Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Born For These Times

Unable to sleep, I thought I would do some reflection on living in these times.  Paul told Timothy that we would be living in “perilous times” and we are living in those days now.  I have listened to people talk about the state of affairs in the world and they are astonished about the level of evil that exists.  I agree, acts that are committed daily against little children, the elderly, the poor and the helpless is almost unbelievable.  As I think about this level of evil, I am reminded of the Prophet Elijah and the evil he fought against.  If you don’t know the story it is found in 1 Kings Chapters 18 and 19.

Elijah was one of the important Biblical prophets, he is also my favorite Old Testament character, he lived in the 9th C BC during the times of wicked King Ahab and his queen Jezebel.  Elijah was a great prophet who stood against the might of Kings and false prophets. He arranged a contest between the prophets of Baal and himself.  There were four hundred against one. Elijah won the contest when fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice.  And in a non-politically correct way and a show of religious intolerance he had all 400 prophets killed.  This so enrage Jezebel that she sent a message to Elijah saying,  “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”  Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.  When the LORD asked Elijah why he was hiding his answer was, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”  Elijah was depressed, discouraged and saw no hope for the future.  But Elijah was born for the time he was living in and God had plans for his life.  

Even though evil was everywhere and his life had been threatened the LORD told him to stop worrying about what might happen and get busy doing what he was called to do. 
 15 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 

We are right in our assessment of the evil that exist in our government, our communities, and even in our places of worship.  We have like Elijah, spent our spirits dry worrying about these evil days.  As I reflect on this story of Elijah I am reminded that we were born for these times.  All throughout history Children of the LORD have become discouraged over the evil that was around them.  They became weakened by dwelling on the battles that were beyond their control.  These battles are not ours but the LORD’s. 

We were born for these times and the LORD has placed us here for a specific reason.  Even though we will meet the resistance of the world, be hated, despised and ridiculed we are here at this present time for a reason.  Our task is not to “fix” the world but to proclaim the TRUTH.  We are to be a witness against the “prophets of Baal” of our time.  We are called just like Elijah to be-- as King Ahab said, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?”  We are the voice crying against the evil of our day.  We are the light in a dark and evil world.  There are many who are searching for the LIGHT.  When searching souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it they find hope and evil is defeated.  If you would help to calm the tumult caused by the evil of the day by shining your light into the darkness, this is one of the strongest things you can do. 

As Christians there will be times when we are discouraged, disappointed, and despondent and feel we reached the bottom of the barrel of despair and all hope is gone and we want to find a cave and hide in it like Elijah.  But I am resolved no longer to linger in the world of despair nor to sit a place at the table for hopelessness.

The reason is this: In my heart I know, as do you that there can be no despair over the evil that surrounds us when you remember why you were born for this time, who you serve, and who placed you here.   We can take encouragement in the fact that the LORD has “…reserved. . .  those  whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”  If we do what we are called to do, the LORD will take care of the evil that surrounds us.  

Here are some lessons from the life of Elijah found in chapter 19 of 1 Kings .  Understand the importance of “Go back the way you came.”  Where were you in your spiritual life before you allowed “Jezebel” to put fear in your heart? How far have you run away from the place you first challenged evil?   Get back to the place you were born to fulfill and “when you get there” prepare others for their place in the plan of God.  And what is important is that we prepare “someone to succeed you.”  Those we prepare will continue to fight evil with TRUTH because of the courage you have inspired in their hearts.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stupidity The American Curse

This week I will be taking part in a “Meet The Candidates” program at the Sugar Creek Art Center here in my hometown.  I feel it is important to know who we put in office.  Even though I may not vote for those who are voted in, I still want to know what they believe.  

I, along with many other Americans spend a great deal of time finding fault with our political leaders, and there is certainly a lot to find fault about, but it’s not the political leaders that’s the only problem in America, it’s the people who fail to exercise their right to vote.  A non-vote is a vote for those who are in office now.  But then I can understand why there are so few who actually vote.  All over America, people are going crazy with stupidity.   Every day on the news the stupidity of the American public is announced, and I keep asking, how they can be so stupid.  America has to be cursed with stupidity.  Maybe it is from all the genetically modified foods we have been consuming.  Whatever the case, we are suffering from the devastating disease of stupidity.  (Yes I know I should not use the “S” word.)

