A New Year, a New You!

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Happy New Year everyone!

If you’re like me, you’ve started to notice a lot of advertising centered around making improvements in yourself in 2019. Everything from shopping channels hawking meal plans to gym equipment popping up in my Facebook feed. I can already see this is going to be a fun year.

All of these commercial, print, and online ads focus on making a “new” you out of the “old” you. But the old you they want to transform is the outside you and not the inside you.

Twice today I’ve seen the same verse within an hour. That verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these programs are bad. They can address a number of issues you might be having with your weight or your physical fitness.

But what about your spiritual fitness? That’s just as important or even MORE important than your physical fitness.

Many of us have started to embrace a new way of living so that we are healthier and fitter. We eat more organic foods, we exercise more, and we take our supplements on a daily basis. We are trying to get rid of the old physical body and create a newer, better, and healthier body.

But what about your spirit?

For those of us who are saved, we already know the answer to that. It can be found in the above passage. For those who are not saved, you need to consider this carefully.

After all, what’s the point of awesome physical health if your spirit is sick and dying? You can be as healthy as you want but when you die and are not saved, your health won’t matter at all.

I’ve had discussions with atheists concerning salvation issues and they think I’m a nut because I believe in someone they call a ‘make believe man in the sky.’ But then I think back on something I saw on Facebook many years ago: “If I’m wrong, then I’ve wasted my life; if you’re wrong, you’ve wasted your eternity.”

I don’t want to anyone waste their eternity and neither does God. He wants you to put your faith in the shed blood of His resurrected Son. Then your salvation will be secure. Once you do this, you’ll experience a spiritual health that will compliment your physical health perfectly.

So go ahead and drink your smoothies. Just remember to also drink from the cup of eternal life.

God Bless!

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God’s Gift to Us

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In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9)

One night, in Bethlehem, a child was born.

God gave us this child as a gift to us that we might find salvation through Him.

As we gather together with family to celebrate this wonderful time of year, take a moment and reflect the child lying in the manger. He came so that we might be saved. It’s never too late to accept this gift. When you do, you’ll find it’s the best gift anyone could ever give another.

Therefore the Lord himself shall send a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Governor Murphy is a Disaster

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The title says it all.

In November of 2017, the state of New Jersey elected Phil Murphy as governor.

Over the last eleven months, his administration has been a complete disaster.

Now I can’t blame him for everything. The Senate and Assembly bear much of the blame for what has been happening in this state. The latest budget has a variety of tax increases including the sales tax, Airbnb, Uber, and internet transactions. He has also increased the gas tax by eight cents. He has also set up a $2.1 million defense fund for illegal immigrants who are facing deportation. There are also a number of budget items that will be funded by revenue generated from the sale of marijuana. Unfortunately, marijuana isn’t legal in New Jersey.

I mentioned that I can’t blame him entirely because the Senate and Assembly need to pass all of these budget items, which they did wholeheartedly.

The one person who vocally disagreed with this is Senate president Steve Sweeney. But, like all good New Jersey politicians, he tucked his tail between his legs and gave in.

So much for standing up for the people of the state he is supposed to represent.

November 15, 2018 marked his latest mismanaged event.

The weather forecast for that day was predicted to be bad. Bad, as in snow and more snow with some ice thrown in. In other words, the road conditions were going to be bad. But, I have to give the governor props because he and his team were prepared for this.

Just kidding. He acted as if nothing was happening. He spent his time in Atlantic City giving a speech and having dinner with his wife.

Meanwhile, the snow and the ice were falling and cars were sliding all over the road or not going anywhere at all. They estimated that there were a little over one thousand accidents during that storm.

When the plows and salt trucks were finally dispatched, they were stuck behind all of the other cars that weren’t going anywhere. Some people took anywhere from two to twelve hours to get home. There were some school children who didn’t get home. They had to sleep on the floor at their school.

When the governor finally had a press conference to address the issue, he blamed (get ready for this): climate change and the meteorologists.

I can’t fault the meteorologists. I listen to New Jersey 101.5 and, other than snow totals. chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow nailed the storm. And he was warning us for close to seventy-two hours prior to the storm hitting us.

The bottom line for me? This guy could care less about New Jersey. He’s left the running of the state to inexperienced children while he goes about trying to run for president. He’s done nothing to help alleviate the affordability problems with this state. In fact, he’s been doing the exact opposite.

Recently, I’ve seen calls to have Governor Murphy recalled. I hope it gains traction because he needs to go. Or I will.

The Devolution of Politics in America

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I started writing this on the Thursday night after the midterm elections. My wife wanted me to write something about our current state of politics. As it turns out, I was going to write something similar. Great minds think alike!

