Stealing My Identity

Recently I was told that calling myself a native American was offensive. I was born in America; therefore, I am a “native”. I’m not Apache or Hualapai, or Choctaw or Sioux (although I do have some Cherokee and Delaware blood), so does that negate my native status? What am I, then, if not a native American? Am I “native” to another land?

When are we going to get over this obsession with labels? “Black” America…. why do you feel the need to identify by the color of your skin? If I call Navajo friends “Red” Americans or Indian Americans, would they be offended? Probably. How about calling my friends of Hispanic or Mexican descent my “Brown” American friends? Or my friends of European descent, my “White” friends? I think this would be considered wildly offensive by most people! I could say I’m a European American, but what is the point?

I’ve written about this before, but it is really going beyond any common sense. Congress is having laws introduced calling for segregation, and the Democratic “leadership” is actually considering it. What was the Civil War, that War between the States, fought for!? What did Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King die for? They died for freedom for all Americans of all colors, to end the disparity, and to unite us. Now people want to go backwards!

You may have dark skin or light skin; kinky hair or curly or straight – blonde, brown, red, black, and all colors in between; a big bent nose or a flat nose or a pointed nose, big ears or small; blue, green, brown, hazel, or black pupils; or your ancestors may have come over on the Mayflower, or by foot across a land bridge into the North American continent thousands of years ago. Here’s the truth, straight from the Word of the LORD:

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 1:27‭-‬28 NASB2020

https://bible.com/bible/2692/gen.1.27-28.NASB2020

We all share the common ancestry of the original man and woman. We are all one tribe! I am human, descended from the original couple, and I am a native American. I don’t claim membership in any particular tribe, but I don’t begrudge anyone for being proud of their ancestry, or for claiming it. My ancestry is such that I could claim to be a European American, or German American or Irish American, but I prefer to known as an AMERICAN. Proudly proclaim that you are Chickasaw or Choctaw or Paiute or Hopi, claim your Hadzabe or Zulu heritage, Kirwan or Osraige, Aniza or Saluba, but don’t tell me I’m not native American! I wasn’t born in any other country but America, and I am 100% American. By definition, I am native.

Native: (adjective) being the place or environment in which a person was born or a thing came into being: one’s native land.

Dictionary.com

There’s a song by Imagine Dragons that goes like this:

It’s been a long time coming, coming
Seeming like we all been running, running
Feeling like the wild west, gunning, gunning
Listen to our elders shunning, shunning

All we see is faces, color, color
All the other races, other, other
Why couldn’t you just be my brother, brother?
We don’t have to kill one another, kill one another
All around the world, we are one, we are one
All around the world, we are one

So where did we all go wrong?

“…. He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,”
Acts 17:25‭-‬26 NASB2020

https://bible.com/bible/2692/act.17.25-26.NASB2020

Can it be any clearer than that?

We The People….

I’m reading a book set in 1860, before Abraham Lincoln was elected President, and the controversy of slavery. It wasn’t just slavery, but a way of life for the southern states. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was popular in the North and loudly disputed as lies and falsehood in the South. Our nation was divided by state, but also within families. Parents were divided, children, brothers, sisters, cousins were adamant that their side was the right side. We know from our history that this led to the Civil War, a terrible, bloody war that destroyed families and lives. North v. South; the Republican antislavery party v. the Democratic proslavery party.

Think about that for a minute. How close are we to something very similar today? Once again, we have families divided over issues like abortion, the Black Lives Matter movement, mask and covid shot mandates, Critical Race Theory in schools, more government control/Socialism v. less government control/Freedom. Defund the Police. What’s right? What’s wrong? Is it a conspiracy theory if it’s true? All Christians should be united on all of these issues, shouldn’t they? Seems like we should be, yet I find myself at odds with Christian family members and friends over just these issues! I ask, how can a Christian support taking the life of an unborn baby? How is a person more valuable because of skin color? Should a government be able to tell me I must mask up or take a shot when the science doesn’t support it? Yes, we should “render into Caesar what is Caesar’s”, but at what point is it too much?

Many, many people are literally preparing for a civil uprising to protest against tyranny. Peaceful protests are already occurring in many cities across our nation. Personally, I’m afraid that in order to stop the tyranny occurring in our capital, it’s going to require more than these peaceful gatherings, but I continue to pray that our leadership will get the message and make the changes needed. Are Christians involved in this movement? Absolutely. Unfortunately, there are also many others involved in the violence that is happening throughout the nation.

