Friday, October 05, 2007

this will be my last post

The time has come to shut down this blog. Family commitments and job commitments have gotten to the point where I just don't have the time to sit in front of a computer anymore. Besides all that, I just don't have that much more to say! Before I close this out, however, I want to tie up a few loose ends.

I had been posting a series of comments about the 13 steps Christian conservatives could take to transform America, and I had made it to #7. The rest of the steps are as follows:

8. Teach your children to love America and to appreciate America's Christian heritage. is an excellent resource for this purpose.
9. Teach your children to respect the sanctity of human life. Regular prayer, worship and Bible reading as a family, coupled with constant dialogue about how absolutely precious human life is from the moment of conception, is crucial for this purpose.
10. Teach your children to respect the sanctity of marriage and the traditional family. Lead by example in this area. For the last 50 years we have been teaching each generation after generation that marriages are "disposable" and that it's not important to follow God's blueprint for the ideal family. The damage to our culture has been enormous!
11. Teach your children self-reliance rooted in faith. Children who are taught to work hard, to hold themselves accountable for their actions, to accept the consequences for their actions, and to faithfully love God with their entire being will generally not grow up expecting Mommy and Daddy Government to provide them a living. When you raise up a child according to that blueprint you are raising up a good American citizen. We owe that to our fellow citizens.
12. Be on constant guard against the secular progressive agenda in your kids' school. If you send your children to a public school, they will run into secular progressivism. That's a promise. I know that because I am a veteran in the public schools. As a parent, you have the ultimate responsibility for your child's education. Teach them wisely, providing them the tools necessary to resist the secular influence. Talk to your children every day about what happened in school. If you have concerns, voice them. If your concerns are ignored, get louder. Don't be afraid to rock the boat. Turn the boat over if you have to! If your child's physical safety was being threatened you wouldn't hesitate to act. Don't be any less aggressive if your child's spiritual safety is in danger.
13. Become politically active. Many Christians are reluctant to become active in politics, and I think that's absolutely crazy! It also contradicts the Bible. Jesus didn't tell us to go into all the world to preach the Gospel......except for that dirty world of politics! We have a duty to be a light to the world, and that includes the world of politics. Does that mean we have to run for office? No. It does mean that we need to vote. It means that we must pray for our political leaders (see,2933,299374,00.html for interesting info). We must pray that God will give us wise leaders of good moral character, and then we must pray that God will give them guidance. We must speak the truth every time we we are faced with lies. We must be bold in our efforts to effect change in our society.

Thank you for reading my comments over the last year and a half or so. God bless each and every one of you! May this nation truly become "one nation under God." God bless America!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

another classic example of the liberaliar in action

This is worth reading in detail. It is a perfect example of how the lunatics on the left are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually incapable of using facts, logic or reason to advance their cockamamie agenda. They have to lie because normal people would never listen to them if they ever told the truth about what they believe!

For further information, read:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Psalm 118 (New International Reader's Version)

1 Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good.
His faithful love continues forever.

2 Let the people of Israel say,
"His faithful love continues forever."

3 Let the priests of Aaron say,
"His faithful love continues forever."

4 Let those who have respect for the Lord say,
"His faithful love continues forever."

5 When I was in great pain, I cried out to the Lord.
He answered me and set me free.

6 The Lord is with me. I will not be afraid.
What can mere men do to me?

7 The Lord is with me. He helps me.
I will win the battle over my enemies.

8 It is better to go to the Lord for safety
than to trust in mere men.

9 It is better to go to the Lord for safety
than to trust in human leaders.

10 The nations were all around me.
But by the Lord's power I destroyed them.

11 They were around me on every side.
But by the Lord's power I destroyed them.

12 They attacked me like large numbers of bees.
But they died out as quickly as burning thorns.
By the Lord's power I destroyed them.

13 I was pushed back. I was about to be killed.
But the Lord helped me.

14 The Lord gives me strength. I sing about him.
He has saved me.

15 Shouts of joy ring out in the tents of godly people.
They praise him for his help in battle.
They shout, "The Lord's powerful right hand has done mighty things!

