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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

XX. Happy Holi...MERRY CHRISTMAS!

No matter what twists and turns society has put on this time of the year such as characters and sales and entertainment and controversy, one thing remains constant: it is still Christmas. And Christmas has always had the same meaning. This holiday (holy day) has been set by man but had been instituted by God.


The true date of Christ's birthday is still a mystery but the meaning behind the event is the clearest thing ever. God came down from His throne in heaven and placed Himself into our lives. He came from Paradise to come to a world hurting and dying to save it.


Why have we, as Christians especially, allowed the world to demean what the day stands for? Why do we constantly give up ground on this issue? It doesn't matter if Kwanzaa is celebrated. It doesn't matter if Hanukkah is celebrated. It doesn't matter if there is a Festivus for the rest of us. This time of the year is still set apart for the savior of the world. And if you are a Christian, then celebrate Christmas not the holiday season.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

XIX. Let Me Entertain You

Results from the last poll on what do you want to see more of at church?
  • 68% more worship. The Church needs to set more time for worship. Worship is the first defense against the worldly pressures. When the Israelites were going to war God told them to put the singers first and lead them into battle. 2 Chronicles chapter 13 tells us that when Judah was being surrounded in battle those with trumpets blew their horns, the men cried out to God and Judah was triumphant that day. This is why worship is so important to the lives of Christians. We're are living in a world that hates us; in a world that will tear us down. Worship lifts us up again because it brings true hope and change. Not like those who only promise hope and change. The question is...how are we worshiping? In truth? For show? For time allotment? Too many churches have a set number of songs they sing each week thereby taking emphasis away from this crucial part of the Christian's life.
  • 57% wanted more small group studies at the church. There is a major push to having home studies only. This is not a bad idea but sometimes Sundays are the only day that people have to set aside for studies in this world of go go go. Too many times we forget how important this is. More in depth studies to understand the life God has planned for us are needed.
  • 52% say more missions are needed. This is saying that the Church focuses too much time on itself. This may be due to the fact that many churches have been "sub-urbanized" to the core. This cold hearted fact of the suburb mentality may be killing some churches spiritually. The mentality of "keeping up with the Jones'" means people are more self-centered and holding back tithes and offerings to fulfill their own personal mission: Being fulfilled in life by being richly blessed i.e. money!
  • Not surprisingly 0% said more entertainment was needed. The big question here is why are churches then focusing on being a form of entertainment? They all will say that is not what they are doing but in reality...yes, they are. Movies, plays, concerts, and all the like are good ways of bringing people in to the church. And they are a great form of communication when used correctly. But why is it every Sunday? Why is it every event? Is the Church located in Los Angeles (Hollywood)? Are we all Clinton and Obama followers? Do we all need to be entertained each week? What happens when the entertainment isn't so entertaining? Will we turn in off just like a bad TV show? Churches need more substance. Even 42% said the sermons need to be more in depth.

A true growing church needs balance. Something for all. But it also needs to get real. Many people who go to church will walk away feeling good but will never hear what the message is all about because they had to run back out into the lobby to refill their coffee cup. Gimmicks are not a correct way of teaching people about Christ. There is a church that actually had auctioned off a car to get people to come to the church. Why wasn't the money spent on the car used to fulfill a mission?

Monday, November 17, 2008

XVIII. God is in Control

Now that Barack Obama is the president-elect what do we do? Do we panic as Christians? Do we take action? Or do we simply let things be? Why did Barack Obama get elected and what do we do about it since, he is a man who is part of a political movement that allows abortions to go unchecked and opening the door for homosexual marriages and we should not endorse such an action? The first thing we need to remember is God is in control. God puts authority into government positions. The following are some points about the election, response to the election and what the Bible says about such things.
  1. Throughout the Bible God has allowed certain leaders to rise up and lead. If they were lousy or unGodly leaders then the Bible is pretty clear on why it happens. One reason is that God allowed it to happen because we deserve it. We have become apathetic in our faith and actions. Or two God did it to make His people become aware of the problems and make us more active. We see this time and time again. The Israelites went into captivity in Egypt. God heard their plea and they were delivered. Did they stay faithful? No. So God allowed the Philistines to enslave them time and time again. Each time a Godly leader would rise up and bring them back out of captivity. Were they satisfied with Godly ways? No. So God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to enslave the Israelites for 70 years. But due to the faithfulness of Daniel, Zerubbabel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the like He heard their cries and rescued them again.
  2. We need to listen to man's laws. But some laws are not based on commission (action) but omission (inaction). When our government allows things to happen, it doesn't mean we have to practice the same detestable things. But when the government stops us from being Godly then we have the right and obligation to correct them and not listen to their laws. Either way we need to pray for our government to make wise decisions so the wrath of God does not effect us.
  3. Barack Obama was elected because Christians became apathetic! We have let the laws walk all over us without doing anything about it. This however was not omission but commission. When they take Christmas away that is an action. When they allow homosexual marriages to be part of our culture that is omission. But when they say we are not allowed to say anything about it then it is commission and we have to make a stand. Allowing abortion to go on is omission. But when they say we have to pay taxes for it then it is commission and we have to take a stand against it. But 30% of Christians voted for a man who allows the commission to go on. Go back to point #1- we deserve what we get.
  4. Do not put your faith in any president. The Bible warns us not to put faith in any man. No matter what the promises are. Promises are words. Principles are action and that is what we should vote on.
  5. The Church allowed the man to be elected because we have become part of the culture. You can't tell the difference between the Church and the Culture anymore. 2 Timothy chapter 3 says that in the end times people will be lovers of their own selves, boasters, unGodly, disobedient, lovers of money, to say the least. Most would think Paul was talking about the world. But this is the Church as well. Shame on us! We have let the culture drive us when we should be the drivers of the culture. We let it into the pews and there are no more barriers. It is like when the Israelites put up the Asherah Poles. We say we are Godly but then walk around the poles as well. Uhhh, the poles are destestable!
  6. Each church should take one person either in government or an influential person to pray for.
  7. God is not GOP or DEM. But He still has principles for us to abide by. Supporting a side that says these are not problems is a PROBLEM!

