For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ

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th (1)Hobby Lobby has been in the midst of a long running battle regarding their right to choose what types of birth control methods that they will pay for under their insurance program for their employees.  Since the owners of Hobby Lobby hold deeply held Christian convictions, the Obamacare mandate held that they had to pay for procedures that they felt violated their religious freedoms. Today, the United State Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby owners and is therefore a winning ruling in favor of religious freedom.  The Supreme Court ruled that the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) prohibits the government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability…at issue here are regulations promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which, as relevant here, requires specified employers’ group health plans to furnish ‘preventive care and screenings’ for women without any ‘cost-sharing requirements.’  Congress did not specify what types of preventive care must be covered; it authorized the Health Resources and Services Administration, a component of HHS, to decide. Non-exempt employers are generally required to provide coverage for the 20 contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including the 4 that may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus.”

Further, the Supreme Court held  that, “As applied to closely held corporations, the HHS regulations imposing the contraceptive mandate violates RFRA.”  It further upheld that “It employed the familiar legal fiction of including corporations within RFRA’s definition of ‘persons,’ but the purpose of extending rights to corporations is to protect the rights of people associated with the corporation, including shareholders, officers and employees.  Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations thus protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them.”

So now, Hobby Lobby and other closely held corporations such as Mardel and Conestoga have been afforded the protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  As such, they will not be required to implement health care services that they find to be at odds with their religious beliefs.  This is yet another loss for President Obama and his lack of respect for the United States Constitution and his erroneously held beliefs that he has the right to trample upon the rights of the citizens of the United States of America.

Praise the Lord God Almighty for His righteous right arm that has been bared for His people.  Amen.

Celebrating fatherhood on Father’s Day


Happy Father's dayFatherhood has been around for eons, especially since the Lord God Almighty is the greatest Father of all.  God patterned the role of Father after Himself and He is the epitome.  The greatest and most wonderful example of what a true Father should act like.  So what are some of the examples that God the Father has left as a pattern that all men who want to be good Fathers should imitate?  The first and greatest example is that God the Father is always faithful; second, He is always there for His children; thirdly, He truly knows how to love His children; fourth, He occasionally spoils His children and lavishes us with His gifts, both spiritual and physical, and fifth, He knows how to lovingly discipline us as well when we need His strong, guiding Hand.  In the sixth place, He is our provider and keeps us fed, clothed and gives us physical shelter from the elements.  Finally, the seventh example is this: He is our spiritual protector as well and has provided us with eternal life and places us in the midst of his hedge so that even though our enemy, the adversary walks about like a great roaring lion, he cannot touch us when the Lord God Almighty is our shield and our buckler.

This writer did not deliberately place these numbered examples in this order.  In fact, this writer was simply writing and when I had placed the second example, I just kept writing.  Afterwards, as I was reading what I wrote to check for clarity, I was adding the rest of the numbers in their order and could barely believe how it turned out.  This, my friends was the Hand of God in action.  Why?  It came out too perfect, that is why.  Totally awesome is the Lord God Almighty.  All right men, those of you who are already fathers and those who someday would like to have his own children…read it and listen up.

  1. God is always Faithful
  2. God is always there
  3. God always loves
  4. God is the Great Giver
  5. God’s Grace disciplines us
  6. God meets our physical needs
  7. God is our Spiritual life-giver and protector

If this writer had tried to come up with this list from the flesh, I would have been sitting at my computer all day…reality really bytes.  So Fathers living here upon earth…here is your list…keep it in front of you at all times and imitate…imitate…imitate!

  1. Fathers…remain faithful to your family
  2. Fathers…stay there and just be there
  3. Fathers…love your children
  4. Fathers…Give your self to your children
  5. Fathers…don’t be afraid to lovingly discipline your children
  6. Fathers…make sure you provide for your children
  7. Fathers…you can’t give your children eternal life….but you can lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ who can.

So when did people begin to actually set aside a special day to commemorate our Fathers?  There is a possibility that it was first started after a mining accident in Monongah, WV in December 1907 and subsequently a memorial service was held in 1908.  Another possibility is that it was felt that because Mother’s were being honored so should Fathers.  The first time that it was celebrated in June was in 1910 when Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her father who raised all six of his children by himself after his wife died.  In that day, most men who became widowers quickly remarried or placed their children in the care of others.  Finally, it became a national holiday in 1972 by President Nixon signing it into law.  A little tidbit: In different languages we say: Fathers’ Day in English and Día del Padre in Spanish; יום האב in Hebrew and Vatertag in German.

So men….Fathers….Happy Father’s Day, Día del Padre, יום האב, and Vatertag!

