Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the famous Evangelist, Billy Graham has been touring across America with his Decision America 2016 tour, which has been touring the nation in order to lead Christian Americans in prayer for the government and the upcoming elections. Springfield, Illinois was the 27th stop for the 50 State Decision America tour. According to Rev. Graham, the number of people that came out for this particular tour stop was 5,800 Christians, who despite the sweltering 96 degree heat came out “because they mean business,” at least when it comes to praying for America and the multitudinous problems that our country is facing at this present moment. Some of the problems that America has been facing even just this week alone; the terrorist shooting in Orlando, Florida and tonight on the WICS Channel 20 news, it was reported that an active shooter was shot dead in a Walmart in Texas.
According to Rev. Graham, these problems didn’t just crop up overnight, but have been long in the making; one such contributing factor that he cited, was the removal of God’s Ten Commandments from the schools. These commandments were a moral guideline for the generations that came before and it is hard to not compare this lack in our schools to the problems we are now hearing about on the nightly news; these types of problems were just never heard of in prior generations. People feared the Lord God Almighty and they reigned in their behaviors because of this godly fear that had been instilled in their lives by their parents and their grandparents, as well as teachers from Kindergarten through the upper grades in high school.
Rev. Graham led the 5,800 Christians present through several times of prayer: first, he led the group assembled to pray for those in Orlando, Florida; next, he led those present to offer up repentance for the actions of our government as well as requesting repentance for those who work in politics; then to offer up repentance for our own personal transgressions; and then to request repentance for the transgressions of our forbears.
Franklin Graham made it clear that neither political party was going to be able to save America, but that the only One capable of saving America from our moral downhill slide, is none other than the Lord God Almighty. While he did not endorse any particular candidate, he did stress that every Christian should get out and vote. He quoted his Father, Billy Graham, from as far back as 1952, in which Billy Graham had been telling people to get out and vote and to get involved in the political process. He made telling comparisons of how if Christians would just run for school boards, mayoral positions and other political posts, that this could drastically reverse this downhill slide for the next 20 or so years. First to take back the local political scene and God willing, to then take back Washington, D.C.
The event lasted about forty-five minutes and the crowd dispersed in an orderly fashion. Many people came in church buses, but there were some people who had to walk ten or more blocks to get back to their parked cars. I find it rather interesting, but not surprising, that there weren’t any active Christian shooters at the event. Praise the name of the Lord God Almighty.
Now that all of this is over for us it should be rather easy to just be contemplative about the whole matter. But oh, how hard it was to believe that when the seven month old baby in arms was supposed to turn into a monster during the dreaded time of the terrible twos…well, it was just plain hard to conceive this in our minds. Some of us older folks still remember reading Ann Landers’ advice column on a daily basis, and in one of her columns she had asked her readers to write in and let her know what their response would be to her question. The question was this: “If you had to do the parenting job all over again, would you do it?” There was an overwhelming majority of her readers that said quite frankly, “NO!” Hard to believe isn’t it? Of course, there were also those who said that they would do it over again, but with some major changes included. This column was read in 1977 when this writer had such a wonderful backlog of experience with children (baby was seven months old) and how this writer thought it was so terrible that these people would actually write in and say that they would never do the parenting job again if they had to do it over. Writer remembers the smell of baby powder in her nose and the sweet scents of a newly bathed baby nestling up against Mommy’s neck.
Oh, yes, as the title in this article also states….”the terrible teens….” as well. Yes, they were terrible. But perhaps it was because my two year old didn’t really have those so-called ‘terrible twos’ season….though later on, the wish was prevalent that those terrible twos had been as terrible as everyone said that they would be, but somehow they were not. Perhaps this is why her teen years were so terrible. She was making up for the easy time we had during her second year.
So what does it take to be even a somewhat decent parent? If you are an on-fire Christian in love with the Lord Yeshua, then you’ll probably come up to being a three-quarter way decent parent. If you are only a lukewarm Christian and only go to church on Easter and Christmas, (those dreaded CEO’s [Christmas-Easter-only] Christians, you’ll be lucky if you make it to one-third-way decent parent. However, if you’re fully living in the world….well….good luck.
So would this on-fire holiness preacher ever do the parenting thing again? I would as long as I remained an on-fire Christian, and totally in love with the King….that is, King Yeshua. Now, if only that had been the case the first time through. It probably would have been a lot easier. Not that children won’t probably still go through a time of rebellion….but that as parents…we have a source of comfort and wisdom that the world simply does not possess. So what do you say about the idea of doing the parenting trip again? Would you do it over again?