16 The Lord's powerful right hand has won the battle!
The Lord's powerful right hand has done mighty things!"

17 I will not die. I will live.
I will talk about what the Lord has done.

18 The Lord has really punished me.
But he didn't let me die.

19 Open the gates of the temple for me.
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord.
Only those who do what is right can go through it.

21 Lord, I will give thanks to you, because you answered me.
You have saved me.

22 The stone the builders didn't accept
has become the most important stone of all.

23 The Lord has done it.
It is wonderful in our eyes.

24 The Lord has done it on this day.
Let us be joyful and glad in it.

25 Lord, save us.
Lord, give us success.

26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the temple of the Lord we bless you.

27 The Lord is God.
He has made the light of his favor shine on us.
Take branches in your hands. Join in the march on the day of the feast.
March up to the corners of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you.
You are my God, and I will honor you.
29 Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good.
His faithful love continues forever.

having fun with those kooky liberaliars

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

a global warming primer

The National Center For Public Policy Research has published an excellent report on the whole topic of global warming. Some of the highlights of this report are as follows:

"Over long periods of time, there is no close relationship between CO2 levels and temperature."

"Humans contribute approximately 3.4 percent of annual CO2 levels" compared to 96.6 percent by nature.

"There was an explosion of life forms 550 million years ago (Cambrian Period) when CO2 levels were 18 times higher than today. During the Jurassic Period, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, CO2 levels were as much as nine times higher than today."

"Polar bear numbers increased dramatically from around 5,000 in 1950 to as many as 25,000 today, higher than any time in the 20th century." (That's for all of the public school teachers who are telling kids that polar bears are dying because their mommies and daddies drive SUV's.)

Knowledge is power. Liberaliars are counting on the majority failing to learn the truth concerning climate so that they can force feed their cockamamie Marxist agenda down our throats. Don't believe the lies!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

transforming america, step 7...conclusion

Blessed are the pure in heart. Jesus really upset a lot of people when He began His ministry. Jesus told the people that it wasn’t enough for us to be blameless in our actions. Our hearts and thoughts had to be pure as well. That’s a pretty radical concept! For example, in Matthew 5:21,22 Jesus states that it’s not enough to avoid murder. We must also avoid murderous anger and hatred. Verses 27-30 say that we are to avoid adultery, but we are also commanded to avoid lustful, unfaithful thoughts. Verses 42-48 say that we have to love our enemies! Jesus says that we must be free from selfishness, greed, arrogance, and hate. We must be pure in heart.

Of course we can’t purify our hearts by ourselves. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and then pray for the Holy Spirit to transform us. The Spirit can and will change our hearts and purify us if we open our hearts, minds and souls to Christ.

As I looked through my Life Application Study Bible by Zondervan, reading everything God’s Word has to say about our heart, I began to notice a theme. When God says He wants us to have a pure heart, He isn’t just talking about sprucing up the old heart. God wants us to have a complete heart transplant. The Holy Spirit will give us a new heart that is responsive to God, if we are open to the transformation. Ezekiel 11:19-20 says "…I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God." Psalm 51:10-12 says, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

There are many examples in the Bible of just exactly what this "heart transplant" looks like. Read the account of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. Zacchaeus was a very dishonest tax collector who clearly had cheated a great many people. When he heard about Jesus, though, something sparked inside him and he had to go see what Jesus was all about. Look how quickly the change came upon Zacchaeus. Jesus spoke to him, Zacchaeus spoke back, and he was instantly transformed.

Read about the two criminals who hung on crosses along side Jesus (Luke 23:32-43). Both of those criminals were guilty of the crimes they had been charged with, and they had probably been like that all of their lives. One criminal, however, looked into the face of Jesus as they were dying and received a new heart. His heart was cleansed, his sins were washed away, and Jesus said to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

How do we receive this gift of a new heart from the Holy Spirit, and how do we lead our family there? We have really already answered that question. We receive our new, pure heart when we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, we believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we study God’s Word, and we pray continually that God will make us poor in spirit, mournful of our sins, meek, merciful, and righteous. The Holy Spirit will transform us over the course of our life, and He will transform our families if we allow Him to.

