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Politically incorrect….

The Bible is very clear about the roles of women and men, especially ‘in’ the church. Men are to rise to the challenge of being the ‘head of the household’. Men are called to be the teachers and overseers in the church. Sadly, many men do not rise to that challenge. You might call it a sin of omission. On the other hand, some women sin in the opposite way. In an act of disobedience, they decide to serve God by teaching, being overseers in the church, or ruling the household. In these cases, neither man nor woman is rising to the appropriate challenge. Serving God by being disobedient is not serving God, it’s serving oneself, and burying your talent in the sand, ignoring your responsibility, is laziness.Ephesians 5:23…For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.1 Timothy 2:12…I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.1 Corinthians 14:33-35…For God is not a God of disorder bu…

Extremism…

If you are a Christian that:“Love(s) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”…  (Mark 12:30)…by the world’s standards, you would likely be labeled an extremist. Why? Well, for one, loving anything or anyone with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength would be considered extreme. You would have to be completely infatuated, completely immersed. Secondly, God tells us that loving Him equates to following His commands. If you actually follow and promote all of His commands, not just the ones you like or agree with or that are politically correct, once again you would certainly be considered extreme. Quite frankly, if you were verbal about your beliefs, you would likely be persecuted as well, and I’m speaking of ‘in’ the church at large.Then we have the Muslim faith. The phrase ‘Muslim extremists’ has been getting a lot of air play, especially since 911. What makes them ‘extreme’, though? It seems to me that they are …

Based on faith…

As is common knowledge, the dollar is based on faith. To some degree, a healthy economy is also based on faith. You have to have faith that the economy is going to keep rolling, that it is not going to collapse. You have to believe that so you do not become part of the problem. How do you become part of the problem? You slow consumption, you stop buying as much as you once did. When you do that, you put people out of work. You add to the number of unemployed. It’s really that simple.What I’ve been noticing is that every time the President tries to do something that would typically give people a bit more confidence, and possibly stimulate the economy, the conservative media and the republicans attempt to undermine it at every turn, and undermine him. As the President tries to instill confidence, they do just the opposite. Therefore, they share in the responsibility and state of the economy. As a matter of fact, if you are one of the unlucky people who are still unemployed, imo, you can…

How bold is your faith?

Mark 9:23…"‘If you can’?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."Mark 11:23…"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.Matthew 17: 14-20…When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. "Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him." "O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me. Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn’t we drive it out?" He replied, "Because you hav…

The folly of worry, the wisdom of diligence…

It seems that God is always looking out for us. He’s given us His Word (the Bible) which is chock full of wisdom and guidance. Sometimes, though, we take his looking out for us the wrong way. If we are not careful, we might perceive some of his commands and guidance as overbearing, controlling, unnecessary, or passé. What I’ve discovered is that when we do so, we do so at our own peril. God’s commands and guidance are always for our good…to protect…to bless. Can you think of any that you have ignored and now, upon retrospect, see that you would have been better off following His instructions? I think of all those people that sit in a literal cell somewhere. How many of them regret their choices? How many more live in a figurative cell? For those of you who know Jesus, were you in a state of imprisonment when you came to know Christ? Did He set you free, and if so, are you still free? Jesus instructs the weary and burdened to come to Him…and He will give them rest. Jesus tells us not t…

Marriage

Scripturally speaking, marriage between a man and a woman is akin to the relationship the church has with Christ. Jesus is the bridegroom, and the church at large is the bride. What does Jesus require of the bride?  Faithfulness. What is faithfulness? Well, in the case of our relationship with Christ, He spells it out by saying that anyone that claims to love Him, does what he commands. What He commands is that we love God, and love one another. He doesn’t promise the church that it’s going to be easy to be faithful. As a matter of fact, He tells us plainly that we will be persecuted, hated, rejected, etc, just like he was. So, being married to Christ is not necessarily going to be easy. Your faith is going to be tested. You are going to be under constant attack by the enemy. God is not going to come to your rescue every time you have an issue. You will have struggles. You will get sick. You will suffer pain. Eventually, if the Lord tarries long enough, you’re even going to suffer dea…

