American, My Home

“If at any time I [the LORD] announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” – Jeremiah 18:7‭-‬10 NIV

From history, we know the country we now call the United States of America was founded by early settlers who crossed the ocean, fleeing religious persecution, bigotry, and poverty. Yes, I am aware that there were already native people here, and yes, I will stipulate that the new settlers brought their own forms of bigotry with them, but that I don’t want that to be the focus here. Founded as a Christian nation, with Christian values written into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we have strayed far from the Founder’s vision of a united, free nation. It seems as though anything and everything is acceptable today – that is, anything except following JESUS CHRIST and proclaiming that He is LORD. I’m afraid that GOD was speaking directly to the U.S. in verses 9-10, and in these next verses, too:

“….. ‘This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’ But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’ ” – Jeremiah 18:11‭-‬12 NIV

Why do we do that? Telling GOD, our Creator, no??? Here He is, telling us plainly what is going to happen to us, to our nation, if we don’t make some major changes, now. I can’t change the world, or the state I live in, by myself. Individually we aren’t very powerful, but together, especially when we allow GOD to work with us and within us, we can do anything. That’s what he tells us in 2 Chronicles, giving us hope of salvation for our nation, and even for our world.

“…. if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

LET FREEDOM RING!

“For the Spirit GOD gave us does not make us timid, but gives us Power, Love and self-Discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our LORD or of me His prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the Gospel, by the Power of GOD. He has saved us and called us to a Holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His Own Purpose and grace. This Grace was given us in CHRIST JESUS before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our SAVIOR, CHRIST JESUS, Who has destroyed death and has brought LIFE and Immortality to light through the Gospel.” – 2 Timothy 1:7‭-‬10 NIV

Okay, you are probably asking what in the world does this scripture have to do with our celebrating the freedom of our country today? Without the Freedom of our LORD, there is no other freedom. We are Blessed to live in this great country (yes, great, despite all of her problems) where we can believe and worship and give testimony to our beliefs without fear of government retaliation. It is nearly impossible to do this in many countries around the world. It is unfortunate, though, that even in the U.S.A. many followers of CHRIST are singled out and persecuted, while any and every other belief system is tolerated, and encouraged. Our soldiers and sailors, fly-boys and marines and other maritime services have given life and limb to ensure our freedoms….. yet so many citizens spit on them and ridicule and revile them for that service.

Today, I celebrate my freedom as a citizen of this great nation, and I celebrate my freedom from death through JESUS CHRIST. Both of these freedoms came with tremendous sacrifice! Not my sacrifice, but the unbelievable and incomprehensible sacrifices of our country’s men and women, and most importantly, the sacrifice of my LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST. Grace and Mercy abounds, Amen!

“If My people, who are called by MY Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I WILL Hear from heaven, and I WILL forgive their sin and WILL heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

Time to hit our knees, people!!

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?

Obedience To No Earthly King

Watching the amazing fairy-tale wedding of the ‘American Princess’ Megan Markle to Prince Harry this morning, I am awed at the pomp and circumstance, the gilt and lace. Royals have long fascinated the American people, and I am no exception. Imaging being a part of a royal family is something many children dream of, being treated with deference and preferential treatment as a royal Prince or Princess. But here’s the thing: as a follower of CHRIST, I am a royal. I have been adopted into the family of the GOD of the Universe, so I am, indeed, a Princess of the highest order of royalty!

