Walking united without malice or selfishness

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Whoever is spared personal pain must feel himself called to help in diminishing the pain of others. We must all carry our share of the misery which lies upon the world.
Author: Albert Schweitzer

walking togetherI am engrossed today in the study of Kindred having its obligations. All the daylong I have been in reflection about the condition of my Christian witness to others. I have been perplexed brothers whether or not if I am laboring in silence with a effectiveness & do I move in action with wisdom for Christ to reflect my gratitude of being spared from personal pain of my past and using It to help others in the diminishing of their pain.

There are three types of people in the world—those that wonder what happen, those that watch things happen, and those that make things happen. Thus it is with the Church of God today. There is a rich mixture of the three classes here mentioned. There is nothing wrong with any of these classes; they seemed to be involved in some type of activity. However if we analyze the activities that the wondering person, watchful person, and the working person are engaged, we will discover that the most productive is the working person. Nonetheless, if you were to really look at the three categories of individuality, you will soon find that each has a character flaw.

The wondering person is that “thinker” or “dreamer” to busy contemplating and in awestruck over the things that he could possibly do and not really at thought at the potential he could exploit of his/her self. The watchful person is that “spectator” or “couch potato” and is usually the one who asks the question “Did you see that?” That spectator is missing out on the opportunities that would be accessible to him if he weren’t so busy watching others take the advantage. Then there is the working person that “busy bee;” yes, he has a flaw too. He is so busy working and carrying on that he isn’t aware of what’s going on neither does he have time to reflect on anything that he just may have accomplished.

I noticed that if they were somehow connected and amalgamated, they would form a total package, a complete individual. For if you take the person who wonders what happens, who watch what happens, and make things happen and could somehow throw them in a huge human mixing bowl, you will come out with a person who wonders at what he has watched happen so that he may be able to know how to make things happen.

Well beloved with the up and coming evangelism series rapidly approaching I find myself perplexed about the condition of my willingness to perform this commission at work and still while in the library or the shopping mall, or the grocery store or in some neighborhood that is classified unworthy for me to be caught in whether performing the duties of a Reubenite or a Gadite. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been conquered, and left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy I feel to be enrolled in her ranks.

Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us.

Paul, in so many words, illustrates this point when he talks about the body of Christ. In I Corinthians12:13-27 [READ]. We are parts of the body of Christ. You and I. We have been placed here by God. It would be highly embarrassing if the feet of Christ were to travel to an evangelistic outing and when they got there the mouth wouldn’t say anything. The eyes aren’t the only organs of the body that rejoice in what is being watched. The body of Christ is a single unit composed of many components that come together to perform a singular goal.

Today, it is evident that the coagulation of the body is broken. Not broken in so much that each body part is doing something separate from the body but that when the body has asserted itself and has placed itself in a position to do something, it may find itself suffering from atrophy which is caused by some uselessness of certain faculty parts. Atrophy sets in because that body part is not connected to the Head, which is the center of control the nerve endings cease to function in that body part. So the body part sits there useless and inoperable ready to wither and become deformed.

In the days of the Judges of the children of Israel, we find that when it came time to perform the children of Israel experienced some atrophy in the body. In Judges 5:23, we find this vindictive statement:

Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

This curse came in the middle of a beautiful song of deliverance and praise sang by Deborah, a prophetess and judge of Israel. There is a certain deliberation going on in the mind of this fearless leader, which causes her to pause in the height of celebration over a decisive victory and prophetically recalls the angel of the Lord cursing Meroz and its inhabitants.

Deborah and Barak had gained a great victory in the Plain of Esdraelon and along the skirts of the mountain of Little Herman. Their enemy Sisera, captain of the Canaanite host, had fled away completely routed and this fierce strong leader of a woman who “judged Israel in those days,” and captain of the Israelite army, Barak, sang a splendid, proud song of the triumph. In it they recount the tribes who had come up to their duty, who had shared the labor and the glory of the war. And then, in the midst of the torrent of song, there comes this other strain of fiery indignation. One town, or village, Meroz, had hung back. Hidden away in some safe valley, it had heard the call, which summoned every patriot, but it knew it was in no danger. It had felt the shock of battle on the other side of the hills, and nestled and hid itself only the more snuggly. “Curse ye, Meroz, saith the angel of the Lord; curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” It is a fierce vindictive strain. It bursts from the lips of an exalted furious woman. But it declares one of the most natural indignation’s of the human heart.

Brothers the master of the vineyard saith, ” Why stand ye here all the day idle?” What is the Idler’s excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion; They would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this meditation/ study is very applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep? Why & wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord & Savior. The first born felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren?

I am in expectation of things within our ranks as son’s & daughter’s of the King of Kings to begin to live our life as a testimony and reflect Jesus appropriately in all we do. This is our reasonable service to do our part to add such as should be added to the kingdom by our actions, prayer life, alignment with each other and playing our positions at home and work with Integrity.

What is our perception on life while in despair?

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eyesWe all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

Author: C.S. Lewis

I am grateful for Imagination, hope, faith, trials, the word of God, the men of old and all of those who allowed God to make the deposit and seal of His spirit. I sit in amazement when I ponder the conversations that Peter and Paul are going to have, I get really excited when I think of Elijah and Moses and Abraham and some of the prophets of old are going to entertain. I can almost hear their laughter about the faith they had to maintain. I can envision today what it must have felt like to quiver within themselves about the various trails they had to endure. I can just Imagine how they had to encourage those within their ranks to continue to desire progress and stay steadfast on the right path.

They looked… and there was the cloud of the Lord appearing in the cloud. (Exodus 16:10)

I find it an absolute quality to possess this day of heaviness to get in the habit of looking for the silver lining of storm clouds. And once you have found it, continue to focus on it rather than the dark grey of the center. Do not yield to discouragement no matter how severely stressed or surrounded by problems you may be. As I sit this evening in the word of hope and synergy I find that a discouraged soul is in a helpless state, being neither able to “ stand against the devil’s schemes”( Eph.6:11) himself nor able to prevail in prayer for others. Flee I say every symptom of the deadly foe of discouragement as you would run from a snake, and believe me family I am not a snake man nor a quitter. Never be slow to turn your back on it, unless you desire to eat the dust of bitter defeat.

I am at this moment searching for more promises from God’s word, saying aloud of each one, “This promise is mine.”Then if you still experience feelings of doubt and discouragement , pour your heart out to God, asking Him to rebuke the adversary who is so mercilessly harassing you. I am even having to allow my tears of pain to hit this key board at this very moment to ward off his attack about producing this email, he is saying they could care less about what you are doing here or even what you have to say, but I am pressing in regardless of his attacks and I am singing a song right now and I cannot hold a note(LOL). Family I am learning that the very instant you wholeheartedly turn away from every symptom of discouragement and lack of trust, the blessed Holy Spirit will reawaken your faith and breathe God’s divine strength into your soul.

Initially you may be unaware that this is happening, but determine to uncompromisingly shun every attack of even the tendency toward doubt and depression, you will quickly see the powers of darkness being turned back. Oh, if only our eyes could see the mighty armies of strength and power that are always behind our turning away from the host of darkness toward God, there would be no attention given to his efforts of our cunning foe to distress, depress, or discourage us! I am counting on Jesus, though he is harassing me that my life is shattered and there is no way you will ever get through this storm Aaron. I believe in the name of Jesus that all the miraculous attributes of the God head are marshaled on the side of even the weakest believer who, in the name of Christ and in simple, childlike trust, yields himself to God and turns to Him for help and guidance.

One day in autumn, while on maneuvers in an open prairie, I saw an eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot. With his eyes still gleaming like little circles of light, he slowly turned his head, giving one last searching and longing look towards the sky. He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings. The beautiful sky was the home of his heart. It was the eagle’s domain. It was there he displayed his splendid strength a thousand times. In those lofty heights, he had played with the lighting and raced the wind. And now, far below his home , the eagle lay dying. He faced death because— just once— he forgot and flew too low. My soul is that eagle when in retrospect of my life I flew to low many more time than the poor eagle. This is not its home nor ours. It must never lose its skyward gaze nor should we. My beloved I see more Imperative than anything we must maintain hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ. It would be better to crawl immediately from the battlefield than not to be brave. There is no time for my soul to retreat. Please keep your skyward gaze.

Keep looking up—

The waves that roar around your feet, Jehovah-Jireh will defeat when looking up. Keep looking up— Though darkness seems to wrap your soul; The light will fill your soul when looking up. Keep looking up— when worn, distracted with the fight; Your captain gives you conquering might when you look up. We can never see the sunrise by looking toward the west.

If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments. – Zig Ziglar

The Challenges We Face: A New Generation of Gospel Ministers Looks to the Future

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young preacher

The faith of Christ offers no buttons to push for quick service. The new order must wait the Lord’s own time, and that is too much for the man in a hurry. He just gives up and becomes interested in something else.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Writing to Timothy, the Apostle Paul was able to look back on his ministry and declare satisfaction that he had finished his course. Paul would be the first to insist that his entire ministry was evidence of the grace and mercy of God, but he was assured that, by grace, he had finished his race.
Paul’s statement of completion must be the goal of every Gospel minister. Our calling is not complete until we, like Paul, can know that we have finished our course. For most of us, the race still lies before us, and that makes our goal even more urgent.

When asked about my hope for the future of the church, I point immediately to the corps of young ministers now entering and preparing for ministry. One of the great counter-intuitive developments of our times is the rise of a generation of young ministers who are committed to the faith “once for all delivered to the saints,” and who are eager to run the race to Christ’s glory.

What challenges lie ahead? The race this new generation is called to run will include several unavoidable challenges that will demand the highest level of biblical fidelity and theological courage, matched to keen cultural sensitivity and a deep love for human beings caught in the maelstrom of late modernity.

The Question of Truth

Amidst the debris of postmodernism (a movement that has basically run its course) stands a great ambivalence about the nature of truth. The great intellectual transformation of recent decades produced a generation that is not hostile to all claims of truth, but is highly selective about what kinds of truth it is willing to receive.

The current intellectual climate accepts truth as being true in some objective sense only when dealing with claims of truth that come from disciplines like math or science. They accept objective truth when it comes to gravity or physiology, but not when it comes to morality or meaning.

One result of this is that we can often be heard as meaning less than we intend. When we present the gospel, it can easily be heard as a matter of our own personal reality that is, in the end, free from any claim upon others. In other cases, this generation will confront an open denial that any truth can actually be known, except by means of empirical science or similar sources of knowledge.

Beyond this, our truth claims are claims of revealed truth. The modern mind is shocked to incredulity when we make clear that we claim knowledge revealed to us in written form by supernatural revelation.

In other words, this generation will face the continual challenge of making clear that the gospel is not merely interesting, not merely meaningful, but true.

The Gospel and the Church’s Mission

Younger evangelicals are now engaged in a great conversation about the nature of the church’s mission in the world. In the main, I see this as a very positive development. But, if we are unwilling to discuss this together, we will see the development of a division within the ranks of younger gospel pastors.

Some of the confusion has to do with language. Some are speaking of the church only in reference to its congregational expression, while others are speaking more generally of faithful Christians.

The church is charged with one central mission – the gospel and the making of disciples from all the nations. But those disciples are to be taught all that Christ commands, and that requires the demonstration of the gospel in acts of justice and righteousness that reveal the presence of Christ’s kingdom.

At least some younger evangelicals indicate the temptation to redefine the church’s mission so that it no longer centers in evangelism and conversion, leading to discipleship and faithfulness. On the other hand, some seem to insist that the gospel lacks clear kingdom implications.

Thankfully, most in this generation are concerned to find faithfulness in all that Christ has commanded. This generation needs to invest deeply in conversation about this challenge, and to avoid simplistic and reductionistic arguments, much less misrepresentations of the arguments in play.

The Necessity of Getting the Story Right, Right from the Start

Some issues arise again and again, leaving no generation untouched. The continuing debates over evolution and Genesis are evidence of this pattern, with a score of generations forced to deal with the question of beginnings.

The current debates among evangelicals have reached a vital point – the intersection of Genesis and the gospel. We must affirm that the gospel requires a clear affirmation of the historicity of Adam and Eve and the historical reality of the Fall. The Bible’s metanarrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and New Creation requires the historical reality of God’s work in every movement of the story.

The Apostle Paul makes the historicity of Adam – and his federal headship – central to our understanding of the gospel. Those who insist that evangelicals must accommodate the gospel to the prevailing evolutionary dogma are actually insisting that the gospel be denied. If we get the story of the gospel wrong in the beginning, we will have what Paul condemned as another gospel in the end.

If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments. – Zig Ziglar

Understand the power of our words

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words

Nothing but encouragement can come to us as we dwell upon the faithful dealing of our Heavenly Father in centuries gone by. Faith in God has not saved people from hardships and trials, but it has enabled them to bear tribulations courageously and to emerge victoriously.

Author: Lee Roberson

Words communicate abstract or vague things. We can use them to explain events, to share feelings, and to help visualize the future. Words shape our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes towards a subject. They help decide if we stay neutral or take action. Just reading words can affect your thoughts, attitudes, and feelings. For example, read these six words slowly and vocally, taking notice of how they make you feel.

Murder Hate Depressed Cancer Sad Despair

Now read the following six words slowly and vocally, noticing how the words affect you as you do so. Wealth Success Happiness Health Inspiration Joy

How did these words make you feel? Successful persuaders know how to use the right words to create the desired response in their audiences. Speakers with greater verbal skills come across as more credible, more competent, and more convincing. Speakers who hesitate, use the wrong words, or lack fluency have less credibility and come across as weak and ineffective.

The use and packaging of language is a powerful instrument that can be fine-tuned to your advantage. We all know the basics of language, but mastery of both the aspects of language usage and the verbal situation can control human behavior. The proper use of verbal packaging causes you to be adaptable and easy to understand. This type of language is never offensive, and is always concise. I will try to convey what the Lord choice of the word “In” means and how we should feel while “In” a trial of afflictions.

Glorify ye the Lord” In” the fires. ( Isaiah 24:15 kjv)

Notice the little word “In”! We are to honor the Lord in the trial—In the very thing that afflicts us. And although there are examples where God did not allow His saints to even feel the fire, usually the fire causes pain. It is precisely there, in the heat of the fire, we are to glorify Him. We do not this by exercising perfect faith in His goodness and love that He permitted this trial to come upon us. Even more, we are to believe that out of the fire will arise something more worthy of praise to Him than had we never experienced it.

To go through the fires will take great faith, for little faith will fail. We must win the victory in the furnace. We must win the victory on the battle field as Joshua did, he exuded so much faith that he prayed and asked God to still the sun and God did. A person has only as much faith as he shows in times of trouble, The three men who were thrown into the fiery furnace came out just as they went in—except for the ropes that had them bound. How often God removes our shackles in the furnace of affliction!

These three men walked through the fire unhurt—their skin was not even blistered. Not only had the fire “ not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them” ( Dan.3:27) This is the way Christians I feel should come out of the furnace of fiery trials—Liberated from their shackles but untouched by the flames. I had the honor yesterday to speak with a blessed man of faith name Trevor, he went on to encourage me that though the enemy of our souls was raging against me that I need to remember to preach to myself about the faithfulness of God’s word and His presence while going through. I have found that I have to be “In” the word daily always meditating on what God has promised in-order to prevail.

Triumphing over them “In” it.( Colossians 2:15)

This is the real triumph—triumphing over sickness in it, triumphing over death in dying, and triumphing over other adverse circumstances in them. Believe me, there is a power that can make us victors in the conflict. There are heights we can reach where we can look back over the path we have come and sing our song of triumph on this side of heaven, we can cause others to regard us as rich, while we are poor, and make many rich in our poverty. We are to triumph in it.

Christ’s triumph was In humiliation. And perhaps our triumph will also be revealed through what others see as humiliation. Isn’t there something captivating about the sight of a person burdened with many trial, yet who is as lighthearted as the sound of a bell? Isn’t there something contagious and valiant in seeking others who are greatly tempted but are “ more than conquerors”? Isn’t it heartening to see a fellow traveler whose body is broken, yet who retains the splendor of unbroken patience? What a witness these give to the power of God’s gift of grace!

When each earthly brace falls under,

And life seems a restless sea,

Are you then a God-held wonder,

Satisfied and calm and free?

My life will never be the same because I am not waiting for the prophet to come to me, I am girding myself up and proclaiming God’s power myself to quite this devil that is angry because love kept Christ on point for us due to the fathers love for us. I am going to be successful and powerfully used by the Savior of this world, I will be a great friend and husband, I will have a prosperous ministry, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, there is no sickness that shall prevail against me, I will walk in the power of my creator “In” every trial He allows me to endure In the blessed name of Jesus. Darkness tries to steal our hearts away daily, but remember this beloved “Mercy says No” Things that are visible are brief and fleeting, while things that are invisible are everlasting.

Thank you Jesus for being a ever present help in our time of need, we will not be defeated because we believe you are saying a prayer for us as you did Peter. You O’ Lord will see us through triumphantly in everything we encounter. Let us look to the only thing Lord that will not perish, that is your word that became flesh and dead and arose. Holy spirit thank you for keeping us until our redeemer returns In Jesus Holy name Amen & Amen……

If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments. – Zig Ziglar

Assailed By Affliction

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We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.
Henry Ward Beecher

Shabach the Lord of All Zion,

As you go through your life dear Over comer and as you endure the afflictions that assail you, remember that the Lord is the Master of your life and He is the one who is permitting your life to be encompassed with many infirmities. Have you any trial dear Over comer that is of a crushing nature? Is there the threat of multiple areas of testing that you do not know you can conquer? Are you compassed with scourging and depression on every side? Has your life come to a place where you know not if you are situated in stability and you wonder if you are going to fall? Has the most awful thing, the most terrible testing, the most horrendous trial that you feared the most happened unto you? Has your physical body been injured and has your body been assailed with sickness and disease? Has God seemingly turned away His face from you and you find Him hard to seek and to find and often do not know where He is? Is there such an inner turmoil and conflict in your life that anything more added to your daily burden would surely crush you and stifle any expression of life in you? Have you lost someone dear to you in death? Has your life been a grief ever since? Do you have family members, friends and neighbors who do not understand you at all and when they look upon you do they think that you are insane? Are you “strange” to those who live around you and view your life? Are you cut off and alone? Is your measure of fellowship with other believers only with one or two and no more? Have family members stopped talking to you and have walked away in a dearth of silence?
winds
If any of these things as well as a multitude of other things have happened unto you dear Over comer, then you are enduring the Euroclydon Wind! The ship is being torn apart! Your life has been racked dear Saint of God, you who feel as far from being Holy as is possible! Instead you see FLESH in your life, that which you would not do, you do! That Holiness you desire is only a faint hope! Dear Over comer, the winds of Euroclydon blow upon your earthly bark and YOU ARE TO BE ENVIED! How envious a position you are in for the judgment of God abides upon your mortal frame! Your life is encompassed with infirmity of every sort, AND GOD IS THE DOER OF IT! God is reducing you to NOTHING. There will be NOTHING OF “YOU” LEFT WHEN HE IS DONE! And not just that dear Over comer. It is that in this “time” we are in – THE HEAT AND THE FIRE IS INCREASING EVERY DAY. The areas of testing assailing your mortal frame ARE MORE. The fire’s are daily growing HOTTER. The testing is becoming more insurmountable! You are becoming more CONFINED! So near to the breaking point was your frame yesterday, how much closer to being broken today!

