Friday, December 28, 2012

New Beginnings

 In the beginning God created
Gen 1:1 (NASB)

This is my last post this year, 2013 is right around the corner,and judging from the headlines we need a NEW BEGINNING in this country. The political GAME PLAYING in Washington is become more than I can stomach. Fiscal cliff notwithstanding, those words" new beginnings" came up in a conversation I had a couple weeks ago and they stuck with me.

Beginning-"the first part", "the origin, source or first cause of an action"

Foregoing the rosy intros into this message I want to ask you a simple question, "Are you in a rut?" "Do you look out at the 2013 landscape and see the same ol', same ol' of 2012 and years past?" Yeah, I feel you. You know in these times that beset us it is easy to develop a skewed vision of the future. In the midst of all the !!$#$&*&$%#@# going on in Washington(get rid of ALL of em'!! smile, There I said it!) it's hard not to take a deep breath and say "What's the use?" Know what I mean? We lose sight that God is on the throne and yes HE is still sovereign PTL. At any rate those two words have been floating around in my head for the past couple weeks and I thought I would share my heart with you today. Something from my personal life.

While I was sitting around the other day those new beginnings popped into my head and I started thinking about something new that I would like to try. I have always wanted to learn a foreign language and being as I have travelled in France I thought why not learn French? Well, I asked God if that pipedream would be a waste of time. Now to be honest I don't think God cares whether I learn a foreign language or not, but, I asked Him anyway. Without receiving a negative answer I decided to pursue it a bit further. I called a local community college and drove down to the campus and lo and behold they were offering a beginning French class that fit into my existing schedule. Not only that I learned that because I am a shhh.. senior citizen(60 and above) I can take that French class for FREE!! No tuition, all it will cost is the price of a textbook!Halleleuia, this must be from God!(smile) So, Lord willing I start back to school on January 17th, 2013.

Brothers and sisters, I realize that possibly this is a whimsical use of space. There are infinitely more pressing concerns in all of our lives, but, I just wanted to share that God allowed me a new beginning, however comical or flaky it might appear. Focus on that verse again:

In the beginning God created
Gen 1:1 (NASB)

As I am sure by now, you are well aware that this verse is incomplete. I left it that way on purpose.That's for you to finish. Do you need a new direction in life? Have some doors been shut in your face by others? Are you shackled by circumstances and feel that there is no way out? Let God have a shot at it.

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Cor 5:17 (NASB)

I believe that God wants to do something new in our lives this coming year. In spite of all the blather and hopelessness pouring into our lives from a hopeless world, if you are a child of the King there is HOPE! WE HAVE A FUTURE! Let's allow Him to create a new thing in our lives and make 2013 a year to remember!!

13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Psalms 27:13 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, December 21, 2012


3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Jude 1:3 (NASB)

Mayan calendar notwithstanding, I want to wish you and yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! I love this time of year as I bethink of Christmas' past..., playing Santa Claus, being woke up at 5 or 6 in the morning by the kids and running down the stairs to see what Santa had brought. Good Memories. At any rate here's wishing you a wonderful Christmas season.

My message today is more of a story being played out in the life of one of my friends. It seems that some years ago this person decided to put a Christian symbol in their front yard. Without any fanfare or attraction they displayed this statement of faith and nothing was ever said. During this time this person checked with their neighbors to see if anyone had an objection to the symbol. None of the neighbors had any reservations and some even expressed that they liked it being that visible.It became a part of the neighborhood landscape. But, it seems that recently some complaints have been lodged with the local neighborhood management desiring the symbol(a cross) to be removed from the yard. My friend had a couple of letters from the Homeowners Association requesting they remove it. The letters met with refusal and just within the past few days another letter was received from the Association President. Now the following is what my friend told me this past Tuesday evening. He said that he had decided to temporarily remove the cross to keep peace. He was literally pulling the cross out of the hole he had dug and when he had pulled it up, he said a voice spoke to his heart, saying "Don't do that." " Put it back." He did a double take and said he heard that voice again speak the same words. So, he put the cross back in the ground and there it stands today. He told me that he felt like he was making a stand. Not arrogantly but in obedience. When I left off talking to him the above verse crossed my mind. Understand that this verse in context is talking about contending against people who are introducing heretical doctrines in the church. But, it has application here I believe. That word 'contend ' means to strive or stand against. Now, I don't know where this path my friend has chosen is going to take him; but, I suspect that as the days grow ever darker in our nation and world that we who name the name of Jesus may be called upon to"make a stand." If you read on in the Book of Jude you will come across these verses:

17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
18 that they were saying to you, " In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."
19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Jude 1:17-21 (NASB)

While we still enjoy a relative amount of freedom we are well advised to seek God's Word as it has some instruction as well as encouragement for these times.The Word tells us to "remember the words spoken beforehand" we have those words preserved in the scriptures. It also instructs us to "build yourselves up." How? By "praying in the Holy Spirit." I'll close with this. When all is said and done. When all the doctrinal statements have been made, and the opinions and teachings have been pored over, the BEST teaching that we can learn is just this..Read your Bible and Pray. Amen? I'll keep you informed of what happens in my friend's front yard. He covets your prayers.

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 1:24-25 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, December 14, 2012

None Ya!

I write this almost half-heartedly as through the miracle(?) of technology, I am witness to yet another American horror story in Connecticut. My message, seems to me insignifigant in the wake of the tragedy today. But, I will post it and maybe we all can glean something,God willing.

