Thursday, December 8, 2011

It is doubtful whether God can use/bless a man greatly, until first He wounds him deeply.
~A.W. Tozer

When God wants to do an impossible task, He takes an impossible man and crushes him. ~Alan RedPath

Two quotes mentioned during the Dec 08, 2011 broadcast of Chuck Swindoll on Insight For Living

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christians are Americans- liberties under attack

     Alliance Defense Fund President Alan Sears gives a reality check concerning civil liberties that are under attack everyday for people of Faith. Stories include educational choices that parents have for their own children; a 5th grader wanted to do a Christian song in an open, after school talent show but was told 'there's too much Jesus in the song' regardless of the fact that other students' songs had sexual or poor behavior depicted in their lyrics and were not censored.    That boys mother shared that she stood with the child alongside the Alliance Defense Fund in a lawsuit that cause a ripple effect in the school district that removed the censorship against people of Faith. Amazing isn't it, that bad behavior and poor choices are NOT censored whereas the morals that come with faith ARE censored.  Also, he tells of a situation in which the ACLU actually attacked a school for incorporating internet filtering, which filtered pornography saying that it was against the freedoms of the user, in this case the users are CHILDREN. In Sweden, a 9 year old boy was seized by the government due to the parents using homeschooling, the child was taken from the home and put in foster care. Alan says, "Our right in America to homeschool needs to be closely guarded." This is ridiculous especially since homeschooled students are often some of the brightest and test quite well. And lastly, the story of a Graduate student doing counseling clinicals, followed protocol when she realized a values conflict with a patient desiring help in how to improve a homosexual relationship. She was then threatened to not be able to graduate unless she renounced her beliefs. She was dismissed from the school, and the Alliance Defense Fund brought a suit against the school.
The Fund has won 90% of the issues they've been a part of, but the ACLU still uses intimidation to try and pressure school officials or organizations into thinking that they don't have a chance or are powerless. If you're in a situation where your liberties are being attacked, you need to contact the Fund or similar organizations for help.
He also mentions a quote by someone recently appointed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that "private thoughts about sexual orientation issues that differ with her should not be tolerated."
Do you participate in Bible studies or small group church meetings in personal homes? There have been zoning officials that come to pastor's homes asking questions like "do you say 'praise the Lord'" in your home threatening reprimand.

Hear the interview via Focus on the Family.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let God be the Judge

       Hardly a day goes by that we don't pass judgement on someone. We pass judgement on people we see on TV. We pass judgement on the person driving the car too slowly in "our" lane, because of course we own the road right? We pass judgement on the politicians, celebrities, and the neighbor next door. Perhaps this sentiment has been uttered,"That politician is corrupt!" or "That celebrity is probably on drugs" or "wow, my neighbor is SO lazy, and doesn't have his yard mowed yet!" So, OK, maybe it's not right to pass judgement on strangers and acquaintances, maybe you get that, and that's just a sinful indulgence we fall into occasionally. But I suspect you feel it is OK to judge a family member that you know a little bit more about? Or to pass judgement on that friend or coworker, of whom you are more aware of closet residing skeletons. How about taking the idea a step closer by suggesting that maybe you feel justified in passing judgement on someone for an act or behavior that you were or are an eye-witness to, or even victim of? If someone offended you in some way directly, that should give you right to judge should it not? You were there, you experienced it first hand, you know the Truth, don't you? You know all the facts right, and have the whole story?

Do you?

