Monday, September 28, 2009

The Latest Results Are In - Time to Voice Your Opinion

During the last 4 weeks I ran a survey. I asked the question "What does the church need the most?"

Relationship (8%)
Prayer (0%)
Revelation (33%)
Repentance (8%)
Love (41%)
Trial (0%)
Vision (8%)

It is interesting what folks think the church needs, don't you agree? It would be intriguing to see, of those that answered, which ones are attending church on a regular basis. There are a lot of armchair theologians that think they know the game, but have no training or experience. Amen?

I am going to weigh in and say that church needs a lot of things. With years of thought, I believe that we need a fresh revelation, not a new theology. Jesus doesn't change, but how we do, and perceive church, must change. We need a vision that comes from the depths of God's heart, not some program that we can wrap our favorite verse around. Interestingly no one thought that we needed prayer or some sort of trial such as 9/11 to get people thinking about getting back to church.

Of course the big ones are love and relationship. They will know we are Christians by our love. . . but we are to speak that truth in love, and that's the crux of the problem. In order for us to speak truth, we must some how live it, not just "understand" it. More on that in a bit.

I would venture to say that we have spent so much time getting stuff, IE: "The American Dream" that we have lost sight of things that build character within the church. Trial has it's place in God's Kingdom -- do a search on it some time.

Our lives are to be building blocks for the spiritual deposit to manifest fruit in our lives. The word fruit is synonymous in the Bible for "acting like Jesus at a time prescribed by Jesus." To often we do what Jesus would do, but not when Jesus would have done it. The "logos" and "rhema" word have to become one. Unless we know what Jesus would do, and when, we can't really love another like Jesus would.

Back to the survey results. 41% of the respondents said we need love, and presumably they feel that we don't have it. The question becomes this: "What must we do to learn to love -- knowing what Biblical love is ? (1 Corinthians 13 A Blog)

We need to see our faith in a couple of ways before we can begin the journey of being able to love in a scriptural sense. Faith is designed to kill the old man and release the new one - not just fix up the old one. Faith ignites the process of sanctification. Faith in Jesus is salvation - accepting the completed work-- yet we are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. It is a process that begins at the moment of faith-- yet to become a disciple of Christ means entering into the process of dying to self. In the words of Peter, here's how it works.

2 Peter 1:5-8
Fruitful Growth in the Faith
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Behave Like a Christian

9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A New Political Vehicle - WWJD?

Ever get riled up over political issues or have a political discussion? Regardless of what we feel or can logically debate, as Christians we cannot forget Biblical principals. It is as easy to become as partisan as the dopes on the other side - whatever side that is. However; the majority of Christians are a little too apathetic about politics - feeling that somehow what goes on in the world has nothing to do with them and their faith. If you are thinking of stopping here, I am probably talking about you. I know the readers of this blog are pretty well informed-- I am talking about everyone else. :o(

A few months ago, a blogger by the name of Tony C. breached the idea of a Christian political party. I have pondered the thought for weeks. I even mentioned it on another blog and got lambasted by a very politically (pro-choice) liberal Christian. I'm sorry, I am having a hard time using a capital "C" to describe that Christian -- I am thinking christian would be better. You know, like God and god. Let's face it, some people who say they are Christian, are not.

I believe that all my readers have the opportunity to vote wherever they are located. It is true that Churches sometimes encourage members to vote, and also to write their representatives in Congress, state and local legislatures. That's good, keep doing it!

Truthfully, Christians have tried to have a religious political machine and it got some messy reviews. And currently, the power in the US is still in a two party system. What there doesn't seem to be room for, is people that think for themselves and know the Bible. Folks that are not left or right, liberal or conservative, or Democrat or Republican - but Gospel believing Christians selecting candidates that best promote Christian values.

What I am proposing is a movement of born-again, Bible believers that see influencing politics as a way to increase the Kingdom. A group that will express Biblical principals and get the word out to their representatives in every level of government-- starting with schools and working up to the presidents, kings and heads of government. It seems like a huge task, and it is. So, what we do has got to be easy, concise, and passionate -- and biblically truthful - not some dogma or philosophy based on a few truths in the Scriptures. We can't be hypocrites-- claiming faith and voting against that which our faith demands.

I would like to see social issues presented in a biblical fashion - the same way that some say you can't legislate morality -- I think Christians can express their worldview regardless of the opposition. Why is it that Christians can't just say what they believe, and refer to the chapter and verse that supports what they believe? Isn't that how we preach a Sunday sermon? Of course we have to have love, that goes without saying. I am not suggesting picketing with verses on a placard-- that certainly is one option - but most won't do it. We need to send a message to those in power and be diligent about it. Email, fax and phone are cheap and easy.

Christians we need to stand for what we believe and be vocal. Maybe it won't change much, but it could. Let me say right now, there is not a diversity of political thought in the Kingdom of God -- although some would like to think so. He wants it one way! We certainly can join in on TEA Parties and things like that, but the Christian message is far more important than mobilizing a "group," it is mobilizing the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 11:12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

We need to be careful of coming off like a radical fringe group which will leave the church with another black eye. I do agree, it is becoming tough to be biblical on social issues without getting the "F" label. We need to stand for what we believe and be vocal! If you are like me, you probably feel that you cannot get involved easily, or make much of a difference - heck, I write a blog for a hundred readers. It's what is in my heart and I go for it. If God is in it, He'll bring an increase.

Here are some ideas for you to ponder:

-1 Can you supply Bible verses to back up a Christian perspective on social, economic and political issues like: feeding the poor, gun control, war, peace, abortion, gay marriage, environmental concerns, health care, corporate greed, unemployment, prisons, education, foreign oil, and a myriad of global social injustices ? If you can't, you should be able to. This is why taking a party line and calling yourself a Christian can get you into trouble. There is no one party that supports biblical Christianity.

-2 Would you be willing to publish your findings on a web site so that other Christians could use them for understanding how important it is to respond biblically and not politically? If you think about what Daniel did in Babylon, he simply was a Jew that prayed and observed the law. He did not go out and picket, or make a lot of noise, but everyone knew where he stood, and why. The same was true of Elijah, Gideon and eventually, Moses.