The tenuous nature of life as we know it…

Life on planet earth can be a wild ride. As we know, historically, the earth has gone through some interesting events. Ice ages, volcanic episodes, floods, droughts, earthquakes, meteor showers, hurricanes, tornados, etc, come to mind. You just never know what might occur on the planet next, or for that matter, what the universe might inflict on the planet. In the interim, a relatively calm period in conjunction with scientific advancements, has likely created the most numerous, dependent, and fragile society yet. Most of us aren’t farmers anymore. Most of us don’t live by the river. Most of us don’t hunt our own food and make our own clothes. Individually and as a country, we are now more inter-dependent than we are independent. Ultimately, in one way or another, most of us rely on others to provide for us, whether with job opportunities or the products and services we depend on. Services like those that provide safe drinking water, electricity, natural gas, sewage management, phone,…

Regulate this…

Smaller government. That seems to be one of the political mantras of the day. I wonder what that really means to those that are doing that chant? Have they thought it through…do they have specific things in mind....and if so…what are they, and are they practical? What programs and regulations do these people want the government to cut? Social Security? Medicaid? Medicare? Wall Street regulations? Banking regulations? Would they like the government to remove the regulations that require businesses to invest in Unemployment Insurance or Workman’s Compensation Insurance? If the government didn’t force employers to provide this coverage, what do you think would happen? Do you think businesses would voluntarily continue to pay your wages and cover all your medical expenses? Let’s face it, without government regulations in place to protect us, we’d be in a world of hurt. It appears to me that the government grows as needs are revealed. In like manner, laws are created when it becomes obviou…

Profundity…

As I’m certain was quite typical of the era in which I grew up, I learned the Lords’ prayer, and at an early age was taught to recite it at bedtime each night. Obviously, at 5 years old, it was mostly a routine, with only a basic understanding of the meaning. While still a child, though, I recall struggling to concentrate on the meaning/words in the prayer…instead of just flying through it. If need be, I would say it a number of times…until I felt that I had connected with the words and ‘meant’ what I said.Now it’s many, many years later, and in some way, that’s happening to me again. This time, though, I’m finding a new dimension of profoundness.The first word of the Lord’s prayer…the very first word…OUR…is huge to me. Have you tried to really get to that place? To be the larger ‘our’ instead of a me or an I is not easy or natural, but I believe it is a proper place through which to approach God. I see the spirit of that first word as preparation to enter into a true dialog with God.…

What has been confirmed again…

I’ve been paying close attention to the political scene in the USA for a few years now. What has been confirmed to me is that we have no hope…no chance…as a species, of EVER getting it together. We are SO absolutely corrupt that the only chance, the only hope we have, is in Christ. The human race will never, and can't ever, get it together. I’m hoping that you understand that. That you understand that your only hope is in the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, that is in Christ Jesus. If you haven’t come to that conclusion yet, I pray that you will…sooner than later.Jeremiah 17:9...The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?Genesis 6:5...The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.Psalms 53:3...Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no-one who does good, not even one.
Isaiah 53:6...We all, like sheep, have gone…

Bush and Obama…

Like you, I remember when George W. Bush was the president. I supported ole George, especially in the beginning. I liked the fact that he was a confessing Christian and appeared to be a no-nonsense sort of a guy. He was strong in his resolve…whatever that resolve was. I appreciated that about him at the time. On the other hand, and in retrospect, he did some things that were questionable. Giving tax breaks to the rich (when you, your family, and many of your friends are rich) seems a bit self serving. Going against the majority of the world and the United Nations and invading Iraq, capturing and deposing its leader (Saddam (who happened to have a tiff with your dad)), and then allowing him to be hung, all under the presumption that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, is questionable. I’m not a fan of Saddam, mind you, but I’m also not a fan of invading countries under false pretenses, or in error. Oops. Imagine if some other country did that to us? What would our opinion of t…