Blessed are the peacemakers. I was flipping through the news channels the other day and I heard one of the talking heads say that in over 4000 years of recorded world history, there have only been 300 without a major war. If that’s true (isn’t everything on the news true?) it’s a pretty sad commentary on man’s ability to live in peace and harmony. I looked in the dictionary in my Bible, and it defines "peace" as a state of calm, freedom from strife or discord, harmony in personal relationships. Not a whole lot of that going around over 4000 years is there? As I have talked to other Christians about this particular Beatitude, I have noticed a lot of disagreement about what we are commanded to do in order to be faithful to its teaching. I have heard everything from "war is a sin" to "Christians must be pacifists" to "Christian nations have an obligation to destroy ‘rogue’ nations to preserve peace". Maybe we should look to the Bible to see what God says about being peacemakers.

Philippians 4:4-7 contains the very essence of what I believe Jesus was talking about:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Let’s break that passage down so that we can understand what God means when He says, "blessed are the peacemakers".

First, the passage starts out with the word "Rejoice", and the word is repeated. Paul wrote these words in about A.D. 61 in a letter to the Christians at Philippi. Paul actually wrote this letter as he sat locked up in a Roman prison, so it may seem odd that he could say "rejoice" and mean it. As you read this passage, and indeed, if you read the entire letter, you see that Paul was positively joyful. The lesson here for us is that no matter what may be happening in your life, good or bad, Jesus Christ is with you, and that is cause for celebration. Understand that there is a big difference between "happiness" and "joy". Happiness is what the world says we should strive for, but it is so very temporary and superficial that frustration sets in when we can’t find it. Joy is very different. Joy comes from an intimate relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Joy is the deep, warm contentment we have in our soul because of God’s assurance of His love, and His promise to never leave us alone. Joy is the gift to our heart, mind and soul when we realize that God’s promise is true; namely that this world is temporary and that God has an eternal home waiting for us in heaven.

Second, the passage says that we are to be gentle. We have already talked about how important it is to be gentle and meek in the spiritual sense. Gentleness is essential as we seek God’s peace in our hearts, and as we seek to live in peace with others.

Third, the passage says to not be anxious, because the Lord is near. Think about what it would be like to not be worried about anything. Seems impossible, doesn’t it. It’s not. Psalm 7:1 says "O Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me…" Verse 10 says "My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart." God is so close to us that He can be our shield and our refuge. He is where you are. Think of the joy and peace we would have in our hearts if we could stay mindful of this fact.

Fourth, Paul tells us how we go about taking refuge in God. We pray. We pray about anything and everything. We pray with thanksgiving because God loves us with a love that we don’t deserve. We thankfully and humbly present our requests to God, "and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." The note in my Life Application Study Bible by Zondervan says, "God’s peace is different from the world’s peace. True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control. Our citizenship in Christ’s kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, and we can have victory over sin." This simple (maybe not so simple) truth is further emphasized in John 14:27. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." That is God’s peace.

How do we become peacemakers? We become peacemakers by loving God with our entire being. We become peacemakers by loving our neighbor as much as we love ourselves and by being God’s hands and feet in this world. We become peacemakers by being poor in spirit, by mourning over our sinfulness, by being meek, gentle and humble, by thirsting after righteousness, by being pure in heart through the Holy Spirit, and by being merciful towards others.

A wonderful family activity would be to pick up a book on the life of Mother Teresa and read about her together. What a wonderful way to teach the lessons contained in the Beatitudes. Your children would actually be able to see these character traits in action.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness. This is an amazing statement in light of what the world teaches. We live in a society where politicians govern through opinion polls. Leaders run away from disapproval at every opportunity, yet Jesus said that those who are persecuted because of righteousness would be blessed. That is absolutely the polar opposite of what the world teaches!