-3 Are you willing to work on behalf of the prayer of millions of Christians going out world-wide, crying out for His return and an end to injustice here on earth? Maybe you are too busy-- I don't know. You have a voice, I hope you are using it.

-4 Honestly, if it was easier to get a message to your government officials, would you get more involved? Remember, Paul and all the other apostles ended up in a court of law and were exiled or executed because of their faith and the conflict that it had with the culture. They didn't go after political gain, they lived the Gospel. Paul did, in fact, use his Roman citizenship as leverage for promoting the Gospel. Real Christianity will cause political conflicts because the principalities and powers of the air are influencing leaders around the globe.

Our primary focus is to be the Kingdom of God, and nothing else. However; the Gospel is not meant to be a personal blessing, but a message that we bring everywhere we go - everywhere. It would be good if you were versed on the present issues, but better if you can simply provide those that represent you, a worldview. IE: The biblical values that you believe. Sometimes these will address issues, and other times they will address a group of issues. And remember, biblical issues are primarily social. Polls say 80% of the US believes in God and yet only about 15% of all Americans are active in contacting their representatives on any issues. Perhaps you are one of them.

Jesus preached a gospel that was in conflict with the entire culture, from the pagans in Rome to the religious zealots in the temple. His focus on the kingdom brought to light corruption, injustice, sickness, and sin. He didn't advocate to have the 10 Commandments on the wall of the court, but He preached them, lived them and confronted with them. That is what Jesus did, and I assume, what He would today if He walked in our midst as a man.

Are you in?

Contact US Congressman:
https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/

Contact US Senators:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Contact President Obama:
president@whitehouse.gov

Please Google you state and local governments.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Can You Beleive It? - You May Have Been Railroaded!

Living in the Bluest State has its disadvantages -- especially today. I couldn't be more embarrassed at what took place today in our state, and the nations capital. I don't care what side of the aisle you are on, today was the culmination of sheer hypocrisy, and it affects you and your family if you live in the US.

You may have heard Senator Ted Kennedy died just a few short weeks ago. It would have been hard to miss if you have a pulse. I am not sure which news outlets you listen too. The only reason that matters is that you may, or may not, have heard about a letter Ted wrote to the governor of Massachusetts. He asked Governor Duval Patrick to appoint a interim senator to "vote on important issues" in his heavenly absence. In some states, that is how it works, there is an appointment-- and it USED to be that way in Massachusetts. The governor appoints a new senator to take the place of the one who has left the post for any reason. The problem for Duval was that the Democrats changed the law while Republican Mitt Romney was in office. It was to insure that he would not appoint a Republican Senator in the event John Kerry was elected President.

Do you see the hypocrisy?

Today a new senator, and long time friend of Ted's was sworn in on the Senate floor after some legal wrangling and an emergency order in Boston. His name is Senator Kirk.

OK, so there is hypocrisy on both sides, and this is just another example. And for the most part that is true. If you'll give me one more paragraph, I will tell you why it matters to you.

First, this man was not elected, nor was it legal for this to take place. The MA legislature was lobbied by President Obama, Harry Reid and others in power in Washington. It's probably nothing new, but the pressure changed minds and inflated egos. I don't know about you, but I vote, and I didn't even get to vote against Kirk. Changing laws to suit political agendas I find disgusting no matter who does it. And lastly, unless you have your head in the sand, your government is going to decide the future of your health care. Why? Since about 3:30 this afternoon Congress, with a their impeccable 22% approval rating, now has a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. They do not need to compromise with anyone on the issue of health care -- or any other matter. Unless you completely agree with this 1,000 page bill that many have not even read (you included), you don't have a vote, or any representation. Think about it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Freedom of Choice - The Role of a Decision

My friend and ex-coworker just posted his status on Facebook - "planning my midlife crises." Another friend, someone that I have known since I was 5, had his birthday today. We shared some interesting times together until late in high school. It makes me wonder how I got this far along? Occasionally I indulge in the "what ifs" thinking about a decision I made at some point in my life. What if I went to college right after high school instead of two years later? What if I hadn't called Dennis and went my first Ala-Teen meeting? What if I had kept my stock in Levi's, and not purchased stock in Citibank? What if I had saved the $5000 I received from a settlement instead of blowing it on mission trips?

Life in it's atomic form, is a series of decisions - some good and I suppose some bad. Dr. Phil likes to talk about defining moments-- times when we chose or experienced something that defines who we are. I never specifically thought about what those might be . . . certainly meeting Mary Anne, choosing to have faith in God, getting my driver's license, changing to a career in computers, and meeting Carlos are times when life really changed for me. Each experience - each choice gave me a new freedom that I did not have before.

When I look back over my thoughts about those events-- seeing Mary Anne's picture online, her first email to me, even our first date at the Way Ho-- who would have known? We chose to have a second date and a third.

I also remember being at the wheel of a 1972 Mustang - alone with a license. I remember shoving the gas pedal to the floor after turning onto Foot Hill Road that day. Wow! No more driver's instructors or parents. Since then I have driven millions of miles!

Switching careers from photography to computers was another time of significant change-- one filled with new challenges each and every day.

Meeting my friend Carlos as I was leaving a little service at the Salvation Army 10 years ago opened up 3 trips to Brazil. Pretty amazing.

Even making a decision for Christ-- well, it wasn't an amazing time, but it was a serious of little decisions that I made getting to that point where I said "yes" to Jesus.

Honestly, some days it is hard look back and wonder what I was thinking when I decided to do things like join the Army and eat tofu. Don't get me wrong, I think service is a great thing-- it was just a bad experience for me personally -- but one that got me in the direction of Jesus. (Romans 8:28) Tofu? Yakk!

In life's time budget. I am looking back at places where I squandered my time on things that really had no value. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13) It can be so easy to live life and let it make decisions for us. That is the perfect place for the Word of God to break into history, for the Kingdom of God to be at hand and the voice of God to be heard. Well, if we let it.

Some days I get caught in rut, and I don't make decisions for the better-- well based on the Bible. Sometimes I just don't decide anything-- which I guess is a decision in itself. Sure there are some big things that I have done-- things I have signed my name to like mortgages and car loans, corporate papers, and a couple of speeding tickets... but I will never forget that moment when I decided to sign my name to a little piece of paper the said, "Christ is relying on you, and I on Him." David

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ain't or Saint?

