Double-Minded

Whenever I tried to share my testimony of my faith in Jesus Christ with my brother, he angrily rejected it. He would not receive any “religious talk” from me at all. As his health declined and death drew near, I tried again. While he was still able to speak, he wouldn’t hear it from me. I knew it wouldn’t be me, if anyone, to lead Larry to his Savior. I prayed that God would bring someone into his life to whom he would listen.

Recently, God has been convicting me as to why Larry would not hear anything about my faith from me. He had seen  me act and talk contrary to my Christianity many times. To him, I must have seemed a terrible hypocrite or a fool. And he was right.

My brother was not the only person in my life that I have so damaged my witness, I couldn’t possibly share the Gospel with them. How could I talk to them about a Lord God who lives inside me, never leaves me, loves me, changes me, when my words and behavior don’t show that to be true? My testimony to these dear people has not been life, but death and pointed them toward hell rather than the Lord.

It’s easy to act and talk the spiritual way around the Christian family. But apart from them, if I behave differently, then I am what the Bible calls double-minded and a hypocrite. I don’t do this out of peer pressure or fear of rejection. I don’t even have that lame excuse. I am simply too much into indulging my flesh.

I have sinned against God and against these people. I am trying to change. I am deeply sorry to the people in my life that I have given such a terrible testimony. Please forgive me.

Advertisements

Do Not Open Til Dec. 26th

You may think it odd timing, but think about it…

 

Historically, Jesus’ birth was likely not on December 25th. That date was set as the celebration a long time ago, and established in the church calendar to coincide with the pagan celebration of Winter Solstice. At the time, church leaders were seeking ways to include followers of other faiths in the Christian celebrations. For this reason, some Christians have stopped celebrating Christmas. Historians estimate the blessed event to have happened some time in October. There are several historical and biblical discrepancies in traditions of the season. For example, the Bible does not specify how many Magi there were; however, it does say that they found Mary and the young child about two years later “in the house”. But the tradition makes a beautiful nativity scene.

But really… does it matter when we celebrate the birth of our Savior? Shouldn’t we celebrate Emanuel all the time? The miracle of God becoming one of us should affect every day of our lives. Choosing to celebrate on December 25th does not make us pagans. Regardless of the non-Christian origins of many of the season’s traditions, observing them does not invalidate our celebration. God has used pagan nations and practices to show His glory and fulfill His will. For example, the ancient Roman Empire built superior roads connecting the entire empire (which included most of the civilized world at that time). When the Romans began persecuting the Christians, it caused them to scatter. The road system made travel easier, and theses believers took the gospel with them wherever they went. God had used the Roman empire to spread His good news.

As the season approaches, we must resist the world’s attempts to take Christ out of Christmas. Commercialism breeds despair, particularly in our economy. Giving gifts is a wonderful thing, especially joyful when we give in remembrance of the gift we received from our heavenly Father in Jesus.

Glorify God in all we do in all seasons. Celebrate Emanuel (God With Us) every day. Be a beacon of joy this Christmas. Do not wish anyone a “happy holidays” or “merry X-mas”. Respond with love: “Peace on earth, and goodwill to all”.

A CARROT, AN EGG AND A CUP OF COFFEE

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again. A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was
solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.
Continue reading A CARROT, AN EGG AND A CUP OF COFFEE

Shut Up Or Speak Up?

If you have a friend who is a recovering drug and/or alcohol addict, and you know they are stopping to slip backward, what do you do?

Do you think “Well, they’re not doing the hard stuff like they used to, and they seem to have it under control”, or “It’s not for me to judge”? Are you afraid that confronting them might cost their friendship and not do any good anyway? So, you don’t say anything. You just hope they’ll be okay.

Or do you risk losing their friendship and confront them? Do you love them enough to say: “It’s not alright for you to even start down this path. You have a problem, and it will take you back to self-destruction”?

Do you speak up and help them stop it in the early stages, or do you shut up and hope it doesn’t get worse again?

What do you think?

HHHEEEERRREDONNY!

Well, tomorrow, January 20, 2017, America gets what they asked for. Donald J. Trump will be sworn in and begin his term as POTUS. The majority of American voters chose him, and now he’s what we’ve got. And there’s nothing we can do to change that.

