Good Morning from the Bitterroot Joes and Janes;
One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get in better shape and lose weight. (Funny how those two usually go hand in hand). As part of this goal I decided to run in at least one 5K and one 10K race before the end of the year. Setting long and short term goals is important to achieving desires you have. I began training for a 5K run a week ago.
Now for some of you, I know this is an easy feat and may be old hat to you, but I hope you will read on as I make some spiritual applications to my experiences.
Having worked construction most of my life I have usually been in fairly good shape and kept my weight down. But over the last 3 or 4 years my work has been less physical and my muscle mass has had an inverse direction to my body weight. I set a goal to begin training in March and the week I had marked on the calendar was the week I came down to with a chest cold. It hung on and off for about 6 weeks. Every time I went outside in cold air I would start coughing. I would think I was better then it would be back. It would be easy to just give up on my goal of running a 5K; just change the goal to watching more TV or something easy. Read the rest of this entry
Good Morning from the Bitterroot Valley;
The majestic snow covered Bitterroot Range glows orange as the sun comes up this morning. There seems to be a recurring theme lately in the news that at its core is envy of the rich, taking what the rich have and giving it to the poor. I am sure it will increase as the Occupy Movement moves into phase 2 this summer.
But the Bible has a much different perspective of the rich man. In Luke 18:25 it says; Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Now I don’t know about you, but I have never attempted that feat! I know from scripture that there are rich men in heaven so obviously this verse is not saying you cannot get into heaven if you are rich. I think if you read the text in Luke, it is saying that it is easy to get caught up in money and ‘stuff’ and lose sight of things of eternal value.
Who is a rich man really? If you are talking about the world today, then you are a rich man. Virtually everyone in America is in the top 5-10% of the richest people in the world. I know, you are saying: “I am not rich! I can barely meet all the bills that come in.” Well there are billions that only live on a few dollars a day and don’t know where their families next meal is coming from. Now I am not trying to get you too feel guilty, but rather to look at your situation from a world perspective. These verses could very well be speaking to you directly as a rich man. If not they give us a perspective that we don’t see in the daily news.
With all this in mind, I would again like to take a look at a few verses in Psalms. Read the rest of this entry
Good Morning Joes and Janes;
I was out most of the day and didn’t get a devotional post up yesterday. I hope to post a devotional a little later today. You may have noticed in “Today in History” in the right hand column of my blog, that today is the anniversary of Patrick Henry’s speech at what is now Saint John’s Church. I think that the echos of that speech many years ago hold a new significance today. I encourage you to take a few minutes today to ponder this speech and it’s implications for today. For a little context of the speech I give you the following introduction, More background is available at: History.org
To avoid interference from Lieutenant-Governor Dunmore and his Royal Marines, the Second Virginia Convention met March 20, 1775 inland at Richmond–in what is now called St. John’s Church–instead of the Capitol in Williamsburg. Delegate Patrick Henry presented resolutions to raise a militia, and to put Virginia in a posture of defense. Henry’s opponents urged caution and patience until the crown replied to Congress’ latest petition for reconciliation.
I have provided a copy of the text, and two videos. One video is a reenactment of the speech, (about 10 minutes) and there is also a video from Liberty’s Kids cartoon. If you have kids or grandkids around have them listen to it. (It is in two parts, a total of about 20 minutes.) Many of the problems in America today are because we as individuals and a nation have not related our past history to today’s generation. History does not have to be a boring subject. Understanding it is the key to not repeating mistakes of the past.
On a side note; today is also the day in 1942 that, under the President FDR, a nation afraid of terrorism, decided to move Japanese native of born ancestry into detention centers without a hearing or trial.
Good Morning Regular Joes and Janes;
There is an old children’s nursery rhyme that came to mind from my childhood days. It is a rhythm, coordination and clapping song or poem. It is called Rich Man, Poor Man. It originated in England and was called “Tinker Tailor”. It is a counting game, nursery rhyme and fortune telling song traditionally played to count cherry stones, buttons, daisy petals and other items.. It’s American version is commonly used by children for “counting out,” e.g. for choosing who shall be “It” in a game of tag.
Rich man, poor man,
Beggar man, thief,
My new version of this song or poem is:
Rich man, poor man,
Beggar man, thief,
I think it is as timely as the morning news. Today’s devotional revolves around the many controversies of our chief, Commander in Chief that is, Barack Husain Obama. You might think this is an odd start to a Bible devotional but hang in there with me.