I was pondering things at church-- I sort go get off on my own little rabbit trails based on the scriptures that I hear. It's hard to hear some of the more popular ones over and over-- but I always assume they are brought up again for a reason. This morning was no different. We started off in Matthew chapter 6, the Lord's prayer chapter which goes on to say things like, "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself," and some other stuff about food and clothing. I have read and taught on this chapter many times over the years. I don't travel in anxiety as much as frustration, so there are other passages that are more meaningful to me personally.

So, what was different this morning? I was thinking that these verses have been very useful to me, especially in the early years of beginning to trust God with my life, my finances and just about everything else. I went to some crazy word-of-faith meetings and gave recklessly-- all of which God honored. I traveled to Brazil and spent every penny I had while I was there-- never giving a thought to some sort of emergency. It was only when I realized that I barely had enough money to to pay the $3 parking for my ride home from the airport, that I gave it much thought.

There have to be many verses that we read and think, "I am not ready for that." "I can't do that." Or "that isn't important." James cautions us against that sort of thinking.

James 1:22-25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

It is hard to read a verse that very obviously requires faith we may not have, however; we aren't off the hook that easily. We need to see circumstances in our lives as opportunities to please God and grow. Can we get past that part where we say, "this stinks, and I can't seem to find God in it? He is not lost, we are.

Here are some versus that came to mind as I was thinking about this blog:

Matthew 5:37 Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' be 'No.

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Ephesians 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily.

James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another.

1 Peter 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

In order to be a saints, we need to be followers of Christ and doers of the word. If we are followers, we don't get to say, I ain't doing that.

John 14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Where Does God Live?

Yesterday I took a day trip to the White Mountains of NH. It is an easy day trip from where I live; just outside Boston. When I am there, time seems to stand still. Even a few hours walking in the shadow of the mountains and listening to the babbling brook was amazingly refreshing. It's a place where I get to leave the real world behind; traffic, work and bills -- gone! For a time I can focus on the scenic beauty and God's glorious creation.

Romans 1:18-21 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

Each one of us finds different places where we go to find solace in a God that is bigger than we are. An added bonus was the companionship of my 18-year-old daughter. She is a good traveler as she also enjoyed some quiet time as we drank in the next scene; rounding corners on the Kancamagus Highway, enjoying the sunshine pouring in the sun roof.

I have been fortunate to travel to 42 states and 13 countries. In my travels I visited 32 national parks, seashores and monuments. For me, I feel close to God where I see the beauty of creation. Sure, there are other times -- but for a guy who spends 9 hours a day in an office without windows, getting out and seeing scenery other than the suburban sprawl and the brake-lights in front of me, is refreshing.

It was interesting to walk by the river, stand at the foot of the mountains as I mediated on what is was like for Adam to walk with God in the cool of the day.

My ride home was relaxing as the warmth of sun, the sound of Tim Hughes and Jeremy Camp surrounded me-- chocolate bar in hand -- chauffeured by my daughter. The Kingdom really is at hand.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Commuinication - The Joy of Marriage and aTale

Finally, after a number of years of not being able to find a reliable babysitter for under $100 per hour, we did. Tuesday is officially Date Night! It is a chance for my wife and I to get out of the house and focus on each other for a few hours. I do look forward to it. We are typical in many ways of other married folks. We are too busy with work, kids, church and "stuff' to get a lot of quality time together. She has a pretty rye sense of humor, and sometimes it is a load of fun -- other days, life is too darn serious for both of us. Last night, however; went "something" like this:

ME: Where would you like to go tonight?

MY BELOVED: Some place nice-- but it's your turn to DECIDE.

ME: * Thinking, "do I have trouble making up my mind?" * I need to go to the pharmacy and drop off a prescription on the way.

MY BELOVED: That's sounds like the perfect date.

ME: *Smiling* I don't think they serve steak there. Do you know of any place near there, I'd like to take a walk while the weather is nice.

MY BELOVED: There is a track at the high School.

ME: * Thinking, "That's not very romantic." * I guess that's OK.

MY BELOVED: *Here chuckling* We can go to the lake.

ME: That sounds nice. * Thinking "Thank God!" *

(Pulling into the pharmacy parking lot)

ME: Would you like to stay in the car?

MY BELOVED: What are you buying something that you don't want me to know about?

ME: * Thinking "Yeah co--" * Just get out! Now! * Thinking "I hope she knows I am kidding-- the next few seconds will tell." *

(We walk into the pharmacy - scene fades to the lake.)

ME: What do you think of the class at church?

MY BELOVED: Teach me SOMETHING, I don't know already.

ME: Hey what kind of dog is that? * Changing the subject *

MY BELOVED: I can't tell from here.

(At the lake)

ME: I wonder what time the tide comes in?

MY BELOVED: You just keep wondering and I'll be in charge.

ME: Where do you think we could eat?

MY BELOVED: There is a Japanese place next to the pharmacy-- you know, where we are having our date. And I have never eaten there, so I am not responsible. You were supposed to DECIDE.

ME: Hey what kind of dog is that? * Changing the subject *

MY BELOVED: I can't tell from here.

(At the restaurant.)
ME: They have sushi!

MY BELOVED: Do they have like cooked food?

ME: Yes, it right here. * Pointing to the menu. *

(Waiter serves me a tray of sushi and sashimi, soup and salad)

ME: Would you like to try some, there's tuna.

MY BELOVED: Well, I guess could, I eat rare tuna and I like rice.

ME: Here let me mix the wasabi and soy for you. Take what you like, and add the ginger pickle to it. I'll make the wasabi half strength for you. You can always make it hotter.

(This part happened kind of fast, but I'll try to describe it.)

MY BELOVED: * Face imploding starting with the left eye socket while her head moved back from the table-- left hand searching for her ginger ale, in breathing sounds somewhat like when she was giving birth to our little one. *

ME: Are you alright! Is that your contact lens on your cheek? I am so sorry. I am really sorry I didn't know. Was it good? Damn, are you alright?

MY BELOVED: * *

ME: I am really sorry.

MY BELOVED: Whew! I think I'll skip the wasabi.

ME: * Thought of saying "that's not how you eat sushi, I learned from the Koreans-- I am like an expert." * That's probably a good idea. You're a good sport. I am really proud of you.