I agree it would be nice if we could change the present political leadership in this country from the top down, but that will not change the problems of our nation, our problems run much deeper than the present administration in Washington D.C.  The moral decay that has plagued our country for the past forty years has reached into every area of our society.  As a nation we are a people who every year cares less and less for the rights of others.  We brag that we are the ‘greatest nation in the world” and our house is falling down around us.  From local government to federal government there is corruption.  

This week I watched the GSA videos and wondered how stupid these government workers are to have posted on the Internet their disdain for the American taxpayer.  If this is not evidence of stupidity (sorry mental illness) I don’t know what else it can be called.  

America has become a sad, delusional old man that can't even think straight anymore.  The evidence of our mental illness is everywhere.  It is a sad time in America when some of the biggest criminals are the very lawmakers of our country.  The political scandals from both parties are an embarrassment to the American voters.  How often have we heard someone say, “To think I voted for that crook”. 

Only in America do we allow our political leaders to pass laws that allow people to be molested, embarrassed, fondled, groped and scanned under the guise of National Security.  How many times has “security” personnel at airports, who are paid by taxpayer dollars, to protect us from “terrorist” been arrested for stealing, charged with lewdness with a child and even accused of rape?  Almost every month we hear of another crime committed by these “security” people and we keeping giving them more money, this is the height of stupidity.   We stick our heads in the sand and give up another freedom.  What has happened to our common sense?

Our government leaders are so concerned with National Security that they have subcontracted security technology to a foreign country.  After all we know if the government is involved it will be a mess.  So how’s this for security? One foreign country has access to  all FAA and NORAD encryption codes - through RSA, controls security at all major US airports - through ICTS, has access to records of 90% of US private telephone companies - through Amdocs, has control of the financial market software and post-9/11 FBI wiretapping technology - through Comverse, controls the software used by all key federal governmental agencies, including the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Naval Air Command, Congress, the Department of Energy, the Internal Revenue Service, NATO, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service and even the White House - through Ptech this country is-- Israel.  Some of these companies actually use programmer from China to program our security systems!  So how secure are we?  Oh by the way just so you will sleep better at night know this, our government has National Security as a number one priority, the U.S. military is buying huge amounts of electronic parts from a very close ally—China. How stupid can we get?

Here is another sign of our national stupidity. During the Presidential Debates the issue of condoms and birth control seemed to be more important to the moderators than jobs, economy, the collapse of the housing market and the number of unemployed Americans.  What is wrong with the news media?  Where did these idiots go to college? I understand that sex sells but during a Presidential Debate—give me a break.  Although, maybe I am missing the greater picture in America, since children are exposed to enormous amounts of sexual material on television, iPads, computers, cell phones and movies these days we could feel safer if they had some kind of birth control when they act out what they see daily in our sexualized society. After all, we wouldn’t want to damage their self-esteem, or deny them the life changing experience by restricting them from acting out what they see on a daily basis and by the way-- the number of unwed teenage mothers is on the rise.

My big fear is as I look around and see the apathy of many Americans about who will run our country, that I join the ranks of the unconcerned.  The world is not getting better it is becoming more evil by the day.  The level of evil seems to grow in quantum leaps every year.  Every day there are those who tell us that we will soon be the gods of this world controlling our own destiny and live in a Matrix utopia where everyone has taken the blue pill.  

America is quickly approaching the destination of those who lived during the time of Noah.  We have been conditioned to accept the lie that we can become gods and solve the problems of mankind.  This will never happen.  You ask why?  Because we a blinded by stupidity.  Our only HOPE is found in the LORD and the only CHANGE that matters is the change of our hearts and minds toward the Creator who will make us a new creation through Jesus Christ our LORD.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lost Identity

 My father preached a sermon on Lost Identity from the thirteenth chapter of Nehemiah.  He preached this sermon so often that over the years I still remember it.   The text was from verse 23-24.
 23In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:  24And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people. 

We are living in times of religious, economic, social and political confusion; it is often difficult to understand who we are in the daily struggle of life because of the uncertainty of who we have become.  To obtain a true picture of whom we are as a people we must first look to the past.  It has been said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. 

