03 July, 2015

When Did American's Become So Whiny?

I don't know about anyone else, but I am tired of the whiny, cry baby antics of the left wing liberals in this country. They are "offended" at everything. Truthfully, they are not offended... they just want everyone to think like they do and silence anyone who does not. Just today in Oregon, the Klein family was ordered by the courts to pay $135,000 to a lesbian couple because they refused to make a wedding cake for them. The couple claims to have been emotionally scarred. Right. To make matters worse, the courts stripped the right to freedom of speech from this couple, telling them that they could no longer talk about this entire ordeal. Say what?  Is this Russia?  It gets better folks. This week TV Land removed the Dukes of Hazard from TV because apparently some people are "offended" that the Confederate Flag was painted on top of the General Lee. (Their car... for those who have lived in a hole.)  Now, this show has been on television for almost 40 years and no one has ever been offended... until the liberal crowd began their assault on our freedoms a couple of weeks ago and suddenly this flag, which has been around for more than 150 years, suddenly is so emotionally scarring that it must be destroyed and removed from out history. Suddenly the flag means racism. People who are ignorant of history are being told, and believe that the Civil War was fought because of slavery. (It wasn't... go get -yourself some edu-ma-cation liberals!) Walmart has removed the flags and any item that carried the flag from their stores... bowing down to the idiocy that is arising in America. It's getting to where all you have to do is say, "I'm offended" or "I'm emotionally scarred" and the lemming crowd jumps on your band wagon to silence anyone who disagrees.  Guess what America... I'M OFFENDED AT YOUR STUPIDITY! I'm offended at your bigotry. (Go look up the definition of bigotry and you'll be surprised to see that what the liberal crowd is doing right now is absolute bigotry!)

Let's go back to the right someone has not to serve someone else. Restaurants and stores have signs that read, "No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service".  That began with the hippy movement.  I don't see any lawsuits over this.  When I was younger and wore my hair long and often smelled like pot, I frequently was told in restaurants that they would not serve me. It did not emotionally scar me. I simply went to a place that did welcome me. But we have become a nation of pantywaisted, cry baby, sniveling, brainless people who are manipulated by a few for an agenda that most are clueless to. Let's go back to the Dukes of Hazard. No one, I repeat, NO ONE was ever offended until some left wing idiot told everyone to be offended and BOOM... an American icon has been removed from TV. People are STUPID. Yes, I said STUPID. They will blindly follow and be ordered around and the idiots think they are doing this in the name of freedom and liberty. How stupid can any one person be? You silence others, strip freedoms from millions and you wave the liberal banner of "freedom" proudly. You are some kind of special stupid!

America needs to put on her collective Big Boy pants and stop sucking on the bottle of Kool Aid and GROW UP! We've raised up a generation of mindless zombies who robotically march, riot, write letters, emails and place phone calls when the orders go out from their leaders. 

I have a novel idea...
If you all hate America so much, why don't you all move to Russia or Iran where they have a totalitarian system in place and see how well that works out for you. 
Don't let the door hit you on your backside as you leave. 

30 June, 2015

What Ever Happened to the Blood? (revisited)

(I posted this in June of 2007 and wanted to repost it because 8 years later, I'm still wondering about it.)

I don't have time to really elaborate this right now, but I wanted to get the thought out there to discuss; What ever happened to our preaching on and dependence upon the blood of Jesus?

Turn on your TV set and listen to message after message by pastors, evangelists, teachers or whoever, and you will hear about prosperity, blessings, giving, and and a host of other topics (all of which are in the Word of God too) but you seldom, if ever, hear a message on the blood. (Let me make it clear that I am looking at my own face in the mirror as I make this statement.) I have to wonder, has the church of 2007 pushed the blood to the background because it is not the most PC thing to talk about? Is it because we consider it too messy, too scandalous to preach?
We must never forsake our teaching and preaching on the blood, because it is the blood that washes us clean and frees us from our life of bondage to sin.
Without the blood, we are nothing but a bunch of self-help gurus touting a bunch of psycho-babble.

Make no mistake about it, we are King's Kids. We have great promises and great power at our disposal... but without the blood, none of it is possible.
Only the blood can wash a sin-stained heart and create it anew.
Only the blood can redeem fallen man.
We must once again preach the blood stained cross of Calvary!

