Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015

       2014 has been an eventful year with the rise and fall of so much occurring in this world. The Democratic party received a beating during the recent Congressional voting in 2014. This happening two years after Obama handily won the presidential reelection against the stunned Republican candidate. Two Malaysian aircrafts have met disaster one mistakenly shot down and another after several months still mysteriously missing. Still another commercial plane, this one Indonesian but still carrying many Malaysians, crashed. This one supposedly due to bad weather, "hhmmm". The ever continuous battering, missle launchings, and shootings took place off and on in the Gaza Strip between the Israeli military and the Palestinians. Let's not forget Boko Haram's constant tormenting of Nigerians and Cameroonians who simply don't want to be Muslims. And the annual constant weather related catastrophes, 2014 has left behind some scars.
       The year also produced some victories, or at least hope of possible victories. Obama declared that December 31, 2014 is going to be the last day of this War in Afghanistan with most of the remaining troops finally heading by this date.The job market has been reported to be improving, again I say reported. And relations between Cuba and America, two countries whose leaders have faced their backs toward each other while having their arms crossed since the Reagan era, are now improving. Morally, the nation has back slidden greatly with an increasing acceptance of homosexuality, even gay marriage amongst both individuals, corporations, and even churches. But it is hard to tell how true this supposed growth really is since the media that often reports this data is heavily biased towards accepting such behavior even promoting it and the federal judges constantly over rules popular votes made by their own citizens in order to legalize gay marriage. Well my Bible as well as my experience and relationship with God teaches me not to rely too much on what I hear from the media and at times even political leaders, especially when their words and actions contrast what is written in the Word. Something will eventually bend and break. When it will happen, I don't know but I plan to continue warning people, talking and writing about God's warnings along with His promises because I believe that is what God wants me to do.
       Anyhow the new year 2015 provides much hope and opportunity for those of us who may not of had a great 2014. And those of us who had a great 2014, 2015 provides us with the chance to make the new year even ten times better. How to make 2015 better than 2014? One thing continue reading the good book, the Bible. The Bible will provide one with a depth of wisdom and common sense found nowhere else in this world. The book will help one not to fall and even if one does it will give the individual inspiration, energy, and strength to rise back up. Another way to make 2015 better, continue attending a God fearing, Bible believing, people loving church. Nothing at times can be more comforting than having the ability to attend a church meeting, gathering where you can greet, chat with, and later hang out with a fellow christian(s) who is going through his or her own struggles, sometimes ones similar to yours. The experience will constantly remind you that you are not on your own. There are people out there, some of them standing right next to you from within the crowd, who are experiencing and living within scenarios that would shock you. Again you will learn that you are not alone. And just the way you will root for and desire the best for them they will do the same for you.
        Creating positive plans toward improving one's finances in the new year is another way to pave the way for a happy 2015. Start with constructing better budgeting plans aimed at providing funds towards clearing out old debt and strong will power along with the ability to say "no" to deter new ones. One big trap is watching those television commercials and listening to paid actors telling you what you need, what you must have. Pay them no attention. They don't know you nor care for your personal or financial circumstances. They are simply trying to make a buck. In some cases millions or at least hundreds of thousands of em. Another trap is comparing what you got to what your neighbors, buddies, peers have. Don't allow such things to bother you. Remember, you don't have to have it. And if your friends or even relatives continue to remind you that so and so, this person, that person is riding this and that, living here and there while you are pretty much staying put then you may need to have an inward reflection. But remember any intent, motivation toward self improvement is made to better yourself and those around you not so that you can win a material race between you and your neighbor. Such earthly competitions are meaningless and will only produce mental fatigue and a later realization that what you have worked and spent so much energy doing is not producing within you any genuine happiness.
       2015, oh so much to look forward to. Well I am going to start by continuing reading my Bible. Yes, I know that my poring through the Word has not made me a perfect human being. I have continued to make mistakes. But it gives me hope and the reliance that I can continue learning. I can continue to make use of what I am learning. Because the One whom I am learning from is not staring hard at me counting all of my mistakes and errors. He is not standing toward me arms crossed demanding constant perfection or bust. He is neither unforgiving or impatient. Now His forgiveness does not give me license to continue to willingly live a life full of reckless offense and misdeeds. His mercy and grace does allow me hope that as long as I commit my life to Him and make an honest and sincere effort to repent of my sins I will always remain one of His. A child with an eternal hope and a permanent home.
42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:42-43

14 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. I Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays on Christmas.