I read that 90% of Americans say they believe in God, but they don’t turn to Him when they are in need or in trouble. Have we really become so arrogant, that we consider our decisions and our will better than tne Almighty Creator GOD? We the people of the United States don’t have an earthly king, but wasn’t our country founded with a supernatural King? Our Constitution and our legal tender bear the words “In God We Trust” ….. but do we, really? I things we are more like the country of Israel when it was written about in the book of Judges:

“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” – Judges 17:6 NLT

Seems to me that we are doing about as good today as the Israelites were doing then. Idolatry was rampant. There was rape and murder and theft as a matter of everyday life, and it is the same in America today. So many things, and so many people, have replaced the LORD in our lives. America has been struggling for years, becoming more and more morally and ethically compromised, and all of these professing Christians watch – or worse, participate – in the depravity that has become the norm. Our nation, over the past decades, has become a laughing stock to the world. As a people, we have become weak and ineffective. As Christians, people who follow JESUS, we have clear instructions on what we should be doing. We don’t need to show obeisance to any earthly monach (although we should, as a matter of courtesy); we owe obedience to the LORD.

“Then if My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

We are fortunate to have elected a leader who isn’t afraid to pray or use the Name of God in praise. Pray for our leaders, that they will stand on the Christian principles that this nation was formed upon, and lead us on their knees.

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the LORD, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by GOD. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” – Ephesians 4:1‭-‬2 NLT

Amen.

Judgemental Noise – Is It Evidence?

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” – Matthew 7:1‭-‬2 NLT

Since Jesus began His ministry over 2000 years ago, He and His followers have been judged harshly by the world. He has been/is called a liar and a crazy man. He has been/is derided and cursed and humiliated. His followers, called Christians, have been and still are persecuted and tortured and killed. The noise of all that; the people who have denied His origins, His Life, and His ministry – is just that, judgemental noise. I guess that the enemy (a.k.a. Satan, Lucifer, the devil, Death…. you get the picture) thinks that the more noise he can generate around Jesus means that fewer people will hear the Message and follow Him, the Christ. We grow up surrounded by noise. By the time the Baby Boom began at the end of WWII, we’ve polluted our lives with noise. Radios blaring, televisions on, rock and roll music, concerts, huge stadiums filled with cheering…. bullying, jeering, rallies – it all adds up, and the noise of our lives often prevents us from hearing Jesus. Pushed by the enemy, we seem to believe that everything and anything, EXCEPT Jesus, is acceptable. Satan uses judgemental noise to drown out the Gospel story. It’s “good” to believe anything you want to, as long as it’s not belief in our LORD JESUS. To be PC, we have to deny that JESUS CHRIST is indeed the Son of GOD as He claimed to be, and ‘O. M. G. You cannot believe this man actually came back from the dead????’ (Yes, that was sarcasm….)

This passage from Right From the Heart 1-Minute Devotions, Day 126, says it so well:

All through the ages, man has speculated about life after life. Dante’s Divine Comedy seeks to describe it. Modern medical science has added to the speculation with its study of near-death experiences. Now all kinds of religions offer their theories.

But the greatest evidence of life after life is in the historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. Christianity is the only faith founded by a man who died and came back to life. No other religion makes that claim.

Historical accounts of His appearances to His disciples and over 500 at one time, were written within twenty years of the event. His disciples faced martyrs’ deaths for refusing to quit preaching of His death and resurrection.

People don’t willingly die for something they know is a hoax. The one thing that would have stopped Christianity in its tracks would have been for Rome or religious authorities to produce the dead body of Jesus. They never did. The best evidence of life after life is the historical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection.

Noise, especially judgemental noise, has a way of finding Christians. The enemy does his best to cover up our witness that JESUS CHRIST is indeed the Son of the Living GOD, that He rose from the grave; and that He was resurrected in order to show all men and women, all of humanity, the Truth. The Truth about JESUS transcends all color lines, all ethnic, social, and political lines. Our LORD Loves every man and woman the same. Satan will use the busyness of your life to create the noise that keeps you from hearing about Salvation. Can you hear Him calling you over the noise? “Be still, and know that I Am GOD! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” – Psalms 46:10 NLT

Will L. Thompson wrote these words in 1880. They are still true. “Softy and tenderly, Jesus is calling….”

 Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

 

Sin = Sorrow

WARNING. This post will offend you, or I haven’t made my point.