Pray for the country. Pray for our leaders. Pray for those who will fall by the way side listening to lies. Pray for the morality of this country to return.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

XVII. Problems of the Church

Here are the results from last months poll: How do you view the Church today?
  • It is more about show and entertainment (58%)
  • The programs are shallow and have no real substance (58%)
  • The leadership is not concerned with the right issues (41%)
  • No one knows what the Church is supposed to be like (25%)
  • It seems like it has no compassion (16%)
  • It has lost all tradition and meaning (8%)
  • It is too much involved with the culture (8%)
  • There aren't enough mature Christians in the WORD (8%)
  • The Church is fine and better than ever (0%)
Let's take the top two. Fifty eight percent said both were problems of the Church. It seems like people who are in the Church are tired of programs that seem to be just for show. Maybe too many times the Church is focusing on its reputation than its character. The difference between these two things is reputation is what people think of you on the surface. You react to the way you are perceived. Character is about what you do even though no one else is around. If your character is good then who cares about your reputation. Many churches get stuck on what society thinks of them. Many churches are afraid of offending people. They tend to bend when it comes to standing up to the culture. What they fail to see is that they break when the culture actually takes over.

The next two may go hand in hand as well. Maybe no one knows what the Church is supposed to be anymore because the leadership doesn't even know. The leadership isn't concerned with the right issues. Some focus on money. Some focus on numbers. Some focus on reputation. Real leadership knows what they are doing. Real leadership makes it known to the people what they are doing. Real leadership follows through with the right ideas. Real leadership foresees possibilities of problems and deals with them before it happens. It has been said that an organization is only as strong as its leadership. First of all, the Church is not an organization. It is an organism. A live, breathing, heart-beating organism. It is not a place full of paperwork created by Robert's rules of order.

It was nice to hear that many people don't think the Church has lost its compassion. However, maybe this is an area though we need to stress more. Maybe the Church is compassionate. But are they truly showing it? This might be one of the biggest failures of the Church today; following through on its compassion. Get out of the pew. Go into the world (even those "dark city" places...sarcasm...) and work with them. The Church isn't just for the suburbs.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

XVI. Final Election Thoughts

From a distant friend:

Hello Tim. This 'Obama' thing has me confused. Unless the polls are being manipulated, nothing that matters, MATTERS. I keep scratching my head, thinking that God is surely going to place the right people before us.

...I find it incredible, but I fear MONEY has become the 'moral code of ethics' for a large number of Americans. Whether or not Obama can 'deliver the bucks' he has made the promise to 'fill your pockets' for the lazy and sleazy of our nation.

...I'm gritting my teeth. I'm going to the 'private' booth to vote my conscience. I'm praying for some of my own church members to 'get a conscience' in their voting practices.And I'm asking God to help me 'cope' with an America I never imagined.

It is confusing, my friend. Many who claim to be Christian will vote for a man who does not stand up for Christians values like he should. And they will claim that God is neither DEM or GOP so they can vote with a clear conscience. This is a horrible rationalization. They say since it is not them who are doing the abortions or marrying of homosexual couples then it's not their fault it happens. Well, Jesus said if you are not for me then you are against me. If you support someone who supports these actions then you are guilty by association.

I don't care about politicians being black, white, purple. I don't care if they are male or female. I don't care if they are 35 or 75. Short or tall. Urban or rural. What I care about is their stance on how to solve the morality and the sliding of American values.

We are in a war. Yes, it was a Republican president who "finalized" the deal. But, we are in it now. We have to succeed. If we acted on the first couple of terrorists attacks back in the 90's we wouldn't be in this mess.

We never found WMD's. But we removed a dictator forever. They say we were lied to so we would go to war, but that means we were lied to by our whole government! Not just one man.

We have an economic crisis. Yes, a Republican president is in the White House during this time but it didn't start in October, or 2008, or the 21st Century even. No one seems to understand that. No one knows their history. We have had thousands of jobs lost since 2001. But many were lost forever due to 9-11. Many were only short termed jobs created in the 1990's that were expiring due to policies of a former president.