And on top of that you prayed, you fasted, you sought hard after God. You allowed Him to sweep through your soul in times past and were crushed and broken already, but the crushing, the breaking is CONTINUING. Perhaps there were many around you who thought your life was a waste, who would encourage you to take comforts in natural things, to forget God, to go into the world and be one with those who reveled in the night time! You may have been tempted to think your prayers are not being heard or answered! All such are the afflictions of the righteous!

Acts 20:24

New International Version (NIV)

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

We read in 2 Samuel 5:17, “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed King over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him.” The moment we receive anything from the Lord worth fighting for, the Devil comes seeking to destroy us. When the Enemy confronts us at the threshold of any great work of God, we should accept it as evidence of our salvation, and claim double the blessing, victory, and power. Power is developed through resistance. The force and the amount of damage created by an exploding artillery shell appears to be greater because of the resistance at the point of impact. A power plant produces additional electricity by using the friction of rotating turbines. And one day, we too will understand that even Satan has been used as one of God’s instruments of blessing.

A hero is not fed on sweets,

Daily his own heart he eats;

Chambers of the great are jails,

And head winds right for royal sails.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tribulation is the door to triumph. The valley leads to the open highway, and tribulation’s imprint is on every great accomplishment. Crowns are cast in crucibles, and the chains of character found at the feet of God are forged in earthly flames. No one wins the greatest victory until he has walked the wine-press of woe family. With deep furrows of anguish on His brow, the “man of sorrows”(Isa. 53:3) said, “In this world you will have trouble”(John 16:33). But immediately comes the psalm of promise, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” The footprints are visible everywhere. The steps that lead to thrones are stained with spattered blood, and scars are the price for scepters. We will wrestle our crowns from the giants we conquer. It is no secret that grief has always fallen to people of greatness.

The mark of rank in nature

Is capacity for pain;

And the anguish of the singer

Makes the sweetest of the strain.

Tribulation has always marked the trial of the true reformer. It was true in the story of Paul, Luther, Savonarola, Knox, Wesley, and the rest of God’s mighty army. They came through great tribulation to their point of power. Every great book has been penned with the author’s blood. “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation”(Rev.7:14). In spite of his blindness, wasn’t Homer the unparalleled poet of the Greeks? And who wrote the timeless dream of Pilgrim’s progress? Was it a prince in royal robes seated on a couch of comfort and ease? No! John the Revelator, where was he when he penned the book of Revelation? Where am I while penning these thoughts and studies that I share with you? Family the lingering splendor of John Bunyan’s vision gilded the dingy old walls of an old English jail in Bedford, while he, a princely prisoner and a glorious genius, made a faithful transcript of the scene.

Great is the easy conqueror;

Yet the one who is wounded sore,

Breathless, all covered over with blood and sweat,

Sinks fainting, but fighting evermore—

Is greater yet.

Assailed by this affliction May & I will not complain, but allow the holy spirit to carve us into a more Christ like image. The world unforgiving though it is, will not make us forget whose we are. Our God is Awesome and has done great things for us when we didn’t deserve them. We are grateful for being called to suffer for a little while. This little rain mixed with God’s sunshine makes us appreciate the good times we believe are on the horizon. By being crushed we hope that we smell as good as the fragrance used to anoint our Savior. I am convinced that my God will do as he said to His servant. Eating, clothing, and lodging all belong to Him. The job we feel we need, it belongs to Him, May completing school, all belongs to Him. Every need we have need of is His not ours. Chained to Christ chariot are we. This victory we celebrate belongs to Him. Stay in position family and watch Him move!!!!

Thank You,

Aaron Pratt

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let God change things in His way & Time

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The real democratic American idea is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance.
Author: Henry Ward Beecher

storehouse

I am truly grateful for the things God has done in my life in- spite of the difficulties I have created along the way. I am grateful for the victories that we have won together in my life. I could go on & on about those things that seemed at the time as defeat that my God has brought me through. Family It would be too much for me to comprehend should God allow me to peak into my future. It would mean for me I feel I have no faith in His providential abilities to complete that good work in which He has begun. Family my life seems to be plagued with famine in the areas of natural resources & stability to press through this tumult we are now faced with. O’ but God, the future is great for all who go through the weather; whether they like it or not .

Family as I studied the wonderful gift of God this morning I found within it a nugget of hope. Did you know that the Egyptians were the first ones to began a prison system and that they were given the commission to prepare for the famine to come by the hand of God. I am amazed at how God allows even the evil to have the liberty to be used of Him.

“There is corn in Egypt.”- Genesis 42:2

Famine pinched all the nations, and it seemed inevitable that Jacob and his family should suffer great want; but the God of providence, who never forgets the objects of His affection & electing love, had stored a granary for His people by giving the Egyptians warning of the scarcity, and leading them to treasure up the grain of the years of plenty. Family who would expect deliverance from their enemies or a ungodly people? Little did Jacob know that the corn in which he sought was in Egypt, Jacob watched the hand of God began to wither the land with drought and fat calves went to slender calves and watering holes of plenty went to none but barren land. O’ my God, the natural of our whether forecast would make any of us stagger and become despaired. I see here a real man Named Israel, that sought I would imagine in great prayer for an answer for where was the corn in store for him and his people.

My beloved family, though all things are apparently against us, I beseech you to rest assured that our God has made a reservation on our behalf; in the roll of our grief’s there is a saving clause. Somehow He will deliver us, & somewhere He will provide for us. The quarter from which our rescue shall arise may be a very unexpected one, but help will assuredly come in our extremity, and we will began to magnify the name of the “ Lord.” Family of faith if we fail to do for each other as faith base children, Ravens shall; and if earth yields no wheat, heaven shall drop with manna. Therefore be of good courage, and rest quietly in The Lord. God can make the sun rise in the west if He pleases, and make the source of distress the channel of delight.

The corn in Egypt was all in the hands of Israelite made ruler of a pagan nation, exalted from an inmate to a prince. Please don’t miss that when you read this. Joseph had nothing to do with his imprisonment, but when he was given the opportunity he showed his brother the grace of God in what he taught them through how he endured his tumult of life by holding the scammer of the brothers until the others brought back Benjamin and then he told them after they ran out of corn, because Simeon would have been left there had they not ran out of food. He told them not to come back without their brother. My God this thing is powerful when you are going through and can see the finger prints of God within these pages. Family I am performing a “CSI” on my life today by sprinkling the dust of faith to reveal God’s hand in my life.

Joseph opened and closed the granaries at will. So I see here that the riches of providence are all in the absolute powerful hands of the Lord Jesus, who will dispense them liberally to His people. Joseph was abundantly ready to succor his own family; and Jesus is unceasing in His faithful care for His brethren. Our business is to go after the help which is provided for us: we must not sit still in despondency, but stir ourselves to movement that smells like faith. Prayer will bear us soon into the presence or our royal Brother: once we are before the throne we have only to ask and have; God’s store house is not exhausted; there is corn still: His heart is not hard, He will give the corn to us. Lord, forgive our unbelief, and this morning constrain us to draw largely from Thy fullness & receive grace for grace. Be blessed family today in Jesus name. May & I love you so..so.. much!!!!!

Thank You,

Aaron Pratt

If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments. – Zig Ziglar

Having Faith in God about where He has called “YOU” From

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faithFaith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.

Author: A.W. Tozer

Are you sometimes perplexed about the path in which God has led you on? I’ll answer my own question, I often contemplate about this. I even look at myself drive in regards to having Initiative to maintain my faith. Sometimes the status quo has been so bad for so long you no longer even notice you’re struggling. When awful is the order of the day, it’s easy to lose sight of a real need to step back and regroup.

Maybe you’re a business owner whose company is failing. Maybe you’re a manager who is overwhelmed and no longer certain you have or can even find the answers. Or maybe you’re an entrepreneur who no longer believes in your idea.

No matter who you are, if any of the following strikes a chord, take action. If you don’t, your problems will get worse before they get better:

1. You avoid answering your phone. Not because you’re too busy but because you use voicemail to protect yourself from angry customers, pissed-off staff, or the need to explain why you messed up. When things are going well, phone calls are welcome distractions; when you’re struggling, you hate the phone and everything it represents. And you love caller ID.
What to do: Simple. Answer the phone. Every time. Sure, it will suck, but each time you’ll have one less problem to dread. (And your damage control skills will improve. Win-win.)

2. Your to-do list is depressing, not energizing. A to-do list should be fun. Completing tasks, knocking off projects, taking care of business… all fun — or at least fulfilling. Until they’re not. When you’re struggling it’s easy to put aside larger projects to focus on the tasks you can complete, no matter how irrelevant those tasks may be… just so you can feel you accomplished something.
What to do: Step back. Re-prioritize and rewrite your list. Pick the highest priorities — like what might jeopardize your peace or a major relationship — and put everything else aside. Your desk can wait.

3. You talk more about what you would like to do than what you are doing. Ambitions are great. Dreams are wonderful. Hang on to them. But when all you talk about is what you would prefer to do, you’re lost.
What to do: Taking care of today is a requirement. Dreaming about tomorrow is a luxury you earn. No whining or fantasizing until today is a win.

4. You feel your only hope is “the big idea.” Watch gamblers before the last race of the day at a horse track; if you think desperation is invisible, you’re wrong. When we’re in trouble big ideas are in short supply and rarely viable.
What to do: Small ideas and big efforts can turn desperation into triumph. Ninety-nine percent of the time you already know what you need to do — you just don’t want to do it. Tough. Do it.

5. You value forward projections more than day-to-day results. I have a friend who loves creating sales forecasts, five-year plans, estimated cash flow projections… but refuses to look at weekly operating statements. He hates current performance reports because they’re awful. So he ignores them. What to do: Every day check out financial reports, productivity results, key performance indicators… whatever drives your faith or your life. Knowing where you stand so you know exactly where to go is the only way to make a bad situation better.

6. You focus on “how” rather than “why.” A sure sign you’ve lost control is when process matters more than results, because when results are in question the only thing you may feel you can control is the process. When you argue more about how something should be done rather than why it should be done, you’re struggling: To maintain control, to maintain your identity, to maintain some sense of self you feel you’ve lost…
What to do: Let go. How is interesting; but why is all that matters. If you feel you can’t let go, ask someone for advice and follow their advice. Can turning the corner be this easy when you’re really struggling? Sometimes yes, often no. All of these are self talk principles I’ve tried to align with my faith talk, when all I need is “Faith.” Read Genesis 12:1-9

Genesis 12:1

New International Version (NIV)

The Call of Abram

12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

One of the smartest people I know is a college friend who became a Christian while studying at Syracuse University. He graduated with honors and went on to study at a respected seminary. He served a small church far from family and friends. After twelve years at that church, he sensed that the congregation needed new leadership, so he stepped down. He hadn’t been offered a job at a bigger church or a teaching position at a college or seminary. In fact, he didn’t even have another job. He just knew that God was leading him in a different direction, so he followed.

When we discussed it, my friend said, “A lot of people talk about being called to something, but I don’t hear much about being called from something.” In many ways, my friend’s obedience was like that of Israel’s patriarch Abraham, who went out, not knowing where God was leading. Difficulties like famine, fear, and family disputes gave reason for doubt, but Abraham persevered and because of his ‘Faith” God counted him as righteous ( Galatians 3:6). My God I am struggling to believe fervently that a life of obedience may not be easy, but it will be blessed (Luke 11:28).

As Abraham went out,

Not knowing where he was going;

Now, Lord keep me from doubt,

To go the way you are showing. –In Jesus name…Amen

You don’t need to know where you’re going if you know God is leading.. Stay on your knees in pain and let God change you….

Thank You,

Aaron Pratt

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

One river cures all

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riverWe are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” C.S. Lewis

Good morning family,
I have been touched today by the river of which its source knows nothing, and Jesus says if we have received of His fullness, however small the visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with the outflow—“This is the work of God that we believe…” God rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing He is. I am at this very moment seeing the visibility of God’s blessings on my marriage and life.
A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. You can see God using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do not seem to be of any use. Keep paying attention to the source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. My wife and I have had torrents of obstacles such as ,disconnect periods from “Elohim”, unemployment, abandonment issues, fear, and uncertainty of hope & future. I found in this the river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles.

Never get your eyes on the obstacles or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the source . Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotions, or emotion, or experience; no matter how long it takes, no matter what you have done while waiting, no matter what you thought to do to try to aid God in this, nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.
Think of the healing and far—flung rivers nursing themselves in our soul!! God has been opening up marvelous truths to our minds, and every point he has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has nourished in you mighty torrents of blessings for others…..

Thank You,
Aaron Pratt…

If God would have wanted us to live permissive lives he would have given us ten suggestions instead of Ten Commandments

What is considered unreasonable “Entitlement”?

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live your life

Today, the biggest challenge we must meet is the one we present to ourselves. To not become a nation that places entitlement ahead of accomplishment. To not become a country that places comfortable lies ahead of difficult truths. To not become a people that thinks so little of ourselves that we demand no sacrifice from each other.

Chris Christie

In my quest to understand “entitlement” today I watched the debate on whether college athletes should be paid. I also pondered the question why low caste status felons have no right or entitlement to live their life as this T.I. rapper or Marth Steward, and let us not forget the countless football and basketball felons and celebrities of hollywood that are still moving forward with life. To deny any one of any status associated with life and humanity I feel is an endictment to all the “Ehtical” core values affiliated with the Constitution.

I find all of the practices of “commercialism” to be unfair. Why is it alright for our college athletes to put all on the line with their future and get nothing while pursuing their dream? Why is it alright for the lower caste status felon’s to be exploited while serving their debt to society with no hope of ever being employed all the while having to survive on crumbs and no decent housing? Can you Imagine living a slow death coupled with the temptation to survive everyday and no help nor training or opportunity to reintegrate into society as a higher caste felon? I have looked from the inside out on these issues and felt compelled to write about it today. I also thought of the Human Beings called illegal citizens, my God whales and other protected animals seem to have better rights than we as Human Beings. We need to take a look at our value system. I am ready to make some noice, how about you?

The parallelism should enable readers to surmise at once the basis for our entitlement to certain equalities. Just as with the liberties to which we have a natural right, so here with respect to the equalities that we can rightfully claim, the ultimate basis of the right lies in the nature of man.

If human beings were not by nature endowed with freedom of the will and the power of free choice, to be exercised in the pursuit of the ultimate good that they are morally obliged to seek, they would not have, by nature, a right to liberty of action. If they were not by nature political animals, they would not have by nature the right to political liberty. Their right to these liberties lies in the fact that deprivation of them renders their power of free choice ineffective in the pursuit of happiness and frustrates their natural inclination to participate in political affairs.

The equalities to which we are all entitled, by virtue of being human, are circumstantial, not personal. They are equalities of condition–of status, treatment, and opportunity. How does our humanity justify our right to these equalities?

The answer is that, by being human, we are all equal–equal as persons, equal in our humanity. One individual cannot be more or less human than another, more or less of a person. The dignity we attribute to being a person rather than a thing is not subject to differences in degree. The equality of all human beings is the equality of their dignity as persons.

Were all human beings not equal in their common humanity, did they not all equally have the dignity of persons, they would not all be entitled to equalities of condition. The point is strikingly illustrated by an ancient and erroneous doctrine (which, by the way, takes many disguised forms in the modern world) that some human beings are by nature slaves and so are radically inferior to other human beings who are by nature their masters. If this view of the facts were correct, as it is not, all human beings would not be entitled to any equality of condition–equality of status, treatment, and opportunity.

The factual basis for the correct view is biological. All members of any biological species, human or otherwise, are alike in possessing the properties or powers that are genetically determined attributes of that species of living organism. These common properties, shared by all individuals of a certain species, are appropriately called species-specific. Of these species-specific properties, some are generic, shared by other animals; such, for example, in the case of human beings, are their vegetative and sensitive powers. Only some of man’s species-specific properties consist of powers that are not generic, but being distinctive and definitive of the human species, differentiate human beings as different in kind from other animals.

To say that all human beings are equal in their common humanity is, therefore, to say that all have the same species-specific properties, both those that are generic properties shared by other animals and those that are distinctive and definitive of the human species, such as man’s power of free choice and his power of conceptual thought.

The statement in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights is not, on the face of it, self-evidently true. Nor can it be made self-evident by substituting “are by nature equal” for “created equal,” and “endowed by nature with certain unalienable rights” for “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

The truth of the statement, even when the substitutions are made, is the truth of a conclusion reached by reasoning in the light of factual evidence, evidence and reasoning that refutes the ancient doctrine that some human beings (all members of the same species) are by nature slaves.

I am not going to present here the evidence and expound the reasoning that establishes the truth of the conclusion that all human beings, as members of the species Homo sapiens, are ipso facto equal. I have done that in another case study, entitled The Lynching of felons.

The conclusion there reached is that man differs in kind, not merely in degree, from other animal organisms, which means that while he has certain generic properties shared by them, with respect to which he may differ in degree from them, human beings also have certain distinctive properties that only they possess and that all other animals totally lack. It is the having and not having of these distinctive human powers that differentiates human beings in kind from other animals.

The truth of the proposition that all human beings are by nature equal is confined to the one respect in which that equality can be truly affirmed; namely, their all being equally human, their having the species-specific properties and especially the differentiating properties that belong to all members of the species.

There is no other respect in which all human beings are equal. Two or more individuals may be personally equal in some other respect, such as height, intelligence, talent, or virtue, but equality in such respects is never true of all.

The contrary is true. When we consider all members of the human species, we find that, in every respect other than their possession of the same species-specific properties and powers, inequalities in degree prevail. In other words, though all human beings have the same generic and specifically distinctive properties and powers, some will have them to a higher, some to a lower, degree than others.

Individual members of the species differ from one another either by innate endowment, genetically determined, or by voluntary attainment, individually acquired. From these individual differences arise the inequalities in degree that make one individual superior or inferior to another in some particular respect.

One individual, by nature equal to another in kind, which means equal through having the same species-specific properties, may be by nature unequal to another in degree, which means being genetically endowed with a higher or lower degree–with more or less–of the properties or powers that both possess at birth. In addition, one may be superior or inferior to another in individually acquired attainments as well as in genetically determined endowments. This may wholly result from differences in individual effort; but it may also be partly due to the favorable or unfavorable circumstances under which the individual strives to accomplish something.

For brevity of reference, let us use the phrase “specific equality” to refer to the personal equality in kind that is the one equality possessed by all human beings. Let us use the phrase “individual equality” or “individual inequality” to refer to the personal equality and inequality of human beings in all other respects, whether that be equality and inequality in degree of endowments or equality and inequality in degree of attainments.