My father would be identified as a member of the Greatest Generation, this generation is those who came of age during the Great Depression and fought World War II.  The identity of an American born to this generation has some very importance characteristics that identified them the world over.  These were the people that grew up during the Great Depression. My father told about plowing behind a Model T Ford for tens cents an hour so the family could have money to just get by. Just being able to survive the Great Depression took courage. The young men of the day were called to defend freedom and went off to fight in the Big One and the women ran the farms, worked in the factories and raised their children.   My father often said, I left high school to go win a war and then came home to graduate. These are the Americans who came home from that war and built America into a world economic powerhouse. These American’s knew the meaning of sacrifice, both in terms of material possessions and of real blood, sweat, and tears. They were humble people who never bragged about what they had done or been through. They were loyal, patriotic, honest and level-headed. They accepted responsibility for their decisions; they also accepted all the consequences of that decision, whether good or bad. They were not a generation of whiners or excuse makers. They took pride in personal accountability. They were identified the world over as American’s.

Today we are more concerned about the ethnoculturalism of a group than are they American.  To be politically correct today we see Americans as prefix-Americans.  All you need to do is add the ethnic background to American and you have the modern prefix-American.  The values of America have changed with the prefix culture.  There are groups who refuse to honor our laws, our language, and our customs.  They want the benefits of being an American without the responsibility of being an American.  When they came to this country they had no intentions of adapting to our cultural, but rather set about to change who we are as Americans.  Some have been so brazen as to say that our country no longer belongs to us.  The anti-American attitude of the foreigners both legal and illegal has intimidated the American born citizens to the point they are afraid to speak against the prefix-Americans.  We are quickly losing our identity of being an American.

For the most part Americans want to be liked and understood. I know I do.  But as we are told on a daily basis that there is a disrespect and dislike for Americans around the world we have come to believe we are a hated group of people.  It is however hard to understand this dislike and disrespect or even hatred when people around the world want to attend our universities, find employment in our country and live the American dream.  This dislike and disrespect has created the problem of dealing with those who want to destroy us by changing our laws, customs, and language.  It makes me wonder why they left their homes to change us to what they were not content to live with. 

But the real problem of losing our identity is not from those outside but the American people themselves.  We have changed from a independent spirit to one of entitlement.  The innovative and industrious American has been reduced to a video game player more concerned about a sports team than who runs the country.  We have lost our identity.

America has become so “diverse” and given into the multicultural ideology that we have lost our national identity.  We apologize to everyone for everything.   We can no longer say “Merry Christmas”, we ignore the Christ of Christmas, and schools no longer have Christmas breaks but Winter holidays. We are fearful of legal reprisal so we ban prayer from graduations but allow other religions their religious freedom to pray when and wherever because we would not want to offend. 

Leaders of our government and churches will not lead.  Our government leaders disregard the Constitution; the church leaders disregard the Holy Bible and the American public sits back to watch their favorite sports team while America speeds down the road of destruction. Greed has driven us to economic collapse.  We have allowed a whole generation to become dependent upon the government to feed, clothe, house, educate and provide medical services at the expense of the remaining few who actual work for a living.  Over 45 million people live on food stamps.  Here is the future of this country as we travel down the road of government (slavery) dependence.  When we are no longer a society of responsible citizens carry our own burdens of life and expect the government to provide for us--how soon  we will become a third world society.  Poverty begets poverty which produces illiteracy.  The more illiterate a nation becomes the more the more dependent upon the government.  The more dependent on the government people become, the less personal responsibility, which leads to the moral breakdown of society.  

What happened to the proud self-sufficient American of the past? We have been transformed into divided nation where every culture is accepted, every language accommodated, every religion allowed except Christianity.  Our government and legal society has tried to purge Christianity from our history, our National Holidays, our public schools, and our daily life.  When Christianity is gone from this county so will the freedoms we have learned to love.  The stabilizing force on America has been its foundation in Christian principles.  It is our Christian principles which cry out against honor killings, stoning of women, killing of gays, taking the life of the unborn child, and the trafficking in humans.  It is our Christian principles that move us to compassion when we see our neighbor in need.  When America has been purged of Christianity America will no longer be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Just as in the days of Nehemiah we are losing our identity.  As Nehemiah took drastic steps to regain the identity of his people America must take drastic steps to regain our identity.  Judgment must first begin at the House of the Lord.  Christian religious leaders must stop trying to be all things to all people and preach repentance, personal accountability, walking upright before the LORD and practice justice and mercy. 

Government leaders must serve the people and not special interest or their own special interest.  Government leaders must uphold the Constitution of the United States as they have sworn to do.  Any government official who fails to uphold the Constitution should be removed from office and never allowed to have any dealings with the government again, and lose all government benefits provided for that office