The Vote Ahead

It is that very special time of year! No, not Christmas, it is voting season. In less than two months, we will re-elect Mr Obama, or bring in Mr Romney for the next four years. Four years seems like an eternity when you are young, but as you get older four years seems like four months. That may be a good thing if your pick loses, but for all of us, it is bad. The reason is, is we get to hear the constant harang of political commercials and rhetoric that does not cease to amaze me. How do we as Americans  not threatened the makers of these ads with prison time…or capital punishment is beyond me. Of course, capital punishment to advertisers is making them watch their own commercials 24/7 365, for however long their sentence may be.
Here is a question for you. Did those you cast your ballot for, fulfill your expectations? Did they do as they said they would? If not, think about that Senator, Representative, Mayor, President, etc., that you placed your faith in, he is going to tell you that he needs 2 more years, or four more, to finish the job he/she started. I don’t buy a minute of their moment of wasted air-time that they spend a fortune on. We have, in the part few decades, watched as our nation breaks right down the middle. We are divided.
” …Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them; ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Mt.12:25
I realize that many people do not take the religious view of life as their worldview, and have more of an eclectic way of seeing things. so Christ’s words here are meaningless. The quote here is the understanding people had in those days, and we are more educated and have progressed since the time of Christ, His words don’t apply to our time. Except for the fact that before His time, these words applied, during His time they applied, and up to about a minute ago, they still do.
The worldviews of the American people are as far apart as they could be, or ever will be. When G.W. Bush was president, no self-respecting liberal could even think of agreeing with him. During B. Obama’s reign, the conservatives have buried their heads in the sand…not to ignore him, but in fear of national judgment they expect God to pour out on us.
My thoughts are that having two sides is dangerous, and on every level of our government we are two- dimensional. I know we have ultra conservative and people who belong to conspiracy believing groups. And I am aware that the far left have similar groups that have the conspiracy beliefs. I also believe their are times when “we the people” are conspired against by our leaders, for various reasons. But  the point is not just the two dimensional way media outlets portrays this government, but that the real problem to me is how the people themselves vote along the same lines traditionally, and fall headlong for anything one of their parties candidates say. “Our family has always been Republican,” is the line of thinking so many have in our day. I think that is absurd.
You hear that the dems are for the working man, right? Tell me how that is. The working man pays taxes. Tax money goes for things that a normal person disagrees with. The money it takes to run this massive government is insane! We have a budget that, is volumns thick, and nobody understands. And I guess the dems had nothing to do with it.  That is the way some, actually many think. The rich are evil. The poor are lazy. The middle-class is the heart of this land. What middle class? These are the thoughts of the voters flamed by the media through films, newscasts, variety talk shows, and even sitcoms. The reps and dems know they have to play up to the expectations, and say what the people want to hear to get elected, then do what they want to do. EPA, FCC, FDA, and many other programs, though well-intentioned, mainly waste our money, and both parties point the finger at the other as to who originated them.
Now it is going to be easy to vote with my help, isn’t it. I would not tell anyone how to vote, but to think about your motivation for voting as you do. It isn’t easy to see the other side’s view regarding any matter. I will never agree with legislation in matters of morals and values. I will never, with God’s help, judge either side for how they vote. All of the politics aside, we all should remove the media’s input from our decision making. I do not mean one should not read a paper, or watch a newscast. I do feel that an article in a paper that gets my attention should be seconded by the political hopeful’s history as a person, and a politician. Though I hope never to be judgmental or dislike someone for who they vote for, I think when any nation places moral values second in importance for the people of their land, like all other kingdoms, they fail, miserably.
This is a rant,to some, and a word of advice to others, and I think before this election, I would like to take more of your time with this topic.
And the next time I am going meddle. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