From the declarative statement about the specific equality in kind of all human beings, what prescription follows? The answer is that all human beings are in justice or by right entitled to a circumstantial equality in kind, especially with respect to political status, treatment, and opportunity and with respect to economic status, treatment, and opportunity.

Being by nature equal, they are all endowed by nature with certain unalienable rights, unalienable because they are inherent in man’s specific nature, not merely bestowed upon man by legal enactment. Legal enactment may be necessary to secure these rights, but it does not constitute their unalienability.

Merely legal rights are alienable. Being granted by the state, they can be taken away by the state. Natural rights can be secured or violated by the state, but they do not come into existence through being granted by the state; nor does their existence cease when they are not acknowledged or secured by the laws of the state.

As we have seen, human beings, having by nature the power of free choice, have a natural and unalienable right to liberty of action. Being also by nature political animals, they have a natural and unalienable right to political liberty and participation. Justice requires that all should be accorded the equal status of citizenship with suffrage, through which status they can exercise their power to participate in government. All citizens have this power. It is totally lacking in those who, being disfranchised, are deprived of it. Having this power to some degree confers upon all citizens with suffrage a circumstantial equality in kind. Between those who have it and those who are deprived of it, there is a circumstantial inequality in kind.

Turning now from the political to the economic sphere, parallel reasoning reaches a parallel conclusion. Both as an animal generically, and as a specifically human animal, man has certain biological needs, such as his need for the means of subsistence in order to survive, and his need for certain comforts and conveniences of life, which he needs to live humanly well. Economic goods are the goods that man by nature needs in order to survive and, beyond that, to live well-to engage successfully in the pursuit of happiness,

These include more than food and drink, clothing and shelter. They include schooling as instrumental to fulfilling man’s need for knowledge and skill; a healthful environment as instrumental to fulfilling man’s need for health; ample free time from toil or earning a living as instrumental to fulfilling man’s need to engage in play for the pleasure of it and in the pursuits of leisure for the improvement of his mind by engagement in all forms of learning and creative activity.

From these natural needs for the goods mentioned and for the goods that are instrumental to achieving them arises man’s natural right to the possession of that sufficiency of economic goods which is enough for living well–for making a good life. The existence of natural right leads us to the conclusion that every human being is entitled to whatever economic goods any human being needs to lead a good life.

Just as all human beings are entitled to a political equality in kind, so they are all entitled to an economic equality in kind.

All should be haves with respect to political liberty, none have-nots, none disfranchised persons totally deprived of the power of political participation that a political animal needs.

All should be haves with respect to wealth in the form of whatever economic goods a human being needs to live well, at least that sufficiency of such goods which is enough for the purpose. None can be have-nots in the sense of being totally deprived of such goods, for total deprivation means death. But none should be destitute–have-nots in the sense of being deprived of enough wealth to live well.

In both the political and economic sphere, justice requires only as much equality of conditions as human beings have a natural right to on the basis of their natural needs. The statement of the matter just made occupies a middle position between the two extremist views mentioned earlier.

At one extreme, the libertarian maintains that the only circumstantial equality to which all human beings are entitled is equality of opportunity. He argues for this view on the ground that such equality tends to maximize individual liberty of action, especially freedom of enterprise in the economic sphere.

The libertarian rightly thinks that attempts on the part of organized society to establish an equality of economic condition other than an equality of opportunity will inevitably result in government regulations and interferences in economic activities that restrict individual liberty of action and put curbs on freedom of enterprise. Where he is wrong is in failing to see that such curtailments of freedom, made in the interests of justice, are proper limitations of liberty. His error lies in asking for more liberty than justice allows.

At the opposite extreme, the egalitarian maintains that the circumstantial equality to which all human beings are entitled should not be merely an equality in kind that is accompanied by inequalities in degree. It should be more than that. It should be the extreme form of circumstantial equality, which is an equality of condition attended by no inequalities in degree.

Stated in political terms, this would mean that all should be haves in the sense of having political liberty and power, but no individual should have more, and none less, of the power that all should have because it is requisite for participation in political life.

Stated in economic terms, this would mean that all should be haves with respect to wealth in the form of the economic goods needed to live humanly well, but also that all should have the same amount of wealth. None should have more, and none less, of the wealth that everyone needs for the successful pursuit of happiness.

The middle position between these erroneous extremes, in both the political and the economic spheres, calls for a moderate, not an extreme, form of circumstantial equality. With regard to the possession of political or economic goods, real goods that every human being needs, it calls for no more than everyone is entitled to by natural right. It is willing to settle for no less.

A moderate or justly limited equality of conditions is an equality in kind, with respect to either political or economic goods, but one that is accompanied by inequalities in degree that justice also requires. Justice requires only that all shall be haves. It does not require that all shall be haves to the same degree. On the contrary, as the next chapter will attempt to make clear, some are entitled by justice to more, and some to less, of the goods that everyone is entitled by justice to have.

Two additional reasons can be given for rejecting the wrong prescription concerning equality of conditions that the egalitarian recommends on the basis of man’s specific personal equality.

First of all, he appears to forget that the specific equality of all members of the human species is accompanied by individual inequalities of all sorts, both in endowments and attainments and in what use individuals make of their endowments and attainments.

Human individuals are not all equal in the way that so many precision-made ball bearings are alike–identical with one another in every respect except number, all having the same properties without any difference in degree. Unlike the ball bearings, which of course have no individuality at all, human individuality consists of individual differences that result in one person’s having more or less of the same attributes that also belong to another.

To recommend the prescription that all human beings are entitled to a circumstantial equality of conditions, political and economic, that should involve no differences in degree is to neglect or overlook the existence of significant individual inequalities in degree among human beings. These personal inequalities in degree call for circumstantial inequalities in degree, just as our personal equality in kind calls for circumstantial equality in kind.

The error being made by the egalitarian arises in the same way as the one made by the elitist who neglects or overlooks the personal equality in kind of all human beings. On the sole basis of personal inequalities in degree, the elitist recommends circumstantial inequality in degree with respect to political and economic goods. He rejects the recommendation of any circumstantial equality in kind, except perhaps equality of opportunity. The elitist makes that one exception because he believes that, in the race of life, the superior will win.

Elitism can be avoided without going to the opposite extreme of egalitarianism, simply by rendering what is in justice due human beings by reference to their personal equality without overlooking their individual inequalities and by reference to their individual inequalities without ignoring their personal equality. In recent history, the most glaring and egregious example of an egalitarian overreaction against elitism is provided by the cultural revolution to which China was subjected under the gang of four.

A second reason for rejecting the extremism of the egalitarian looks not to its injustice, but to its practical unfeasibility.

It is possible for miscarriages of justice to occur that would permit liberty to run rampant beyond limits and to become injurious license. The libertarian extreme is feasible, but not the egalitarian extreme. More liberty than justice allows is possible in society, but more equality than justice requires cannot be sustained.

To recommend that all should be haves with respect to political liberty and power, but that none should have more and none less, is to recommend a form of direct democracy so extreme that it would allow no distinction whatsoever between citizens in or out of public office–a democracy in which there are no magistrates, one in which everything is decided directly by a majority vote of the whole citizenry.

It is doubtful whether such extreme democracy ever existed, in Athens or in New England townships. It certainly would not be practically feasible in any state of considerable size; having a population so large that all its members could not deal with each other face to face, nor when confronted with the complexity of problems that states and governments must deal with in the contemporary world.

In the economic sphere, to recommend that all should be haves with respect to wealth in the form of whatever economic goods human beings need to live well, but that none should be richer and none poorer in their possession of wealth, is to recommend an equality of conditions that has never existed, except perhaps in monasteries where the monks, taking the vow of poverty, participate equally in what wealth is available for the community as a whole.

If, under secular conditions, all individuals or all families were somehow to come into possession of the same amount of wealth, in whatever form, that absolute equality of economic condition would not last for long. A magic wand would be needed, not only to bring it into existence, but also to make it endure. No one has ever worked out a plan whereby, short of magic, this extreme form of economic equality might become feasible.

Positioning is everything with God

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staying on course

Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.

Charles Stanley

Job 13:15

New International Version (NIV)

15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.

2 Timothy 1:12

New International Version (NIV)

12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

I will forever be thankful to God for the gifts He has allowed me to see in myself and others. Being gifted with grace to endure storms of life and yet desire to be an aroma to God that will place you above your stance is to be thankful for. As I searched the web this morning I saw the blessings of God in full display. No matter who you are…The Lord has blessed you with intellectual faculties capable of vast improvement. Cultivate your talents with persevering earnestness. Train and discipline the mind by study, by observation, by reflection. You cannot meet the mind of God unless you put to use every power. The mental faculties will strengthen and develop if you will go to work in the fear of God, in humanity, and with earnest prayer. A resolute purpose will accomplish wonders.

I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
come drifting home with broken mast and sails;
I will believe the Hand that never fails,
From seeing evil works to good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
“I trust in Thee.”

I will not doubt, though all my prayers return
Unanswered from the still, white realm above;
I will believe it is an all-wise love
That has rerused these things for which I yearn;
And though at times I cannot keep from grieving,
Yet the pure passion of mixed believing
Undimmed will burn.

I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive.
I will believe the heights for which I strive
Are only reached by anguish andby pain;
And though I groan and writhe beneath my crosses,
Yet I will see through my severest losses
The greater gain.

I will not doubt. well anchored is this faith,
Like some staunch ship, my soul braves every gale;
So strong its courage that it will not fail
To face mighty unknown sea of death.
oh, may I cry, though body leaves the spirit,
“I do not doubt,” so listening worlds may hear it,
With my last breath.

An old seaman once said, “In fierce storms we must do one thing, for there is only one way to survive: we must put the ship in a certain position and kee0p her there.” And this, dear Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you cannot see the sun or the stars to help you navigate when the storm is bearing down on you. This is when you can only do one thing, for there is only one way. Reason cannot help you, past experiences will shed no light, and even prayer will bring no consolation. Only one course remains: you must put your soul in one position and keep it there.

You must anchor yourself steadfastly upon the Lord. And then, come what may–whether wind, wave, rough seas, thunder, lighting, jagged rocks, or roaring breakers, whether the wheather whether you like it or not. You must lash yourself to the helm, firmly holding your confidence in God’s faithfulness, His covenat promises, and His everlasting love in Christ Jesus. My life has got to exude what I believe or else all is lost. My situations sometimes get so fearce that I often return to my dead man way of thinking, but praise God He is greater in me than he that is in the world. Stay the course my dear reader and watch the only wise God get yopu through.

Legal Hangings and Employment discrimination

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Hanging_Rope

Any people any where, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable- a most sacred right- a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
Abraham Lincoln

I feel strong about the right2work act and all social, ethical and moral issues pertaining to any group or culture being disenfranchised. These practices are nothing short of a way to use the Law as a “Lynching Tree” modern day to suppress individuals across the races of society. Elections are affected, humanity is affected, people levels of sanity are affected. When you as educated beings deny a people to coexist in society and not have a right to vote for whom they want to represent them nor work to earn a living wage to prevent crime and oppression it is viewed as a ” Lynching.” People need to be corrected for crimes, but at best there is no reform while in nor when released.

This speech was said to have been delivered by Willie Lynch on the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712. Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies. He was invited to the colony of Virginia in 1712 to teach his methods to slave owners there.
[beginning of the Willie Lynch Letter]

Greetings,

Gentlemen. I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest, and still the oldest, methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasions. I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree, a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed. Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES. I guarantee every one of you that, if installed correctly, IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSES. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is “AGE,” but it’s there only because it starts with an “a.” The second is “COLOR” or shade. There is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZES OF PLANTATIONS, STATUS on plantations, ATTITUDE of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don’t forget, you must pitch the OLD black male vs. the YOUNG black male, and the YOUNG black male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE, and the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have white servants and overseers [who] distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. IF USED INTENSELY FOR ONE YEAR, THE SLAVES THEMSELVES WILL REMAIN PERPETUALLY DISTRUSTFUL. Thank you gentlemen.”

LET’S MAKE A SLAVE

It was the interest and business of slave holders to study human nature, and the slave nature in particular, with a view to practical results. I and many of them attained astonishing proficiency in this direction. They had to deal not with earth, wood and stone, but with men and, by every regard, they had for their own safety and prosperity they needed to know the material on which they were to work, conscious of the injustice and wrong they were every hour perpetuating and knowing what they themselves would do. Were they the victims of such wrongs? They were constantly looking for the first signs of the dreaded retribution. They watched therefore with skilled and practiced eyes, and learned to read with great accuracy, the state of mind and heart of the slave, through his sable face. Unusual sobriety, apparent abstractions, sullenness and indifference indeed, any mood out of the common was afforded ground for suspicion and inquiry. Frederick Douglas LET’S MAKE A SLAVE is a study of the scientific process of man-breaking and slave-making. It describes the rationale and results of the Anglo Saxons’ ideas and methods of insuring the master/slave relationship. LET’S MAKE A SLAVE “The Original and Development of a Social Being Called ‘The Negro.’” Let us make a slave. What do we need? First of all, we need a black nigger man, a pregnant nigger woman and her baby nigger boy. Second, we will use the same basic principle that we use in breaking a horse, combined with some more sustaining factors. What we do with horses is that we break them from one form of life to another; that is, we reduce them from their natural state in nature. Whereas nature provides them with the natural capacity to take care of their offspring, we break that natural string of independence from them and thereby create a dependency status, so that we may be able to get from them useful production for our business and pleasure.

Although this letter is said to be a fallacy, I see these practices operating in this justice system and abroad in other areas of life. That is my opinion and so I used this letter to spark up motivation for you who maybe under the oppressive hand of injustice.

Frederick Douglass

A major theme in the philosophical tradition is the investigation into the workings of human nature. Some hold, for instance, that human nature is basically selfish – we all ultimately act to maximize our own gain. Others argue that cooperation is the central human instinct, self-interest being a condition imposed by society. One way of examining human nature is through the experiences of individuals who have lived at the extremes of human interaction.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in about 1818. It is plain to all who read his work that this is a man possessed of exceptional intelligence and perception. Yet he was raised in a condition that denied any intelligence in him and punished his attempts to explore it’s potential.

Douglass wrote several autobiographical works. In them we may find clues to the workings of the human character. Especially since Douglas does far more than merely describe his experiences. He comments on those experiences in ways that underscore the major ethical and epistemological points that he is making. All along it is crucial to remember that Douglass has a single overriding purpose in his work; to expose the evils of slavery to the end of abolishing it.

In the passage excerpted below from Chapter VI of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, two strong points emerge:

1) Douglass details a process of change in the life and character of a woman, Mrs. Auld, the woman he served as a house slave for. Initially Douglass describes her as a smart, joyful, and kind person. Not long after becoming a slave-owner, however, she transforms into a cruel and angry tyrant. Throughout his works, Douglass observes other such transformations and explains the phenomenon as the inevitable result of “irresponsible power.” When a human being holds power over another without any moral responsibility to that other, the result is a degradation of the spirit, a loss of humanity. The same effect can be found in the literature of the Nazi holocaust, where ordinary people are transformed into extraordinary sadists when made to serve as concentration camp guards. Some will say that this shift in character is simply the negative side of human nature arising when given the opportunity. Douglass provides the foundation of a different analysis: that human nature strives towards equity and shared responsibility. When circumstances block that direction, the human character becomes deformed and dangerous.

2) Throughout all of Douglass’ writing is the emphasis on language as a key to freedom. In one part the Narrative he describes how he taught himself to read and write. That ability enabled him to manipulate the documents needed for his escape. He got his first clue about the power of language from Mrs. Auld, before her transformation. Language is connected to human freedom because it is the medium of social connection among individuals. When a person is denied the expressions of language, such as reading and writing, they are cut off from one other in significant ways. Douglass recognizes this isolation as the basis of slavery. The slave owner, Thomas Auld, understood this was well. He notes that if a slave were permitted to read, s/he will become “unfit to be slave.” Douglass describes how the idea of freedom took root in his mind as a result of his striving for knowledge. This presents a picture of the human character that is ever expandable through gaining knowledge and sharing that knowledge with others. The lesson is strong: even for those of us who read quite well, there are texts and areas of knowledge that are difficult to grasp. A common reaction is to turn away from a difficult text because it is not immediately accessible (i.e. easy). If Douglass is correct, then the rejection of new learning is the acceptance of a limit. Institutional slavery is no longer legal in most of the world, but we humans face a more constant struggle – the self-maintenance of our own bondage by an unwillingness to accept the challenges of new knowledge. The alternative is to treat oneself as a truly free and worthy being. Perhaps one of the gains that philosophy has to offer is the surmounting of self-imposed boundaries.

My new mistress proved to be all she appeared when I first met her at the door,–a woman of the kindest heart and finest feelings. She had never had a slave under her control previously to myself, and prior to her marriage she had been dependent upon her own industry for a living. She was by trade a weaver; and by constant application to her business, she had been in a good degree preserved from the blighting and dehumanizing effects of slavery. I was utterly astonished at her goodness. I scarcely knew how to behave towards her. She was entirely unlike any other white woman I had ever seen. I could not approach her as I was accustomed to approach other white ladies. My early instruction was all out of place. The crouching servility, usually so acceptable a quality in a slave, did not answer when manifested toward her. Her favor was not gained by it; she seemed to be disturbed by it. She did not deem it impudent or unmannerly for a slave to look her in the face. The meanest slave was put fully at ease in her presence, and none left without feeling better for having seen her. Her face was made of heavenly smiles, and her voice of tranquil music.”

“But, alas! this kind heart had but a short time to remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon.”

“Very soon after I went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld, she very kindly commenced to teach me the A, B, C. After I had learned this, she assisted me in learning to spell words of three or four letters. Just at this point of my progress, Mr. Auld found out what was going on, and at once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me further, telling her, among other things, that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read. To use his own words, further, he said, “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master–to do as he is told to do. Learning would ~spoil~ the best nigger in the world. Now,” said he, “if you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy.” These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought. It was a new and special revelation, explaining dark and mysterious things, with which my youthful understanding had struggled, but struggled in vain. I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty–to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man. It was a grand achievement, and I prized it highly. From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom. It was just what I wanted, and I got it at a time when I the least expected it. Whilst I was saddened by the thought of losing the aid of my kind mistress, I was gladdened by the invaluable instruction which, by the merest accident, I had gained from my master. Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read. The very decided manner with which he spoke, and strove to impress his wife with the evil consequences of giving me instruction, served to convince me that he was deeply sensible of the truths he was uttering. It gave me the best assurance that I might rely with the utmost confidence on the results which, he said, would flow from teaching me to read. What he most dreaded, that I most desired. What he most loved, that I most hated. That which to him was a great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought; and the argument which he so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determination to learn. In learning to read, I owe almost as much to the bitter opposition of my master, as to the kindly aid of my mistress. I acknowledge the benefit of both…..”