What can we do? I believe in being as prepared as possible for this recession we are swiftly headed into. It is critical that Christians unite in prayer for our leaders, and for guidance from God on what to support, and how to support it. I try not to engage in debate with family on subjects that I know we feel strongly about, but I cannot completely back down when I know that my beliefs are biblically correct. The only answer I have to the question is to pray. What would God have me do? We each have to be patient and pray and wait for His guidance. If His answer is to resist tyranny, then that is what I will do, to the best of my ability. Remember, our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the enemy.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬13 NASB199

https://bible.com/bible/100/eph.6.10-13.NASB1995

The Bible is….

The Bible is not fiction or fantasy or fairytales. The Bible is “…… men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (verse 21b)

“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 NIV
19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:19-21 NASB [compare ESV v21]

We know Scripture has Authority (19a), and Peter writes about the Transfiguration to bolster what the Old Testament prophesies say. There are over 300 prophecies about Jesus Christ – He would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, of the tribe of Judah, He would enter Jerusalem as a King, riding on the back of a donkey colt, soldiers would cast lots for His clothing, and He would be crucified. Just to start: Micah 5:2; Zechariah 9:9, 13:6, 11:13; Isaiah 53:7.

Peter W. Stoner wrote a fascinating book titled Science Speaks. To read it, especially chapter 3, The Christ of Prophesy, go to http://sciencespeaks.dstoner.net

Because the world is dark and dingy, and JESUS is the Light (19b); it is through His illumination that we can see.

“And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” John 9:39 NASB

We think we are autonomous, but this is the truth: We are bound to society’s boundaries through our minds, because our minds are fallen and dark; our hearts, because our emotions, our feelings, are deceptive; and because of our traditions that bind us into place. We are only Protestants because of the people who broke away from tradition. All of these traits must be subordinate to the teachings and authority of the Bible. The Holy Spirit, the Triune God gives Scripture its Authority (20-21). God inspired Scripture; He did not force the writers to write the words by moving their hands across the paper.

Obedience to God’s Word is comparable to parents telling toddlers to do or not doing a thing. We resist God in the same ways as they resist doing what they are told. Since we know God’s wisdom far exceeds that of a parent compared to a 3 year old, why do we resist Him? Because we know that it will cost us to live His way, just as it is often painful for a toddler to live the way their parents tell them to. Our heart compares to sealing wax and the seal… without FIRE to soften the wax/heart, it will only be scratched or crushed. When the wax is softened from the flame, and indelible impression can be made. Even Jesus, Son of GOD and part of the Triune God, submitted to the Father.

Remember – Be reminded of God’s inspired, authoritative teachings through the study and reading of His Word. He created it to be our guidebook, our instruction manual, our map, and our inspiration.

“Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder….” 2 Peter 1:12‭-‬13 NASB

Remembering Dr. King

Today we celebrate the life of a good man, a great man, Dr. Martin Luther King. It troubles me deeply that many will use this day to promote racism, because that is precisely what Dr. King was against. Many others will use it to push THEIR agenda of privilege – we live in a world of agendas, it seems. The color of your skin (red or yellow, black or white, we are ALL equal in God’s eyes) does not give you the right to have and do things that are unjust to others, and it shouldn’t give an economic edge or bias. There was a show on PBS a few years ago that was set during the Civil War, and a Union Doctor chastised a Union nurse about not tending to the Confederate soldiers who were in their hospital. He told her that among the wounded, there was no Blue or Gray – all blood is the same color. Red. To me, that speaks volumes, and it is a message I have preached for many years. God created ONE race, the HUMAN race. He saw fit to create a rainbow of colors, from the palest albino to the darkest black; we all bleed the same and we all – ALL – share same DNA and we all share the same ancestry in Adam and Eve.

Instead of celebrating or emphasizing our differences, wouldn’t it be awesome if we would emphasize our sameness?

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
Genesis 1:1, 26-28 NIV

That verse is worth repeating, over and over again! “GOD created {ALL} human beings in His OWN Image.”

Especially today, let’s celebrate life and our likeness to Jesus, and let go of the differences. Let’s stop demanding special treatment for different colors – or for having a different take on life. Oh, how I wish I were as eloquent as Dr. King! He preached equal treatment, not special treatment. He preached equality, humility, and love. Something all of us would do well to emulate. Like Dr. King, I, too, I have a dream.