(Enjoyed the steak and asparagus warps.)

ME: Are you ready to go?

MY BELOVED: Yeah, we don't want to be late for our date to the drug store to pick up your prescription.

ME: I love you.

MY BELOVED: It's a good thing, I can't imagine what full strength wasabi would have been like.

ME: I'm sorry. I love you.

MY BELOVED: I love you too.

Of course my wife has a totally different account of last evening. We once talked about writing a book together-- but we couldn't agree on any stories so it would only have a table of contents.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Yarites - Cultural Reform

The Yarites are coming-- it happens a few times a month around my house. It is sort of like a cult where the leader says, while the others do. The leader may not have to do as he says, but he makes sure the others do. Some think it's a sports team and others are confused as to what a Yarite is. I could be someone that has a specific habit or mental illness - after I am related to at least three of them. For me it was a hobby that I have now left behind like a treadmill or a rowing machine in the basement. I think I'm done.

If you've been kicking around this blog for the last few months, you may have noticed that I went hunting-- hunting for cars- Yari in fact. Why? Because we simply got to the point where we needed reliable transportation at rock bottom prices. We didn't own any clunkers - well none that qualified. And besides as a tax payer, how was it that I was going to get a rebate? Do the math, taxes go up, and I save money on a car. And the benefit is?

I am sure those that got rebates were thinking I am saving $4500 on a car, and not I, along with millions, have spent money that might have made it's way to taking care of our vets, feeding the poor, impeaching Barny Frank or some other noble cause in our country. I know, there was a "green" angle too. Personally I think Global Warming is a farce. But I am for clean air, and getting off foreign oil today!

As a family we, with two car-less kids; who needed hundreds of miles of rides each week, and one with a broken down car-- and me -- looking at thousands of dollars in maintenance on my beloved Mustang-- decided to go hunting. With the car markets in the toilet I decided to do what Jesus would do, go out and find a few fish with coins in their mouths.

Some might think buying four cars is a little excessive. And some, like my wife, dread the "car buying" experience, barely able to stomach one purchase, let alone four. Well, until you see the numbers! The MSRP on the Yaris is $14,799 plus transportation fees to New England makes them over $15K. Volume pricing is about $13K times three-- and some with 0% financing. Oh yes and a couple of free oil changes! The real deal, we are saving hundreds in gasoline costs, all while we are banking on at least 36 months of trouble free operation. Global Warming Sheeple, rejoice.

So why did we switch to import autos when we previously owned American Metal from Ford and Chrysler? I went to the Ford and Chrysler dealers. Both were unwilling to deal, or to make a decent trade-in offer on my wife's disintegrating mini-van (we didn't want it, I suppose they didn't either). They played rebates against percentage rates and didn't return phone calls. I think we really lost confidence when they went to Capital Hill to ask for money. Honda and Toyota, and eventually Ford, weathered the storm. I had considered looking at a Chevy-- but with GM, better known as Government Motors-- it was more than I could take. Add to that poor quality ratings in the compact category from a American manufacturers, and we went back to imports. Our history with Honda and Toyota-- even Infiniti were all good.

In the end, cultural reform happens because people do things that matter. I am sorry that I can't support unions that put political interests ahead of hard work and pride, car manufactures that care about profits while their foreign competitors blow their quality doors off, and a government that can barely run itself, let alone two car companies, Wall Street, and health care. All topped off with the Cash for Clunkers program which put more money in foreign pockets then it did in American pockets. Are you kidding!?!?!? It seems like all we do is put our money in boxes in find new ways to ship it overseas. Did anyone notice that about 10% of the country is unemployed?

Thank God for a free country where I can decide to do something different.

So why does it matter what we do? Because those readers that are Christians need to understand this is pretty much the same thing that is going on within church. We have sacrificed quality relationship, quality teaching and other aspects of Kingdom living looking for God to "bail us out" (bless us), while our competitors: psychics, horoscopes, anti-depressants, LDS, New Age and addiction consume many more souls then are getting saved. And we think that we have succeeded because we filled 112 seats on Sunday. With our spiritual currency in Satan's pocket, how do we suppose it is all going to turn out? Aren't we reaping what we sow, and getting what we payed for?

In the end, many Christians are no longer going to church. They are unable to support the status quo. Sure, they know they belong there. Many fondly remember a time when church fed them, not drained them-- a time when Christ was alive. Folks, why is that people dread the sales pitch?

Think about it, don't you want to be a Yarite?

Friday, September 11, 2009

How Can You Tell God Exists? - What Atheists Probably Haven't Thought About

I was once an atheist. I believed in the science I was taught in high school and college. I didn't give God a serious thought, hardly a thought at all until life began to strangle me. Actually there was nothing in my life to make it worth looking forward to another minute. Maybe you've been there.

But before I engage in theological debate. Two things: For the record, I was inspired to add to a previous blog after reading one by Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D. And two, I thought I would share a story that has been circulating the Internet for years-- I still makes me chuckle.

THE BEAR AND THE ATHEIST
An atheist was walking through the woods. "What majestic trees"! 'What powerful rivers"! "What beautiful animals"! He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was closing in on him. He looked over his shoulder again, and the bear was even closer. He tripped, falling on the ground. As he rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him. At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my God!"

Time Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"?

The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?"

"Very Well," said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

"Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen."

I know there are no intellectually convincing arguments for God-- if there are, they usually appeal to the intellect and possibly the emotions for a time. Then, when things are looking up, those thoughts become suspect. Jesus talked about the seed that falls on hard soil-- a seed that is unable to take root. The comprehension of God can only come through faith-- but not faith in thin air, it must have substance. Sometimes meditating on God "stuff," actually provides substance. Possibly you never tried it, I don't know.

Are you willing to take a few minutes and think about God differently? I will quote a few versus so that you can see where these "ideas" are coming from. But you'll need to think them though, and see if they connect with your faith, or lack thereof.

God has revealed Himself through nature; the created order.

Psalm 19:1-6 “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”

The glory of God should be evident in all that He has made.

