Friday, October 31, 2008

Frivolous Friday!

I'm posting four 'irresistible' photo's for frivolous Friday today. After a week of thought provoking issues, I thought you could use some levity. Enjoy.
And by golly we're going to enforce it. Don't you think for a moment, we're gonna let you use this bus stop just because you want to. I'm personally okay with the rule, except I just have one question: Do you want me to pay the fine before or after I'm dead from electrocution because I touched the wires???Here we go again! Your typical divided city council, with each faction wanting their voice to be heard. So what do you really want us to do? Should we stop or shouldn't we?

I am honored to have found this photo, and you should be honored to be seeing it. Why? Don't you realize you're looking at a photo from before the name "banana" was invented? Have a phenomenal weekend!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We're Back!!!!

In the November 2008 issue of Charisma magazine, J. Lee Grady, the editor, reiterates a prevailing sentiment about how difficult a year 2008 has been. He calls our attention to a divisive presidential campaign, a mortgage crisis, failing banks, failing Christian leaders, soaring gas prices and various other “crises” that we’ve had to contend with. He states, “Some of my friends are joking about buying “I SURVIVED 2008” T-shirts.” At the risk of appearing sardonic I say, hold on a second! Not so fast my friends!! What makes you think you’ve survived it? We’ve still got two whole months to go, with a major presidential election still ahead of us. Who knows what else will ‘crawl out of the woodwork’ in that interminable amount of time.

As our nation sinks deeper and deeper into the mire of godlessness, the Church is conflicted with regard to how to combat this ‘cancer.’ Many of us ignore the obvious. We turn a blind eye to the fact that our society is a reflection of the Church. We struggle with prayer and fasting, but excel at rhetoric that ignites misplaced passions. We spend more time on our computers than we do on our knees, yet we think that we can find the ‘heart of God’ for our nation. We spew propaganda deriding anyone who thinks differently from us (even among Christians), yet we expect them to buy into what we’re offering. From Ted Haggard to Todd Bentley, the Church is deeply divided as to whether or not God ever used, and indeed still can use these men in any capacity, and how, if at all they should be welcomed back into ministry. Racism and what Kim Daniels calls “ricochet racism” (when the abused becomes the abuser), are alive and well in our deeply divided churches and society. We have factions in the Church that represent polar extremes in their world view. On the one hand we have the inclusionists who just want to love everyone and everything even if that means embracing sin, and on the other hand we have the troglodytes who want to “Run to the hills” and recluse themselves from our “sinful” world.

And the media? Well they’re having a field day with all of this! My friend Steve Vickers displayed remarkable insight into this media manipulation when he recently wrote an article in which he stated,

“Not pleased in the least with the script of history written in blood and sacrifice by our forefathers, they [the media] despise completely the values and beliefs which anchored its decisions and directions. Determined to erase God and any reference to Him and the values of life belief in Him creates, they ingeniously play out the America they are creating 24/7 right before our eyes in big screen, surround sound, high def quality… I guess you could call it “entertainment with a purpose.””

If it’s true that the secular media are evangelists for advancing a dubious agenda, they are remarkably good at it. They blitz the airwaves with their propaganda, seeking to convert non-believers to their way of thinking. They argue that morality is relative, an unborn baby is not a human life, heterosexual marriage as an exclusive way of life is outmoded and outdated, and that those who believe differently are nothing but bigots. The Church on the other hand unwittingly neglects our access to the ‘airwaves’ that can make the greatest difference. Prayer shatters the boundaries between heaven and earth, allowing for God’s purpose to be played out in the hearts of men. Please pray, and then vote!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A kingdom divided (Part 2 of 2)

I suggest you read this before you continue with part 2 so that you get a proper context for the discussion.