 

Pentecost – receiving the presence of God


Pentecost - yahooThe Feast of Pentecost was 50 days after Passover and it ushered in the birth of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ when the Holy Spirit fell upon the believers that were present that day as they had been commanded to do by the Lord Jesus.  Biblical tradition cites that this feast is called by the Jews, Shauvott.  The feast of Pentecost is a Greek word indicating that there are 50 days from the time of the Feast of Weeks and Pentecost. The Scriptures clearly state in

Acts 2:1-4

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

After this initial outpouring at Pentecost, we as Christians no longer have to wait the 50 days that the Lord Jesus prescribed for His disciples.  This was just an initial waiting period until the promise of the Father was to come down from Heaven, namely the Holy Spirit.  The Lord Jesus knew that for His disciples to stand firm in the face of opposition, that they would need the infilling of the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is no less true today as Christians are facing hostile situations across the globe.  It is this abiding and ever-present presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords that keeps the Christian from wavering in their faith.

Many Christians sometimes still mistakenly believe that they have to wait for the Holy Spirit to come to them.  However, when you believe that God has raised up His Son from the grave and you believe in your heart and you confess this with your mouth, the Holy Spirit immediately comes to indwell your spirit and you once again are open to hearing from God as He speaks to your spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit that is the conduit for this verbal transaction from God to creature.  After the Holy Spirit comes to indwell with His presence, you have now experienced being ‘born again.’  This process of being ‘born again’ is necessary because the first couple, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God and they lost the presence of the Holy Spirit and they died that very day.  They didn’t die physically, but they died spiritually and this is why we needed a Savior to pay for our sins.  This is why God was going to send the promise. What was this promise?  The promise was the Holy Spirit once again coming to dwell with mankind; to those who choose to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Scriptures, fire is used to denote the very presence of God and it also is used to signify great power.  We see this in:

Exodus 13:21

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, to go by day and night.

But beyond this, in the OT, the Hebrew word for ‘breath’ or ‘wind’ is ruach, which is also used to indicate spirit.  In this case however, it was not just a ‘spirit’, but the Holy Spirit Himself.  So what significance does the tongues of fire have for today’s Christian?  While that powerful display was a one-time phenomena, the imagery of the fire, or God’s presence covering the disciples’ heads also lends itself to today’s church.  In that we also as born-again children of God also are blessed with the covering of God’s presence through His Holy Spirit.  The imagery of the rushing, mighty wind lends itself to the knowledge that Yeshua, the Christ still wields His power and authority over the natural earth realm as well as the heavenly, as He sits enthroned with His Father in heaven.
If you haven’t asked the Lord Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior as of yet, and you would like to Get a Life, confess Him as your Lord and Savior and you will experience the new birth for yourself.

Memorial Day – honoring those who serve our ‘One Nation under God’


usa-memorial-day timeanddate.comThose Veterans that have over the years given their lives and their time, and have willingly placed themselves in the line of fire to keep our nation, the Unites States of America, as one Nation under God; free as the founding fathers established it through the Declaration of Independence are to be remembered and honored on this day. It has been necessary to defend this great nation from the onset of its birth as we established the rights of the people through the Constitution of the United States of America. The men and women that have selflessly given of their time and talents; some for a specified time of service and some who have given all of themselves by laying down their lives for the freedom of others. As it has been said, “Freedom is not free!”

Psalm 127:1

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

We could paraphrase this verse in Psalms 127 to read:

Except the Lord build the NATION, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the NATION, the watchman waketh but in vain.

The United States of America was founded upon the principles of God and His Word, a place where people wanted to establish a new country where they could worship their God as they pleased. During crucial battles many servicemen had their Bibles tucked securely into their coats and this writer is reminded of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia where the artist has depicted this type of scene through a statue of a serviceman dying on the beaches of Normandy with his Bible in his hand.

The history that lies behind this holiday is this

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women, who died in any war or military action.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

The Founders knew that the Lord God Almighty needed to be present in our public life and affairs and to be glorified so His blessing would flow over this great nation. This knowledge is greatly needed and a revival of the Lord’s blessings for this nation is needed right now. Again, as it has been said before, “There are no atheists in the foxholes.” Those that are prepared to lay down their lives for our freedom know this all too well. So this Memorial Day, let us glorify the Lord God Almighty the true founder of this great United States of America and to remember and honor those that have served in our military so that we as a people might remain free.

 

Problems with Christian dating adventures


young-couples-holding-laptop-freedigitalphotos.netIn days of old unmarried people met at church picnics, BBQ’s, at church, and if they went on an outing together, they had a chaperone. That all began to change in the 1950’s onward. Couples went on dates by themselves and as it was known to happen in the days when chaperones went along (this is why they were there in the first place…to prevent too much closeness…), too much closeness began to happen. A long detailed account of what occurred over this time period until the present day isn’t really necessary. If you are over 30 you know what happened and if you are under 20 then ask your parents. Free love turned out to not be free at all. Huge social costs were accrued and we are all still paying for all of that ‘free stuff.’

Then the secular world developed dating sites on the internet, and in a way the internet was the new chaperone (at least at first) until the couples in question wanted to meet. But this article isn’t about the secular dating sites necessarily. This is about Christian singles not being able to meet other Christian singles. The pool of available Christian singles in every age category is limited. Unless you happen to live near a mega-church that has a broad spectrum of varying ages in the singles category, your chances of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right are drastically limited. This does not preclude miracles from God. Of course, you should not jump into marriage without the counsel of the Lord. There simply are just too many people who claim to be Christian (and maybe they are, but just not sold-out), who after marriage begin to show their true colors.

