Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I love the Thanksgiving/Christmas season. Its the time of year I look forward to the most. But its also the most stressful time of year.
We worry about the family coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. We worry about not being able to cook everything needed or things coming out right. We worry about the war in Iraq. We worry about the national debt. And on and on. Lets face it, we just seem to love to worry.
Have you ever noticed that despite your endless worrying, nothing seems to turn out any different? The only thing worrying does is put grey hairs on your head and add wrinkles to your face.
We have so much to be thankful for here in America. The war in Iraq is ending come the end of the year. I bet you that tomorrow (Thanksgiving), you will so much food that you wont even be able to get rid of all the left-overs. (If you dont, let me know and I will give you some of ours.) If you are a Christian, you no longer have to worry about Dying. We found the fountain of youth! Its Jesus.
And on and on...
My challenge to you today is to take some time out and stop the worry. Take 10 minutes out of your day. Tell the kids to go play and leave you alone for a while. If your spouse is around, ask him or her to leave you alone for that time as well. Lie down on the couch, turn on some soothing music like Classical or Jazz (Something without words). Turn off the lights and come up with 20 things that you are thankful for.
For an alternate to the couch, 10 minutes in the bath works too. Run a nice bubble bath, light some candles, turn off the lights, and play some soft soothing music.
Then think about just 20 things that you are thankful for. I can come up with 20 things without even breaking a sweat. Can you?
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Everyone has probably read of heard the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. We tend to pass judgement on the city a lot. We think how horrible they must have been. We think to ourselves; "They really got what was coming to them."
In Church, we are told that their sin was really bad and God sent his angels down to check out the place. If the sin was found to be that bad, the place was to be wiped out. Abraham pleaded with the Lord because Lot lived there.
Then the angels arrived at the city and the men of the city wanted to have sex with the angels.
While sexual sin was bad enough, what does the Bible really say about the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?
According to Ezekiel 16:48-50, this was Sodom and Gomorrah's sin.
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. "'Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because they were arrogant, proud, ate way too much, and did not help the poor and those in need.
Does this sound like and nation and people you know?
It sounds like America to me. The US has the most over weight population on the planet. We have become a nation of over weight couch potatoes that only seem to care about ourselves. Only a few select organizations and Churches do anything for the poor and needy. Some of us do give to these organizations and Churches so that we can make ourselves feel less guilty.
So, the next time you think about Sodom and Gomorrah, you need to thank God that he has not passed the same judgment out on America that he dealt to that city. Our sin is no less grievous.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sometimes I am ashamed to call myself a Christian.
Dont get me wrong, I love my Lord and God and I will never be ashamed of Him. But there are those among us that call themselves Christians that make me ashamed to be counted among them.
I watched the news the other night, as I often do before I go to bed. Steve Jobs had just died. This was a very sad day for all Apple fans. Steve Jobs was probably one of the brightest and most innovative men of the last century.
I was shocked to see a story in the news about a Baptist Church in Kansas that was going to picket Steve Jobs funeral.
You heard right. They picketed a funeral!!
In all my years, I have never heard of anyone, much less people that profess to be Christians, being so......Idiotic and disrespectful.
I made note of this place. I pulled up their web site to see what they are all about and try to figure out why they would do such a thing. I wish that I had never seen the site. In fact, Im not even going to name them or give their URL here because I dont want to give them the publicity.
This web site is all about hate. They are saying that Steven Jobs was gay. Weather he was or not, I have no idea. But that is beside the point. Even if he was, Steve and his family still deserves respect and the comfort of God.
Let me show you just a few things from this place's web site. God forgive me for even posting it here. I want to show you how much hate is coming from these people and say that I completely disagree with them.
Here are just a few direct quotes from their web site.