Whether you are conservative or liberal, Democrat, Republican or other, it is probably clear to you that Americans are more divided than at any other time that I can remember. There are individuals on both sides of the issues that tend to use division as a tool to gain power. Rich man against poor man, beggars against thieves, and so on.
In a poll released on Sunday the 18th, by Public Policy Polls, the question was asked:
Q23 Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a
Muslim, or are you not sure?
Muslim …………………………………………………… 39%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 37%
The people were asked to identify themselves in the survey and this is the results:
Q19 If you are a Democrat, press 1. If a
Republican, press 2. If an independent, press
Democrat ……………………………………………….. 4%
The results are similar to a poll taken in Mississippi and Alabama last week:
Q22 Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a
Muslim, or are you not sure?
Muslim …………………………………………………… 45%
Not sure …………………………………………………. 41%
Articles on TV, radio and the internet from the liberal side say that this shows the bigoted nature of conservatives and Republicans. Links to some of those articles are here
Personally I have never had anyone mistake me for being a Muslim, or Buddhist for that matter. I would suggest that it shows that at least some people are listening to what President Obama is actually saying. I would like to give you a few quotes, (not out of context) from President Obama over the past 3 years.
“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”
In this statement Obama either doesn’t know that we were a Christian nation or chooses to ignore the fact. Our laws to this day are based on the Bible and Jewdeo Christian beliefs.
“I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”
It is true that Islam has always been part of America’s story. Thomas Jefferson had a copy of the Qur’an that he studied. He studied it to determine how to deal with the Muslim Barbary Pirates who kept kidnapping American ships and their crews for ransom. After trying to make a treaty with them failed he sent in the Marines; You know the song; From the shores of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli .
President Obama’s father was a Muslim and his Stepfather was a Muslim. As a child Obama attended a Muslim madrasa in Indonesia while his mother was married to her second husband. You cannot attend a Madrasa without being a Muslim. The following is a video of statements that Obama has made about his beliefs.
These are some of President Obama’s statements compared to scripture. We are to discern whether what people say lines up with scripture.
Obama has stated that there are many ways to get to Heaven. You don’t necessarily have to believe in Jesus Christ as your savior. “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power”- Barack Hussein Obama
Jesus Christ said “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.”
Barack Hussein Obama: “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die.” (by the way this is a tenant of Islam.)
Jesus Christ: “He who hears My word, and believes…. has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
Barack Hussein Obama: (in answer to the question – Do you believe in heaven?); “Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings? What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “By grace you have been saved through faith…not by works….lest any man should boast.
Barack Hussein Obama: (In answer to the question, Who is Jesus to you?) “Jesus is an historical figure for me…and he’s also a wonderful teacher.”
John 4:42 “we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Acts 13:23 “God has brought the Savior Jesus, as he promised.”
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
It is no wonder that people are confused about what Obama believes! He definitely has said many glowing things about the religion of Islam. He studied the Islamic faith as child. By his own statements he cannot be considered a Christian. There is really only one tenant of the Christian faith for fellowship of believers and that is acceptance of the shed blood of Christ for our sins;
1 John 1:6-9 6. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7. but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
There is one verse that clarifies who Barack Hussein Obama is by his beliefs;
1 John 4:3 NAS
and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God ; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
Notice it says; “is the Spirit of the antichrist”, Not the Antichrist. I am not saying that Obama is the Antichrist. If you voted for Obama last time did you know these beliefs he has? Does knowing this change your mind.? I am not saying we should hate him. We should be in prayer for him as the leader of our nation and that he will come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. As for the Socialist, Chief part of the rhyme; well I am going to save that for tomorrow! But for today I encourage you to go out and let people know what you believe. If you died today would people be surprised at your funeral service to find out that you claimed to be a Christian?
- Illinois Republican primary voters: President Obama is a secret Muslim and might not be American (dailykos.com)
- Barack Obama: Muslim or Christian? (theroycroftreport.com)
- Many Alabama and Mississippi Voters Believe Obama is a Muslim [Video] (inquisitr.com)
- Memo to Southern Racists: Obama Is Christian (theroot.com)
- Plenty Of Southern Republicans Still Think Barack Obama Is Muslim (hiphopwired.com)
Good Morning Regular Joes and Janes
I think that the main stream media has a lot of influence on each of us, more than we suspect. With a steady diatribe of blame being spewed forth everyday it is easy to fall into the blame game ourselves. Big banks are bad, corporations are evil, Wall Street is out to swindle everyone, politicians are all corrupt, the government is taking away our freedom, big pharmaceuticals are out to drug us all and take our money and…….doom and gloom and we’re all going to die and there is nothing we can do about it.