Romans 1:18-21 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

We should be able to stop right here, and take a look at the majestic Rockies, the sunset over the Outback, the roar of Niagara Falls, the beauty of the New England Seacoast, the intensity of foliage season, a smiling baby, the soothing sound of ocean waves, the warmth of the tropics both near and far, a gentle summer breeze, the taste of sweet lemonade, the smell of our favorite flowers or the architecture of a snowflake, and be totally amazed -- amazed enough to see that it is not random. And then we add to that the talent of mere humans that have done the extraordinary-- composing music, dancing, painting, writing or playing sports. At some point don't you ever ask yourself, how is this possible?

Unfortunately, for some strange reason-- maybe the theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory; science that seems to make sense, clouds our thinking. The result, so many living in doubt. Conversely, this testimony of God's splendor and majesty; His creative genius should be so powerful that no person should be able to claim that he or she knows nothing about God. But that is not the case, is it?

When we look behind that scenes at the His providence, God reveals Himself through His moment-by-moment control of the world. I know it doesn't seem possible when there are wars, rumors of wars, financial crisis, earthquakes, and tragedies like 9/11. How easy it is to accept the rising of the sun, the rhythm of the tides, the progression of the seasons, the awe of our solar system and the magical intrigue of the astrological world beyond our galaxy as the peaceful resolution of violent cosmic activity. How can that be so unintelligible?

God’s providence should be seen in His provision of sunshine and rain (Matt. 5:45), His provision of food, air, and joy of His creation (Acts 14:15-17). And God's ability to raise up and remove the rulers of this world (Daniel 2:21) is supreme providence. Quietly, God manifests himself throughout history. Have you noticed? Do you want to?

The survival of the nation Israel is a perfect example of God’s providence in action. Even more amazing is that through Jesus and the prophets of Israel, it was written decades, centuries, and in some cases millenniums before the events took place. Care to see the fulfilled prophecies concerning Israel and Jesus, the Messiah. Click HERE for 100 of them.

If you watch the news on a regular basis, you probably won't believe that God has reveals Himself to us through an internal sense of right and wrong. Romans 2:14-15 the Law of God is “written in their [your] hearts.” The barometer of our soul is meant to alert us to the laws of the God's Kingdom. However; this still small voice is easily drowned out by the onslaught of activities we so easily find ourselves involved in; addictions of every kind, soulish damage from abuse and various other forms of carnal and spiritual destruction we engage in (sin). Amazingly, in spite of everything that we do to insulate ourselves from this internal oracle, God still pursues us and can provide a moment of clarity if we let Him.

Because God is supernatural, we can't glean everything that we need to know from the natural realm. The supernatural realm is as active as the natural realm-- it is here that God and His angels, as well Satan and his not so merry band of demons manifest their unseen powers.

When supernatural power (of God) is manifest in a natural way, this is what theologians call a theophany. (Sorry, I just can't help myself!) Some examples of these would be the transfiguration (Matt 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36), the burning bush that Moses found in the desert (Ex 3:1-4:17), the pillars of clouds and fire (Ex 13:20-14:4) and various prophetic signs describe within the pages of the Bible-- some historical and others to come.

It is pretty well documented that Satan manifests himself in natural ways too. The snakes in Pharaoh's court (Ex 4:3, 7:10-13) and the Demoniac at Gadara (Mark 5:1-20 Matt 8:28, Luke 8:26) to name a few.

I realize that these signs are reasonably rare -- well in America. None the less, there are many documented theophanies over the centuries. Unfortunately we have many more TV shows about the paranormal and psychics than we do about the miraculous power of God manifest through His church. Why do you think that is, church?

If we are to believe in God, begin the journey of understanding Him, His ways, His purposes, His sovereignty and to see Him at work in our lives, we need to see how He might communicate with us. In the continuum ranging from natural to supernatural shown here, is a list of ways, by faith, we can begin or deepen a relationship with the Creator of the universe.

- 1 The scriptures - The infallible guide to Christianity. There is no other authoritative text.

- 2 His people - As God assembles his saints locally and regionally, they have a voice. Hopefully it is Him.

- 3 Your circumstances - Because God knew you before your were born, He will continually try to set up circumstances that bring you closer to Him.

- 4 The internal audible voice (sense or feeling - direct revelation) - often during prayer or during times of direct ministry. Revelatory utterances from on High: for the edification of the church and sometimes individuals.

- 5 Tongues and interpretations, words of wisdom, knowledge and faith (internal revelation).

- 6 Spiritual Song, both vocal an instrumental (internal revelation) - a form of prophecy

- 7 Dreams and interpretations (internal revelation) - a form of prophecy

- 8 Prophets (internal/external revelation)

- 9 Angels (direct revelation) - Generally reserved for significant information to be brought to earth.

- 10 His audible voice (direct revelation) - Generally reserved for significant information to be brought to earth.

- 11 Sermons and books (biblically based of course)

- 12 The beauty of creation

- 13 My blog ;o]

And of course, the life and ministry of Jesus Himself described here by Michael J. Vlach, Ph.D.

Jesus Christ As great as the previous forms of revelation were, the greatest form of revelation took place with the person of Jesus Christ. As Heb. 11:1-2 states, "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son" (Heb. 11:1-2). Jesus Christ, the primary manifestation of God, reveals many things:

a. John 1:1, 1:13 He is the "Word" because He is the complete revelation of the Father.

b. John 1:18 He reveals what the Father is like.

c. John 5:36-37 He reveals the Father’s compassion.

d. John 6:63; 14:10 He reveals that the Father gives eternal life through the Son.

e. Matthew 11:27 He reveals who will know the Father.

Excerpt taken from http://www.theologicalstudies.org

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Health Care - What Is Going On?

I usually stick to spiritual issues, but this health care debate seems to be one-sided and vary partisan. As a Christian and an American, I need to say something. WE NEED HEALTH CARE REFORM. Why? Because it needs to be improved. I do laugh at the mindless critics that think there is better health care in some other country. We have the best in the world despite its shortcomings. I bet when Michael Moore gets sick, he doesn't go to Cuba for treatment.

There is currently a quote circulating on TV and the Internet which says "No one should die because they can't afford health care, and no one should go broke getting health care." I don't agree with the statement 100% because it is shallow, it does not address the issue directly. It implies that we just leave people dying in the streets, which is an exaggeration to some extent. It also implies that we are heartless, but Jesus knew that a long time ago. And as Christians health care is NOT our savior!

So, let's take a realistic (and Christian view) of what is really going on here in the US, and how, as Christians need to respond and pray.