If the truth be told, all of this political posturing by the various Christian ‘camps’ reveals more about the Church than it does about the government, the judiciary, or who becomes President. While I concede that Congress determines what is passed into law, I know that even congressmen are subject to God’s authority, and God’s authority is established through obedience and prayer. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). This brings me to a few questions of my own. Does voting for McCain make me a better Christian because he’s pro-life? Does voting for Obama mean that the wrath of God will surely descend on me because he’s pro-choice and God and I are not? Is what happens in our judiciary really going to change the hearts of men towards abortion? I absolutely abhor the idea of killing innocent babies, but I’d much rather see people’s hearts transformed through the love of God, than a polarized American Church simply because we take such diametrically opposed stances in our approach to Presidential politics. A wise man (Jesus) once said, “A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.” Some Christians see the social aspects of Christianity as more germane to their cause. Others believe that it is the preservation of Christian values in our secularized nation that will return the favor of God upon us. I believe completely differently from both those views. I believe that it is the Church demonstrating the love of Christ to our embattled and embittered society that will effect the greatest change. If you don’t believe me then go visit Almolonga, Guatemala!

It doesn't seem that long ago that President Bush was ushered in as ‘God’s choice for America.’ Many ‘praying’ Christians attributed his victory over John Kerry to the prayers of the Church. Whether that is true or not, his popularity has since fizzled like the embers of a 4th of July sparkler dipped in water. Today, many Christians are distancing themselves from Bush and ‘his’ war in Iraq, stating that he has done numerous things wrong during his tenure as President. Funnily enough, he told the world that he begins every day with prayer as our President. Evidently prayer does not always overcome many of our human frailties, and so we make choices that are left up to history to judge. I guess it ultimately doesn’t really matter who sits in the Oval Office. Are there any guarantees that Roe V. Wade would be overturned if we had 5 conservative Supreme Court Justices? If it were overturned would that guarantee the end of abortion? Is it more important that the law be changed than it is that the hearts of men be changed?

I admit I’ve given you more questions than answers. In case you were wondering, that was my purpose. Many of these questions will be answered with vigorous and passionate conviction. Amazingly though, those passions will emanate from varying perspectives. Many of those different answers will come from well-meaning, praying, Bible-believing Christians. Some of them will be right and some of them will be wrong, but ultimately the only thing that really matters is that the Church be seen as the extension of Jesus in the earth. It is in the pursuit of such a noble calling that I am willing to display my passion. Judging from where we are right now, I’d say we have a pretty long way to go!

Here’s how the Bible so eloquently puts it:

When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves
(Proverbs 28:12)
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
(Proverbs 29:2)
When the wicked increase, transgression increases, but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
(Proverbs 29:16)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A kingdom divided (Part 1 of 2)

Is it just me or does it appear that everywhere you turn people are touting these elections as the most important elections of our lives? Funny thing is, they said the same thing about the last elections. I’m not sure that I’m in a position to make an accurate judgment one way or another (especially since I wasn’t eligible to vote at the last elections). This much I do know though, there are numerous Christian ‘camps’ prophesying and praying 'their' candidate into office in order that the will of God may prevail in our nation. There are thirteen candidates listed on the ballot, running for President, in addition to a fourteenth fill-in-the-blank spot to write in the name of your preferred candidate incase they’re not listed. Whose prayer does God respond to? Is it the fervent prayer of the Right Wing Republican, or the heartfelt pleas of the Christian Democrat? Or is it the prayers of the idealist who is neither Republican nor Democrat?

Some say the war is the most important issue for the next president to tackle, citing the obvious spiritual implications of a Jihad waged against the West. They suggest that the real war is not against a lascivious Western lifestyle, as purported by Radical Islam, but against the very tenets of Christianity itself. Others say the economy is foremost on their's and God’s hearts, since people are suffering and starving, and daily losing their jobs and their homes. Still others suggest that God’s greatest priority is the judicial system. They carefully explain how the next President will be responsible for appointing at least two (and possibly five) Supreme Court Justices during his tenure. The Courts, they suggest, literally hold the power of life and death in this country. And what do the candidates themselves say is most important? Well that depends on which group they’re speaking to at the moment. Quite frankly, their political rhetoric has become otiose, and that fact is reflected in the way the candidates resort to personal attacks and insults over substantive discussions.