The Privilege of Prayer

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament has a passage that puts into perspective what Christ truly accomplished when He came and gave His life’s blood for all, and then rose from the dead. This may be considered a little extreme to the masses in other beliefs, and this is exclusive to Christianity in that the Creator God, would send a part of Himself, His only begotten to die for His creation, man, so that He could fellowship with man once again. That is how much God loved mankind. He even loves man enough to give Him the choice of serving Him, or rejecting Him.
This passage in Hebrews refers to the completed work of Christ. He came to earth, born of a virgin, so no one could say He was born in sin. He grew up like every man does, and faced every temptation like every man, so no one can say that He does not understand the temptation to sin. And in His perfect purity, without sin, without fault, He willingly paid for all of man’s sins. He took our place entirely, and when He rose, He ascended into the heavens and set down at the right hand of God where He makes intercession for all who follow Him. Here, at last the passage:
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb.6: 14-16
Jesus restored us, who follow Him into the fellowship with God that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden before their fall. We can now talk to God everyday, all day, throughout our lives without Him saying, “you cannot come in here,” because we have the rights as sons daughters. We can ask Him for help, or for any need we have, or just hang around and talk to Him. Prayer is an act of faith, prayer changes things, prayer affects nations, prayer keeps people with addictions clean and sober, and we can open and close doors spiritually with prayer.
Many of us have the problem of entering into prayer. What do I say, how can I remember to pray, does God really listen, does He really answer? All of these questions are questions evryone has  in regard to prayer. The place we go find the answers to these type of questions is the Bible. I have put together a new ebook called, “How to Pray Constantly,” that may help a person that has a hard time with prayer. The book springs from my own struggle praying, even though I understand the concept of Biblical praying, there are many unseen attacks from behind enemy lines that interfere with my time with God.  Take a look at www.amazon.com/author/skeithbarnes if you’re struggling, this will help you.
 I am more and more convinced that the times we live in now may well be the last days. So many of our friends and neighbors have addictions, and with constant bad news on the economic front, the job markets being down, the nation is in spiritual denial, and now worship science as God, running off every sign of Jesus from government property telling Him that He is not welcome there. So we watch education of our youth flushed down the drain of humanistic idealism, placing man on the throne as creator. The violence, the immorality, even wars and catastrophic storm systems sound the warnings of the end of days. We must pray! When we do pray, we need to pray with purpose and have faith for answers.
Give thought to this need we have to petition God for our confused nation, and the global problems. If you have children, elderly parents, and you are weighed down financially and spiritually, you need to be a person who prays daily for all of these needs. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Blessing For All

If you’re a sports fan, you often hear atheletes say “I’m blessed,” normally after they win. People talk about their children and use the word “blessed.” At the dinner table many call the prayer over their food the “blessing.” There are many uses of the word “bless.” The word is defined: to request of God the bestowal of divine favor on, to guard from evil, to make or pronounce as holy.
There was a time when the head of the family would pronounce blessing upon his children before his death. In Genesis 27, Isaac blesses Jacob before he passes, and his blessing over Jacob was for both he and his descendants. The same goes for Jacob as he passes. Genesis 48-49, Jacob blesses his 12 sons. If you read these blessings placed on the sons, the fathers of Israel’s 12 tribes and know of their history, you will not only see the importance of the patriarch’s blessing, but also see the fulfillment throughout scripture. Jacob, (Israel), blessed his 12 sons, and God stood behind his blessing to their fulfillment. Jacob bestowed divine favor on his children.
There are many examples throughout scriptures of blessings, and knowing this, it is very apparent that by blessing another, we bring divine favor on that person. We can and do bless, or curse our own children. We bless or curse our spouses, our employers, and friends by our words over them. Telling a child they won’t amount to anything if they don’t apply themselves may be true, but wrong in it’s presentation. Comparing one child to another is terribly wrong. Those things you’re saying to them is prophetic whether you believe it or not. Just think of the things your parents said to you, and tell me differently if you can.
We must say words of blessing and encouragement over our children, spouses, friends, co-workers, and really everyone we meet. By blessing our children, placing the favor of God on them, things will begin to change in their lives in dramatic fashion. So how do you bless them? What words do you say to bless others? Let’s look at Numbers 6:22-27
And the Lord spoke to Moses saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons saying, this is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.So they shall put My Name on the children of Israel, and I WILL BLESS THEM.
You may have heard these words at church or at your synagogue quite often, and they may have lost or have no meaning to you. But think on these words in the passage. God said that when this blessing is pronounced over the people, His Name is placed upon the people. The Eternal Self-Existing Creator of everything created, stands behind these words.
His name encompasses everything needed for a person to live a life of blessing.  And the scriptures are full of examples of blessings to others, even to bless God, set Him apart as holy in our lives. My purpose in this blog is that we learn to bless others, not curse them by wishing evil to happen to them. Don’t even think those thoughts of “I hope they get what they deserve.” You may get what you deserve with those thoughts. No, let’s think good toward others, let’s place blessings on others.
Let’s go to our churches and recovery meetings to be a blessing instead of going to get a blessing. And bless each other, our homes, our families, even strangers we meet everyday. God bless and keep you. God grant you the prayers you ask of Him. May God prosper you, and keep you in health.