“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of My Heavenly FATHER.” –
Matthew 18:7‭, ‬10 NLT

“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.’ ” – John 8:34 NLT

Another horrendous school shooting. People drawing lines in the sand, screaming for tougher gun laws. Politicians slamming each other verbally across the aisles. Children bringing knives to school with the intent to harm. People using vehicles as weapons of mass destruction by driving into crowds. Christians going against Christians. The PC ‘police’ going after anything that is offensive to them (the latest: a woman ranting about how offensive the word ‘man‘ is!) Disrespect is rewarded and even encouraged. Abortion is rampant with over 3000 babies every day; that’s over 22% of all pregnancies, just in the U.S. The litany goes on and on, and that’s not even taking into account the atrocities happening in countries outside of the U.S. What are we supposed to do?

Oh God, we need to be a nation on our knees instead of lining up to throw barbs at each other.

So here is where I stand:

I am a Christian, and by that I mean that l am a follower of the LORD Jesus Christ. I believe in the Triune GOD; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that the Bible is the Truth, the Word of the Creator GOD, literal and complete, spoken through men to be our guidebook on earth. I know that Jesus left His home and His throne in Heaven to come to earth and live as a man, to be the ultimate sacrifice; to allow Himself to be tortured and hung on the cross so that His Blood would then and forever cover our sin. I believe that this same Holy God was with our Founding Fathers as they drafted the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I encourage you to delve into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and other papers written by those men. Let me remind you of the First and Second Amendments:

Amendment 1
– Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Amendment 2
– The Right to Bear Arms

A well-regulated militia [“A nation’s able-bodied men who are not enlisted in the regular armed forces but may be called into military service in an emergency.” ] being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms [“To carry; to be equipped or furnished with weapons, firearms.”] shall not be infringed.

(Side note: the Second Amendment is what guarantees we get to enjoy the First Amendment and all of the following Amendments. )

I am a Patriot. I hold that I, as an individual, have the right to use whatever means necessary and available to defend my honor and my person against any transgressor. That translates to this: l am a Life Member of the NRA (that’s the National Rifle Association, for those who don’t know). As such, I will retain any weapons and firearms as I am able to obtain them. I will not give up my guns or ammo, my knives (kitchen and otherwise), my walking sticks, hammers, or my vehicle – all of these, every single item, is a potential weapon. And don’t forget aerosol containers, pots and pans, rolling pins…. just about anything can be a weapon. You can be just as dead by a pen or pencil in the right hands as you can be from a bullet, and a .22 kills as effectively as a .50.

This nation has lost it’s focus, and there is only one way to regain it. Turn back to the LORD. We need to preach and teach respect, and turn away from all of this PC garbage. Instead of bowing to Hollywood and their skewed vision, we need to be on our knees, begging our LORD to wash this nation clean! I am offended by PC, and I am deeply offended by all of the politicians who are diligently working to take away my rights.

Teach respect. Preserve the lives of our unborn. Provide for our weak, our children, and our elderly. Support our veterans – after all, we wouldn’t be able to exercise these rights without their sacrifices to keep us free. Stop rewarding bad behavior. Take care of our teachers! An elementary teacher should be making more than some foulmouthed, opinionated, self centered athlete or actor. Treat mental illnesses appropriately. Again, these things go ad infinitum…. but the bottom line is RESPECT. Guns are not the problem. Knives are not the problem. More laws will not solve our societal issues. We already have too many laws. As a country, a nation, we are wrapped in sin and sorrow. There is only one solution…. GOD IS THE ONLY ANSWER.

Respect me, and I will respect you. Disrespect me, and you will be disrespected by me….. but I will continue to pray for you, that God will bless you, and that He will help me forgive you. (I can’t do it on my own, but I can forgive through His Grace.)

So, to end on a positive note:

“All praise to GOD, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. GOD is our Merciful FATHER and the Source of ALL Comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort GOD has given us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3‭-‬4 NLTAMEN.

Listen to God’s Not Dead by the Newsboys.