I’ve heard prophecies from the believable to bordering on ludicrous. I’ve heard people suggest that 44 (Sarah Palin’s age) is a significant number. She will be the 44th Vice President of the USA, they inform us. They go as far as to tell us that it was “…decreed she will enter the White House.” Why, they even assure us that she will be President one day. Others have dubbed Obama the messiah, and herald his coming with cries of “Change we can believe in!” Prayer vigils are being held around the clock, not necessarily asking for God’s will to be done, but asking that their particular candidate be voted into office. In all of their voluble political posturing, very few of them actually believe that their desire may well be different from God’ purpose. No one seems to remember the fact that the Scriptures say “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.” (Proverbs 21:1 ESV) Whatever else they may believe, according to this verse, God is able to ‘manipulate’ the heart of whichever ‘king’ sits on the ‘throne’ of the USA regardless of what we might think.

Come back tomorrow for the concluding part of this series

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life is a game of golf!

Last week I posted on a few 'heavy' issues and, as one reader observed, I had significantly fewer comments than normal (like... none!). It would appear that people tend to shy away from what they consider controversial subjects. I on the other hand, have a tendency to 'meddle.' This week won't be much different as I have a few things that are weighing heavily on my heart. However, before I begin to meddle, I figured I'd soften you up with a fun post of our golf outing yesterday. After church Sola and I and some friends of ours headed out to a par-3 golf course to play a quick 9-holes.

Now you need to know that when the word handicap is applied to golf, in my case it is a double entendre. It is absolutely true to say that I'm 'handicapped' when it comes to teeing off. My handicap is the fact that I cannot use my 'long' clubs if my life depended on it. In the past, everytime we go to a regular golf course It takes me two shots to match most people's tee shot. My saving grace is that I tend to be pretty average from 150-yds, in to the pin. I've actually been known to sulk and quit halfway through the course when I become frustrated with my game, so that the people with me tended not to have any fun either. Discovering the par-3 course was a 'God-send' since I never have to use anything longer than a six-iron. I have a ton more fun and actually look like a half-decent player since nobody knows about my 'handicap,' and a par-3 course won't reveal it.

I love the lesson in that story: You shouldn't bite off more than you can chew! There's absolutely no shame in playing a par-3 course over a regular golf course. I'm not a pro, neither do I earn money playing golf. The only reason that I play golf is because I really enjoy it (I suck at it, but I really enjoy it). This means that I need to find a place that optimizes my skills. It's kind of like serving and pastoring people. It can often become too much of a challenge unless you find a purpose that optimizes your gifts. Only then will you 'shine.' Amazingly enough, only then will you really begin to enjoy what you do, and only then will the 'company' you're with begin to enjoy being with you. We had so much fun yesterday, Sola wants to go back again. In case that doesn't mean anything to you, she actually says on our church website that the thing that would surprise her family the most was if she took up golf. Hmmmm, I wonder....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Frivolous Friday!

Frivolous Friday is a little late this weekend as I'm posting it on Saturday morning. But, hey, what do you have to complain about now that it's here? Now you can just sit back and enjoy a good ol' belly laugh. Today I'm going across the "Pond" to 'jolly' old England. Passing a drivers test in the UK is akin to graduating college. People have been known to take and fail the test double digit number of times before they are finally issued a license. Why, some people get their license in their fifties! (you should know that yours truly passed it on the first try). Their network of roads and road signs will make it obvious why driving in the UK is not for the faint of heart.

My concern is that there are still tourists from the 1980's lost in this perpetual blackhole of roundabouts. Can you imagine being caught at roundabout #3 as you attempt to make your way to Oxford? I can picture the conversation with the people whose house you're trying to get to: "No we're at the roundabout. You know, that one that leads to Oxford..."This is probably the easiest-to-read road sign you'll ever come across in the UK. It was put there on purpose so as to give you a break from working so hard trying to read all the other signs. "Where did you say you were going again? Oh, it's that way!!!"