“….My mistress was, as I have said, a kind and tender- hearted woman; and in the simplicity of her soul she commenced, when I first went to live with her, to treat me as she supposed one human being ought to treat another. In entering upon the duties of a slaveholder, she did not seem to perceive that I sustained to her the relation of a mere chattel, and that for her to treat me as a human being was not only wrong, but dangerously so. Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness. The first step in her downward course was in her ceasing to instruct me. She now commenced to practise her husband’s precepts. She finally became even more violent in her opposition than her husband himself. She was not satisfied with simply doing as well as he had commanded; she seemed anxious to do better. Nothing seemed to make her more angry than to see me with a newspaper. She seemed to think that here lay the danger. I have had her rush at me with a face made all up of fury, and snatch from me a newspaper, in a manner that fully revealed her apprehension. She was an apt woman; and a little experience soon demonstrated, to her satisfaction, that education and slavery were incompatible with each other.”

Unless 18 Grams Is the Same as One, Crack Is Still Out of Whack

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social justice

In the order I was in, each brother takes five vows, one of which is teaching the poor gratuitously. As a young person I was seized by this idea of social justice and I wanted very much to follow my vow of teaching the poor gratuitously.

Godfrey Reggio

Drug sentencing disparities around the country seem to target anyone guilty of being arrested while black, and progress so far has been partial at best.

A gram of LSD changing hands while in the presence of a law enforcement agent can cost a participant in that transaction five years in federal prison. Up until 2010, being arrested while carrying the weight of two sugar packets of crack cocaine triggered the same sentence, even for a first-time offense. For a methamphetamine conviction, it’s five years without parole for five grams.

Mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenders has helped swell America’s prison population to the largest on the planet. But recently some states have considered relaxing some of the more extreme discrepancies in their mandatory sentencing requirements. Missouri is a prime example.

For decades, Missouri State Representative Gary Fuhr was a police officer patrolling the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. Later, he became an FBI agent. He liked to say his career was spent “mak[ing] sure all our correctional facilities operated at maximum capacity A few years ago, Fuhr participated in a study breaking down who precisely was among that maximum capacity in Missouri state prisons, and what charges had crammed them in there. The discrepancies and inequities he saw were eye-opening. After Fuhr was elected to the state House in 2010, the Republican lawmaker sponsored legislation to keep some nonviolent offenders out of prison by creating community supervision alternatives. He also championed a bill to change the state’s sentencing laws for crack cocaine, which at the time were the harshest in the nation.

“Lawmakers are recognizing it was unfair because crack and powder cocaine are pharmacologically the same drug.”

Before Fuhr’s law passed, a person who sold 450 grams of powder cocaine on the streets of St. Louis faced the same penalty—a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years—as someone who sold six grams of crack cocaine.

House Bill 1256 minimized the “sentencing quantity ratio” of crack over powder cocaine from 75-to-1 to 18-to-1, which mirrored the changes in the 2010 federal Fair Sentencing Act. Now, someone has to sell 24 grams of crack in Missouri to get the same sentence as nearly half a kilo of powder cocaine.

Traditionally, these mandatory minimum sentences disproportionately impact minority communities. A 2005 study found that African-Americans represented 12 percent of the total population of U.S. drug users, but 34 percent of those arrested for drug offenses, and 45 percent of those in state prison for a drug offense.

“Racial disparities exist throughout the system,” Nicole Porter, director of Advocacy at the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based advocacy group, tells TakePart.

That said, the number of whites in prison has actually been going up. From 1999 to 2005, the number of whites incarcerated for a drug offense rose 42.6 percent, representing an additional 21,000 persons in prison, according to the Sentencing Project. Anecdotally researchers say that bump is due to sentences handed down for meth and prescription drug abuse.

Still, there are signs that America’s love affair with mandatory long sentences for drug offenses is beginning to wane. Seven states last year, including Missouri, softened their mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses, including crack cocaine and other drug possessions, the Sentencing Project notes in a new report.

Those changes stemmed from public education campaigns, says Porter. “Lawmakers are recognizing it was unfair because crack and powder cocaine are pharmacologically the same drug.”

Fuhr’s push to reduce the cocaine “sentencing quantity ratio” came after national groups including the Sentencing Project found that Missouri was among more than a dozen states with a major sentencing disparity for the drugs. As his bill moved through the state legislature last year, he said, “This was a good move, and I think this is the right bill for it.”

Despite some progress, 12 states still have major crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparities. Missouri remains in that category despite its law change.

“The reality is we have a long way to go,” the Sentencing Project’s Porter says. Still, she adds, “the public is shifting.”

Don’t cut corners…

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cutting cornerscompromise

I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.
Sophocles

Proverbs 11:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,
but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

I once practiced deception in the way I lived and did business and yes the results were grievious. I am still trying to get out of the clutches of the results of that life style.

I knew a loyal carpenter named Joe Smith who worked nearly two decades for a successful contractor. One day the contractor called him into his office and said, “Joe, I’m putting you in charge of the next house we build. I want you to order all the materials and oversee the job from the ground up.”

Joe accepted the assignment with great enthusiasm. he studied the blueprints and checked every measurement and specification. Suddenly, he had a thought, if I am really in charge, why couldn’t I cut a few corners, use less expensive material, and put the extra money in my pocket? Who will know? Once the house is painted, it will look great.

So Joe went about his scheme. he ordered second-grade lumber and inexpensive concreat, put in cheap wiring, and cut every corner he could. When the home was finished, the contractor came to see it.

“What a fine job you have done!” he said. “You have been such a faithful carpenter to me all these years that I have decided to show you my gratitude by giving to you this very house which you have built.” Build well today. You may have to live with the reputation you create.

Character is like the foundation of a house–it is below the surface…Collapse this post

Find you something or someone to “Model” or “Motivate You”

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Hustler

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

Abraham Lincoln

I love the concepts these two entertainers model as a means to getting to the top of their profession. Honing your strengths and talents is key in life and business. Despite the obvious, some entrepreneurial cats are continuing down their stubborn ego-driven path of trying to seek fame in the game but have no skills that impress. You would think after the Facebook IPO fiasco people would realize hype does not open up roads to riches. Even in the hip-hop game, Maino said it best about the tragedy of getting famous before getting rich. We have to stop the fronting and start focusing on the fundamentals if we want to get ours.

When you chase fame and you don’t have fortune, you set yourself up for all kind of bad news. The first thing you do is make yourself a target to those who are truly superior to you. The “Art of War” teaches that you do not reveal yourself until you develop an unstoppable momentum. The second thing is fame is expensive as it cost to be the boss. The worst thing that can happen to an aspiring entrepreneur is they get some “recognition” and now everybody is all over them, calling them out, stressing them out, dissing them before they can even be at the level to put out their product or service.

When you focus on the fundamentals, you are laying down your foundation to your fortune. You get the skills, the material, the craft, the connects and you roll up your sleeves, hit the table and make it work. Business is about transactions and the only thing that matters in transactions is that you have something that someone wants to buy – not how many people know or recognize who you are. Once you have the fundamentals on getting paid, no one can really mess with you except the government.

But here is the thing, your fundamentals are what make you famous faster than chasing fame. Once cats see you doing good business and you handle smooth transactions and give good service, and have a positive vibe about yourself word of mouth is going to grow.

And cats can’t say a damn thing about you because you already doing it. All they can do is side hate but your customers already love you and will take your side and laugh at your haters and defend you with their money going into your bank account.

So with that said, when you see these cornballs featured in articles and media coverage but have nothing but a cute inspirational story to tell, just remember the difference between fame and fundamentals. Remember that Facebook was trying to IPO off fame and hype and you saw how far that got them in the IPO. Remember that Warren Buffet operates off fundamentals and you see the empire he built. A lot of you cats are on some fan-boy or fan-girl running around in this business game but don’t know a damn thing about fundamentals.

In my personal quest to find something marketable, Warren Buffet is one of the models, he used patience, and a practical approach seasoned with trust. he formed his first investment partnership with $100.00 in 1956. He has honed it, perfected it, and stuck to it even when the temptations to adopt a different strategy were tantalizingly sweet. He didn’t invest in either Microsoft or the Internet because he didn’t feel he could paint an accurate picture of where high tech was going to be in twenty years. His distinct approach is the cause of his personal happiness and professional success. I see him being relevant here due to him figuring out something that can serve as a practical guide for all of us who are aspired to be successful and contribute to others.

Negative hustling is all ignorance seems to portrait, but there are some who want to stay in a positive, life giving, money making attitude for themselves and those they create opportunity for to not only keep their stomachs full, but others. live well my friends. Don’t let mistakes made make of form your future. Pray for the Pratt family as we do for all of “Man Kind.”

Being shaped into Christ Identity

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crown-thorns-hands_~k6095547

Psalm 32
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.

“We will face the reality that although we are fruit trees by the grace of God, we still have thorn bush responses to life. The THORN bush represents the fact that, as sinners, we all tend to respond sinfully to the circumstances of life.” Confessing our inward faults and sins is the beginning to change. Fumbling around what our sins are only keeps us in the deception mode and bound by the enemy. I am elated that God has increased me past this deception.

I have been taking a look at how it is that God changes our lives, and shapes us into the identity that is ours in Christ. Because of His death, and His subsequent presence in our lives, we have been changing into His image in a process that He does in our lives through our every day circumstances. We are literally “New creations” in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). Note the process in the above verse. The point is, God is using the “HEAT” in our lives to shape us into the people He wants us to be. We need to be sensitive to that, and open to change. Is your identity being defined by your circumstances then they are by the grace of Jesus Christ? It is important to realize that you are a “New” person in Christ, complete with a new heart that is able to be transformed, and act in obedience to God and His word. Change, however, begins in understanding that the thorns still are present. We still act out in anger, we still numb our spiritual senses with work, possessions, substances, we still take our identity from the things we do and the things that people say, and we still find our joy in everything except God.

Today is my start to take a real look the at the thorns in my life because it is in taking this hard look at myself that I am able to see what God wants to change in my life. We could all benefit from meditating and praying Psalms 139:23-24 on a daily basis. We are called to an “Ongoing recognition and confession of our ‘thorny’ responses to life.” How do you respond to the daily heat in your life?

1. Our sin is worse than we can imagine, but God’s grace is greater than our sin!
2. God is concerned about transformation at the heart level, not the behavior level.
3. We should benefit from our relationship with Christ here and now, and in eternity.
4. God calls us to grow and change.
5. Our Christian life is a lifestyle of Repentance and Faith

The Caging of America

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convicted felonPrison slavery, Jurors: Know your rights, Sleeping with undercover cops

There is no wisdom save in truth. Truth is everlasting, but our ideas about truth are changeable. Only a little of the first fruits of wisdom, only a few fragments of the boundless heights, breadths and depths of truth, have I been able to gather.

prison is a trap for catching time. Good reporting appears often about the inner life of the American prison, but the catch is that American prison life is mostly undramatic—the reported stories fail to grab us, because, for the most part, nothing happens. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich is all you need to know about Ivan Denisovich, because the idea that anyone could live for a minute in such circumstances seems impossible; one day in the life of an American prison means much less, because the force of it is that one day typically stretches out for decades. It isn’t the horror of the time at hand but the unimaginable sameness of the time ahead that makes prisons unendurable for their inmates. The inmates on death row in Texas are called men in “timeless time,” because they alone aren’t serving time: they aren’t waiting out five years or a decade or a lifetime. The basic reality of American prisons is not that of the lock and key but that of the lock and clock.

That’s why no one who has been inside a prison, if only for a day, can ever forget the feeling. Time stops. A note of attenuated panic, of watchful paranoia—anxiety and boredom and fear mixed into a kind of enveloping fog, covering the guards as much as the guarded. “Sometimes I think this whole world is one big prison yard, / Some of us are prisoners, some of us are guards,” Dylan sings, and while it isn’t strictly true—just ask the prisoners—it contains a truth: the guards are doing time, too. As a smart man once wrote after being locked up, the thing about jail is that there are bars on the windows and they won’t let you out. This simple truth governs all the others. What prisoners try to convey to the free is how the presence of time as something being done to you, instead of something you do things with, alters the mind at every moment. For American prisoners, huge numbers of whom are serving sentences much longer than those given for similar crimes anywhere else in the civilized world—Texas alone has sentenced more than four hundred teen-agers to life imprisonment—time becomes in every sense this thing you serve.

For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then. Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height. That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that. In the past two decades, the money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education. Ours is, bottom to top, a “carceral state,” in the flat verdict of Conrad Black, the former conservative press lord and newly minted reformer, who right now finds himself imprisoned in Florida, thereby adding a new twist to an old joke: A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged; a liberal is a conservative who’s been indicted; and a passionate prison reformer is a conservative who’s in one.

The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life. Every day, at least fifty thousand men—a full house at Yankee Stadium—wake in solitary confinement, often in “supermax” prisons or prison wings, in which men are locked in small cells, where they see no one, cannot freely read and write, and are allowed out just once a day for an hour’s solo “exercise.” (Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience.) Prison rape is so endemic—more than seventy thousand prisoners are raped each year—that it is routinely held out as a threat, part of the punishment to be expected. The subject is standard fodder for comedy, and an uncoöperative suspect being threatened with rape in prison is now represented, every night on television, as an ordinary and rather lovable bit of policing. The normalization of prison rape—like eighteenth-century japery about watching men struggle as they die on the gallows—will surely strike our descendants as chillingly sadistic, incomprehensible on the part of people who thought themselves civilized. Though we avoid looking directly at prisons, they seep obliquely into our fashions and manners. Wealthy white teen-agers in baggy jeans and laceless shoes and multiple tattoos show, unconsciously, the reality of incarceration that acts as a hidden foundation for the country.

Jail joke

If you pray why worry?

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stop worrying

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.
Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t be a worry wart!” people say… and those of us prone to anxiety promptly begin worrying about worrying too much.

I know the feeling. I worry too. I’m not the “lie awake at night” kind of person. But I notice that when I have a lot on my plate, I give an inordinate amount of attention to little details. Worry consumes me in a variety of ways: I lose patience quickly, I snap at my wife and kids, or I lose my sense of empathy for others. Worry turns my focus to Me.

For a while, I thought that worry was caused by my failure to seek first the kingdom. If I would only fix my eyes on Jesus more, then I would stop worrying. If I would only think about the kingdom more, then anxiety wouldn’t be an issue.

Certainly, those who are seeking the kingdom above all things are not preoccupied with food, and drink, and clothing (as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount). And yes, seeking the kingdom first is a good action plan if we find ourselves worrying.

But seeking first the kingdom comes after we have been sought by the King. The root cause of worry is not misplaced priorities. It’s misplaced faith. It’s a failure to grasp the gospel of a God worthy of our trust.

So worry shows up whenever my view of God is diminished and my view of myself gets too big. I worry because my vision of God is skewed. I rest when my vision is fixed.

“Look at the birds of the air!” Jesus said. “God gives them food, even if they don’t work and earn their way.” There’s more to this parallel than a mere animal-to-human comparison about how much more God will care for us. There’s gospel here. God has given undeserved favor to the birds. He blesses them apart from their merits.

God’s grace and mercy is sustaining us too. Everything we have comes from God’s hand. Salvation belongs to the Lord. And the powerful God who saved us is the loving Father who sustains us.

When I reflect on the gospel of a priceless Savior giving his all for undeserving sinners like you and me, then I am assured that our value in the eyes of God does not shift with the economic tides. Our worth is not measured in what we do for God, but what God has done for us.

This is God the Father who sent his only Son to the cross that we deserved.

This is God the Son who willingly took on flesh, lived among us, and died in our place.

This is God the Spirit who prompts our hearts and brings us back into unending fellowship with our Maker.

It is the costly actions of God that give us our value.

In these difficult times, we – the people of God’s kingdom – need to be reminded of our true citizenship and true identity. The uneasiness of worry surfaces in our hearts when we lose sight of the gospel of God’s grace to the undeserving. Failure to grasp the gospel is what causes us to take our eyes off the kingdom and forget who we are in Christ.

United to Christ, we are part of a royal family. Our older Brother is the King of the world.

Thou art coming to a King,
large petitions with thee bring,
For his grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.
– John Newton

It’s not over yet!

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It's not over yet

The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.

Ralph Marston

2 Kings 13:14–19, Ps 78:19
It’s not over yet!

Jacob was an old man when his son Joseph was taken to Egypt. His boy Joseph had been his dream. Now it looked like Jacob’s dream was dead. But in Genesis 45, we see that his spirit was revived. Joseph was still alive! The old man got his dream back in his old age.

You’re never too old, and it is never too late for God to use you. Moses was eighty years old when he got his assignment, and Caleb was 85 when God gave him his mountain.

If anybody could have retired comfortably, it would have been Abraham. He was wealthy, with vast herds of cattle and sheep. According to some commentaries, he had at least a thousand servants. But then God came knocking. In Genesis 12 we find God telling him to pack up, leave everything behind, and take off on a journey – to somewhere.

I’m sure his wife wondered about his sanity. “Honey, this place represents your life’s work. What do you mean we’re going to start living in tents? Where are we going? What do you mean you ‘don’t know’?

Why would an old guy like Abraham pack up and leave for the wilderness? Let’s look at a few dynamics that are at work here – there is something to learn even if you’re not old.

He had the ability to hear God

He had the ability to believe what God said

The ability to denounce security for the sake of God

The ability to stay focused on the mission

The ability to accomplish the mission

Hearing God – chase Him until you recognize His voice.

Believing God – Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, now knowing where he was going”.

Let’s obey God and love one another; By all means can we just get along?

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Oneness

Oneness

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical de- lusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein

I pray we would really internalize the word of grace….

Call To Unity – 1 Corinthians 1:10

1 Corinthians 1:10 – I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

I. Agree With One Another
II. Unite In Mind
III. Unite In Thought

I. Agree With One Another

Act 4:32 The whole group of believers was united in their thinking and in what they wanted. None of them said that the things they had were their own. Instead, they shared everything.

John 13:34 “I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I loved you.
John 13:35 All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”

Philippians 2:1 Think about what we have in Christ: the encouragement he has brought us, the comfort of his love, our sharing in his Spirit, and the mercy and kindness he has shown us. If you enjoy these blessings,
Philippians 2:2 then do what will make my joy complete: Agree with each other, and show your love for each other. Be united in your goals and in the way you think.
Philippians 2:3 In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves.
Philippians 2:4 Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too.
Philippians 2:5 In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought.
Philippians 2:6 He was like God in every way, but he did not think that his being equal with God was something to use for his own benefit.

Agree with one another in love, don’t ever think you have the most bright idea than anyone else, give in to each other’s idea to fulfill it and not to please yourself.

We are called be one:
1. One In Love – Love like the Lord Jesus loves. No one is above or beneath him, He treated everyone of us as equal.
2. One In Goal – Our goal is evangelism towards unbelievers, and ministry towards believers.
3. One In Mind – Our mind is the mind of Christ, think of the lost souls as He’s thinking about it.

Live like a servant and you can be able to do all these things.

II. Unite In Mind

Ephesians 4:31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.

Philippians 1:27 Just be sure you live as God’s people in a way that honors the Good News of Christ. Then if I come and visit you or if I am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will know that you stand together with the same purpose and that you work together like a team to help others believe the Good News.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 Show them the highest respect and love because of the work they do. Live in peace with each other.

