Friday, December 14, 2012

Letter to Editor About that Fiscal Cliff!

The letter printed below was sent to editors of the following newspapers: The Indiana Gazette in Indiana PA, The Punxsutawney Spirit in Punxsutawney PA, Mainline Newspapers in Ebensburg PA, and The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown PA.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Editor:

At present time the news arena is dominated with one subject that is summarized in the expression “fiscal cliff.” As the president and the Congress attempt to maneuver for positions of great influence in this debacle, the image of a 3-ring circus quickly comes to mind.

The tragedy in this is the failure to realize that the real crisis is not the possibility of falling over a fiscal cliff but the hard reality that we have already fallen over a moral cliff!

Our version of Holocaust has resulted in over 55 million unborn victims. Our idolatry is on a level comparable to the ancient Roman Empire. Our sexual immorality is now pandemic in nature. We continue to brainwash the majority of our young with the deadly doctrine that we have evolved from lower life forms, hence, there is no personal need for God if He really does exist.

Mounting evidence suggests that it is simply a matter of time until Almighty God, Who is calling us to repent of our personal and corporate sins, deals with our nation as He has dealt with others in the past whose ruins now pique the interests of archeologists!

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

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"You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you." --- Ezekiel 2:7, 8

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lesson from a Bulldog!

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26

I have participated in the famous social network known as Facebook for quite some time and have a few hundred persons known as "friends" on the network. Over time there has been a lot of interaction and many responses to things I have posted.

In dealing with responses I have tried to learn a lesson which was revealed through the experience one pastor had many years ago.

The pastor was walking down a sidewalk toward the home of a church member he wanted to visit. Before he reached his destination, he noticed some distance away an English bulldog coming in his direction in the middle of the sidewalk. As the two got closer to one another there was a sudden barking from a small dog in the yard of one home as the bulldog passed by. But the bulldog never so much as gave a glance in the direction of the one making all the noise. It was one of those "yap" dogs - small in size, but big in the mouth and always yapping all the time about something. But the bulldog would not be distracted. He continued to lumber along at a steady pace looking straight ahead.

The pastor reports that he too had been walking in the middle of the sidewalk and now this bulldog was getting close -- he was still in the middle of the sidewalk and gave no indication that he was going to change his position. So the pastor said that he stepped to the side of the walk and the bulldog just kept going with not the slightest hesitation, passing by the pastor without glancing a bit at him -- same response as he had made to the yap dog just a short time earlier.

The pastor turned and watched as the bulldog continued on his way -- it was obvious that the bulldog was headed somewhere and was not about to be detoured or distracted regarding his destination. After a bit as the bulldog got further away, the pastor said he bowed his head and prayed, "God, give me what that bulldog has!"

Due to posting subject matter related to my website and my blog as well as a wide variety of images with comments, there have been numerous responses. Some have been complimentary and express in one or another agreement with the posting. But others have been quite negative and in some cases those responding have been extremely upset to the point of labeling me in not very flattering terms! I do not respond to such -- yes, I could engage in the art of trying to set them "straight" but I won't -- I have more important things to do. The bulldog had a destination toward which he was moving and he was not about to be distracted from that by a yap dog with its noise or a pastor standing in the side walk. I also have a destination toward which I am moving -- and I have to be careful that I do not allow myself to be distracted and/or detoured along the way.

That bulldog was a good teacher! I am grateful for his example, so, "Lord, give me what that bulldog has!"

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." --- Matthew 5:10-16

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Imagine No Malaria!

The ministry mission statement is: Imagine No Malaria is an extraordinary effort of the people of The United Methodist Church, putting faith into action to end preventable deaths by malaria in Africa, especially the death of a child or a mother.

Imagine No Malaria (Advance Special #3021190) The Illinois Great Rivers Conference has begun its campaign to raise between $2.3 and $3.5 million over the next three ...

Every 60 seconds, malaria claims a life in Africa. Millions of lives, needlessly lost each year. A continent. Entire nations…slipping away. Slipping through life ..

[the preceding are some texts with links on Imagine No Malaria campaign as a result of a search on Bing]


If you do a search on the internet using the phrase, "Imagine No Malaria," you will be amazed at the results which come forth. Links, links, and more links in this very high profile campaign which is directed toward eliminating the deadly disease of malaria in the continent of Africa.

As noted in one of the texts associated with a link, The United Methodist Church, has been very deeply involved the past few years since this issue attracted attention within the denomination. The bishops, district superintendents, pastors, lay persons, children and youth have become greatly involved. The conferences have rallied to raise a huge amount of money for the cause.

My wife and I have given support to the cause in the past. Certainly this is something that not only needs attention but action also required in order to eliminate the killer.

In one of the quotes above mention is made that every 60 seconds malaria claims a life in Africa. Then following that, "Millions of lives, needlessly lost each year." If the first statement about 1 life every 60 seconds is accurate, then the second statement is not. At rate of 1 every 60 seconds there would be 525,000 fatalities in a year's time of 365 days! That is hardly a "millions" figure, wouldn't you say?

As the campaign against malaria goes on there is another major issue and a possible slogan which is intentionally avoided in The United Methodist Church. You will not hear a bishop even quietly mention it in a very low volume whisper and the Council of Bishops will not publicly make a high profile statement, nor will their respective conferences pass aggressive resolutions about this thing which is nothing less than an abomination in the sight of Almighty God!

How about a campaign that holds high the slogan, "Imagine No Abortions?" One that is emphasized by the Council of Bishops with the same enthusiasm as they promote "Imagine No Malaria?" Tee shirts with "Imagine No Malaria" printed on them have been worn in a number of the annual conferences when they have been in session. How about printing up shirts that say, "Imagine No Abortions," and wear those during the annual meetings of the delegates?

On statistics, consider this - it was noted that there is 1 death every 60 seconds from malaria in Africa. In the United States, double that and then some -- in less than 1 minute's time 2 unborn children are intentionally mutilated and murdered as a result of a conspiracy between a pregnant female and a fellow who makes the absurd claim that he is a "doctor!" Isn't it the purpose of training a doctor to prepare him/her to use skills to enhance and preserve human life rather than deliberately destroy it?

That means more than 1,050,000 unborn children have been destroyed in a year's time in the "land of the free and the home of the brave" -- a nation in which historical documents point out that all persons should have "the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!"

The bloody track record in the United States at this point in time (November 2012) is almost 55 million unborn children since some black robed people in Washington DC made the unholy and very deadly decision that it is a "constitutional right" for a female to dispatch her unborn child in pieces before he/she is born.

Ask a United Methodist bishop, or a district superintendent, or a conference official about malaria in Africa and be prepared for an extended conversation about the horrors of this thing, how so many are dying because of it, and what United Methodists are doing to eradicate it -- than ask about abortion and witness a sudden case of lock-jaw striking without warning! At the very best will come forth some words possibly that attempt in a feeble fashion to say, "It's a very complicated issue." Yeah, sure! There are a few of us (probably a very few) that do not see the dismemberment of a child whom God is forming in the womb (Jeremiah 1:4,5) as a complicated issue to be debated!

No, it is most unlikely there will ever come forth a bold, courageous, and confrontational statement about the "shedding of innocent blood" (to use God's words for this) and the fact that it has to stop or our republic will experience the devastating judgment of an angry God.

United Methodist silence on the subject will continue and the practice of destroying the unborn will continue -- that is, until Jesus Christ intervenes in His personal return to this planet and then the motto, "Imagine No Abortions," will become a reality in all nations around the world -- a lot of other good things are going to happen at that time also, simply because He has taken full control.