Gas prices were high. But we got through it. And now they are on the low side.

The only thing that bothers me about the last eight years is that we have gotten worse in our morality. And that is our own fault. We let it all happen. And now we want to blame the Republicans for all the mess that has happened. We fell asleep. And come Wednesday morning our lives will change. We will have elected the most liberal person of all time as a leader into the most important position in the world.

Confusing? No, Condemning! We have condemned ourselves. America as a nation might be lost. Search your history. When change occurs to this multitude, countries fall. Democrats promise change and never have fulfilled that promise. This man might. Maybe the Reverend Wright was right. Maybe God is damning us. Maybe He is allowing this man to become our leader due to our apathy.

Good luck my friends. Hope we make it.
BTW, this will be the only time I personalize my message as a post.
Tim

Friday, October 24, 2008

XV. Obama Nation

Could he or couldn't he be? Is he or is he not? Many Christians are starting to think it but not many are saying it. Is this the Man of Lawlessness? Is he the one who the Bible warns us about? Could he be the one who leads the nations astray with the lie? Is the he the one who causes the abomination of desolation?

Hmmm...abomination...obamanation. Coincidence? Of course, this is because it is just a play on words.  So remember this when you read this post.

But...
The Bible says or at least hints at:
  • a leader who rises up and becomes a world leader
  • miracle performer
  • will deceive the world
  • will get rid of religion so he can be worshiped
  • will have a false prophet go before him
  • will come back from a fatal head wound
  • pretends to be a man of peace and prosperity
  • rules for 7 years, 3 1/2 of peace, 3 1/2 of war
The Bible also tells us signs of the time
  • wars and rumors of wars
  • earth will go through pangs
  • people will be lovers of their own selves
  • people will be disobedient
  • people will listen to lies and not the truth
  • economic prosperity then economic hardships
Back to the point.

Do we have wars and rumors of wars? Uh...Iraq, Iran (Babylon and Persia). Do we have a weird changing of the seasons? Uh...global warming. Is the earth going through pangs? Uh...earthquakes, more hurricanes. Are people loving their own selves? Uh...yeah... Are they disobedient? Uh...duh... Are they listening to lies? Hello...LA Times, CNN, Michael Moore. Do we have economic troubles? Wake up America!

But that doesn't mean Barack Obama is the anti-Christ.

Is he a leader who rises up? Community Organizer, State Senator, US Senator, President? Check. Is he a miracle performer? None so far. Is he a deceiver? Well, he is leading people into believing his plan of socialism will work. He is leading people into believing he is a Christian. Has he gotten rid of religion? He has denounced his church. Does he have a false prophet? Biden-Vice President. Has he come back from a head wound? No. Is he a man of peace? Says he is. 100,000 Germans believe so. Liberals believe so. Is he a man of prosperity? Hollywood says so. Liberals say so. Will he rule for 7 years? Well, presidents can go 8.

Obamanation? Maybe not but boy is he close. People have flocked to him like he is the savior. Actor George Clooney said that when he met him he just wanted to follow him around and listen to him. Halle Berry claims she would lay down palm branches in front of him everywhere he went. People follow him and almost worship him because he says he is a man of change, a man of peace and a man to get our economy going again. Go to Youtube and you will see the craze that is over taking the world with him.

Predictions? If these all happen then you might want to start walking on your knees. Obama becomes president, which will happen. Obama has already denounced his church. He will then try to embrace other religions as a sign of peace such as bringing Christians and Muslims together. Biden will go out before him claiming how great the man is. He will go to other nations to try and put an end to world problems. He said he would meet with leaders by himself to talk about peaceful endings. In March, 2009 Israel will attack Iran because the US will have not done anything to subside the havoc Iran is threatening to do. In June Obama will go to the Middle East where he will have a peace summit and talk about a new peace treaty that he himself has negotiated. It will be signed on June 6. It will be backed by Russia. Peace will seem right around the corner. It will be "iffy" for a couple of years. In March/April (Easter time) 2012, right before he starts campaigning for his second term he will be assassinated, but comes back to life more powerful than ever. This time all religions will be forced into worshiping him. This will end the 3 1/2 years of peace. He will turn his attentions to those who now follow Christ. He will be re-elected by lies since the Christian vote will be dwindled. He will become THE world leader and have war for the other 3 1/2 years. But, Christ will return and the rest is history...or the future.

Now of course many of this probably will not happen but just in case it does, remember where you heard it first.  Just a prediction, not truth.

???

Thursday, October 23, 2008

XIV. Who's in Heaven

Who is going to go to Heaven? Will there be any athiests there? Will any Buddhist or Muslem be there? Will the Jewish believer make it?

People are scared of this question because it makes people point fingers and say they are judging others. But the question is still legitimate. Some of us will not see the face of God after Judgement. There has to be an answer to this question because not everyone can be right.

The answer is: It is up to God.

We can not possibly know what is in the hearts of all mankind nor (especially nor) the heart of God. Scripture does say that He wants all man to be saved. However, more importantly scripture also says that only those who call on the name of Jesus Christ will be saved. If we say then that the Muslem will not go to Heaven because he believes in Allah and Mohammed as his messenger and refuses to take Christ as his savior then it is not we who are judging, it would be the Word of God. God's Word is truth. We can not fight that. We can not change that.