Our mind is our will, if we will it, it will come to pass, because we share the same authority as Jesus have and much more because He’s in Heaven.

John 14:12 “I can assure you that whoever believes in me will do the same things I have done. And they will do even greater things than I have done, because I am going to the Father.

III. Unite In Thought

Philippians 4:8 Brothers and sisters, continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.

Luke 16:15 Jesus said to them, “You make yourselves look good in front of people. But God knows what is really in your hearts. What people think is important is worth nothing to God.

Whatever is in our hearts, it will come out via our mouth. So it’s important to set our minds only on these thoughts:

1. Praise worthy
2. True
3. Honorable
4. Right
5. Pure
6. Beautiful
7. Respected

Whenever I think of these 7 things that we should think about that needs to come out of our mouth, the only thing that qualifies is God’s love and God’s Words. So think about His Words and you will not be tempted. The battleground between good and evil is our minds, think only on those 7 things and the battle has already been won.

Unspeakable word

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Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.

Sai Baba

2 Corinthians 12:1-5
Introduction: Last week, I said the Word of God mentions the word “unspeakable” three times:
– 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:4, “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
– 1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
I also said that, in these verses, we find God’s unspeakable Gift, His unspeakable Words, and our unspeakable joy.
– God’s unspeakable Gift is Jesus. The fact, that God gave Jesus, leaves us unable to declare its wonder.
– God’s unspeakable Words were too sacred to divulge.
– Our unspeakable joy is joy so full it defies description.
In this message, I wish to emphasize God’s unspeakable words. The story surrounding 2 Corinthians 12:4 is just as amazing as the truth found in it. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:2 that he knew a man above 14 years ago who was caught up to the third Heaven. In this passage, the man Paul knew was Paul himself. What was it that had happened fourteen some odd years before?
The Apostle Paul had journeyed to Iconium, Derbe, and Lystra. There, he ministered the Word of God and performed miracles in the name of Jesus. In particular, Paul, through the power of the Holy Spirit, had brought healing to a man who was crippled in his feet from birth and had never walked. The Word of God records that Paul “Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.” (Acts 14:10) Because of this, Paul and Barnabas were viewed as gods by the people of Lystra. Then, the Bible says in Acts 14:19, “And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.”
I believe that Paul was indeed stoned to death, but God performed a miracle, and Acts 14:20 records, “Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.” It is a difficult thing to survive a stoning. During this time, Paul apparently visited Heaven, and, just as Lazarus was returned to this earth, so Paul was returned to continue his ministry. Lazarus was dead for four days, and Paul for only a few minutes. Both were brought back to life by the power of God. This is the story Paul referred to in 2 Corinthians 12. In these verses, he relates what happened to him when he went to Heaven.
2 Corinthians 12:4 tells us that Paul was told things he could not repeat to anyone on earth, “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” In other words, God said to Paul, “I’m going to tell you some things that I don’t want you to tell anyone else.” What did God tell him? We don’t know, because God told him not to tell anybody, and Paul kept God’s secret. These were God’s unspeakable words.
Why didn’t God want Paul to reveal the secrets of Heaven to anyone on earth? Because it wasn’t time yet. It wasn’t until more than 51 years later God revealed to the Apostle John the mysteries of Heaven.

The struggle within

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The struggle withinChange does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Finding strength to press on only comes from surrendering to God’s will:
Life is full of struggles, difficulties, and problems. Some are bigger than others. But whether the Christian’s trials in life are of the garden variety, or more along the lines of major tragedy, there is but one thing that will overcome them—faith in God.
We must also keep in mind that our enemy, Satan, is always seeking opportunities to defeat us. We must never forget that there is a spiritual battle going on. Satan seeks to destroy us with our trials, while God seeks to develop us with them. The child of God cannot avoid trials. They can however, face those trials in faith toward God, and thwart Satan’s plan to defeat them.

Today we are dealing with one man’s approach to facing serious problems. Hezekiah, King of Judah, rather than letting the enemy put him in fear and frustration, chose to face his dilemma by faith in God. The problem Hezekiah and Judah faced was so enormous that only God could deliver them. And that is where faith comes in. When the problems are bigger than our ability to handle them, that’s our cue to just rely on God.
In this message we will not only see the enormity of Hezekiah’s problem, and how he chose to face it, but we will also see how unwavering faith produced a wonderful victory. One thing becomes clear in this account from God’s Word: God always honors steadfast faith in Him.

I. THE THREAT
II Chron.32: 1 “After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.”
A. The King Speedily Commenced Preparation.
1. He stopped the waters.
II Chron.32: 2 “And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib, was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,
3 He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him.

4 So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
NOTE: [1] One of the first things I want you to notice here is that Hezekiah did not simply take a passive stance. He responded to this threat by first doing what he knew to be logical to do. That part didn’t take any faith—just common sense.
In 1937 architect Frank Lloyd Wright built a house for industrialist Hibbard Johnson. One rainy evening Johnson was entertaining distinguished guests for dinner when the roof began to leak. The water seeped through directly above Johnson himself, dripping steadily onto his bald head. Irate, he called Wright in Phoenix, Arizona. “Frank,” he said, “you built this beautiful house for me and we enjoy it very much. But I have told you the roof leaks, and right now I am with some friends and distinguished guests and it is leaking right on top of my head.”
Wright’s reply was heard by all of the guests. “Well, Hib, why don’t you move your chair?”
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, Jan, 1992, p.14.
[2] Hezekiah did what anyone should do when trouble appears imminent—make preparations. The Bible backs up this way of thinking.

Prov.22: 3 “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but
the simple pass on, and are punished.”
[3] Hezekiah also determined not to give the enemy any unnecessary advantages. That’s why he stopped the waters outside the city. We too need to be careful not to give our enemy, Satan, any unnecessary advantages over us. Stop the devices of deception, delusion, lust, envy, hate, pride, greed recognize what device he is trying to beguile you with and refuse to allow it to over come you within. If something tast good to us we like it, But if something taste bad we don’t like it. Well cocaine saling or smoking is bad, but your receptors will lie and say yes!! this is good as well with all sin he “The Enemy of our soul tries to lure us into. Be on guard and fight strategically with the weapons of our Lord against this fool Of a enemy…

Transplanting

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Transformation

I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.

Martin Luther

Luke 6:22-23

New International Version (NIV)

22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.

23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

Japanese bonsia trees are truly, perfectly formed minitures. They remain small no matter how old they get. Most are only fifteen to eighteen inches tall. To make a bonsai tree, a young sapling is pulled from the soil. Then, its taproot and some of the feeder roots are tied off. Thus, the growth of the bonsai is deliberately stunted.

In sharp contrast, California sequoia trees grow extremely large. The General Sherman stands 272 feet and measures 79 feet in circumference, If felled, this giant tree would provide enough lumber to build thirty-five, five room homes! The sequoia begins life as a small seed, no larger than the seed of the bonsai. However, its sapling is allowed to be nourished in the rich California soil and sunshine.

Neither the bonsai nor the giant sequoia has a choice in determining how large it will become. But we human beings do! We cannot blame others, including our parents, for what they have done or are doing to us. We have the opportunity to transplant ourselves into a nurturing, positive envoronment.

If others are trying to prune you back today, move away from their shears. Rejoice in who you are and who you can be. Find a new place to put down roots. Know that you don’t have to be toxic like those around you. The choice belongs to you rather you will allow your transformation to be peaceful in every circumstance, rather you will radiate love and positivity. Let your mind be transformed to “Trust” and obedience to “Elohim.” He will change your life, He will capture your roots in His soil of plenty, He will take your heart and make you over, He is your source for everything, he will let you be the head of every situation that once held you bound. Let Him lead and nurture you, get in a good heard of believers and begin to feed on the roots of Jesse.

Make me to obey while In darkness, so I can be a light

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The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.

Leo Buscaglia

Isaiah 50:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.

This is a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and try to help themselves find the light. they are described as the kindling for a fire that is surrounding itself with sparks. What does this mean? It means that when we are in darkness, the temptation is to find our own way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him. Instead of allowing Him to help us, we try to help ourselves. We seek the light of the natural way and advice of our friends. We reason out our own conclusions and thereby may be tempted to accept a path of deliverance that would not be of God at all.

The light we see may be the fires from our own kindling, or deceptive beacons leading us towards the danger of the rocks, and God will allow us to walk in the false light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow. I speak from experience, I was stubborn and didn’t believe in the resurrection power of Jesus and was over taken by my sins and all the addictions and pain one can be exposed too. I say thais because my confession of Him as Lord of my life was not being seen as light due to my behavior. My ideas had consequence not relative to my beliefs.

If you are in a dark place at this time I extol and beseech you to stay there until God releases you. His timig is for a reason that only He knows the answer to. A time of darkness and trouble, struggle is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God’s work of grace in your life. Commit the entire situation to Him, and be willing to abide in darkness, knowing He is present.

Remember, it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light. Stop interfering with God’s plans and with His will. Touching anything of His mars the work. Moving the hands of a clock to suit you does not change the time. You may be able to rush the unfolding of some aspects of God’s will, but you harm His work in the long run. You can force a rosebud open, but you spoil the flower. Leave everything to Him, without exception. “Not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).

His Will

God sent me on when I would stay
(‘Twas cool within the wood);
I did not know the reason why.
I heard a boulder crashing by
‘Cross the path where I had stood.

He had me stay when I would go;
“Your will be done,” I said.
They found one day at early dawn,
Across the way I would have gone,
A serpent with a mangled head.

I ask no more the reason why,
Although I may not see
The path ahead, His way I go;
For though I know not, He does know,
And He will choose safe paths for me.
From Sunday School Times
The cultivated Mind Measures the Man.–Never think that you have learned enough and that you may now relax your efforts. The cultivated mind is the measure of the man. your education should continue during your lifetime; every day you should be learning and putting to practicle use the knowledge gained. Remember, The similarity between an uncultivated field and an untrained mind is striking. Children and youth already have in their minds and hearts corruppt seed, ready to spring up and bear its perverting harvest; and the greatest care and watchfulness are needed in cultivating and storing the mind with precious seeds of Bible truths. I speak as one still thirsty to gain ground of information and dynomo power spoken of in Phillipians2:12-17 add this to your cultivating after you read this. Dynomite explodes every where, but the dynomo power is a direct reflection of a continuous connection to Him. reading praying serving expecting believing suffering joy honoring are tools to turn your ground upside down and replentish your new roots. Make it a great day live well my friends and family….

The crimes of the system and the reform we need; Wake up People!!!

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One ever feels his twoness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two reconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

W. E. B. Du Bois

I contemplate often the choices I made that are so in my past, but I fall daily to the harassment of the enemy of my soul due to the social and economic challenges that face so many of my people. There are many new and innovative practices to disqualify you as an individual and race of people. It is my hope that someone reads between the lines and gets motivated to continue to fight with their minds and not their hands.

I hope as you take a look at this post it synergize you into getting clean of all drugs and ill behavior to position yourself for success. We have so many achievers and over-comers who strived through  much more hideous acts of racism and oppression that there is no justifiable reason for you to stay ignorant of the enemy  devices. Players,  pimps, and drug dealers are just commercialism tactics to sway your behavior to oppress your own people or another human being. I want to introduce you to some information that may have missed your gaze.

“The young man was shot 41 times while reaching for his wallet”…“the 13-year-old was shot dead in mid-afternoon when police mistook his toy gun for a pistol”… “the unarmed young man, shot by police 50 times, died on the morning of his wedding day”… “the young woman, unconscious from having suffered a seizure, was shot 12 times by police standing around her locked car”… “the victim, arrested for disorderly conduct, was tortured and raped with a stick in the back of the station-house by the arresting officers.”

Does it surprise you to know that in each of the above cases the victim was Black?  If you live in the USA, it almost certainly doesn’t.

Think what that means: that without even being told, you knew these victims of police murder and brutality were Black. Those cases—and the thousands more like them that have occurred just in the past few decades—add rivers of tears to an ocean of pain.  And they are symptoms of a larger, still deeper problem.

I. The Real Situation

Conventional wisdom says that while some disparities remain, things have generally advanced for Black people in America and today they are advancing still. People like Obama and Oprah are held up as proof of this. But have things really moved forward? Is this society actually becoming “post-racial”?

The answer to that question can be found in every corner of U.S. society.

Take employment: Black people remain crowded into the lowest rungs of the ladder…that is, if they can find work at all. While many of the basic industries that once employed Black people have closed down, study after study shows employers to be more likely to hire a white person with a criminal record than a Black person without one, and 50% more likely to follow up on a resume with a “white-sounding” name than an identical resume with a “Black-sounding” name. In New York City, the rate of unemployment for Black men is fully 48%.

Or housing: Black people face the highest levels of racial residential segregation in the world—shunted into neglected neighborhoods lacking decent parks and grocery stores and often with no hospitals at all. Black people, as well as Latinos, who had achieved home-ownership had their roofs snatched from them. They were the ones hit hardest by the subprime mortgage crisis after having been targeted disproportionately by predatory lenders—resulting in the greatest loss of wealth to people of color in modern U.S. history.

Or healthcare: Black infants face mortality rates comparable to those in the Third World country of Malaysia, and African-Americans generally are infected by HIV at rates that rival those in sub-Saharan Africa. Overall the disparities in healthcare are so great that one former U.S. Surgeon General recently wrote, “If we had eliminated disparities in health in the last century, there would have been 85,000 fewer black deaths overall in 2000.”

Or education: Today the schools are more segregated than they have been since the 1960s with urban,

predominantly Black and Latino schools receiving fewer resources and set up to fail. These schools more and more resemble prisons with metal detectors and kids getting stopped and frisked on their way to class by uniformed police who patrol their halls. Often these schools spend around half as much per pupil as those in the well-to-do suburbs.

Or take imprisonment: The Black population in prison is 900,000—a tenfold increase since 1954!—and the proportion of Black prisoners incarcerated relative to whites has more than doubled in that same period. A recent study pointed out that “a young Black male without a high school degree has a 59 percent chance of being imprisoned before his thirty-fifth birthday.”

On top of all that, and reinforcing it, is an endlessly spouting sewer of racism in the media, culture and politics of this society—racism that takes deadly aim at the dreams and spirit of every African-American child. And who can forget the wave of nooses that sprung up around the country, south and north, in the wake of the 2007 struggle in Jena, Louisiana against the prosecution (and persecution) of six Black youth who had fought back against a noose being hung to intimidate them from sitting under a “whites only” tree at school?

All this lay beneath the criminal government response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For reasons directly related to the oppression of Black people throughout the history of this country, and continuing today, African-Americans were disproportionately the ones without the resources to get out of the way of that storm, as well as the ones concentrated in the neighborhoods whose levees had gone unrepaired for years. Far from “mere” incompetence, the government responded with a combination of gun-in-your-face repression and wanton, murderous neglect. People were stuck on rooftops in 100-degree heat for days on end, with nothing to eat or drink. Prisoners were left locked in cells as waters rose to their necks. The protection of private property and social control was placed above human life. The governor of the state ordered cops and soldiers to shoot on sight “looters”—that is, people trying to survive and to help others. On at least one occasion, people trying to escape the worst-hit areas were stopped by police at gunpoint from crossing over to a safer area. When evacuations finally were carried out, they were done with the heartlessness of a cruel plantation owner. Families were separated, with children ripped away from parents. Tens of thousands were scattered all over the country with one-way tickets, sometimes not even told their destinations. Back home, bodies were left floating in water, or lying on sidewalks, underneath debris, decomposing and mangled, for months.

Through it all, politicians and commentators spewed out unrelenting racism. Who can forget Barbara Bush herself, the president’s mother, and her remark in a shelter for refugees from Katrina—some separated from their families and having lost everything, including dear ones—that “[S]o many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.” 10-term Congressman took the prize for declaring, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”

Since then, the first…the second…the third anniversary of Katrina passed with many parts of New Orleans still uninhabitable ghost towns. In the mostly Black 9th Ward, blocks of devastated houses have been razed—a vast wasteland now dotted with occasional concrete steps going nowhere. When Black people have fought to stay in the projects which are still habitable, they have been driven out—and when they have protested at City Council, they have been pepper-sprayed and beaten.

Oil rigs and tourist areas are long since back up and humming, while rebuilding schools, hospitals, and childcare centers are pushed off the list. Through it all, cops and national guards continue to occupy poor neighborhoods like enemy territory.

Does all this look like a “post-racial” society to you?

The answer is clear. And while more Black people than ever before have been allowed to “make it” into the middle class, two things must be said.

First, even for these people their situation is still tenuous. To take one stark example: In opposition to the widespread notions of the “American dream,” where each successive generation “does better” than the previous one, the majority of the children of middle-class Black families have been cast, by the workings of this system, onto a downwardly mobile path. And every Black person—no matter how high they rise—still faces the insults and the dangers concentrated in the all-too-familiar experience of being stopped for “driving while Black.” As Malcolm X said over 40 years ago, and as is still true today: What do they call somebody Black with a Ph. D.? A “nigger.”

Second, and even more profoundly, for millions and millions of Black people things have gotten WORSE.

It will not help—in fact it will do real harm—to believe in this “post-racial” fantasy, or even the “less ambitious” lie of steady improvement. The cold truth of the oppression of African-American people must be squarely confronted and deeply understood, if it is ever to be transformed.

II. Shining a Light on the Past to Understand the Present—and Transform the Future

If you go to the doctor with a painful condition, she’ll ask you to describe the symptoms. If she’s any good, she won’t just prescribe a few pills and send you on your way—she’ll try to figure out the cause of your problem, where it came from. She’ll order some tests, and then she’ll do more. She’ll ask you when the symptoms arose. She’ll take your family history, asking about your parents, and even your grandparents. And that’s what we’re going to do—go through the history of America to discover the source of the profound problems we have sketched out here.

The Rise of Capital—on a Foundation of Slavery and Genocide

This country was founded on the twin crimes of the genocidal dispossession of its Native American (Indian) inhabitants, and the kidnapping and enslavement of millions of Africans. But this essential and undeniable truth is constantly suppressed, blurred over, distorted and excused—all too often treated as “ancient history,” if admitted at all. But let’s look at its implications.

Modern capitalism arose in Europe, when the merchant class in the cities—the newly arising capitalists, or bourgeoisie—began to set up workshops in which they exploited peasants who had been driven off their land, as well as others who could not make a living any longer other than by working for, and being exploited by, these capitalists. This was the embryo of the modern proletariat—a class of people who have no means to live except to work for someone else, and that works for wages in processes that require a collectivity of people working together. The early capitalists, like their descendants, would take possession of and sell the goods thus produced, paying the proletarians only enough to live on, and thereby accumulating profit. They did this in competition with other capitalists, and those who could not sell cheaper were driven under; this generated a drive to gain any possible advantage, either through lowering wages and more thoroughly exploiting the proletariat, or through investing in more productive machinery, or both. This twin dynamic of exploitation and competition drove forward the accumulation of capital in a relentless and ever-widening cycle.