This commentary is stated by Clayton D. Harriger, United Methodist pastor who is a retired elder and member of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Presently serving as pastor of Gipsy Christian Church in Gipsy, Pennsylvania.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. --- Psalm 139:14-18

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On the Other Hand, the United States Deserves Such "Leadership!"

They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul. --- Psalm 106:13-15

It is a lesson rarely ever learned -- what you earnestly desire may not be the best thing for you. In fact it may prove to be a disaster later on down the road. The ancient Israelites found out the hard way as they made their journey from Egypt to the land of promise in Canaan.

God had intervened through a series of miracles and set them free from centuries of slavery in Egypt. He had promised a land which was described as one flowing with "milk and honey!" It was a land where they would prosper, be wonderfully blessed, and be used to reveal to a heathen world Who God is, how he loves all people, and the fact that He has a wonderful plan for each person as they journey through life in this world.

But things did not go well at times on that journey from Egypt to the promised land. There were murmurings and frequent complaints in spite of the fact that God was providing daily food and drink for them. Their clothes were not wearing out from the wear and tear of daily traveling. They were not content with manna from heaven but wanted meat instead.

When God brought in a bunch of quail and the people hastily prepared and started to eat the meat, then they experienced God's wrath in judgment! But even worse, as Scripture reveals, God not only gave them their request for meat, but he sent leanness into their souls! There is nothing worse than to be poverty stricken in one's spirit -- in a strict sense, to be out of touch with God.

There has been a battle raging within the United States for decades. It intensified in the '50's and got worse as time moved on. Supreme Court decisions provided unmistakable evidence that the republic was on a path leading eventually to disaster and at some time in the future, ultimate collapse!

A first major decision, the results of which cannot be even a bit comprehended, was the banning of prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. It has been and continues to be hotly debated with even pastors and church leaders saying it was a good thing to ban such practices -- after all, we need to have "separation of church and state" you know! It is interesting to draw a comparison as to how it was in the schools before the decision and how it is now some time after such a decision in terms of behavior and relationships!

The second major disaster in terms of the Supreme Court causing our republic to revert to a heathen culture was the decision that it is a "constitutional right" for a female to choose to have her unborn child mutilated and murdered, even if that choice should be made just a few days before the scheduled birth is to take place!

Millions of unborn children have been destroyed since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. God has not yet made His full response to this, but the series of calamities being visited upon our nation and the fact that intensity and frequency of the same are increasing indicate that the time may be much closer than any of us are willing to admit!

We are on the eve of an election as of the day of this posting (Nov 3, 2012) and an examination of values espoused by the candidates who want to be president starting at the third week of January 2013 would reveal a contrast in certain critical areas.

Due to the prevailing mood and dominant desires of the country at the present time, it would be fitting for the Obamas to continue in their present position which they have had for the past four years! The Obamas are vehemently supportive of the destruction of unborn children, always using a logic very similar to that of the Nazis of WW II era as to why some should live and others be exterminated before birth. That seems to be the preferred choice of a majority of U.S. citizens. Even professed "pro-life" members of Congress prefer to do nothing on this issue, showing no aggression whatsoever! And if Mitt Romney, who claims to be pro-life, should be elected, it is doubtful he will do much if anything about protecting the lives of the unborn -- it will likely be business as usual - the continued destruction of about 25,000 unborn children every week!

The Obamas are now very supportive of marriage between same-gender couples -- that is, they support sodomites marrying each other and lesbians marrying each other. In spite of God revealing clearly that marriage is a special convenant relationship between a male and a female, the Obamas have fully accepted the new "definition" of marriage that has been widely adopted throughout our culture in recent years! Mainstream media for the most part is quite positive on this issue. The entertainment industry is constantly throwing subject matter at us telling us what a good thing it is for people of the same gender to be married. And of course there is the growing practice of labeling anybody who does not accept this in the most negative terms possible, starting with them being "homophobic!" Pressure has been mounting for more states to permit persons of the same gender to legally marry.

The Obamas at best are quite indifferent to the church and its profession of faith that is centered in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and only attend a worship service on an extremely rare occasion. Less than half of the United States' population of over 300 million people is able to find its way to a worship service on Sunday. There may be a few more in attendance on Easter Sunday and on the Sunday preceding Christmas. For over half of our population Sunday should be renamed Funday because it is a day of pursuing amusements, sports events, entertainment, or just about anything that will not remind people that there is an Almighty God to Whom we will give an account as to what we have done with the lives He made possible and which the vast majority have utterly wasted!

Further, under Mr. Obama's "leadership" (term used carelessly) our national debt is now in excess of 16 trillion dollars with nearly 1/3 of that accumulated during his term in office. Since this nation insists on spending money it does not have, it is appropriate that Mr. Obama continue as president and be "in charge" when the country goes belly up financially!

In spite of the fact that God has been faithfully issuing the call for personal and collective repentance, the response has been negative -- some may even dare to suggest, "What have we done that is so wrong?" That in itself is an indication of the deplorable spiritual, moral and ethical condition of our republic!

It behooves those who know and practice the experience of daily prayer to adopt the prayer of Daniel in the 9th chapter of the book that bears his name. It is highly likely that in the not too distant future we shall know whether enough persons have prayed and mercy has been granted or we will experience judgment and devastation unlike anything this nation has ever experienced in its entire history!

But for the moment the prevailing spirit of this republic is saying, "Give us Obama!"

Remember at the beginning there was a quote that ended, "....He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul."

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He also did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. --- 2 Chronicles 36:11-19

"....if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. --- 2 Chronicles 7:14

Monday, October 29, 2012

No Way, for Him or the Nation, to Be Blessed with Three Strikes Already Against Him!

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: 'He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, Like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.' --- 2 Samuel 23:3, 4

Barack Hussein Obama is seeking a second term as president of the United States of America. Will he win the election? Ardent supporters are not hesitant to affirm that he will. There are those, of course, who support Mitt Romney in his bid for that high office.

Mr. Obama has at least 3 strikes against him in terms of experiencing favor and blessing from Almighty God. God's special revelation (the holy Scriptures) to the human race is crystal clear on the solemn responsibilities that fall on those who are at the head of the governments of nations. They are to carry out their responsibilities in the fear of God -- that is, to have proper acknowledgement of and reverence for the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Further, that responsibility also involves exhibiting a humble spirit and seeking daily guidance from God as one governs.

What are these three strikes against Mr. Obama?

Strike One: Mr. Obama is a staunch supporter of the practice of mutilating and murdering children before they are born! As a member of the Illinois legislature he successfully stonewalled efforts to protect and do all that was necessary to protect a baby that survived an abortion attempt to end its life. In some very rare circumstances it has happened. So what do you do when there happens to be a survivor of the United States' unique version of "Holocaust?" In Illinois there was a concerted effort to pass legislation that would make it mandatory to do all that was necessary to protect and preserve the life of an infant that miraculously survived an attempt to take its life before being born. Mr. Obama was the main player in organizing and successfully arranging for the defeat of that legislation! In his view, you just let the surviving baby lay on a table without any care given until it dies! Or speed the process up a bit and just toss it immediately into a dumpster.

As president Mr. Obama is clearly on record as supporting the present policy which results in the mutilation and murders of thousands of unborn children each week. He will oppose all legislation that seeks to restrict the process of destroying unborn children in any way.

God's view and purpose for conceived humans is in sharp conflict with that of Mr. Obama and consequently it means that the president has a major strike against him as a result. It also means a forfeiture of blessings which God has the power to bestow upon him and the nation he claims to lead!

