God Bless America

“Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the HOLY ONE results in good judgment.” – Proverbs 9:7‭-‬8‭, ‬10 NLT

America, and in fact, the world, is sadly lacking in good judgement. Making fun of other people has become a major entertainment choice, especially if those people being mocked have a strong belief in the Almighty GOD. Believe in Mohammed or John Smith or Buddha or Krishna, but never JESUS. It’s de rigueur to support abortions of human babies, but don’t mess with any baby animals or pregnant animals! Teaching kids that any kind of sex is okay (“just use a condom”), but teaching them to be abstinent is cruel and unusual punishment. Be as intolerant of Christians and conservative lifestyles as you want, but every other belief system is off limits to sensor or deride.

I don’t get it. How is it okay to kill a human baby because they are inconvenient, but it’s wrong to eat veal or other meats? I get that there have been some pretty disgusting and cruel methods used for producing some meats, but how is a calf more valuable than a human? Personally, I’ve raised and butchered animals for food, and I liked knowing where they had been and what they had eaten. We named them and petted them, and they tasted better because of it.

Recently I posted a question on a neighborhood app asking how others felt we should deal with people who leave tattered and torn flags flying in all weather and at night. It was a generic question, and since it was my post, I said it was a pet peeve and that I felt it was unpatriotic. Certain people took it very personally and were offended, even though it wasn’t directed to them. The verses from Proverbs were right on target with the responses. I could have said that (in my opinion) they were mocking our flag and our country by not honoring the flag, but even without that, the responses were insulting and hurtful against me personally. The same thing often happens when we stand against abortion and other liberal agendas. No matter how rationally or how justifiably we present our case, we will be met with mockery and derision.

Our GOD, The ALMIGHTY GOD, wants to bless America and the world and all of His creation. Until JESUS returns, however, the ruler of our world will remain to be Satan. He has created an atmosphere of selfishness and self-love that is bright and shiny and enticing and provides immediate gratification, and we get sucked into his whirlpool of lies and entrapment. We – followers of Christ – have just begun to see and experience the persecution and oppression of the last days of earth as we know it. There’s much more coming. I still want to rebuke those who mock my flag and my country. I have a human need to correct the people who make fun of my beliefs…. and I really do need to refer myself back to these verses, especially verse 10: Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the HOLY ONE results in good judgment.”

“Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.” – Ephesians 4:18 NLT

Love GOD, learn His Word, and put it into practice. Best advice ever.

Practice What You Preach

C.S. Lewis said “What we practice (not, at rare intervals) what we preach, is usually our great contribution to the conversion of others.” (#CSLEWIS, Letters of C.S. Lewis)

Paul said “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” – Colossians 4:5‭-‬6 NLT

He also wrote “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” – Romans 7:15-19 NLT

Sin is present and prevalent in the world. Until JESUS returns, it (sin) will continue to be a dominating presense in the guise of self-gratification and selfishness throughout the earth. Until that day of the Glorious, Triumphant Return, Satan will continue his persecution of Christians through any and every means we can imagine, and more than we can fathom. Whether in the United States or the most backward, most primitive country, he has his agenda, and that agenda’s sole purpose is to wipe out the Truth and the spreading of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. For believers, it seems that we are truly in the last days before the Second Coming. JESUS lays it all out for us here:

“Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in My na3me, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are My followers. And many will turn away from Me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the GOOD NEWS about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:4‭-‬14 NLT

Straightforward, easy to understand; difficult to comprehend. We / Christians, followers of CHRIST JESUS, should be living the Gospel message on a daily basis. My life should reflect the Love of the LORD so brightly that anyone who looks can see JESUS in me. BUT ……. does it; does it really? Is there anything that people can see that tells the story of my salvation, or does my sinful self shine through more brightly? That’s a question I should be asking myself with every thought and action I take. I pray that at least a little of the Living Light shines through all of my cracks and flaws…

Praise for all of my blessings (I was able to get up today; I have food to eat and a home to live in, a vehicle to get around in). I don’t have everything I want, but my needs are taken care of. How many people in the world are as blessed as we are, here in the U.S.A. We are coming up to the 242nd anniversary of this great country, the country of tremendous personal freedoms and the example to the world of a free society. As an individual, it is up to me to spread the Gospel wherever I am. As a country, we need to be the example of the Christian nation we were founded to be.

Are you preaching, or are you practicing?

Don’t Be A Worry-wart!

