Honor the King

For eight long, tedious, tiresome years many of us who profess Christ as Lord languished under the supervision of a president, his cabinet, and administration who, in several vital topics dear to us, made decisions and imposed laws contrary to Holy Writ.[1]  While these years crawled by none of us rioted, set fire to his effigies, disrupted Town Hall meetings, engaged in treasonous murder threats via social media, paraded ourselves like tantrum throwing infants, nor cast spells against him even though any sort of criticism we leveled against his immoral, ungodly, policies was met with cries of racism.  Most of us, besides being decent, law-abiding, order-loving, people by nature, contained ourselves because Christ commanded we “render to Caesar”[2] what is his, and because it is a plain violation of the Holy Spirit’s will revealed to the Apostle Paul in Romans 13:

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

This is a text that is all the more relevant due to the fact that the ruling authority in the Roman world at that time was Nero.  No man or woman was a more vile, cruel, brutal, murdering despot than he.  Certainly none of our presidents can remotely compare.  Hence if Nero’s reign was God authorized, being what he was, and God through Paul commanded we give honor to rulers, then it is is all the more potent in view of who is now serving as our president considering the vehemence of the attacks leveled against him.

What we are daily witnessing and enduring as news from many politicians and media outlets is the most malicious, vicious and concerted effort I have ever seen in my life to delegitimize, denigrate, and destroy the highest public official in our land.  It is  no doubt due to the vengeful, spiteful, nature of people who lost a sure-fire election win which God did not permit to happen.

No one should not be surprised since many of the worst offenders have no respect for God, His authority or His laws whatsoever.   Many of them do not believe in Him anyway.   So they characteristically lie, cheat, steal, slander, gossip, character assassinate, foment strife and stoke the fires of hate all under the guise of “peaceful protesting,” “news,” “standing up for their constituents,” “community organizing” and the like.  Backed and funded by rich, powerful, men, often foreign yet equally godless, they relentlessly continue in their “perpetual hatred”[3] while hypocritically accusing him and those who support him of it.

God’s attitude against this nonsense is clear – if one rebels against government they rebel against the Ordaining Power and Supreme Authority – God (Yahweh) who placed him in power.  Mark it down, judgment, both temporal and eternal, will fall upon them, sooner or later.

While I am confident nothing will remotely deter most of these “sons of perdition” from their willing rendezvous with Gehenna’s flames, I am nevertheless compelled to try and warn them of the consequences if they persist.  It may be that some will wake up, repent, before their time runs out.  Christian, if you are on board with this kind of misbehavior, this goes double for you.

No public official is without flaws and sinless, but none should have to experience what he has at their hands.  Therefore, I am praying for this president, his family and staff that God will guide and protect them; that the evil directed against them will rebound upon the heads of the perpetrators if they will not repent.  I am praying that through him, this administration, and the cooperation of most of our citizens, we will help God will restore this nation to some semblance of lawfulness, decency, and righteousness.  This may be our one, final, hope.

[1] http://2012.presidential-candidates.org/Obama/Abortion.php


[2]  Matthew 22:21

[3] Ezekiel 35:1-15

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Loving Those Who Hate God (Redoux)

I stopped watching any portion of the Academy Awards many years ago.  The idea of spending any time observing self-absorbed “entertainers” congratulating themselves for pretending to be other people, wearing clothes that may only be worn once, the price of which could be more than a years’ salary in some countries, only serves to revolt me.

I find it hard to imagine how anyone could be so blind as to think that what they do, acting, should automatically confer upon them an on-high privilege to tell anyone else how they should live, while, in their view, the Word of God and Christians like me, do not.  If that’s the case, then their moral “high ground” must be as high as a pothole.

When are Christians going to learn that most of these glittering, flesh-worshipping, plastic icons loathe us and all we stand for?  Despite their wealth, gold and silver, their radiating pride from every pore (most of which they deliberately leave far too visible), we continue to provide them the means (dollars and attention) that enables them to keep pursuing their godless lives, humanist ideological propaganda and demon-inspired agendas?

They are gladly, happily, blisteringly beaming to be anti-Christ, disavowing His reign and principles while advocating the total opposite, if not in word then by calculating action.

A few books of the New Testament:  2 Peter, Jude, 1 John, deal directly with such people and label them all reprobates.  Why then give them any attention and funding?  Are we that starved, that desperate, for entertainment?

Brethren, it is way past time we cut loose these abject moral vagabonds and let them go their own way.  Praying for them is fine, but do not continue to support their evil works.  For they do not at all regard nor esteem either our Lord Jesus Christ or His way, not to mention the likes of us.

