Thursday, July 30, 2009

Presidential Example for Little Tykes!

"And whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” --- Jesus speaking in Matthew 18:5-7

This issue as well as similar ones in the past which deal with the subject of politics with a bit of religious mix is highly controversial. I will not make any new friends and will likely gain a few more enemies in the process! But since I have been at this kind of thing for 50 years, I am somewhat used to the flak that is often fired in my direction.

A previous posting touched on this issue a bit over President Obama’s “beer diplomacy” as some have labeled it. But let’s back up a bit – in fact, quite a bit.

“I wanna be president when I grow up!” is a statement in times past that has been sometimes expressed by small children. God’s revelation makes it explicitly clear that teaching and example setting are demanded and are extremely critical in the shaping of the lives of the young. If this responsibility is done faithfully, then that young one will have gained an acceptable value system and should he or she become president, then he or she will be a good and very effective president!

At least a few (the numbers seem to be dwindling quite a bit) in these chaotic times of confusion would agree that setting an example is not an option so far as the office of U. S. president is concerned. But some in the past did not see it that way. And it is painfully obvious that the present occupant of the Oval Office in Washington DC doesn’t see it that way either!

A few years back school administration officials in a certain school district were shocked when it was learned that 6th and 7th graders were very much involved in the practicing of oral sex. When confronted, the little tykes were fast on the trigger with their response – “The president does it!” Bill Clinton’s example did not go unnoticed, did it? A further ramification of this is the fact that these young ones feel they can engage in sexual activity because it’s fun and it feels good, and the “president does it,” etc. So now we have a shocking stat that informs us that 1 out of every 4 teenaged girls has at least one STD (sexually transmitted disease) and some have more than one!

It is now known that John F. Kennedy engaged in musical beds during his presidency, though a sympathetic press kept it hush-hush at the time. But our young can learn some of the lurid details in their reading and quickly conclude if it’s ok for presidents, then it’s ok for me too!

George W. Bush was caught on an open mike using gutter language in conversation with Tony Blair in a meeting over in the Middle East. If his potty mouth was functioning well at that time it is very safe to assume that it worked at other times as well. For the young, if a president talks that kind of talk, then it’s a green light for them to do likewise – although it needs to be said that foul mouths among the young is rather common because they often learn it first of all from mom and/or dad!

Now in regard to the example being set by the present resident of the White House:

  • Obama and family managed to make it to church on Easter. Just maybe he may make it this Christmas. Such a practice is the choice of quite a number who “profess” Christian faith but are sadly lacking when it comes to possession of the same. God has made plain what the practicing of the faith involves, including the discipline of faithful and regular worship in a public setting.

  • B. O. has made it clear that promises are made to be broken. Defenders are quick to say that every politician makes promises that are not kept and B. O. is no different. Ah, but they are missing the point – and for those who are quick to jump to his defense on this issue, I ask one simple thing – show me name of book, chapter and verse in the Bible where God in no uncertain terms says it is acceptable to make promises and not keep them. In fact He does give considerable attention to the issue that when you make a vow (or promise) you better make sure you keep it! The consequences of failing to do so are most unpleasant.

  • Obama's beer and tobacco usage are now known with any number of defenders saying that if he wants to indulge, let him do so without criticism. Both products have produced overwhelming evidence of extensive harm and destruction. The jury is no longer out in deliberation on these issues.

    The evidence is overwhelming. And the young are influenced to indulge because of two main factors – high powered advertising by greedy adults in the business who want more and more people to indulge in order to enlarge their bank accounts and high profile adults who by example nudge young folks down the path to disaster! And on the part of both groups, they couldn’t care less what happens to the young except in the case of the first group that the young spend lots of money on the packaged “poison” being sold and in the case of the latter group that the young be sure to vote the “right way” in elections when they become eligible – that is, if they live long enough!

  • But most serious of all is the fact that Barack Hussein Obama has taken the lowest view of human life ever taken by a U. S. president and by strokes of his pen has expanded the carnage of the destruction of unborn children. They are as easily disposed of as yesterday’s garbage. He is on record in the past as opposing even those few efforts to try to protect the unborn in the latter weeks of pregnancy, and opposed legislation that would have required medical attention to be given to an unborn who survived an abortion attempt! Yes, once in a great while it does happen. But B. O. says in effect – “Let them die – don’t help them in any way, should they survive an abortion that is intended to terminate their lives!” Such an example will help the young to adopt a revived Nazi view of human life in the “land of the free and the home of the brave!”

But don’t forget – there is some very good news in midst of all this chaos – one of these days God is going to interrupt the flow of human history as we presently experience it – He is going to personally step in and take full control of this planet! Think not? Then what does it mean when God has declared in His Word, “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).