That's also the opposite of what far too many Christians believe. I have encountered way too many Christians who believe that becoming a Christian means entering into a life free from conflict, hassles, and pain. That's not exactly the truth, is it? Let’s read Jesus’ words to His disciples in John 15:18-27 to see how it really does work.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

If we look at the Christ-like values contained in the Beatitudes, it’s easy to see why the world would hate Christians. The world values pride in self, personal independence, and the personal glory coming from achievement. Christ wants us to be poor in spirit. The world values instant gratification and the relentless pursuit of whatever feels good, no matter the cost. Christ wants us to be mournful over our bankrupt spirit. The world glorifies power, no matter how it’s achieved. The world says win at all costs, finishing second constitutes failure, and all glory to the winner. Christ says that we are to be meek and humble and self-emptying before God. The world says we should pursue happiness. Christ says we should pursue righteousness. The world says we are to conquer and overcome. Christ says we are to be merciful. The world glorifies sex, violence, avarice, deception, and depravity of every sort. Christ says we are to be pure in heart. The world promotes divisiveness, drawing lines between red states and blue states, conservatives and liberals, blacks and whites, Christians and Jews and Islamists. The world promotes this divisiveness and then, in a macabre sort of way, revels in the resulting fireworks. Christ says we are to be peacemakers. Is it any wonder there is such hatred from the world towards Christianity? Jesus takes every worldly value and turns it on its head. Jesus offers a better way to live, and the world resents it. The sad truth is that the world seeks to destroy that which it resents, and, unfortunately, Christians are at the top of the list.

Well, now we know the bad news. Is there any good news? Of course there is! Jesus says that if we follow Him, and love His Father with our entire beings, we will be blessed with an inner joy and peace that is impossible for non-believers to comprehend. This joy comes from the knowledge that Jesus has overcome death, He has cleansed us of our sins, and, no matter what happens to us in this life, our faith will be rewarded when we are made perfect in His Heavenly Kingdom. Read Hebrews 11 to see how our faith, even in the face of persecution, will be rewarded.

How does this relate to our kids? We must teach them to be strong in the face of ridicule. We must teach them, by example, that we are willing to endure ridicule and persecution for our beliefs and that God will give us the strength to endure.

You know that our kids are always looking at us, don't you? I notice it all the time. My oldest son always has his eyes on me, watching how I act and what I say, and he copies a lot of what he observes. I continually have to be on guard so that I don't say or do something that would serve as a bad example for him. He has had the opportunity to observe a couple of instances where I caught some heat for my beliefs, and I hope that I set the right example for him in those instances. We should continually pray that God would enable us to set that good example.

This is what I call Beatitudes Parenting. If every Christian parent in America would commit to practicing Beatitudes parenting, we would produce a generation of Christian conservatives that would take back this great nation from the secular progressives and the cultural Marxists. They would lead a rebirth of America that would lead to us truly becoming "one nation under God." What a blessing that would be!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

the revised common lectionary with easter people

daily devotion with billy graham

anti-christian hate speech in hollywood Adios Sally! Jesus To Kathy Griffin: You're Right Actors Tell Hollywood 'Enough Is Enough'

If you look at the above links, you will see clear-cut illustrations of the outrageous hypocrisy that is part of the liberaliar DNA.

If a person got up on stage in front of a national TV audience and uttered similarly offensive and vulgar comments about gays, blacks, women, Muslims, Democrats or any of the other categories of humans deemed "sacred" by the High Priests of Cultural Marxism, what would have been the reaction?

There are none so dishonest and hypocritical as the dishonest and hypocritical liberaliars!

the problem with clouds in the global warming hysteria

This is a fascinating look at the role of clouds in the debate over global warming. Please read the whole article, but here are a few quotes to chew on:

There’s a reason why one should be extremely wary of the computer models that are cited by the endless doomsday predictions of Al Gore, the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change, and all the other advocates of “global warming.”

The reason is clouds. Computer models simply cannot provide for the constant variability of clouds, so they ignore them.

In a July issue of The Economist there was an article, “Grey-Sky thinking” subtitled, “Without understanding clouds, understanding the climate is hard. And clouds are the least understood part of the atmosphere.” Since the increasingly rabid claims of Earth’s destruction from rising temperatures depend on computer modeling, how can they be regarded as accurate if they must largely exempt or deliberately manipulate the impact of clouds?


Tim Garrett, a research meteorologist at the University of Utah, with refreshing candor has said, “We really do not know what’s going on. There are so many basic unanswered questions on how they (clouds) work.” And that is never mentioned in the great “global warming” debate, one we are continuously told is “decided” and upon which there is a vast scientific “consensus.”