Well it’s hard to believe that Christmas…yes…CHRISTMAS…is coming up fast on our horizon. Seems like just yesterday that we were blowing horns that the New Year had just come in with a bang, and now we are shopping for gifts for our families and friends. Did everyone survive Black Friday? Well, now it is time that we begin writing out our Christmas cards and wrapping all of those gifts that we saved so much money on (or so we are told) by buying from this store rather than that one.
We know that stress is a killer and ‘T’is the Season’ that can bring much of this dreaded killer into our lives if we let it, and don’t carefully plan out our time schedules. Make sure you plan on taking some time for yourself and just relax and let the worries recede.
Here is a list of some of the things that can help you to get rid of the frazzle in your dazzle this Christmas season: First thing is to take the time to make a list. Here we go:
1. Sit down with a cup of your favorite beverage and make a list of the things you need to accomplish in the next 2-3 weeks.
2. Planning is essential if you’re going to survive the holiday whirlwind.
3. If you didn’t take part in Black Friday to buy your gifts, make a list of those you plan on giving gifts to and set the dollar amount that you wish to spend for each person, and stick to that limit. Overspending during the holidays is a sure-fire stress producer, so stay away from the temptation to buy just one more gift for that particular person.
4. Write out your Christmas cards and mail them promptly….don’t wait or you might get stuck in the long lines at the post office.
5. Take a long, hot bubble bath and pamper yourself.
6. Get your calendar out and write out the dates of any Christmas plays or concerts that you have to attend for your children’s school or those that might be at the church you attend.
7. Now add to your list and to your calendar the dates and times that you have already signed up to bake something for a club you belong to or the church bake sale. Not to mention the baking that you wish to do for your family and friends. Baking and cooking takes a lot of preparation and planning. So, because of the time constraints, make a grocery list of the items you will need to purchase in order to successfully get these projects done.
8. Sit down and watch your all time favorite Christmas movies.
9. Plan on setting aside a time that you can wrap your Christmas gifts in private (especially, if you have children) or a husband that likes to peek and see what you’re doing.
10. Spend time with your friends and family and just enjoy the holiest of all Holy(i)days. Unwrap your presents and be thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ that He agreed to come down as a little baby so that He could become your Savior and mine. Hallelujah!
Now….just think about it for a minute…. after you open up your presents and you have to clean up all of the mess….in just 371 days it will be CHRISTMAS once again. God Bless!
Surfing the web, this writer came across an article written by Matt Walsh that was posted in The Blaze at http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/no-serious-christians-arent-worried-about-the-stupid-starbucks-cups/ about the supposed Starbucks Christmas cup controversy. Seriously? It is hard to believe that any Christian(s) would be upset about such a thing. Then there is the backlash happening on the web as well as the major news outlets picking up the story, and so this guy, Joshua Feuerstein, has been making the rounds on Facebook trying to stir up a controversy. If Christians should get upset about anything that Starbucks puts on their cups, it would be their iconic twin-tailed mermaid siren or Norse goddess. According to Starbucks:
Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for…http://www.starbucks.com/blog/so-who-is-the-siren
Then this writer found this blurb:
One of Astarte’s symbols was actually a star within a circle, which was used to symbolize the planet Venus. Interestingly, two stars are found within the green circle surrounding the logo character of the former Starbucks logo, which was used to separate ‘Starbucks’ and ‘Coffee.’ Artistic depictions of the goddess often show her naked, so why was such a figure with a steamy background chosen to represent the popular coffee chain? Astarte was a goddess that was worshiped in the Eastern Mediterranean countries dating back to the bronze age and into classical times, according to http://www.unexplainable.net
As some commentators have responded: Go feed the hungry, etc. etc. which is a reference to:
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
So what should shock Christians the more? No snowflakes on the red cups or the fact that Starbucks has chosen a snake-like goddess that has been represented as a twin-tailed Norse goddess, and which has also represented Astarte, a pagan goddess?
For Christians, the first of the Ten Commandments states very clearly:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
A new Christian movie is set for release in a limited amount of cities, coming this April 3, 2015. The movie was rejected by Hollywood with the hard-to-believe excuse that it is too biblical. Huh? After all, it is a CHRISTIAN movie, so exactly what does Hollywood expect? Well apparently, the director, Tim Chey has put too much Christianity into his movie and this movie is expected to be far more biblical than either “Exodus” or “Noah.” Both of these movies were approved and released by Hollywood and both of these movies were outlandishly far removed from their original Scripture-based accounts as recorded in the Holy Bible. According to Carol Edwards, writing for Breaking Christian News, in an interview with Tim Chey:
Chey refers to the backlash of the film ‘Noah’ which many Christian pastors and leaders shunned. The film still was a box office hit at $120 million, but Christians stayed away in droves.