My mother and I play a little game over and over again these days. She is always worrying that I don't ever do anything. I am unhappy(that is her favorite word for me lol) She is always saying that I need to get out and go somewhere. Get a life in today's vernacular. So, when I do go somewhere, I make it very mysterious when Memaw asks me where I am going., Her stroke affected her short term memory so she asks over and over, " Where are you going?" "Who are you going to see?" etc., etc., etc. The more vague I am with my answers, the more intense the third degree becomes.(smile) So, finally after bantering back and forth I will come out with my standard response,"None ya!" Although she has heard that expression a zillion times, she will get this puzzled look on her face and cock her head and say

"What, what does that mean, none ya?" Almost laughingly I will reply"None ya business!" She will get this sourpuss look on her face and say"Oh, just go then!" (big smile)

That being said, I read a verse this week that stood out to me.

17 Like one who takes a dog by the ears Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him.
Prov 26:17 (NASB)

You know we live in the Information Age. Acouple of mouse clicks, a few Google searches and Voila!
we can be privy to a ton of information about anything or anyone. You agree? The Internet has made us a bunch of snoopers. Don't get me wrong, I am as guilty as the next person.On a daily basis I swing out of bed and almost before my feet touch the ground I am checking my cellphone for the latest news, e-mails, gossip, etc.,etc. Can I get an Amen?

But, you know sometimes our snooping becomes meddling, ya feel me?


Transliterated Word: abar (720d)
Root: denom. vb. from 5678;

Definition: to be arrogant, become angry:--
—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

A lot of times people will interject themselves into our lives,(or maybe it is we that are doing the interjecting) and circumstances where they are not invited. That word meddle becomes relevant. They or we have become arrogant for assuming that they or we "belong" at that place in our or someone else's lives. Sometimes we assume that we know what is best for someone else and will try and fix it. Are you hearin' me? The Bible has a word for this: BUSYBODY.

Vine's Dictionary of New Testament Words defines it thus: "to be working round about, instead of at one's own business,""to waste one's labor, to be meddling with, or bustling about, other people's matters."

It's one thing to offer our help to someone or to serve someone in time of need or otherwise.It's an entirely different matter to butt our noses in where they don't belong. I'm preaching to me here as well as anyone else. When we assume that role the outcome will always be the same. Strife and division. In the end when you or I or anyone takes THAT DOG by the ears it is you, me,or them who is going to get BIT!

At any rate, like I said earlier, my words pale in comparison to what has happened today. People, in our country today the schoolyard is a DANGEROUS place to be! We as a nation need to WAKE UP! When kindergartens and elementary schools become warzones akin to Afghanistan... well I don't know. Let's quit swinging at each other and start swinging at the REAL enemy.

8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)

For all of us and especially those in Connecticut

4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, December 7, 2012

They're Your Pearls

6 " Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Matt 7:6 (NASB)

The Holy Spirit spoke this verse to me yesterday while I was doing my daily(well almost daily) walk. I had been praying about some things and He spoke this verse to me. Try this on. Have you ever had a dream about something that you wanted to do in your life? Maybe it was a dramatic life altering decision like switching vocations or going back to school. Maybe it was on a smaller scale like losing 50 lbs.( hmm that hits close to home lol) or getting in shape and running a marathon. Whatever your dream or aspiration, it was something that you wanted to do or change about yourself. You know how it goes. You get all psyched up. You ask the Lord to help you and guide you. Then you march out and share your dream with someone or someone's(?) else,seeking their encouragement and support, and they commence to tell you how foolish or dumb or impossible your dream is. By the time they finish with you... well you say to yourself " well maybe I need to reconsider" or " yeah, they're probably right. it was a dumb idea." Does that sound familiar? Here's another scenario. You feel like God has spoken to your heart to do something and you decide that you will and all of a sudden the ol' devil will fill your mind with all manner of doubt and fear. And if you are anything like me, you begin to reconsider and question yourself. What happens is (and this is my word for the day) you and I APPEASE the resistance. Look at that word appease.

Hebrew NASB Number: 3722a
Hebrew Word: ‏כָּפַר‎
Transliterated Word: kaphar (497b)
Root: denom. vb. from 3724a;

Definition: to cover over, pacify, make propitiation:--
—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

The Oxford Dictionary takes it a bit further.

1. pacify or placate (someone) by acceding to their demands

You see our detractors, whomever they may be DEMAND that we reconsider. That we back off or quit altogether.It's TOO stupid or dumb or irresponsible or too WHATEVER. They want us to pacify or APPEASE their opinion or sensibilities. Notice I said THEIR. That's what the Lord spoke to my heart yesterday about some issues in my life. Quit appeasing those who don't really care in the first place. Don't pour your heart out to those who want nothing more to do than trample and crush it. You getting my drift? Listen God's got a different idea. Look at this.

18 Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off.
Prov 23:18 (NASB)

God has a SURE future for us. You know as we get older our perspective changes about the future and what it holds. Things that were important at 30 aren't quite as important at 60. Outlooks change,but no matter what age you are, nine to ninety- nine God has a what future? A SURE FUTURE! Not only that, it says that YOUR hope will not be cut off. Yes, that means YOUR dream, YOUR aspiration will not be cut off. You remember don't you? That dream that was so real to you. The one that everybody said to forget about. The one that YOU forgot about. God didn't forget about it. Pull it out of the closet and dust it off. God wants to make it happen.