I love the words to the Matt Redman song:
Your blood speaks a better word 

Than all the empty claims I've heard upon this earth 
Speaks righteousness for me 
And stands in my defense
Jesus it's Your blood

[Chorus]

What can wash away our sins?
What can make us whole again?
Nothing but the blood 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can wash us pure as snow?
Welcomed as the friends of God
Nothing but Your blood
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus

Your cross testifies in grace

Tells of the Father's heart to make a way for us
Now boldly we approach
Not by earthly confidence
It's only by Your blood

What can wash away our sins? 
What can make us whole again?
Nothing but the blood 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can wash us pure as snow?
Welcomed as the friends of God
Nothing but Your blood
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus

29 June, 2015

Just For the Record

I'm going to say this once. If two people of the same sex want to get married, that is their choice. All I (and millions of others) ask is that you leave us out of your choice. I do not have to agree with you. I don't have to support your decision. And I certainly don't have to participate in your decision. Leave it out of the church. You want to get married, go to the courthouse, just like the heterosexual couple that I photographed today did. Go to a church or minister that believes as you do and have him or her perform the ceremony. But leave me out of it. I do not believe as you do and I never will. I have that right, and even if the government reaches the place that they tell me I don't have that right, I will still have the same stand because it is what the Bible demands and I will stand for. They can throw me in prison and I will not change my stand. They can haul me into court and strip me of everything I own and I will not change my stand. They can take my life, and with my dying breath I will still proclaim my stand. You want to get married, go do it... just leave me out of it.

I'm done now.

27 June, 2015

Happy Birthday to My Princess!

Tomorrow my baby girl will turn 22. Somehow, I cannot wrap my head around that. It seems like yesterday that she was born and she stole my heart. I've watched this kid grow in utter amazement. She is one of the most gifted and kind hearted people that you will ever meet and I am blessed to say that I am her dad. We got to stop by Collinsville for just a little while yesterday and took her and her boyfriend out to lunch. It was great to see her... yet it broke my heart to have to leave her after only about 2 hours. I fought back the tears all the way home after that. She is my princess... but she is grown up and whether she wants to admit it or not, she has become a woman. (She gets mad at me when I say that.) And a beautiful woman at that. I remember the day we took her to her college and left her, I wrote her a letter and in it I told her that it was her time to soar... and that she has. Ashley you have made your daddy more proud than any dad has a right to be. I am so proud of you and cannot wait to see where life takes you from here!
I absolutely hate that mom and I cannot be with you on your birthday, but I'm glad you and Mike get to go to the Cardinals game. I hope you have a wonderful day!
I love you more than life baby girl! 
Happy Birthday sweetie!

21 June, 2015

The Fish Tank

(Let me clarify that the following is not in any way connected to my church. I'm actually out of state on vacation at the time that I am writing this, so none of the things I am about to say is in anyway connect to my church or my community.)

I get so tired of hearing folks who have the "me church" mentality. You know, those who want things their way, in their time, on their schedule, to fit their needs and forget anyone else. Those with that mentality are the ones who will hold their tithe if they don't get their way, or will bounce from church to church never setting down roots for any length of time. They are highly critical and demanding and act like the church cannot survive without them. It makes me want to puke. I can pretty well imagine that they don't make the Lord all that happy either. I wonder if some people will ever realize that the purpose of the church is to reach those who do not know Christ and to make disciples of them. The church is not to coddle those who have been saved for decades just to keep them happy enough so that they will stay in that church and pay their tithe. So many of our churches are lacking in evangelistic effort because the pastor's time is spent keeping those in the church happy. Instead of being fishers of men, they have become keepers of the aquarium. It's really no wonder the church is in a tremendous decline and ministers are walking away from the ministry in record numbers! The pressure to perform and jump on command gets old and tiring and the fact that the minister's time is consumed with trying to keep the fish in his tank happy that there is no time to go out and get new fish. And if you do get new fish, many of those in the aquarium get mad because the pastor is spending time with the new members. But the pressure is so great because those other folks pay the bills, so if they do not devote their time to them, they are off to a new aquarium in short order. It is a vicious cycle. I heard it again tonight: "I'll just stop paying my tithe" because they were not getting their needs met, rather than seeking to find away to help build the kingdom of God. It makes my blood boil and my stomach turn to hear Christians make such self-centered, carnal comments.