Politics and Poppycock

There we go again, gearing up for the next election and who we shall give the reins of leadership of our beloved nation. We pick a leader we think will guide us into peace and prosperity, giving us and our children a hope and a bright future. Not me. I want to elect a leader that is ready to go to war! I want someone who can say what they mean and mean what they say. To have a leader that leaves the world of politics by not dancing around issues, and speaking with the proverbial “forked tongue,” would be novel, wouldn’t it.

I’m not a war-monger, I do not want another Iraq or Afghanistan, nor do I want our nation to police the entire globe. I do want a fight, here, at home. This fight is one that requires a man or woman who will give their agenda out in detail, and if elected, goes directly to work on it. This leader is not going to ignore the will of the people. We have leaders now who fight alright, but they fight to keep things as they are and retain what they have…power. Servants? Not these guys. For the most part they are self-serving. There needs to be a 12 step program for politicians that teaches them how to serve the people and be genuine. I think I would like to attend one their recovery meetings. Hello, my name is …..and I am an ego-maniac.

This country seems to want to please everyone with an issue that the majority disagrees with. The majority does not mind having the ten commandments on a school lawn. An individual may find it offensive, and the monuments are removed. Their claim is they do not believe in religion. The ACLU rushes in with demands of immediate removal or funding from the government will be cut off, citing the separation of church and state. (By the way, that term is not in the Constitution.)  The end result is a law suit defending the rights of the individual, a judge that rules that they must be removed from government property because the students may read them and believe them, and they are removed.

 

Does anyone care about the rights of the majority? The voters do not seem to care. You’ll get no fight here. Side note: could it be the reason for the drop in rank from the top ten in education worldwide, to twenty-seventh? Or maybe the reason for troubled youths entering into addictions in adolescence? I want a fight against this insanity.

“Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.” Prov. 29:18
“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Prov. 29:2

The truth is, we don’t fight anything regarding politics, out of fear of what people may say and think about us. There is not any real war on drugs as far as I can see. Youths under eighteen, even as young as seven or eight, are hooked so bad they prostitute themselves out to afford their fix. The pedophile community is growing, and becoming fearless, knowing there is judges that will not keep them out of society very long if they are caught and jailed. The drug and alcohol problem helps feed their addiction by supplying drugs to kids, they get what they want. We have no restraint. There are few voices that cry out against these evils. I want war! I want leaders that want to fight!

The media outlets have an agenda that serves both the left and the right, but not the people. They think the people too ignorant to know the truth on any topic, so they give you what they want you to believe, and do this convincingly. They say very little about the decline in education, the rampant drug addictions on nearly every street in our cities, or the evils of pornography that is consuming the minds of men and women, and kids, destroying families. Why? Because it is more important to talk about Lindsey Lohan, or to give the wacko who kills a dozen people a grandstand of publicity, and make the next shooter determined to do the same and receive the same attention. We don’t fight that. In fact, we concur with their reports on nearly every issue because they are the news, that is all they report, they are not biased because they say they are not.

Politicians that are honest walk very softly, and speak even softer, knowing that if they speak the truth they will be crucified politically. If a minister says these national evils and natural disasters we face are satanic, or judgment from God, they are vilified and publicly disgraced. Give me a leader to follow, one who wants to fight back. The government is not the answer and cannot make enough programs to “fix” this morally bankrupt society. We need less programs and big goverment and more self-government.

 

The current administration really believes that the government can fix the problems by taking more from the rich and distributing it to the poor. Socialism does not work, and never will. Hating the wealthy is normal for the poor, but the wealthy is who writes your paycheck, not the poor. The fight is coming, like it or not, no matter who wins.

We are a divided people. The youth today, as in my day is attracted to the speech, to the glitter of fame, and believe the one who talks the best. Adolf Hitler talked the best in his day. He talked much about goodly morals and principles he believed in, but proved himself a liar to the people, imprisoning Christian leaders, eventually murdering them, along with the Jews, Gypsies, handicapped, and anyone he deemed inferior. Satan himself appears as an angel of light. I am convinced of this, what you say you believe is reflective of how you live. Saying and doing are politicians big dilemma, being, what do I need to say to get elected?  And then doing what you planned if elected. We are divided. Multiculturalism can cause us to think differently, that is normal. But it does not change history. When we see a direction, and know historically that the direction will be bad for the people, that person should look for another career. We must fight, and win.