You see, part of the great news concerning this event is the fact that all politicians and government leaders will be out of a job! The One designated as King of kings and Lord of lords will be in charge. For a few of us at least, it’s an exciting hope to which we look forward!

Sleep on it tonight!

And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” --- Matthew 18:2-3

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just Discovered – How to Resolve Our Differences Quickly – Have a Beer with Me!

President Obama has invited Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley to the White House Thursday evening for a beer to help bury the hatchet on the arrest incident last week at Gates’ home.....UPDATE: “I think this will be a very casual affair. … I think as the President discussed last Friday, an effort and an opportunity to have greater communication, get to know each other and step back from the circumstances that brought everybody together over the past many days. But there’s no formal agenda, other than cold beer,” said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.--- News release on July 28, 2009

Unless one is stone deaf and blind as the proverbial bat, the news of the furor over the arrest of a Harvard professor by a police sergeant in Cambridge, Massachusetts most recently was played on a 24/7 schedule and everyone was hearing about it! This was mainly due to the fact that President Obama jumped into issue and made a statement about the police acting “stupidly.”

One could have practically predicted such a response from the president since he and the professor in question are not strangers. The Harvard bond reflects the old saying, “Blood runs thicker than water!”

So, how is this thing going to be resolved? The above tid-bit news item tells it all – the trio will dialog about it over a beer or beers if time drags a bit! Time is set for 6:00 PM on Thursday, July 30th, at a picnic table outside the White House.

This will set a new precedent – a “role model” president is broadcasting to the young – don’t get into conflicts, even race issues – just sit down and have some beer and settle it peaceably! Although more than a tad of tavern owners might tell you that beer consumption has contributed to some pretty ugly stuff in the past – even murder in some cases!

But not only in the establishments that sell beverage alcohol have some violent “differences” taken place, but in homes in which families were torn apart because someone or more than one someone had consumed some beer or another type of alcoholic beverage! The media, of course, are reluctant to give us all the facts when it comes to the death, destruction, shattered lives of all ages, and financial loss that is a direct result of the consumption of beverage alcohol -- beer included!

But since the president seems to have to publicize his “strategy” of bringing opposing parties together over beer, maybe this will be just the beginning of the resolving of conflicts in other areas as well.

How about inviting those members of Congress who are at each others’ throats over health care and other issues to just sit down together with the president and have some beer?

How about getting the opposing parties in Afghanistan and Iraq to come to the White House, have a few beers, talk, laugh and come to a mutually agreed statement that says, “We all acted stupidly – now we are going to work together, and if there is any more disagreement, we will sit down with President Obama and have a beer or more with him, and get our differences resolved!”

And since Iran seems to be a thorn in the flesh of many nations, our own included, how about B. O. inviting the head honcho of that nation over to the White House for some beer – even a keg if necessary!

The list is almost endless as to the possibilities of resolving conflicts on issues – pro-abortion and anti-abortion people, anti-Second Amendment people and pro-Second Amendment people, pro-national health care people and anti-national health care people, those afflicted with a racism spirit – yes, let’s do it – have them come and sit down with the president with a beer in their hand and get their differences resolved in a spirit of civility and good will. Then leave the party saying, “We no longer have our differences, thanks to our president and the beer party he threw for us!”

Perhaps all who benefit from this new approach to conflict resolution will also be able to say, “The best part about it was when those Clydesdales hauled the loaded wagon right up to the front door of the White House, making sure we didn’t run out when we were at the peak of our dialog!”

For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed. --- Isaiah 9:16

If a man should walk in a false spirit and speak a lie, saying, 'I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,' even he would be the prattler of this people. --- Micah 2:11

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Desperate Prayer of Last Resort!

'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' --- Jeremiah 33:3

A majority of people claim to believe in the experience of prayer. Attempts have been made to determine whether there are differences in circumstances where prayer has been exercised versus similar situations where prayer has not been uttered.

In the Christian faith there is a strongly held conviction that prayer is an experience of communicating with God and that God does respond to the prayers of those identified as His people.

The Scriptures speak much about prayer, relates the experiences of many people who prayed, and establishes clearly the fact that God indeed is One Who does great things in response to the pleas of those who give Him praise and thanksgiving as well as sharing the burdens of the heart.

Over many years I have seen and experienced in a variety of ways answers to prayer. The concerns for which prayer has been uttered are likewise widely varied. It is a demonstration that God is far more concerned about us and our circumstances than we can begin to imagine.