Have you heard the verse from the Bible, about only God being the one to judge? The passage is fairly common as a publicly used adage although maybe the usage has diminished as cultures shun moralities. I once thought the primary goal of the verse was to focus on people not being judgemental, and that likely its primary purpose. A twist on the 'why' came to mind though recently. Previously, I understood the 'why' simply to be "because He's God, because He says so for the reasoning that when we judge each other we create turmoil, division, bitterness, shame, and break social bonds." In judging we also spend our time pointing the finger elsewhere much more often than at ourselves, and focusing on the faults of others has never seemed to be the Word's big priority (remember that verse about the plank in someone's eye.... OH Ya, it was the plank in MY eye, riiiight). I neglected an important nuance of the whole issue of not judging others, WE'RE DUMB! Actually, Ignorant is probably a better word. See, Ignorance means not knowing all of the information, and that is exactly our status throughout our lives. We rarely, if ever, know EVERYTHING there is to know about anything. This is highly exemplified in the science and medical fields, and when you are aware of the concept you start realizing just how much 'ignorance' effects us. The old sitcom "Three's Company" had an ongoing foundation for humor based on ignorance and misunderstandings, an idea still used frequently in comedies or dramas today. And though funny or dramatic when in fiction, the reality bites us in the most sensitive of places and at the worst times creating most undesirable behaviors towards our fellow man. Just how Evil would like it to work, seems to me.
Matthew 7.1 "Judge not, that you not be judged." (esv)

     Only God can Judge, because ONLY HE knows it all. We are not omniscient creatures! You and I do not know everything about that politician, the celebrity, the neighbor, the family member, or even the one who offended us. Truth be known, you don't even know everything about yourself. So, "knowing" that, how can one judge another accurately. We have a whole judicial system that is tasked with that very issue. But you realize, don't you, that regardless of investigations and trials; verdicts and consequences; regardless of even whether "you were there" or not, the Truth of the matter is that only God knows the context, and understands the Truth. And only God is able to accurately judge. He knows me, and He knows you, fully.
And the Truth He shares is that, while knowing us fully, for reasons only God can understand, He Loves us, enough to pay a price that most of us would certainly NOT be willing to pay.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Flora Mckee Blogspot

     I hope you will consider going to this site: and reading "Walk in the Clouds" which the author of this blog has also written regarding his mother-in-law having a "seeing Heaven" experience during her last few weeks of life after battling cancer.

I think it will inspire and interest you as we are all mortal and thus face the same ending, that being death. How we view death is our choosing though.There are many views out there, as many as there are opinions. Hopefully you'll check out "Walk in the Clouds" and be inspired to have a new or bettered view of mortality.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

     A coworker came strolling passed with a comment in joking, "Thank goodness it's Friday, it's been a long week!" The joke was, well, it wasn't Friday but rather it was Tuesday. But his wit reminded me of what The Lord has taught us via His Word that we are to live life as if Christ were coming soon, perhaps today! Maybe we can live our Mondays or Tuesdays as if it was Friday betters and better our attitude on those days. And maybe we can live each day as if it is the day of Our Lord and better our own life and the lives of those around us by having an attitude based on His Will rather than our own.

  This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
                                                                                                                    Ps 118.24

Friday, September 9, 2011

Focus on the Family 9/11 broadcast with Jay Jonas, NYFD

Via Focus On The Family
Ten years ago, a horrible day in America's history occurred with the attacks of Muslim radicals on the Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Jay Jonas, NYFD chief and survivor of a tower collapse speaks about his experience. Additionally we hear from survivors of the Pentagon attack.
A quote by Jay that was especially significant to me and applicable to other times when people perish:

"People say to me, 'God was WITH you that day!' and I cringe at that; as if He wasn't with the other guys that didn't make it. And those guys were great guys, some of the finest to ever walk the earth. God was WITH THEM too."

Part 1 Part 2, along with a rescue story of Sheila Moody who survived the Pentagon attack.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

An unkept garden

    Have you ever seen a neighbor's yard go unkept? I'm sure you have, perhaps YOU were the one who let your lawn go a few too many days without a mowing. Regardless, this post isn't about ridiculing your lack of mowing desire, I am certainly right with you on that issue. But rather, let's use the unkept lawn, or garden, or whatever space is needing some tidy-up as a parable for the world God allowed us to be servants of. And no, this won't been an environmental message either though you could certainly apply the parable to such a context.