11 ~'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Jer 29:11 (NASB)

The verse above is Israel's hope for the future. It can be our hope for the future also.

1 O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me.
2 Many are saying of my soul, "There is no deliverance for him in God." Selah.
3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Psalms 3:1-3 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, November 30, 2012

O Tannenbaum

Man, it is gorgeous outside today! It is beautiful out there today as the first few days of the Christmas.. ughh..sorry..the Holiday season gets into full swing. (more on that shortly) As I watched a newscast this week,I realized that I(we) was(were) watching the last faint heartbeats of what we call common decency in our fair land. More than that, we are presiding over the slow death of plain ol' COMMON SENSE! Let me 'splain myself here.

I watched this week a newscast that showed a leading political figure in our country(a state Governor) tell a national audience that he was offended at calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen.Now, for fear of offending the sensibilities of some folk, the tree that would serve as the official? tree would be called a Holiday tree.Never mind that the Federal Government has designated December 25th, CHRISTMAS DAY as a federal holiday, we shouldn't call the tree a Christmas tree. I just had to shake my head and chuckle.

On a similar note I was told about a commercial that was marketing this holiday season as "the season of reason." The REASON being obvious. So as not to offend any potential customers who might not like the reference to Christ. I mean C'MON MAN! I thought about that newscast all week. I began to wonder what reaction, if any, that the King Of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ might have to all of this. As I thought about this a play on what Pastor Doug this week said about Israel came to mind. The question begs an answer.

What has Jesus ever done to you and me? In what scurvy,sordid way has He treated us to evoke such a heated response? What are His crimes against humanity? Why are we so angry at Him just for the mention of His name? Hmmmm.. Good question.

Let's see what the Bible says about Him.

1 " Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 "He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3 "A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 "He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."
Isaiah 42:1-4 (NASB)

All He's done is proclaim healing and restoration for a fallen race. He was so meek and gentle that He wouldn't break an already bruised reed in His dealings with men and women. Not only did he proclaim liberty and justice for all, but He also offered life to any that would receive it. Not just life but ETERNAL life.

16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NASB)

However, to acquire that life someone had to die. So this meek, gentle, suffering servant VOLUNTEERED to give His life to pay OUR debt.

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 (NASB)

Let's see now, meek, gentle, loving, restoring,forgiving and dying all for us and we repay Him by despising and becoming offended at the mere mention of His name.

Listen to me Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We live in an Age of Grace right now. God, in His infinite mercy and grace is allowing time for any who will, to take the Lord Jesus up on His offer. During this time the world mocks our Lord and Savior, THE ONLY LORD AND SAVIOR I might add. But, just as time ran out in Noah's day so too it will run out in this, our day. Then, the mockery of the One we hold so dear will cease. It would behoove us all to pay CLOSE attention to what God has to say concerning His only begotten Son.

1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 "Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!"
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.
Psalms 2:1-4 (NASB)

10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Phil 2:10-11 (NASB)

As it was told to me so many years ago.. me,you and indeed the whole world has a choice...we can bow now or we can bow later.

20 ~'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
Rev 3:20 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Light In The Darkness

14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
Matt 5:14 (NASB)

Man! Help somebody!! I'm ready to jump off the Holiday train and it just pulled out of the station!!! I tried to sit down and write this out today but there was something happening all day long. We had a long night at work last night after gorging all day onThanksgiving goodies. It seemed as soon as I woke up today there was something going on. Finally, I just got back home from taking my grandson out to eat and have now at 6:45 p.m. just sat down. I'm not feeling real spiritual right now but, you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it and am truly thankful for the GREAT food and the time I got to spend with my loved ones. As I was riding home thinking about what I would write my mind went back a couple of days this week. It was no great spiritual insight or revelation, but about the life of someone that had gotten touched this week from a message that had been sent out that very same week. A little background please Maestro. O.K.

This past week I noticed many different posts on Facebook by different ministries.They were all touting the many different ways that God had blessed their ministries; and, also how they were reaching out to the community with the resources that God had so richly blessed them with. Now, I was thinking about how successful those ministries and how much they were in the public eye when my son called me. In the course of our conversation he told me that a close friend of his had written him and proceeded to summarize the letter to me. After he had finished he told me what inspired this message tonight. His friend writes a bi weekly sermon and sends it out via the internet. One of those messages had touched my son's girlfriend and she had begun reading the internet sermons. The message had moved on the both of them enough to make them want to go to church and so they did.O.K. Ronnie. So what!? It happens all the time. 24/7/365. Yes I understand that but hear me out. It was not the fact that a message had been sent and received but it was where the message originated from. You see, in all those great ministries that I read about this week I nowhere read that a life had been touched. Yes, those various ministries absolutely DO touch people's lives, but for me, this week it was this one letter that I heard about. Now for my point. This letter and all the aforementioned bi weekly sermons came from the pen of an inmate in the darkness and hell hole of a prison cell in Jackson, Ga.

There were no television cameras or radio stations attending to this letter. No fancy computers to assist the writer in his labors. No, it was written by a man with a pencil and paper in longhand then hand delivered to another person for transcribing on to a computer and sent out over the internet. No facebook or twitter posts to inform the public. Just a simple hand written letter from the inside of a prison cell. But, it TOUCHED a life. It made a difference at a point in time in the life of another human being. And THAT dear reader IS my point. Look at that verse again:

14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
Matt 5:14 (NASB)

Brothers and sisters it matters not your circumstances or station in life. You may not think that you are doing anything of substance but think again. There is nothing glorious in going to work day after day,year after year to give your children or loved ones a decent life. No, no.. you aren't going to make any headlines teaching a Sunday School class or keeping a nursery. The networks probably aren't going to beat a path to your door for caring for that loved one or giving to that charity. But, I can assure you that God is taking note and so is someone in this world. You are a light dear Christian, a city set on a hill.