But this was not some linear or self-contained process. In fact, capitalism in Europe “took off” with the development of the world market, and that in turn was fed and driven forward by the slave trade. Ships would sail from London and Liverpool, in England, filled with the goods sold by the capitalists. They would unload these goods for sale or trade in the coastal cities of Africa, and fill their holds with human beings who had been captured in raids in the African countryside. They would then take this human cargo to the Americas and the Caribbean, to be sold as slaves. Then the ships would take the sugar, cotton, rice and other goods produced by the slaves in these colonies back to Europe, to be sold for use as raw materials or food. And so on, every day, year in, year out—for centuries. This slave trade and the slave economy that went with it—along with the extermination of the Native peoples of the Americas (the Indians) through deliberate slaughter, disease, and working them to death in silver mines—formed what Karl Marx called the “rosy dawn of the primitive accumulation of capital.”

The crime was enormous. Between 9.4 and 12 million Africans were kidnapped, sold and sent to the Americas as slaves. Over two million more died in the voyage from Africa, and enormous numbers perished in Africa itself, through the slave-taking raids and wars, followed by forced marches in chains to the coastal African cities to feed this market. At least 800,000 more died in the port cities of Africa, locked down in prison (the barracoons) awaiting shipment. Once in the Americas, slaves were sent to “seasoning camps” to “break” them—where an estimated 1/3 of the Africans died in that first hellish year.

Take a few seconds to think about the reality behind those numbers. THOSE WERE HUMAN BEINGS! Numbers alone cannot hope to capture the agony and suffering all this meant for over three centuries; the best these numbers can do is give a sense of the sheer scale and scope of the barbarity. But even today this is very little known, and what went into the foundation of American history is barely taught, if at all, in the schools, or recognized in the media and culture.

Those Africans who survived this hell were then forced to toil as slaves, doing the work to “tame” the Americas—to develop the agriculture that would form the basis for the new European colonies. A respected historian put it this way: “Much of the New World, then, came to resemble the death furnace of the ancient god Moloch—consuming African slaves so increasing numbers of Europeans (and later, white Americans) could consume sugar, coffee, rice, and tobacco.” Within Africa itself, the slave trade caused tremendous distortions in the development of Africa and gave rise to the major African slave-trading states in west Africa, as these states traded slaves to the Europeans for commodities that included guns. I am not going to put that much more on the history, but I am going to say read for yourself and change the way you live and act.

W.E.B. Du Bois, Gelatin silver print c.1911,
W.E.B. Du Bois, Gelatin silver print c.1911, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963).  The Souls of Black Folk.  1903.
The After-Thought
  Hear my cry, O God the Reader; vouchsafe that this my book fall not still-born into the world-wilderness. Let there spring, Gentle One, from out its leaves vigor of thought and thoughtful deed to reap the harvest wonderful. (Let the ears of a guilty people tingle with truth, and seventy millions sigh for the righteousness whichexalteth nations, in this drear day when human brotherhood is mockery and a snare.) Thus in Thy good time may infinite reason turn the tangle straight, and these crooked marks on a fragile leaf be not indeed

Be humble about your gift of salvation: The jews are so imparative to God’s plan

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Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (...
Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.

Blaise Pascal

Happy Resurrection weekend. I am really thankful for the time to study the holy word of God. I am especially thankful for the gift of understanding. I see the need to express how serious Israel is to us as Gentile believers. I want to also make mention that we should always pray for that nation, the forecast spiritually is really prophetically taking place. The institution of the “Euro” one world currency is taking place. Our president has met with the G20 during his first term and now is pushing meeting with the G8 these committees are structure money guru’s who are trying to set prophesy in order to establish economic world order. There are so many other events taking place that are spoken of in our word.

The rabbi is Rabbi Nachman Kahane, who has guided many Jewish students of the Scriptures on the subject of the temple. In addition, he has been the main source of serious study and preparation to rebuild the Jewish temple.

How soon will the temple be rebuilt? Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the former head of the Temple Institute, says even the priestly garments are ready and the temple will stand in full operation very soon.

Where will it be rebuilt? Rabbi Chaim Richman, the leading authority on the red heifer, says the temple will be built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Rebuilding the temple will be an important fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It will be integral to the seven-year (end-times) treaty with Israel. After all, the rebuilt temple shows up in Jesus’ warning to His Jewish followers in Matthew 24:15 (“the holy place”); and it appears in Paul’s revelation that the “man of sin” (a.k.a. the beast of Revelation) will enter into the temple (after killing God’s two prophets) and set himself up to be worshipped as God.

In addition, Daniel 9:27 shows us how important the rebuilding of the temple will be to the fulfillment of end-times Bible prophecy. Here is what that verse says:

“Then they shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week they shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.”

Though many translations have “he” in place of “they,” it is a mistake to translate it that way. This is because the pronoun goes back to the nearest subject, which is “people” in verse 26. The reason “he” appears in so many Bible translations is because the pronoun is singular. However, it is singular because, in Hebrew (the language in which Daniel was originally written), “people” is a singular noun which requires a singular pronoun. But “he” in English does nothing but confuse the reader. To refer to “people,” the English translation of the pronoun should be “they.”

Here’s a question – if our faith is based on the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ – why do we have the Old Testament? I mean, isn’t it just a bunch of laws and prophecies of destruction focused on the nation of Israel? Didn’t God reject the Jews when they rejected His Son Jesus?

Good questions – and we have the very Jewish Rabbi and Apostle Paul here to explain it to us in Romans chapter 11. Look back at the end of chapter 10 to pick up the thought – remember, chapters and verse numbers were added later, originally this was one long letter.

Romans 10:21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

You picture God throwing up His hands – “Oy veh!” From Genesis through Malachi God pictured a savior, told about a savior, promised a savior – but at just the right time the savior came, He was rejected and killed by His own people. We talked last week about the obstinate heart that God enhances by hardening it.

Right after the resurrection, almost all of the church was made up of Jews who believed in Jesus as the savior, the promised Messiah. In fact, there was a great controversy about whether gentiles could even be a part of this new Way. After God revealed to the Apostle Peter (Acts 10:15) “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”  And the door was opened to the gentiles.

But the more time went on, the more opposition arose from the Jews. The Apostle Paul got so fed up with them that at one point he said (Acts 18:6) But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

One thing led to another, and pretty soon the Jews were rioting against Christians – Jews who became believers were thrown out of fellowship and out of families.

So in chapter 11, Paul talks to the conclusion that God has permanently turned His back on the Jews because they turned their back on Jesus. There are 7 paragraphs in this chapter – and 7 points Paul makes to help us understand what place the Jews have in God’s heart.

Point 1 – God didn’t reject His people, many of them rejected Him (1-6)

I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah-how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”  5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

You may know the story of Elijah, in 1 Kings 19 – this prophet had won a huge victory over 400 prophets of Ba’al. Then he ran from one angry woman – Jezebel. He hid away in a cave until God coaxed him out and asked him what in the world he was doing there. Elijah told him, maybe with a little whine in his voice, (1 Kings 19:14) “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

God replied to Elijah: (1 Kings 19:18) Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel-all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” Just as there was in that time an unseen remnant of the faithful, God knows the faithful remnant today that has not bowed the knee to righteousness by good works, but righteousness through the grace of God through Jesus Christ. Elijah needed to open His eyes to the work God was really doing – just as the Jews needed to open their eyes to see the work God did through Jesus.

But as a nation they were so caught up in external righteousness by obeying the law, that they missed the internal righteousness God offered through Jesus. And even as God told Elijah to anoint another to take his place, the Jews found themselves unable to obtain God’s favor through their own merits, and that rejection brought with it a result.

Point 2 – Rejection led to blindness (7-10)

7 What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day.”  9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”

Why do the Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah? Here Paul says they earnestly desired to be God’s people but didn’t achieve it – “their table become a snare” David wrote – the table was the law. Jesus said, and I’m paraphrasing, “you study the law because in it you think you have life – but that life you want is found only in Me.” No wonder David said “their backs bent forever.” Who can bear under the weight of the obeying the law to get right with God?

Later Paul would write: (2 Corinthians 3:15-16)
15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

That “veil” keeps them from understanding that Jesus is the Messiah. Jews will tell you that the Messiah is supposed to do three things: bring peace to the world, gather the Jewish people from their exile, and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus didn’t do any of those things, they say, so He can’t be the Messiah. The Messiah is to be three things – king, priest, and prophet – Jesus is all three, but He fulfills those roles not in a way that the Jews expected.

One source I looked at http://www.messiahpage.com stated that the main difference between Judaism and Christianity was the difference between law and faith. Jews steadfastly believe that the only way to righteousness is by obedience to the law – not by putting faith in Jesus’ obedience for us.

They make several errors in their logic – and I’ll mention one of them. It involves how you interpret prophecy. If you believe that prophecy is told then fulfilled once – then you would look for the Messiah to do the things I mentioned. But in fact prophecy can have both a near and far term fulfillment. An example is the prophecies of Daniel concerning the Anti-Christ. They were fulfilled with Antiochus Epiphanies in Roman times, but are still to have their ultimate fulfillment in the last days.

So too with the Messiah. Jesus fulfills both pictures of the Messiah in the Old Testament – the suffering savior of Psalm 22, and the ruling king of Isaiah 9. The Jews think it has to happen at once – but it doesn’t. Other differences include the trinity, free will, original sin, and punishment for sinners after death.

So what do we do – lambaste the Jews for rejecting Jesus? Unfortunately, that’s what many Christians have done down through the ages and I think it’s wrong.

Point 3 – Our purpose is to show the Jews God’s love, not His rejection (11-16)

11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!

13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

There is hope for the Jews. Many have come to know Jesus as their Savior. Today there are movements of Jewish believers – such as Jews for Jesus. And when a Jew realizes what Jesus really did, they bring the rich history, heritage, culture, and knowledge of the Old Testament with them.

In fact, once God takes the church from the earth, He will lift that veil off the Jewish nation and many of them will come to Christ – becoming super powerful, anointed believers.

Instead of thinking that the Jews are cast-offs, we should seek to understand how they can enrich our own experience with Jesus.

Point 4 – We share common roots with Israel (17-21)

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

Some Christians have adopted this arrogant attitude of superiority over the Jews – but we need to keep in mind that we have been grafted in to something God was already doing through them. But what a wonderful heritage we have – all that Abraham and Moses and David went through – we now share in that history – we are now a part of that family. You can trace your lineage now back through Jesus into Israel.

Lest we think we’re something special apart from Jesus –

Point 5 – We have been brought into what God started through Israel (22-24)

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

God is adamant – stern if you will – that only through Jesus will we find His favor. But the point here is – once a Jew realizes they’ve been cut off from God and come back through Yehshua the Messiah – how natural it is and how well they fit. Remember – the veil over the eyes of the Jews is not permanent.

Point 6 – The Jewish hardening is only temporary (25-27)

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

So what is the trigger for the Jews? It is when the last gentile accepts Jesus as Lord. It’s like at the supermarket when all the bells go off for the millionth customer – when the last person comes into the kingdom, God will remove the church from the earth, and remove the veil from Israel – but it doesn’t mean any change in God’s plan of salvation.

Point 7 – Everyone gets to God by His mercy, Jew and gentile alike (28-36)

28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”  35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”  36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Paul is just amazed at the intricacy of God’s plan – we were disobedient to God, and received mercy. Then the Jews rejected the Messiah the Father sent to them, becoming disobedient in the process. Now in that same disobedience that we were in, they can come to God in the same way – through realizing their disobedience and receiving mercy – not by works, not by the law, but by the grace of God through the sacrifice once for all of His Son Jesus.

His ways are above our ways and His thoughts are above our thoughts – His most insignificant thought is infinitely more profound than Einstein, Aristotle, and Steven Hawking combined.

Conclusion

So – what can we as gentile Christians glean from this chapter?

• God’s has an infinitely thought out plan for your life too (vs 33)

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Don’t worry about the big picture – just worry about faithful daily living with God. He’ll take care of the big picture.

• God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable.

Look back at that in verse 29. Do you ever feel insecure about your relationship with God – feel like you’ve just done too many things wrong and He’s going to jettison you? Or maybe He’s done some neat things through you but you feel like the “anointing” is gone.

Take heart from this verse – the word “irrevocable” means “to be without regret.” God doesn’t look at you and say “man, am I sorry I saved that guy.” You can feel secure in His love and in your salvation.

Jesus said: (John 10:29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

It doesn’t mean we go out and sin – that leads to death of life and fellowship. But it does mean that when we mess up, God is still there to love us and cleanse us. He will not reject you!

• Don’t be smug

At the same time you feel secure, don’t get all puffed up about it. Instead, realize the awesome privilege you have been given, of being grafted in as a wild branch to the root.

• All interpretation of Scripture must be seen through the lens of Jesus

Hebrews 1:1-2 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

When you look at the Old Testament, you must see it in light of Jesus – that’s the only way to understand it, it’s the only way it makes sense.

Some Jews will see this – when Paul came to Rome (years after writing this letter) he met with Jewish leaders and they discussed Jesus as the Messiah. At the end of the discussion it says this:

Acts 28:24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.

It doesn’t say “some were not convinced” but “would not believe” we need to pray that that hardness of heart will be softened.

America the addicted society

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I’ve seen firsthand the terrible consequences of drug abuse. My heart is with all who suffer from addiction and the terrible consequences for their families.

Columba Bush

I realize this subject may not mean anything to some because just like death until it hits home we minimize its reality. I was once apart of this mess. I went so far as to allow myself to have a radiometric-addiction to women, blink and money. I used all of them for selfish gain. I see now the destructive nature of all of them without having been educated I was doom to continue in my downward spiral.

When God delivered me from myself I pledged to be an instrument of good and not evil. I want to educate all on these toxic cultures that plague our communities and homes. The silent killer today that leads to all this dysfunction is deception and delusion of ones self.

I hope this article help’s someone or someone’s family member. I hope this visual aid by NAS is not offensive, but educational about all the forms of addictions, foods, medical prescription, out of touch realities such as religions and toxic programming.

English: Source: The National Institute on Dru...
English: Source: The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Image taken from http://www.drugabuse.gov/pubs/teaching/Teaching2/Teaching4.html http://www.drugabuse.gov/pubs/teaching/Teaching2/largegifs/slide18.gif (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia) released a report on addictions today that is remarkably comprehensive and even more remarkably honest in portraying the virtually utter failure to identify and effectively treat addiction in the U.S.

The report, titled “Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap Between Science and Practice,” starts with the premise that addiction is a disease. Addiction is not recreational drug use or risky behaviors (like adolescent binge drinking or buying drugs on the street). They focus on abuse and dependence on alcohol, legal and illicit drugs, and tobacco. While the authors recognize a group of addictive/compulsive behaviors, they are not covered in this report.

CASA Columbia is a renowned research center on addiction. For the past five years it brought together a team of addiction, public health and judicial experts, universities, medical centers, and other mainstream officials under the direction of Drew E. Altman, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation, to study and survey the field of addiction in order to give us a landscape report of such precision and breadth. Scientific literature was reviewed, extensive surveys were conducted (throughout the U.S. and an in-depth survey in New York State), leading researchers and experts were interviewed, focus groups were held, and state and federal licensing, certification and accreditation rules and regulations were examined. Care was taken to hold to high standards of analysis and evidence. In short, this is one tome we ignore at our own peril.

Their definition of addiction is alcohol and drug (including tobacco) abuse (compulsive use despite clear harm to relationships, work and physical health) and dependence (where the body experiences withdrawal when blood levels of a substance drop).

Their definition of treatment is that of psychological and social therapies (like motivational interviewing/motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy — CBT — provided individually and in groups, the often highly-effective but controversial contingency management approaches that reward abstinence, and family therapies) and medications used to treat additions (like naltrexone, nicotine replacement and buprenorphine — see here and here). They do not include detoxification (typically repetitive, expensive, and often medically-unnecessary interventions that are generally ineffective in promoting recovery), peer- and religious-based counseling, emergency room and prison/jail services. Don’t bother to pick up this 573-page report (more than half of which is appendices and references) if you believe addiction is a failure of will, a form of moral turpitude, or habits where people should “just get over it” (though some future campaign should try to change your mind).

The consequences of untreated addiction, and its predecessor risky alcohol and drug use, are chilling. The report concludes that:

“Risky substance use and addiction constitute the largest preventable public health problems and the leading causes of preventable death (emphasis mine) in the U.S. Of the nearly 2.5 million deaths in 2009, an estimated minimum of 578,819 were attributable to tobacco, alcohol or other drugs.”

The report also estimates the costs of addiction and risky substance use behaviors to government coffers alone to exceed $468 billion annually. Yet, and here is the most important finding of all, only one in 10 people with addiction to alcohol and/or drugs report receiving any treatment — at all. Can you imagine that measure of neglect were the conditions heart or lung disease, cancer(s), asthma, diabetes, tuberculosis, or stroke and other diseases of the brain?

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in this country. But the catastrophic effects of addiction do not stop there: The report considers car crashes, where 40 percent of fatalities involve someone under the influence; the five-fold increase in prescriptiondrug overdose deaths since 1990, where OD fatalities exceed traffic accidents; increased risk of heart and lung diseases, cancer and sexually-transmitted diseases; and parental substance abuse, which increases the risk of their children performing poorly in school and developing conduct and trauma disorders, asthma, ADHD, depression and, of course, addiction itself. Family dysfunction warrants particular notation, since addiction produces financial and legal problems (property and violent crimes) and increases domestic violence, child abuse, unplanned pregnancies, and motor vehicle accidents.

The report is exhaustive in the ways it considers legal and illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Each section is clear, compelling and exceptionally well-supported with tables and references. A thorough analysis of why we are at this deeply troubling state of neglect examines how addiction has been systematically omitted from medical care, how treatment providers are terribly undertrained to deliver a range of proven treatments, how treatment programs are not sufficiently held accountable for delivering evidence-based practices, and how private insurance payers have eluded the provision of adequate benefits and defaulted payment to the public sector. But what we need to know far beyond the inescapable evidence of how big and bad the problems are is what can be done?

The opening recommendation is a page out of every good textbook of public health. Start by detecting a problem that is — by inattention or aversion — kept out of sight. We do not deal with what we do not confront. More than 80 million people (!) in this country ages 12 and older abusively engage in substance use without meeting criteria for addiction (defined above) and represent an exceptional opportunity to intervene early and effectively, yet this is not happening. Simple screening tests for alcohol, drugs and tobacco exist and can be made standard practice throughout medical care (and in educational and counseling settings). SBIRT — Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment — is a recognized, proven and even reimbursed medical procedure that awaits general use despite the consequences of not using it.

The report offers a set of treatment recommendations and asserts importantly that comprehensive treatment (combining psychosocial and pharmacological interventions) is generally better than reliance on one approach alone. There is an abundance of information on treatment, beginning with stabilization of the disease and continuing on to acute care with therapy and medications. The authors provide critically-important and urgently-needed information about how chronic disease management techniques extant throughout medicine today need to be applied to addiction. Nutrition and exercise are woven into the treatment approaches. AA, NA, SMART and other longstanding and effective recovery programs find their way into the report as “support services,” revealing its particularly medical and judicial framework.