There will soon be another election that this divided nation must decide on whom will lead us the next four years…God be merciful! I am concerned that the wrong choice will be the death-blow to the country, already rapt in turmoil. Our children and theirs will not know much of the freedoms we have enjoyed in our lifetime, and eventually this nation will be completely absorbed into a world community. We must fight for right, but we also must know what is right. Know history, read and pray for God to help us as individuals to make right choices in electing our leaders, and in personal repentance for looking the other way for so long.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Hard Choices

People in recovery from addictions have many obstacles to overcome, mostly of their own actions before getting clean and sober. I have noticed a large number of the recovering have children that follow in their steps, becoming just like mom or pop. It seems impossible to think that after all they were put through that they would consider trying to top their parents performance, but they do.
Many of us know that it isn’t environment that brings young people to follow their parents, although that is what we’re force fed by “leading minds” and “scientific research.” The problem is as bad in upper middle class society, and wealthy society, even in Amish communities, watching National Geographic’s series on drug abuse, and on the Amish, is revealing, proving the point. But even if you believe the opposite we need to focus on rescue and restoration.
What solutions can the average Joe recovering from addictions give his children to keep them from following his destructive path? If the offspring is already involved with drinking and drug use, how can they be swayed from that lifestyle? Much of what the parent says is ignored by the wayward child, and those who haven’t indulged in use have the auto-reply button on that says, well you did it, I may as well too!  Be that as it may, the best way to direct them at this point is to show them the good life you discovered without boozin’ and usin’.
These are perilous times. If we want to help the young, or if you are elderly and have a son or daughter middle-aged or older that cannot seem to stay clean and sober, you have to make some really tough choices. And if they live in your home, it is even tougher. Don’t be co-dependent, don’t share in their addiction, cut the cord. You can help them by letting them go. Your giving them a place to live, paying off their debts, even giving them money, food and clothing, allows their addiction to worsen and there is only two chances they will get sober…slim and none.
I don’t recommend you do anything wihout prayer and further council, but consider this…boot them. You’ve given them chance after chance and heard promise after promise from them, but no action at all. If you tell them their lack of action, other than draining your bank account, is finally all you can take, they may react by doing something about their life. But you have to mean it. Kicking them to the curb may be the reality check that saves their life and your 401k. If you don’t have it in you to say ta-ta, then stop giving them money for anything. If they want a few bucks to get gas and job hunt, go with them to the gas station and buy them some gas. They come up with ingenious ideas to squeeze some cash out of you. You stay a step ahead.
If that son or daughter has not began to follow your past examples, but they are leaning that way, then you should talk, and talk often. I know that many teens have deep resentments toward their parents even if you have lived an exemplar life with no apparent addiction. So the task you have is to ask God to give you favor and a heart of love toward your child. Then ask them about their day, ask them their opinion about things, how they feel about living. Your attention and kindness is probably all they really want. In the past you may have been demanding and walked in the door screaming about the messy home, but if they wind up on the street doping and drinking, that messy house will have meant nothing. What do you think is the best way?
Choices we make may be tough. We may not want to do anything out of fear of losing the battle. If you prayerfully approach these choices, God will direct you. thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Why We Kill Each Other