       Tis the season. I wish that I could have written this blog much earlier but better late than never. Here we are again in Christmas season. A time of the year famous for buying presents, dreaming of Santa Claus, singing songs about reindeer and snowmen, attending seasonal plays and concerts, and for some of us a constant reminder. While growing up as a child during this time of the year I was always reminded by my pastor during one of his sermons that Christmas was about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ not Santa Claus. I was reminded that the world often works hard at driving the away the true meaning of Christmas while filling one's mind with a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with Christmas or Christ and we as a church have to be aware of it. Christians cannot fall into the trap of allowing ourselves to forget about celebrating Jesus Christ on His birthday. And yes I am well aware that December 25 was not Christ's actual birthday but this is the day that the world has chosen to celebrate it. I have volunteered to continue my former pastor's tradition by posting a blog reminding my readers to not forget to celebrate and place Jesus first during this time of year.
       Happy Holidays! Happy Holidays! That is a constant phrase one hears during this time of the year. Seasons Greetings is an older but less popular slogan for this time of the year. Another slogan one often sees is Xmas. By now many of you likely see where I am getting at. Yes Christmas is a time of year meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately the world has turned the day into something else different entirely. What is sad is how just about every company, television commercial, store greeter, refrains from saying "Christmas", instead shouting "Holiday Holidays" or an older, similar version, "Seasons Greetings".  When one constantly hears theses phrases over and over again the person wonders "why can't they just say Christmas?" Why continue to avoid the word as if it is cursed?
       Why not just say Merry Christmas? Looking back twenty to thirty years, the word "Christmas" was repeated much more often by the media and surrounding social circles. One heard and saw "Happy Holidays" occasionally but did not think much of it. During those times the phrase "Happy Holidays" was mentioned less often. The threat to take over the Christmas holiday was less obvious. Now even while listening to a supposed christian radio station hearing the DJs continuously shout "Happy Holidays" makes one wonder whether or not there was some kind of an agreement between members of  popular media, business leaders, and politicians that this is the way Christmas was going to be referred to for now on. It is occurring slowly but steadily just like celebrating gay, non traditional families as normal began slowly with the older production of popular tv shows like "The Odd Couple", "Three's Company", and "My Two Dads". See, the devil never makes it obvious. Satan is much smarter than that. He always starts out slowly with something that on the outside appears very innocent but is not exactly what God stated in the Bible as the way it SHOULD be. Just like "Happy Holidays", many people see the phrase as innocent but don't see that the world and its media slipping away from the day being the celebration of Christ, instead making it a day celebrating Santa Claus, Rudolph, and buying presents.
       American companies view Christmas as a day to make great sales as well as their bottom line. This is make it or break it season for many companies. This is the time of the year that many companies depend upon for producing great revenues, making them productive for the entire year. Commercials are created and shown on television, internet, and radio to drive consumers to purchase more and more products. Consumers also annually accumulate much debt during this time of the year trying to satisfy their family, friends, coworkers, and pretty much the world who expects them to deliver, sometimes at a rate well above what they are able to afford. What if these companies gave thanks to God and depended more upon Him to surpass their business quotas? Maybe the holiday season would be less frenetic and stressful. They may find themselves being able to produce more sales without having to force themselves to remain open within the midst of chaos. Remember how God took care of Israel and Judah during the ruling of Solomon and David?They did not have constant sales back then.
      Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Now christian people can take the time and opportunity to explain to those who may not know what the day December 25 is really about, what they can really get out of the day. About a Savior who came down to this lost world to save it from inevitable damnation as well as destruction. A world previously doomed to an everlasting period of no hope. Jesus Christ came and gave hope and life to those willing to receive it.  This is a gift much greater, of much greater use and purpose than what any person can get from a fat, jolly man wearing a red suit. Can anyone else offer someone eternal life? Let's as ourselves this question as we approach Christmas and even afterwards. Let's not allow the media and businesses big or small to dictate to us how we celebrate or refer to this holiday. Let us not be afraid to say Merry Christmas. No, we are not to cool speak it. Shout it out. Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! And to all God bless!

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:11-14 NIV

Saturday, December 20, 2014

FFRF vs Bible

        In the world today there are billions of acronyms representing various groups, the majority of them carrying out their own agenda. Recently on the web I discovered a scarcely known one called the FFRF. What is the FFRF? The FFRF stands for Freedom From Religion Foundation. This group devotes time, money, and energy in effort to free people living in the United States from religion. They cherish the idea of having separation from church and state which to them means banning Christianity from public, governmental buildings, offices, and schools.

       In demonstration of their idea of separation the FFRF is currently going after Cloverleaf Elementary School for passing out free bibles, with the help of Gideons International, to their elementary students. Gideons Internaional handed out bibles to the students during class time. The children were given a choice. They were asked whether or not they wanted a bible. If the child said yes he or she was handed one if not the child would not receive a bible. One child refused a bible saying that she "believed God in a different way". The poor girl was teased and bullied for her statement by the other children. She went home and told her parents initiating a forest fire that is now burning red in the Atlanta metro area school.