18 June, 2015

When Things Get Out of Sync

A little while I saw my sister standing and staring at the washing machine looking very confused. I went in and asked what was wrong and she said that it was stuck. I looked and the door was locked, and the lights were on indicating that it was both draining and spinning, yet the machine had never even filled up with water yet. We called the maintenance man here at the resort and he came up and looked at it and said that the machine had gotten out of sync and said that it must be reset so that it knew to do thing in the right order. It took him all of 5 minutes to pull a cover off pull a part out and reset it and put it back together. Once he did that, the machine was back to running the way it is supposed to. As he left, the wheels in my mind started turning. I got to thinking about how many times we get things out of sync in our lives... meaning we have our priorities wrong. As a follower of Christ, it should be a no brainer that we are to put God first. Jesus, when asked what the greatest commandment was said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself." That sounds pretty basic and almost every Christian will tell you that they follow this. But do they? If you love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, then why is it that so many things come before attending worship? Why is it that we find it easy to spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on more "stuff" that will be cast aside in a very short time and most likely end up in the trash or a yard sale, but are hesitant to giving God the tithe and offering? Isn't it amazing that we think nothing of spending more money for one meal out with the family than what we give to God in a week... or month?  If that is happening in your life... then things are out of sync. Things are not running right... and we find disruptions, fights, discord, stress, anxiety, frustrations building in our homes and lives and we can't figure out what is wrong. 
It's really simple... our priorities have shifted and we have put God at the bottom of the list. When this happens, we disqualify ourselves from the blessing that God has promised in His Word.  Put God back at the top of the list and just watch how quickly all the other things begin to fall in place. That's not the manipulating words of a preacher as many will squawk. No, those are the words of Jesus. "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."  Read that passage in Matthew chapter six and see what "things" Jesus is referring to!  If life is stuck, broken or running poorly... maybe it's because things are "out of sync."

14 June, 2015

Divine Discontent

This is a "re-post" of something I wrote several years ago. I felt like it needed to be shared again. I feel this stirring more today than ever before since I've been here in Galesburg. I look back over the years since I first wrote this and I am saddened by those who fell by the wayside in the wilderness. But I press on.

I have had a stirring, a restlessness in me for the longest time. I know of no other way to say it but to call what I am feeling "divine discontentment." It's hard to put it into words and it sometimes just frustrates me to no end because I can't express this feeling well.
I sense God calling me to deeper place; not only me, but my church. It's a place we must go to, because I hear the voice of God calling, but the thing is... I don't know exactly where we are heading! I just know God is saying, "Come on! Follow me!"

It's hard saying this with several of my folks reading this blog, but I think they will know what I mean when I say it. The frustrating thing, or maybe I should say, the thing that wearies me, is that while there are a few who are packed and ready to go after God, there are many others who are not. I feel somewhat like a father trying to get the kids together to get in the car for a trip, but they are off doing other things and I have to keep going after them. You finally get one rounded up and ready to go, only to find that the other that was in the car waiting has wandered off somewhere. And all the while I hear the voice of God calling... "follow me." 

While I don't know exactly where God is taking us, I have an idea, and I have seen glimpses, and I'm like, "If you people could just see what God is wanting to do, and where he is wanting to take us, you'd get on board and follow!"

Like I said, there are those who I believe sense it. They are ready to go, and they are pursuing God themselves, but the corporate journey is staggeringly slow. I often find myself wondering if this was how Moses felt as they wandered the wilderness all those years. I just know that somewhere in the back of his mind he was thinking, “If you all had gotten it together and followed, we would have been in the Promised Land a LONG time ago! But still, day after day, week after week, year after year, he led them, knowing that while they should have already been there, the Promise was still out there.
Don’t you know that Moses wanted to just pack up in the middle of the night and cut across the desert and go on into the Promised Land? But he could not do that… he was called to lead the others there.