Even the British know how confusing their road signs and roundabouts can be, so they apologize in advance. Enjoy your weekend, and if you're going to be in the UK anytime soon, I suggest you take a drivers ed course to prepare yourself for the adventure. Also pack enough supplies to last a week, incase you get stuck in the 'vortex' of a perpetual roundabout. Alternatively you can up your medical insurance and make sure that it includes psychiatric care abroad!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Raging Fires

I highly recommend the movie Fireproof. Sola and I went to see it on Tuesday. In my estimation it's the best made and best written Christian themed movie out there (besides the Passion of The Christ). The dialog was powerful, witty, thought provoking... it had just the right amount of humor to break the tension brewing between the main characters. At different points in the movie I caught myself holding my breath in anticipation of the impending 'explosion,' then they'd interject some unexpected and sometimes subtle levity. For example, the scene where the husband has made a romantic dinner for his wife and she literally walks past him, while obviously painful, is comical because of his expression. While some of the acting was B-rate, for the most part the movie was very well cast (I particularly loved the character of the 'rookie' fireman). The scenes were well shot, and, to be honest, it was good enough to have been made by a major motion picture company. Best of all though was the incredibly powerful message underlying the story.

I particularly loved the role played by Kirk Cameron's characters parents. It sends a strong and emphatic message that God often uses parents to 'save' their children from themselves, even when the kids don't know it. There are so many sermons hidden in the myriad lessons, so I really encourage you to take your spouse on a date to the movies. And if you're not married...? What the heck, go anyway. It can't hurt, and in fact, might prepare you to be a better spouse if you're hoping or planning to get married. Oh, one last thing. Since the whole premise of the movie was to honor godly marriages, Kirk Cameron's wife was flown in specifically to do the scene where he kisses his on screen wife. So instead of kissing his onscreen wife, he actually kisses his real wife. I love it! I applaud Kirk Cameron's decision to eschew the big money of Hollywood so that he only does movies that are morally and ethically in keeping with his world view, but that's another blog for another time. Well, what are you still doing sitting there? Go see the movie already!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Honesty - not just the best but the only policy!!!

I guess I needed more than one day to cool off! Any way, I'm back to being civil (though I can't promise that I won't be as brutally honest as I was in my last post). In case you're wondering what the heck I'm going on about, go here. "Why is this such an issue for me?" I guess it's because I see the pattern repeatedly, and I'm weary of being defined among the insane (Remember that it's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results). Remember the precursor to Y2K? Christians were advocating the stockpiling of food, water, ammunition.... "Run for the hills to protect your family" became the popular refrain. Why? If it's true that "To live is Christ but to die is gain" (for the Christian), why are we so afraid of the inevitable? Here we are at yet another major crossroad in our country's checkered and beleaguered history (the 2008 Presidential Elections), and we are again focusing on the wrong thing. We are busy championing politicians as the 'saviors' of the way of life we so desperately desire, instead of fasting, praying, loving and serving.

Personally, I believe it has much to do with who you sorround yourself with. Radical Islam is such a force for evil because they are indoctrinated from youth about the merits of dying as a "martyr" for the cause of Islam (it also helps to promise 72 virgins as one of your rewards for martyrdom). They inbibe their 'poison' until they cease to be rational about anything but the cause to which they have sworn allegiance. In more polite terms, they become insular. The Church has drunk the same poison! We sorround ourselves with people who tell us largely what we want to hear. They pat us on the back and tell us how "mean" the world is and how we need to protect ourselves from its 'poison.' The problem with this theory is that we are called to impact this world, not to get away from it! It's like the fireman running away from a fire instead of towards it. He has committed himself to the cause of putting out fires. In order to do this he must be willing to risk his life running toward fires. The cause of Christ requires us to put ourselves in 'the line of fire' daily, as we seek to love a hurting world.