“There are no rock monsters helping David unfortunately,” Chey jokes to the laughter of the reporters. “But kidding aside, I wanted to make a film that will reinvigorate the kind of faith the future King of Israel had, namely fighting a giant with a zero percent chance of defeating him outside of God.”
The story of David and Goliath is an oft-told Bible story that is told to youngsters in Sunday school as young as 3 or 4 years of age and is also loved by all other ages in the Church. So this movie will be refreshing since Tim Chey states that his ministry is one of an evangelist and therefore his movie will be Biblically accurate. The following Scripture is the key statement made by David, the soon-to-be King of Israel, spoken to Goliath when the Philistine giant mocks him.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
Because this movie is being released independently, Tim Chey has been raising funds through Indiegogo.com, with the first campaign Chey has raised $19,673. In order for this movie to be able to play in any city, the production company must pay $1000.00 to the theatre. The first campaign has closed, but they have opened up another campaign and if you would like to donate to this Christian cause, you can donate here. So far, this second campaign has already raised $1,672.00, plus if you donate at least $15.00 you will receive a DVD copy of Tim Chey’s last movie, “Final.” If you donate $25.00 you will receive the DVD’s of Final and David and Goliath when it is released to DVD this July, 2015. Plus there are other incentives depending on how much you donate.
The following is a current list of the cities that this movie will be playing in so far:
- Atlanta, Anchorage, Austin, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Dallas, El Paso,
- Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Houston, Honolulu, Knoxville, Orlando, Miami,
- Phoenix, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Tukwila, Vancouver.
If people want to see this movie come to their area, help these independent Christian producers get this film out to the public. Tim Chey has stated that his movie is biblically accurate and so there shouldn’t be any backlash from this film. So help support this Biblically accurate and family friendly film so that more movies of this caliber will hopefully be made in the future.
Esther, the young Jewish girl who was chosen by Ahasuerus, King of Persia to become his new wife; since his other wife, Vashti, had been exiled and most likely executed when she refused to appear naked before the king’s guests, wearing only her crown. This occurred at a drinking feast that the king had prepared that would last a full 180 days with a separate feast for the women held by the queen. As the Book of Esther reveals that Esther was a young Jewish maiden being raised by her uncle, Mordecai, who instructed her that she was not to reveal her ethnic heritage when she appeared before the king. Esther, along with all of the other young girls that had been chosen to compete for the king’s marriage announcement went through a long process of preparation of baths, oils, lotions, perfumes; all of this being done with the hope to ready themselves for the night that they would spend with the king.
As the story progresses, Mordecai uncovers a plot by two assassins plotting to kill Ahasuerus; so he reports this to Esther who in turn informs the king. As the plot thickens, Haman who was of the lineage of Amalekites, and he therefore hated the Jews, had to honor Mordecai for his good deed. At first, Haman thought he was the one to be honored, and so made the reward very rich, only to find out that the king was speaking about Mordecai. Of course, because of his hatred for Jewish people, he sped up his plans to annihilate all of the Jews in Ahasuerus’ kingdom. Haman had “cast lots”, or “purim” so that all of the Jews in the kingdom would be executed on the 13th day of Adar. Haman’s plot became known to Mordecai, and so he asked Esther to intercede for the Jewish people before the king.
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
According to Persian law, no one could approach the king without a direct invitation. To do so was to risk imminent death, unless the king extended his scepter towards the uninvited; if the king did so, then the person could approach the king to make the request. Esther knew that if she went into the throne room without the personal invitation, though she was the queen, she was risking her life.
So in preparation, Esther requested that all of the Jewish people should fast for three days, including her maidservants; which after it was completed, she said,
Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
Esther then invited her husband, the king, and her enemy, Haman to a feast. She makes a request that they come again the next day. It is at this second feast that she reveals that she is Jewish and it is revealed that it is this Haman who wants to kill her and her people through the decree that he wrote and had the king sign and seal it with his signet ring. Of course, the king is angry and leaves the room. Then Haman rises and leans over Esther’s couch where she is reclining to beg for his life; it is this scene that the king sees as he returns, and thinking that Haman is making inappropriate advances to his queen, the king issues Haman’s execution. Haman had built these very gallows that he had fully intended to hang Mordecai upon, and instead he is hung on it along with his family.
A new decree is issued by Mordecai, who has now been promoted to second in command; that all of the Jews could now defend themselves against any attackers. The first decree could not be rescinded, so the new one allowed for their self defense and subsequently the Jewish people won a great victory over their enemies.