A Christian Interpretation of the health care debate…

I wonder what side of the health care debate Jesus would be on? Generally speaking would Jesus be more inclined to be a socialist or a capitalist? Personally, I can’t see Him as being much of a capitalist. After all, he was homeless and spent all of his time selflessly serving others for free. Apparently, his disciples did take donations to be distributed among the poor, though. So, currently America has 30 million or so people that can’t afford health care. The majority of these people work full time jobs…but the costs are so high for health insurance/care that many small businesses and individuals just can’t cover the costs. What do you think Jesus would do, or what do you think Jesus would want you to do? Do you think He would want you to harshly judge/condemn those people who are not fortunate enough to work for a business that can afford to provide health care for their employees? Do you think Jesus would want you to turn a cold shoulder to the individuals and families that don’t…

The primary difference…

I still remember a brief political discussion that I had with my father when I was still a child. I have no other recollection of any other political discussions with him. Simply put, he conveyed that the republicans are on the side of business, and that democrats are on the side of the common people.In your opinion, does this hold up?  Did it ever?

The fly in the ointment…

How can the two party system ever work well? Let’s say a sitting president from either party comes up with a great plan. A revolutionary plan…one that would finally get America back on track. Is the other party going to support it?  Of course not. They are on the opposite team, and as near as I can tell, it’s all about winning. If the one party admitted that the other party was doing a great job, who do you think would get elected the next term? It would be self-defeating to give kudos to the opposite party no matter how great their ideas were. As a matter of fact, the better the ideas, the more adamant the other party might be that those ideas are crap. To support those ideas would be like you voting for the opposite team. That is forbidden. The problem with this, of course, is that the ultimate goal then becomes winning at any cost…instead of looking out for the best interest of the American people.

Thoughts on tax breaks…

I think the term ‘tax break’ can be misleading. When you think about it, any tax break ‘costs’ the government that amount of money. It equates to a loss of income generated. It’s not free. Therefore, you could say that in essence, a tax break is just another type of spending bill. When it comes to creating jobs, currently there seems to be two primary options on the table….spend that amount of money to create jobs right now (infrastructure), or give away that amount of money via tax breaks in hopes that it will stimulate job growth at some point down the line. As we all know, the government already spends more than it brings in. Giving out tax breaks seems counter-productive unless you are certain that those tax breaks will equate to more money coming in than the tax break itself costs. Also, it’s a lot easier to give a tax break than it is to take one back. You better be sure it’s going to work before employing it.

What is Obama up to…

Torture and the LawCompiled by Vienna Colucci, November 2001What is torture?Torture cannot be defined by a list of prohibited practices. Human rights treaties define it in a number of different ways, reflecting the different contexts in which they were drafted and the purposes of each particular treaty.The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1984 and entered into force on June 26, 1987.It defines torture as any act by which: severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental; is intentionally inflicted on a person; for such purposes as:obtaining from him/her or a third person information or a confession punishing him/her for an act she/he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed intimidating or coercing him/her or a third person or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind; when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of …

The trouble with the law…

…is you may forget about grace. Still, no matter what anyone tells you, though our ultimate destiny is not determined by keeping the law, we are still commanded to follow the law. Right? Remember what Jesus said?Matthew 5:18…“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”Loving God and loving your neighbor is commanded.Matthew 22: 36-40…"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."You might say that all the other commands are included in those two.Romans 13:8-10…Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for h…

The Simple Truth…

Matthew 22:36-40…"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."What’s interesting to me about this scripture is how the two commands are similar/circular. If you ask the questions, how can I love God, how can I show my love for God, how can I prove to God that I love Him, scripture answers it by saying that your love for God is revealed by following His commands. What is His most important command other than loving Him? Loving one another. So, in reality, to show your love for God, you are commanded to love your neighbor as yourself….THAT is showing your love for God. And notice, the command isn’t just to love your neighbor….it’s to love your neighbor as yourself. In other words, putti…