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July 22, 2015, 1:09 PM

A Call to Love Others

As Christians we are called to "Love others"
"Loving others" doesn't mean I have to be BFF's with you. It does mean I will not be mean, belittle or spitefully use you.  
It means that I will treat you as well as I treat myself.
It means that I will put you before myself.
It means that I care about you even if I don't particularly care to spend all my time hanging out with you.
It means loving you despite our differences in opinions, personalities, likes, and attitudes.
It means I will care for you and yours despite whether you do the same for me, or even want me to do the same for you.
It means I will turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and give you the shirt off my back if you ask me or if I see you need it.  
You Demonstrating a love of others is possible because you realize that Christ loved you and gave himself for you. Even when you didn't or don't want to be BFF's with Him.

 
 



July 16, 2015, 11:56 AM

Our Problem is Jonah-esque


Today in America, I believe we have become more divided than other.

The root of our problem is the same as the problem that Jonah had. Despite our problems, America is a great country with even greater potential. I am blessed to be an American and proud to live in America. America has been and remains a nation of success, and successes.

Jonah was a successful prophet of God. In II Kings 14:25, Jonah’s prophecy that Israel would re-claim some of it’s territory came to pass as true. Jonah was successful, and had great potential as a prophet. But like America, Jonah had a problem. The root of problem is not wickedness.

The root of the problem is not racism.

The root of the problem is not hatred.

The root of the problem is not violence.

The root of the problem is not division.

The root of the problem is not liberalism.

The root of the problem is not greed.

The root of the problem is not hypocrisy.

The root of the problem is not intolerance or tolerance.

The root of the problem is not sexual perversion.

The root of the problem is not democrats, republicans, politics, nor the president.

The root of the problem is that we, like Jonah have a heart problem. And because we have a heart problem we have developed an attitude problem and out attitude problem leads to all of the above and more. 

Only Jesus can fix our heart problem. The problem is that because of our attitude problem most people won’t accept this truth and things will never change. 

Jesus can heal your heart change your attitude and change your actions. Turn to Jesus.




July 6, 2015, 12:37 PM

In God We Must Trust!

How did "In God We Trust" get stamped on our money if we have never been A God fearing, Christian Nation. 

The story of how “In God We Trust”, which today appears on our money, first made its appearance on our coins is certainly an interesting one and applicable to today.

In 1861 a Maryland farmer suggested by letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, that since we claim to be a God fearing Christian nation we should make some recognition of the Deity on our coinage.

2 Mottoes, “Our God, Our Country,” and “God Our Trust” were proposed. 

Due in part to the nation being racked by the Civil War nothing was done about it for the next couple years. 

Then in 1964, during a time of civil war, the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, realizing an ebbing national spirit and a national crisis was mounting made one last appeal. The Motto, “God Our Trust” was again suggested with the chief argument being that the words came from our National Hymn, The Star Spangled Banner.”
Chase said, “The time is propitious. now in this time of national peril, our strength and salvation must come from God.”
Secretary Chase won his plea and Congress first authorized the coining of two cent piece on which was stamped, “In God we trust.” The following year, on March 3, 1865 the Director of the Mint was authorized to place this new motto on all gold and silver coins. Today it is on coins as well as paper money.

Perhaps as Americans we should realize the peril our nation is in, and realize the demoralization of the American spirit, as well as the rising crisis and even a type of “Civil War” that is taking place in our great country. And realizing this we should take a piece of money out of our pocket, fall down on our knees in repentance and confession, and pray to the one true God. In whom alone is worthy for us to place our trust.  
Won’t you, along with me pray that God would turn our nation back to himself. Won't you along with me pray that we would, as a nation once again put our trust in God?
There are those who want to declare that this nation is not a Godly nation, never has been a Godly nation and should not be a Godly nation. But it begs the question, “How did His Name get on our money?”
Pray with me now for our nation, and for God to Continue to Bless America.




June 24, 2015, 3:02 PM

A Constant Need

Failure is a part of life.  Everybody fails at various times throughout life.  There is no one who has not experienced the sting of failure.  The Christian life is no different.

