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!