I can’t remember how many times I heard that when I was growing up, but I’m sure it numbered in the 100’s! What, exactly, IS a worry-wart? Bundle of nerves, fussbudget, worrier …. pessimist, OCD, hypochondriac; someone who worries excessively, especially about unimportant matters. Probably came from the word ‘worryguts’. I like that OCD is one of the synonyms, but I’m not sure it sounds any better to the world. I might like worryguts the best because of the image it brings to mind. Have you ever been so worried that your stomach is in knots, or you’ve actually become ill from worry? That’s what worryguts sounds like to me, a word coined to describe that gut-wrenching feeling of worry and fear. We’ve become really good at it, too. Worry, fear, and paranoia go hand-in-hand. They can become so second nature to us, we get worried when we aren’t worried about something. Kind of a Catch-22.

The thing is, we don’t need to worry. We choose to. God doesn’t want us to worry. He has promised to take care of us.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell GOD what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” – Philippians 4:6 NLT

Did you notice that Paul doesn’t say that GOD will fix our circumstance. He has already sent us the Great Physician, in the form of JESUS, to treat our wounds. He also sent the HOLY SPIRIT to provide the comfort we constantly need. We may not get the cure or fix while we are earth, but once we get to heaven, everything will be perfection. GOD wants us to tell Him our needs, our real needs. We can tell Him what we want, and what we think we need, but most of all, we need to thank Him for our blessings. Whether it is as simple toilet paper that we are currently thankful for, or a miraculous cure of an illness or disease, be thankful. I am grateful for what GOD has provided to me to the point that I can’t even express it in words sometimes, and I still find myself like Paul:

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” – Romans 7:15 NLT

Worry-wart. Worryguts.

Is God Just An Archaic Idea?

Do you think GOD is archaic? Maybe you consider the Bible to be just an old, musty book, and that the idea that one supreme being could have created everything that exists is absurd; outdated and old-fashioned. The universe just began; there was a ‘big bang’ and it happened without any such thing as ‘GOD’. Because I have heard these arguments so many times, I decided to do some research and present my conclusions. There’s a whole lot of information out there on the internet, but these two caught my eye: Physicist Victor Stenger says the universe may be “uncaused” and may have “emerged from nothing.” Philosopher Bertrand Russell adopted this position in a debate on the existence of God. He said, “The universe is just here, and that’s all.”

Really? That’s the best you philosophers can come up with? How is the universe “uncaused“? “Emerged from nothing?” “Just here?” That’s so scientific …. If these statements were true, then why can’t we take a container that contains nothing, all atoms removed, and create something; anything? My Dad would say this in response to these critics of creation: Where did the materiel for the “Big Bang” come from? If we humans are indeed evolved from monkeys by way of the ‘primordial soup’ (i.e. mud), then why aren’t we still evolving? If we evolved from primates, why do they still exist? When we look at the so-called evolutionary paths, there are many different ways humans, animals, and plants have changed – not evolved. We aren’t evolving because we were created as men and women (and primates). We (humans) have been manipulating gene pools for centuries, causing tremendous changes in every creature and indeed, in nature.

Ah, but what about the dinosaurs? It has been proven that mankind lived when the dinosaurs with petroglyphs drawings and fossil history. There are carvings in temples and decorative carvings and molded examples you can hold in your hand. We have historical, paleotological, and crytozoological records. No, sorry fellas, even discounting the scriptural evidence (for example, Genesis 1:21 NAS, Job 40:15-24, Job 41), there is too much evidence supporting dinosaurs and humans.

“Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.” – Micah 1:8 KJV

The Bible has been proved as a true history by science many, many times. Why do we fight so hard to make it untrue? It begins with the Truth about how the earth, the universe, came into being, and it ends with the prophecies of John, telling us how the earth as we know it will end. It is full of stories, of historically accurate events. Archaic God? I don’t think so. There’s just too much evidence to the contrary.

“Have Mercy on me, O GOD, because of Your unfailing Love. Because of Your great Compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But You desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O GOD.” – Psalms 51:1‭-‬2‭, ‬5‭-‬7‭, ‬16‭-‬17 NLT

“I just need U.” sung by TobyMac….. love this song!

Guilty As Charged

Hold tight to the following words!

