One Nation Under God

Flag and Cross“One nation”; our pledge of allegiance to this country states: “one nation under God”.  It is time for all fighting, bickering and hatred between people over politics to end. Just stick quietly to your own beliefs, make your contribution on election day and allow God’s destiny to be fulfilled. Our country has become divided over this and Christians have been showing their sinful natures and their internal Lights have darkened. It is time for us to fan the embers of the Holy Spirit so that they can again become the light, which we can identify in each other and ourselves, that shines from Him.  As Christians, we owe this to ourselves and to each other.  (See related post – Service)  God brought us all here as one nation and we prospered through the 20th century while we kept Him in our everyday lives and thanked Him for what we had.  Now we have begun taking God out of our government, schools, libraries and other public places.   It’s time for us to bring Him back into our country, our lives and our government.
Three points:
1. NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE we are to obey our law makers and respect their offices. (Romans 13:1-7)
2. God is sovereign. EVERYTHING happens by His will. The people in office are there for good reason. He will use them for His purposes just as He uses us.
3. We should pray for our leaders that they lead with God’s inspiration and with everything they do they make our country “one country under God”.

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name.” “ (Romans 15:1-9)

Good Behavior

behaviorIt’s difficult to raise kids today. Many people, as parents, are confused about the conflict between disciplining our kids to do what we believe to be “correct behavior” and giving them the space they want by yielding to their feelings.  (also see “Second Thoughts“)This is true in just about every aspect of their upbringing, particularly starting in the teen years. There is so much negative and improper outside stimulus that the conflict can grow more difficult on a daily basis.

For me, I feared my parents as a small child and I will tell you right now, before you judge, there is NOTHING wrong with that. You see, that fear evolved through my teen years and by the time I was a young man, it had become RESPECT. This is something many teens are going into adulthood without. Many young people have grown and learned to have no respect for their parents, other adults or God.   This is dangerous behavior.  What can be done?

PROVERBS 22:15 states: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.” Now before you berate me thinking we should all beat our children with sticks, let me explain how I read this scripture. First of all, this is the word of God and CANNOT be disputed. As per dictionary.com, folly is “the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.” This verse states up front that foolishness and lacking sense is basically inherent in children, it is “bound up in the heart of a child”. It’s bound up, it’s tied to a child’s heart. It’s how they are, naturally.

Now, forget the word rod for a moment and let’s focus on “discipline”. Because, discipline does not necessarily mean hitting your kids with anything. Discipline IS the “rod” we need when raising our children. Dictionary.com says discipline means all or some of the following:
1. “training to act in accordance with rules; drill”
2. “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training”
3. “punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.”
4. “the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.”

OK, then it would be the responsibility of all of the people bombarding outside stimuli upon children, using some or all of these methods to “drive far away” all the inherent properties of folly. Some of these people would be parents, teachers, day care workers, clergy, scout leaders, etc. We need to “train to act in accordance with rules” using “a regimen that develops or improves a skill(or understanding)” using “punishment inflicted by way of correction and training” resulting in “the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity”. Or, guess what folks, we could simply TALK TO THEM!

In many cases, “good” upbringing has resulted in failed results. I don’t think parents of school shooters, convicted rapists and child molesters wanted their kids to be how they turned out. It is my belief that these types of things happen when kids are left alone too much. This opens a door for satan to move in and begin his work. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, satan is for real and he will take every opportunity to grab your kids and swiftly carry them away from you.

You need to communicate with them, folks. Talk about God, Jesus, music, sports, television, what’s trending on the Internet etc; SOMETHING! Keep them occupied so that door never unlatches. Keep satan locked out! Stay aware of what they look at on the Internet and television. Watch with them. And don’t think those video war games are good for your child, because they will emulate any and all outside stimuli at any given time. This is the nature of growing up. Stay in touch, stay aware, stay involved!

Is Life a Party?

Party of lifeDo Christians live better lives than non-Christians? One would think so with all of the Biblical scriptures taken out of context as of late. If anything, Christians’ lives become more difficult after they are saved. That’s how God intended it. If you read My Testimony, you might notice that as you read, my life became more and more difficult. This is because God allows, and at times, creates trials in our lives to test our Christian resolve. And, with every test we pass, our faith grows stronger – and with every test we fail, our wisdom grows greater. God allows these trials so that we become closer to Him (Life’s Uncertainties).

Our lives are not going to be blessed with only great prosperity, love and happiness, there will also be blessings of loss, failure and disappointment. We need to expect and accept the bad things as blessings because God is using them as “The Great Potter” and is molding us to His image.  In fact, in many cases, our lives cause us to endure more of the bad blessings than the good. The scripture “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” is far too many times, taken out of context. Read this in context starting in Philippians 4 verse 11  below:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Paul wrote this while in a Roman prison and was talking about HARD living, not expecting great happiness, joy, rainbows, flowers and unicorns but accepting that God is sovereign, and so he was joyful in his trials.  Paul knew he was right where God wanted him. This scripture is very important for living our lives righteously, without pride and with the faith that God’s amazing Grace is there when we fall – to help us up, to help us learn and to help us grow.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

Don’t be afraid of having trials in your life, welcome them as blessings.  And don’t expect there will be no trials in your life.  There will be difficult times.  It’s how you handle them that defines your character and it’s how we grow.