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“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26)

“For do I now persuade men, or God?  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10)

Considering the Scriptures listed above, anyone wanting to pander to the crowd, seeking public (and private) acclaim and accolade, avoid criticism and hate, “get along” with everyone, etc., need not concern themselves with being or becoming a Christian.

Christians are supposed to suffer (Romans 8:16, 17; 1 Peter 2:21).  We are the Body of Christ which remains, for the time being, here on earth.  As His physical body was abused, scorned, despised, hated and ultimately killed, so we must “follow His steps” and carry our “cross.”  Striving to be popular with people might evade some of it, but it comes with a price.

Popularity is transient; it never lasts long.  Jesus entered Jerusalem having crowds shouting praises to God.  He exited the world a week later, bleeding to death slowly on a cross after they had clamored for Him to be pinned on it.  In fact, they demanded it.

People are fickle.  I heard an old preacher say, “Those who ask you out to dinner when you get there (at a new work or ministry), will have you for dinner before you leave.”  Experience has often proved that the case if you are true to the Word of God and will not compromise truth for anyone.

Labeling sin is not hate.  Calling out misdeeds, injustices, wrongdoing, evil, false doctrine and the like is part of our job as it was His job.  So while we must and should loudly proclaim the Good News of God’s love, mercy, grace and forgiveness, we must also echo Christ’s warnings against sin and its deadly effects on us all.  If we become unpopular because we do, and it is not because we relish it, then so be it.

The only accolades we should ever seek are those which God might grant us.  “Have you considered my servant Job?” God asked Satan.  What an astounding compliment!  What a lovely tribute from the Almighty to His lowly, humble, soon to be pain-stricken, suffering servant who proclaimed himself nothing more than “dust and ashes.”  What greater popularity could there be for anyone?  What price would you or I pay to hear God say such a thing of us?  More importantly, could He actually say it of us in the face of the devil?

We have two choices.  We can forego the popularity of our friends, loved ones, humanity in general, to pursue a life being popular with God and the eternal reward it brings, or we can sacrifice that for being popular with people.  The former will bring us God’s praise and glory; the latter, an ephemeral, vapid, temporary boost to our ego that will find a fitting, final, repose in the grave.

One thing is certain:  we must choose one or the other; we cannot do both at the same time.

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I believe in Global Warming

I know it exists but it is far more than an environmental time bomb.

Someday there will be one like no other, when “the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat.”  From pole to pole, east to west, there will be a conflagration that the world has never before seen.  It will not be human precipitated or caused.

It is a promise and a threat from the Almighty.

On that Day there will be two kinds of people living in the world.  On the one hand, there will be the majority among the “tribes of the earth” and they shall all collectively and universally “mourn.”  On the other will be the elect, the vast minority, the sanctified, those who will “lift up (their) heads” for their “redemption draws near.”

Those who desperately weep and cry out will be they who will see all they presently cling to; all that for which they have myopically spent their entire lives accumulating, go up literally in smoke:  their houses, their wealth: stocks, bonds, savings; their fabulous good looks, hairstyles, tattoos, gender choices, political aspirations and partisanship, perverted and sinful lifestyles and choices, their boozing and drug use, profane trash-talking, sports-worship, their pursuit of all things “flesh,” chiseled and sculpted bodies included.  They will have reason to cry, for when this warming happens all of that will disappear in a massive, one-of-a-kind, one-time-only, fiery, global, meltdown.  They will flee from the One from whose face “heaven and earth fled away” but there will be nowhere to hide, no place to go.

Those whose hands and arms go up, who “lift up (their) heads” and whose faces smile, tears of joy streaming down their cheeks (if only for a few moments), who have said, by life and word, “Come, Lord Jesus!” will not fear and will not mind, because they have lived lives declaring their allegiance to Him and not to the world.  They will do so because they have been treated as “strangers and pilgrims” in a world who did not know them because it did “not know Him who sent” Jesus.  They will embrace the coming conflagration because it means an exit to a world where they knew they did not belong, or hold citizenship in; where they felt like aliens because the rest of the world could not, or would not, see the beauty and sweet reasonableness in a suffering Savior who lovingly implored all of us to “Follow (Him)” as He led us back to the “Father of Spirits” that we might truly “live.”