The Feast of Purim will be celebrated this year on March 4-5, 2015 in commemoration of that great victory. As the story of Esther, or the Megillah is read, each time the name of Haman is spoken, which occurs 54 times, the people shake rattles, or stamp their feet to drown out the horrid name, so that his name is forever wiped out of history. There are many things that are done during this feast that today’s Jewish people do as part of the commemoration: they attend the public reading of the Megillah; they send gifts of food to friends; they give to charities for the poor; and the eat a festive meal.
It is always a good time to read the Book of Esther, because it reminds Jews and Christians that our God avenges us of anyone who has done us wrong and He makes it right. Amen.
Is complementarianism truly biblical? As far as this writer’s personal studies have led, it is not. When a true student of the Word of God, or the Bible, reads such articles as that written by Owen Strachan, the President of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, who has laid out some of the pillars of his beliefs regarding complementarianism, and then lists supposed Scriptural accounts to back his assertions up, it simply does not bear out. In the first part of his article he covers the controversy regarding Gavin Peacock, a pastor located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who also believes in complementarianism and who also wrote his own article regarding this subject. However, what will be covered in this article are the points Strachan lists in his article concerning complementarian viewpoints.
In the Bible, God makes the cosmos in Genesis 1, and then he makes man and woman, husband and wife, in Genesis 2. He gives this relationship structure and form. Adam is the head of his wife; his wife is his helper. Eve is created from Adam. Her body depends on his for existence. This is a signal from the very start of Scripture: the position of marital headship given to men is one of responsibility and sacrifice, not ease and self-indulgence (Strachan).
Strachan quotes Genesis 1 and 2, so let us read these Scriptures to see if this is what they say. Verses 1-25 tell of God speaking creation into existence. It is in v26-27 that we first find the beginnings of mankind.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
The only thing in these two verses that Strachan is correct about is that God created man…male and female created He them. No sign of order…no headship…just a simple statement of fact. Plus, He unequivocally states, “Let THEM have dominion…” So, God is the Creator. Exactly what did God create? He created the male and female spirits. How do we know this? The Word that God spoke about His creation: He was going to make mankind in His image. What is God’s image? It is Spirit, as we find in John 4:24, “God is Spirit.” If the age-old argument is to be proffered that the word ‘male’ is first and then ‘female;’ well in the order of things…something has to be first and something must be last when dealing with a list of words. It still gives no authority of placement in these verses. To say so is eisegesis of the worst kind; and what exactly is ‘eisegesis’?
Eisegesis (/ˌaɪsəˈdʒiːsəs/; from the Greek preposition εἰς “into” and the ending from the English word exegesis, which in turn is derived from ἐξηγεῖσθαι “to lead out”) is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text. This is commonly referred to as reading into the text. The act is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda (Wikipedia).
The next chapter of the Bible that Strachan refers to is Genesis 2 and the verses, though not listed, are these:
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
God first created their spirits, but then He put them in ONE body (a foreshadowing of the ONE body of Christ, His church), and then God looked at Adam (meaning, ‘red earth’), and said “I will make him an help meet (Hbw= ezer, a strong help)”; so God took woman’s spirit out of Adam and gave the female spirit her own fleshly body. Adam then said “…she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” As we read this biblical text in Genesis 2, there still isn’t any command of God for man to have ‘headship’ over his wife. It simply is just not there! In verse 24 we read:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
This verse sounds more like commentary from Moses who wrote the Pentateuch, especially since at this juncture there was no father or mother to leave. There would be in the future, but not at this scene in the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, Moses lived in the midst of a patriarchal society and so it would behoove one to believe that as the writer of Genesis, that this would have been the perfect time to have instituted patriarchalism or complementarianism if this truly was the will of God. But as we have just seen, Moses did not institute either biblical worldview when he wrote the very words of God.
So for those who hold the complementarian view and for them to say that the book of Genesis supports ‘headship’ and ‘wifely submission’ are errant in their views because the record of the creation of man by God shows no such thing. Furthermore, there isn’t any commands uttered by God to Adam (who was both male and female at the same time) to engage in any such practice. Neither did God command the now separated man and woman to engage in any such lifestyle.
The first we read about any such possibility is in Genesis 3:16 and yet God is not cursing the woman, but merely tells her that since sin has now entered into their existence, the resulting skewing of their equality will now be that the male Adam will begin to rule over the female Adam. We should now see that this ‘headship’ if you will and forced ‘submission’ leads into the patriarchal system, but it was only introduced after sin entered the Garden of Eden and not before when they were in God’s paradise. So how is this God’s perfect will?
This writer will continue in additional articles to cover this large topic. So stay tuned.