Sometimes, I think “Lord, if they don’t want to come along… let me go!” But it does not work that way. Sometimes I think pastors and leaders get tired of the struggle or journey and they settle where they are… but this is where the “divine discontentment” comes into play. The Holy Spirit is stirring something in me, and I know there is greatness ahead if we will not settle. 
I refuse to stay where we are, because I know God has something amazing ahead that he is calling us to. 
I’m going on. 

The one thing that really troubles me is that I remember that many people died and were left behind in the wilderness, having never made it to the promise. I realize that this is going to happen in my church as well. It already has... for many people refused to follow after the promise, because they liked it just fine the way they currently were. Anytime we get at ease, or comfortable, we are at risk of settling short of the promise. 

Not me... I am going on.


12 June, 2015

05 June, 2015

I'm Sick of the Spineless Church

The "Church" today is a mere shadow of what the Biblical Church was. People today want to "fit in" when Jesus said we'd be hated for his names sake. We want to pass the buck by ignoring sin and saying, "judge not, lest ye be judged' when in reality most are clueless as to what that verse actually means. Isn't it odd that Paul writes to the church in Corinth and in 1 Cor. chapter 5 he hands out orders with no room for question to judge the immoral brother and turn him out of the church. 
I'm just about sure that God is sitting up in heaven wondering about all these spineless, mealy mouthed "Christians" who refuse to take a stand for righteousness and actually try to blame his word for their carnal hearts. 

Make no mistake, we are to judge, but we are to judge by a standard of righteousness and never with a vindictive spirit. America needs the church to stand up once again and proclaim, "be holy because He is holy!"

04 June, 2015

America Has Chosen Her Course

Unless you've been in a box or had your head in the sand, everyone in America knows by now that Bruce Jenner is no longer Bruce, but Caitlyn Jenner. By and large, America cheered at the "courage" of Jenner. ESPN is giving "her" the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Even President Obama spoke of her courage.  I'm still sitting here wondering if I am in a dream (or should I say nightmare) or has America really gone this far down the path of depravity. The sad truth is, yes... we have. It is hard to deny that this is the path that America has chosen. This Nation has rejected the Judeo-Christian values that our forefathers embraced, and replaced them with a completely different morality. Of course, not everyone in America feels this way, but ultimately, those of us that still embrace traditional Christian values will be completely marginalized and ostracized. This is already happening a little bit at a time. Those who hold to a Judeo-Christian morality are being labeled "intolerant" and hateful. Laws are being drawn up and enforced to punish those who stand for a moral standard. The Obama administration is doing all that it can to accelerate this agenda. Take for example the fact that the Obama Administration will soon require faith-based, charitable groups which receive federal grants to hire homosexuals and transsexuals. That disturbing revelation comes straight out from published reports from the Center for Family and Human Rights. Most Americans slept right through this news release, but here's the facts:
Last summer, Obama inked an executive order requiring federal contractors to provide what Congress refused to pass, namely civil rights status for sexual behavior or subjective gender identity. Now Obama is reportedly adding the “sexual orientation and gender identity” mandate to humanitarian groups that receive federal grants. Federal contracts are awarded when a federal agency is acquiring something; grants are awarded when a federal agency is providing assistance. (Check this out here)

While it is not clearly spelled out yet, it is a given  that very soon, our politicians would eventually take away the tax exemption from any church or Christian organization that “discriminates” against those in the LGBT community. That would force literally thousands of churches and Christian ministries to permanently close their doors unless they comply and hire those in the LGBT community. This is not the wild fantasy of a conspiracy theorist... Open your eyes... It is unfolding right in front of all of us, but most Christians would rather sit back and pretend it is not happening and post on Facebook, "I don't want to hear about Caitlyn Jenner!"  Whether you want to hear about it or not, it is happening! The Nation has taken a collective moral shift to the far left and those who close their eyes are going right along with them by remaining blind and silent! Like it or not, this is where all of this is heading. At this point, it not a question of "IF" but when. It is just a matter of time.
A massive cultural shift is happening in America, and right now it appears that the “social liberals” are winning in a big way while the Christians stick their heads in the proverbial sand and act like the boogie man will go away if they just ignore him.