In looking back at our political landscape over the last 6 months or so, I can’t believe how things have changed from where we were when this all started back in the late eighteenth century.

It all began on May 25th, 1787 with the Constitutional Convention. The Founding Fathers were looking for a replacement to the Articles of Confederation. The Convention was formed to write that replacement. On September 17th, 1787, the Constitution was ratified. The Bill of Rights was added in 1791.

The Bill of Rights guarantees us the right to free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the right to not increment ourselves in a court of law, and the right to keep and bear arms, among others.

The U.S. Constitution is the template for our current form of government. This document allows the people to give certain rights to the State (read this as Federal government), the state (read this as individual states such as New Jersey, Delaware, etc.), and the remaining rights are retained by the people. The original intent was that the power stayed with the people and the people gave the government a limited amount of that power to protect us and our freedoms.

And now, 230 years later, and the roles have been completely reversed. The government has slowly and methodically taken the power away from us and kept it for themselves.

Our government passed the Affordable Care Act even though the majority of the American people didn’t want it.

The government is trying to get rid of the coal and oil industries even though there are no viable alternate forms of energy that can immediately take the place of coal and oil.

We are more concerned about banning plastic straws and plastic bags than we are about taking care of the thousands and thousands of homeless men and women who live their lives on our streets and under our bridges.

Where did we go wrong? When did we let the government get so much power?

Rather than debate the issues, we spend our time hurling insults at one another.

And what is the price that we’re paying for our own madness? A government that sits back and watches. It takes advantage of our weakness and violence to slowly gather more and more power. And we are too blind to see it.

We watch as the extreme left elects these same people into office who want to take what was built 230 year ago and replace it with a system that has never been successful in any country.

When will we stand up and take back our country the right way? When are we going to elect people who hold to the same Christian values that we do?

We better do it soon. Satan has control of this world and, because of our government’s lust for power, he gains more and more power each and every day.

Stand up, put on the armor of God, and get in the fight.

God Bless!

The Armor of God – Part 2

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One day last week, the Armor of God popped into my head. I’m going to take it as a nudge from the Holy Spirit. I love when He does that.

About 5 years ago I wrote about the Armor of God. You can read that post here.

What I didn’t know (or understand) is that each part of the armor has its own purpose and each part of the armor must be put on in a specific order. I will outline each part and its meaning and each description will be laid out in the order which you should put it on.

And put it on you should. We, as Christians, are under heavy attack by the enemy and we must be engaged in spiritual warfare every single day.

The Belt of Truth

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth…” (Ephesians 6:14)

The belt was the first piece of their armor that ancient warriors would put on. This held everything in place such as their underlying chain mail or tunic. Our belt is a belt of truth. That truth can be found in the Word of God. We must always stand fast in that truth and keep that truth in both our hearts and our minds. When faced with spiritual attack, the truth of God’s Word will help defend us.

The Breastplate of Righteousness

…and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” (Ephesians 6:14)

The breastplate was the next piece of armor to be put on. The breastplate protected the torso and all the vital organs within, including the heart. We are putting on the breastplate of righteousness. This will protect our hearts from Satan’s attack. He is always there, trying to remind us of our past regressions. We must always be aware that our past has been wiped away by the grace of God through Jesus. The breastplate will help guard our hearts from these attacks.

The Shoes (the Gospel of Peace)

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” (Ephesians 6:15)

A warrior’s feet are, arguably, one of the most important parts that needs protecting. The feet help a warrior stand fast against the enemy. They provide stability and agility and the freedom of movement. Protecting them is important. Damaged feet can severely hamper a warrior’s ability to fight.

The gospel of peace is the protection our feet need to stand fast against the enemy. It allows us to stand fast and proclaim the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

The Shield of Faith

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)

The shield is what I would call the first line of defense for the warrior. It is used to defend the warrior from the enemy’s attack. It will move with the warrior as he defends himself, regardless of the direction of the attack. Our faith is that first line of defense. When we are strong in our faith, we can stop ALL attacks from our spiritual enemies.

The Helmet of Salvation

And take the helmet of salvation,” (Ephesians 6:17)

The helmet is used to guard the head of the warrior against attacks from arrows, swords, and blunt force. Our helmet is used to guard our minds. That is where Satan attacks us. He tells us lies. If we believe those lies, then we start to question our faith. And when we question our faith, we lose focus on God and His Word. The helmet will keep Satan out of our minds so that we can always keep our focus on God.

The Sword of the Spirit

and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)

The sword can be used for both offense and defense. Our sword is the Word of God (the Bible). Using our sword, we can tear down any stronghold that the enemy may have over us. Lies told by Satan can easily be taken down because we have the truth in the Word of God.