"We display large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments, including: GOD HATES FAGS, FAGS HATE GOD, AIDS CURES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR AIDS, FAGS BURN IN HELL, GOD IS NOT MOCKED, FAGS ARE NATURE FREAKS, GOD GAVE FAGS UP, NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR FAGS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, THANK GOD FOR DEAD SOLDIERS, FAG TROOPS, GOD BLEW UP THE TROOPS, GOD HATES AMERICA, AMERICA IS DOOMED, THE WORLD IS DOOMED, etc."
Not only are they saying that God hates sinners, but that he also hates America. Anyone that hates America should leave!
My Bible says that God is a God of immense love!!
God does not just love those that he has saved. He loves all His children.
For God so Loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 4:7,16
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love...
Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another.
...God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, ..There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.
In fact, its not possible for me to quote all the passages in His word that have to do with love. I would have to quote the entire Bible here.
So please please please do me a favor and ignore any so-called Christians or so-called Churches that claim to know God, yet profess hate.
They are not of God!!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Maybe you have heard about this latest controversy. There is always someone complaining about something. I just got wind of it the other day.
It seems that someone was shopping at Costco the other day and saw something that alarmed them. The label on the Costco sign above the meat said "Certified Halal".
Now, I have been around long enough to know that people are dumb and panic easily. The word "Halal" is an Arabic word that means Lawful, or Permissible. Another way to put it would be; "Good for you". The opposite word would be "Haraam", which means Forbidden, or Unlawful. Another way to put it would be; "Bad for you".
To me, this does not seem any different than our USDA label or the Kosher label. The USDA label tells us Americans that the meat is good to eat. Its passed inspection and wont kill us (Hopefully). "Certified Kosher" tells Jews that meat is lawful, or good for them to eat.
"Certified Halal" is simply telling Muslims that the meat is good for them to eat. I dont recall hearing of any controversy when "Certified Kosher" was put on food. Now that its for the benefit of Muslims, it must be a conspiracy to turn us all into Mulsims or Satan worshipers.
The main reason for all the hubbub seems to be that Christians think that they are being forced to eat meat sacrificed to idols.
The way that Muslims treat their slaughter of animals reminds me of the movie "Avatar". In the movie, the Navi were the indigenous people of the moon called Pandora. When the people had to kill animals, they did so with great respect. They recognized that the animal gave its life so that they would live. After the killing, the Navi that did the killing, would pray for it and thank their God for the gift of food. The American Indians had similar practices as well.
In Christendom, we also have a similar practice. Before we eat, we pray. In our prayer, we thank God for the food we are about to eat and we pronounce the name of Jesus over it.
It seems that Muslims also have great respect for the food that they eat. When the animal is being slaughtered they say a prayer for the animal. They are required to mention the name of their God. I dont know this for sure, but my guess is that in this modern age, recorded prayer has taken over.
What I cant seem to find is any mention anywhere in my readings of how and when this meat is sacrificed to idols. But even if it is, so what?
When Muslims pray, they turn their heads toward Meca. Muslims pray to Allah, not the God that us Christians know. My guess is that some well-meaning, but totally off-base Christians, have decided that these two things somehow equate to this meat being sacrificed to idols.
After 9/11, most Americans become paranoid of Muslims. We seem to be looking for them everywhere. It reminds me of the "Red Scare". Many of you, including me, are probably too young to remember the Red Scare. Im not sure what started it, but all of the sudden, everyone feared Communists (Russians). There was thought to be a Communist hiding behind every bush. People that were accused of being Communists were fired, jailed, ran out of the country, or worse.
Now its the Muslims turn. I have all the sympathy in the world for those that were in 9/11, and the family of those that died there. But that does not mean that every Muslim is bad. We, as a nation, need to forgive and move on.
From what I can tell, this is just another scare.....Seems like I read somewhere that fear is not of God. Oh yeah, I remember now.
Its the Bible!
If you are still in fear over this, I would offer up a suggestion that should settle this once and for all. When you buy this meat, pray to Jesus before you consume it. At the name of Jesus, any bad mojo that was on or in the meat will poof.
1 Corinthians 8
If you are still concerned about this meat, Dont buy it!