If that day were today or tomorrow, in which group would you and I be among?  Have we “built our house on the Rock” or have we built on shifting sand?  Are we pouring our time, energy, resources, and affections into that which will be utterly destroyed or are we spending and using them wisely, preparing for the inevitable, when all that matters, all that is left to us, is a godly, holy, imperishable, life, one which we have enjoyed and led in the service of the King of Kings?

Global warming is real.  Believe it.  Are you and I ready for it?  More importantly, are we looking forward to it?  That, more than anything, will give us the answer to the question.

(Texts cited:  2 Peter 2:12; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7; Luke 21:28; Revelation 20:11; 23:20; Hebrews 11:13; John 1:10; Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Hebrews 12:9; Matthew 7:24)

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Put to Use

My father was a mechanic so he had lots of tools.  I remember seeing many of them; they were dirty, grimy, well-worn.  Very few of them went unused.  Mine, on the other hand, if they are not hand-me-downs (which most are), look much newer, much nicer, almost clean and grime-free.  A real mechanic could easily tell that I am no mechanic even if I am the son of one.  The tools, if not the lack of knowledge in a conversation about car repair or the like, would be a dead giveaway.

Put to use over time, anything or anyone will show signs of wear and tear.  Our bodies will and do, eventually, and maybe even our minds.  When we are in the Lord’s service we will show signs of wear also.  We  will be under near constant assault by Satan.  He will do everything in his considerable power to render us ineffective, seeking to neutralize us as a force against him.  He may attack in various ways:  health issues, hurting our loved ones, damaging our financial security and resources, loss of possessions, tempting our lusts and so on.   It may show on our faces, in our temperament, our demeanor, our speech and the kinds of daily decisions we make.  We have to be ready for it, accept it for what it is, but realize he makes us do nothing we do not choose to do and the Lord won’t allow him to go beyond a point without providing an escape hatch for us (1 Corinthians 10:13).

If you are feeling hurried, harassed, hampered, hamstrung, hated, homesick or horrible, then that may be because you are a tool in the Lord’s kingdom, making a difference, and Satan is doing his dead-level best to neutralize your effectiveness.  Pray for strength from on High, for the power of our Spirit-Comforter and the encouragement of the Word of God and fellow believers to rise above the noise and ugliness of the moment to fulfill your assignments in the Lord’s kingdom.  Cast aside the emotions that are holding you down or keeping you “navel-gazing.”  Revel in the onward and upward march, as a soldier of Christ, a tool in His service being put to use by the Master Craftsman and Builder.

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I Will Not Hear

The prophet/judge Samuel’s sons were not like him; they took bribes and perverted justice.  The elders of Israel met with Samuel in Ramah and demanded a king instead.  Samuel did not like the idea, but prayed to the Lord about it:

 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.   According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day–with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods–so they are doing to you also.  1 Samuel 8:7-9

Abandonment.  Israel had abandoned God and His prophet/judge Samuel.  God told Samuel what to tell them as a warning should they demand such a thing:

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king.  And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots.  He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.  He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.  And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.  He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants.  And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.  He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.  And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”  1 Samuel 8:10-18

Having been forewarned about every selfish, self-centered, self-aggrandizing, covetous motive and action exposed before them in detail they remained adamant, demanding a king.  And God heeded their wish; He allowed them to decide their own fate.  Thus their long journey down the path to destruction had begun.

This electoral season we have seen the selfish, self-centered, even criminal, behavior exposed to the world (via the hacked emails) of one of the candidates running for the highest office in this land and currently in the lead:  Hillary Rodham Clinton.  She boasts about her support for:

  1. Abortion on demand even in the third trimester.[1]
  2. Marriage between persons of the same gender (Homosexuals). [2]

Forget for a moment that she would tax the rich just because they are rich; something the Word of God reveals is inequity even among the laws of His people Israel (Leviticus 19:15; 25:47-54; Exodus 23:6; 30:15; Deuteronomy 1:17).  Not to mention that she seeks to bypass the Constitution and Congress to negate the second amendment; accepts donations from countries which murder homosexuals and non-Muslims routinely; supports trade agreements that will harm American workers; plans to open borders where felons and enemies of state can enter the country easier, the pathological lying, the blatant hypocrisies, the cover-ups, mainstream media’s two-faced collaboration and smear campaigning.  For those of us who are Christians, those first two should easily rate the highest as travesties of decency and righteousness which mark her clearly as secular and pagan to the core.

Consider that God may be doing for us as He did for Israel:  exposing to everyone the hidden secrets of a fearful, sinful, prospect (that such a one as she could actually be elected to the highest office in this land) so that when the time comes, when votes are cast and should the electorate choose her to run this nation; and later, as things begin to disintegrate worse than they are now, and people protest, He may, like He did then, turn away His ears from cries of deliverance.  He will have shown us what we are in for and let us decide our own fate as a nation.