We need our armor now more than ever. Public officials are being targeted by witches and Satanists; Baphomet statues are being erected in public; the arch of Baal was erected in Washington DC as well as New York City.

If you stay in the Word and never take off your armor, you can make it through these trying times.

God Bless!

The Religion of Oprah

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Oprah Winfrey is a cultural icon who has been in our homes since 1986.

She started with ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ back in 1986 and it ran for 25 years. She’s had on a variety of guests and tackled a number of different topics.

One of those topics is faith.

She has a rather interesting perspective on faith and what it means to her and what God means to her. She claims to be a Christian but she is closer to a New Age person than she is to being a Christian.

My wife and I follow someone on YouTube called Steven Bancarz. He was in the New Age for a while and then turned his life over to Jesus. He recently posted a video about Oprah and her beliefs. I will post a link at the end of this post.

I’m going to let the video speak for itself but I do want to summarize some of what she teaches and believes:

She believes that there are many paths to God, including Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Jesus spoke plainly of this when he said:

I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)

She believes that there are many ways to please God. That as long as you live your life well, then God will be pleased. Scripture clearly states the opposite:

For without faith, it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

She also ties in works-based faith such as being a good and generous person. Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Galatians that we are “not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ…” (Galatians 2:16)

She is taking the theology of Christianity and wrapping it in a New Age cloak. This makes the hard truths of scripture less important and make the “self” more important. This is dangerous and will lead many astray who look to Oprah for wisdom and  guidance.

She also looks to Eckhart Tolle for her spiritual guidance. Tolle is one of the biggest New Age authors out there and what he writes is in no way based on Christianity or the Bible.

If you are reading this, you’re a Christian, and you watch Oprah, please take the time to watch this video.

Lastly, please pray for Oprah and those who are following her guidance on spirituality. They need our prayers so that their eyes may be opened to what they are believing. They are putting their eternal life at risk with these beliefs.

God Bless!

All You Zombies (and you know who you are).

I was listening to the radio on my way into work one morning last week when I heard an old song by the Hooters from the 1980’s called ‘All You Zombies.’


And no, not those zombies. But it could be…

I’ll get to that later.

I don’t know the origin of the song and, it would appear, neither do The Hooters Eric Bazillian doesn’t know either. He said the lyrics just started coming to them without even thinking about it. As he said in an article in the Chicago Tribune:

”We just chased it down. We stopped what we were doing to go after this thing, and an hour later, the song was written, start to finish. We`re still trying to really understand the song. People ask us what it`s about, and while there`s a lot of heavy stuff in there, the weird thing is we didn’t consciously put it there. Who knows? Maybe in some bizarre way it came from somewhere else through us.”

The song lyrics tell of the stories of Noah and Moses and how no one listened to them when they each were telling the people about the coming judgement. They laughed at Noah when he was building his ark; they danced and partied and worshiped a bull while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments. 

The refrain talks about the ‘zombies hiding their faces’ and ‘the pieces gonna fall on you.’

I believe this to be a direct reference to Revelation 6:15-16:

And the Kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.

In my opinion, I don’t think it’s an accident how this song came about. God has a way of using people in order to try to warn everyone.

I wrote about zombies in our society: those people who have been so tied into their technology that they no longer see the world around them. Some of them have given an hour or so a week in church and that’s it; others give more time but, in the end, they have become zombies to their technology. They’ve being programmed to ignore God and just look forward to seeing a Like in their Facebook feed.

In the end, as the Hooters wrote (or God through them) that the pieces are gonna fall on them.

I’ll post a link to the song, below, so that you can listen to it and have your own interpretation.

God Bless!

https://youtu.be/2LE0KpcP05I

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

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I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6; KJV)

The Way
In the days following the resurrection of Jesus and His return to Heaven, believers gathered together in their homes to discuss the events of the preceding days and study and meditate on the teachings that were given to them by Jesus.

Contrary to what some might believe, these early followers of Jesus were not called Christians. That title wasn’t created until the Emperor Constantine did it during the Council of Nicea.

They originally referred to themselves as The Way. I believe this is due, in part, to what Jesus taught in the verse cited above. He is the way. He is the only way to salvation. Salvation can be found nowhere else but through Jesus.

In an earlier blog, I referenced a saying I’ve heard from a number of different pastors:

“The Old Testament is in the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.”

Jesus is on nearly every page of the Bible. The message of hope and salvation can be seen in every chapter from Genesis to Malachi and from Matthew to Revelation.

The Truth
When you get right down to it, the truth is that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

I know that might ruffle some feathers of those who have different believes but I’m not writing this to coddle you or (as some New Age people put it) there are many “truths” and many ways to get to Heaven. That’s not the case at all.