Lest We Forget

July 4, 2019. 243 years ago, a group of men gathered, in secret, to forge ahead with actions that would end up costing many of them – literally – their fortunes and their lives. They did it in the name of freedom. Freedom from tyranny, freedom of religion, freedom to decide their own fates. Freedom to escape the rule of ‘class’. Were these men perfect? Far from it! Did they make mistakes? Absolutely! Yet they forged ahead, determined that their children and their children’s children and so on would have a place to live in freedom.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the People. No country, no nation before us was ever started with a Populous government! With all of the controversy over the Betsy Ross flag and Nike’s decision to pull their shoe that displayed it because it is a “slave” flag, let me refer to Article XIII of the Bill of Rights:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Was there slavery? Yes. It was in the form of both outright ownership of persons and indentured servitude. Was it against the Constitution? Yes, it was. Is it still occurring in the United States? Yes, I am sorry to say, although it is to a much lesser extent than in other countries. Our ancestors fought wars to prevent undue rule and unjust rule. The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War; WWI and WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afganistan, the Middle East….. We are still fighting over unjust practices and inhumane treatment. The Civil War wasn’t about slavery; it was about States rights!

What’s my point?

There will never be a perfect place to live on this earth, because humanity is flawed to the core. No man or woman is perfect, and we will all do and say offensive and stupid things. Bearing that in mind, and knowing that in these United States we are all responsible for ourselves, we are Blessed! What other country allows such blatant disrespect to it to flourish within it’s borders? Where else on earth can people publicly make fun of and disrespect their leader without experiencing dire consequences?

Since 1776, millions of men and women, United States citizens, have given everything for our freedom. There are currently hundreds, thousands, military personnel putting their lives on the line, every single day, for our freedom. Ditto for the Police officers, Sheriff departments, Border Patrol Agents, every type of Law Enforcement; all First Responders – Fire, EMT’s. Where else in the world do these freedoms and protections exist? Nowhere, to the extent of those in the United States.

It’s a day to be thankful. We can worship how and when we please, we can speak out – and act out – against our government in freedom.

GOD BLESS AMERICA.

https://www.puzzlewarehouse.com

Sadly, this jigsaw puzzle is no longer available.

Honor – and Ruin: NOT PC

Honor – and Ruin: NOT PC
Define hon·ornoun
  1. high respect; great esteem. “His portrait hangs in the place of honor”
  2. adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct. “I must as a matter of honor avoid any taint of dishonesty”

What has happened to honor? Aren’t we supposed to honor our government officials – if not the person, then the office? That’s how I was raised…. Unfortunately, politicians are making such a laughing stock of their positions and their office, and straying so far from our constitution and our laws, it’s becoming more and more difficult. So many think they are above the law. They can hold a position, an ideology, that they present as what we the people need – but it doesn’t apply to them.

I “should be” grateful that they want to oversee and control my life, providing me with what they think I need. Since when is that even remotely okay? I live in America. The United States of America. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. Some of my ancestors migrated here in the 1800’s and early 1900’s – and some were born here. We (almost) all have ancestors who came here to escape poverty and/or lack of freedom, and they came legally as immigrants. Some came as indentured servants, and some came as slaves – of all colors. When my ancestors arrived, they did several things: find jobs (not welfare), and learned the common – English – language.

Some became well-off financially, and some struggled, but I believe that regardless of their financial circumstances, they came and stayed because of the freedom afforded them. Freedom of speech, freedom to protect themselves instead of having to rely on the police or a police-state. Freedom to move around the country without governmental restrictions. These are all reasons that I choose to stay and protect my country.

You see, true immigrants don’t move to another country to make into a mirror of where they come from. We don’t move from one community to another in order to change it to what is familiar. We move so that we can find like-minded people whose ideas and beliefs mesh with our own.

Why do people come to America today? The majority, the ones who do it legally, do it because of the promise of freedom. They leave their country of origin because of oppression; because they believe they can have a better life here. They learn English and they find work.

I believe that we the people had better get a grip! Honor isn’t being taught in our homes or our schools, and it isn’t even up to our schools! We aren’t teaching our kids to honor their parents or other adults. We aren’t teaching them to honor our country, or our Constitution. We aren’t teaching them the principles this country was founded on – freedom and honor.

Without those, we are ruined.

Genesis

Have you ever just sat down to read Genesis? It’s fascinating to read how everything we know of came into existence, and I love the description of the garden. Sure, the chapters of “begats” can be a little tedius, but it’s a beautifully written history text. (As is the rest of the Bible!)