We are here not to judge but to tell the truth. We can not make the final decision for any individual but we can let the message out that Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

XIII. The Church of Culture

How much of the culture should the Church be involved with?  This is time for your feedback...
  • 52%  said that the Church should be in the culture but not of it.
  • 21%  said the Church should be the culture.
  • 15%  said the Church should be completely involved in the culture.
  • 10%  said the Church should stay completely out of the culture.
How much can the Church be involved with the culture and still remain what the church is all about? Does the Church remain apart from the world so it doesn't become worldly? Do we need to change with the culture to remain relevant to a world that seems to scoff at Christianity? Do we run the risk of losing our identity as Christ followers if we try and fit in with the culture?

The Church in Europe is virtually dead.   The chart below shows how much people profess to believe in the Christian God.  If it wasn't for the Pope being in Italy it would be perhaps even lower.  They have let go of God and have lost their hold on society. Europe's culture had spread into the Church and now it is basically gone.  Thank God for the our Catholic brothers and sisters in Africa, Australia, and Latin America or it would be dead there too. We need to pray for those in Asia and the Middle East who are by far out-numbered. The Church in the United States is now losing its grip. Atheism is on the rise faster than any thought/religion in the US.
http://ideasoftimreligion.blogspot.com/p/religion-statistics-of-us.html

Why? Maybe it is because we feel compelled to be like the world.  The world sees no difference anymore between the Church and what they preach against.
 

Maybe, just maybe we have become too complacent and have been assimilated into the world. Doesn't scripture tell us to not be a part of the world? Some will argue that Jesus went into the culture to save people.  But a big question is: did Jesus become part of the culture or did He try and change it while He was in it?  The answer is Jesus did not become part of the culture.  Sure He talked to people like the woman at the well, Zachias, Matthew, and even Pharisees who hated Him, but He did NOT act like them.  He didn't involve Himself with the "orgies" of the culture.  He did not whore Himself out to wim the hearts or trust of people.  He went to them and had compassion on them.  He went to them and confronted them.  I am sure He had fun at the gatherings and events but He did not become part of the culture.  He drove it.  People wanted to be more like Him.  Paul warns us not go after worldly desires. Jude tells us that in the last days there will be those who cause divisions becasue they are worldly minded.

So many questions and no real answers. This next question has never been answered: how much can the Church change and still be the Church?

Monday, September 29, 2008

XII. Election Thoughts

Saw this at http://www.str8heartphil.blogspot.com/ It is something to think about while you are at the polls.

Both presidential candidates have proclaimed this year’s Presidential Election as a time of change! As Christians we need to participate in this atmosphere of change and vote for candidates that agree with what we believe is right, with what the Bible says, and what our Lord God Almighty says is right. Let’s look what God has to say about four issues of this election in which we can choose to change America.

1. Abortion. Psalm 139: 13 & 14—You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
Not only does God orchestrate life, He respects it. Can we afford not to respect life? Do we continue to abort babies God is knitting together at the rate of 4000 a day, minds that would create new knowledge, consumers, workers, and taxpayers?

2. Homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22—Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.
Our country is dangerously coming close to accepting and legalizing homosexual marriages. The economic and moral consequences will be great if we legitimize this sin caused by a lack of self-control. The only choice of lifestyle God encourages is for us to choose the kingdom lifestyle, the Christian lifestyle.

3. Family Values. Hebrews 13:4—Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
We cannot choose to allow our society to crumble any further. Let’s choose to keep the family operating under God’s values and not the "whatever feels good" humanistic values.

4. Economics. 2 Chronicles 7:14—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.
As a nation that claims to be under God, we need to humble ourselves, pray, turn from our sins of abortions, homosexuality, and lack of family values—then God will heal our economics.

These are the important issues of change this election year. These changes will affect our nation in terms of economics, morality, and our quality of life. These issues transcend party loyalties, personalities, and ideologies.

My prayer is that Christians will band together for change in America so that God’s principles will prevail over politics and our values will prevail over the promise of a quick extra few bucks.

May God bless you and our great nation,

Phil



Phil has some good points. And what it all comes down to is: Vote for the candidate who best mirrors the image of Christ and not for what may be popular. These scriptures are promises for those who trust in ADONAI. Thank you, Phil.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

XI. Death Becomes Us

Why is there death? Why do we have to suffer in this world? Especially, if there is a God out there who watches over us? Where is He when tragedy strikes?

These are questions that have been asked many times. And unfortunately, we can not answer it in a way that would satisfy the masses.

This life we live is not permanent. It is temporary. This life is a test. We are not meant to live forever here anymore. Unfortunately, the only way to go to the eternal life is by death. We can not enter into God's presence in our flesh because it is corrupted by our sinful nature. Our flesh has to be shed. Sometimes moving on to the next life will be painful. The pain is caused by our own sinful desires and actions. But if we have accepted that a sacrifice has been made for us then we only have to suffer a little while. Our 70-75 years of existence is short compared to eternity.

