profit from your Pleasure”. There is a local government project that will help you sell your unwanted baby’s parts to big corporations. Its a win for everyone as you’re paying for the agency with your taxes and you’d just throw that “tissue” away anyhow.” Recycle for Sodom” bumper stickers are available from your local NOW(National Organization of Witches) office.  Also noted was an article about government geologists trying to determine the source of that burning sulfur smell that has been getting stronger. Its expected that the government will institute more restrictive laws and assess heavier fines on local business.

On to the Sports section. It seems that a huge award for bravery has been given to Balal Raba a national sports hero for his becoming a heroine. Celebrations are ongoing. There doesn’t seem to be any sports scores. It doesn’t look like they keep score. but everyone seems happy about it anyway.

The Dating Classified section is divided into two parts, “Ya Wanna?” and “Hell Yeah!” I see that some names are listed in both columns. Not sure what to make of that.

The “Buy and Sell” section has quite an array of items, from a low mileage chariot ( with the CamelFax Report) to a “Darn Pretty Sheep” named Delilah from Gaza. You could get a camel load of salt delivered pretty cheap from “Salty Ham, your Unclean Provider”

It looks like higher taxes are on the way too. In a tiny paragraph below the Piggly-Wiggly ad it says that local officials voted themselves a raise and are exempt from any law they pass. Its sure hard to read that fine print.

OK, what does that have to do with us? If you take away the puns, that could be our newspaper for today. Some people like to say that the Bible is so old and it isn’t relevant in todays society. But you see, only the circumstances are different, the people aren’t any different from us. Sodoms sin was so grave(Gen 18:20) and ours isn’t much better is it? People have always been the same and that’s what the Bible addresses, the person. Folks in Sodom would fit right in with America and American folks with them. Change the dates and clothes and you couldn’t tell us apart.

While that is ominous enough, remember what Jesus said in Luke 17: 28-30. “Similarly as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building;on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So will it be the day the Son of Man is revealed.”  See to them it was just another day of self righteous sinning with no foreseeable consequence. We’re sinning like Sodom, with a boost from technology to make it easier, and America is convinced that it can get away with it. We believe that we have become superior to God or whatever myth keeps the dull of mind in their place. We live in a post Christian society that doesn’t want a Christian conscience taking away the joy of sin and its doing its best to purge society of that conscience. Listen to me very carefully, Sodom didn’t eliminate Gods existence or the consequences and neither can America.

Our only chance is for a Savior, someone to get us out before judgment hits. He promised and I have faith in His message, the Bible. Choose sides carefully friends, pray hard.

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Offensive Jesus?

Does the modern Christian man really behave like Jesus? The unfortunate image that most of us have of a Christian man isn’t manly at all. We think of a sickly, foppish little man who does what his wife tells him or else. At best he is meek and quiet, corralling his litter of kids, wearing a pastel shirt and a smart pair of slacks, never challenging anyone on their views or behavior. Christian men just don’t cause trouble because they might offend someone and they’ve been told that Jesus would never offend anyone. After all, the greatest crime in America today is to offend someone or hurt their feelings.

Jesus was nice to everyone and that is how a Christian man should act. He came to make everyone happy and feel good about ourselves!  What a load of crap!  Christian man, go to your wife’s purse and get your backbone. No, don’t ask for permission! Jesus was rude and crude and He didn’t care who you were, He told the truth! He stood up to the bullies and angrily called them names and offended them greatly. If you were weak, He had the backbone to stand up for you. If you were a weasel, He had the backbone to let you have it. He fought when He had to fight and wept when He had to weep. He was truth unleashed.  At no point did Jesus simply try to get along and make everyone happy. Quite frankly, He didn’t make many folks happy at all. He was confrontational and challenged most of their beliefs and expectations. Today many in society call Christians hypocrites and Jesus called the church people of His day hypocrites too. Can you imagine Jesus visiting a church today, tearing it apart like He did at the temple with the moneychangers?  Calling church folks white washed tombs? I’ll bet He has learned a few nastier words since then! Perhaps giving a sermon on being wise as serpents or how to be ready with a sword. I think people would be as scared of Jesus today as they were 2000 years ago! This who the passive men are supposed to be emulating? I’m not seeing it.