     My mother-in-law has always liked to keep a tidy and beautiful flower garden. She digs landscaping (pun intended) and really finds enjoyment in that hobby.  But then she had to fight some battles with cancer. The battles eventually drained her of the ability to maintain her gardens and landscaping, such that they became totally  saturated and overtaken with weeds. In analyzing the scenario, I supposed that the task of separating the weeds from the desirables would be very difficult and laborious, almost to the point of giving up and scraping the whole space clean to start anew.  
Anyone that spends even 5 seconds of honest thought and consideration about the world around him or her will surely agree that 'the world is a messed up place.' Spend a few minutes or hours of thought on this and you'll reckon there is much about the world that needs 'cleaned up.'  The immorality and irresponsibility regarding sexual matters for example, talk about a mess!!  Those issues pop up in TV; Advertising; Film; Music; Literature; Scandals of our voted in 'role models;' the web; social networking; and on and on. The issues are seen in weeds like undesired teen sexuality and the ramifications of such; amazingly poor and illogical legislation relating to sexual offenses; breakdown of the traditional family structures; continued high divorce rates and so forth. And this is just in ONE umbrella area of the human nature given to less than desirable choices!
When you attempt to start cleaning up any one of the symptoms or manifestations of it, the labor you put in often doesn't seem to give a good return. In fact, you may feel like there isn't a way to even make a dent in the problems at all.
Wiping the space clean and starting over may not be possible (depending on how you interpret that). But in one sense of it, maybe we need to mentally wipe our space clean and get back to the roots of purity, and of honorable things. The Bible certainly supports such an idea. The Bible even states one must be "born again," so to speak, thus making yourself wholly different. Seems like this is what needs to happen on a broader scale in order to see some of the rampant issues that we are now seeing get at all resolved.

But that resolve has to start somewhere, that resolve can start with you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Check your judgments at the door

We have all fallen short of the Glory of God.

We are all Sinners.

  With concepts like this, how is it we are caught in a perpetual desire for judging each other. We judge each others looks, our cloths, our intellects, our ideas, our choices, etc etc.  We have unrealistic 'reality shows' based on judging (see American Idol and such). I mean please, Simon couldn't sing a lick's worth compared to most of the finalists on that show so why does he get to judge anything but bad hairdo's (see, see, I just judged his looks).

Let us try to be intentional about stopping the judgementalism.   The Word says you'll be judge as you judged, scary thought but I think its true, and not just in the next world. I can say that I've went through some really tough times that brought tons of judgement against me, and really got me to thinking about how much I've judged others in the past. Judging others serves no good purpose does it? Other than to make you feel high and mighty, which if you know anything of God is one of the things He seems to hate most, so not a trait you want to grow.  Every time you find yourself judging someone, you need to remember that you have done your fair share of horrible things whether in thought or action; and you still have plenty of time to do more things worthy of judgement before your time is over. Instead of judging, let your noticing of whatever it is you want to judge be a motivator to encourage the person to a better way.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blaise Pascal quote

    O mankind, it is in vain that you seek within yourself the cure for your own miseries. All your insight only leads you to the knowledge that it is not in yourself that you will discover either truth or goodness. The philosophers made these promises, but they have failed to keep them. For they do not know what your true good is, nor what is your true state. How could they provide cures for ills they did not even recognize or diagnose? For your chief maladies are pride, which cuts you off from God; sensuality, which keeps you earth-bound; and all they have done is to keep at least one of these maladies forstered. If they have given you God for your object, it is only to pander to your pride. They have made you think that you are like Him and resemble God by your nature. And those who saw the vanity of such pretension have cast you down into that other abyss, by making you believe that your nature is like that of the beasts of the field, and have led you to seek your good in lust, which is the lot of the animals. – Blaise Pascal, The Mind on Fire
The Mind on Fire: An Anthology of the Writings of Blaise Pascal (Classics of Faith and Devotion)

Malcom Muggeridge quote

“We look back on history and what do we see? Empires rising and falling, revolutions and counter-revolutions, wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed, one nation dominant and then another. Shakespeare speaks of ‘the rise and fall of great ones that ebb and flow with the moon.’