Strike Two: Mr. Obama has now gone on record as supporting sodomites marrying each other and lesbians marrying each other. This is as deadly a move as the one cited above when he in great ignorance chose to support the destruction of unborn children! God has explicitly addressed the issue of human sexuality in His special revelation to us. Marriage, as God established it, is strictly limited to the uniting of one male and one female in a holy covenant. This covenant is to last until death separates the husband and wife. Early in the book of Genesis God reveals that a man will leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and the two will become one flesh. Jesus, in the Gospel accounts, confirms this sacred union and makes reference to the Genesis statement. No where is there even a hint of approval of same gender coupling. In the strongest terms possible same gender sexual activity is condemned. But unregenerate human nature being what it is, and under the guise of "scholarship," the Scriptures have been twisted, distorted, and perverted on such an issue as this. At the present time in our culture it is almost a sin for a male and a female to marry and the greatest and most noble thing for a couple of persons of the same gender to get married in those states that now permit such a union to take place "legally!" So the president forfeits further blessings and favor from God for sanctioning that which God considers nothing short of an abomination!

Strike Three: Mr. Obama has been showing a shift in his attitude toward Israel. He is more at home with and supportive of the Muslim nations than he is with the nation of Israel. His treatment of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, in recent months has been deplorable. Most recently as the Prime Minister visited the United States, Mr. Obama had no time to meet with him but was able to schedule a time to be with David Letterman on his program! To abandon support for Israel is something akin to committing national suicide. Under terms of the covenant God made with Abraham a blessing is in store for those who are positive in relating to the descendants of Abraham and a curse in store for those who relate in a negative way (see Genesis 12 on this). There is specifically a blessing pronounced on those who pray for the peace of Jerusalem and love the people (see Psalm 122).

Most important is the fact that God has great plans for the Israelite people and the city of Jerusalem in the future. It also needs to be noted that no people have been more hated and despised throughout the history of the human race than have been those descended from Abraham through his son, Isaac. For some time in the past the United States has been strongly supportive of Israel and at times the only nation standing by this country which some want to see wiped off the face of this planet! But there has been a decided shift in attitude and support since Mr. Obama has set up shop in the Oval Office located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. In his book, Audacity of Hope, Mr. Obama made the statement, "I will stand with the Muslims, should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." (P. 261). He also made a more recent statement, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Other things could be also noted which are taking our republic down the road toward disaster, but the three just mentioned will absolutely guarantee that we cannot prosper nor can we survive much longer because the blessings of God are being obviously withdrawn. Deuteronomy 28 provides ample evidence that this is how it is right now!

Yes, Virginia, when you have had 3 strikes you are actually out -- you are done - finished - no longer up at the plate!

Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD. --- 2 Kings 21:16

They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they were defiled by their own works, and played the harlot by their own deeds. Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people, so that He abhorred His own inheritance. And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles, and those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. Many times He delivered them; but they rebelled against Him by their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity. --- Psalm 106:37-43

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

We're the Hip-Gyration Nation! (Very Caring -- Very Cool)

An introduction: I became acquainted with Tom Graffagnino on the internet some years ago. I have deeply appreciated his work with poetry and his ability to articulate the Christian faith in simple but powerful fashion. He provides solid proof of his convictions by referring to the Authority on all matters that have to do with our Christian faith and practicing that faith -- the holy Scriptures! Below is one of his latest contributions. A link to his web site follows the conclusion of this poem. -- cdh
“Sex is the mysticism of a materialist society, with its own mysteries---This is my birth pill; swallow it in remembrance of me! And its own sacred texts and scriptures---the erotica that falls like black atomic rain on the just and the unjust alike, drenching us, blinding us, stupefying us.” --- Malcolm Muggeridge

“We’re the Hip-Gyration Nation”
(Very Caring…Very Cool)

by Tom Graffagnino

Idol hot dog Oscar Winners…
We’ve got fashion…We’ve got flair.
We’ll decide for you what’s moral
In this Kingdom of the Air!

We’ve got class and we’ve got insight…
We look down on “Bible-folk"...
Those misguided, backward dummies...
Oh my goodness! Such a joke!

As a rule, we're more discerning...
More evolved and more astute.
We have found "The Ground of Being"...
And ...Surprise!....It’s Green to boot!

We're the hip Gyration-Nation...
Very caring...very cool!
Please repeat our sacred mantra...
"Tolerate!’’—(our golden rule).

Come admire The Botoxed Bodies,
Sequined tights and leather thongs;
Nip 'n' tucksters...holding poses,
Follow us…You can’t go wrong!

We prefer our sex convenient...
Unattached...with whom we please.
Redefining Old Commandments,
Forging New Moralities!

We push Eastern Mysticisms,
We approve all kinky sects!
Levitating, astral visions,
And whatever else comes next….

Polyamorous adventure
Is the way and truth you need.
Bottom line, what we’re suggesting:
Do your thing, man, yes, indeed!

Molech/Baal worship in which babies are
thrown alive into the fire!

Disregard those babies screaming
As we pass them through the fire;
Just relax…Enjoy the program!
Satisfy your deep desire.

When we think now of “Madonna”,
Bethlehem’s not where we go;
Lady Ga-Ga, Goddess Gaia,
Have replaced her… like, ya know?

Let us shape and mold your children;
That would really make our day!
Who needs “god” when pleasure’s calling…
Just a breathless click away?

Ashtar’s Pole has made a comeback…
In High Places of the Lewd…
Idol Entertainment beckons;
Moloch, we still worship you!

See more at Tom's web site, located at: Graffagnino

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Letter About a County Fair Selling Beer!

This year for the first time one of our county fairs chose to sell beer during its session at the beginning of September. As could be expected there were numerous responses to this issue as Cambria County in central Pennsylvania placed itself on the cutting edge of making a family oriented event one in which beverage alcohol would be available. County fairs are rather numerous in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and have always had a strong emphasis on family with activities involving persons of all ages. The one thing held in common by them was the fact that no alcoholic beverages would be available and the consumption of such beverages was absolutely forbidden on the premises. But that is obviously changing. It may be that there are others such as Cambria County that are doing this as well, but at this point in time I know of none.

Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh just took the step to sell beer recently shortly before closing for the season. It also over time has prided itself on being "family oriented."

A legitimate question can be raised -- can such institutions really claim to be "family oriented" when alcoholic beverages are available for purchase and consumption of the same takes place on the premises?

Below is a letter that was sent to two local newspapers on the Cambria County Fair choice to sell beer. I do not know if the letters were published. I am taking the position that they were not until I hear otherwise. The one always called me to verify that I had written the letter and since I did not receive a call, I assume they did not publish it.

Letter is as follows:

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Editor:

Cambria County Fair officials have made the choice to sell beverage alcohol at the fair this year. In an attempt to defend this action, one official said that they will have it under complete "control." He failed to elaborate on how they plan to control it after persons with the alcohol in their system leave the fairgrounds.

After 53 years in the ministry there is absolutely nothing positive that I can say about beverage alcohol. It has ruined more lives and destroyed more families than any other issue with which I have had to deal over those years. National statistics also are quite negative when it comes to destruction and loss of life caused by beverage alcohol.

A question for those Cambria County Fair officials: how would you like to conduct the funeral for an exceptional high school student who was cut down, along with his girl friend, by a character with alcohol in his system who was driving at about 85 MPH? He was driving with a suspended license due to previous conviction for drunken driving. To add great insult to injury an unscrupulous lawyer who had abandoned all ethical and moral standards in his practice got the killer off on a technicality!

Greed has a wide variety of ways in manifesting itself with end results summed up in words such as tragedy and disaster! It may seem we are getting away with something for a time and will come out on top in the end, only to discover too late in eternity the choice made was a very deadly mistake!