How wide is the computer modeling gap when it comes to predicting the weather?

TheEconomist reported that, “In a recent paper in Climate Dynamics, Mark Webb of Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Change and his colleagues reported that clouds account for 66% of the differences between members of one important group of models and for 85% of them in another group.” Clouds simply defy the logarithms of computer modelers.

In short, “Too much still remains unknown about the physical mechanisms that determine cloud behavior,” said The Economist.

Very interesting!

transforming america, step 7 continued.....

Let's continue with our discussion of "Beatitudes Parenting."

Blessed are the meek. Here is a real misunderstood term in today’s world. Say the word "meek" and other words come immediately to mind; words like "cowardly" or "timid" or "wishy-washy" or "pacifist" or "weak". This is an excellent example of how the Beatitudes completely contradict and turn around worldly values. The dictionary in my Bible defines "meek" as humbly and gently doing God’s will.

There is a lesson there for Christians. When Jesus says we need to be meek, He means that we should be gentle and humble in our words and actions, not brash or self-promoting. Jesus wants us to be strong and outspoken about our faith (read about Peter in Acts 4) but also wants us to adopt a servant attitude (read John 13:1-20) so that we will be willing to serve God in any way that brings Him glory. He wants us to see ourselves as God sees us—sinful and in need of salvation. How could we possibly be boastful or prideful if we recognize our own sinfulness? Jesus wants us to apply His Holy Word to our lives because we know we’ll die without it. He certainly doesn’t want us to beat people over the head with the Bible in a haughty, self-righteous manner. He does, however, want us to humbly share His Good News with others. Above all else, Jesus wants us to love and worship God so completely that we will humbly follow His will for our lives, wherever that may lead.

Do you want to read about meekness personified? Read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry. God sent Jesus to be the Messiah, the Savior of all who call on His name, yet He was born in a barn with a manger for a crib. When Jesus reached adulthood, he was the poorest of the poor, at least in the earthly sense. Matthew 8:20 shows that Jesus was homeless. He had no money or earthly possessions of any sort. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He rode a donkey.

When Jesus was in the garden at Gesthemane, His soul was "overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" (Mark 14:34) because He of course knew what lay ahead of Him. Jesus knew that when He took the burden of our sins while on the cross, He would be temporarily separated from God and He was in agony. Yet He prayed, "Yet not what I will, but what you will" (verse 36). Jesus willingly carried His own cross to Golgotha and was mocked as He hung on the cross. He could have come down from the cross and exacted justice right on the spot, but He humbly allowed God’s salvation plan to be finished. Throughout His earthly life, Jesus humbly, gently, and meekly set aside His infinite power and majesty to follow through with God’s perfect plan to institute His New Covenant of salvation. Read what Paul had to say about Christ’s humility in his letter to the Philippians (chapter 2, verses 1-11):

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; ‘Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’

How do we make strong meekness a virtue of our household? Be a strong, gentle leader of your family. Speak well of others. Don’t brag or look down on others. Treat your spouse with respect and tenderness. Have high expectations for your children and hold them accountable for their actions, but discipline them with a heart of love and forgiveness. Be gentle and considerate during family disagreements. Your children will see your meekness, admire you for it and seek to emulate that quality. Adopt the servant attitude that Jesus Himself demonstrated by continually reaching out to those in need, serving them in the love of Christ.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Do you see how the Beatitudes offer us a step-by-step progression? If we recognize that we are indeed poor in spirit, and we mourn over the depth of our sinfulness, and we meekly put our lives in God’s hands and follow His will because we are all too aware of our own impotence, we must take the next step and beg God to wash those sins away. We are commanded to hunger and thirst for the Holy Spirit to transform us (and others) just as a starving man would hunger and thirst for bread and water. We must yearn for God’s goodness and righteousness, both in ourselves and in the world. We have to know that this world is so very temporary and that God has a permanent home reserved for us in heaven where righteousness will reign forever. We must strive daily and hourly and minute-by-minute to live as God has commanded with our eyes on that eternal prize. If we yearn for worldly possessions, material wealth, or earthly, vulgar excitement, we become of the world and there is no room in our hearts for righteousness.