       Andrew Seidel, an attorney for the FFRF  threatened to file a lawsuit against the school if it dd not stop passing out bibles to its students. John Harper the Bartow County Superintendent received the threat from the FFRF. He has yet to make a comment. Seidel stated that the school's efforts to provide bibles to their students was predatory and similar to tobacco companies trying to recruit children while they were young. The school administrators replied by stating that they have an "open forum policy", meaning they welcome anyone from any religion to pass out informational material. The FFRF responded by demanding that since they have an "open forum policy" they will invite Satanic temple volunteers to pass out informative coloring books to the students. The school is now considering ending the "open forum" policy.

         The FFRF vs the Bible, here is an example of how an atheist organization uses words from the Constitution in order to attempt to shut down Christianity in America. Regarding the freedom of religion, is there anywhere in the Constitution that states that a school cannot pass out bibles to its students? Would our Founding Fathers even consider for a fraction of a second, an organization passing out Satan promoting material to elementary children? This is where America currently stands as the many, growing secular groups continue to attempt to silence God away from the lips of the country's worshippers. Groups like the FFRF are trying to use the Constitution as a weapon to silence Christians. They love to use the phrase freedom against religion. What they are omitting is that not only does the First Amendment prohibit the government from making a law respecting the establishment of religion but also prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The FFRF got the prohibit the government from making a law respecting the establishment of government part of the First Amendment down pact but are seriously neglecting the "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part. Meaning that groups like the FFRF cannot sue government controlled organizations like schools from taking part in religious activities or passing out Christian paraphernalia simply because they don't like Christianity, nor can they force schools to hand out material promoting Satan.

       Making a law respecting the establishment of government means that the US administration cannot force Americans, businesses, schools, or any individual living or staying in America to attend church, read bibles, bow down to Jesus, praise Mohammed, or any activity involving religion. But atheist groups like the FFRF are taking the law several extra steps ahead by trying to use it to completely ban Christianity out of the eyes and ears of government forums and pretty much every public venue and arena. A school can openly discuss God within its building to its pupils if the school officials and employees within its buildings wishes. The same school cannot force students to accept Jesus Christ in their hearts as their personal savior or make them dunk their heads underwater in obedience to Him.

       People, governmental groups, agencies, and professional businesses must know the difference. Christians cannot allow atheist groups to continue to bully them into the huddled corner of the fence. The United States of America was not intended by the Founding Fathers to be a secular nation. Organizations like the FFRF, GLAAD, People for the American Way, The ACLU are molded in the form and behavior of the anti-christ going against everything God desired and commanded from His people. These groups isolate Jesus Christ in a lone corner, detesting anyone who attempts to give Him the honor He deserves. What business does the FFRF have telling Gideons International that they cannot pass out bibles to school children? Why does that concern them so much? Is it because they are really concerned about being free from religion or do they have their own agenda? What about the religion of atheism? How about humanism or secularism? Aren't those religions? Does the FFRF favor one over the other? Does the First Amendment allow organizations like the FFRF and the government to be able to favor one belief system or religion over Christianity? And what about religions like Islam, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses? When their teachers preach their messages at schools and government forums do they attack them with the same fervor?

       The FFRF threatened to pass out reading material supporting Satanism. That is a religion. In this country the United States of America we also have a growing trend of businesses, government organizations and agencies allowing their offices and co-workers to lead yoga classes within their buildings. The Gwinnett county government in the state of Georgia offers yoga classes to the public. Yoga is a Hindu theistic philosophy. This religious philosophy proposes a teaching dependent on a man integrating or uniting his body with his mind and spirit through meditations. Yoga states that a man has to integrate his body, mind, and spirit in order to be in harmony with himself and his environment. According to yoga such actions will give a man peace. Jesus tells us that we pour are entire mind and spirit to Him. We devote ourselves to Him giving Him our first fruit, then we will have peace.

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” Luke 10:27-28.

       More important than peace if we integrate our mind, spirit, and body with Jesus we will live. And not only will we live we will be given eternal life which allows us to have peace while living here on earth.

       There is a hypocrisy from stories like these that are very disturbing. One religion, the religion of the anti-christ trying to suppress the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians need to use their brains in this battle. Thomas Jefferson did not write the First Amendment in order to suppress Christianity. He wrote it to protect the teachings of Jesus Christ and His followers from pressure groups like the FFRF who would like nothing better than to keep His teachings lying ten feet underground. And if people and institutions like Cloverleaf Elementary and John Harper do not continue to press forward handing out those bibles while explaining away the true meaning of the First Amendment, these atheist groups will continue to bully them. Hopefully Cloverleaf Elementary will not allow the FFRF to scare them. Regardless of what happens in court God is on their side. We will win in the end.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12