One finding that may pertain to readers of this post, or people they know, is that public attitudes about the causes of addiction “… are out of sync with the science.” Their survey work reveals that one-third of Americans still regard addiction as a “… lack of willpower or self-control.” We can be our own worst enemy, and local and national efforts to change minds and hearts are needed.

Further recommendations are framed as major sections on how to close the science-to-practice gap (to make happen in everyday practice what we know from science that works): commencing a national public education campaign, mandating program adherence to proven practices, establishing quality improvement tools and procedures to steadily and progressively improve program performance, insurance reform, and organizing federal oversight into one agency on addiction.

There is so much more in the report that this summary cannot cover. Among the findings readers may also want to take guidance from are on special populations (from youth to the elderly, and including veterans, pregnant women and those with co-occurring medical and mental health disorders), on parity legislation and the do-or-die role of funding prevention and services, and on education and practice standards. The report serves both as a call to action and an encyclopedic warehouse of information.

The CASA Columbia report’s strengths are its veracity, clarity and credibility, the last based on the excellent science they summarize and the caliber of the report’s authors. A shortcoming is that it was developed by experts in medicine, addictions, public health and jurisprudence; as a result, it does not report on the emerging and abundantly-used field of complementary and alternative approaches to addiction “treatment” (such as yoga and acupuncture) nor dedicate much report real estate to 12-step and related recovery models. Nor does the report consider how making legal substances more expensive and more difficult to get could be used as means of controlling youth drinking and other compulsive habits, though CASA Columbia did consider these interventions last year in a report on adolescent substance abuse (see here and here).

Practitioners, policy makers, educators and responsible citizens should more than consider “Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap Between Science and Practice.” It needs to become an agenda for action. Not doing so will mean that this country would have decided to continue to neglect its most prevalent, destructive and costly of diseases

America’s history is a weapon

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A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.

John F. Kennedy

History

2007 $1 Washington coin reverse.
2007 $1 Washington coin reverse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

America; the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”  A nation that guarantees “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  A “shining city” set on a hill with “equal justice under law.”  A “beacon of light” to all mankind.  The bastion of “freedom and democracy.”  “wind swept and God blessed” from “sea to shining sea.”

For over four centuries Americans have  professed and lived these values.  We’re a nation founded by people of virtue, honor, integrity and a deep and abiding love of God and appreciation for the sanctity of human life.  On the base of the Statue of Liberty are the words:
Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my light beside the golden door

America was the land the world envied and yearned to be a part of.  It was the great experiment in democracy that became the model of freedom for all the world to see.  America was in every sense of the word a land of opportunity and a “Culture of Life.”
It is only in a democracy where the citizens of a nation determine the level of national morality and the type of culture in which they wish to live.  They make this determination first in their own family, then their community and ultimately, through the ballot box, the entire nation.  A look back over the past forty years reveals a lot about the cultural changes Americans have chosen over the past two generations.

Some time in the mid-sixties during the Viet Nam War, drugs were introduced on the streets of our cities in large numbers.  It was not long until this addiction found its way into every community of our land.  As this addiction combined itself with the “sexual revolution”, “communes” and “free love” became a way of life for many.  We also learned the meaning of the word “overdosed.”  A culture of “love and free-living” resulted in a Culture of Death.
About the same time it was determined that prayer had no place in our public schools.  Children who were not taught moral values in the home would no longer be taught them in the schools of America and some who were taught these values at home had them challenged by their teachers, particularly in our colleges and universities.  God became an abstract being and the Bible was reduced to a book of common virtue.  The concept of eternal live and judgment has become a Culture of Death, in which existence ends at the grave.
In the early seventies another term found its way into the hearts and minds of America.  Abortion was determined to be the constitutional right of every young girl who had been released from the moral restraints that had been imposed on her parents. The unborn child was relegated to a non-human status, and could, therefore, be destroyed at the whelm of the parent.  The most dangerous place to live in America became the mother’s womb and to date over forty-five million children have been slaughtered in the name of a “woman’s right to choose.”  The sanctity of human life had become a Culture of Death.
Assisted Suicide and euthanasia found their way into acceptance by much of our population be the late seventies and early eighties.  This was done in the name of “death with dignity.”  The old, the infirm, the incapacitated, and yes, the inconvenient all became subject to legal extermination by one means or another.  The society which for generations had prided itself a protector of the weak, the disabled, and the infirm had become a Culture of Death.

By the early nineties we were introduced, compliments of the homosexual community, to a disease called Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome, or for short AIDS.  Through drug needle sharing and prostitution this disease found its way into the heterosexual community as well.  That which is called an “alternative lifestyle” has also become a “Culture of Death.”
By the year 2000 stem cell research was being promoted as a panacea of cures for all sorts of neurological damage and disease.  This research requires the destruction of embryonic human beings.  Nevertheless, American’s of every stripe are accepting this destruction of human life with no reluctance.  What was once legitimate scientific medical research has now become a Culture of Death.
Since the arriving of the pilgrims four hundred years ago, the traditional family has been the bedrock of American society.  Our government, our legal system and our churches were all designed to protect and promote the welfare of the family.  Today the traditional family is under attack as never before in our history.  The concept of one man, one woman, is being replaced by a system whereby any two or more individuals, regardless of sex, or age may join themselves together be recognized as a  family by our society.
When prayer was in our schools guns weren’t.  Today we are seeing a rash of young children bringing guns to school and shooting and killing their classmates and teachers.  What which was once a climate of education has become a Culture of Death.
Finally, to accommodate all of the above changes, every vestige of God and the Bible is being removed from our public square.  Our Pledge of Allegiance and National motto have been declared “unconstitutional” because they contain the word God.  The faith of our fathers in the blessings and protection of the God who has sustained this nation for over four hundred years is being replaced by a multi-cultural system which denies the God of Heaven yet recognizes and accepts every pagan god and pagan religion professed on these shores.

And what is the result of all these deviations from the American culture that was the light of the world?
As I look at the news on my TV tonight I hear about a pop star and icon for many of our youth who is on trial for sexually molesting a young boy.  I see the stars of baseball admitting to using steroid drugs to enhance their performance on the playing field while thousands of young aspiring athletics mimic these “heroes,” many at the cost of their lives.  America’s favorite pastime has also become a Culture of Death.

I see where nine people are murdered by a teenager who our Supreme Court has determined is mature enough to operate an automobile on our public streets but is too immature to be punished with his life if he chooses to take the life of nine others.
I see the story of a 46-year-old sexual predator, twice before tried and convicted, released to rape and murder a 9-year-old girl in Florida.

And, what is possibly the most heart wrenching story of all, a woman in Florida is being starved to death at the request of her husband, in the name of death with dignity, so he may receive the balance of her insurance settlement to support his girlfriend and their two children.  It is especially appalling that pollsters are telling us that most Americans support his position.
Our media takes great pride in keeping a running total of every single death taking place among our young men and women fighting to bring freedom to others, but where they when it comes to keeping a running count of the millions who have been slaughtered as a result of the cultural values which the same media has promoted?

The terrorist who seek the destruction of America are far less of a danger to our national welfare than the activist judges in the courts of America who have sanctioned, legalized, and promoted the values that have turned our nation into a Culture of Death.
What has happened to my America?  And what is more important, how long will the good people of America remain silent while these evils destroy the moral fabric of our nation today and our very existence tomorrow?

This is the question that our children and grandchildren will look back and ask.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7: 14

There is Dysfunction in the House of worship; Can you make the difference?

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The essential elements of giving are power and love – activity and affection – and the consciousness of the race testifies that in the high and appropriate exercise of these is a blessedness greater than any other.

Mark Hopkins

You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
E. O. Wilson

Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the Eastern region of the United States as a protest to the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian church taught at Harvard Divinity School. Among the transcendentalists’ core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions—particularly organized religion and political parties—ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.

Empiricism, in the broad sense, is the philosophical outlook that stresses the power of a posteriori reasoning — reasoning from observation or experience — to grasp substantial truths about the world. When a priori ideas conflict with the a posteriori, the a posteriori wins, according to empiricism. Empiricism is usually opposed to rationalism — the view that reason rather than sensation or observation is the source of knowledge.

The essence of humanity’s spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another. Is there a way to erase the dilemma, to resolve the contradictions between the transcendentalist and the empiricist world views?

Living in a world of moral decay and selfishness I have come to realize the importance of self inventory. Issues of abandonment and failure became my reflection. I appreciated the Pastors attempt to educate us on Mental Illness for it is now knocking at my door. Looking at the Donner debacle I was urgently awakened to my need to get help. I thirst to behave honorably, I aimed high when I took my stand to honor the Sabbath, I set a goal to be the best sailor the Navy would ever see. I long to be pleasing to God and help my Ummah and family in the precepts of my God’s standards.

Propelled into destitution and stress and depression I am looking everywhere to find help. I’ve been told that your faith lacks, you are blaming everyone but yourself, you aren’t looking for help in the right places. This movie Called “Silver linings” is a real eye opener for me. While it may seem like a lot to ask of religious leaders, it’s actually easier for young people and adults to get to clergy than it is to get to a mental health professional. According to NAMI, churches, temples, mosques and faith communities reach 70 percent of the American population each month. Clergy outnumber psychiatrists by nearly 10 to one, and are more equitably distributed geographically than health professionals.

Our Ummah’s of faith are seroiusly in need of help, More importantly, religious communities are best-positioned to respond to the faith issues that arise for people who live with and love those who live with mental illnesses. They can tell us that our condition is not a result of angering or disappointing or failing God.

There are many faithful people who live with mental health challenges. Most of the time, we walk amongst the regular praying-public as if we are invisible. But we are in congregations, Bible studies and prayer meetings wondering if there is a place for us there. We wonder if there is room for us to be honest about our struggles. We are waiting to hear our stories from places that we recognize as holy.

We as believers quote cliché’s and scripture out of habit, never really being concerned about the next mans plight, thanking God it’s not mine. We lead one another astray with falsehood and the appearance of love. We all need some type of help with something mentally. I care about myself and really want to care for you as the great commission given to man by the creator of all this beautiful world. He trusted us to steward this life and the nature of creation better that we are doing. I want to partner with you who have been liberated due to education and regenerated by Jesus being the head of our life to help the ones next to us in the pews, our communities,our homes, and our hearts to get above our sicknesses and indifference of caste status. It is my ongoing prayer that God be present with us in this dyeing world.

I want to add another optical point stated by Karl Marx a socialist, His critique of Hegel’s philosophy of rights. he states Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.

Usually all one gets from the above is “Religion is the opium of the people“ (with no ellipses to indicate that something has been removed). Sometimes “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature“ is included. If you compare these with the full quotation, it’s clear that a great deal more is being said than what most people are aware of.

In the above quotation Marx is saying that religion’s purpose is to create illusory fantasies for the poor. Economic realities prevent them from finding true happiness in this life, so religion tells them that this is OK because they will find true happiness in the next life. Although this is a criticism of religion, Marx is not without sympathy: people are in distress and religion provides solace, just as people who are physically injured receive relief from opiate-based drugs.

We as called out of darkness, blood brought believers have to accept the “essential Jesus” redemptive work for the power to remain accountable to Him as chosen instruments to shine as a city on the hill. God is not a Willie Lynch God, a God of the slave or oppressed, He is the “Essential living King of Kings, a Living God, The only wise God, The lifter of our heads who believe. He is not a mystical God nor is He a Jeanie or some sort of get out of trouble-free card. God wants us to ask Him question, Abraham ask Him several times while praying to Him about Sodom and Gomorrah and God used that situation to illustrate to the father of us all that he is real and approachable. He holds us accountable for what we believe and how we act towards mankind. Pray family of faith for Marx and all the other distorted individual of your life. Don’t leave your church because someone is acting with dysfunctional thoughts and action, let go of your hurts and let the “Essential God” reveal Himself to you by way of your beliefs and faith.

(Exodus 34:5-7 NIV) Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. {6} And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, {7} maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

(Numbers 23:19 NIV) God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

(Deuteronomy 3:24 NIV) “O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?

(Deuteronomy 4:24 NIV) For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

(Deuteronomy 4:31 NIV) For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.

(Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NIV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. {5} Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

(Deuteronomy 9:3 NIV) But be assured today that the LORD your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.

Suffering for “A Crown”

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Memorial to the oldest annual running race in ...
Memorial to the oldest annual running race in Europe. Prague-Běchovice, Czech Republic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the  goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless  exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

Martin  Luther King, Jr.

I am shocked at the way God has turned my life around when it comes to being a made over Christian. In my suffering I and my wife have let go of our old self and been totally transformed by the sufferings and trial we have had to endure. We are still “going through” but God is helping us to believe He is here. We are believing that our faith will get to the light of His presence and hear Him say well done my faithful servant, we are no good on our own, we believe and recieve His will because we want to believe that this suffering is not in vain take heart all and stand head up, chin out, ten toes down, heart fixed on Jesus promises and believing you are victorious even though He slay you BELIEVE…..

God’s Purpose in Suffering

 

I Peter 4:12-19

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

 

God has a divine purpose for the family. God has a divine purpose for friendships. God has a purpose for us even in the workplace tomorrow morning. One of the hardest ways that we discover the purpose of God is through suffering and through trials. We quote Romans 8:28,

 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

 

We know that God has something planned through the suffering, but we still might wonder why He allows the suffering. No matter how great the suffering, God is always at work. The Book of I Peter tells of some principles that we can apply in our lives when trials overwhelm us. Peter was a fiery apostle of Jesus Christ. He was given a second chance after denying Christ, and he was used mightily on the day of Pentecost to preach a message where over three thousand people were saved and baptized. After those first moments in church history, there were some tremendous times of trials and difficulties that came upon the Christians of the early church. The Roman Empire was very unfriendly to Christianity. As those early Christians began to fan out around the world, they found persecution in every city and in every situation. It is recorded in history that there were Christians burned at the stake every night in Rome. We, as Christians, go through little problems and call it suffering. In our eyes, sometimes inconveniences become our trials. Suffering as the early Christians suffered is a far cry from the inconveniences we face today. When those times of trial do come our way, how can we know that God is still doing something in our lives?

 

Our Expectation of Suffering

 

Every Christian should expect some suffering. We should realize that it is a part of life according to the Word of God. I Peter 4:12 says,

 

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”

 

This passage is speaking specifically about suffering for the faith of Jesus Christ. Suffering was common for the early Christians. The early Christians certainly suffered for their faith, and the more America moves away from God, the more Christians will be persecuted for their convictions. At the beginning of recorded history, Job stated in the midst of his trials:

 

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

 

If you study the history of God’s people, there have been trials and persecutions. Suffering is common for all who live for Christ. Anyone who will truly stand up for Christ will suffer persecution.

 

“Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”(II Timothy 3:12)

 

There are some churches that will make it sound like “getting” Jesus means no more problems. God’s true and holy Word says that you can expect some trials if you intend to live for Jesus Christ.

 

Our Example in Suffering

 

If we are going to find God’s purpose during suffering, we must keep our eyes on Jesus Christ.

 

” But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” (I Peter 4:13-14)

 

Our natural response to a trial or persecution will not be to praise the Lord. Yet James said,

 

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2)

 

How can we keep a positive spirit during suffering? How can we truly rejoice? First of all, Christ suffered for us.

 

“But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings.” (I Peter 4:13a)

 

It is through suffering that we get a glimpse and understanding for what Jesus did when He died for us on the cross. We serve a Savior who knows what rejection felt like, who knows what pain felt like, who knows what it was like to be separated from His Father because His body bore the sins of the entire world. Jesus Christ was not a man who became God; Jesus Christ was the eternally preexistent Son of God. Jesus Christ is our example in suffering. Secondly, we can rejoice because we have victory because of His resurrection. The word “revealed” in verse 13 is in reference to that day when Jesus Christ shall be revealed to the world. It is then that we will be glad we were faithful to Him.

 

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” (I Peter 1:6)

 

Peter said that you could still rejoice when you go through seasons of suffering. Dr. Curtis Hutson was a dear friend and mentor in my life. I was able to go hear Dr. Hutson preach his final message in North Carolina. There were about two thousand pastors that gathered in the auditorium that evening. Dr. Hutson, who just a few years prior was such a picture of health and vitality, was helped from his chair and brought to the pulpit. He weighed less than 100 pounds, and had to hold on to the pulpit just to keep from falling. He preached a powerful message entitled, “Things That Are Different Are Not the Same.” The thing that I remember the most about that night was the fact that Dr. Hutson, with his body filled with cancer, sang the old-time chorus, “I ’m on the Winning Side.” It talks of wandering in sin, but then coming to trust in Christ as Savior. His testimony in song during his trial is something I will never forget. If you are in Christ today you are on the winning side. Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” No one can overcome suffering unless he has the hope of eternal life because he has realized what Christ has done for him. Our example when we are going through suffering is none other than the Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Our Experience in Suffering

 

What is it that God wants us to experience during trials? What does He want to teach us? How does He want us to become a stronger, more mature people in our faith?

 

“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.” (I Peter 4:14)

 

During trials we experience the presence of God. At these times we humble ourselves before God and admit that we need His presence. When adversity comes into our lives, we usually want God to do a removal job, but He desires to do an improving job. In Hebrews chapter 4, He says that He will give us grace to help in times of infirmity.

 

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

 

God will not always change your circumstance, though He has the power to. He would rather change you.

 

The answer to our trials is not changing addresses, but changing our hearts. Remember that when you get to the end of your rope, Jesus will still be there. Some people try to climb up that rope by manipulating and trying to maintain their pride. It is not until suffering comes that we can really be humbled enough to learn what God wants to teach us in our lives. Through our trials, we are also able to express the praise of God.

 

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” (I Peter 4:16)

 

God says that when you suffer as a Christian, He wants to receive the glory. One of the purposes of the trial that you are experiencing is that people can see that you are going forward for God in your life, and you are doing it through the strength of the Spirit of God. Anyone can be faithful during the good times, but it takes someone with a real walk with God to be faithful during the difficult times. Many of you will recall the tragedy at Columbine High School a few years ago. The tragedy at Columbine seemed to be the pinnacle point of all the shootings in public schools across the country. This seemed to help focus the attention of the nation on the problem. One student, Cassie Bernel, became the focal point of the news reports during the week of the shooting. While veiwing the incident and praying, I imagined many of the teenagers heart condition that knew Cassie Bernel. They said that before Cassie became a Christian she was one of the roughest, wildest teenagers in the entire school. Her parents, as a last resort, sent her to a Christian camp. By the fourth night of that camp she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. The students said that when she came back she was a different girl. She carried her Bible to school and began to witness. The tragic day of the shootings, one of the young gunmen came to Cassie Bernel and pointed his gun at her head. He said, “Are you a Christian?” She replied, “Yes, I am a Christian.” She proceeded to try to tell him about Jesus Christ. The gunman took her life, but God had a purpose even in that tragedy. Unsaved teenagers around Denver and the country began to hear Cassie’s story and get saved. Christians have become more burdened about our public schools. In the darkness of the night God had a light ready to flicker. God is not playing a game with you when suffering happens; God has a purpose and a plan. God wants to draw you closer to Himself so that through your faithfulness in the trial He can receive honor and glory. Maybe you have had some trials in your life. Maybe some unexpected problems came along. You are realizing that you cannot handle things alone –you need God’s help. Turn to Him. Expect these trials to come as you are serving the Lord. Learn from His example. His goodness and love are waiting to be experienced through the trying of your faith.