My Life Application Study Bible by Zondervan has a wonderful chart in it showing how the book of Proverbs compares and contrasts the lifestyles of the righteous with the wicked. This makes a great tool as you seek to teach your children how to live a righteous life. Proverbs 10:24 shows that the righteous have a hopeful outlook on life, while the wicked are fearful. 12:10 says that the righteous are concerned about God’s creation. The righteous don’t desire the company of godless people (24:1,2), they care for the poor (29:7), they detest the dishonest (29:27), and they persevere against evil (24:15,16). It would be good to sit down with your children and read through Proverbs together (little bits at a time) so that they could be led to live righteous lives. Also read John 15:5-8. Jesus explains in this passage that the only way to live righteously is to continually seek closeness with God. We do that through prayer and through reading the Bible.

Blessed are the merciful. Our God is a merciful and loving God. We know that, by God’s perfect standard, there is not one righteous man on this earth. We also know that the wages of sin are death. God must punish sin, but His great love for us means that we can be forgiven of our sins. Read the account of Moses leading the Israelites to the Promised Land to see God’s mercy in action. Read the book of Jonah (it’s short). The city of Nineveh was as evil and corrupt as any city in the world, but God called Jonah to witness to the people there. After a short detour by way of the stomach of a great fish, Jonah did go to Nineveh and all 120,000 of the Ninevites repented. God showed them mercy and spared their lives. Each and every one of us sins on a daily basis, falling short of what God expects of us, yet God continues to forgive us and to give us second chances (and third and fourth and…) and to show us a level of mercy we don’t deserve.

Because of the great mercy that God has shown us, God expects us to be merciful to others. We are to clothe the poor, feed the hungry, minister to the sick and dying, and proclaim the Gospel to a dying world. We are to work to relieve suffering wherever we find it. We are to show active, working compassion that makes a difference. This is what churches are talking about when they use the word "mission". As Christians, our mission is to be Christ in this world, and we do that by being merciful.

Read Matthew 25:31-46 as Jesus talks about the Final Judgment:

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

The message is clear—we serve Christ when we are mercifully serving others. That is our mission to the world.

It is vital that each and every Christian get involved in mission. This doesn’t mean that you have to sell off all of your belongings, pack up and move to a distant land on the other side of the globe. There are mission opportunities available thousands of miles away and there are mission opportunities available next door. Just prayerfully ask God to show you where you are needed.

Have you felt a great need to help in the mammoth relief effort in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita? You can donate money to any one of a number of reputable organizations to participate in that mission. You can get personally involved with an organization like Habitat for Humanity, roll up your sleeves, and help with the rebuilding.

Are you concerned about the devastating effects of the disintegration of the traditional family? Start a marriage mentoring program in your church. Become a foster parent, or a Big Brother or a Big Sister. Volunteer to help in child care and youth organizations.

Are you worried about the sanctity of life in this society, particularly the high number of abortions performed each year? Start an abortion alternatives program in your church as an outreach and ministry to pregnant women in your community. Support local adoption agencies.

Would you consider voting to be a part of mission? I would. Do you see anything resembling Christ-like work being done by any level of our government today? I don’t. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about state-sponsored religion. I’m talking about the people who work in the business of government doing their work in a way that would be pleasing to God. Christians have a responsibility in this constitutional republic God blessed us with to seek out, support, and vote for candidates who live and work according to the teachings of Jesus. This mission is absolutely crucial to the rebirth of our country.

The point is that there are literally no limits to the ways the individual Christian can participate in mission, thus fulfilling Jesus’ command to be merciful. Just ask God to give you your assignment.

Get your children involved in mission as early as possible. At our church we support a United Methodist children and youth center. Not only do they need money, but they also need supplies such as boxed cereal, paper towels, Kleenex, construction paper and glue. Children can be involved in the shopping for and delivery of these supplies so that they feel like they are donating, too. Get involved in a program where your children can visit people in a nursing home. This is so beneficial to the patients, and your children will be blessed by the experience. Buying Christmas presents for needy children, participating in canned food drives, donating clothes to Goodwill; these are all activities that your children can and should be involved in to learn to be merciful.