There will be protests tomorrow at the inauguration. Other than John Wilkes Booth attending Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, I don’t recall any protests at the ceremony before. I guess they are protesting the election process, because that’s what stuck us with Trump. I just pray the protests will be peaceful. It is our Constitutional right to peaceably assemble to express grievance with our government; however, that right is forfeited if violence or the threat of violence erupts.

And speaking of our Constitutional rights, whether we like our new president or not, he is our president. But, I want to remind everyone of something Mr. Trump may not realize. Starting tomorrow, he will hold a position he has probably never had before… EMPLOYEE.

That’s right! POTUS works for us, the American people! He is accountable to us. So, WE THE PEOPLE need to constantly remind him who his employer is!

Think about it… Then act like it!

Put Down The Gun

My brother and I never heard our parents say the phrase “I’m not going to tell you again” when we were growing up. It was understood there would be no second warning. In fact, if we had not stopped whatever we were doing wrong by the time the words had finished leaving their mouth, we knew the consequences would be immediate. That’s how I was raised.

Lately, some tragic events have filled the news almost daily of police officers encountering young men who were either armed or believed to be holding a weapon. After repeated warnings, the police fired, and unfortunately, young men lost their lives. These terrible occurrences have incited violent protests, injuring many people and doing immeasurable property damage. This hatred of police and authority has led to murdering officers, and a racial division in this nation perhaps worse than the civil rights protest era in the ’60’s. Certain individuals in the African-American (or black, whichever is appropriate right now) community thrive on making any such occasions a racial issue.

This post will either be unread or controversial, but I want to speak the truth as I see it on this matter. I would hope that this truth would help heal. I use “you” not in any accusatory way, but in a conversational tone because I am not just rattling off opinion. I hope I’m speaking to someone.

If you are holding a weapon, or anything that police may perceive as a weapon, expect the officers to approach you with their sidearms drawn and pointing at you. This not a race issue. This is called they are trying to stay alive. It does not matter what color your skin is, you are apparently holding a weapon.

Now, regardless of what you have in your hand, before the officers say anything at all, you should be putting it down. But, let’s say it’s not a weapon in your hand and you don’t understand why they are pointing their guns at you. Then they order you to “Drop the gun!” This is not a suggestion. For whatever reason, they believe you have a gun. You have a few seconds to keep this situation from escalating. Your action is simple. Do not make them tell you twice. Whatever you have in your hand… PUT IT DOWN! If it’s not a weapon, they will see that when they get close enough; but in  the meantime, you have shown them you are not a threat.

If for some reason, they must repeat the order, and you have not obeyed, now you have shown yourself to be dangerous, to them or anyone in  the vicinity. They have to make a split-second decision. If they hesitate, you are likely to shoot someone. It’s past the point of wrestling you to the ground. If you have a gun (as they believe), and your actions suggest you do, you apparently intend to use it. Otherwise you would have surrendered it.

Trust me when I say, at that point, it makes no difference what color your skin may be. You will be shot.

Now there are those who say that a young black man is statistically more likely to be involved in these incidents than any other race or ethnicity. That is probably true. This is where I’m going to get really controversial.

A woman wearing a nun’s habit sends a message. You know something about her just by looking at her. Right? If you see someone with calloused hands, dirty work cloths, work boots, toolbelt, and a hardhat, that sends a message about them. Wouldn’t you agree? I could go on with other examples, but I think you get the idea.

When a young man (regardless of race) dresses and behaves the part of a THUG, that sends a message. That message is a very negative one. One of violence, lawlessness, lack of respect for anyone (especially authority), weapons, and drugs (there’s more to that message, but I think you get the idea). This is not racism. This is reality. When someone reacts to the message sent, don’t blame them. The THUG image and behavior makes people feel threatened. If that’s not the message you want to send, do not present yourself as a THUG.

Of course not all of the victims of these shootings presented themselves as THUGS. But the rule of put it down still holds true.

But if you dress and act the THUG part and you are holding something in your hand that police officers think is a weapon, and they’re approaching you with guns pulled, you have just a few seconds to change their minds about you. Putting down whatever is in your hand is a really good start.