For the Christian, sin is failure.  Failure to meet God’s high standard for living.  Failure to live a righteous life.  It is a life that in our own strength is impossible to live.  We need God and His strength.  We constantly need Him because we fail often. 

We fail/sin when we depend on ourselves, our strength and our ways of living.  Our Failure/Sin reminds us of our constant need for God.  So when you fail, or when you sin, let it draw you back to an utter dependency on Him.

When God draws you back to himself, He will do so with loving open arms…Because He is God and He knows of our  constant need of Himself.




June 22, 2015, 12:10 PM

Time to Stop Hitting the Snooze!

America has been given another wake up call.  Perhaps we need to stop reaching for the snooze button and get up and answer the call.  

Evil, racism, hatred and wickedness are all multi-faceted and very real.  

None of these have a particular face, color or description.  None of them fit into a convenient pre-packaged box.  They exist, and they are everywhere.  

What happened in Charleston,  Emanuel AME Church is terrible, tragic, sickening and heart wrenching.  It is also another event in a long and growing line of events that defy description and comprehension.  We are faced, once again with several grievous realities that we must refuse to continue to ignore.

We cannot ignore the fact that racism was certainly a factor in this latest atrocity.  It is clear that based on past history, flags of Apartheid and racist manifesto’s that race was an issue.  

Hatred is also an issue that we cannot sweep under the rug.  Whether it be hatred from his own being mistreated or not does not negate the fact that no matter what are upbringing may be, we ultimately make our own decisions and develop our own attitudes and behaviors.  

It is clear that the things we surround ourselves with impact our lives and impact our thinking.  People, books, music etc. will effect our lives for either good or for evil.  There really is no in-between.  The decisions you make today will shape your tomorrow.  

Let us also call this act what it is…Terrorism.  Terrorism does not come as a one size fits all model.  This man terrorized a group of people who had opened their arms to him.  They had from all accounts embraced him with love and warmth and He in turn terrorized them.

The one redeeming portion of this story as tragic as it is, has been the response of the families of the victims and those of this church.  Their willingness to forgive.  Their readiness to love.  Even in the face of a watching world who has in some cases decried their forgiveness as naive and impossible they have been a shining beacon of light.  

It is understandable that we as human beings find it difficult if not impossible as people to forgive an act such as this.  We cannot even fathom someone expressing forgiveness and compassion while being sincere.  Anyone expressing such sentiment is often doubted or even ridiculed.  Don’t believe it then read the comments in the news regarding the forgiveness expressed by the victims families.  They have offered their own forgiveness and pointed this monster to the one who can eternally forgive despite what anyone else has to say.

What America and the world need to understand and have explained is this:

As heinous and seemingly unforgivable this is by man’s standard of understanding, we can forever be grateful that God and His mercy operate on an infinitely higher plane than we do. All sin/evil is heinous in God’s sight. God alone can give us or rather the families of victims the ability to forgive and love. His soul is as redeemable as my own thanks to the shed blood of calvary and repentance from sin. 

That being said although there can be forgiveness, there are still consequences to our actions.  

As a society and a people who live in this country and in this world we must wake up and stop hitting the snooze button.  We must stop sweeping these issues under the rug.  We must acknowledge that no amount of psychology, psychiatry or secular therapy will ultimately do what needs to be done.

Equally as true, no amount of human effort can give us the compassion that is needed to forgive acts like this in our own strength.

More or better gun laws is not the answer.  More and better drugs and therapies are not the answer.  What is the answer is to realize the real heart of the problem is the heart.  The heart must be changed.

Evil, racism, hatred and wickedness are all multi-faceted and very real.  They are also the results of a heart problem because of sin.  The only one who can change the heart is the same one that the victims where at church praying to.  They are the same ones that the families of the victims were pointing this man too…His name is Jesus Christ.

Jesus alone can change the heart of both the evil, racist, hateful, and wicked.  

Jesus alone can also change the heart of the one struggling to forgive and love.

 

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