No, that letter and those bi weekly sermons won't make Fox News or TBN or even Facebook. Likewise for the unseen toil that YOU are and have been bearing. But, trust me God is taking note and writing a Book Of Remembrance about it. Oh yeah, YES HE IS!

14 "You have said, 'It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts?
15 ~'So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.'"
The Book of Remembrance
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name.
Mal 3:14-16 (NASB)

Brothers and Sisters, if you are in a prison cell God sees your labor. If you are working hard just to keep food on the table God knows it. He is not going to forget it and you WILL reap your reward.

9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Gal 6:9-10 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Effectual Prayer

This is my last post before Thanksgiving so HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Hope ya'll have a good one because I assure you, God willing, I am going to! I've been on a low..well lower carbohydrate diet for cholesterol but come next Thursday carbohydrates beware.. I have you in my sights! Cornbread dressing and pie here I come!! At any rate, for some reason this past week I pulled out my prayer for 2012 which I wrote out last New Year's Eve and was surprised no, I was taken aback at how many of my prayers God had answered for me this past year. It actually caused me to pause and reflect to just say "thank you Lord." This week I was reading in James and came across this verse.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

James 5:16 (NASB)

I paid close attention to the hind end of that verse because I actually had been encouraged by reading my prayer of 2012 and wanted to dig a little bit on what that verse was saying. Just what is an effective prayer? I'm not a big subscriber to the books or schools of thought that give "how to's". You know.. "seven steps to this or that". Not saying that there isn't some helpful advice in those how to's.They just haven't been helpful to me. But, here's what I gleaned this week. Look at that word "effective".

Greek NASB Number: 1754

Greek Word: ἐνεργέω

Transliterated Word: energeô
Root: from 1756;

Definition: to be at work, to work, to do:--

List of English Words and Number of Times Used
accomplish (1),
brought about (1),
effective (2),
effectually worked (2), (1),
work (6),
working (2),
works (7).

—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

You know what really jumped out at me here?

To be at work, to work. Effective prayer is the 'W' word. It's work. That is truth to this writer. I don't know about you but there are times,.. if the truth were known, MANY times that I simply do not WANT to pray. I would rather do anything than pray. I don't know how to say it any plainer. Not very spiritual here I'm afraid, but, I just do not want to pray sometimes. IT'S TOO HARD!

Maybe that's not you but, I'm sorry that IS me. If that struck a chord inside of you then give me a shout out!! Amen. It takes discipline sometimes. You have to MAKE yourself pray. It reminds me of the old Ringo tune(that's Ringo Starr for all you pups out there) you remember?

"If you wanna sing the blues, then you got to pay the dues, and you know it don't come easy." (smile)

The flesh just doesn't want to humble itself and pray. Or at least my flesh. I found something else out about that word effective. That word also means "an inworking" meaning that prayer works on your insides. Let me try and explain.The Bible says this about prayer.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Phil 4:6 (NASB)

In today's vernacular" let her rip" Take everything to the Lord in prayer. Nothing is too small or insignifigant in His eyes.But, here's what happens in that prayer time. As we begin to talk it over with the Lord, He starts speaking to our hearts about our requests; what is good and acceptable and what might have the wrong motivation behind it. You getting my drift? That's the other meaning or sense behind that word effective. The more we talk to Him, the more He conforms us to His mind and His desire for us.

Beyond that and probably more important is that God wants us to be real with Him" Lord, I pray for world peace". O.K. I understand that, but, I need some peace in MY heart before I take on the world. Amen? We tend to offer lofty prayers to God with high ideals, while ignoring the anger we have with our next door neighbor.Listen, I'm preaching to myself here. Listen, if you stubbed your toe on the door and yelled out something you might not should have HE knows all about it. Bottom line. If you got a headache tell God that you got a headache. I am certainly no authority on effective prayer and don't make any pretense to be one. I just know that God graciously and sovereignly answered my prayers and I was encouraged. So I decided to find out a little bit more about it. I hope it blessed you.Have a great Thanksgiving. God really is a good God.

1 I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.

Psalms 9:1 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, November 9, 2012

We Have No King But Caesar

Remember that line from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar? I read something this week that put that line in my mind. Let me share it with you. The article was a quote but it didn't give author credit but these are not my words, I just don't know who they belong to. It went something like this: "God is letting every form of human government run it's course to demonstrate that man is not qualified to rule himself.

When history has set the stage, proving mankind's inadequacy, then God will usher in His ideal form of government,- theocracy, in which God openly rules through His Son. Until then His rule is behind the scenes. Yet He openly intervenes and overrules when His honor and the true interests of one or more of His people are at stake."

In the aftermath of the most divisive election in my lifetime, with people absolutely polarized and vehemently opposed to the other's solutions to the problems facing a very sick country, this thought once again popped into my head,... GOD IS SOVEREIGN. Selah. How do I know this? The Bible tells me so.

35 " All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ' What have You done?'

Dan 4:35 (NASB)

Go read Daniel 4 and get the whole story. Here's another one.

6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

Psalms 135:6 (NASB)

One more.

13 "Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?"