Recently a new burden was laid upon my heart unlike one I never experienced before. It involves the president of the United States. I have always prayed for our leaders and for those holding the office of the presidency. I will not detail here how I pray for those persons, but I do remember to pray for them on a regular basis. I will say that such prayers are not a generic "God, bless the president -- the members of the Congress...the members of the Supreme Court..."

But due to the policies advocated by President Obama, especially his very low view of human life in its formation stages, I have been praying in a specific area. The substance of that prayer is that God will raise up a prophet with the anointing of His Spirit upon that person. Further that such a prophet will confront the president face to face concerning the grievous error of his ways and call him to repent in order that the will of God will become a priority in his daily life!

Such confrontations have happened in the past. Elijah confronting Ahab, Micaiah confronting Ahab and Jehoshaphat, Nathan confronting David, and John the Baptist confronting Herod, to name just a few. These were personal and direct face to face encounters.

You have the names and you can look up the details as to how each encounter turned out. The important thing is that God had expectations of those leaders and He arranged for a prophet to be His instrument/messenger in each instance.

So, will you pray that God will raise up such a person to come face to face with the president and relay clearly what God expects of Mr. Obama as he holds what some consider to be the most powerful position in the entire world? This is not to suggest some big name TV preacher or the distinguished pastor of a large and famous “mega-church” out there somewhere, or a world renowned “pastor” who has a “make people feel good” ministry.

Rather, an Elijah or John the Baptist type of prophet is more appropriate – one who comes thundering out of some little known place in the wilderness – one whose message begins with a note of authority – “Thus says the Lord God……!”

The main uncertainty is just how that prophet in such a moment will be treated by the president, if it actually happens. As you review the many prophets God raised up over centuries of time, they were not treated very well in a majority of those confrontations! Again, I leave it to you to more fully investigate the circumstances.

How many will rally to the challenge to pray, “Almighty God, may it please you to raise up a prophet to confront the president and make plain to him what You expect of him, our elected officials at all levels, our nation, and…”

The destiny of our republic may well hinge on how many pray in faith that God will raise up a prophet to directly and personally confront the president about the issue of God's will for this nation, its leaders (political and church) and its citizens!

So Jesus answered and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done. And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." --- Matthew 21:21, 22

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive,….--- Ephesians 4:11-14

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bent Out of Shape Over Environmental Pollution, But Not a Word About Moral Pollution!

But they mingled with the Gentiles and learned their works; they served their idols, which became a snare to them. 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. --- Psalm 106:35-40

Obama and “partners in crime” claim to be concerned about environmental pollution. They want to reduce the pollutants being released into the atmosphere – that is, those things such as CO2 and other threatening products produced by an industrialized nation which are causing the planet to heat up, so they claim. In light of this manufactured “crisis,” legislation is being railroaded through Congress which is going to be a very costly item for the citizens of this republic. Even the president (in a very rare moment) admits that it’s going to cost the consumers more money in a variety of ways as he vigorously pushes the nation to go “green.”

It is a blunder of the first magnitude that this man and his administration fail so miserably to realize that the moral pollution, to which he is a major contributor, is what will bring this nation to unprecedented disaster!

Cited above is a statement related to a people of long ago to whom God had shown great mercy and extreme patience with their moments of murmuring, complaining and rejection of His standards for holy behavior. They reached the point at which they could sink no lower in moral performance – the sacrificing of their own flesh and blood in heathen rituals! A culture can do many offensive things and ours has chosen to do that over recent decades, but the ultimate offense is when you take your own flesh and blood and terminate the life of that son or daughter before he or she has the opportunity to be born into the world!

We are cursed with a president who has aggressively supported the mass destruction of unborn children and continues to seek the removal of any and all restrictions now set in place by some states in an effort to protect the lives of the unborn in the latter stages of pregnancy.

There are a few, but not many, who see the handwriting on the wall – a republic and its leadership cannot survive when it has taken a low view of human life, treating it as a disposable commodity at the rate of about 25,000 times per week throughout the year!

Will the priority be shifted to giving attention to the moral pollution that guarantees the republic of the United States sure and certain destruction in the future? Highly unlikely, unless the intensified chastising actions on the part of Almighty God do arouse a concern upon the present occupant of the White House and in his mind (considered by many to be far above average, if not brilliant) a question arises, “Why is God doing these things to us?” There might just be a faint glimmer of hope!

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

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Very Rough Row to Hoe Without God!

Shall the throne of iniquity, which devises evil by law, have fellowship with You? They gather together against the life of the righteous, and condemn innocent blood. --- Psalm 94:20, 21

As he goes about his globetrotting and engages in conversation with world dignitaries the president is making the unsettling discovery that things are not well on the home front. He had made tons of promises to the citizens of the United States during his "purchase" of the presidency of the United States. Those failed promises are surfacing so fast it is about impossible to keep up with them all.