Still contending at www.crrange.com, blogging at http://cdharriger.blogspot.com and warning at www.crrange.com/USACoffin.html

Clayton D. Harriger, Pastor

The new wine fails, the vine languishes, all the merry-hearted sigh. The mirth of the tambourine ceases, the noise of the jubilant ends, the joy of the harp ceases. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, so that none may go in. There is a crying for wine in the streets, all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. --- Isaiah 24:7-11

Monday, September 24, 2012

Some Very Distinct Differences Between Islam and Christianity!

"This just in: Appeasement doesn't work -- deadly Muslim riots continue despite Obama's ad denouncing Muhammad video" --- one of numerous internet headlines and links related to Muslim rioting in different nations

A video was produced which greatly offended Muslims and so rioting has taken place in many locations around the world as a result. This is not the first time riots and violence has erupted when certain acts interpreted as "offensive" to those who believe and practice the teachings of the Quran (Koran). In some nations one has to be extremely careful in how you speak concerning Islam, the Quran, and of course, the prophet Muhammad.

Just recently an American ambassador and some staff members were killed in Libya as a result of violence spawned by Muslims.

Have you noticed how different Christianity is in response to insults made regarding the faith, the Bible, or those that demean the Person of Jesus Christ Himself?

How many riots have been initiated by Christians? How many buildings have been burned? How many people have been injured? Worse yet, how many people have been killed because someone published a film or video that demeans the Christian faith and those who seek to practice that faith?

Over the years books have been written and films out of Hollywood itself that are in direct contradiction to the Bible teaching concerning the Christian faith. In 1987 an “artist” sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Andres Serrano, took a crucifix and submerged it in a glass of his own urine. The piece, titled "Piss Christ," was a winner of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art's Awards! If Christians would have reacted to that as do Muslims in a similar situation related to their Islamic faith, rioting would have broken out, fires set, human lives injured and lost, and likely a high price set on the head of the man responsible. In spite of such an "insult" along with many others over the years, no rioting with extensive destruction of property nor injury or death to persons has resulted!

This is not to claim a perfect track record over time for Christianity. There were those moments in history when individuals claiming to be "Christian" did some very horrible things in the name of Christianity. Jesus indicated we would know the true from the false by the kind of fruit which has resulted in the actions done -- "By their fruits you shall know them.", said Jesus. A Christian who has been truly born again (as stressed by Jesus in Gospel of John 3) will not engage in willful violence that will destroy property, inflict bodily injury, or kill people.

Another interesting wrinkle in this is the fact that in a number of Muslim dominated countries Christians are not permitted to discuss their faith with Muslims and for a Muslim to become a Christian can result in death! To Muslims true to their faith, a Christian is considered an infidel. If infidels do not accept Islam as the faith and become committed to actively practicing that faith, under certain conditions the infidel is to be put to death.

But in the United States Muslims are free to express their faith, talk publicly about it, speak of it to their neighbors and no Christians will start rioting because of that. Christians are free to express disagreement which some of us have chosen to do. But we will stress that it is not a matter of personal opinion on our part, but rather we simply refer to the statements of Jesus Christ Himself and the claims which He made as being exclusively the way of salvation, forgiveness, and hope. Perhaps the biggest difference between Christianity and Islam is in the fact that in the Christian faith God became human in the Person of Jesus Christ and atoned for the sins of the entire human race, including Muslims, by virtue of His death on the cross. Allah did nothing that even remotely resembles such an act!

Christians, who are committed and true to their faith, envision a time in the future when Jesus Christ will have returned to this world which He originally created a long, long time ago. He will take full control of it with His angels and His saints. Finally after millenia of time the world will be in a state of total peace. One of many transforming transitions to take place will be the dismantlement and recycling of the implements of war out of which will be forged implements for peaceful and productive purposes that will enhance life in this new world!

Read the brief summary of this just below which makes absolutely no allowance for any other religion outside of Christianity. Conclusion: Christianity and Islam are totally incompatible in their purest expressions!

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" --- Revelation 11:15

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Democratic Forum in Johnstown PA!

Critz tries to move away from Obama --- front page headline by Johnstown Tribune-Democrat - 12/09/16

The 12th Congressional District in Pennsylvania used to be represented by the late John P. Murtha who had been in office since the early '70's. Because of the far reaching clout he had, he earned the dubious label of being "King of Pork!" Millions and millions of dollars rolled into Johnstown PA as he gained power and influence in office. In fact he held a higher status than Almighty God Himself through much of the 12th Congressional District. One of the "projects" he arranged to get was an 8 million dollar radar system at the Johnstown airport. Only problem was they had no one to operate it, so it sat unused for a long time until someone began to make an issue of it (wasted gov't money, you know) and then the hunt was on to try to find an operator.

Big John made an unexpected exit from this life due to complications following some surgery. Mark Critz was a high ranking member of his staff and decided he wanted the seat formerly held by his boss. He won in the special election.

Now Critz has to try and retain his seat this November in the U.S. Congress but certain things as advocated by Mr. Obama and the Democratic party are not acceptable to Congressman Critz and a number of his constituents! So as the headline clearly suggests, he is trying to put some distance between him and the president as well as the party.

Mr. Obama has clearly declared war on coal and numerous small signs in our area are being posted which draw attention to this "war" and that it is time for the president to be shown the exit and denial of a second term! This region is known among other things as being a coal mining region with a long history of involvement in the industry. And those signs calling for Obama's defeat are not just being posted on the lawns of Republicans, which are greatly outnumbered in the 12th district anyway.

But there are other issues Mr. Critz has to deal with in which the Democratic party has literally shot itself in the foot so far as many constituents in the 12th district are concerned. This is a district that is made up of a lot of Roman Catholics and various Orthodox groups, which means there is a very, very strong pro-life sentiment and that is demonstrated each January as many bus loads of persons go from this region to the March for Life in Washington DC. The Democratic party platform is pro-abortion, although the deceptive term "pro-choice" is often used in connection with the issue of destroying unborn children! And there is no room left for doubt that Mr. Obama and his wife are strong supporters of abortion, even late term if necessary -- for them there is no difference in terms of time, since you are only dealing with a mass of cells, tissue and blood, are you not? So Mr. Critz has made it a point to stress in his ads that he is pro-life!

Finally, the 12th Congressional District has a large segment of the population that is into hunting. Both male and female hunters take to the woods each year as evidenced by pictures printed each deer season. Some young females who have just been legally able to hunt have brought down some impressive buck deer. But the present administration in DC is moving more and more toward an anti-gun stance, and appears to be sympathetic to the United Nations' campaign on the control of small arms -- interpret that to literally mean eventual confiscation! The ads put out by Mr. Critz and his supporters also stress that he is "pro-gun," which is something you most definitely will not see in Mr. Obama's ad campaign!

Perhaps the best picture in this situation is that of a big worm on a very hot skillet -- you know who the worm is, don't you? His name happens to be Mark Critz who is striving to be John P. Murtha incarnate in the United States Congress in Washington DC!

"Look, the princes of Israel: each one has used his power to shed blood in you. In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow. You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths. In you are men who slander to cause bloodshed; in you are those who eat on the mountains; in your midst they commit lewdness. In you men uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they violate women who are set apart during their impurity. One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; and another in you violates his sister, his father's daughter. In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take usury and increase; you have made profit from your neighbors by extortion, and have forgotten Me," says the Lord GOD. "Behold, therefore, I beat My fists at the dishonest profit which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst." --- Ezekiel 22:6-13

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Something Much Greater to Be Concerned About Than National Security!

Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Now, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Yes, show her all her abominations! Then say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "The city sheds blood in her own midst, that her time may come; and she makes idols within herself to defile herself. You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near, and have come to the end of your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries. Those near and those far from you will mock you as infamous and full of tumult. Look, the princes of Israel: each one has used his power to shed blood in you. In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow. You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths.'" --- Ezekiel 22:1-8

The issue of national security again was the focus of attention with the killing of an American ambassador and other staff members recently in the country of Libya.

Additional reports dealt with effectiveness of airport security and whether we as a nation are more secure now as the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on American soil was observed.

There was no want to statements made by Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney who are battling it out as to who will be president starting in mid-January 2013!

The greatest tragedy in all this drama was not the loss of more American lives, but the unwillingness to face and the intentional rejection of the truth as to what is necessary to establish a high level of national security.

All nations are accountable to Almighty God without exception. Those which have had access to His full revelaton from the beginning of their founding are especially "under the gun" as opposed to those who did not have the privilege of that revelation at their beginnings. The United States is one nation which has had full access to that special revelation (the holy Scriptures) from the time the first colonists settled in!

When a nation makes a profession of being "one nation under God" but has drifted far from the standards God has established for blessing, protection, preservation, and survival against all threats, then very unpleasant things are going to happen!

Rather than holding a position of honor and respect among other nations, God says He will humiliate the nation that claims to relate to Him but whose dominant spirit is one of defiance and a "I will do it my way!" attitude.

The history of the Israelite people from the time of Moses demonstrates a roller coaster experience. When they were at their best in a high state of obedience, they were invincible with an abundance of God's blessings resting upon them. But when they lapsed into disobedience, calamities increased with the eventual defeat by enemies. But prior to such disasters taking place, God faithfully sent His prophets to call the nation to repentance and warnings of impending judgment if repentance did not take place. In most instances the response to the prophets was negative with the people considering them a bunch of radicals that were out of their minds. In some instances they were put to death!

Since we as a nation are walking down the same road as did the ancient Israelites and have adopted the same attitude toward God and His ways as did they, we can expect the same outcome -- which is devastating judgment!

We are guilty of massive idolatry, sexual immorality, misleading our young by teaching and example, trashing the day that originally was intended to be a day of worship and rest, compromising basic doctrines of the Christian faith, and all this crowned with a record of the innocent blood of 55 million unborn victims! The shedding of innocent blood has the express approval of many elected officials, including the president and his wife, and far too many professing Christians!

In spite of all the hard evidence that we continue to stir up the anger of a holy God and are on the very threshold of His wrath being poured out upon us in judgment, we are deceived into thinking we are quite OK as we wave our flags, do our Pledge of Allegiance thing from time to time, and shout out "God bless America." Politicians are especially good at the latter at the end of their speeches, especially when a hot election is taking place!

Be aware that calamities will increase and the U.S.A. will be more and more on the receiving end of humiliating happenings in different parts of the world so long as we refuse to meet the conditions of receiving special favor from God! How different from those times of decades ago when the United States was a nation held in high regard and its flag was respected around the world -- this was at the end of WW II, the last "unconditional surrender" victory ever won by our republic. Starting with Korea it was all down hill as we chose to "negotiate" an end to conflicts due mainly to politicians deciding they would write new rules to warfare!

Read again the statement made by Ezekiel the prophet -- do you see anything familiar that is disturbingly up to date?

"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country....." (read on for more - Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country...." (read on for much more - Deuteronomy 28:15-68).

Friday, August 17, 2012

"We Can't Make It Rain.", He Says!

"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:...." --- Deuteronomy 28:1, 2

"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country." --- Deuteronomy 28:15, 16

Mr. Obama has visited in areas where the mid-west drought is extremely severe and has made statements about the problem. As could be expected, the federal government, according to him, is going to take some kind of action to help those who are most directly affected by the drought. In remarks made on the scene of one farm devastated by the lack of rain Mr. Obama said, "We can't make it rain..." and then proceeded to spell out what the governement will attempt to do to relieve the problem.

Well now, finally an admission there is something he can't do in the midst of a plethora of outlandish promises that the government can solve every problem -- you know, it will take care of you from the "womb to the tomb!" Just give us a little time and allow us to move far beyond the16 trillion dollar national debt level!

The tragedy in all this is the failure of Mr. Obama, his administration and the members of the U.S. Congress to recognize that present calamities of various kinds are God's attempts to awaken our nation to a realization that its greatest need is to repent of numerous transgressions which have been committed against Him! If true repentance takes place then the blessings as mentioned in the early statements of Deuteronomy 28 will be experienced.

But if we as a nation (claiming to be one nation under God) persist in defying God as we have been doing for a rather long period of time, then the calamities will continue at an accelerated pace, ending in devastating judgment! This pattern is well documented in the history of the Israelite people.

At present we have a severe drought in some areas and wildfires raging in numerous locations. A news release stated:

Updated at 12:10 a.m. ET: The Idaho National Guard is joining the fight against at least nine wildfires burning across the state, including the 68,000-acre Trinity Ridge blaze, one of 60 large U.S. fires being fought in one of the worst U.S. fire seasons.

Most are scorching the dry and hot Western states, including Washington, where the 22,656-acre Taylor Bridge fire five miles outside Cle Elum has charred 70-plus homes and more than 200 barns and other structures this week.

More than 400 homes have been evacuated in the area, but firefighters managed to carve containment lines around 25 percent of the blaze's perimeter by Wednesday night, with full containment expected within a week, authorities said.

Not only are more wildfires flaring up in the West this year than last, but the nation's fires have gotten bigger, said Jennifer Smith, of the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. As of Thursday, more than 43,000 wildfires had been reported in the U.S. this season, burning a total of nearly 6.4 million acres, or 10,000 square miles, the center said. The 10-year average for the period is 52,535 fires, but covering only 5 million acres, Smith said.

There are diseases breaking out as well such as West Nile virus and Swine flu. But far more serious than these are the STD's (sexually transmitted diseases) that are spreading much like literal wildfires. The CDC a while back reported that 1 out of every 4 teenaged girls has a STD and some have more than one!

Financial calamity and probable failure is another indicator that our republic is in deep trouble as we approach a 16 trillion dollar national debt. In campaigning for his first term for the office of the U.S. presidency, Mr. Obama solemnly "promised" to cut the deficit in half during his first term in office. Read references in Deuteronomy 28 as to what the financial situation will be for the nation that intentionally defies Almighty God and His standards for a sane, sensible, serene, stable, and secure nation of people.

Will Mr. Obama, the members of his administration and the members of the U.S. Congress plus leaders at other important levels (this also includes church leaders) in our nation realize that the time is NOW to repent of our personal and collective sins? It is highly unlikely that such a move on the part of government and church leaders will take place due to the fact that God is not permitted to be recognized in much of the public arena and in a majority of educational institutions. Further, He is not going to be recognized in many corporate structures due to the way business is done with greed being a dominant factor! Human pride being what it is, the humiliation of sincere repentance is to be avoided at all costs.

Very true -- we can't make it rain, but it sure would make a difference if, after meeting the conditions, we reached out in humility and called on the One Who can make it rain abundantly!

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He also did evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the LORD which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. --- 2 Chronicles 36:11-19

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Is the Movie Theater Mass Murderer the Only One Who Shows a "Disregard for Human Life"?

James Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder, two each for the 12 people killed, and 116 counts of attempted murder, two each for the 58 injured. For the murder charges, one count included murder with deliberation, the other murder with extreme indifference. Both carry a maximum death penalty upon conviction.