Isaiah 43:13 (NASB)

Here's a couple from the New Testament

In Him
11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Eph 1:10-11 (NASB)

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Phil 3:20-21 (NASB)

I apologize for all the scripture but, I don't have too much to add today. I would, however, point you to a common phrase in those scriptures. Look at the words "all things" That phrase is also used in Hebrews 1:3.

God "works" all things, He "subjects" all things, and He "upholds" all things. He allows us to choose our leaders, Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, Good or Evil...BUT, He is behind the scenes orchestrating the outcome. His purposes will not be frustrated by human endeavor. He will receive His Glory in all the earth in spite of earthly authority that resists Him. Heck. He was the one who set the authority up. What? Oh yeah that's right.

1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

Romans 13:1 (NASB)

Listen brothers and sisters I said all that to make this one point.Kings and kingdoms come and go. Perilous times are indeed upon us, there is no denying that. But, in the midst of all the turmoil and in spite of the shaking of the nations God and His sovereignty reach all the way down to you and me. He, in my opinion, is much more interested in you and me as His children than He is about any country or political ideology.In the midst of all the uncertainty His promises still hold true for you and me. His plan for our lives remain steadfast if we can just learn to trust Him. He will turn the hearts of kings and nations as He desires but He desires us to willingly yield ourselves to Him for our well being. He IS the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He searches all the earth to find someone who will lean on and trust in Him. Let us divorce ourselves from the politicos, pundits and performers of this age and turn to the Sovereign Lord of all the earth.

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Psalms 121:1-2 (KJV)

God Bless

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's For Real

I was speaking with a friend this week and we were talking about various details of our lives, both good and difficult. At the end of the conversation my friend made an observation concerning a difficult situation. He said "..there's always hope." After we finished talking I went for my daily walk and this verse came to mind.

19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

1 Cor 15:19 (NASB)

Here's how King James said it:

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 Cor 15:18-19 (KJV)

"..we are of all men MOST MISERABLE" or "..most to be PITIED." (caps mine)

That verse led me to a question. Why do we do it?

Why did those 1st century Christians endure the unimaginable persecution? They were crucified along the Appian Way in Rome. They were literally roasted and fed to the lions as sport in the Colosseum. Across the ages they have been stoned, drowned, and burned at the stake. Even today in the civilized 21st century, Christians the world over are suffering horrors that we here in America can only imagine. All for the sake of a man that they have never seen or heard; having only read about or listened to someone talk about. I daresay it is beginning to touch us here as the days are growing darker and darker in this once great country. I am reminded of a phrase in the "Shawshank Redemption." While trying to figure the reason for his unjust imprisonment, Tim Robbins didn't blame anything or anyone he simply mused that it was his turn to be in the storm. However, he noted that he had no idea the storm would last so long. Do you feel the same way? Has the storm lasted longer than you could possibly have imagined? The question still goes begging. Why? Why do you still believe? Why do you still hope?


AMEN? SELAH? Pause and calmly think about that.

44 "Let these words sink into your ears;

Luke 9:44 (NASB)

Let these words SINK into your ears. Let me open my heart to you and try to explain myself.I said a few weeks ago that God, His Son, His Spirit and His Word were the only things that made any sense to me these days. I am not exaggerating here. It may seem simple but it's the truth. Here's my take on it.

I noticed yesterday that U.N.troops would be monitoring various election sites next Tuesday. FOREIGN TROOPS on OUR SOIL monitoring OUR election processes. Where's the outcry? No righteous indignation from EITHER party or candidate!!?? Listen brothers and sisters our political climate is no longer uniquely American, It is global that pits some ultra-elite power brokers against the rest of us. Sadly, for all the hoopla and rhetoric, not a lot of difference exists between our two parties. Oh yes there are some differences as to style and delivery but as to SUBSTANCE?? Not a great deal. I don't know who to believe and it feels like a great fog of deception has settled over this land.

Not only are our politics fifty shades of gray but our economies are ...well...I give up. I watched a documentary on the History channel about the Industrialists at the turn of the 20th century. It was much like today where markets both stock, real estate, and commodities were manipulated.Somebody or bodies created an artificial bubble in these markets to lure the masses in and when they had blown the bubble up as fat as they could they popped it, causing untold misery to those left holding the bag.Sound familiar? This is a picture that has been played out time and time again until people(or at least me! smile) have no idea what is real and what is contrived. I have no HOPE in those institutions. At least that's how I see it. I quietly consider that a shaking is beginning.One of epic proportions. I wonder if we are living in the "little while."

6 "For thus says the Lord of hosts, ' Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.
7I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord of hosts.

Hag 2:6-7 (NASB)

You see we live in a world system that God is going to once more shake. It could well have already started. Look at what Hebrews says about it:

26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, " YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN."
27 This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Heb 12:26-27 (NASB)

It's no wonder,as we see these systems reeling under their own weight that we lose confidence.Where else is there to look for answers? If you know of one, shout it out to me and I will consider it. You see brothers and sisters, some 37 years ago I fell off the turnip truck at the Post Office in Atlanta,Ga. and the Lord Jesus SAVED me. That day my heart, my life,my world view, indeed EVERYTHING about me changed. The Lord Jesus Christ reached down into my soul and gave me a new heart. And for the last 37 years, through thick and thin; through the times when I walked close to Him and the times when I tried to chart my own course HE was there. He has been the ONLY constant in my life.With the world entering into darkness and teetering on the edge HE is all I have left. He is my only hope. Oh yes I will vote this election(already have). Yes, I pray that we have Godly leadership. I certainly do love my country, it is the greatest ever founded. But, beloved this world's systems can't heal your broken heart. They can't strengthen you to face another day. They can't heal a sin sick soul. All they can offer you is rhetoric, deceit, broken promises and outright lies.As I,we see the pages of God's Word played out before us, it is readily apparent to me that my answers, the REAL answers to my doubts and fears are found only in Jesus. I wish that the answers were at the polling booth(U.N. troops notwithstanding). But, they aren't and never will be.Sooo...THAT is why we believe. THAT is why we continue on.THAT is why we still have HOPE way down in our soul. The Rock Of Ages has become the Rock of our age. It's because of Jesus. There is none beside Him. There is none like Him. He's the only true God. HE'S THE REAL DEAL!