PLEASE STAY ALIVE. AND PLEASE STOP THE VIOLENCE AND HATRED

The Hillary Clinton Show

Now that Bernie Sanders, in the best interest of the Democratic party, has decided to withdraw from the race and endorse her, the already-inevitable nomination is even more unavoidable. Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential candidate this November.

Unlike her Republican counterpart, Mrs. Clinton is a known quantity. We have seen her in political leadership for many years. As first lady to her impeached husband Bill, she was an intricate part of his administration, overstepping the bounds of former first ladies.

She has been a successful businesswoman who has escaped conviction repeatedly for questionable and possibly felonious actions. Perhaps she was not guilty. Perhaps her husband, the governor at that time, stood faithfully at her side to fight the criminal charges.

She went straight from the White House to being a Senator of a state in which she did not live.  Honestly, I never did figure that one out.

President Obama appointed her Secretary of State, where her primary duties were to handle America’s relations with other countries. Everybody’s human. We all make mistakes. If I’m not mistaken, those criminal charges have been dropped.

Also while SoS, Hillary used her personal email to communicate highly sensitive and top secret information. The problem with that is normal email is easily accessible to public. This oversight may have been just a lapse in judgment. We all have those sometimes. However, when a person in a position such as Secretary of State risks a breach such as this, it warrants criminal charges, possibly even treason allegations. The normal procedure is immediate cut-off of access to information. That’s logical, since the person has mishandled it, wouldn’t you think?

However, the Democratic presidential candidate has apparently learned about TEFLON from her husband. After preliminary investigation, there are no information restraints on Hillary Clinton, nor are there any impending criminal charges.

Now, with that background information, let’s speculate what it would be like if Hillary (whatever happened to her hyphenated name?) Clinton is elected POTUS.

  • She is an experienced politician with the full support of her party. This increases her chances of accomplishing her agenda; especially since she will likely be appointing one or two Supreme Court Justices. She knows how to play the political game.
  • Hillary has a concrete agenda. She is not vague about anything. She has been clear where she stands and what she wants to do on everything. She would enter the White House next January with a to-do list on day one.
  • Some of the changes she could probably successfully make:
  1. LGBT would essentially become a legally protected group. Any public speech or action deemed unsupportive will be hate-speech, possibly punishable by law.
  2. Individual states will lose sovereignty (their ability to approve or reject certain laws).
  3. Minimum wage will increase by 25%, causing inflation to rise by at least 30%, and unemployment to rise by at least 30%.
  4. If during the Clinton administration, there is a Democratic majority in Congress, an equitable income tax system will be re-instituted, based on income. This may help with the greater need for government assistance programs.
  5. If possible, federally-funded programs to educate and assist people on public assistance to find gainful employment will grow. Even though this has traditionally been a Republican idea, president Clinton will see the need to fund these programs as numbers of recipients explodes.
  6. Another idea originally from the Republicans, but Hillary is smart enough to see the need, is some sort of initiative program(s) to encourage American businesses to stay in the US, and to assist new business ventures. It is essential to the economic survival of the United States.
  7. As POTUS, she will strive to eliminate any social stigma from experiences such as abortion, gay marriage, trans-sexuality, mental illness, and many other ways that sometimes single people out.

As I wrote about the Trump administration, it’s a fact that whoever our next president is will step into a big bowl of… well, I think you know. Our country is torn over racial issues, maybe even worse than we were in the ’60’s. There are all kinds of prejudice against people of certain religions, sexual orientations, and any other ignorant excuse people can find to hate others.

Our economy is weak and unsteadily trying to recover, while trying to pretend like we are strong in a weak world economy.

We are fifteen years in a war against terrorism, a war that most Americans have forgotten why we’re fighting, and just want it to stop.

We have a generation entering adulthood who (generally-speaking) lack social interaction skills, work ethic, respect for any authority, and worst of all… they have no inventive/ creative spirit; without that, America can become a third world country within one generation.

So, to Hillary Clinton, as I did to Donald Trump, I say two things:

  1. GOOD LUCK!
  2. ARE YOU SURE THIS IS REALLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?