How do I know this? Because the Bible says so. Because the Bible also has something in it that none of the other books of faith have: prophecies written thousands of years ago being fulfilled today. All you need to do is read and study the books of Daniel or Isaiah or Revelation and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m not here to condemn other people’s beliefs but to show that believing in Jesus is the only truth out there and the only truth living for.

The Life
As Christians, we are given a new life; a life found in our faith in the blood of Jesus. That faith also give us the hope of an eternal life with Jesus.

However, as unrepentant sinners, we can never obtain this eternal life except by putting our faith in the blood sacrifice of Jesus and by repenting of our sins. Once we have done this, we can be assured of that life as Paul wrote about in Romans:

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:11)

It sounds cliché to say that that’s all there is to it but that’s the truth. The truth is that the way is through Jesus and, in the end, you will find eternal life.

God Bless!

The Passover Lamb

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I know that this isn’t the time of the season for this topic but I felt that I was prompted to write about this now.

I’ve been listening to Bible study audio books from Dr. Bill Creasy. He can bring an interesting perspective to the Bible that you might not hear anywhere else. This topic was one of them.

Passover is celebrated by the Jews as a memorial to their exodus from Egypt while under the rule of Pharaoh

The Jews lived in Egypt for more than 400 years (Exodus 12:40). Their life in Egypt began at the end of Genesis when Joseph, his father, and his brothers were reunited in Egypt. Pharaoh was a fair man and he allowed Israel and all of his family to live in the land of Goshen.

In the beginning of Exodus, we see that the Jews began to multiply; their families began to grow in number. At this time, there was a new king of Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. Because the king could not find a way to keep the Jewish population down, he instead decided to enslave them.

But God had other plans.

In Exodus 12, we read that God will cause the Egyptians to be struck by ten plagues. God outlined a series of steps that the Jews needed to follow so that they were not struck down by the tenth plague, that of the passing of death throughout the land of Egypt.

They were to purchase a one year old lamb and publicly sacrifice it. Each family was then to take the blood of the lamb and apply it to the lintels and door posts of their homes. This protected everyone inside from become a victim of the tenth plague.

Passover is a yearly celebration, marking the time when death ‘passed over’ the Jews.

Part of this celebration is the drinking of four cups of wine. The wine is a symbol of the joy that the people of Israel had when they left the land of Egypt. The four cups represent the promises made by God to the people of Israel (Exodus 6:6-7).

So where am I going with all of this?

“The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.”

Jesus celebrated His last Passover with his disciples. It is thought that Jesus only drank three cups of wine instead of four. There is no evidence for this in the Bible but, to me, this makes sense.

While He was on the cross, He cried out with a loud voice:

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Someone ran and put wine vinegar on a sponge and gave Him to drink. He drank of it and gave up the ghost.

That last drink was the fourth cup of Passover wine. The meal (and the sacrifice) was complete.

Jesus’ sacrifice (as the Passover lamb) guarantees that death will pass over us and that we will have an eternal life with Him in Heaven.

I hope this didn’t meander too much. I tend to ramble at times. 🙂

God Bless!

Matthew 25 – Being Prepared

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We do our best to try to be prepared for any one of a number of life events: getting married, saving money for your child’s college tuition, your retirement planning, etc.

These are all things that you try to do ahead of time. You want to make sure you are prepared early because you know that these things will probably come to pass.

In Matthew 25, Jesus teaches his disciples the parable of the ten virgins and how they are like the kingdom of heaven.

In the parable, the ten virgins took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were wise and brought extra oil for their lamps. The other five were not as wise and brought no extra oil.

While the bridegroom was taking his time, the ten virgins fell asleep. While they were asleep, the lamps of the five virgins who did not bring extra oil went out.

At midnight, there was a cry as the bridegroom arrived. The ten virgins awoke and were instructed to go out and meet the bridegroom. Unfortunately for the five virgins with the unlit lamps, they could not go out to meet the bridegroom. They asked the other five for oil for their lamps but the other five protested and said they couldn’t because there wouldn’t be enough oil for everyone:

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” (Matthew 25:9 KJV)

While the five went out to buy more oil, the bridegroom arrived and went into the marriage with the five virgins who came prepared. The door was then shut.

The other five arrived with the extra oil and shouted “Lord, Lord, open to us.” He answered them, saying that he knew them not.

In this parable, Jesus is teaching us to be prepared for his return because, as Jesus states in Matthew 24:36, no one knows the day or hour of his return, except for the Father.

So what should we take away from all of this? Be prepared! Don’t wait; don’t hesitate; don’t sit back and think that you have plenty of time to get with the program! Live your life as if Jesus is coming back this very hour. Only then will you truly be prepared for his return.

God Bless!