Thank God for the Boy’s Scout stance on representing “The Real Law.”

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Anti-ACLU
Anti-ACLU (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.

Abraham Lincoln

When I began to hash this issue out with myself and others I struggled. Felons break the contract of life when they commit any crime. Gay people break the Law of God and want to be a protected group. How is the Law of the land more important than the Law of God? Whales and other endangered species have rights, but certain human beings created in God’s image, prone to failure can not get any one to speak up for their rights.

I am excited by what I see going on in this world, for I know that it’s not over just because some Judges feel they have the power to render sound decisions, i am glad when I see these things that are against my Lord’s way of doing things, because I am assured of Him coming soon. I know what my bible says and it’s not over my God I am not looking at these injustices as the way they will forever be.

I want to take a look at the literacy of God rites;

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. NIV

Because this passage starts with “…because of this”, we must go back to where this begins at Romans 1:18 to find out what Paul was addressing. From 1:18-23, Paul is addressing that the wrath of God is against…

  • all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness
  • they [who] knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him
  • they [who] became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles

Romans 1:29 and on goes on to state that they are

  • filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed and malice
  • full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite
  • they are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God
  • they are insolvent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in the wickedness and rebellious towards their parents
  • they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless

Paganism, sensuality, idol worship, sin and lust were of part of everyday society in ancient Rome and a problem faced by early Christians. Paul’s letter to the Romans addressed the first century realities of Roman idolatry, fertility goddess worship and shrine prostitution. Romans is not theoretical. It is practical and focused on what Roman Christians encountered every day they lived in Rome.

Now, Romans 1:27 is speaking of perversion. What does this term mean? Perverting something is to twist, misuse or deviate from the norm. If one “exchanges natural relations for unnatural ones” or “abandons natural relationships”, it’s basically saying Paul disproved of sexual behavior contrary to a person’s nature. As it is normal for a heterosexual person to be attracted to a person of the opposite gender, it is normal for a gay or lesbian person to be attracted to a person of the same gender. Paul may be considering abnormal sex to involve sexual activity which is in violation of a person’s basic nature – something that goes against their sexual orientation. Or, as As C. Ann Shepherd writes:

When the scripture is understood correctly, it seems to imply that it would be unnatural for heterosexuals to live as homosexuals, and for homosexuals to live as heterosexuals.

The word “unnatural” in verse 26 is the Greek word “phusis”, meaning natural production or extension (i.e. having children) and it is likely that Paul’s concern was that the temple prostitutes who were female, were not getting pregnant (due to bodily damage and syphilis). Many people in the world have sex without the ability to re-produce. We no longer see that as unnatural or a result of sin. The word “natural” (referring to men) is the word “phisukos” and refers to instinct. Paul saw both slavery and sexual abuse of males non-instinctual. But what about gays and lesbians? Same-sex fulfillment is natural and instinctual. The key word is “unnatural”. Roman sexuality did not see same-sex practice as “unnatural”. In fact, to the Roman world it was very, very natural, even a part of growing up.

Over and over again, we see the Bible condemning orgies, molestation or sexual acts outside of a monogamous committed relationship. Who is to say this applies to modern day loving same-sex couples? Because God is the same yesterday and today and forever more.

Boy Scouts Maintains Gay Ban, But Accepts Convicted Criminals

The Boy Scouts of America might be adamantly against including gay members, but convicted criminals are another story.

The Human Rights Campaign recently obtained a Boy Scouts employment application and discovered that a criminal record apparently does not immediately preclude hiring.

“HRC obtained a copy of their job application, which says: ‘The Boy Scouts of America will not employ… known or avowed homosexuals,'” writes HRC. “The icing on top? ‘Conviction of a crime is not an automatic bar to employment’ according to the application. That’s right – a person’s sexual orientation is more of a red flag than their criminal record.”
Now, HRC is asking supporters to send letters to the Boy Scouts board demanding the organization end its policy of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is actually permissible in a number of states across the nation, including many in the Bible Belt — Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, to name a few. No federal law protects LGBT individuals. The Human Rights Campaign notes on its website that, in 29 states, it is not explicitly illegal to fire someone for being gay ; nor is it illegal, in 34 states, to discriminate against an employee over gender identity.

On Feb. 6, the Boy Scouts announced it will maintain the ban on gay members and leaders while it examines the issue ahead a decision in May. The group was supposed to come to a decision in February but has reasoned the delay is due to “the complexity of this issue.”

Gay rights groups are not buying it. GLAAD, for one, thinks the issue is clear-cut: “An organization that serves youth and chooses to intentionally hurt dedicated young people and hardworking parents not only flies in the face of American principles, but the principles of being a Boy Scout,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement.

I am one that likes to foster beliefs, that drive actions, that produce the ultimate competitive advantage. As we delve into deducing this predicament we will encounter those who feel they are God, but not I,

By considering verses 26-27 in isolation from their surrounding context, we could easily make the mistake of believing that the subject of his message was homosexuality. In fact, this was not the case. When homosex sexual intercourse was mentioned, it was specifically related to his message concerning people who were thwarting the revelation of God by engaging in idolatrous practices.

In verse 18, Paul transitioned into a discussion about a certain group of people against whom God’s wrath was revealed. He described the effects of their sin in verses 19-22, and then identified the group in verses 23 and 25. He was speaking about idolaters—people who changed the glory of God into fashioned images that resembled men and animals. These images are called idols, and it is from the worship of these idols that we get the word “idolatry”. And the worship of idols was exactly what the people Paul was referring to engaged in (v. 25).

Now that we’ve determined the context of Paul’s statement, we’re in a much better position to interpret and apply his words in a manner consistent with the original intent. Ultimately, the accurate interpretation boils down to the answer to a simple question: Does Paul’s condemnation of homosex sexual acts in verses 26-27 apply to any such acts in general (a moral pronouncement that is universally applicable), or does it only apply to such acts engaged in within the socio-religious framework of idolatry?

Most people will be quick to answer this question one way or the other, depending on where they already fall in their theological beliefs concerning homosexuality. They’ll choose to interpret the passage in a manner consistent with their existing beliefs. But, such an approach won’t serve us here because rather than looking to validate existing beliefs, we want to allow Scripture to speak for itself. Consequently, we have to look into the text itself to see if it provides any hints as to the answer to this pertinent question.

Such interpretational problems are a perfect case in point. Scripture is not to be used to validate doctrine. Rather, we should use it to formulate doctrine (2Timothy 3:16). If we start off reading a passage with an absolute certainty of what it means, it is ever-so-easy to read into the text a validation of those beliefs—whether the text itself actually supports those beliefs or not. I strongly encourage you to remain mindful of this when engaging in biblical study, especially when it involves issues with implications as serious as those surrounding sexual orientation.

So, which of these interpretations is correct? The only way a certain answer can be derived is by examining the text itself, as well as related passages, for clues. One very important rule of interpretation is that Scripture interprets Scripture. Let’s employ this rule and determine exactly what Paul is condemning.

The first thing that must be acknowledged is that the subject of this passage was, indeed, idolatry, not sexuality. Not only is this borne out by the verses preceding verses 26-27, but also, Paul made an explicit link between the idolatry that was his subject matter and the homosex sexual activity. In verses 23-24, Paul identified these people as idolaters (verse 23) and then said, “wherefore” (or “therefore”) in relation to God giving them up to sexual uncleanness (verse 24). Clearly, he was saying that their same-sex sexual acts were a result of their idolatry.

This isn’t where the connection ends, though. It’s interesting that people love to read verse 26 in isolation from verse 25; yet the very beginning of verse 26 states, “For this cause” (or “for this reason”). Well, for what reason? Seeing that God gave them over to “vile affections” (which were identified as same-sex sexual affections), what exactly was the reason? Was it because they were born that way? Was it because they were molested during adolescence? What exactly was the reason these people engaged in same-sex sexual activity? Well, if we back up to verse 25, we discover the reason. Paul explicitly told us that they “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” Again, Paul identified idolatry as the cause of their same-sex sexual activity.

I hope I have raised some spark of understanding within you about how awful this thing is in God’s eyes and for us as a nation.

Aaron

A False Representation

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Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we  think of it; the tree is the real thing.

Abraham  Lincoln

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

New International Version (NIV)

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

Have you ever experienced sheer disconnect from your heavenly father? Have you ever failed God by being disobedient while performing an assignment from Him? Have you lied due to fear of being discovered as a Fraudulent individual? Well I must admit I have done all the above and I know of some pioneers that did also.

On one of Christopher Columbus’s voyages, he found that his crew’s food supply was almost depleted. Anchored off the island of Jamaica, he was grateful to be given food by the islanders. But as time went on, the gifts of food decreased so that the crew began to starve.

Columbus knew from an astronomy book that a lunar eclispe would soon occur. He called the native chiefs together and told them God was angry about their selfishness and would blot out the moon. At first the islanders scoffed. But when they watched the night’s silver disc slowly become dark, they became terrified and quickly brought food. Columbus said that if he prayed, the moon would be restored. Though we may empathize with his circumstances, Columbus’s ‘message from God” was dishonest and self – serving. Aware of religious charlatans who “peddled” God’s word for their own desires, the apostle Paul wrote, “We are not, as many, peddling the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God.”(2 Corin.2:17)

At all times we must be on guard not to misrepresent God’s message to acquire what we want from others. With a heart yielded to God, we must honestly share spiritual truths that will benefit those who hear.

Don’t compromise the word of God

Or twist what He has said;

For blessing comes from faithfully

Proclaiming truth instead.

The purpose of sharing God’s truth is to profit others, not to prosper ourselves…

English: Christopher Columbus monument, Denver...
English: Christopher Columbus monument, Denver, CO. Italiano: Monumento a Cristoforo Colombo a Denver, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t know

America’s Moral Decay

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united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web
united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web (Photo credit: kevindean)

A Storm of Wickedness is Raging Across America

There is a storm raging across America. Alcoholism, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, homosexuality, school violence, child abuse, pornography, rape, robbery and murder pervade our nation. America is drowning in wickedness and immorality. By all measures, this storm threatens to erode the moral and political foundations of America.

As God and His principles continue to be systematically and incrementally removed from America, our nation and individuals will continue to experience even greater moral decay.

As George Washington so wisely warned, “… Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle.” (83)

George Mason, the Father of the Bill of Rights, said, “As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.” (84)

There is good news, even in the face of such moral degradation. Many are seeking answers. Many are yearning for relief and peace in dyer circumstances. Only God’s people can make a difference by pointing individuals and our nation back to God.

The belief that America is degenerating on a moral level is shared by both Republicans and Democrats.  According to a new  Gallup poll, 82 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats say that moral values in the U.S.A. are only fair or downright poor.  40 years ago, only 33 percent of Americans felt that way.

So what’s happened?  First, secular forces have destroyed any rendering of Judeo-Christian philosophy in the public school system.  Many teachers are now ordered not to make value judgments on  behavior and not to push any specific moral standards.  Thus children receive little if any moral guidance in class.

Second, with the rise of single parent homes, more and more American kids wind up unsupervised for long periods of time, left to the television set or the computer, where harmful material comes at them like rain in a thunderstorm.

Third, major corporations now traffic in sex and violence to an extent never before seen in this country.  Americans spend more than $10 billion a year on porn every year.  And violent video games gross billions more for corporations.

Fourth, peer pressure to actually reject immoral behavior is virtually non-existent in many places.  The military criminals at Abu Ghraib never could have committed their crimes if other soldiers did not look away.  The code of silence about bad behavior is an infectious disease among Americans.

And finally, the decline of the Catholic church in America has dramatically harmed the U.S.A.  According to a 1958 Gallup poll, 74 percent of American Catholics attended mass every week.  Now the number stands at 25 percent.  With 65 million members, the Catholic church in America is by far the nation’s largest and used to set a moral tone that was taken seriously by society in general.

That’s over now because of the priest scandals and the lack of leadership within the American Catholic church.

So as it stands, both Republicans and Democrats realize America is lacking a strong moral compass.  Millions of American parents are trying hard to teach their children good values, but are besieged by the terrible influences beyond the home.  The secularists have succeeded in drastically changing the moral tone in this country.  And 80 percent of us see that change as a bad thing.

However, there’s no mass outcry about it.  And until there is,  America will continue its declining moral direction.

Don’t be natural with faith

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If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.

John Paul Jones

No Place for Fear

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” —Matthew 14:29–30

Peter was willing to put it all on the line. He and the other disciples had been straining against the waves and wind all night long when Jesus appeared to them, walking on the water. Wanting to prove his courage to Jesus, he made an amazing statement: “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (Matthew 14:28). These were rough seas, and Peter was willing to literally step onto them because He was looking at Jesus. That gave him confidence and courage.

It went well for awhile until Peter started to sink. And why did he sink? Because he took his eyes off Jesus and put them on other things. The Bible tells us, “When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid” (verse 30).

Circumstances can be frightening. When your boss calls you in and tells you the company has to downsize and they are letting you go, when the doctor calls you with the test results that are not good, when you open that letter from an attorney that says you are being sued, it can scare you. It can devastate you. And it can cause you to take your eyes off Jesus.

Where fear reigns, faith is driven away. But where faith reigns, fear has no place. Faith and fear don’t mix. As you bring in faith, fear will walk out the back door. But if you invite fear as a resident in your life, then you will drive faith away.

Peter had faith. He had his eyes on Jesus. He was doing the impossible. But then he started to sink, because he took his eyes off Jesus. In his case, he looked at the wind. In our case, it might be something else. But when we forget God, we will start to sink. Yes, I started to sink in my joy, my hope, my peace and my strength. The natural elements will lie to us and make us a mess. Believe in all you do, believe its that type of tenaciousness that God smells and sees upon a vessel that loves in-spite of the suffering.

 

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.

Voltaire

Fear terror eye
Fear terror eye (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Human trafficking is all our problem

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help me free

human_slavery_art

It has always been a great wrong that these men and their families should be  held in bondage. We of the North have hitherto acquiesced in it, lest, in the  endeavor to redress it in violation of the Constitution, greater evils might  ensue.

Jay Alan  Sekulow

I have been looking into a way to make this apart of my ministry. I know that these people are in need of a stable place to get regenerated and healed of the emotional scars they have recieved as sex slaves and labor abuse. I have spoken with a number of people that I once had as business partners to find out if there is funding for houses to act as safe houses and rehabs for these bruised and wounded “Human Beings.” Crack, Speed, Mental Abuse, Alcoholism, Child Abuse, Battered Women, all are minisrties in need of Ambassadors to facilitate.

Current Social Issue: Modern Human Trafficking and Slavery:

Poverty Is the Factor in the Global Economy That Leads to Suffering and Slavery. As Americans gather with family to celebrate their good fortune this weekend, Vision Media looks at the current social issue of human trafficking and slavery that goes unchecked in many parts of the world. Americans have become comfortable with the idea that slavery is an atrocity that existed only in America‘s distant past, or in countries where there is no rule of law, but in fact slavery is in the top three revenue earners for organized crime and 14,500-17,500 slaves are brought into the U.S. for prostitution or to labor in illegal sweat shops.

When families are starving it is easy for exploiters to persuade parents to sell their children under the guise that the child will have a ‘better life.’ Poverty is often the lever used to gain dominion over a slave worker and debt bondage is the most common type of slavery today. Buying a slave does not cost the slave trader much these days — the average price for a world slave is $30. Note that in 1850 a slave cost $40,000 (today’s dollar value). Today, 600 – 800 million modern day slaves are trafficked internationally every year.

“Those toiling under the horrendous conditions of abject slavery cannot be viewed simply as victims of unfortunate circumstances in the mêlée of world trade and commerce,” says Bill Butler, writer for Vision Media. “Modern day slavery must be acknowledged for the serious social issue it is; the result of a perpetrated by cruel and greedy individuals and criminal enterprises lacking in compassion for other people’s suffering.”

How are these modern day slaves treated? Simon Deng, having escaped the horror of his early exploitation in Sudan, describes his terror as a child slave. He was shown a picture of a child with no arms and no legs and told that if he ran away the slave owner would capture him and he would look exactly like the picture.

It is not all bad: in November 2007, Anti-Slavery International awarded its Anti-Slavery Award to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a Florida-based farm workers rights group. The CIW is known for its consumer boycotts that have improved wages and conditions in Florida’s produce fields. As the current moral issue of modern day slavery reaches more consumers, business ethics may be brought into the fabric of the global economy.

“But there is a need for a much broader quest to free the world of slavery,” says Butler at Vision.org. “The real social issue is that freedom from all slavery can only be realized if there is a complete change of the human heart.”

I will drink my “cup”

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Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.

Angelina Jolie

2 Corinthians 6:10

New International Version (NIV)

10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

A Stoic person despises the shedding of tears, but a Christian is not forbidden to weep. yet the soul may become silent from excessive grief, just as the quivering sheep may remain quite beneath the scissors of the shearer. Or, when the heart is at the verge of breaking beneath the waves of a trial, the sufferer may seek relief by crying out with a loud voice. But there is something even better. It is that springs of sweet, fresh water pool up amid the saltiness of the oceans, that the fairest Alpine flowers bloom in the wildest and most rugged mountain passes, and that tyhe most magnificent psalms arose from the most profound agonies of the soul.

May it continue to be! Therefore, amid a multitude of trials, souls who love God will discover reasons for boundless, leaping joy. even though “deep calls to deep” (Psalms 42:7), the clear cadence of the Lord’s song will be heard. And during the most difficult hour that could ever enter a human life, It will be possible to bless the God and father of our Lord jesus christ. I wonder have any of you learned this lesson yet? Not simply to endure or to choose God’s will but to rejoice in it “with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

I wish to complete the process of Maturity so I can be found ripe for the task. Olives that render good sweet juice upon pressing are only good for the picking if they have endured the press and riping process while on the vine.

I will be still, my bruised heart faintly murmured,
As over me rolled a crushing load of woe;
My words, my cries, even my low moan was stifled;
I pressed my lips; i barred the teardrops’s flow.

I will be still, although I cannot see it,
The love that bares a soul and fans pain’s fire;
That takes away the last sweet drop of solace,
Breaks the lone harp string, hides your precious lyre.

But God is love, so I will stay me, stay me–
We’ll doubt not, Soul, we will be very still;
We’ll wait till after while, when He will lift us–
Yes, after while, when it will be His will.

And now my heart and I are sweetly singing–
Singing without the sound of tuneful strings;
Drinking abundant waters in the desert;
crushed, and yet soaring as on eagle’s wings.

Thank You,
Blessed Aaron