“Then the LORD GOD planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there He placed the man, Adam, He had made.
The LORD GOD made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden He placed the tree of Life and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The LORD GOD placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the LORD GOD warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” “

{Note: Adam could eat from the tree of Life, but not from ONE tree out of all the many trees, only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. One tree forbidden, and that was one too many! He and Eve had to have the fruit of that one tree. Everything surrounding Adam was beautiful and good, and he – like us – just had to have that ONE thing that is off limits. WHY do we persist on, and INSIST on, the one thing we “can’t” have???}

“Then the LORD GOD said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
So the LORD GOD formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam chose a name for each one.
He {Adam} gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals.
But still there was no helper just right for him. So the LORD GOD caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep.
While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.
Then the LORD GOD made a woman from the rib, and He brought her to Adam.“At last!” Adam exclaimed.
“This one is bone from my bone,
and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
because she was taken from ‘man.’ “
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.” – Genesis 2:8-22,15-25 NLT

Like Adam and Eve, we continue to push the limits, to have that thing we know is wrong. Don’t know about you, but I’m getting anxious to see Jesus and live in that breathtaking garden with Him!

“Seek the LORD while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our GOD, for He will forgive generously.” – Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT

Yes, turn to God, and let HIM do the forgiving. As humans, we are incapable of the type of forgiveness God has. We try to forgive on our own (“I can do it!”) but the best we can do is to relegate the hurt to a dark corner of our minds, where it can resurface at the most inconvenient and inopportune times. In recovery, a very common phrase is “Let go and let GOD.” Not easy, but it is necessary – it is VITAL – in order to have inner peace.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.”

It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it ALWAYS produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in Joy and Peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the LORD’S Name; they will be an everlasting sign of His Power and Love.” – Isaiah 55:8-13 NLT

God always provides for His children. He provides for me on a daily basis, and He is always here to support me. He doesn’t always provide our WANTS; He will always provide our NEEDS, even though we often can’t tell wants and needs apart. One day, maybe today, and maybe in a hundred years or more, Jesus will return to live on earth again. This is why we share the Gospel. He said He will return when everyone has heard His Word; His Good News. When that day comes, there will be a reformation of the earth. I can hardly wait!

Why December?

Why NOT December? Scholars and theologians debate the month, date, and year that JESUS was actually born, but really, why do they think it matters? Do YOU think it matters? For myself, it doesn’t. His actual birth date is irrelevant. The thing we should be focused on is the FACT of Jesus’ birth. Historically, we know He was born in Bethlehem, we know that He entered Jerusalem (triumphantly!) when He was 33 years old, and that He was hung on a Roman cross like a common criminal. History supports His empty tomb, and the multitude of eyewitness accounts support His resurrection from the tomb.

“Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” ” – Matthew 2:1‭-‬2 NLT

“Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.” – Luke 1:1‭-‬4 NLT

No matter when you choose to celebrate the birth of our Saviour, what counts is that you celebrate it. It could be as simple as a single candle for His Birth day, and it can be an all-out decorated extravaganza, as long as we remember the reason we are celebrating. The food and trees, the lights and decorations and presents are all great fun, but the WHY…. that is what truly counts.

Merry CHRIST-mas!

History

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

No matter where we are or what we are doing, there are so many reasons to be grateful. Think about it.

There is much violence and protesting is taking place because of things that happened in the past. History needs to be taught as it happened, and it should be inclusive of ALL the viewpoints, not to be devisive but to pass on Knowledge. How else do we learn and keep from repeating the same mistakes over and over? People of every color and ethnicity have been through struggles throughout history. We don’t have to condone tragic events to acknowledge them. If we try to make reparations to every ethnic group that was mistreated in history, then every person alive should receive something. I’m sorry for how the tribal peoples were treated, but I had no part in it. My ancestors were maligned and mistrested, and I have been through hell, too, but no one is working on improving MY life because of it. We have history to learn from and to move forward from. Today is the day we need to live for, not all of the yesterdays. If we are AMERICAN, we should be together. Using hyphenated names is just a subtle way to promote divisive. We aren’t Irish-American or Native-American or Chinese-American or African-American. We are AMERICAN.

As a Christian nation, Americans should be leading the world in showing others how to live in harmony. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we seem to lead the way in litigation and violence. Take today, and look to JESUS to see how to live. Live like you are LOVED, because you are!

That’s my 2 cents.