Tragedies happen such as an earthquake like the one in China that killed nearly 70,000 people. We all have often wondered sometimes why things like this happen. Where was God while this tragedy happened? Did He cause the destruction? God was not in the earthquake or the destruction. God is in the healing. When something like this happens, look for the healing.

We don't see the logic in letting these things happen. We question God in times like these. We shouldn't question His existence but we do wonder why He lets things happen. And that is okay. As long as we don't come up with all the answers ourselves. We need to trust in God and lean on Him during these times.

This will not soothe any anxieties but when these things happen people tend to pull together. They tend to love each other more. They tend to hold on to each other more closely. When 9-11 happened, our country was pulled together. We hurt but we felt each other's pain. It's not the stupidity of God that causes problems in the world, it's the stupidity of man. For some reason after a tragedy is over we tend to go back to hating each other. Sometimes even before it's over.

The question about suffering is a good question. All people struggle with this, including Christians. Even our faith struggles with this. Science can't help explain Him. There is no proof, so to speak, in getting anyone to understand Him.

Suffering isn't useless. No one can stand to suffer. We get angry with God many times for things we feel He could get us out of. But it comes down to the fact that we need to learn to understand how fragile life is. That we could be here one minute and not the next. It should make us appreciate that those around us are important and that we need to be the best we can be. We need to be an example for those around us. We need to be strong because if they have suffering in their lives then we can go to them and try and comfort them, for God has given us the experience, but even better the perseverance to get through those times.

A great marriage isn't about how you get along with your mate everyday but how you get along with them in times of trouble. Many marriages break up in times of trouble but a great marriage can withstand the test of time. Suffering makes us feel horrible but maybe there is a purpose in it. Yes, 70,000 people have been killed by nature, but maybe, just maybe 70,000 other lives can be touched and changed because they will now hold on to life more preciously.

Death is not the end. It is only the beginning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday, September 6, 2008

VIII. Christian Democrats?

Can you be a Christian and a Democrat? Well you have to weigh the evidence yourself. If you go to the Democratic Party website and start reading their platform, you can easily say yes you can. But platforms are sometimes disguises.

Two of the planks are called Advancing Democracy, Development, and Respect for Human Rights and Renewing the American Community. These on the surface sound like the right things to do, and they would be the right things to do. However, under the surface one human right that they forget is the natural right of LIFE. A baby even in the womb has life yet they do not recognize it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who claims to practice Catholicism, can not even admit that the Catholic faith recognizes the child from conception. She made up a lie that says the Catholic Church hasn't made a decision about when life starts. The Catholic Church is now up in arms over this comment by her and states the official comment on life is that it begins at conception and has said so for 2000 years. Go RCC!!!!! http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=29033.  A direct quote from the platform says: "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right,". If there is a democrat who says otherwise then they are out casted.

A question they do not ask themselves is who deserves these rights? The correct answer should be: every living soul. Yet, if there is a dictator who is killing people by the masses, they will be the ones who refuse to help them out. Bosnia...nothing, Rwanda...nothing, Iraq...nothing.

They claim to be a party for the people. On the surface, this is a fantastic idea. Yet, when it comes to pick their choice as leader, they feel they do not have to listen to their constituency. They have something called "Super Delegates" that are not bound by any accountability. If Hillary Clinton would have won the most delegates during the primaries, these 823 special people (25% of total count) can basically overrule them. This is called cheating the people.

They believe in stem cells being used as a form of medicine. This may start out as fine but there are those who want to start to clone, seriously! This is where it becomes morally and ethically wrong. God is the only one who can create life. He puts the souls into mankind. If we grow people then we become God-like. This has had disastrous results when men have tried these things in the past.

Their platform claims that they want to have faith based programs. But in reality they have joined with groups that try and destroy the Christian faith, i.e. the ACLU. They do not admit this. But there are too many overwhelming facts that say the opposite. Taking the 10 Commandments out of every public building. First of all, the 1st Amendment doesn't even mention separation of Church and State. And the part they claim it does say it, it is talking about government places not public places. Taking "Under God" out of the pledge, taking "In God We Trust" off the money. Taking away prayers in school, bible readings from all public arenas. This is the hidden agenda of the DNC, hence Barak Obama and Joe Biden.

They want to destroy traditional values of the family.  They support homosexually active people and want to change the definition of marriage. This is one of the first commands given by God.

You can try to be a democrat and uphold a Christian lifestyle, but it may be too difficult in reality. Do not kid yourself. Do not try and rationalize it. You will lead yourself right into a lie.

Can you be a Christian and a Democrat? Not really. But you be the judge.

By the way, the Republican Party is not the saving grace either, but it's better than the alternative.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

VII. Poor Adam

Can you imagine being the beginning of something perfect and everything you did would cause the universe to spin in one direction or another? Can you imagine being the one who got to name all of the known universe? Can you imagine being in control of everything on the earth? Can you imagine living forever in God's Paradise made just for you? Can you imagine being the cause of death of each and every thing on the earth?