The other day I was listening to a radio broadcast by a double Phd minister who was being asked about another minister, whether the other was on the up-and-up. The supposed brilliant radio host proceeded to take the other apart saying he was a false teacher and for the caller to stay clear of that man, along with everyone else that didn’t agree with him. Of course he is biblically correct and has the doctorates to prove it. The thing I find interesting is that the man’s program is a half hour long, and the largest percentage of his program is selling his “useful” tools for spiritual growth, and the proceeds going to keep him on the air….right. I guess he really works for free since he doesn’t make any money from his “helpful” tools.
The pic of the little “cowpoke” here is the image I have of this radio host. His plan is to run off all of the false guys, and make sure everyone gets on the same page with himself. He is little man with a lot of knowledge, but little understanding. The results: the only person harmed by his attack is everyone, but specifically, Christ who died for all. I haven’t found being a sheriff, as a spiritual gift in the Bible. It goes beyond that. There are many people that call themselves “watchdogs” over the body of Christ, thinking that they are the protectors of the Faith. In the final analysis, they are the ones that the Word says to beware of, but they don’t know it’s them!
We know of the warnings of Jesus, Peter, Paul, and James in the New Testament. There are phonies out there that have one goal in mind; to dupe people out of money for their personal gain. The advice Jesus gave is simple enough to follow:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” Matt. 7:15, ” Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.” 7:20
His words to us is that we will know the bad guys by the fruit they bear. If a man or woman’s entire message is based on money and profit…their no prophet. If it is Christ centered with a message of profit through prudence, sharing with the needy, supporting your local church, then hear them. Does that make sense?
The same goes for the “faith” ministers. If it is a Christ centered message, do like a cow does, eat the hay not the sticks. Every person in ministry will stumble doctrinally. For us to kill each other for the error is demonic. The Holy Spirit dwells in you, He will guide you, if you look to Him. But if you run around chasing all kinds of hot prophets for answers, instead of searching the Word and going the the University of Kneedom, praying for answers, then He will let you search the world over for answers you will not get. He will patiently wait until you surrender and seek Him for the truth. When surrendered, the answers you search for will come in surprising ways…a topic for another day.
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasures that war in your members?”  Jas.4:1  The members is not church members, but our own mental faculties, our desire to be doctrinally correct and having the mind of God regarding spiritual truth. It is pride, the pleasure of being right and proving another wrong. We bring reproach on the name of Jesus with our pride of being right, and the world sees our dissention and hatred to each other and skeedattles away from believers, I want no part of that, they often say.
Okay, I don’t want this to be a book, just a reality check for us all. One says God doesn’t heal today, that passed away with the apostles. The same goes for all of the gifts of the Spirit, and they can prove it with scripture. The other says God does heal, the gifts of the Spirit are part of the spiritual nature we receive when we believe. One boxes God into a corner, the other allows the flow of spirituality to continue, but doesn’t teach their followers how to “flow,” and then you have all kinds of oddball prophecies and phoney healers among the people of God.
One group says Jesus will come back mid-trib, the next group says pre-trib, the other post-trib, and some says He has already returned, headquartered in Salt Lake City, (I’m sure that one is wrong), and each, except the last one has biblical proof, so we devour each other, and the world remains in darkness, our family members are hell-bound, and we hate and lie about it saying, I really don’t hate them, but they are teaching false doctrines!  So as long as your are right, the things you and I should be on our knees about don’t really matter. They will matter when we all stand at the judgment seat of Christ. How will we account for our hatred toward each other. This is just another way we use our liberty in Christ, and justify ourselves.
“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren (and sistren), these things ought not be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?” James 3:10-11
Can we agree to disagree about non-redemptive issues? Can we warn each other without naming names? Can we actually follow New Testament conduct doctrines and love each other, and forbear with each other, careful not to cause each other to stumble? If so, this begins revival among in the body of Christ, and fulfill God’s joy as we become one. Even though we still may not be one doctrinally, we love, truly love one another. If not, don’t partake of the Lord’s table. (another topic) Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

Family Heirlooms

There is much tragedy surrounding families and the loss of their heirlooms, resulting from one of its members addiction to drugs and alcohol. To get a fix, addicts find nothing sacred,the alcoholic is known to be willing to sell his own mother for a drink. Their are many families that have never experienced this loss, and their heirlooms remain intact and passed on to the next generation. Some  heirlooms do not have value to anyone but the family, like portraits or photos of members who have passed. Some heirlooms however, are priceless, and if lost to thievery, irreplaceable.
In recovery meetings, members have a commonality, being our addictions to drink, drug, gambling, over-eating, etc. We become like a family as we recover, trying hard to help each other get better. We really do not have anything of any tangible value to pass to each other, and to the newcomer. What we pass on to each other is an understanding, as well as knowledge on how to work to stay sober and clean. This is priceless, and free. No re-hab can do for the individual that AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery, et al, can do. It is the steps, sponsorship, fellowship, and giving back, as well as the spiritual fitness awareness, that create a willingness to remain clean. These unseen heirlooms are invaluable. Here is an example:
“Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give  freely of what you find and join us.” The Big Book of AA, pg.164 
Of course this is a miniscule example of what you find, AA and NA’s big books, and the legacy of the founders. These programs, as well as the afore mentioned, teach and instruct in life through values, that are founded in spiritual principles. There is yet another family that has heirlooms that can never be taken away. This family is based on a “spoken” seed, unseen but real, and received by anyone who believes.
The seed is the Word of God, aka Jesus the Christ, aka Son of Righteousness, aka Lamb of God, aka Lion of Judah, aka, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is the Head of the family. Through His accomplished work, we are not only adopted into the family from our belief in Him, but we get our inheritance that moment we proclaim His Lordship over our lives. That moment we pass from death unto life, without payment or working for the privilege! All you have to do is this:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Rom.10:9,13
Well I’m not ready just yet…you’re thinking, now is good, now is the time: “For He(God) says, ‘in an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you’…behold (look) now is the acceptable time, behold  now is the day of salvation!”  1 Cor. 6:2
There you have it, your are welcome into the family that you get to keep forever. The family heirlooms are yours to keep. Peace, joy, love, hope, and faith are just a few of the innumerable heirlooms that are yours to enjoy. The family you belong to now has heirlooms too, only the ones they pass down to you are in the form of misery, hopelessness, darkness, eternal separation from The Light, the Love, and fellowship with the Maker and Giver of every good thing. Come and get you some life!
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!