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”[3]

I could not disagree more.  You see, I personally do not consider that men, or women, who stand by and do nothing to stop the “triumph of evil” are legitimately and inherently, good.  If we abandon our right to vote, it is possible we may be abandoning the one God-given opportunity to determine our future as a nation.  As a result, God may not listen later when we cry out to Him for deliverance from the evil we chose to ignore.  We surely will have no grounds to complain to anybody else.

Therefore, Christian, and fellow American whom God has given the right to vote by being a citizen of this nation, a blood-bought liberty defended by other Americans who even now are in foreign lands risking their lives and dying to keep us safe from tyranny – be sure you exercise that right come November.  Lend your voice to the cry against sin now, or it may not be heard later.

Addendum:  If you claim to be a Christian, then I urge you read the following article and consider the legitimacy of it in light of it:  http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2016/10/16/conservative-christians-be-assured-that-president-hillary-clinton-will-declare-war-on-you-n2232947

[1] https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/fact-check-of-hillary-clintons-support-for-day-of-birth-abortions-shows-bia; http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Hillary_Clinton_Abortion.htm

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2013/03/18/hillary-clinton-comes-out-in-support-of-gay-marriage/; http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/04/16/hillary-clintons-changing-views-on-gay-marriage/

[3] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/edmundburk377528.html


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Report Cards

Recently my sister gave me some things that my mother had been saving.  One was a large photo of me taken when I was a boy.  I distinctly remember I felt nauseous at the time and you can see my smile was a struggle.  My forehead is huge and I look like one of those bulbous headed aliens from Star Trek.  I may have to hide the photo; it might frighten little children. It’s scary.

Yet the really scary thing is the fifth grade report card my mother kept.  Of all the ones she could have saved, she HAD to keep that one.  Fifth grade was not a good year for me.  I did not care for my teacher, Mrs. Linton.  I truly believe she did not like me, but I am positive I gave her cause.

Back then (think 1960s), report cards were really “cards” not sheets of paper.  They were highly informative, detailing to parents what they were for, with sections for “Scholarship and Attendance,” “Explanation of Grading System,” “Habits and Attitudes,” and, on the back, a place for “Teacher’s comment and Parent’s Signature.”  It is to these last two that I will make comment.

Several of my “Habits and Attitudes” needed work. /understatement  There were six, 6 week indicator boxes and I had full check marks (meaning ’Improvement Needed’) all the way across in “Is attentive to teacher’s instructions” “Follows directions promptly” and “Assumes responsibility.”  Except for one six-week period, I had all negative marks in “Continues work until completed” “Respects authority” and “Is desirably independent.”  The last three 6 weeks, I had negative check marks in “Claims only own share of attention.”  In the section that said, “Makes good use of time” I had 5 out of 6 slots written with “talks.”  Apparently a check mark was too insufficient to describe her pain at my motor-mouthedness.  On the back, she continued with disturbing critiques such as, “Danny’s conduct this six weeks has been undesirable” (I know she had another ‘Danny’ in mind!) and “He is still idling too much of his time away.”  As I recall, I am not entirely to blame.  If my memory serves me correctly, I was madly in love with two girls at the time and one was my true flame, Mary Ann.  I am pretty sure they liked me too, so, really, what was I supposed to do – sit there grinning like an idiot while some other guy wrested their attention away from me? /smile

All levity aside, as much as that Report Card addressed my life during that time, there is one being kept that matters far more.  It is not being kept by a school teacher.  It is the account of “deeds done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians. 5:10).  There is one for each one of us.  It is not being kept by some fallible human, but by God Himself.  It is accurate and thorough.  Nothing important is omitted.  It will define where we will either exist in misery or enjoy life for all eternity.  If you or I could glimpse it today, what would it say?  “Needs improvement”?  “Wastes too much time”?  “Disrespects authority”?  “Does not continue work until completed”?  Might it expose our deepest faults and bring shame and humiliation to us?  Or is it one that would honor us and give us pause for a humble, yet thankful, glow of success at some small measure of spiritual maturity?

God is evaluating us all and keeping record.  I do not know how many “six weeks” we have, but let us make every one of them count.  Change what needs changing.  Improve what needs improving.  Repent as needed as often as needed.  Then, when the time comes for God to read that report card, it will bring us joy and not sorrow in His esteemed presence.

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