The Best Christmas Gift Ever

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For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 KJV)

When the Christmas season makes its approach, our thoughts go to trimming the tree, decorating the house, and getting together with family. And don’t forget about the gifts.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes we get what’s on our Amazon Wish List and sometimes we’re surprised with something we never even asked for. They are wrapped in the finest silver and gold paper with decorative bows and ribbons encircling each of them.

But the one gift some of us might not think too much about is the gift God gave us; the real reason we celebrate Christmas. It’s not about gifts and Santa; it’s about a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes; a child born in a manger given to us by a loving God.

So during this Christmas season, as we celebrate with family and friends, don’t forget to thank God for His amazing gift to us of salvation and eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and God Bless!

The Faith of Caleb (Numbers 13:30)

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Not too long ago I was listening to a radio show from a pastor in California. The topic was faith and how we can be challenged with our faith and that we aren’t as bold as we should be. We aren’t as bold as Caleb but we should be.

Caleb was one of twelve men (one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel) who went to spy out the land of Caanan promised to them by the Lord. When the men returned from their journey, they gave their report to Moses. They all reported that the land was flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord had promised. They also reported that the Amalakites were there, strong, and the cities were fortified. The believed they had no chance to take this land from the inhabitants of the land.

Except for Caleb and Joshua.

Caleb knew that the land that was promised to them by God would be theirs.

“Let js go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” (Numbers 13:30 KJV).

Caleb knew that if God could hit the Egyptians with ten plagues, lead them out of Egypt and through a parted Red Sea, and help the Israelites defeat their enemies in battle then he could lead them into Canaan and defeat those that dwelt in the land.

Caleb was bold enough to try to rally the people and tell them that if God can take them through everything they’ve been through, then He can take them into the land that He promised them. The Israelites, however, forgot that aspect. They also forgot that their God was an awesome and powerful God. They also forgot that He never breaks a promise.

Do you, at times, find your faith wavering? Do you find it difficult to profess your faith to others and witness to them the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ? I know I do. But sometimes we need to have the faith and determination of Caleb and remember that God is always with us and will help us through those difficult times. If you don’t know what to say to people when you are witnessing to them, the Holy Spirit will be there to give you the words that you may lack.

And if you haven’t found your faith and salvation in Christ, I invite you to do so now. Repent of your sins and turn towards Christ and follow in His ways. And if you need to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the comments section and I will get back with you as soon as I can.

Thank you for reading and God bless!

Why the Electoral College is Needed.

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The following paragraphs are something I posted to Facebook first but thought I would post it here as well. It’s definitely worth it to look into what the Electoral College system is all about. When all is said and done, one candidate lost and one candidate won. Unfortunately, some of the people who supported the losing candidate have decided it would be best to show their disdain for the president-elect by destroying parts of America, the very thing they are saying Donald Trump will do in the future. Kind of hypocritical, isn’t it? Okay, maybe not kind of; it IS hypocritical. What I find even more amusing is that some of the protesters who were arrested in Portland didn’t turn in a ballot or didn’t vote at all. So what say do they have in all of this? Okay, none, zero, zilch, nada. So maybe they should go home and change their diapers and use their new safety pin emblem to tightly fasten the clean one to themselves.

Okay, that’s it for my preamble rant. Here is the original post in it’s entirety:

I’ve seen a number of postings online about the Electoral College and how it’s a bunch of BS and it needs to go. To those who feel that way, I understand your point of view but here is my take on it.

The Electoral College is there as a type of check and balance. It was put in place as a way to keep heavily populated states from deciding the outcome of an election.Whether your a Republican or Democrat, how would you feel if the election was decided by the same heavily populated states and those states were not your party? I’m pretty sure that neither side would think it fair if the other party won every presidential election each and every time. You could have decades of government gridlock should the House and Senate be controlled by party opposite the president-elect.

That’s where the Electoral College comes in.

The Founding Fathers saw two different ways to elect a president: one by popular vote and the other by the House of Representatives. The first option had its drawbacks (as noted above) and the second could result in someone being elected because those voting had political aspirations or a political agenda. The Electoral College was a compromise between the two methods.

If you want to abolish the Electoral College, then do it the right way by getting a Constitutional amendment passed.

Burning down buildings and cars and destroying property really doesn’t get your point across. It just makes you look like a sore loser.

We Must Vote No Matter What

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I will make this short and sweet.

Today is Election Day 2016. This will be one of the most pivotal elections in my lifetime. Pivotal because whoever wins will shape the future of this country and her citizens. This will either make us or break us.