For 6000 years Adam has had to have this over his head. He has had the sentence of death for every human placed upon him since the day he sinned. Can you imagine living 900 years and seeing the destruction that one action of yours caused? He witnessed Paradise lost as he was banished from it. He witnessed animals who were once his companion turn on him in fear. He witnessed innocence being lost when Eve had to cover up. He witnessed the earth decay and now he had to toil to keep it alive. He witnessed pain caused by childbirth. He witnessed his own son murder another son. All he had to do was listen to one command. He was allowed to do anything he wanted except one thing. Do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This one disobedience sent the rest of the human race spiraling downward to hell. What kind of life could Adam have lived with all of this on his shoulder? A redemptive one!

Just like all Christians and those who believe in the Almighty El Elyon, he has a redeemer. He was given the promise that there would be a seed that would crush the serpent's head. Adam knew that one day he would be redeemed. We may sin. We are no better than Adam. We may fall away everyday. But, there is a redeemer! There is one who has paid the price for our sin. We are His. We have been paid for. The second Adam has come and has restored Paradise. If you are eating from the wrong tree then put down the fruit and eat from the Tree of Life.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

VI. Milk Money

When we are first born we get nurtured on Mother's milk. As we grow mother's milk will no longer sustain us. It will not nourish us enough to grow. If we stay on mother's milk, we tend to rely upon mother and never gain our full independence. We become lazy. We become unhealthy. We become dependent. We can not function. If we somehow manage to function, we become lame, i.e. blind or deaf or crippled. The same for the Church.

Too many times the Church in today's world is focused on numbers and not real growth where it counts: spiritual growth. Churches are filled with what has been labeled as "seekers". First, a church filled with seekers is fantastic. It shows that a church has programs (for lack of a better word) in order that bring people in, or it shows that a church can show love to those who normally do not see it anywhere else. Or just as important, it may show that people are doing exactly what we have labeled them. They are seeking. As scripture says, seek and you shall find. But what happens when you find it? We have to bring in the seeker by finding what they seek for them. We have to have programs for the seeker. The world needs to be told what Christ is all about. The seeker needs to know. No one should turn away the seeker. But no one should leave a seeker seeking. All parts of the Church are important. The Church should be seeker friendly but not seeker oriented. Even mature Christians need a place to keep growing and mentored. Sometimes mature Christians hurt and need uplifting. If the Church is seeker oriented only, where is the mature Christian going to go got help?

Too many times the Church in today's world is focused on seekers only and not anyone else in the Church. This sounds like a negative thing to say but listen to the rest of the story. Babies need parents. Babies need those who can nurture the young. Seekers need mature Christians who can lead them. But Churches are unfilled by those who should be leaders. Why? Because they are all babes in Christ. No one is left in the Church to lead because there is nothing in place for them to keep growing. Churches do not have the right leadership due to the infancy of the people. The writer of Hebrews tells us:
"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good and evil."

Too many times the Church of today's world leaves the seeker seeking. They leave them on milk. You know what happens when you have too much milk? You vomit. The Church today is sick. It is falling ill. It's leaders are still on milk. It's seekers are relying on milk. They can not distinguish right from wrong. Churches are dying because not enough solid food is on the table. The Church needs to provide a balanced meal. If you the same meal over and over and over and over and over and over again, you get sick of the meal. You don't want it anymore. There has to be a time when seekers need to grow as well. If a church does have anything in place the seeker loses the want to stay. Glamor only goes so far before it wears off.

This posting may change with more information and scripture from both sides of this situation. It could possibly even be deleted given correction of views.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

V. Evolution is a Joke

Evolution is only a theory yet we treat it as if it were a fact. Science and evolution actually are not the same. Science uses the scientific method to prove things. Real science will not or can not be disputed. Real science uses a step of the scientific method called "observation" to prove things. The actual steps that they still teach are:

  1. Observation---We say we have observed this. We say we have seen animals turn into another species. But evolution is supposed to take millions of years. There has also never been a fossil found in any "transitional" state. Evolution can not be observed.
  2. Hypothesis---We have made an hypothesis (evolution). Life started from a big bang and a primordial soup.
  3. Data Collecting---We have collected data but the data is only based on assumptions, i.e., big bang, meteor strikes, etc. We try and place variables into the equation. But we don't know if the variables are the absolute truth and facts can only stand if everything is a constant, no variation in the outcomes. Such as a dinosaur is lying by a crater, so therefore this dinosaur was killed by a meteor. But what if the dinosaur was old and fell into the crater and then died? There was a variable there that was not considered.
  4. Test---We have tested it. We have stated that the universe started from one point and life eventually expanded from this point. Real science has found that non-living matter can not produce living matter; biogenesis. Life can not come from things that are not living. Life always come from life. Oxygen can not produce a lung. Louis Pasteur was one of the first to acknowledge this.
  5. Conclusion---We have made a conclusion. And that conclusion is that evolution is the truth.
Now how can evolution be the truth when one step can not be done (#1), one step is flawed information (#3), and one step has been proven wrong (#4)? And since three of the steps are now invalid, evolution can not be considered a science. Evolution can never be proven because the first theory of evolution is proven to be wrong. Hence, it is a joke. Worse yet, a lie.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