Our will plays a large role in whether or not we do this successfully. Hear what a very wise friend of mine has to say about our will:
Our will is a powerful thing. It can be a tool for good in our lives or for evil. Some say, "I just don't have any will power." Sure they do. They are just too lazy to use it. People who say that, prefer the route of least resistance. They are not willing to make the effort to use their will. These people never succeed at anything in life. They are like huge sinkholes that take in everything anyone will pour into them, but it never produces anything of benefit for themselves or others. I caution you, never partner with people like that, for your endeavors will always fail.
- Steve Vickers (President, Harvest Churches International)

"If you become willing and obey me, you will eat good crops from the land..." (Isaiah 1:19). Enjoying God's promise of fruitfulness in our nation requires us as Christians to not just be obedient, but to be willing. So the larger question is: Are you willing? Are you willing to put your neck on the line? Are you willing to buck the status quo in favor of establishing God's Kingdom on earth? Are you willing to be seen as different? Are you willing to let your passion for God take precedence over your need to be seen as tolerant? Are you willing...?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Enough already!!!

The presidential elections are approaching really fast, and quite a few people I've spoken to are still waiting for a viable option to emerge out of the fracas of indelicately aimed jabs and personal insults. While the US is contending with who will establish foreign policy and fix the economy (among various other major issues) over the next four years, the rest of the world is working hard to ensure that their economies don't collapse. Meanwhile the world of radical Islam is busily plotting their next attack against our "evil" western lifestyle, since the attention of the world is focused on other, shall we say, more delicate issues! Wars, famine, violence, wildfires, among numerous other disasters continue to plague our world. And the Church? Well the church is... well, being the Church!!!

We could be taking advantage of this financially debilitating season to serve the poor. We could be reaching out to the lost, the hurting, and the next generation with the good news of the Gospel. We could be preaching purity and a return to Godliness for our nation, yet we are about as insular and out of touch with reality as we've ever been. Many Christians are busy campaigning not just for Palin (you'd think she was running for president), but against Obama. Why, recently I received a 'forward' in my inbox that 'traced' Obama's ties to the Middle East and potentially to terrorism. Having 'established' that damning tie to terrorism, the question was delicately raised (and left unanswered), "Where is all his campaign financing coming from?" What??? What country do you live in? Have you somehow missed all the people who have vocally aired their support for "Change?" To listen to many Christians, you'd think God was voting for McCain and against Obama.

I have news for all the Republican and Democrat Christians: God isn't voting for either of your candidates! He already cast His vote over 2000 years ago, and He isn't changing His mind. His Candidate is unequivocally Jesus!!! If we would let Him be seen in the earth through us (the Church), then we probably wouldn't have to worry about campaigning against abortion or homosexuality, or gay marriages, since our commitment to love and serve hurting people would go much further in helping them find healing, than our empty rhetoric does. Yeah, you'll probably accuse me of standing on a soapbox, and if you did you'd be right. I think it's time that we took responsibility for the ills of our nation. Last time I read the Scriptures, 2 Chronicles 7:14 still reads:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I'm not quite done yet but I think I'll take a break to cool off and come back tomorrow. See you tomorrow same time same place. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Frivolous Friday!

Today we're staying local for Flivorous... I mean, Frivolous Friday! I found these priceless signs that I thought you would enjoy almost as much as I did. ;)
You know, I always thought polar bears were supposed to be smart creatures. Evidently this one didn't read the sign. He could have saved himself so much trouble if he'd just paid attention and taken the detour around the ice.Hmmmm, let me see. I know I want to get to Houghton, but I'm not sure if I can make it that far considering it's two miles further than the "End of Earth!!!"And so the war continues between Mac and PC! Seriously though, I wonder if Mac paid Forsdicks BMW to run this Ad. Personally, I'm a PC and I don't wear tweed!!! Have a great weekend and keep smiling. See you next week.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Republican or Democrat???