Well ok, we all are going to die and there is nothing we can do about it because it is all in the Lord’s hands. But, everything before that last line is really not true. It is what some people want you to believe. They would like you to sit back in your easy chair and blame others for your problems and believe that you are powerless. And too many people buy into that lie and do exactly that; tune in, turn on, and drop out. We sit and complain about our situation but won’t act to change it. So who is really to blame?
I started out at the top talking about main stream media. Are they so big that we can’t do anything about them? No, first of all Rush Limbaugh, whether you like him or not, looked at the problem of only one view point being served and started conservative talk radio. It doesn’t seem to have hurt him so badly. Major media, all media, runs on advertising dollars. If no one watches or reads, they will not be in business. Why has Fox News been so successful?
Banks are evil, big banks are evil. Do you keep your money in a bank; have a checking account, a bank loan? Who would perform that service for you if your bank was not there? With all the new ‘regulation’ has it gotten easier for you to work with your bank? Do you have more privacy or has the bank had to reveal more about their relationship with you to the government.
Wall Street is evil! I have money invested as does everyone on Wall Street. Did not Wall Street institutions suffer when the 2008 crash occurred? Do you put money in a retirement plan of any kind? Where is it invested?
Corporations are evil, look at WalMart! Corporations are merely people working together to make money, (at least for profit corporations). I have had a corporation before as a construction business. If you don’t support a corporation or it is not well run and making a profit, it will cease to exist. Money, profit, is what makes it possible for corporations to continue. If you want to stop big, (or small) corporations, or any business for that matter, all you need to do is make it unprofitable. The politicians know this and continually use the manipulation of tax laws to support one type of business and penalize another; which brings me to politicians!
The last time I checked we were still voting on who became a politician. We complain a lot about politicians as a nation, yet in many elections 10% of the people decide who gets in. If there is over 30% turnout in an election it makes the news. If 50% turn out that’s Headlines! One out of two sit on the sidelines and just complain or are asleep. Maybe we, you and I are actually responsible!
All of the ‘bad’ entities we hear about on the evening news are really just made up of people. People like you and I, different backgrounds, races, nationalities even, but just people. Some of these people make bad decisions and some have no morals and make bad decisions on purpose. So what is the solution?
We have to be personally involved. We are still a nation of laws, (although I will admit that is in the balance at the moment), and ‘we the people’ have the power to both enforce them and change them. Ultimately all of the ‘bad and evil’ entities are made up of people who have human sin natures. For years we have taken God out of schools and education, out of the work place, out of society as a whole. We as Christians have sat back and said well I don’t agree but I am not willing to step out against it publicly. Now we have a nation of people who have totally separated their faith from their daily life. Is it any wonder that there is a lack of a moral compass in corporations, banking, and politics?
We are told by the media that we shouldn’t mix politics and religion. We are told that a politician’s personal life should not be looked at before we vote for him. We are told that what he does in his personal life doesn’t affect what he does in office. Let me ask you; if you are willing to, let’s say break a solemn vow with the one you supposedly married for life, what would you do with vows you make to voters that you don’t even know?
Jesus said in Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This is the problem with mankind and our human condition. This is the root cause of the evil things that happen. Politics, corporations, banks, pharmaceuticals, the media, are all just inanimate organizations of man. They cannot be good or bad. It is the individuals that run them that have responsibility.
Being evil or bad has always been associated with darkness. Light is what will drive out the darkness. Most Christians know John 3:16. In verses 19- 21 it says: 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21.”But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
As followers of the Light, it is up to us, individually, one to one to share that light in the darkness. That is the only solution to the “evil they”. It has been a withdrawing over many years of those that bear the “Light” in the public arena that has allowed evil or darkness to spread. Only stepping up to the plate and doing our job of sharing the light will change things back!
Corporations, banks, politicians and the media, are a reflection of you and me, everyone who purchases something, watches or reads, does business with the culture we live in and create.
So when you go out into the world today and hear someone talking about the evil _______, remind them of the needs of the individuals involved.