That’s why I am encouraging all of you to get out and vote (and just once, please!). As Christians, we must vote for the person who most closely holds the values which each of us hold. One of the most important issues for me, as a Christian, is abortion. One candidate’s position isn’t as clear as I would like it to be; the other’s, however, is quite clear. She is for abortion in any way, shape, or form and at nearly any point of pregnancy.

I know that I’m showing for whom I’m not voting but you need to make the decision for yourself. Get familiar with each candidate (if you aren’t already) and learn about the issues and where they stand on each of them.

Remember that how you vote will determine the future direction of this country. It could also determine the very survival of these United States of America.

Only God can Fix the Mess We’re In.

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I was completely undecided as to whether or not I would write this blog.

I try to stay away from anything political because it can cause a firestorm of controversy and unwanted comments. I would normally write about things Christian or things that God has put on my heart to write about. That being said, I went ahead and decided to do a combination of politics and faith. My position (and that of others I’ve seen) is that we need the latter to get out of the mess that was caused by the former.

On Tuesday, November 8, we all have a decision to make about which candidate for which we will pull the lever (or electronic do-hickey). Barring a fluke in voting, one of the two major party candidates will win. Given the animosity and mistrust between the two, there is a very good chance that the final results will be contested by one of them. And this could drag on for weeks, if not months. Wouldn’t that be grand? With all of the accusations of voter fraud, etc., this is a real possibility.

One thing I continue to hear is that supports of both of these candidates continually declare that their candidate can fix the mess we are in and not the other. One candidate knows how to get things done and work with Congress towards that goal. The other, a political outsider, can do better because of their negotiating skills.

Out of all of these arguments for each of the candidate’s skills to get the job done, the one person that is always left out is God. He is the only one who can fix the mess that we’re in; a mess we created when we systematically removed Him from the public square.

When Israel turned their backs on God and began worshipping other gods, they no longer enjoyed the favor of the one true God. They began to lose one battle after another against their enemies. The people and the land began to suffer. When they turned back to God, their land was healed and they began to prosper and win their battles against their enemies. 

We need to be praying to God against Hillary. She is connected to things that are beyond evil. If you have been paying attention to Wikileaks at all, you will know what I mean. 

We need to be praying to God to heal our land. We need to work to get Him back into the public square. When we turn back to the Lord, we will experience healing and our land will prosper again. 

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 KJV

Halloween – Just Another Harmless Holiday?

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October is here and in full swing. The air is beginning to get colder and crisper and the trees are beginning to display their fall foliage. In just about a week and a half it will be All Hallow’s Eve, otherwise known as Halloween.

It’s a time of year when kids go from door to door and collect candy from both neighbors and strangers; businesses will decorate for Halloween and some may even have a Halloween party for the children of the employees (mine is one of them). Some schools partake in the festivities by having a the kids parade around the school grounds in their costume of choice.

There are many stories which explain the origin of Halloween. Most of them seem to have a common theme among them.

Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic pagan tradition known as Samhain (pronounced ‘sow en’). This day is considered to be the highest holy day for pagans. For them, this is the day where the barrier separating the living from the dead is the thinnest and both the living and the dead can cross over into the other’s world. It’s thought that ghosts, goblins, witches, and demons of all kinds come out to play along with the spirits of the dearly departed.

Halloween Costumes

The origins of the Halloween costume are numerous and varied but I will narrow it down to the three most common ones I have found:

1) The costume was worn so that it would disguise the wearer from identification during their participation in the Samhain festival.

2) The costume was designed to attract the evil spirits to the wearer in an effort to commune with that spirit and have that spirit (or demon) become part of the wearer.

3) The costume would cause the wearer to take on the personality of the costume they are wearing.

The Jack O’ Lantern

There are a few different origin stories for the illuminated pumpkin but the one told by Irish folklorists is that of a man named Jack who tricked the devil into climbing a tree and picking an apple for him. While the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross into the trunk of the tree. Thee cross prevented the devil from coming down out of the tree. Jack made the devil swear that he would not try to steal Jack’s soul. The devil reluctantly made the promise.

When Jack died, he went to Heaven but God didn’t accept him because of the drunk and stingy lifestyle he led. The devil didn’t accept him either because of his promise to Jack. As Jack was leaving Hell, munching on a turnip, the devil threw a red hot coal at Jack. Jack caught it and put it inside the turnip as a way to light his way while he wandered the earth looking for a home. We now use the pumpkin as a substitute for the turnip as it’s a lot easier to carve.