“In one lifetime I have seen my own fellow countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, the great majority of them convinced, in the words of what is still a favorite song, that, ‘God who’s made the mighty would make them mightier yet.’ I’ve heard a crazed, cracked Austrian proclaim to the world the establishment of a German Reich that would last a thousand years; an Italian clown announce that he would restart the calendar to begin his own assumption of power. I’ve heard a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite of the world as a wiser than Solomon, more enlightened than Ashoka, more humane than Marcus Aurelius. I’ve seen America wealthier and in terms of weaponry, more powerful than the rest of the world put together, so that Americans, had they so wished, could have outdone an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of their conquests.

“All in one little lifetime. All gone with the wind. England part of a tiny island off the coast of Europe, threatened with dismemberment and even bankruptcy. Hitler and Mussolini dead, remembered only in infamy. Stalin a forbidden name in the regime he helped found and dominate for some three decades. America haunted by fears of running out of those precious fluids that keep her motorways roaring, and the smog settling, with troubled memories of a disastrous campaign in Vietnam, and the victories of the Don Quixotes of the media as they charged the windmills of Watergate.

“All in one lifetime, all gone. Gone with the wind.

“Behind the debris of these self-styled, sullen supermen and imperial diplomatists, there stands the gigantic figure of one person, because of whom, by whom, in whom, and through whom alone mankind might still have hope. The person of Jesus Christ.”

Malcolm Muggeridge

Monday, July 25, 2011

Joe White @ Focus On The Family 7/25/11 :: Cross Centered Marriage

Focus On The Family has Joe White in for his imploring that couples have a cross centered marriage. Though he and his wife have been married over 40 years, he admits he still learns things everyday when it comes to marriage.

Joe has been heading up Kanakuk Kamps in the Missouri Ozarks (think Branson, MO) for many years mentoring youth, but in this message he wants to bring our attention to the idea of a cross centered marriage. A cross centered marriage is mindful of the servitude and sacrificial nature of Christ, and applying that attitude to your spouse. In the message he tells a story about his brother who provided a kidney to his wife when hers were failing and she lay dying in the hospital.
He also informs that he has partnered with the National Institute of Marriage supported by Dr. Gary Smalley, also located in Branson, MO as a facility for helping couples that are struggling. He reports that the institute has a 94% success rate, resulting in couples leaving there committed to their own marriage. Joe shares a little activity lesson that Smalley had shared with him that concerned a married couple being intentional about encouraging each other.
The DNA of Relationships (Smalley Franchise Products)Hidden Keys of a Loving, Lasting MarriageLove Is A DecisionFrom Anger to Intimacy: How Forgiveness Can Transform Your Marriage

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Robert Barnes on FocusOnTheFamily 7/19/2011 - Parenting Teens

Robert Barnes  in a discussion on the radio program, Focus on the Family, gives some great tips in handling things like dating, parties, and empowering your teen to make good decisions. He notes that today's teens aren't like the people of that age group 100 years ago in which there wasn't so much a 'teen' category. In that day, teens were basically in a quick transition to adult-hood, already incorporated into work tasks and even getting married. But today, the teen phase that we endure has many challenges that Robert gives insight on.
Preparing Your Child for DatingWinning the Heart of Your StepchildWho's In Charge Here?
Part 1

Part 2

Monday, July 11, 2011

Media page added

Check out the Media page (see tabs above), newly added! The idea behind it is to have a spot for collecting inspirational video clips, music videos, and such all in one spot. If there are avenues for purchasing the items I'll try to link that as well to make it easy for you to secure it for your own collection of Positive motivators.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Max McLean performs Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, Interviewed on Focus on the Family

      Just a quick note to suggest the reading or listening to "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis as well as "Surprised by Joy." This referral comes by way of Max McLean who is performing The Screwtape Letters in play format, and tickets for thus can be purchased here: Screwtape OnStage