01 June, 2015

Be Still and KNOW

I love the passage found in Psalm 146:10 which reads, "Be still and Know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth.”
I probably don't have to tell any of you that we live in a culture that wants everything right now... or yesterday. We've probably all impatiently stood in front of the microwave thinking it is taking too long to cook something that used to take far longer in our youth... but we've become impatient. We are an instant gratification society.   Sometimes the Christian life can be so difficult for us because sometimes God tells us that we have to wait... and we are not good at waiting.   That is what this verse is telling us... that sometimes we just need to be still, know that He is God and in the knowing, TRUST that His ways are best and in the end He will come out on top.  It's easy to say that... but it is in the waiting that we struggle. When we wait on God and what he has for us, sometimes this waiting takes about 2 seconds. Sometimes it takes two years. But however long it is that we wait, we must learn to STAND STILL... and wait as long as it takes for Gods will to be accomplished in us and through us.  

When was the last time you stopped and waited for anything?  When was the last time that when something got hard or did not happen right away you stuck with it instead of trying to work it out on your own or throwing in the towel and going on to the next thing?  When was the last time you just sat and waited on God to do what only He can do?  These are important questions that need to be answered if you are going to unleash the power of God that lives inside of you.  

Now please understand that our waiting does not necessarily mean us sitting down and doing nothing. (although sitting still would not hurt some of us)   Our waiting is more in line with not rushing on ahead, but staying in the vein that God has you in currently, until new marching orders come. Jesus said to "occupy" until he comes. That means we are to do the work that we know to do. Sitting still can be figurative... meaning that we are not to be looking for a new path, a new ministry or activity or a way to finish things off until God says so. In the mean time... Just keep doing what he has told you do do! If the orders have not changed, then don't stop!
This "sitting still" is a time in which we are reminded of who is in charge.  Our sitting or waiting is also about us seeking God passionately and asking Him to give us clear marching orders.  

So many Christians are looking for a new word, a new vision every time they turn around, and the problem is that they never finish anything because they get bored and abandon their post. God says, "Be still! Stand still! Stay where you are and carry on until I give you a new assignment."  Something I've learned... God never changes the assignment until you've finished the last one. But we see people running from church to church... ministry to ministry, always running, never stilling themselves before the Lord long enough to finish anything. As a result, they are moody, often frustrated and lashing out at other believers because they cannot see that the problem is within themselves. They simply need to be still... stand still and let the Holy Spirit perfect in them what he is trying to make of them. They keep starting the process over... and they will spiritualize it and say God said... but if they are leaving a trail of unfinished dreams, ministries and works... then we can tell by their fruit that this is NOT the work of the Holy Spirit.
DO NOT FOLLOW SUCH A PERSON! 

I have something I'd like to suggest that you try this week. Turn everything off... no music, no TV, no books, nothing... just sit still for at least 15 minutes.  In this time ask God for wisdom and clarity about what He would have you to do and then take time to listen to what He wants to tell you.  Do this every day for one week and watch and see the difference that it makes in your spiritual life. It may take 2 weeks... or a month. But stay in that mode and continually seek God until He gives you a clear vision for what He would have you to do to reach those around you.  He may give you a specific task for the day or a big vision for your life. 

Whatever it is, be thankful for your answer, write it down, and live out the mission that God gives you.

26 May, 2015

Go On and Call Me Crazy...

* Before I begin, let me say from the outset that I do not believe in psychics, fortune tellers or any of that stuff... so please don't go into a self-righteous rant about my use of a photo of a crystal ball. 
Thank you!

We are a year and a half from the 2016 Presidential election, but I'm going to make my predictions now. 
I have to be honest and tell you that at this point I have NO idea who I'm going to get behind as I am still weighing out what people are saying, reading between the lines and so on. 

On the GOP side, right now it is an all out mad dash with seemingly everyone and their brother running for POTUS (and I still think we will see other candidates jump in) but this is how I see it. It will whittle down to two guys, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee fighting for the nomination and I have this feeling deep in my gut that Huckabee is going to pull a surprise and win the party nomination. His VP pick will be either Ben Carson or Rand Paul. 

On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders is going to come on very strong... and Hillary will cut a deal with him to make him her VP pick so their ticket will be Hillary and Sanders. 

I think that Huckabee pulls a stunning upset and wins the election.

So... it's recorded here on my blog, so lets come back in 18 months to see how close my predictions play out.