A former chief deputy district attorney says a conviction under extreme indifference means that any life sentences would have to be served consecutively, not concurrently. In addition, the 24-year-old Holmes was charged with one count of possession of explosives and one count of a crime of violence, which is a gun charge. Authorities say Holmes booby trapped his apartment. --- Internet news release

In a recent court appearance James Holmes, who has a large number of murder and attempted murder charges plus a few other charges beyond murder, was described in part as a person who showed a "disregard for human life."

Probably most people would agree with that statement in light of his actions in killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in a shooting rampage at a movie theater in Colorado some time back.

Now for a troublesome question -- is he the only one showing disregard for human life? There was a more recent incident of a shooting in a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in which some people were killed. And there are incidents happening all over the world in which human life is violently taken by shootings and by other means. So the same could be said in these incidents as well. But what is not honestly faced is the fact that a number of high profile persons who have been elected to political office and judges who have been appointed to serve in the justice system have demonstrated that they too have a "disregard for human life!"

Here's what is happening each week in the United States -- about 25,000 unborn children every week are intentionally mutilated and murdered in their mothers' (term, mother, is used very loosely here) wombs with the mangled remains disposed of as casually as you would pitch unwanted garbage into a landfill!

We have a president who sanctions this grisly practice and opposes any effort to protect lives of the unborn. In the Illinois legislature he successfully blocked legislation that would have protected the life of a baby which successfully survived an abortion, which a few do on very rare occasions. So far as Obama was concerned let it lie on a table unattended until it dies -- that is how it is in Illinois today for the very few that may survive an abortion attempt.

Not only the president, but many members of the U.S. Congress, governors of our states, members of state legislatures, and judges in the judicial system qualify for taking the position in which it can be said of them that they have a "disregard for human life!"

Tens of millions of unborn children have been destroyed since the infamous Supreme Court decision of 1973 with little serious objection being shown. Even a number of high profile church leaders, including United Methodist bishops, are very silent when it comes to this issue. They are willing to go to great lengths to tell you what is wrong in other areas of our culture -- for instance, just ask them sometime what their position on gambling is and be prepared to listen for a long time to their response about the evils of gambling!

The most tragic thing about this issue is the failure, because of the ignorance and blindness that exists, to recognize that this one single abomination will invoke the wrath of a holy God more quickly than anything else in our culture. We have a lot of collective and personal transgressions of numerous kinds going for us at the present time, but to destroy human life intentionally for which the Creator has a high and holy purpose is an offense that the human mind in its limitations cannot begin to comprehend!

God has been speaking and clearly calling to repentance, but so far the national response has been the commonly used traditional obscene gesture -- we'll just keep on showing our "disregard for human life" and if God doesn't like it, He can go and ________! You fill in the blank, but be aware that God will probably not follow through on your suggestion. He will be making a response to all this -- not a question as to whether He will, but rather WHEN will it happen!

Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations." --- Jeremiah 1:4, 5

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. --- Galatians 6:7, 8

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hypocrisy of the First Magnitude in Afghanistan!

A man Afghan officials say is a member of the Taliban shot dead a woman accused of adultery in front of a crowd near Kabul, a video obtained by Reuters showed, a sign that the austere Islamist group dictates law even near the Afghan capital.In the three-minute video, a turban-clad man approaches a woman kneeling in the dirt and shoots her five times at close range with an automatic rifle, to cheers of jubilation from the 150 or so men watching in a village in Parwan province."Allah warns us not to get close to adultery because it's the wrong way," another man says as the shooter gets closer to the woman. "It is the order of Allah that she be executed"...... --- Just one of a number of "news"  releases reporting the "execution" of a married woman accused of adultery.

The married woman allegedly committed adultery, found guilty and then was sentenced to be executed in an area north of Afghanistan's capital city. One of numerous reports claimed that she was involved with two Taliban commanders.

So in order to be "faithful" to Muslim standards on such an issue as this, it was determined that this unfaithful wife should be executed publicly. Presumably the message would be, "See what happens when you commit adultery!" The graphic lesson to all females is explicitly clear -- now to the men, that's a kitty of another color!

This execution would be a bit different -- no wall before which the guilty party would stand with a blindfold over the eyes. The woman was kneeling on the ground with her back toward her husband who was just a few yards away. He was given an AK-47 rifle and promptly fired three shots into her back (according to one report) -- then for good measure he fired more rounds into her body (another report said there were bullet holes in her head and in her torso). The assembly of men, estimated to be about 150, present erupted in loud cheers as this drama unfolded!

Correct me if I"m wrong, but doesn't the act of adultery involve a man and a woman -- and at least one of the persons involved in such an escapade is married to another person, other than the one with whom he/she is being intimate? Where then was the man, or in this particular case, the two Taliban commanders who were involved with another man's wife?

And why were these adulterers not on the receiving end of the projectiles that came gushing forth from the barrel of that AK-47 fired by a husband who was teaching his wife a permanent lesson that it is a naughty no-no to engage in sexual intimacy with men other than her husband?

Jesus in the 1st Century was confronted by a group of very indignant individuals who claimed they had caught a woman in the very act of adultery. They indicated that according to the law of Moses the woman should be stoned to death. But they wanted to know what He had to say about the issue. For a moment He did not reply but wrote something in the sand. Finally He spoke: "Whoever is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone."

Oooops! No one counted on this and suddenly very disturbing thoughts began to hammer them where it really hurts -- right in the heart of the conscience! One by one they made a hasty exit. Could this exodus have resembled a bunch of serpents slithering away looking for some hole into which they might crawl?

Jesus then had some parting words for the woman -- "Where are your accusers?" She replied there was no one left to accuse her. He replied, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more!" Obviously the woman was of a repentant spirit and was granted mercy and forgiveness on the condition that she not continue in her former lifestyle! (For details of this incident, see John 8 in the New Testament).

I have often wondered, as have many others -- just what was it that Jesus wrote in the sand that day a long, long time ago? Could it have been something like this: "Where is the man? He is an adulterer too, you know!"

As the old saying goes: "It takes two to tango!"

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. --- 1 John 1:7-9

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

God Is Commanding, But Who Is Listening?

"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead. --- Acts 17:30, 31
God did a mighty work 236 years ago when He blessed and provided for a small number of people who desired to be a free republic. These people broke free from the British crown and became known as the United States of America.

As decades of time passed the population expanded, territories to the west in the direction of the Pacific Ocean were occupied, new states were added to the original thirteen, and the future was extremely bright.

From time to time conflicts erupted with one of the most critical being the Civil War involving great loss of human lives, massive casualties, and widespread property destruction. But God was merciful and a union emerged stronger than ever before as national healing and reconciliation took place over time.

Yet there were more conflicts to take place in the decades ahead. In the midst of these God granted an abundance of grace and mercy and our republic gained victory over the enemy until politicians chose to compromise and abandon the demand of unconditional surrender on the part of the enemy. WW II was the last conflict in which the enemy had to submit to the terms of unconditional surrender. Korea was an entirely different "ball game" with a "negotiated" settlement taking place and it has been downhill ever since. Any time you have a politician meddling in affairs, it is not going to produce a good result!

As the 1950's drew to a close, the moral and spiritual climate of the United States began to dramatically change as well. The 1960's saw insane court decisions handed down such as evicting God from the public school sytems and then the approval of the mutilation and murders of unborn children in the womb in 1973. No one who has a bit of a sense of right and wrong can truthfully say that our republic is morally and spiritually stronger now than it has ever been in the past.

Now that we are more than a decade into the 21st Century we have continued on our toboggin slide toward sure and certain disaster for a number of reasons:

1. The bloody trail that our republic has left behind is the result of the destruction of millions of unborn children. This practice is identified in the Bible as the atrocious act of "shedding innocent blood!"