So it seems then that some Christians began the first Christian internet dating site, patterning itself after the secular dating sites. The first site that this writer was aware of was Christian Cafe and then later on this writer also tried out Christian Mingle. The only difference is that the people who sign up for this service are supposed to be Christians. The pool gets even smaller when you limit yourself to other sold-out disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. While none of us are perfect, there is a drastic difference between the lukewarm Christian and the on-fire-for-the-Lord-Jesus-Christian. Even the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t want lukewarm Christians either, for it is written,

Revelation 3:16

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

If you are ‘hot’ then the Lord already has you, and if you are ‘cold’ then the Lord can set you on fire for Him. However, if you are lukewarm…you’re just too comfortable in your pew, throwing in your five bucks every Sunday into the offering plate.

This is where the trouble begins and what this article is about; namely this: can you really tell over the cold internet cabling if someone is truly hot-on-fire for the Lord? It is very easy to put forth a false picture of yourself when there is such a great distance. Of course, the idea is to meet one another, hopefully to find out the truth. But here is a sure-fire way to tell if someone is a true sold-out disciple: you yourself need to actually live the sold-out life of a disciple, and if the person you are talking to on the Christian dating site is not sold-out, you will soon hear the truth coming out of their mouth. Or when you actually meet, if the other person wants to begin a sexual encounter with you outside of Holy Matrimony, then there’s a clue that just screams at you that this person is not a sold-out-on-fire disciple of the Lord Jesus. This probably sounds so old-fashioned, but truth is still truth!

The Scriptures speak boldly about fleeing physical desires and the Lord Jesus was very plain when He spoke about cutting off physical desires in

Matthew 5:27-30

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Of course, this does not mean a literal cutting off of the mentioned parts, but cutting off the source of entry, which is the mind, as we allow wicked thoughts to enter and then we proceed to entertain those thoughts until sin is produced in the flesh. Christians are still under the Laws of God and we are still expected to obey God in our daily lives. This writer has written fourteen articles about this subject to date (see below “The Ten Commandments: Are they still relevant?” for some links to these articles).

So should Christians even use these Christian dating sites? They can be helpful, but just be aware that there are probably a lot of phony Christians or lukewarm ones trolling those sites too. Of course, there are also the true-blue disciples of the Lord Jesus out there as well. There is also a video attached to this article that is a parody of these Christian dating sites that is totally cute, it is meant to be funny, so don’t be offended. This writer had a good belly laugh while watching the video.

So anyone up for a church picnic or BBQ? Maybe we should go back to the old-fashioned way of meeting other singles.

Mother’s Day: Giving honor to whom it is due


Happy_Mothers_Day - photobucketAnother year come and gone and here it is Mother’s Day again. You are probably thinking about what to buy for your Mom on HER day. Like most Mothers, we have enough perfume, we have all the plates and glassware we need, we have all of the small appliances, etc. Please don’t buy her a vacuum cleaner unless she has requested one. You can however buy her a dishwasher if you don’t already have one in your home and that would be quite a blessing. If by some odd chance she is still using a washboard, DO buy her a washing machine and dryer.

So…Dad…what you can get for the Mother of your children is to treat her to a series of gifts all designed to bless her on this day set to honor her. Here are some suggestions of different gifts that you can utilize if you wish:

  • Get that family photo taken that is overdue
  • Take her and your family on a horse-drawn carriage ride through your city
  • Eat at her favorite fancy restaurant
  • Buy her a heart-shaped gold locket with that new family photo inside
  • Have your family lunch catered at your favorite park with servers in tuxedos

These are just some of the ideas that this writer proffers for those of my readers who might be struggling to think of some new things to get for Mom on her day. While the Bible does not obviously have any verses set aside for a special Mother’s day event, yet we see that God the Father did provide words upon this subject. You can find it in the Ten Commandments, it is

Exodus 20:12

Honour thy father and thy MOTHER: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (emphasis mine).

We also find Jesus Christ honoring His mother on a daily basis. How do we know it is most likely on a daily basis? In the first place, it was a commandment of God and the Lord Jesus kept all of God’s commandments perfectly. Then we find an instance written in the Bible where most definitely He honored His Mother by obeying her even when it wasn’t the most convenient for Him.

John 2:1-8. 12

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.

Jesus knew that it was not yet time for Him to begin His ministry, yet because His mother took the lead and set Him upon His path, He obeyed her and performed His first miracle in His ministry. We don’t see Him arguing endlessly about the fact that it wasn’t time yet; what we do read is that He does make mention of this, yet He honors His Mother and does it anyway. By the cultural rules of the society in which He was living, He could have simply informed His Mother to be quiet and refused to do anything. Yet He honored her and obeyed her. This is a good clue for all children to do so in imitation of the Holy One of God. Amen.

So this Mother’s day, give honor unto whom honor is due. Above all, children love your Mother, honor her and obey her and as the commandments of God states: “that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Have a blessed Mother’s day!

 

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