3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:3-5 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, October 26, 2012

God Didn't Do It

It's been happening ever since Adam and Eve. What's that Ronnie? Well, we like to blame others
(especially God) for problems and suffering that we bring on ourselves. Look at ol' Adam way back there in Genesis:

11 And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"
12 The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate."

Gen 3:11-12 (NASB)

When Adam got caught he first pointed a finger at God by telling Him that HE(God) had given Eve to him in the first place. Then he was quick to add that it was Eve who gave him the fruit. He blamed everyone except himself. Sound familiar? (smile) It sure rang a bell in my ears. I can recall many times (too many) when I sat around and tried to justify something that I had done and there simply was no justification for it. I would blame everybody and everything for causing my discomfort. I read this week that life was hard enough why make it harder by wagging a finger in God's face? Yes, life is hard and bad things happen to good people through no fault of their own on a daily basis. That isn't the focus of this message. Here.. look at this verse:

3 The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.

Prov 19:3 (NASB):

Here's how it oftentimes works. We will do something we shouldn't. You fill in the blank. Or we will jump into something without garnering God's counsel and it will go haywire. You know what I mean. It can go on and on. Then, the Bible says our ways are ruined. That word "ruins" means to overthrow or pervert.What it boils down to is this. When all the smoke is cleared we are dazed and confused, feeling like we have been hit by a train.

Amen? It's at this point that I want to talk. You see all of the above is common to man. We all struggle. We all make wrong choices and decisions. That is the human condition. But, look at the back part of that verse.

And his heart rages against the Lord.

Prov 19:3 (NASB)

Hebrew NASB Number: 2196

Hebrew Word: ‏זָעַף‎

Transliterated Word: zaaph (277a)
Root: a prim. root;

Definition: to be vexed, be enraged:--

List of English Words and Number of Times Used
dejected (1),
enraged (2),
looking...haggard (1),
rages (1).

—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

You see our inclinations are to rage against God. That word also means to be resentful. We transgress against the Lord's ways and when it goes badly for us we blame, resent, rage against Him.

That is a snare that the enemy lays before us. He will whisper in our hearts that it is God's doing. It's His fault or He's punishing us for our sins and we buy into it. Before long we are seething on the inside and it's only a matter of time before it spills to the outside. All of a sudden we take our resentment and bitterness out on someone or something. The whole third chapter of James speaks about our tongue and the poison it can produce. Jesus himself spoke to this condition of our hearts.

34 " You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

Matt 12:34 (NASB)

As I listened this week at work to someone rage against God, His Church, His people and so on I realized how easy it is to fall into that trap. No one is exempt. It can happen to ANYONE! When you and I are in trouble we need to run to God, not away from Him. Ever heard that before? I've heard it so many times it's a cliche. But, for some reason it doesn't sink in too well does it? We RAGE against the ONLY one that can soothe and comfort us.If we are not very careful, bitterness can take hold in our hearts

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

Heb 12:15 (NASB)

As a wise man said to me many years ago. There comes a time when you have to grab yourself by the SCRUFF OF THE NECK and DRAG YOURSELF down to the altar and ask God for His forgiveness and mercy. Contrary to what the devil might be telling you, God loves you and He isn't punishing you. That's why Jesus went to the cross. AMEN??

28 " Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Matt 11:28 (NASB)

Listen brothers and sisters His eyes are on the sparrows. His arms reach to every nook and cranny of this world to touch a hurting soul. His mercy endures forever and there is forgiveness with Him. He has never turned His back to anyone including you and me, even though we might believe that He has. His Word is sure and will never fail. It's been good enough for billions before us and it's good enough for us.It's good for what ails ya. How do they put it today? Don't rage against the machine!

10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

Psalms 103:10-11 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, October 19, 2012

It Ain't Over Till It's Over !

Do you remember or know who said the above? Watch out! You could be dating yourself by correctly answering! lol. For all you 'pups' and non baseball fans out there I'll tell you. It was a great baseball player named Yogi Berra. Berra was a Hall of Fame catcher with the New York Yankees and went on to manage their cross town rivals the New York Mets after his playing days were over. If I am not mistaken(and I could be) Berra said that in response to a sportswriter's question after a Mets loss, about their (the Mets) fading hopes in the 1973 pennant chase. At any rate that quotation floated across my mind last night while I was wondering about what to write on this week. That and the story of a guy named Caleb. You remember don't you? He was Joshua's pal when Israel was getting ready to conquer the Promised Land. Anyhoo, let me turn the clock back a couple of days and get you up to speed.