There is another aspect to being merciful. How often do we pass judgment on others because of the speck in their eye while ignoring the log in ours? When we cross the line from thirsting for righteousness to being self-righteous, we cease being merciful. When we are merciless in our dealings with others because of the sins we see in them, aren’t we really saying to them that they don’t deserve God’s mercy? What a horrible way to act! Teach your children from the time they can talk to use "nice words", and demonstrate to them that you use nice words, as well. It’s hard to be merciful when you’re screaming.

Teach them by example to be non-judgmental of other people. In my home, we have come to the realization that it is important to not label anyone as a "good person" or "bad person". We are all created in the image of God. If I say to my daughter that she is a bad girl because she colored a picture on the wall, I am tearing down a creation of God, I have failed to be merciful, and I have sinned. It’s far better to say to her, "Honey, you are a good girl and I love you very much, but you just made a bad decision and I am not happy about it. After you help me clean this wall I am sending you to bed early. Don’t do this again." That sounds pretty wise, doesn’t it? God says that I have to confess right here that it took several years for my wife to teach me this lesson in dealing with our kids. It seems that I have a problem with mercy and a hard head as well. That is a bad combination! My wife was patient and merciful with me, and she is far wiser than I am, so I have finally started to understand this concept. Our family life is happier as a result. The lesson here is that if we learn to be merciful to each other within the four walls of our home, we will be more merciful to others "out there."

We'll finish this topic up tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2007

modern liberalism--childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues

I blogged earlier about the whole notion of liberals being mentally superior to conservatives and about how silly that notion really is. The column linked to above does a great job of explaining the liberal thought process and the simplistic, childlike qualities of that thought process. This is a very interesting column. Enjoy!

transforming america, step 7--teach your kids to follow Christ

Do you have children in your home? Are you a parent? It is your God-given responsibility to lead your children to Christ. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says;

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

Those words, spoken by Moses 3400 years ago, are just as relevant today. Now more than ever our children need the power of God’s amazing love to shield them from the forces of evil. You had better believe that Satan is waging a savage battle for the hearts and minds of our children.

God had a reason for issuing that declaration (through Moses) telling the Israelites to teach the Word of God to their children.

When children learn to love God at an early age, they stand a better chance of retaining their faith throughout their lives. They in turn will be better at passing that faith on to their children and even to other people they come in contact with. Being an effective spiritual leader in your own home is crucial in accomplishing our goal of sparking a rebirth of our nation.

If we all agree that we must lead our households to Christ, the next obvious question is—How? The Bible gives us the answer. If you read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry, you will see a picture of the perfect parent. Jesus taught, molded, and "parented" His followers so that they would better understand the New Covenant of God’s saving grace. The greatest illustration of Jesus’ instruction comes from His Sermon on the Mount, and, specifically, from the Beatitudes. I believe that these seemingly contradictory words hold the key to successful parenting. In a nutshell, we must continually work to make each one of these values a part of our own character. If we strive to become living examples of these characteristics, and we demonstrate to our children how to emulate these character traits, our households will be blessed. Let’s read the Beatitudes together and we’ll look at them individually in detail. Matthew 5:1-12:

Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The theme running through the Beatitudes is that if we conduct ourselves in a certain way, God will bless us. In other words, we don’t do these things for ourselves or for worldly approval; it’s all about God. Don’t misunderstand, however, and think that this means we can earn our way into heaven by being good. It’s clear, if you read everything that Jesus said, that the only way to have all of these characteristics is through the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart. To be truthful, we will never completely embody these character traits until that day when our Lord makes us perfect. Additionally, you will find that one Beatitude leads to the next. They don’t stand alone. You can’t pick and choose which ones you will follow. Let’s look at them one at a time.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. It all starts here. Nothing happens until we come to the realization that we are so bankrupt in our own spirituality that we must depend on an outside/external source—our Heavenly Father. John Wesley said, "It is a recognition of personal, moral, and spiritual unworthiness. Spiritually, morally, personally, socially, in every single realm that you can think of in the human life, that you’re showing you are in need of God." Our good works won’t get us to heaven. We have nothing within ourselves that is worthy of presenting to God. We need God to bless us, to save us, to make us worthy of being in His presence.