There is a lot of talk about a partisan solution to health care. Please, give it a rest. Neither side has the best solution, Jesus does. I could care less who's name is on the bill, and who votes for it. That is probably been the biggest problem from the get-go. Christians need to vote from their heart and the knowledge of God in their lives, without following a party. We saw it in the last election. Christians split over peacemakers and speech-makers, justifying their votes with pathetic arguments in some cases. Since that time the anti-Christian (social) agenda has advanced. How? Universal health care will include abortions funded by our tax dollars and our money is already supporting this in other countries. Does that bother you as a Christian? Sure, while we focus on a few thousand brave soldiers that have died in service for our freedom, we overlook the tragic slaughter of MILLIONS of unborn babies. As Christians, we need to do the math! It is bad enough that you and I now own a chunk of not one, but to failing auto companies, while we had a Cash for Clunkers program aimed at helping Americans purchase imports! Is anybody thinking for themselves!?!?!

By the way, God only had one choice for president, some Christians were not listening to God. You decide which camp it was.

The second issue with Universal Health Care is cost. Sure, would like to see everyone have health care. But let's face it, around the world, the rich get better care than the poor regardless of the system. Last night we heard about how we are going to cut costs. Yeah, right. Excuse me Uncle Sam, but your track record doesn't show us that in any other entity, venue, project, or branch of government, that you can do this efficiently. We already saw how our vets were treated at Walter Reed. Enough blather! If our government health care is so good, why did Senator Kennedy get to go to Duke UMC, a non military hospital, for treatment? I am just asking? Electronic health care records are a joke. The contractors will eat up all the savings in palm padding-- GE -- supporter of the current administration already has their hand out of the health care database contract.

Honestly, if your spouse caused you as much mistrust as the US government has in so many areas, you'd most likely get a divorce.

If you look at real costs for hospitals and physicians you'd see that their malpractice insurance is usually anywhere from 25-55% of their gross expenses! Just think, limiting malpractice to sane caps, could be the largest savings of them all! At least 25%. But why would a government comprised primarily of lawyers who make money from these lucrative suits against doctors, drug companies and hospitals want to take a pay cut? I realize that you can't say how much a life is worth, but after how many millions does it become ridiculous? When I was in grade school the loss of an eye or hand was established, not negotiated. The families of those who die in an airplane crash get about $21K!

That's mt take primarily against the left wing. But wait about profiteering insurance companies on the right wing? I say we do the following. Remove the threat of lost coverage because of preexisting conditions. Yes, it cost them more but it is just the right thing to do. Individuals should be able to join groups and receive insurance from a group at the same price as a large company group gets it for. I think that would remove the fear of being dropped, or having the same coverage as someone else at a much higher price. Of course it is still fine for airline seats and concert tickets to have different prices.

Personally, I am not completely convinced of the savings that preventative care is suppose to provide. They are betting that Medicare costs will drop because people have taken good care of themselves. But let's say that people get a physical once a year along with teeth cleaning and an eye exam, it is going to cost something more than we are already paying. My concern is that catastrophic illness doesn't usually come in the middle of life, but at the end. Healthy people get old and die-- or have we forgotten that we are not immortal. I am sorry, but I don't see people dying of less catastrophic illenses at an older age.

When it comes to purchasing health care, most individuals will put it after food, clothing shelter-- or HDTV's, cars, homes, designer clothing and a load of other things that they can put on plastic. It is a proven fact that it is not a priority for most US citizens-- well until they get sick or think that they can get someone else to pay for it. It is human nature to go for the free ride. However; as Christians we need to be responsible and pay our own way as God prospers us.

Here is a test. I was quoted $11,200 for dental work about two months ago. It is not going to happen from my checkbook. I would think that I should be able to put my need out there on the Internet on DoTheRightThing.com or some place where others are eager to pay for my health care, and for those in support to UHC to feel obligated to send a check. THEY WON'T! So, let's stop kidding ourselves. No one wants to pay for some else's health care, or anything else for that matter. It is just not human nature. As Christians however, hopefully God has changed our heart and we can be generous as He has prospered us.

Now for the truly poor that need coverage, and can't afford it. This is an obligation of the church. That's right, Jesus said that poor you will always have with you. Are you listening church? Paul said that we should take care of the poor, the widows and the sick and visit those in prison. Church, if we are doing a good job, the poor will be flocking to us.

Jesus said that we should pray for the sick, and we'd see them healed? Not happening in your church? What are you going wrong? We should be seeing salvation, we are evangelical aren't we? is that happening in your church?

Just think, what if the multibillion dollar health care bill passes, all the cronies have their palms greased, and then we have a world-wide healing revival and hospitals are empty? I think that would be pretty funny. You don't think that God can do it, read Like a Mighty Wind or John G. Lake's Collective Writings.

In the final analysis, this whole health care debate is about making the government our God and savior. We want security where we should be trusting God. Our health and everything else needs to be in His hand. We trust God, or we are in sin.

The last trumpet will blow once the government, or the head of government, known as the Antichrist will set himself up in power and eventually end up in the temple. That is what happens when we give over our responsibilities to the government. As Christians we need to be vigilant about the power that we give to others to exercise over us. True love sets us free, and gives us wisdom from on High. When government interferes with peoples lives we only need to look at the books of Daniel or Nehemiah to see what happens.

And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week. And in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the corner of the altar, desolating abominations, even until the end. Daniel 9:27

Revelation 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.

Monday, September 7, 2009

If God's in Charge. . .

God can do anything He wants, except control our free will, right? Hmm... God has orchestrated all the events of the world, and we can't change His mind, right? Hmmm...

A recent blog comment got me to thinking, what is it that God is going to do between now and eternity that I cannot hinder, that the world cannot change? And if that is the case, then should I just coast until the sound of the trumpet? After all I am saved, and the seal of the Holy Spirit is upon my heart. Once you get your ticket, there can't be much left to do, right?

It's a lot to think about -- kinda heavy. What I am getting at with these questions is basically the age old debate of Calvinism vs. Arminianism. Are we predestined by God, or do we play a part -- a role in our own destiny? I think it's both. But don't start rolling your eyes yet!

Q. How many Calvinists does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. God has predestined when the lights will be on.