Friday, September 30, 2011
Ya know, I have always liked this song. The best known signer of the song was probably Frank Sinatra. The song causes great emotion in us and seems to stir our spirit. It has become an anthem for those that dont want to give up and press through in hard times.
But just what spirit does this song really stir in us?
The song starts out innocently enough. He talks about the end being near. He says he has traveled a lot and lived a full life.
But then we get to the final verse of the song. "For what is man, what has he got, if not himself, he has naught. To say the things he truly feels, and not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!"
The writer is saying that if not for man, we have nothing. No room for God, just man. This flies directly in the face of Christianity. Its Humanism.
He goes on to say that he says the things he truly feels, and not the words of one who kneels. Us Christians are the ones who kneel. Again, he is saying that kneeling to pray is worthless. The only value in life is to depend on yourself and do things your way.
The next line is even more troubling. "The record shows that I took the blows". If you are a Christian, then it was Jesus that took the blows so that you would not have to.
All these years that I liked this song, I was singing an anthem to myself and ultimately to Satan. After all, it was Satan that wanted to do things his way. Satan did not like the way that God did things. He thought that he could do it better. He wanted to do it his way. Thats what caused him to be thrown out of heaven.
Trying to do things "My Way" is what caused this whole mess of sin. As Christians, what we should really want is to do it His (Jesus) Way!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Keeping it Real
July 4th Special Issue
July 4th, Patriotism, Paying Taxes and being a Christian.
While you think about your bar-b-q, fireworks and parties this weekend, I hope that you will remember what this weekend is about. It’s all about our independence from England.
To summarize; we just didn’t like it there anymore, so we decided we wanted to leave and start our own country. We started a pretty good one too. There are many soldiers in foreign countries that are fighting and dying, even this weekend, to protect our freedoms. Please think about them this weekend and take a few moments out of your day to reflect on all that God has given us.
The latest fad to hit seems to be something called a Tea party. It is hard to find any real information on this movement. When you Google it, you get a lot of YouTube videos of rally’s, and the official Tea Party site. I went to their official site to check it out.
The site talks a lot about how much the Obama admistration is spending. It even has a cute counter on it to let you see how much our national debt is. The site list other cutesy facts like how many times our debt would stack up to the moon and back. It list why the Obama administration is spending way too much. To me, it seems like a lot of hype with the goal of scaring you. Scare you into what you ask? Joining their movement of course.
No don’t get me wrong. I don’t like how much the present administration is spending either. Neither do I like that I’m being forced to watch and support homosexual activities. In short, Im not a fan of the Obama admistration. I wanted to say that right up front. But neither do I think that we should be attacking our government.
The Tea Party was set up with this specific name to be a direct reflection on the Boston Tea Party. In case you were asleep during history class, like me, I will refresh you on this.
The Boston Tea Party was a direct action protest by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor.
It was basically a revolt that situated around them feeling that they got unfairly taxed without appropriate or adequate representation. It was the Boston Tea Party that is said to have had a direct result in our American Independence.
Now, I won’t go into if the Boston Tea Party was a good idea or not. I will only say that I do not believe Christians should take part in a revolt against their government.
The Tea Party movement here seems to be saying that they do not want more taxes. Though as I mentioned before, I cannot verify much, as specific details of the movement seem to be hard to find.
However, it sounds like a pretty similar theme to the Tea Party in Boston. I also found another web site that I wish to mention here. This movement is called Fairtax. Im not listing the site address here, because I don’t wish to promote them. This group has a disturbing agenda to say the least. They wish to abolish all personal tax and instead institute some sort of nationwide sales tax.
Perhaps Im dense or something.
Doesn’t most every state already pay sales tax?
And if we were to abolish federal tax, how would we pay for our kids to go to school, feed the hungry, and all those other programs that the feds have?
But this is not the main problem that I see with these groups. According to the Bible, we are to pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s. To update that; we are to pay to the federal government what belongs to the federal government. And who decides what belongs to the federal government. Well, they do of course. Hey, no one said that the system was perfect, but it’s the best that we have.