How do we teach by example this valuable lesson to our children? We teach that by giving God credit and being profoundly thankful for all that is good in our lives. If you get a promotion at work, come home, hold hands with your family and thank God for blessing you. Admit to God that you’re not worthy, but pray to Him that He will give you wisdom so that you may become worthy of that promotion. As your children begin to achieve success in sports, or music, or academics, or whatever, continually remind them that it is God who gave them the ability to succeed and that we would be nothing without a wonderful and loving God. Teach your child to pray in thanksgiving. Read with your child Psalm 118 to show them what thankfulness sounds like. If you do something wrong, use that as a teaching moment. For example, if you yell at your child unjustly, confess your mistake to that child. Tell him that you were wrong, that you have sinned, and what God’s attitude is towards sin. With your child there, pray to God for His forgiveness. You will be demonstrating that we all are sinners, we all fall short of God’s perfect standard, and we must rely on God’s wonderful grace and mercy to be saved. Read with your children the story of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50). You can tie this in with Romans 3:9-20 to show that no one is righteous. Tell your children that the sinful woman is us. You will be providing a wonderful illustration of how we are all poor in spirit.

Blessed are those that mourn. Once we realize that we are morally and spiritually empty without the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and that we are sinners by nature, the natural emotional response is to mourn over our bankrupt souls. This doesn’t mean that we should be sad sacks, constantly depressed, morose, or brooding. We are not commanded to sink into a never-ending depression because of the fact that we have a sinful nature. When Jesus tells us to be mournful, He is simply referring to spiritual sorrow. We are to recognize our sinfulness for what it is and we are to refrain from rationalizing it. We are to humbly beg God to wash our sins away because we are powerless to defeat sin alone.

Think about your own experiences. Do you know when you are the most vulnerable to sin? It’s when you are satisfied and forgetful of your own limitations. It’s when you say, "I’ve got it covered God. I can handle things myself." When we forget we are poor in spirit we cease to mourn over our spiritual deficiencies and we become prime targets for Satan’s grasp.

Mournfulness is a hard trait to master because it certainly goes against everything the world teaches. Self-esteem, self-gratification, do what it takes to feel good—that’s what the world teaches. How in this world do we make this trait part of our own character, let alone teach it to our children? Regular prayer time is the key. Pray by yourself and pray as a family, and make confession/repentance a normal part of that prayer time. As you pray, each member of the family should confess their sins for that day, repent, ask for God’s forgiveness, and ask for the strength and wisdom to do better. A regular prayer routine will ingrain these first two Beatitudes into all of your personalities. You can incorporate Bible reading into this routine as well. Psalm 51 is an excellent chapter to read to experience mournfulness.

We'll continue with this theme tomorrow.

the true face of today’s left liberalism: elitism coupled with neo-paganism

This is another gem from Rabbi Aryeh Spero. The man speaks the truth, and he is a national treasure!

christian parenting

the national disgrace of 28 shameful leftists

From yesterday, Sept. 20:

Today the U.S. Senate approved by a vote of 72 – 25 (3 not voting) an amendment by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 expressing the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.

You can read the full text of the amendment by going to the above link. What was most interesting to me was to see the actual voting record for this amendment. 23 Democrats (I'm including Joe Lieberman in that number) joined all of the Republicans in voting for the amendment. There were 25 hard-core leftists who voted against the amendment, with 3 cowardly Democrats (including Barack Hussein Obama and Joe Biden) refusing to take a stand one way or the other.

Included in the traitorous group of 25 are Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, both of whom are seeking your vote to become Commander-In-Chief of the United States Military. In light of the fact that they both voted in favor of General Petraeus' appointment, and in light of the fact that they both voted in favor of the war, I believe that this latest vote proves that neither of them are fit to serve as President. The fact that Barack Hussein Obama and Joe Biden failed to vote on this amendment proves that they aren't fit to serve as President, either.

These 28 shameful politicians refused to take a stand supporting "the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces." This one vote tells you everything you need to know about the despicable leftists who have infected the modern Democrat Party. They have no honor or integrity themselves, therefore they are unable to recognize those qualities in anyone else. They are a disgrace and they should be repudiated in the strongest way possible.
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