Q. How many Arminians does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change.

There are lots of theological books out there that make my head spin. Me, I am more like the secretary in a big office. I have been hanging around for a long time, and now I know a few things from hanging around the business. Don't worry, I am not going to regurgitate someone eles's teaching. But I do want to quickly toss a few verses your way, then I'll lighten up and tell a few more jokes.

As evangelicals, we are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8-9) but we can fall from grace (Gal. 5:2-4). We are justified by faith (Rom. 5:1) but our faith can become shipwrecked (1 Tim. 1:19 - 20). We are not under the law (Rom. 6:14-15) but if you live according to the sinful nature you will die (Rom. 8:13). Paul taught against legalism (Gal. 5:3-4). So, which is it? It's both/and.

God has set in motion creation, I don't think many would disagree with that. Some may think that He does not interact with His creation, and that creation is like a watch wound waiting for the last second of this age to come. It is true that Jesus will come back once a specified set of events takes place. You know, a cashless society, 12 kingdoms, one-world rule and stuff like that. It is going to happen!

But it is false to think that God has prescribed the day and the hour on a calendar. The day and the hour are unknown, but there will be a season in which we will see the return of Jesus is eminent. God can plainly see the culmination of earthly events. It is kind of like peeking at the envelope containing the solution cards in the game Clue. You know how it turns out, but you don't know how long it will take the players to figure out that it was Mrs. White in the Ballroom with the Candlestick.

The Kingdom is happening right outside your widow, have you noticed? It's a bit like proving Global Warming and Evolution. Yet, in the case of the return of Jesus, it is for sure going to happen. (The other two are a farce in my book, lest I digress.) If you read the book Song of Songs, there are many verses about God pursuing His lover the church. That's you! God cannot be hands-off and pursuing you [us] at the same time. No one cannot love without showing signs or expression of that love. And according to the Bible, love is expressed in a relationship between God and His beloved church. Faith is knowing the God on the other side of the relationship. As His sheep, we know His voice. That is NOT hands-off!

How we pursue our relationship with a living God, changes the pace of time as we near that end of the age. What? You mean something I do could change the outcome? No. However; it just might speed it up, or slow it down though. The outcome is known. Jesus will return, there is no question about that. We know how it ends, just not how long it will take.

Consider this: If the Gospel must be preached to all nations, then what if you and a dozen friends went out and preached the Gospel message? Conversely, what if you just sat there reading this blog and did nothing at all? Which would get us to the end of the age faster? If you are thinking that it is impossible, then you are suggesting we don't have free will and God is controlling our thoughts and actions. Thus we become predestined, and like a car being pulled though the car wash, we just need to sit back and wait for the end. I am sorry, I can't buy that. God's wish is for all mankind to be saved. That statement asks the question, how come He didn't predestine everyone to be saved? That would make Him unloving and we would be denied our free will, right? You can't have it both ways or God would be a liar and the Bible would not be true. If you are truly saved, that just cannot be the case.

I believe that the plan is predestined, but the characters (you and me) get to make choices based on spiritual laws laid out in the Bible. That is what we'll be judged on once we get before the throne.

Some folks worry about losing their salvation. There are doctrines on both sides of the issue. Personally, I say you can't. Otherwise we'd live our lives on eggshells meticulously trying not to make a mistake, falling short, and losing the prize of faith. That thinking basically says that God doesn't really have grace. Paul said that God's grace was sufficient, we can't live hoping that it's enough to cover our sin. It has to be! The Bible says that we were saved while we were still yet sinners. By the way, God is very familiar with sin. If you subscribe to the doctrine of lost salvation, where do you stand on works? And tell me, which sin is it that causes us to fall back into the miry pit? And what sin can we put behind us to get saved again?

Thinking it through, if we are all predestined and God's in charge of everything, then why pray? For that matter can prayer even change God's mind? What about the notion of asking God what to pray for? After all, whatever we ask in His name He'll do, right? Oh yes, according to His will. So, is His will what predestines us? Then why ask for it? Don't you think prayer has to be much more than hoping God will hear it and do it? Love keeps no record of wrongs.

I do believe that God has the earth in his hand, but I also think that you and me need to do our part in achieving our own destiny. Consider this. There is a person that God wants to save, and He has chosen you to deliver the message. What happens if you have an argument with a family member and don't feel worthy to deliver the message? Thus the chosen person in your life never hears what you have to say. Is that God's fault? Do you think God will send someone else? What if He doesn't?

Church, what we do and don't do matters a great deal to God. We make choices each and every day that will put us closer to Him, and more in the stream of His will for us, or put a distance between Him and us. The latter is sin. Yes, we have grace, but with it comes much responsibility. If you are saved, you already know that you can't do enough, or be good enough to receive eternal life. Now that you are saved, you need to be aware that your actions can change history for the better, or for worse. Church, we will married to the Lord.

Maybe we see biblical rules, laws and regulations through the lens of grace alone. The Bible says 5 times, "great each other with a Holy kiss." Do you do it? Why not? Probably because our cultures are a bit different then at the time of the Jesus-- I guess we do need grace, but does that change God's word? Think about it?

In the final analysis, we make choices to follow God, or not. What is God really after? Loving disciples that lay down their lives for His purposes; that they may achieve the following.

Matthew 11:12 "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

God is building a Kingdom in which He will rule and reign forever, one which we've been invited to participate in building. Jesus said that the kingdom is at hand. Do you see it?

It is time to repent of the notion that it is all up to God, and He'll do what He damn well pleases, when He pleases. It is time to stop saying, if He wants me to do something, He'll let me know. There is a gospel to be preached, any questions? I tell you, unless you put the old man to death, it is unlikely that you will ever see the kingdom of God at work here on earth. But gracefully, He is pursuing each of us in love, and for a purpose that will achieve a Bride without spot nor blemish.

So, I am predestined to be there in the end, and I have a chioce to join God now to bring His kingdom.

Now for one final joke. I am sorry, but it s a knock-knock joke.

Knock Knock

Who's there?