I'm sorry I didn't get round to posting the rest of the cartoons my friend sent to me, yesterday. I'm sure you understand how life gets busy and things fall off the priority scale. Anyway, I'm posting three more cartoons today for your early weekend enjoyment! These all come from Australia, and, whatever your position may be with regard to America's foreign policy, and our domestic security laws, you can't help but laugh at the way the rest of the world perceives the way that we respond to crisis. Enjoy the cartoons, and, incase you feel the need to shoot someone, remember that I'm just the messenger. I report the news as I receive it!!! :)
In the cartoon directly above, presumably a depiction of Arlington National Cemetary, I'm quickly reminded that there are no Republican or Democrat sections in cemetaries. Isn't it interesting that, at our final resting place, you can't tell which way we voted!?!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Liberalism/ Radical Islam Roulette???

Partisan politics is all the rage right now, with the average black man lining up behind Obama and the average white man lining up behind McCain (or is it Palin?). Whatever the case, we are discovering that we are a united nation only with regard to our geographical borders, as we are completely polarized when it comes to agreeing on what's in the best interest of our internationally beleaguered nation. It seems impossible for us to truly determine who would be the best president for our nation at this juncture of the pivotal political and economic quagmire we find ourselves in. This clearly means that we will vote for whomever we identify with the most, as far as our world view goes. If the truth be told though, when all is said and done, our interests will take a back seat to the interests of lobbyists, big-money investors and other special interest groups that really pull the strings of the candidates. I know, I know, I'm beginning to sound like one of those conspiracy theorists.

At the end of the day I must go with my conscience and do whatever I believe will ultimately serve our nation best. I recognize that sometimes things must get worse before they get better (trust me; I know this from first-hand experience). I am intrigued though, by how the rest of the world views what is going on in American politics, and how they think it will affect the global economic and political tensions that are threatening to strangle many nations. A friend sent me a series of political cartoons from Australia so I thought it would be good to share some of them with you today and tomorrow. Whatever your thoughts are about partisan politics, I'm under no illusions that there is not one true American who won't be concerned if this cartoon turns out to be a political prophecy.

This is why I'm convinced that our only choice, certainly if you profess Christianity as your world view, is to trust Him completely, knowing that as long as you follow Him, you are headed in the right direction no matter what the circumstances seem to say to the contrary. See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Consumer Christians

Sometime last year Craig Groeschel posted a blog on more missional and less consumeristic Christianity. I've been thinking a lot about that lately, especially in light of our obviously divided views on presidential politics (I recently wrote a series of blogs about this also). We seem to "shop" for a church in much the same way we shop for a president. What is closest to my particular leaning? Which one plays the sort of music that I like? Which one has a more exciting plan to titilate my ears every Sunday? See what I mean? Even you weren't sure if I was talking about presidential politics or church!!!

Seriously though, the idea that we attend church for what we can get as opposed to what we can give, is a totally asinine idea. We really should be the ones leading the charge to encourage people to find a church where their gifts can best be utilized to serve the community. The Church that will have the greatest impact on our culture will be the Church that:
  • Is sick of living in material comfort while millions starve to death
  • Believes in the power of prayer and fasting
  • Is willing to endure hardship for the cause of Christ
  • Is passionate about missions both locally and internationally
  • Makes money so that they can give money rather than consume it on themselves
  • Sees it as their role to introduce people to Jesus
  • Sees it as a primary calling to serve the lost, the hurting and the next generation.

Sadly, I am persuaded that we won't come to this place until we as Christians, have suffered tremendous pain and hardship in the 'wilderness' experience. This seems to me to be the time when our attention is more focused on God and less on our accomplishments or abilities. Or like Greg Surratt put it, "In God's relentless pursuit of us, He uses 'no fish' moments to lead us to "But because you say so" obedience. It's time to seek the face of God like never before for the future of our nation.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flivorous Fliday... More Engrish!!!