Jesus wasn’t nice, but was He good? Emphatically yes!  Nice has cowardice attached to it, fake to please. Good is based on truth. Jesus was all about truth and He never held back. 2000 years later, truth is still counter-cultural, it still offends.

You have to understand that there is no compassion in nice, only selfishness. Weak men don’t want to make waves  and take a stand. They would never confront anyone or risk hurting someone’s(gasp!) feelings. They do no good to anyone.

There is only compassion in truth. There is hope in truth and its worth fighting to be able to bring hope to the weak.. That is true kindness.  To be a man following Jesus, we have to stick our neck out, we have to be with people when they’re broken and stand up forcefully to the bullies. Stand up loudly for the truth that God so kindly gave us in Holy Scripture. Offer people true hope( not the con of a politician). Hiding cowardly in a corner, they aren’t being kind, they are just  selfish little cowards. Jesus will have a talk with them someday and I don’t want to be part of it.

If you are a follower of Jesus, learn about the real Jesus, not the soft feminized version. Dig into scripture and find Him friend. If you aren’t a follower because you cant be that passive and wimpy, neither could Jesus. He’s a pretty kick ass King and He is so worth following. Don’t be afraid, man up for an eternal cause. Join a gang that fears no one. Short term can get pretty rough, but the benefit package will blow you away!  Pray hard friend.

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We dont deserve America back

I’ve heard many well meaning preachers and Christians reciting the often overused, incredibly asinine, phrase that professes that we will “Take America back!”

Take it back, how irksome. We are the ones who gave it away and now we are angry with those who stepped in to fill the gap. Americans left God a hundred years ago. Christians left God a hundred years ago. We denied what Scripture said about caring for widows, orphans and the handicapped, and let the government handle it while we were busy acquiring more “stuff” in our selfish pursuit of happiness.. We denied Gods commands to love one another and began coveting one another’s houses, cars, and wives. Our media, newspapers, magazines, TV and internet are dedicated to promoting all the things that King Solomon(Ecclesiastes) warned us was chasing after the wind. We’ve dedicated our lives chasing after useless crap that we cant afford, because we didn’t listen to what God said. Not only didn’t we listen, we flaunt it in front of Gods face. We pray to Him to give us more, more poison that destroyed our families, more stuff to make others envious and keep the covetousness race going. We spend billions in research to make us live longer so we can worship ourselves just a little longer and make our sexual experiences even more pleasurable to ourselves. We did this.

Now we have a government that is a mirror reflection of our greedy, coveting, self worshipping little selves and we cry “foul!” What nerve! Of course American morality is on the decline, Christians are the ones who left the vacuum. Did we think a government like ours could survive without Godly, vigilant, men and women serving those around us? Our founding fathers built this country predicated on  Biblical principals being exercised not eulogized.

So what do we do? Go back to being men and women of God. Serve others not yourself. Intentionally combat the new culture of pride and covetousness with empathy and humility. Read your Bible and learn what separates you from this world. Not just talk about God like He is Santa Claus, but give like you are. Christianity once wasn’t even a blip on a radar screen but it took over the world by truly following Jesus. We will never honor Gods will by huddling together watching Fox news, listening to talk radio or lamenting our government. Our hope is in our Savior and he needs boots on the ground, our boots. Not hiding boots or complaining boots, He needs compassionate, kind, selfless, God honoring boots. That’s how Christianity spread in the first place. Ask any of the disciples how moral the government was for them. It slaughtered them, but they would not, could not, turn back. Are we the people with that resolve? Can we deny cheap materialism and live without the things others have? Can we live FOR something rather than just against something? Homosexuality isn’t our greatest enemy, we are. If we don’t step up and live like Jesus told us, it is a sin on us and many generations to follow. Its our sin and the sin of our parents, not the government, Supreme Court, or any radical left wing group. Not even Islam. When Christians become worldly, the world follows. When Christians worship and honor God, the world follows.

I can say that I’ve made some difficult adjustments and it isn’t always easy. Jesus is my Savior and I will do what He says. It all boils down to this, are we true followers or just social followers? Which are you friend?

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