This came from an email I received from GotQuestions. I agree completely with the them.
“As far as a Christian’s responsibility towards government, we know from Romans 13:1-7 that we are to be subject to the governing authorities and to honor them, even when they are not honorable because it is ultimately God who has placed them in authority over us. So as Christians, we are under obligation to God to be model citizens, subject to the governing authorities over us by obeying laws, paying taxes, etc. However, our responsibilities are first and foremost to be obedient to God. In America, a democratic republic where individual citizens have the ability to change and influence government by voting or by being politically involved when appropriate and in appropriate ways, part of being a good citizen is voting and having whatever positive influence we can on government.It is very hard to love oppressive governments. However, as Christians we are still obligated to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4). God will honor our obedience to this command, and in His perfect timing, He will judge leaders who turn away from Him.”
I do have a few things to add to this. You knew I would, right?
Most that complain about paying taxes say that they don’t want to pay because
The government is corrupt
They are just lining their own packets
We have way to much debt
Or they don’t like the agenda of the current government
Now, listen up carefully folks.
According to the Bible, obeying ones authority, in this case the federal government, does not depend on if you like them or not, or if you think they are corrupt, or misusing your tax dollars, or even what their agenda is. God does not give us a choice in these matters. He tells us that we MUST obey all authority.
It does not matter one bit if we like them or not. God says that all authority was set up by Him. Let’s follow through with that train of thought. If we do not obey authority, we are not obeying God. And if we are not obeying God, we are serving Satan.
Have you ever noticed that most of the people that jump on these band wagons, of not wanting to pay taxes, are middle income to wealthy? I think it’s because most of these folks are greedy and want to keep their wealth. My opinion is that they are just a bunch or whiners that do not want to pay their share.
There are millions of people in third world countries that would gladly give most anything to have even the smallest portion of what we have. If these people, that have nothing, were to be given the opportunity to come to America, they would not be whining and complaining about paying taxes. They would be so grateful for the opportunity, that they would gladly pay them.
They would not be carrying signs in protest against our government and defying them. They would be grateful for what God has given them. It’s only those that live here and have lived like, or turned into, spoiled brats that do all this complaining.
My advice for these folks.
Go live in the ghetto and slums of a third world country for a while. Perhaps after you have done without, you will learn to be grateful for what you have.
Just Keeping it Real
Pastor Phillip Dacus
Saturday, January 17, 2009
In the times of Jesus, the Pharisees got very riled up when Jesus appeared on the scene. That’s because what Jesus was talking about went completely against what the religious community believed and held dear. Their theology was so entrenched and impenetrable, that they just could not accept anything that went against it.
In their defense, they thought they were being good religious folk and defending the faith. They just could not accept that the very same God that had written the Old Testament and given us all those laws could be the very same God that was now telling them that those laws were no longer in effect, actually summed up in Love, and now talking about forgiveness.
The Pharisees had such a very tightly woven theology, that they just could not accept that God may be just a little different than the one that they have built up in their minds. They had put God inside a little box in order for the world and God to make sense to them.
If anything, like this book, challenges that and indicates that God might actually have the capability to exist outside this box, it is going to cause them to revolt. Their universe, including their God must make sense to them.
This is just a fact of our human existence. We are human and therefore bound by natural laws. Our human nature wants to put everything into a nice neat equation. Just like mathematics and science. We learn the formulas necessary to make sense out of how the universe works. If anything comes along to challenge our formulas, we resist it. It’s always been this way.
In the days of Columbus, it was believed that the world was flat. That was what they needed to believe at that time in order for them to make sense of their world. That theory was challenged; people resisted, called Columbus a heretic, and just plain got angry. The history of the world is filled with many many more examples just like that.
Anytime an accepted view or formula is challenged, there are those that will get angry and refuse to accept it.
That is until it is proven? The world is not flat and neither is my God in a box.
Just Keeping it real
Pastor Phillip Dacus