I know it's been a busy and full week for you, especially if your week has been anything like mine. That means that you are entitled to a few minutes of brainless laughter. So without further ceremony, I present for your viewing pleasure... this weeks installment of flivorous, I mean frivolous Friday: Boy, I hate having to make these sort of decisions. Should I let the flames kill me or do I go with the explosion from the hand grenade??? They won't even let you die without having you make major decisions!!!
All we ask is that when you're done 'braking' down the wall you return the sledge hammer where you got it, so that the next person that needs it can find it easily in all the swirling smoke from the fire!!!
All I know is that this sign can drive a man to drink! My primary concern with the sign is that they feel like it's the guests responsibility to "defend the mattress that fall down." My question is why? Why can't I just enjoy being a guest at the Linan Inn without having to defend the mattress? If you have any answers please let me know. Meanwhile, have an incredible and fun-filled weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A slap in the face!!!

As I conclude this short series of "food for thought" posts on Presidential politics, I wanted to be sure to post quotes by two of the most outstanding Presidents this nation has ever been privileged to have. It seems patently obvious to me, that the principles upon which this nation was founded are principles that espoused godliness and Biblical morality and integrity. The survival of this nation depends largely on how well we adhere to the original intent of the Founding Father's, irrespective of how politcally incorrect it may be in our ever shifting socio-political society. Read what President's George Washington and Roosevelt had to say about the political prosperity and development of our great nation:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim tribute to patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness—these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”

– George Washington

“We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity.”

I will end by putting my neck on the proverbial line and appearing overly simplistic with regard to my belief about the impact of spiritual things upon the temporal world. Yesterday I watched a documentary about the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who are currently in the baseball post season for the first time in their history. They have never had a winning season in their over 10-year existence and have infact been the butt of jokes in the sporting world. The new owners came in with tremendous financial savvy, and instituted practices they learned from their success on Wall Street, into the successful running of the team. One of the first things they did though, was to eliminate the word "Devil" from the team name (among various other changes they made).

The franchise has been turned around in less than two years! I believe that there is a spiritual stronghold that hides behind things as simple as names, practices, and belief systems. If we advocate the legal killing of unborn babies by calling them something else, if we believe that prayer is okay as long as we keep it as far away from schools and public buildings as possible, if we believe that sanctioning the marriage of people of the same sex is acceptable practice, then we must be ready to deal with the consequences that result from such a blatant slap in the faces of our Founding Fathers, but more especially in the face of our Heavenly Father. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dying to Live!

I'm taking a break from my 'Presidential Quotes' today to post a video that a friend of mine shot while he was in Sudan this past September. While it tugs at the heartstrings and begs for sympathy, the more overarching idea here is that we all get involved. If just a couple of people who read this blog regularly were to join up with Make Way Ministries and support the efforts in Sudan, then we would have had an impact beyond just sympathetic cries of indignation. Jesus said that whatever we do to the least of these, we've done it to Him. I urge you to take the five and a half minutes it will take to watch this video and then do something about it. The website address is at the end of the video. God bless your day today, and no matter how hard you have it, remember that there are people a lot worse off than you are, and Jesus died for them too!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Politics of Virtue

Yesterday we looked at a quote from Ronald Reagan that established the idea that, in order for democracy to succeed in its purest intent, morality based on Biblical precepts is an essential ingredient. While I submit that democracy is a man-made system of government, it is based largely on the Biblical ideology that all men are created equal by a loving God. This means that all men have a fair and equal right to be governed and represented by people selected (or elected) from among them. This was how God instructed Moses to conduct the proceedings that determined who would represent each tribe of Israel among the council of elders. Today's quote comes from John Adams, the second president of the Republic, and vice president to George Washington (first president). Considered one of the Founding Fathers of the USA, Adams was one of the men who drafted and championed the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

“It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.”
– John Adams

While we may debate the application of his intent in today's world, one thing that we cannot debate is the clarity of his intent. Clearly, Adams believed implicitly that, for the USA to gain and maintain her freedom, it was essential that her constitution be based on the virtue of religion (specifically the Christian religion in which he was raised). In the absence of this, he opined, they may change leaders and forms of government, but lasting liberty would remain an elusive goal. What are your thoughts and ideas about this?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Flat world?