Tripping Over Me

The group Casting Crowns has a song that I find disturbing yet powerful. “Jesus, Friend of Sinners,” has words that literally cut me to the heart. I often think about the reality Jesus, how that we, His followers do as much to de-christianize our world as to convert it. A portion of the lyrics especially stand out to me:
Jesus friend of sinners the truth’s become so hard to see, The world is on its way to you, but they’re tripping over me, Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded, A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided
O Jesus, friend of sinners, open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers, Let our hearts be led by mercy, help us reach with open hearts and open doors. Jesus friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours.
The words may mean nothing to you, they may not touch many who follow Christ. But they really need to be heard, and pondered. I can see how I have been acusing toward people who claim to know Christ, but their lifestyle shows otherwise. It irks me to see these people bring reproach on Christ’s name, I mean, they couldn’t possibly Christians in anything but name. Maybe they think becoming a christian has nothing to do with personal decision, but babtism at birth. And as I type these words, you see my dilemma, I am expressing my thoughts in judgment against people who claim they are Christian. Who do I think I am?
Are my eyes on Christ? No they’re busy watching you. Like the line from the movie, “Mr. Mom,” ‘you’re doing it wrong!’  The whole time my finger is aimed at you and your shortcomings, I’m committing sin by accusations directed at you. You and I who follow Jesus, can become a loaded weapon with having a wee bit of biblical knowledge, and a shallow relationship with Christ. How pititful.
The deeper we look into the eyes of Jesus, the closer our relationship becomes, and the people we tend to point at are seen through His eyes, broken, confused, and needing Him. We can stay in this warped frame of religious thinking, like modern day pharisees, or we can throw off our traditional beliefs, and realize our low estate without Jesus. In Luke 18, Jesus tells a parable  about a Pharisee and a sinner tax collector. Both went up to the temple to pray. The Pharisee, Mr Religion, prays like this:
“Lord, I thank you that I’m not like other men, extorting, unjust, adulterers, or even as the tax collector”….I fast twice per week,  pay tithes on all of my possesions.”
The tax collector prayed in this manner: He prayed and would not  as much s lift his eyes toward heaven, but beat his chest and said, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner!”
Jesus went on to say that this “sinner” went home justified to God, not the other. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”
If we are not broken hearted over those around us, we should begin to look to God in humility, and in repentance, until we are touching His very heart, that IS broken for the lost ones around us. He loves that person we want to criticize, as much as He loves you. He died for everyone, not just me. For me, I want to unload the baggage of pride, and the habit of scorn directed at the those Christ died for. With this in mind, we can spend our time getting fixed, not trying to fix others.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith

Today

 