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If GOD is for us, who can ever be against us? And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from GOD’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from GOD’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the Love of GOD that is revealed in CHRIST JESUS our LORD.” – Romans 8:31‭, ‬38‭-‬39 NLT

I hope you will take time to listen to Matt Maher sing “What A Friend.” The song was written in 1855 by Joseph M. Scriven as a poem to comfort his mother in Ireland. Since then, it has been set to music and translated into many languages, and has been performed by artists as diverse as Alan Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Ike and Tina Turner. To me, it perfectly illustrates what these Scriptures are saying! Verse two begins with these words:
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

We are all guilty of something. We have all been disappointed, and we have all disappointed, sometimes inadvertently and sometimes purposefully. We have all been hurt, and we have all hurt others. We are all beset with trials and problems, so how do we handle them and resolve them? I know I deserve / have deserved discipline and punishment for the myriad of misadventures that have occurred throughout my life. I am not guilty of actual murder, but I have considered it, so does that make me guilty in my heart? Of the other commandments, I have broken them all. GOD wasn’t Number One for most of my adult life – I am guilty of trying to stuff Him into a corner and ignoring Him. We [humans] are guilty of poor judgement and decisions that take us far away from our Father, when all He really wants is our Love and obedience. We are guilty collectively, societally, and individually, of doubting GOD and betraying His Love for us. We lie, cheat, envy, covet, and steal; we have many other gods before us. Sports, shopping, careers, food, even family, get in the way of our worship of the One True GOD.

What’s to be done? How to we get to the point that we can claim the promise in Romans 8? Simple. Accept that JESUS is the Son of the Living God, that He came to earth to live as a man, and that He submitted Himself as the final blood sacrifice to save us from our sins and eternal death; He was resurrected from the grave and lives today and forever and ever, amen.

Guilty? Yes. Flawed and imperfect? Yes.

Forgiven? YES, Hallelujah! Can you say the same?

www.bible.com

Assumption Will Get You NO-Where

When we are little, we make the assumption that our parents and grandparents and family will always love us and protect us. As a young woman, I made the assumption that I would be loved and cherished and provided for by my [first] husband…. and each successive relationship after that. Oh, what a severely flawed assumption! We assume that our babies will outlive us. My parents had assumed that I would finish college… (I didn’t). Especially when we are young, we assume that we will marry the right person and get the right job, the right raises and the right house, and that as a result, life will be good.

How’s that working out for you?

You’ve probably head the phrase, “To Assume make an ass of u (you) and me.” The only safe assumption is the one that is based on reality, and the Truth as found in the Words the Creator:

“I will be Your GOD throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. To whom will you compare Me? Who is My equal? …. Do not forget this! Keep it in mind! Remember this, you guilty ones. Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am GOD! I am GOD, and there is none like Me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. … Listen to Me, you stubborn people who are so far from doing right. For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now!” (Isaiah 46:4‭-‬5‭, ‬8‭-‬10‭, ‬12‭-‬13a NLT)

“For the Grace of GOD has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to GOD, …. (Titus 2:11‭-‬12 NLT)

We can’t rely on assumptions to be accurate or to become reality. The ONE thing, the ONLY thing that we can assume and get right is this: Our sins are forgiven when we accept JESUS as our LORD and SAVIOUR; this is a singular TRUTH! We will continue to sin and get things wrong because we are flawed humans…. but when we are covered in His Grace and His Mercy we can know with certainty that we will get to see JESUS face-to-face, and that’s no assumption!

Without Love

Listen to ‘I Just Need U.’ sung by Toby Mac.

Last night put the heavy on me
Woke up and I’m feeling lonely
This world gotta a way of showing me (showing me)
Some days it’ll lift you up
Some days it’ll call your bluff
Man, most of my days I ain’t got enough….”

Every day, every night, every hour, every second, I just need You, LORD. Without Your Love, I am nothing, but with it, I am everything. We search all over the world, looking for love in mankind, and if we ever think we have found it, we will be disappointed. We (all of humankind) seem to think that we can do what we want, with whom we want, wherever and whenever we choose, and we do it with impunity. When I’m searching for love on earth, and ignoring the only Love that will never let me down, I am living for me rather than GOD. We mock the LORD of the Universe when we decide that our decisions about love and justice are better than His. We often act with impunity, and to what end?

“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of GOD. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” – Galatians 6:7‭-‬8‭, ‬15 NLT

Without love we are nothing. Paul wrote about love, true, unselfish LOVE, to the church at Corinth. As followers of JESUS CHRIST, we really should take this to heart.

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1‭, ‬7 NLT

While we search for love, GOD, through the sacrifice of the LORD JESUS, and the presence of the HOLY SPIRIT in our lives, He is waiting patiently for each of us to let Him in so that we can experience real Love, lasting Love, never-failing and never-ending LOVE. Without LOVE, I am nothing. With the LOVE of the LORD, I am everything.