Jesus

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Report Cards Already!?! - Performance Review

I recently ran a poll in which participants rated the church; primarily American, when asked to complete this statement: I would say the church is _________
Doing a good job. (0%)
Doing an OK job. (33%)
Not doing a good job. (46%)
Pathetic. (20%)

I realize it isn't very scientific poll, however; it certainly gets right to the point. More than half think that the church is doing a poor or pathetic job. Wow! Now consider that this, Christians are supposed to have the answers to life. Our answers are to be better than the government, better than business, and better than any other philosophy or religion. Jesus is the Rolls Royce of spiritual entities, the Ruler of All and the Lover of our souls. And our portrayal of Him-- our report card if you will-- to the readers of this blog anyway -- which for the most part consider themselves Christians, is a little above pathetic! We have a "C", a couple of "D" and some "F". Wow squared! Think about what you would say to your kid, or what your parents would have said to you, if you brought home a report card like this? Now consider this, these are Christians that are probably giving us grace. Imagine what the unbelievers think?

Is it possible that this is the best we can expect when yielding ourselves unto God? Romans 6:13 Is this the excellence Paul spoke about? Philippians 4:8

If you don't think this is really a problem, why don't you do the same poll on your blog, or print out some cards, and hand them out at church and the shopping mall? Maybe its just my readers-- but I doubt it. Better yet, circulate this link ask your friends to post a comment. The first part of solving any problem, is recognizing that there is one.

Unlike a jury, the church spends a lot of time "hung" while believers vie for position, run after fragmented vision, debate scripture that has been debated, listen to non-biblical teaching, read horoscopes, watch Harry Potter, ban or abandon the spiritual gifts, and consequently stand for pretty much nothing. That's how you get a"pathetic" rating. Without a vision which encompasses the entire gospel-- one that includes a body with many parts; each functioning together to create a healthy church-- which is the essence of Jesus, we'll continue to attract a very limited number of near pathetic believers that will probably never grow into a useful disciples. Sad.

Or, we can do something different! There are a host of scriptures pertaining to doing something different. I am sure you can think of at least a few. Here are some thoughts on what we might try taking a good look at. The Bible says that we are to train believers in the laying on of hands, an elementary teaching according to Paul. Yet in seminaries around the world, we train people in homiletics, public speaking and "proper" exegesis. Why? So that we can conjure up convincing words? In Acts 2, Peter spoke powerfully by revelation and it was effective. He had no training, just 120 folks praying and running around drunk in the Spirit. Maybe it would be good to send our pastors away on a prayer retreat and get 120 folks praying for them so that they too, could be effective.

Most seminaries also teach counseling yet, 23% of Americans have taken, or considered taking, anti-depressants. You get the idea. Personally, I think we need a working model of Ephesians 4. Until that happens we'll probably keep doing the same thing.

I was pondering this passage this morning. 2 Chronicles 7:14 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I have come to believe that if a person does this, they will be in revival, and if a church does this, they will be in revival, and if a country does this, they will also be in revival. No matter what the church global does, their action is the result of the individual decisions made by individuals in that group.

We need revival, are you willing to do something different?

Please leave a comment and circulate this link. I would really like to see what you, and those you know, believe needs to be done here. And better yet, let me know what your part in the body is, and how that is going... even if you are a nose hair or an armpit.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Things That Make Me Chuckle - The President Bought a Cookie

My wife likes to laugh. Apparently that is one of the long lost reasons that she married me. Some days I am not too much fun. That's why I read a couple of blogs each day-- looking for material to keep my wife happy. As a guy, I tend to compartmentalize things. I am thinking, this will make her laugh, she is thinking, the trash man comes the exact same day each week for years, and he forgets. That usually ruins our 6:30 am coffee on Thursday morning.

In the evenings, after the Energizer Bunny (our 5-year-old) goes for her beauty nap, we try to catch up for a few minutes and watch an episode of CSI-- preferably the one that is set in Vegas. See, there I go trying to make her happy. I like the one that is set in -- never mind. The remote is all hers at 10 pm-- and earlier if I am asleep. Thank God Lost had it's farewell performance. For God's sake if John had turned the damn wheel in the cave, they could have finished two seasons earlier!

Some times our conversations are funnier when we are delusional from sleep deprevation. We've laughed so many times over the time I said, "General Surgeon" that it almost sounds correct. Law & Order is occasionally known as SUV. And it's always interesting to see what the answer is to what language do they speak in Poland ? It is not quite as tricky as what language do they speak in Brazil ? Amazingly, probably because we're simple, we still laugh about a Creflo Dollar comment that we heard on TV while were on our honeymoon. He was laying in bed, and his wife came and lay down too. After he was nearly asleep, she asked him if he would get up and get her a glass of water. "What are your legs broke?" he replied. One can only imagine how that exchange ended.

Our inability to make any real friends in the three years we have lived here, albeit sad, is fodder for jokes-- especially when planning for parties and holidays. If you ever see an invitation for a happening at our home on Facebook, it's not real.

And we have our favorite commercials-- we love the cell phone ad where the fellow is yelling in the phone, "oxen" and shortly there after is a stampede of daschunds (doxen if you not at our IQ level). We are big fans of the Jimmy Dean commercials with the sun too. My wife prefers the one with the rainbow and the cloud-- me I like the one with the eclipse.

And then there is the news: The President Bought a Cookie. 'nough said.

I read a blog the other day about what would Jesus "tweet". Taking the historical happenings of His life in 128 characters is actually quite amusing. "Scared my folks, I hid in the temple teaching hehe." "Ascended into heaven today to be with my Father." "Worked with Joseph building condos today." "We beat the Devils today-- those pigs. Wahoo!" "Feeling sad, the Pharisees don't really like me. :(" "The apostles were all in one accord, if they had more faith, it would have been a Hummer limo!" Sorry, I was inspired there for moment.

I got thinking what it would have been like for some of the other Bible characters if they'd of had Facebook Mobile.

ADAM: "OMG - I have no friends or family. Umm... what's a family?"
MOSES: "I guess we're betting on the Giants"
NOAH: "Workin' on the boat again."
ABRAHAM: "I thought she said porcupine!"
JOSEPH: "Feeling a little down -- spent the night in a cistern and I'm not talking to my brothers for at least a decade!"
ELIJAH: "That was better than the 4th! Wahoo!"
DANIEL: "Not a Lions fan."
DAVID: "I have 4 stones left. WOOT!"
JONAH: "I am going to be without a cell signal for a few days."

Anyway - enjoy the weekend!
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