These works of Lewis are fabulously in your face, perhaps before in your face was a trend. Keep in mind the age of these works as you consume them, and I think you may, like me, respect and admire them all the more.  Lewis has an amazing way of describing the work of Evil's influence on man, a very down to earth practical way.
The Screwtape Letters: With Screwtape Proposes a ToastThe Screwtape LettersThe Screwtape Letters - Special Illustrated EditionThe Screwtape Letters (The C.S. Lewis Signature Classics)Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life
And on Audio:
The Screwtape Letters: First Ever Full-cast Dramatization of the Diabolical Classic (Radio Theatre)The Screwtape LettersScrewtape Letters CdsC.S. Lewis: The Signature Classics Audio Collection: The Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity

The Screwtape Letters (The C.S. Lewis Signature Classics)

Interview with Max McLean, talking with Focus on the Family.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

American History, textbook manipulations -David Barton on Focus On The Family

American History is one of those subjects that notoriously gets branded as "boring."  All students that have branded it this way, have done themselves a disservice since only by understanding the past can we make the most informed decisions in the future.

David Barton, described as an American Historian, has written several best-selling books, has founded an organization called Wallbuilders. He strives to educate Americans about the reality of American History that has been influenced, manipulated, and even blatantly OMITTED from our education system's textbooks. So many ethnic groups celebrate "heritage" and yet we as a nation have been removing and denying our own heritage as a Christian nation. Dave says things like The Mayflower Compact, once used to be in American textbooks, but now are nowhere seen. Why isn't it there, perhaps because it has this quote:
 "Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, "  
Notice the REASON cited for undertaking the voyage of independence in the first place?
We've allowed Government and those against Christianity to lie to our children long enough. Disagreeing with a belief system is one thing, but literally OMITTING content that would and should appear in textbooks is a far different matter. And this has had some horrible effects on even modern day policies and legislation.

This is a must hear FOF broadcast, part 1 of a 2 part series, and you WILL be astonished by some of the legal cases Dave mentions, things happening in today's world. And Dave's theory is that it is the omission and manipulation of American History textbooks that has in a large part led to this type of irrational and illogical legislative action. Dave notices something else in his observations, only Jesus seems to cause the controversy.  Also, the OMISSIONS are a new thing, 50 years ago people like Governor Morrison who once wrote that "Religion is the only solid basis for good morals." Who was Morrison? He was just the literal writer of the Constitution of the  United States. Among the court cases he mentions as being ridiculously in error because of this influence, is a case in which a man accused of a brutal murder, was set free despite overwhelming evidence because a verse of the Bible had been recited during the proceedings. Three of his books are linked next, as well as a freely downloadable Kindle version of the Mayflower Compact.
Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & WhiteThe American Heritage SeriesOriginal Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, & ReligionThe Mayflower Compact

Please do yourself a favor and hear the broadcast.
Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Got Conflict? Restoring your marriage (or any relationship) through proper conflict handling

     We all have conflict with others. Basically if you aren't pulling a Tom Hanks being stranded on an island, ala Cast Away (2000), then you have the opportunity for conflict with another human. Focus on the Family has had guests Gary and Barbara Rosberg on air in a two part session, to discuss how good conflict handling actually betters a relationship, whereas the more common poor handling of it will hurt or even dissolve a relationship.

Some couples claim to never have conflict. But if there is an absence of conflict and an absence of intimacy then there's a real problem.  Simply "not talking about" issues isn't the same as "not having conflict."

So whether you're newly married, getting married, been married for along time, think you might get married, or simply have relationships with other people- these two broadcasts are amazingly worthwhile to digest and get value from. This is relationship saving, MARRIAGE SAVING type of stuff, that is definitely worth the small amount of time and basically no effort to listen to, and it's free to you.

Improving Communication in Your Marriage (Homebuilders Couples Series)Healing the Hurt in Your MarriageDivorce-Proof Your Marriage: 6 Secrets to a Forever MarriageRenewing Your Love: Devotions for CouplesThe 5 Sex Needs of Men & Women
Part 1

Part 2