2. Sexual immorality of every conceivable kind which is gaining more and more acceptance so that the national motto in regard to human sexuality could well be: "Sex is fun with anyone (or a number of persons at the same time) anywhere and at any time on a 24/7 basis!" With the help of the entertainment industry and high profile celebrities our young folk are leaning this practice while in the early years of their lives.

3. The teaching of our young that our roots are traced back to very low forms of life and that over millions of years we have evolved to what we are today with the end not yet taking place as we move onward and upward to perfection. As noted earlier, due to an insane decision of the first magnitude, God is not permitted on public school property and therefore it is unlawful to teach our young the truth that all things existing, including human life, have their origin with God Who is our Creator! At the higher level in colleges, universities, and graduate schools the deadly and hopeless doctrine of evolution is a brainwashing process that has devastating results in the lives of victims who accept it without question.

4. The profaning of the day of worship which originally was set aside to provide citizens of the republic with the opportunity to worship the God Who raised this republic up so that it became the most powerful and prosperous nation in the history of the world! Not only was it to be a special time for the recognition and worship of God, but also a day of rest for the citizens so that they might become refreshed and then prepared for week of work that would begin on Monday. But the day is now primarily a day of business, pleasure, entertainment in many forms, and intentional placing of God in a cell with high tech security devices so that He does not in any way interfere with our "fun and games!"

5. A church that has become increasingly corrupted because of the infiltration of "wolves in sheep's clothing" who refuse to accept God's special revelation in the form of the holy Scriptures as the absolute authority on all matters that have to do with our faith, our relationship to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, and the responsibilites we have to be fully obedient to Him on a day by day basis. The heart of denial is found in the rejection of Jesus as to His real identity (God revealed in human form), His miracles which He performed, His atoning death on the cross for the sins of the entire human race, His literal resurrection from the dead 3 days after the crucifixion, and His promised return to this sin saturated world at some time in the future to take full control and rule as King of kings and Lord of lords!

In the midst of all this chaos God has been calling for repentance -- no exceptions! To repent is to be brutally honest with ourselves, to admit we are guilty, and to turn from our sins, asking God for mercy and forgiveness. This has to be done on a personal level and also collectively (family, community, church, nation and its leaders).

But there is a major problem -- God has issued the command to repent but He is being ignored by the vast majority. So what does this mean? It means simply that we are perilessly close to experiencing judgment. God employs calamities (chastising actions) for a time in an effort to make a nation aware of its need to turn to Him. The classic example of this is His dealings with the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Neither heeded His appeals issued through His prophets and consequently were totally destroyed at the hands of heathen peoples. Yes, God at times does use a heathen people to bring judgment on those who claim to be God's people - e.g. "one nation under God!"

How is your hearing these days?

And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said, "O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day; to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You. O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You." --- Daniel 9:4-9

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Memories of Mom

"It doesn't matter whether my name is on the membership roll of the church -- the important thing is that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life!" --- Substance of Helen (Sedgwick) Harriger's response to her pastor who had told her he could not find her name on the membership roll of the church she had been attending and in which she had become actively involved.

If I detailed all the memories of my mother, it would take a long time and the content would make for a rather large book. So I shall try to keep it sweet, short and simple. Oh, by the way, the picture above is my mother holding me late in the summer of 1933 -- a few moons ago!

My earliest memory goes back to times before I went to school. My mother always had my well being at heart without fail. This involved not just my physical health but also my spiritual well being.

Mom had become a Christian at a very early age in her life and expressed her faith in Jesus Christ in a variety of ways. In her church she was a Sunday School teacher, involved in the ladies missionary group, and taught in annual Bible schools.

She made clear the difference between right and wrong to my sister (born about 6 years after me) and me when it came to our conduct. I remember distinctly one time she had me on her knee and we looked out the window at the neighbor just across the road working a field with his horses. The neighbor was a very profane man and could be heard cursing his horses or whatever -- he constantly was telling God to damn something or someone! Mom pointed out that we had to respect God and never to use His Name in a bad way such as the neighbor had been doing.

She was a disciplinarian -- a paddling was given out for certain offenses on my part and one time it was so serious that she turned me over her knee and used a scrub brush for emphasis -- I did not feel like sitting down for a while! The way things are now days the A.C.L.U. (Anti Christian Lovers of Ungodliness) would have encouraged me to sue my mother in court for child abuse!

Mom did a lot of reading and study and had a teacher's certificate qualifying her to teach in the public schools of our area. She did some substitute teaching occasionally. But her first love was to be a home maker for my dad, my sister and me.

She was an excellent cook and loved working in her kitchen. Her homemade bread along with her homemade butter earned her a noteworthy reputation in our community. But she also was first class when it came to the sweet stuff such as chocolate cake, cinnamon rolls, lemon sponge pie, etc. More than once I downed nearly a quart of our golden Guernsey milk with pieces of warm chocolate cake just out of the oven!

My mother was also a writer of letters (something I guess I inherited from her) and during WW II wrote to quite a number of military persons from our area on a regular basis. One of my dad's cousins was wounded in Sicily twice and one letter she wrote to him was done on shelf paper about 5 feet long or so and she wrote on both sides of it. He had a picture taken with the letter draped around his neck and hanging down over his chest. When I entered the military myself she was always faithful in writing letters to me and a few months later to Jean and me after our marriage and our move to North Carolina when I was stationed at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station.

In addition to her work in the home she did a lot outside. She had a fair sized garden each year, gathered the eggs from our chicken coop, and helped my dad milk the cows twice a day. Sometimes she engaged in an activity that I did not want to watch. Once in a while she would take a rooster or maybe a hen, tie its legs together, hang it on the clothes line, and then cut off its head with a butcher knife! Her roast chicken was impossible to beat -- it was a bit unpleasant at a certain point in reaching that desired goal!

Mom was always one to give encouragement and support throughout the family. She was the oldest of the six children born to Edward and Estella (Robb) Sedgwick. Her brothers and sisters thought very highly of her and often visited her when they could.

She was very excited the day I revealed to her that God had called me into the ministry. She and my dad made special arrangements to come visit us when we were in Kentucky serving a small church while in seminary. And they were able to come to my graduation from Asbury Seminary. After we returned to Pennsylvania they would visit our church services from time to time.

Perhaps her greatest contribution in life was her discipline of prayer. I do not believe I would be where I am today or would have been involved in God's work as I have been over many years had it not been for a praying mother (and a praying father too).

She came down with cancer and fought a good fight but the disease got the best of her in January of 1979. I remember in the hospital room in Franklin PA when the doctor told us she was gone, the first thought to come into my mind was this: "Not one cancer cell can touch her now -- she is in the presence of her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!" She did win the ultimate victory and to that, every obedient Christian can say, "Amen and Amen!"

Because of what Jesus did for us all on Calvary's cross, I have the assurance of seeing my mother again along with a host of other loved ones and friends -- a reunion that will never break up and located in the perfect trouble-free environment -- some of us refer to this blessed place as Heaven!

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. --- 1 Thessalonians 4:13-19

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mr. Obama's Righteous Indignation and Fraternizing with Prostitutes!!




Internet headlines speak of a Secret Service scandal which involved personnel drinking excessively (not H2O by the way) and partying with prostitues in Columbia before Mr. Obama arrived on his trip to that country. A later headline indicated that he was "angry" and an investigation would take place. It was further alleged that some military people were also involved in this incident! --- various internet sources

Mr. Obama has displayed what some would interpret as "righteous indignation" upon learning that some Secret Service personnel along with a few military people had a rather wild party at a 5 star hotel in Columbia before the arrival of the president in that nation! One headline used the word "angry" to describe the reaction of Mr. Obama and an indication of an impending "investigation."