IV. A Gift of Gifts

Some believe that the gifts of the Spirit have died out when the "apostolic age" ended, claiming we don’t need them since we have the scriptures and the early church didn’t. Based on that assumption answer the questions to yourself or comment on them later if you wish. Remember all opinions are respected.
  1. Would the gifts be only for the early church or would they be for all Christians?
  2. Are God’s promises in the scripture for the early church only or are they for us as well?
But here are some things to remember as you answer the questions:
  • Through the Holy Spirit we have access to the gifts (Acts 2). God has set the gifts that each of us has and are distributed by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12).  1 Corinthians chapters 13-14 says the gifts must be exercised in love. Focusing on 1 Corinthians 13:8-14, some gifts will pass that are done in partial until the perfect comes. This passage can not stand alone because it will be taken out of text. Here is where people say that the gifts will die out. But they do not use the whole text, just this small passage. They will not "die out" as some have claimed. They will pass due to us not being perfect and not using them. They are temporary. However, no matter what, three things will never pass away. They are eternal. Faith, Hope and Love. Love is not only eternal on the inside but is also an action on the external. This is why it is the greatest of all. It neither passes nor is it limited. This is why the gifts must be exercised in love.
  • Gifts are not for competition but for edification.  Read James 5:12-17, prayer is the key to unlocking the gifts.
  • Gifts will overlap. There is no clear cut vision of how one gift differs from another. Think of a baseball illustration. An outfielder may play left field. However he may also play first base when needed. He has the qualities of both but "excels" in one more than the other.
  • There is a big difference between gifts, talents and fruit. Talent is natural. Anyone can have a talent, which is something someone is good at doing by natural abilities. Fruit is what is produced from a Christian’s life. Gifts are Spirit-given. They go beyond someone’s natural abilities.
  • Read Romans 12, Gifts come in variations and degrees. You may not have "as much" in a certain gift area as someone else. But this does not mean you are less important. You have a specific role, a responsibility. You have a specific passion, a ministry to serve in. And you have a measure of faith that is yours specifically. You do what God has called YOU to do.
We are the body. (Romans 12:4-6, 1 Corinthians 12:14-26) Paul always equates the use of gifts with that of the body of Christ.  The church will not hold together without all the body parts working together as they were meant to do. We can function just like someone who is missing a foot or an arm, but it will not be doing what is could be doing.

Definitions:Gift- something given to someone for free. Greek word is "charis".Grace- something given to someone to get through a situation, protection. Greek word is "mata".So God’s grace is what God gives you to get through situations. His grace is sufficient. He will get you through.God’s gift of course is eternal life but that kind of gift is different. We are talking about a spiritual gift. If you put the two words above together you get "charismata" which is what the Bible calls these things. A grace gift. Charisma. Something for free to get you through a spiritual situation.

Conclusion: If the promises of God are for us as well then the promise of Act 2:38 is for us as well. Because if the promises are not for us there is no hope for us, but alas hope is forever! The gifts are for us. All of them! And they are meant to be used, Ephesians 4:16, Matthew 25:14-30.

Monday, August 18, 2008

III. Worship

There are steps to worship. As illustrated in the OT (TaNaK), worship begins in the outer courts.
  1. The outer courts was a place anyone could go. People met here all the time. Priests gave sermons. People did business. Yet it was still part of the worship center. It was open to all. But once you got to a certain point called the Sacred Enclosure only Jews could enter. So to enter to the next part you had to be of the right physical culture (BODY).
  2. The next part was called the inner courts. This is where the praising of Adonai started to take place. Specific prayers were offered. Each went to their own place, men to men, women to women. A focus on Adonai ELOHIM was apparent. Your mind was set upon God. So to enter the next part you had to have the right focus (MIND).
  3. The next part was called the Holy Place. Here only the Priests of El Shaddai were allowed to enter. These were the descendants of Levi. They were the only ones allowed because Levites stood behind Moses and followed his leadership during the Golden Calf incident. They stayed close to God and listened to their heart, not their head. God gave them a special place. One that was close to His heart. So to enter the next part one had to be of the right character (HEART).
  4. The last step is only for the strongest of hearts, the Holy of Holies. Only the Chief Priest could enter this place. He entered once a year to make atonement for all. He had to be clean in all ways. If he was not found to be cleaned he could die at the altar. This altar was the Ark of the Covenant. The place where God comes down to meet His people. The highest of all worship is when God comes to meet you.

What does this mean for us? It is an illustration of what worship is. Each worship time we have should follow these steps. We start with a call to worship. Kenaniah and all of the worship leaders blew the shofar to let the people know it was time to worship. It doesn't necessarily mean it is time for a song or music but it is a time for fellowship. A time for our BODIES to wake up. Once we are awake we are ready to move into the inner courts. This is a time of praise! Songs should be sung at this point. They should be uplifting and praising God. This sets our MINDS for the next step. Real worship. Getting our hearts ready for the Lord's presence. This is a time to slow down. It is a to get deep with your worship. Ultimate praise becomes a personal issue. You are no longer using your mind you are using your HEART. Once your heart is prepared is when you can meet God.