This week, as we approach what may arguably be the most historic presidential elections this nation has ever witnessed, I'm reflecting on why America is such a great nation. Formerly powerful nations like the USSR have collapsed and lost their significance. Why? In todays world, there is no longer any question as to who the sole surviving "superpower" is. However, before we throw caution to the wind and revel in our arrogance, it would serve us well to explore why former great nations fell from their lofty heights. America was founded on the virtues of Christian doctrine (whether we are comfortable with that fact or not), and many of the Founding Fathers, as well as some of our more enduring presidents, have made no secret of the fact that they believe implicitly that America was and is meant to be a Christian nation. Most, if not all of these men, would be considered 'politically incorrect' in todays pervasive climate of tolerance at all costs even if it violates Biblical mandates. Today I feature a quote from President Ronald Reagan.

“Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”– Ronald Reagan

While Reagan was one of the most eloquent and erudite leaders of our time, it didn't require a 'prophetic' gift to deduce the things that he so powerfully articulated above. I fear for the direction of our nation if we don't heed the warning. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Flivorous Fliday... Engrish ressons!!!

When all else fails on frivolous Friday, I can resort to my old trusted and faithful friend... (no this is not a typo). This is one of my favorite Oriental websites highlighting the faux pas that occur in the "Engrish" language when lost in translation. Enjoy!!!

I would personally advocate for homelessness myself. I mean, don't get me wrong, the floorplans look nice and all, it's just that I'm not sure I wouldn't rather just pay rent instead of contending with a "heart attack" as well. What a great advertisement for that new block of condos that was just completed on the beach. Can't you just see people lining up to buy them!?!Shouldn't this say 'Fravour' Buiscuits? I'm just sayin'. Any way, I wonder if these are a 'fravorite fravor' of the Japanese 'miritary' instead of those lousy MRE's the US army gives that taste like regular food.Now if only I could figure out where the Army office is so that I can 're-enrist' in the 'miritary'. Hey, enjoy your weekend, and don't forget to check out next weeks exciting stuff on Seasons of Change.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Professional liars inc.

"He lies, he's a professional liar...." These are the words of Al Davis, the octogenarian owner of the Oakland Raiders football team. He was speaking in reference to his recently fired coach, Lane Kiffin. I've been on the receiving end of such scathing accusations, and I know that it is incredibly painful and difficult to comprehend, especially when they come from quarters that you least expect. Lane Kiffin has carried himself with such class through this entire saga. The press has 'hounded' him continuously for a sound-bite, but he has remained steadfast in his resolve not to speak publicly about things that happened in private. Not so Al Davis! He has gone on record as being vocal, verbally abusive, and uncomplimentary about Lane Kiffin's one-and-a-half-year tenure with the Raiders.

Davis even went so far as to put up a slide of a personal letter he purportedly sent to Kiffin. Kiffin simply responded, "Because it's written on paper doesn't make it true." If the truth be told, it isn't too much of a surprise, coming from Davis. He has developed a reputation for being a really 'abusive' owner who is extremely unfair in his dealings with his employees. Fortunately for Kiffin, he doesn't have to say anything to elicit the sympathy of the public, since Al Davis's tirade on national tv ensured public support for Kiffin. What on earth gives Davis the idea that it's acceptable to label a man a "Professional liar" on public tv? Even if you needed to get rid of him, why not do it respectfully? After all, you pull the purse strings, so you're more than capable of drawing the line without resorting to cruel insults. It's my humble opinion that such antics are indicative of a need to vindicate your poor choices by placing the blame squarely on someone elses shoulders.

Lane Kiffin, in choosing not to fight a 'he said, he said' battle publicly, has left room for God to fight on his behalf. It is true after all that the Bible declares, "The battle is not yours but mine says the Lord." So, friends, if you're dealing with a situation in which you are being villified and falsely accused, take heart. God is on your side and He will fight the battle. Last I checked, He's never fought one and lost!