Trick-Or-Treating

Today, kids can be seen roaming the streets going from door to door asking for candy. If no candy is provided, then they must perform a trick on the homeowner as a way of getting back at them for their confectionery oversight.

It is generally believed that this started as part of Celtic tradition. Many believed that not all of the spirits roaming the earth were necessarily good ones. They left treats out to appease the evil ones from doing harm to them.

Halloween has changed from its original Celtic pagan roots into something more palatable, having gained some of these changes from Roman Catholic influences. Some churches have even gotten into this more modern approach to Halloween by having activities such as ‘Trunk-or-Treat.’

As a child, I used to dress up and go out and collect candy from all the neighbors. At that age and time, I didn’t know any better. Now that I’ve been saved and my eyes have been opened, I realize that we are participating in the celebration of the occult.

Each family needs to make their own choices and decide if they want to participate in this. For me, however, the Bible is pretty clear on this:

” There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.  ” Deuteronomy 18:10-12

To me, it’s pretty clear where God stands on this. My family has chosen not to participate in this tradition. As Christians, I think we should all strive to do the same.

The New Testament Concealed.

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Earlier this week, I was having a discussion with one of my co-workers about the Old and New Testaments. I don’t honestly know how we got on the topic but my co-worker brought up the Bible and the fact that we don’t need to be following the Old Testament anymore. Now, I will add here that he is Catholic so that is definitely influencing his beliefs. The Old Testament is taught very little, if at all, in the Catholic Church or schools.

After he made his statement about the Old Testament, I told him that after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the sacrificial laws were fulfilled but not the moral laws. The moral laws from the Old Testament still apply today. What I didn’t get a chance to explain was that the Old and New Testaments are forever linked together.

I once heard a saying that the ‘Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.’ As I read the Bible and listen to Bible scholars and do Bible study, I see and hear some of these links. One of them, however, came to me that I had not thought about before.

In the Book of Exodus, God is delivering plagues onto Egypt. One of them is the plague where all of the first born will die unless they are inside with the blood of a lamb spread on the doorposts and lentil. We can see this in Exodus 12:23.

What struck me is that this is a foreshadow of what it to come with the crucifixion of Jesus.

If looked at closely, the doorposts and lintel can appear to take the shape of the cross, the blood of the lamb (Jesus) spread on the doorposts and lentil. Anyone in a house that is covered by the blood of the lamb will not die. The same holds true for anyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. His blood was shed on the cross for our sins and for our salvation. His was the final sacrifice for the forgiveness of all sins for everyone.

They are covered by the blood of the Lamb and will not die. Yes, we will succumb to a physical death (barring the rapture, of course) but our spirits will be with Jesus forever. What an awesome thought!

There are other examples of this but the fact remains that you can’t take the Old Testament away from the New because each of these are part of the other; they are forever linked as one book.

I believe that the only way to see these links is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And one can only do that if they are saved.

If you want to be sure of your eternal destiny, give your life to Jesus and make Him your Lord and Savior. Repent of your sins and ask for forgiveness and then start studying the Word. It’s not just a book; it’s a guidebook for all of life’s ups and downs. You’ll gain insight that you never thought possible.

You and the World (1 John 4:4)

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I logged into WordPress for the first time in a long time because I felt the need or maybe I should say I felt lead) to write something. I happened to be looking at the Drafts folder and found the entry you are reading. The only thing that was in the draft was the title; and I’ve altered it already. Originally, it only said ‘1 John 4:4.’

For the life of me, I couldn’t think of why I had started this draft. So, being as diligent as I could be, I pulled out my Bible and read that passage of scripture again:

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is in He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (KJV)

I decided to look at my YouVersion Bible app on my Kindle for the exact wording and, as it turns out, this passage is one of my highlighted passages. Okay, so now I’m thinking that there must be something to this and that I was certainly lead here for a reason.

Each of us has a struggle we deal with everyday, whether it be something like one’s pride or jealousy of others or something more serious like drugs and alcohol. All believe that all of these are rooted in the influence of ‘he that is in the world.’ That ‘he’ is Satan.

Even as Christians, we struggle with these temptations each and every day. We must keep in mind that God is always there for us. We we were saved, Jesus became a part of us and is dwelling in our hearts. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world.’ No struggle is too great for God to help us overcome.

I heard teaching by a pastor who said that each time you struggle with a thought or an action, stop and capture the thought in Jesus’ name and tell it to stop. I can say that it has helped me a lot with my daily struggles. Try it and see if it can work in your life as well. If not, then one think you can be sure of is that you can cry out to God (with a sincere and open heart) for help and He will answer you.

If you aren’t a Christian and are struggling, then consider giving your life over to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive your sins, repent of those sins and ask Him into your heart and to be your personal Lord and Savior. Then start walking in His ways, studying the gospel and getting to know Him personally. It’s not an easy trip to take but when the alternative is eternity in Hell, it’s definitely worth it.

I’m new to this walk as well but if you are struggling or just want to chat, post a comment and I will do what I can to help out.

God Bless!

 

Tattoos for Jesus? Group Raises Funds for ‘Church Plant’ by Tattooing Members, Sampling Booze

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TEMPE, Ariz. — A group in Arizona that identifies itself as being under the banner of Reformed Christianity recently raised funds for a church plant in Hawaii by offering tattoos and hosting a Bible conference featuring a beer flight. Apologia Studios, led by Marcus Pittman, which is a part of Apologia Church, led by Jeff…

I saw the above noted article on one of my Facebook feeds. I read through the entire article and was quite honestly not shocked at the content. While this group identifies themselves as Reformed Christians, I think they are not exactly practicing sound Christian doctrine. They use tattoos and beer flights as a means to add to their attendance roles rather than preach the true message of the Gospel. They are, what I would call, a ‘feel good church.’

They message does not prepare the body for what is to come but rather it is a message of ‘everything is fine, kumbaya and thanks for coming.’ It’s quite sad, really. There are more and more pastors who are afraid to preach the message of the Gospel and, more importantly, the Book of Revelation. Jesus said it best when He spoke of the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-17 (KJV):

“I know thy works, that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayes, I am rich, and increased with good, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.”

What better way to get the young people interested in a church and, more importantly, giving them their money than by offering tattoos and beer flights? I think if I wasn’t as discerning as I am now, I would probably be keen on something like this. Wow, I can go to church, get a tattoo and drink booze?! Where do I sign?!

If, as a pastor, you could preach a message that only spoke of how wonderful the world is and how wonderful God is (don’t get me wrong; God is awesome!), you could pack the seats every Sunday. Look at the churches of Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and Jesse Duplantis. They are filling places the size of football stadiums. They are preaching the ‘Name it and Claim it’ gospel. Unfortunately, I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible.

If the pastor of your church preaches this gospel, then run away and find a church that is teaching the lessons that are found in the Bible, especially in the letters and epistles written by Paul as well as the Book of Revelation.

There are dark times ahead and the church needs to be prepared. If pastors are not teaching us how to be spiritually prepared, then who will?

Source: Tattoos for Jesus? Group Raises Funds for ‘Church Plant’ by Tattooing Members, Sampling Booze

America: A Stiff-Necked People

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In the not-too-distant past, Moses led the Hebrews out of the land of Egypt and into freedom. He brought the descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob out of bondage and began leading them to the land God promised them: a land flowing with milk and honey.

But not long after being delivered from their Egyptian masters, they began to grumble and complain and remove God from their daily lives. While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving God’s commandments, the people were rebelling against God and Moses. They began to worship a golden calf, acting more and more immoral. God saw this and was prepared to deliver His wrath but Moses pleaded with Him to spare their lives (see Exodus 32).

Are we becoming the stiff-necked people spoken of in Exodus 32? Have the people of this country started down the slippety slope towards complete immorality?

I believe this has been going on for years but, in my opinion, has begun to ramp up. More and more I see us putting away the God of the Bible and worshipping things like money, cars, sports, and Hollywood. 

Many of the churches are now preaching a watered down gospel. Are they afraid of teaching the true gospel message because they don’t want people to leave and never come back? Should they be preaching about sin and repentance rather than money and prosperity? Yes! But with that message should also be a message about Jesus’ saving grace and His eternal love for us. 

Along with the idols of material things, we are seeing the very moral fabric of this country tearing itself apart: gay marriage is now considered a right; nudity, sex and violence on TV are at an all-time high; some retailers are allowing anyone to,use the bathroom of their choice based on how they feel that day. And the list goes on. 

Is there a way out? Absolutely! Turn from these 21st century idols and turn to Jesus. Ask for forgiveness and repent, before God removes His hand of protection from over our nation. 

If He hasn’t done so already. 

If you aren’t sure of where you are in this life or where to turn, give Jesus a try. Ask for forgiveness of your sins and ask Him to become Lord of your life. Then repent of those sins. Trust in Him and He will never let you down.