Here is the problem. Too many churches do not know what worship really is. They think it is a program. They want to put on a show. They don't know how to lead people to the next step in worship. They think all they have to do is practice and put on a presentation. It is not about presentation. It is about participation. People need to participate. They need leaders to get them to the next step. Many people say worship is individualized. Worship is up to each person. Then why have a worship time in church? Worship leaders need to do exactly what their title is: LEAD WORSHIP. The leader has to understand people each week come with baggage. You can't just present something and leave it up to the people. People are hurting. Their bodies are drained. If their bodies are drained then their minds are not thinking right, which means their hearts are not in the right place.

  1. There should be no "worship bands". Technically there should be no "worship teams". There should be a worship ministry! These people are more than just musicians. They reach out to people. They are examples. All should be involved.
  2. There should be a balance of music played. Not everyone is in the same place. The people who say it is not about the style will be the same people who will refuse to change the style.
  3. There should be a time set for praise and a time set for worship. Songs should change from words of praise to words of personalization. All songs should focus on God not on people.
  4. Distractions should be kept to a minimal. Remember people have to worship in steps. No one can get to the Holy Place without going through the courts first!

The greatest story of what worship is, is the Menorah. A lamp with seven places. Each place is dedicated to a day of the week. The middle place is "worship" time. There are three places before the middle. This is a symbol of preparation for worship. There are three places after the middle. This is a symbol recovering from worship. Can you imagine worship being taken that seriously? Instead, in today's churches it's all about the production and not what should be produced. What a shame.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

II. Judge Not

The first argument non-believers will give a Christian when trying to reach them about Christ is Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, lest you be judged". First problem is they only know this verse by the King James Version. They have no idea what it means anyway. For all purposes The Complete Jewish Bible or the NIV will be used in all scripture references.

There is a huge difference between what "judging" means in Matthew 7:1 and what the world thinks it is. First of all you need to read the rest of the story. Matthew 7:2-5 says:
  • 2  For the way you judge others is how you will be judged. The measure with which you measure out will be used to measure you.
  • 3  Why do you see the splinter in your brother's eye but not notice the log in your own eye? 
  • 4  How can you say to your brother, 'Let's take out the splinter in your own eye', when all the time you have a log in your own? 
  • 5  You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, then you will see clearly, so that you can remove the splinter from your brother's eye!
The verse, when read by itself, tells us not to judge, but in reality the whole passage is telling us be careful how we see and view others because we have problems of our own and it wouldn't be right for us to question others if we ourselves are not following what we preach. It doesn't really have anything to do with actual "JUDGEMENT". Because if that is the case then wouldn't praising someone for a good deed that they have done be judgement too? Even so, we can "judge" if what we are doing is calling out to people the change they need in their life. Nathan "judged" David. Paul "judged" Peter. What you have to be careful about is not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

If we do not call out to people what sin really is then we are ignoring what the truth is. People in today's world do not know what truth is. But, unfortunately sometimes neither does the church. We are called to tell the world the truth.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I. Perfection of Christians

Christians are not perfect. They are not hypocrites. They are humans who make mistakes just like everyone else. They come in all shapes and sizes. They come in all personalities. Many are jerks. But that doesn't mean they should be blamed or hated because of the way the world is going. The world is down the drain due to our own (all humans) self-absorbant minds. We want things now and in our way. If we are not satisfied with our hamburger, we sue people. We quit trying things because it didn't work the first time. We hate because we are different and scared of the difference. We hide behind alcohol and drugs because we don't know how to cope with the world. And we go on rampages because we aren't accepted. None of these things are because of Christians. None of us know how to be patient with ideas and/or people. We are too busy trying to have self-gratification in all aspects and are not willing to deal with the rest of humanity. Dave Thomas (late beloved owner of Wendy's) never went to college yet became a multi-millionaire. Someone asked him one time how he got this far without an education. He said he didn't look at it that way. He said imagine what he could have been with one. The world is in shambles but imagine what the world would be like without Christians. Charities would not make it. Christians are the biggest starters and supporters of charities. You can't judge Christ based on some Christians. Just like you can't judge your family based on you. Or you can't judge your profession based on a few loose nuts.

It's not fair to be harsher on Christians than the rest of the world but we are.  If a construction worker gets sued by a woman for sexual harrassment people can accept it.  If it was a CEO of a company many expect it.  But if a minister has this happen to them then he is sexual preditor, pervert, someone not to be trusted, proof that Christians are the worst, etc.  But in reality, they are all human.  We all have temptation and we all fall short of the glory of God.  Every one mentioned above were wrong.  And they all are equal in its abhorance.  But who will get more ridicule by mankind?  The minister.  Sure they should hold themselves to a high standard but do you know what?  We all should.  The problem is we hold everyone else to a lower standard and expect the minister to be all high and mighty and if/when he falls we attack him to no end.  This is not to excuse any minister, just used as an example for this situation.

Christianity is a work in progress and it gets harder to live like one when the rest of the world treats you like hell. If you blame Christianity for your problems, then apparently you have more problems than you know.

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