This week happens to be my birthday week. Now that's no earthshaker but this particular birthday carries with it an added milestone. I will officially become eligible for Social Security this year. Can you say Senior Citizen? Sounds better than "old".(smile) I mean c'mon. Social Security?? It conjures up pictures I had in my youth of old folks sitting in their rockers waiting on the mailman to bring them their checks so they could catch the early bird special at the local eatery. Amen? Well, guess what? Now I IS one of those old folks!! HAHA!

This week was another reminder that I am on the downhill slope of this thing called life. I certainly don't bemoan that as we all face that reality eventually. But, my question to God this week was whether there was any adventure left in life. No, Mt. Everest is out and so is the Indy 500 or even running a marathon(although walking one isn't out of the question) What was left out there? Ya feel me? I mused on that a little this week before God reminded me of Caleb and his request..

6 Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, 'Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully.' 10 Now behold, the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12 Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and Iwill drive them out as the Lord has spoken." 13 So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the Lord God of Israel fully

Josh 14:6-14 (NASB)

Now you remember don't you? Caleb was 85 years old when he asked to be allowed to DRIVE OUT the inhabitants of the fortified cities in the hill country of his inheritance. Not only that he served the Lord for 45 years before his dream became real. He spent what...forty years or so walking around in the wilderness then fought many battles when they entered the Promised Land. And at the ripe old age of 85 he went and CONQUERED his inheritance.

You ever feel like you're in a wilderness? Circumstances may have shackled and bound you to a routine that appears void of hope for any change. It sucks all the life out of your bones. Maybe your at a time in your life when you get all dressed up for the party, but, there isn't any party to go to. I don't care whether you are 22,62, or 92 we all need a little adventure, a little spice. It makes life worth living. If you are dealing with impossible circumstances or just don't have a real purpose TAKE HEART. God isn't through with you just yet. If he was, you wouldn't be here would you! Let that story about Caleb sink in. After 45,.. FORTY FIVE years of difficult and grueling service to the Lord, God sent him on the adventure of a lifetime!! All Caleb did was ask. IT AIN'T OVER TILL IT'S OVER!!

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Eph 3:20-21 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, October 12, 2012

Count The Cost

Count The Cost

Well, I am afraid that Fall has made it's arrival and I have mixed feelings. I enjoy Fall O.K.(though summer is my favorite) but I also know that with Fall's coming, old man Winter is right around the door and I DESPISE the cold weather. At any rate, I watched the HBO mini series"John Adams" this past week and I thought it was very good.It was a vivid account of the struggle for independence our forefathers endured through the eyes of Adams and his wife Abigail. At the very end of the movie a quote from one of Adams' personal letters to his wife was offered. Adams said " Posterity, you will never know how much it cost us to preserve your freedom.I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent from heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it." Early on Adams was a revolutionary firebrand but as the struggle went from days to years to decades his perspective changed. He never flinched from his duty but the toil of maintaining our freedom took a heavy toll. His close friend Thomas Jefferson and he parted ways over political views. He lost a daughter to illness, a son to alcoholism, alienated another son(although they were later reconciled) and his family and personal life were constantly battered with assaults on his motives and character. It COST him a great deal. As I listened to that quote, it reminded me of another quote that Jesus uttered way back when.

26 " If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

Luke 14:26-28 (NASB)

You know it was told me many,many years ago that salvation was free BUT, discipleship is costly. That seems to me a true statement.As we attempt to follow more closely to the Lord, many times a cost is involved. Can I get an Amen? I'm preachin' to the choir here.(smile) Much of contemporary Christian thinking today focuses on visions of glory. One hears all the time about how life is supposed to be in the Kingdom. We are sons and daughters of the King. We muse out loud about all the power that Jesus and the Apostles had. How we as King's Kids should march from victory to victory and establish His Kingdom here on earth. What we don't hear too much about is the price that was exacted. Jesus was nailed to a cross and every disciple save John died a martyr's death. ALL OF THEM! THE ORIGINAL KING'S KIDS!! Jesus himself was stripped of his royal garments on the cross and long before Calvary REFUSED an offer of the Kingdom. It COST each and every one of them.

15 So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

John 6:15 (NASB)

He would later again offer His kingdom to the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem. When they rejected that offer he withdrew the kingdom and it became a kingdom that was "not of this world."

The Apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians speaks of what his discipleship cost him.

23 Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

2 Cor 11:23-27 (NASB)

I have said all the above to make one simple point. Maybe your life at present isn't one of victory upon victory. Maybe that "Kingdom" hasn't found it's way to your doorstep quite yet. Quite possibly you are under attack and struggling to weather the storm. The enemy might even be attacking you through your children or a loved one who doesn't quite understand your devotion to the Lord Jesus. What? Your finances have fallen off the cliff? Imagine that!!??(smile) Brother and sister I feel you! May I just offer you this simple word of encouragement. God sees it and He WILL see you through it ALL THE WAY TO THE OTHER SIDE.

3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. 4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.

Psalms 3:3-6 (NASB)

18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

2 Tim 4:17-18 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Greatest Show On Earth

We live in one great big spin zone. Amen? I mean really..come on know it's true don't you?

As I followed the events of the week what came to mind was Barnum and Bailey and The Ringling Brothers Circus. I haven't been to a circus since I was a kid but that's what I was reminded of. Listen, it's not the greatest show on earth, the greatest show IS earth. I mean C'MON MAN. We are under the big top and the three ring circus is in full swing.We have the trapeze acts here, we have the lion tamers there and right smack dab in the middle are the clowns doing there thing. One gigantic spin zone. I'm telling you, I don't know who to believe! Can you feel me? Everybody's right and nobody's wrong. I think that's an old song lyric. However, God's Word speaks to our present day.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Prov 3:7 (NASB)

I got caught up in the spin around the debate this week listening to a number of different perspectives on why this happened and why that happened. I watched two or three different networks wanting to hear both sides of the story.Also, catching my eye was the escalating violence in the middle east as the Syrian civil war threatens to become a real war with their neighbor Turkey. Manipulation, accusations of biased reporting on both sides by the different media outlets and both sides calling the others outright liars!! WHERE DOES IT ALL END??

I mean even my doctor is in the great conspiracy. Yep. He told me that I would lose weight if I started eating in a certain way and it hasn't happened yet!!(smile) So what's up doc? as my pal Bugs used to say.Anyway as the great old soul group theTemptations sang, we are living on a "Ball Of Confusion" Can I get an Amen?

In the midst of all this, this morning as I was checking out the headlines on my phone, I heard some sounds coming from my mother's bedroom so I walked in to investigate. She lay there on her bed very quietly crying. I asked her what was the matter and she said that she was sad today. When I asked her why she said she was worried. Iasked her about what and guess what? It wasn't the fact that our country is on the precipice. Neither was Syria, Turkey or a nuclear Iran of great concern to her. No, she was worried that her children and grandchildren were having a hard time and weren't very happy;and, she didn't know what to do about it.

This verse came very quietly into my heart:

8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:7-8 (NASB)

Now there is more to that verse but it was those few words that came into my heart. Those few words struck a chord in me.Let me try and explain

myself. I don't know about you and maybe this is just me but I gotta confess something to you. I can't make sense of much that goes on in our world today. I mean it just doesn't make ANY sense to me. I can't trust what I hear on T.V. as it may be biased and slanted to one point of view. Ditto for the information being printed in the news media.If you can, shoot me an email and get me up to speed. lol As I listened to my mother lament and those words just gently floated in my mind it was the only thing that made any sense.Maybe that's very simplistic but' it's the truth for me right now. Maybe you, like me, are having a hard time figuring all this out. Maybe a family situation has you in turmoil. Or maybe you are struggling with something in your personal life.I can assure you that I don't have the answer and neither do the Republicans or the Democrats. But, GOD does. That verse talks about pulling up close. Pull yourself up close to God and He will pull up close to you. It's the only thing that makes any sense don't you think?

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

Prov 3:5-6 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Christian As Voter

The Christian As Voter

I posted this article two years ago before the 2010 midterm elections and I saved it to post before the Presidential election this year. The article is by John Flanagan. He is the founder and editor of the Oro Valley Christian Reader. Hope it gives you some things to consider.

God Bless

As we are on the brink of another election cycle in our country, many American Christians will soon go to the polls and cast a vote for their favorite candidates and preferred political party of choice. I have often wondered how a professing Christian could vote so casually and without considerable reflection upon the character, integrity and values of the candidate of their choice. Yet millions of professing Christians will support candidates who are openly wicked, leading scandalous lives, and holding convictions that are anathema to the faith and even, in some cases, detrimental to the moral direction of America in these troubling times. Dear Reader, as you are about to cast your vote, does it matter to you if the candidate of your choice favors abortion, including late term abortion? Does it matter to you, as a Christian, if your candidate has no concern for traditional marriage between one man and one woman? Do you care if the candidate of your choice is a man or woman who is openly antagonistic towards religious freedom, free speech, or viewpoint expression? Is it important to you that the party represented by your candidate has a platform that supports abortion for convenience, favors the rescinding of the Defense of Marriage Act, supports hate crimes legislation to stifle criticism that dares to contradict deviant and immoral lifestyles? Is the candidate of your choice an individual who articulates evasive or vague responses to important issues affecting American Christians, or is your candidate direct and unafraid to speak the truth? Are you willing, as a Christian voter, to weigh these areas against the word of God, conscience, and the moral direction of our land? Many Christians will claim that these issues are not important and will vote on the basis of positions for or against an intrusive centralized government, socialist policies, limited government, activist courts, fiscal spending, foreign wars, or concerns about immigration and border security, as well as the threat of terrorism and the policies needed. While these issues are important, too often Christians will compromise their faith values for the sake of supporting candidates who may openly hold Christianity and morality in contempt. Are candidates of this type, despite agreement on some issues, worth our vote? Should a Christian voter prefer to be pragmatic rather than righteous? Does this justify voting for a particular candidate? These are questions each reader must ask himself or herself. Some Christian leaders oppose the church’s involvement in politics or activism, while others promote activism as an expression of our faith and values. Social causes are important, however, the true role of a Christian is to be a witness for Christ in a fallen world, rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but avoiding activism at the expense of evangelization. Even without participation in protests or activism, a Christian should always be a good citizen, and in nations where there is a Constitutional right to vote, one must be sure to vote. However, when a Christian does vote, it is not a casual matter. Who you vote for reflects your values as well as the condition of your heart.. Reader, as you approach the polling place this November, remember that God looks at the heart. The Bible says that “the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” If the candidate of your favorite party does not hold a worldview that is compatible with your faith, it is incumbent on you to reconsider your vote. Character, integrity, virtue, respect for life, moral values; these all count. Our nation needs men and women of character in government, and we must be discerning in our thinking before casting our votes. ——- John Flanagan is the editor and publisher of the Oro Valley Christian Reader