In fact it is not all that great as he chalks up high mileage and much expense with Air Force One in those foreign junkets. World leaders are not going to take the “new kid on the block” from the U. S. very seriously. Oh, there will be the photo ops and sound bites that make for good propaganda, but due to the U. S. spiritual “climate” at the present time, God’s blessing is no longer on the nation as it once was in the past! Because of our growing massive rebellion, idolatrous practices and shedding of innocent blood, God has set in motion certain unpleasant happenings. A prophet of long ago provides insight as to how this works:

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. 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. Can your heart endure, or can your hands remain strong, in the days when I shall deal with you? I, the LORD, have spoken, and will do it.’” --- Ezekiel 22:1-14

So President Obama and his partners in the U. S. Congress are strictly on their own. And the attitude they have now adopted basically says God doesn’t even exist or if He does, we will run the show as we so determine, relying totally upon ourseves -- no meddling -- not even a suggestion from our Creator is permitted when it comes to the daily "business" of the United States of America!

The day might well come when B.H.O. may even suggest that we citizens, to whom he made oodles of broken promises, should consider praying to God for help and relief from the many calamities we are experiencing. He isn’t inclined to do that now, but the day may come when he will issue that call. It’s happened in the past and the way things are going now, it is very likely that he will change his mind and say that we need to pray. It is also very likely that God’s response at such a time will be the same as He made to a nation of long ago which had treated Him like unwanted garbage, but when intense calamities came and they decided to do some praying and calling on God, He responded:

“Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will reprove you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the LORD your God, and the fear of Me is not in you," says the Lord GOD of hosts……. "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. Why will you plead with Me? You all have transgressed against Me," says the LORD. --- Jeremiah 2:19, 26-29

To bring the above statement up to date all we need to do is change the names and substitute United States, Washington DC, etc. See how this so accurately describes our situation in the United States at the present moment? It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that we have political leadership which is so blind that they cannot see that we need to do some honest heart searching coupled with genuine repenting of our personal and collective sins.

At this stage we have a president and a gang of elected officials that try to “hoe the row” without the guidance and blessing of Almighty God! Failure is absolutely guaranteed!

"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free………Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. ‘ --- Jesus Christ speaking in John 8:31, 31; 15:4-6

Saturday, July 4, 2009

When Slaves Celebrate Independence!

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” --- John 8:31-36

Today is a day when the whole nation gets caught up in a time of partying, picnics, sporting events, flag waving, setting off fireworks or watching spectacular displays of the same.

It’s the 4th of July and much mention is made of celebrating independence. It’s the birthday of our republic and so the country goes all out – it’s a national holiday and just about everybody celebrates in one way or another. Unfortunately there are quite a number of persons who have to work and do not get the day off – emergency personnel, those employed in hospitals and nursing care homes, and those employed by businesses that choose to do business on this holiday.

The persons who signed the original document stating that we would no longer submit to the English crown placed their lives in jeopardy. It is a bit of little known information for some strange reason as to what happened to a number of them. Fifty six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes burned to the ground. Two lost sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and two more had sons captured. Nine fought and died in the Revolutionary War. It is also reported that some had members of family captured and tortured by the British.

Our founding fathers had a deep conviction that by the grace of God this nation achieved independence and became a sovereign nation. Time and again our nation’s leaders in the earlier decades made reference to God in their statements and exhorted obedience to God as being necessary for receiving blessings from Him and experiencing a secure future filled with hope.

But over time things changed and the moment came that those exhortations to draw near to God, to honor and worship Him, to seek to be obedient to Him no longer took place. God for all practical intent is considered a rude intruder and not to meddle in our national life. Court decisions bear out this tragic fact.

Since our national spirit is now one of defiance and a “declaration of independence” of a different kind, we find ourselves staggering and groping as would a blind man in a drunken condition. We have turned our backs on the One Who alone can truly set us free – His name is Jesus Christ. Read again His statement at the beginning – what is it that He said about being free?

There will be much talk about independence today as the nation celebrates, but only a few know from personal experience what it is to be truly free! Are you one of those few, or are you among the majority – a bunch of slaves who are deceived and celebrating “independence?”

In other words, do you know that Jesus Christ has set you free from all that is destructive in your life and forgiven you of all your sins committed against a holy God and against your fellow human beings? If so, then celebrate your freedom that political processes cannot give nor can they take it away!

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God. --- 1 Peter 2:15, 16