I have posted recently about past and current events, an the possibility or the nearness of the end. The good news for the believer is that the day of Christ’s return will come. We must not waver in faith, but stretch our faith, looking to that event. Impossible as it seems, that day is nearer than when we first believed. The past is gone. We cannot undo the past, nor improve past actions that were positive. What we have is today. Today is our proving ground the day we decide on how we plan to exist as members of the human race.
We eat, breathe, think, touch, and clothe ourselves, if we’re are able. These things we do by necessity, and without thought. Today we laugh, we cry, we play and work, give and take, love and hate. Today we get to pick to turn our heads, ignoring others needs, or we choose to roll up our sleeves and get involved. Today we forgive and take revenge. Today we share secrets about others or refuse to hear dirt. Today we insist on our rights and being first, or gladly go second to all, even a stranger. All of these acts each today we live, thousands of decisions are made, most by osmosis, others in full knowledge.
For the alcoholic and drug addict, the gambler and the porn addicted, these have to live within the boundaries of 24 hrs to maintain their sobriety and freedom from the chains of addictions. These must start their day right by placing good thoughts in their minds. They must look to God the very first thing, acknowledging their need for help. Gratitude is a must, service cannot be avoided, personal growth is the plan that succeeds their self-will’s control. No need to look behind or ahead past today. Each today brings change.
As a follower of Christ, today is our address as well. Every action can either move us into the direction of conformity to the image of Jesus, or toward the cares of this life, with self at center stage. We, like everyone else, see ourselves needing the essentials of life, food,clothing, a home, a car, but beyond those necessities, we want things to draw attention, to appear successful, for  sense of well being. Things are okay, but they lose their luster quickly, and we decide more things are needed to bring us that tingle, or feeling of worth. Jesus said these words:
“Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or  ‘what  shall we drink?’ or  ‘what shall we wear?’ For after these things the gentiles (wordly folk) seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:31-33
Things are not perfectly wonderful in our world today. The end may be approaching at break-neck speed. For the follower of Jesus, the addicted, those with hangups, hurts, and habits, we only have to stay into today, look for Christ’s return, and seek to improve our walk, our service. If we wrap ourselves up into things, events, our jobs, and our image by self-promotion, we rob ourselves and families of the kingdoms blessings bestowed from the Father. No need for us to worry about the end, nor fret over the nation. He has our back, lights our path, and dwells within. He surrounds us with favor, and in Him, we are encompassed with songs of deliverance.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith

 

Days Past

America has changed in the past fifty years, I almost do not recognize her. She stood tall among the nations, took in the tired, the poor, the down-trodden. The nations surrounding us, allies, and foes alike, were jealous of the freedoms and prosperity American citizens enjoyed. Everyone living inside her borders seemed to have a courtesy, a kind word, and as you drive through a community, your arm would get tired waving hello as you passed. We were one. Neighbors knew each other by name. Attendants at the fuel station were courteous, we trusted in God and loved our country.
No more. We are divided. We had problems back then too. Many of the problems we have today, but then we helped each other. Then, when a crime was committed, there was punishment. Then, there were few frivolous law suits, and when there was, people thought the suers were pretty evil people to try to get something for nothing. No delusions here. There were child-molesters, racketeering, mobs, gangs, good cops, bad cops, prostitution, drug dealers, thieves and murderers. But today, we have all of that, and much more.
We have division today. We have people who intend to drive us further apart. We have dumbed down this entire society, drunken with pleasure and self-service, willing to place principles into the dung heap and sell ourselves out for things that quickly fade from importance. There is a free lunch from the government everyone!  Seems to be the message of hope people want to hear. No personal pride, no values or standards of conduct, no God to answer to. Yes, we removed deity from the the place of prominence, beginning at home…then to the schools, public places, and coming soon to your places of worship, if they have their way.
The great society that began in the early 60’s, was the initial steps in the families destruction, the need to help a neighbor, and the start of over-crowding prisons, and progressive education. Today, our education system has taken this countries rankings from the top ten to the upper twenties. Illegitimacy rates are off the charts. Heroin, cocaine, meth, you name the drug, is on every corner in urban areas, and reached into small communtities. Alcoholism is now a major worry among adolescents.
 Enough! Have I brought you down far enough yet? There is a way out of this mess. Do you want to know the way? It may cost you some of your “pleasures.”
“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 will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” 2 Chron.7:14
Yes? No? What will it be? Is it too late? Some think it is. Some think that the Sovereign Lord God is finished, ready to wrap things up. That could be. This is what the end is supposed to look like.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times shall come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of PLEASURES more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Tim.3:1-5
Doesn’t sound like anyone I know, does it you? It sounds like everyone I know including me! Maybe this is it. God has had enough. Why wouldn’t He? Kicked out of schools, homes, government buildings, and churches, Why wouldn’t He say, times up? We can follow the advice in 2 Chron, and repent, really repent, starting at home, then our church. God will finish when He chooses. Are you prepared? Do you think now is the time? Comment if so. I will have more, next time, adding some of your thoughts if you’re brave enough to do so.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith