I admit, in my lifetime I have not seen this country so divided. I lived through a potion of segregation and saw the end of Jim Crow. I recall when Martin Luther King was assassinated and can remember motorcycle gangs roaring down the streets of Baltimore following the assassination. Yet, somehow this country largely pulled together to stand for right. Petty differences were laid aside in hope of a uniting nation. King, in part, sought to draw people together by reason of a common thread. That thread was that we were, and remain, of the same substance. That substance remains in that we are all human beings made in the image of God. Because of that there is more to bind us than to divide us.
I clearly recall the time this nation was attacked. Our towers in New York were destroyed. The Pentagon was a target and another plane went down in Pennsylvania. All of a sudden there were United States flags everywhere. The people of this land began to stand shoulder-to-shoulder. A return to God began to be the mantra of the hour. We were all United States citizens and there would be no force to break that bond. Unfortunately, this bond of unity would not last. The ugliness of divisiveness would soon rear its ugly head. All of a sudden everyone was to blame except those perpetrating the most horrendous acts.
Now, not long after those tragic events we had an election. The election was legally won and our new President will soon take office. Yet, there are some that see reason to be divisive and call the soon to be Head of State illegitimate. Others have chosen not to attend the presidential inauguration by reason of the false rhetoric of an illegitimate election. These words and actions have only served to divide a nation that is already in the worst state of harmony that I can recall in my lifetime. Well, enough of this divisiveness already!
Frankly, the Church has not acted much better. Perhaps this is why the country is acting so untoward. It is high time the Church began to remove the ridiculous rhetoric of divisiveness and rancor and began to pull together according to the Word of God. There is no room in the House of God for division. There is much room for love. After all, men will know that we are brothers by our love. That love is not merely a purported love for God. No, it is action taken which shows that we love each other. This could mean helping a family in need of help. It may mean lending a shoulder to cry on. That love might also me demonstrated in helping to heal the hurts of the past. No matter how that love is demonstrated it serves not to divide. Instead, true love serves to unite. This is the ministry of those that love; reconciliation.
The example of love demonstrated by the Church is a love that is apt to spill into the world. Even so, the love the Church demonstrates is really a type of love provided by the Godhead. The fact is that God so loved the world that He gave His son. The Son so loved that He gave His life. The Holy Spirit so loves that He dwells in man. Love is a reciprocal matter that has not time to entertain divisiveness. Love is not familiar with rancor. Instead, love seeks to reconcile broken people to those who have been hurt and damaged by the abomination of hate.
King was right. One’s pigmentation is not a matter that should be considered in any instance. Instead, we should look to the heart of man as God does. We live in a strong nation and ought not to be divided by the vitriolic and visceral verbiage of those that choose not love. The divisive nature of some in this country is only causing a divide that could bring about the downfall of this great nation. This is unacceptable and far from Christ-like. Enough of this divisiveness! It is time we broke the bands of this that binds us and remember the part of King’s dream that can and must be more than a dream. He looked forward to the day when we all can join together and not just sing the old Negro spiritual but actually walk in the words – Free at last, free at last. Thank God, almighty, we’re free at last!
It’s Day One of the Rest of My Life! I will triumphantly proclaim the greatness of the Lord. His Word is my Sword
I will praise the Lord my Rock
For His Mercy Endures Forever
In my storms, in my trials, in my troubles, in my pain
I will lift up my voice to my Lord
How Great is my God!
You are trustworthy O Lord
You ride the heavens to help me
and Your excellency in the clouds
Your love for me is too great to understand
He is El Shaddai – The Almighty God
He is YAHWEH-JIREH – The Lord who provides
He is YAHWEH-RAPHA – The Lord who heals me
Every day I will praise you
Every day I will worship you
Everyday I will meditate on Your great works
I lay aside every weight and the sins that try to ensare me.
I will run with endurance the race before me,
I keep my eyes on my Savior Jesus and I will not be ashamed
Search me, O God, and see my heart;
show me if there is any wicked way in me
lead me according to Your way everlasting life
Anoint me O God in the Highest heaven with the oil of gladness
Pour out your peace upon my mind and heart
Who are you O Great Mountain that tries to stand in my way?
For you shall become a plain before me
By You, O God, I can run against an army,
By my God, I can leap over a wall
The Lord is my shield!
He arms me with strength
He makes my way perfect
He sets me on high places
He teaches my hands to make war
so my arms can bend a bow of bronze
Today, when I hear Your voice,
I will not harden my heart as they did in the wilderness
Blessed be the Lord my God
and the Rock of my Salvation
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty
Let all heaven and earth praise Your Name
Praise God in the highest heavens and
Praise be to the Lamb who is worthy
Speak out God’s word and His praises from your heart. Fight off and bind up the enemies that try to destroy your heritage in the Lord. God’s word is a sword, let His praises fill the heavens and earth.
(A letter to all the followers of Settled In Heaven Ministries)
1Pe 1:3-6 KJV – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
This past year has been a difficult one for me. Beginning in July, the Lord allowed some medical problems to show up in my life that was the direct result of my birth defects that have remained, for the most part, dormant for 50+ years. Over the past 6 months I have been under 2 doctors’ care for these medical issues and have yet to find a resolution for them. I am confident that, in the Lord’s time, these things will come to an end and all will be well. Until then, I recognize the great blessing these medical issues have become in my life. They have drawn me closer to the Lord and have allowed me to experience the Lord’s great comfort and love in a very special way. I am blessed indeed.
But, in September, a far greater trial came upon my wife and myself when my mother in law (87 years old) was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away in mid-November. She had been living in our home for the past 14 years and was a constant source of blessings for us. We were blessed in being able to care for her in her last days in our home with the help of hospice. She is greatly missed by us both. Our lives have been permanently changed in her absence, but the Lord’s grace sustains us. We are thankful that her life testified of the wondrous saving grace that the Lord has shown to her. She is in a far better place and her suffering has come to an end. May we all praise Him for His grace!
I would appreciate your prayers about both of these issues. Please ask for the Lord’s grace to be shown and that I will remain faithful to Him. Thank you so much.
I do realize that many of you have faced much greater trials in the past year(s). The loss of a spouse, much more difficult medical issues etc . May the Lord bless you and keep you in a very special way this year and in the years to come. May His grace be sufficient for you and meet all your needs.
Also, let me quickly say, I am so thankful for my wife, Eva, seeing how the Lord has worked in her heart to comfort her and strengthen her through both of these issues that we have faced. In spite of all she has been through, she remains faithful to the Lord and a constant help for me. I do not know what I would do without her. May the Lord continue to bless her as she seeks to please Him and care for me.
To those who follow my blog on the ChristianBlessings website and the Christian Gazette…
Lord willing, temporarily, I will be suspending my posts on these sites. As soon as my health improves, I have every intention of beginning my postings once again. (My thanks to both Evelyn and Patricia for their understanding about this leave of absence). I will also be putting my video postings on my youtube site on hold as well.
However, I have every intention, as the Lord permits, to continue with my postings on my main Settled In Heaven site…. www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com For the time being, please continue to follow my postings there.
As I look to 2017, I have much to be hopeful for. Physical healing, continuing growth in grace and strength, the starting of a new series on SIH, and an anticipation of our Lord’s soon return all keep me hopeful and encouraged in Him.
Just think, it is possible that our Lord could come back anytime and take us home to be with Him and, once again, see our loved ones who have passed on before us! What a day that will be!
No matter what issues we have all faced in this past year(s), may we all keep our eyes on our coming Lord and realize that these trials are only temporal and soon, we will be home with our Lord enjoying eternal fellowship with Him…
2Co 4:17-18 KJV – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Woe to those who devise iniquity
And work out evil on their beds!
At morning light they practice it,
Because it is in the power of their hand,
They oppress and man and his house
A man and his inheritance.
God sees everything, nothing is hidden from Him. He sees the wicked and evil intentions people have for others. Hidden motives, they claim to be your friend, they say they wish you well, perhaps they are your own family members, they hug and kiss you with kind words just as Judas kissed Jesus They lie awake in the night scheming, they wake up and bring their thoughts to life. Their intention, which God see’s clearly, is to take what is not theirs. In their greedy hearts, they devise plans to steal a man’s inheritance and wish disaster on their family.
The bible was written to instruct us, correct us, guide us into righteousness , warn us, prepare us, convict and help us in every way. There isn’t a scripture or book in the bible without God’s divine hand of instruction for us.Although Micah was writing concerning Jerusalem and Samaria, there are many lessons and warnings applicable for us today. May God open your eyes to see and ears to hear and understand.
I found Micah to be fascinating and relevant for the present time- so listen carefully.
Watch out- many who call themselves brothers and sisters in Christ are NOT
There are people who secretly devise evil and wickedness against others have the sweetest words and countenance to fool you. Even more shocking, they assemble with us in our Christian house as a brother or sister in Christ, but they devise evil in their hearts. Yes! They worship God and sing his praises while they work iniquity. They may fool us, but they don’t fool God. The bible says that God turns his head from them and will not hear their prayers or cries for help.
But why? Why would anyone hate the righteous?
In Proverbs 29:27, the righteous are hated, abhorred and an abomination to the wicked:
An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
And he who is upright is the way an abomination to the wicked.
In 2 Cor 2:15-16, we are a stench of death to those who are perishing….
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
Watch out! Don’t think you can get away with mixing your ways and God’s ways
There are wicked, unrighteous and vile people among us- in our houses of worship and our ‘Christian communites’. They worship with us, pretend with their works, knowledge and words, but secretly, they are wolves in our midst. They don’t truly honor and obey God. Many have made their own ways, own laws and have backslidden so far they no longer see truth. Many times they have mixed truth with lies. This isn’t anything new, it’s written all through scripture. In fact, in Jeremiah, 2500 years ago,the women were worshiping the Queen of Heaven and worshiping God. God continued to warn them, but they would not listen. I found it very interesting that the women refused to stop because they said since they started worshiping and praying to the queen of heaven, all was well with them – their prayers were answered. The bible tells us that when we pray to anyone or thing other than God (idol) we are actually praying to demons. So many times I’ve had people tell me how their prayers were answered when they prayed to a statue of their saint and their prayer was answered. Be careful! You are praying to demons and surely they like it and will do all they can to pull you further and further from God. They hate you and want to destroy your soul. Did Jesus die for nothing? We pray to God in Jesus name. You must chose between the spirit and flesh and the spirit of the world and the Spirit of God. You can’t pick both.
Back to Micah 2……
As Micah, proclaims, there are those who lie awake at night devising evil as they lie on their beds, when the morning sun arises, they bring these thoughts to action because they can. They are greedy and never have enough, they are not content with what they have and they do everything they can to get more, more, more more- stepping on anyone along the way. They try to steal a man’s inheritance and oppress a man and his family
However, to God’s people: You wait and cling to the Lord. For the Lord is against this wickedness and is devising disaster. No longer will your enemy walk upright in their pride and haughtiness as they scheme to take your heritage and what is your blessing.
So many different thoughts to take from here on Micah…… Remember to pray for your enemies – this brings you a blessing. Also do not return insult for insult. Wait on the Lord and He will make all things right. The verses above say that God brings disaster on those of evil scheming, but He also is saddened to see the wicked perish. He patiently waits for the wicked to turn from their ways. The entire book of Revelation is chance after chance to turn back to God, but some will not and instead will turn and curse Him.
These people walk in a false spirit – a lying spirit- who falsely divines and seek diviners, sorcery, magic -and provoke God to anger, they have no inheritance in God’s kingdom, it was sin punishable by death, they sell themselves to do evil instead of obeying the Lord.
If you walk in these ways, you must stop and repent. Do as the people in the New testament did and destroy everything that has to do with witchcraft, sorcery, magic and calling on the dead. DONT BE FOOLED, God is not mocked, for whatever you sow, surely you will reap. Galations 5:20 and more…
Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit
I noticed something lately about opening my ears to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to fall of the track and take a wrong turn. We can so easily make excuses to do things we know we shouldn’t. It’s exactly how the devil worked in the garden, he mixed truth and made it seem okay- he still does that today. Often times I will want to do something or say something and Ill either know I shouldn’t or I am unsure. At this point, if I begin to reason within myself why its okay and it’s not a sin – sure enough – If I find myself reasoning to do something, it’s something the Holy Spirit doesn’t want me to do. God wants to lead you in all you do, stop to pray and ask for His direction. He will lead you.
–If you find yourself reasoning and arguing with yourself about whether or not to do or not do something – you might be trying to argue for your own desires and not God’s.–
Learn a spiritual lesson :
As we read these verses, there’s a spiritual battle lesson in this. Just as people deceive and scheme disaster against you, there are spiritual authorities in high places that have the same plan of defeat for you – to rob you of your inheritance of a child of God. These spirits want to destroy your life and your joy, filling us with wrong thoughts of fear, worry, anxiety, defeat and lies. YOU must stand up in this battle with the Word of God as your hope and your anchor (Your Sword). God will fight for you, He will strengthen you and He will send His warring angels to fight for you. However, you must not be a coward. Understand who you are in Christ, Your authority in Him and the Power of the Holy Spirit in you. Let that truth strengthen you.
No weapon formed against you shall Prosper
No wicked words or curses risen up against you shall prosper
This is your true and trustworthy heritage in the Lord
You belong to a Great a mighty God
A Great Warrior is He
Well, I planned to write more on the amazing finds on Malachi, but it seems I took off with this verse from Micah2:1-4 . Learn a lesson from it historically, spiritually and literally in your lifee:
Woe to those who devise iniquity,
And work out evil on their beds!
At morning light they practice it,
Because it is in the power of their hand.
They covet fields and take them by violence,
Also houses, and seize them.
So they oppress a man and his house,
A man and his inheritance.
Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, against this family I am devising disaster,
From which you cannot remove your necks;
Nor shall you walk haughtily,
For this is an evil time.
In that day one shall take up a proverb against you,
And lament with a bitter lamentation, saying:
‘We are utterly destroyed!
He has changed the heritage of my people;
How He has removed it from me!
To a turncoat He has divided our fields.
Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD: “The LORD looked down from His sanctuary on high, from heaven He viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.” So the name of the LORD will be declared in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the LORD. Psalm 102:18-22
Isaiah 9:2-7 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to usa child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. Andhe will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
A voice says “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”
“You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ” Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed him as his counselor? Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him in the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for the alter fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to? As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
ughhhhh 27 days! Can you believe this. I wished I was still sleeping when I woke up today because when I’m sleeping there is no pain, just an occasional weird dream. Not every morning is like today, every day is different.
I don’t have an exciting story about my concussion, I woke up with a bruised head and later I bumped my head at the gym during a vacation in fort Myers at Pink Shell. Two hours later it hit me. Not an exciting story, I wasn’t doing triples on skates, kayaking through rough waters, jumping out of an airplane or exploring caves in Turkey – no, just an ordinary knock me out concussion without notice! I’m in bed most of the day. I’m not supposed to read, watch tv or do anything with thinking but here I am blogging and I’m reading the bible, a little dizzy now, but I hope to make it through.
I had NO idea recovery would be this long. I’ve been wanting to blog but my mind won’t let me. It’s difficult to drive, it takes all my concentration. If I see a bird or an iguana or anything that gets my attention, I forget I’m driving “Oh look! that hawk is huge and has a fish in his claws..or is it a baby duck, what is it hmmm I wonder what lake he got that fish from ” or “wow, look at all those vultures circling the marked off area of swamp, I bet there’s a body in there, should I call the authorities, why aren’t the vultures eating yet” . So on my last 2 short driving excursions, those were a couple of my distracting thoughts before I remember again that I’m driving. I stay off the road mainly, just once or twice took a short drive, but need more time. If someone in front of you is slow, please be patient! it may be me, and I always honk bank. That’s just who I am.
Staring has become my new hobby and scrubbing a stain on anything for a long time, is a new skill i can do. I now notice things I never did before, like how I need to clean my blinds and my kitchen cupboards. One thing at a time. It’s almost like I’m on Ritalin. but hey, is anyone listening?
So let me share some things I’ve learned, Ive thought or helped me though:
- Always be prepared – Thank God I had 6 months of homeschool planned with papers printed and organized in a binder per week. I am sure God nudged me to do that for this purpose.
- Live a life to please the Lord and not people. I can’t make everyone happy and I am A OK with that.
- I think depression is an evil spirit that tries to take over, you need to fight back. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. If you don’t agree, that’s cool, I have no energy to fight. I think the same of anxiety as well. I cant see into the spirit world, but that’s what I’m thinking. Don’t be mad
- Is it just me, or are doctor’s over medicating everyone
- Please be quiet
- Always remain hopeful! So many times I was losing hope, hate that feeling! Healing is taking so long and I’m used to drive through wendy’s rapido about everything in life. So this sloooooowneess is a new thing to me. I remembered the 10 spies who went to spy out the land and 8 had NO hope, only 2 believed God even though it looked impossible. I have to remember this – even though my days may look hopeless- I don’t believe what I feel or see – I have to have hope, I have to believe that better days and healing are ahead. It would greatly displease God to see that I didn’t hope in His healing and hope and know that He is always with me.
- Fix my thoughts. I had to recite this daily and answer each question.
- what is true? God cares and watches over me, I rest in His shadow
- What is Noble? A heart that Loves the Lord
- What is right? That I don’t give up, that I hang on to the Lord – wait on the Lord, yes wait on the Lord
- What is pure? The heart of the Father who created me and His Son who died for my awful sins.
- What is lovely? Your eyes are like doves, thank you Jesus!
- What is admirable? to be light and an example of Christ in this world
- What is excellent? God’s goodness!
- What is praiseworthy? My heart is full of thanks for all the blessings of God, they cannot be counted. So so so so thankful for laughter and humor. So many things have made me laugh even when I couldn’t talk in the hospital.
- Change your thoughts to thankfulness, certainly theres something you can be thankful for. Hey! I can read!
- Ask God for joy, that He would pour out the oil of gladness on you. sing it: If you want joy, you must ask for it, if you waaant joooy you must ask for it…the joy of the Lord is your strength!
- I hope I never have another bear dream again
- God knew this was going to happen, God is in control. He cares! yes He does. Trust in Him
- Ask for peace, amen. Pray for healing and never give up.
- I watched John Hagee and He said God never takes something from you unless He’s going to give you something far better than what you have. Give up whatever keeps you in bondage. Take the challenge to be better than what you can be. Maybe God dropped a catfish in my life to increase vigor – had to watch show to get that
- I’m getting dizzy but I don’t want to stop
- I found peace and rest in the shelter of the Most High, yes I did.
- He calls you back to Him
- His mercy is New every day! I say this every morning to myself. I didn’t get it at first but now I do.
- His power is perfected in weakness, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one. Read Paul’s many attacks and you’ll feel better.
- Read Job, He lost everything, even his dignity before all he knew. Hang on to God’s hope and don’t ever give up.
- Stop worrying, you need to fix your thoughts for that one.
- Bring all your thoughts captive to the Lord! He’s had to take a lot of luggage full of thoughts from me lately.
- Let the Word of God change your mind, to be a new person in Christ
- Glory in your infirmaties – Lord knows I’m still working on that – that the power of Christ may rest upon me, I’m not sure I wrote that one right
- The stuff I’m writing is in the bible, but I don’t have the wherewithal to give you the scriptures
- Should I celebrate Rosh Hashana ?
- So so so thankful for friends and family for helping me! Also, for sending me encouraging verses – and dinner! thanks M!
- “Nevertheless, He regarded their affliction, when He heard them cry” Ps 106:44
- The Lord says ” I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be my people” 2 Cor 6″16
- “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them out of their distresses. Ps107;6
- Repent! I’ve been a jerk
- Sorrow and mourning is good, it refines us, ask King Solomon, he’ll tell you
- “He brought me out of the darkness and the shadow of death and broke their chains in pieces. Ps 107 somewhere
- Is 26:3-4 The Lord will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him. Trust in the Lord forever
- Calm down! psalm 131
- Charles Stanley said ” You cannot wander to far, fail too many times or exceed Christ’s When you repent and turn to Him, He restores you to fellowship as though nothing had ever happened.
Okay, Im too dizzy and slightly nauseous to finish but I have lots more to share and say but it takes to much effort so for now, I must rest! That needs editing, excuse me, I must go stare at my closet door for a few hours. I hope you enjoy my journey blog.
Pray always! Never stop. The Our Father and Ps 23 have been my help and my meditation through it all
Peace people and Behave!
In light of some of the problems that plague the United States many have either forgotten or have never know what the “American dream” is really about. There is a considerable lack of understanding of why our founding fathers fled the oppressive hand of one, King George. Well, there is little sense in rewriting the history books. However, it serves great purpose to examine two points of interest in respect to the founding of the United States as it relates to the American dream.
Item one – The matter of religious freedom under King George was much less than a misnomer. One had to essentially celebrate his way or no way. This is to say that King George preferred a State religion. It was, in a manner of speaking, a type of the bondage held by the Romans over the Jews. The Israelites were not allowed to worship God as they desired. They had to worship predicated upon the desires of the ruling authority. This was the problem between King George and those that sought freedom.
The real American dream had much to do with religious freedom. The preamble of the Constitution of the United States points to our Creator. It is our Creator that affords us the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights. The chief freedom is that of religion (or Christianity) as seen by our founding fathers. The 1st Amendment says in part that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” Hence, part of the American dream is one that allows the free worship of God without interference from Government. Note, the Amendment says nothing about freedom from religion, as some purport. Instead, the Christian need not hide or celebrate in private. He has every right to worship God publically without fear of governmental retaliation.
Still, there are those that seek to destroy Christianity. Christians are the only group of people wherein it is politically correct to offend and attack. Christians are the only ones forced to acquiesce to things contrary to the teachings of Scripture. Moreover, when Christians stand for godly virtues they are called everything but the children of God. Well, this is not what the founding fathers had in mind and this is not pleasing to God. The question, then, is where is the American dream for Christians desiring only to please God?
Item two – Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution discusses taxation. This is important because King George had no trouble imposing high taxes on the people. Among the taxes imposed on the young Colonies were the Tea, Quartering and Stamp taxes. None of these taxes did anything to aid America (not yet the United States) but served only to bolster the British desire. This was, in essence, theft of labour. This is why taxation, as outlined in the Constitution, was designed to be limited in scope and for the specific purpose of defending the homeland. The exact verbiage in part is, “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.”
Now, some argue that taxes should be high. Some even seek to biblical reason for such actions. While it is good and wonderful for the people to be generous and give of their labour it is not encumbered upon the Government to force such generosity. This is tantamount to slavery. Instead, part of the American dream is a dream to work and be successful. Some will fail and others will not. This really does not matter; the pursuit of happiness means there will be a struggle and that struggle comes in many forms. Financial stability, without an oppressive tax system, goes a long way to securing the American dream.
Many things can be addressed and the Constitution can be juxtaposed with Scripture on many fronts. And that is the point – freedom and the real American dream is a dream of worshipping God, even with our money, away from the oppressive hand of King George and the like.
Working in a maximum security prison with hardened inmates I get to see a lot of things. One of the things I see regularly is men walking around with walls so thick that it would take bulldozers to penetrate those walls. Yet, when I bring those same men in my office to speak with them the frailties begin to shine through. The walls are really a front because in the prison setting showing any sign of weakness could mean life or death.
My point is that while many put on strong fronts mankind is extremely frail. We are frail because we need to realize that we exist because of the strength of God that resides in those of us that rely and trust on the Lord of our Salvation. Despite this there are some who see themselves as strong and that they should be strong for those around them. This idea seems strange because it suggests that one should live outside what he is in order to present as something he is not. Let me explain.
My work as chaplain means that I have to deal with people in all stages of life. One stage is sickness. You see, very recently a young man, not yet in his thirties, suffered a stroke while on the unit. This young man was rushed to a local hospital and I was notified. I quickly notified the family of the disease ridden young man. From there I determined I would visit him in the hospital and find a way to authorize a family visit. The warden was quick to approve the family visit and my plans to visit were being finalized.
At the appointed time I went to the hospital. Family members were there before I was. The young man, while conscious, was not very responsive. Family members and friends were apparently broken as they saw the helplessness of the young man and their own weaknesses. Out of well meaning one family friend advised the mother to be strong for the young man. This, in my view, is the problem. The mother had no ability to be strong. Her young son was lying in a hospital bed with no sure prognosis. He was moving yet not communicating. A young man who might have been thought strong was quite frail and frail indeed.
The mother could not contain herself. She was unable to stay in the room. He son was not only a ward of the state but also a ward to the trouble that rests in his body. She would not be comforted. She could not be comforted. Her human frailty began to break forth the more she considered the dire state of the son she loved. It was not within her to be strong. It was only within her to weep and morn. Her weakness allowed her to be human.
When we consider biblical characters Paul might be said to be amongst the strongest. His evangelical tours proved to be more than undetermined weak people could consider. The strength of Paul was enough to move him forward. The weakness of Paul allowed him to trust God. This idea of the weakness of Paul is amplified in II Corinthians chapter twelve. Paul’s continued reliance on God caused him to realize just how weak he was. It was also opportunity for the strength of God to be realized in frail man.
With this, I would encourage all to lay aside the idea that we should be strong on every count. As I left that hospital room and headed back to the prison my weakness began to come forth. It was all I could do not to cry. This was coupled with the fact that the day before I attended the funeral of a family member of a co-worker. Yes there are times when we must reach down in order to pull some who have given in to weakness. Even so, we are only able to pull because of the strength of God that resides in us. Do not be ashamed of the frailty of humanity. Instead, in frailty allow the strength of God to pour in and through you.