The alleged party involved excessive drinking and the satisfying of that "gratification now without delay" lusting through able assistance given by prostitutes who likely made a good profit that would be on a comparable level of those who make excessive profits by their speculation and manipulation activity in the petroleum business!

Will we who underwite government expenses through our taxes be paying for this escapade as we did recently in the scandalous Las Vegas spree involving government people at a very high level?

Anyway, why should anyone -- whether it be Mr. Obama, the media watch dogs, or those in the U.S. Congress make any kind of issue of this incident, professed "righteous indignation" notwithstanding?

It is Mr. & Mrs. Obama, plus many members of the U. S. Congress, and a number of members of the U. S. Supreme Court that aggressively support the intentional mutilation and murder of thousands of unborn children each week in a nation that hypocritically claims to be the "land of the free, and the home of the brave!" Any effort made to save at least a few unborn from the horrendous fate that over 54 million have already suffered is stonewalled immediately by the aforementioned bunch of persons. It is interesting that this same crowd becomes extremely upset and hostile when confronted with graphic images that provide unmistakable evidence that this is an abomination of the first magnitude from the point of view of our Creator! But then, who pays much attention to the God Who put this mighty universe together by spoken command?

Second, it is the Obama connection with majority support in the U. S. Congress that opened the way for sodomites and lesbians to serve openly in the United States military. And of course throughout the nation there was been subtantial support from the citizens. The media along with the movie and TV industries have been very supportive and have provided the propaganda that this has been a good thing for the country. Again, the One Who gives "life, breath, and all things" (see book of Acts in New Testament) to all humans takes an entirely different point of view on this issue. But the leadership (both political and religious) has so influenced and corrupted the spirit of our republic that what God expects by way of obedience and moral responsibility is given a "thumbs down" response much the same as a blood-thirsty crowd would do in the ancient Roman Coliseum when they felt a defeated gladiator on the ground deserved to die rather than live!

Mr. Obama is certainly in no position to express his professed "righteous indigantion" over the drinking/prostitute party in Columbia by some persons who are a part of the U. S. government. He has far more serious moral issues on his home turf to tend to first as just noted. But we all know on basis of past experience how he will address those issues, do we not? That is, UNTIL Almighty God says plainly, "Enough is enough -- the shedding of innocent blood and blantant immorality will stop now!"

As mentioned on previous occasions, none of us will want to be living within the borders of the republic when God responds with the pouring out of His undiluted wrath. We hear of the disasters brought on by numerous tornadoes involving loss of human life and property distruction at this time of year especially. But that is a mole hill compared to a gigantic mountain when it comes to what God will do because we as a nation saw no need to take Him seriously nor were willing to fully repent and seek to be obedient to Him in all aspects of our behavior and relationships!

"As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they and their kings and their princes, and their priests and their prophets, Saying to a tree, 'You are my father,' and to a stone, 'You gave birth to me.' For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they will say, 'Arise and save us.' But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble; for according to the number of your cities are your gods, O Judah." --- Jeremiah 2:26-28

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. --- Galatians 6:7, 8

Monday, March 5, 2012

Looking at the Big Picture in the Limbaugh/Fluke Uproar!


A woman testifies in support of government funding of birth control items so that females can get this stuff free -- Rush Limbaugh responds by calling her certain very uncomplimentary names -- an avalanche of criticism is launched against Limbaugh -- some advertisers withdraw support -- many of the media again demonstrate that they most resemble sharks in bloody water where Limbaugh is the focus of attention, and so it goes! --- A variety of news sources on this "earth shaking" happening in the U.S.A!

It seems that nobody wants to or is willing to honestly face the big picture in the recent Limbaugh/Fluke controversy. Sandra Fluke in a sense was "campaigning" for government funding of birth control items -- that is, females wanting access to birth control items should be able to obtain the same under Obamacare at no cost to them, as the health plan seems to be commonly known.

As this became public, Rush Limbaugh reacted by calling Sandra a couple of rather derogatory names! A lot of public hostility was directed toward Rush because of his comments. Even President Obama called Sandra to console her -- one wonders just what all he may have said -- you know, something like, "Poor, poor Sandy -- did that mean old Rush say nasty things about you? You're a good girl -- just don't pay any attention to that hateful man -- he has said a lot of bad things about me too!"

The tragic fact in this is a neglect at looking far enough into the issue that the big picture of reality is very clearly revealed!

Our culture has lost its moral compass and no longer considers what our Creator says about life and responsibility.

One issue has to do with human sexuality and the proper way to express and experience it. God has drawn the boundaries explicitly and has shown what is acceptable sexual conduct and what is not.

The revelation given to us from God spells out what unacceptable sexual behavior is in all human relationships:
1. Sexual intimacy between two unmarried persons is an act of fornication and condemned by God. Nowhere is there ever a reference in the holy Scriptures that this is acceptable conduct in the sight of God.

2. Sexual intimacy between two persons, with at least one being married to a person other than the one with whom the act of sexual intimacy is taking place is considered to be adultery and condemned by God. In fact God used this immoral example as an illustration as to the unfaithfulness of His people, the ancient Israelites, engaging in the practices of worshipping false gods and goddesses. Some of these worship "rituals" involved such things as immoral sexual activity and sacrificing little children by throwing them alive into a fire!

3. Same gender sexual intimacy is not labeled as simply "sin" but as an abomination. What is the difference? As best the human mind can grasp the difference, we must conclude that an abomination is sin intensified many, many times over! The shedding of innocent blood is labeled by God as not a sin, but an abomination! The preceding example of sacrificing small children by throwing them into a raging fire as an act of worship to the ancient Canaanite god, Molech, would be an abomination. And so same gender sexual intimacy is not in the same class of sinful offenses such as fornication or adultery but something many times worse than these!

4. The Scriptures also mention the subject of sexual activity with animals. Common sense should tell every human being that this is stricly off limits, but obviously there are those who feel this can be very acceptable to those who desire to be involved in such activity. God labels it a "perversion" and soundly condemns it.

4. There are other sexual related offenses that take place within the human race in different ways such as sexual abuse of children and youth, rape, and a pornography industry that thrives on visual display of all manner sexual activity ranging from male/female intercourse to a wide variety of bizarre perversions!

God has set the boundary line of acceptable sexual expression and experience around a special couple -- a male and a female whom He has joined together in a significant covenant known as marriage. One can closely examine the holy Scriptures word by word and never find God approving conduct such as that described earlier. Only within the covenant of marriage does God grant His blessing when it comes to a man and a woman sharing the joy of their marriage within the context of sexual intimacy!

The very clear implication in the health care debate over government funding of birth control items so that females can obtain these without cost is that you can freely engage in your choice of sexual activity -- there are no moral restrictions -- do your own thing as your lusts dictate -- it's all OK since we make our own rules -- further, we must listen to the voice of the "Instant Gratification" god/goddess at all times, committing spiritual suicide in the process!

Any hope that the citizens of a republic known as the United States of America will seriously look at the BIG picture and consider the boundary lines as established by the Creator of the heavens and this lowly earth when it comes to human sexuality? Not likely -- the evidence is mounting day by day that we will experience what numerous cultures of the past learned the hard way -- when a defiant spirit dominates through time, then something called judgment at the hands of an angry God takes place! Ruins of nations which existed in the past testify that you cannot ignore the moral laws of God and get away with it -- it remains as written in Scripture, "God is not mocked..."

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any beast, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before a beast to mate with it. It is perversion. Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you." --- Leviticus 18:22-24

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. --- 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. --- Revelation 22:14, 15