A disturbing trend on my facebook feed..

I have started seeing a line of thought invading my FB wall that follows this way…  ~I can’t be happy on the 4th because of (abortion, gay marriage, judicial abuse of bakers etc…)~.  They are ashamed of the abuses of various governmental entities (rightly so) and so paint the nation with the same brush.  When was the United States of America encapsulated within it’s government? The last time I checked our nation was Much More than that.

Our nation is under assault today, from within and without. Those of you who have become unable to understand that We the People are the nation, are unwittingly helping in that assault.  The nation known as the United States of America is the sum of it’s people, their dreams, the dreams of our founders, and the warriors who have defended her.  Not the opinions of liberal governments and agencies.

I am not blind to the wrongs that our nation has done through the years, nor am I blind to the good that we have done.  If you have lost so much heart that you can no longer fight for righting our course, then I bid you Godspeed as you find the nearest border and exit in search of a country that is already on the right course.  If, however, you are willing to see the USA return to what it was meant to be I ask you to stay and help make it happen.  You are elected to become an Activist.  Get in touch with your representatives, stay in touch on the issues and let them know how you think that they should vote.  Even more importantly pray.  Get close to our Lord and walk with Him.  While you do this, start reaching out to others with the good news of Salvation. Remember this passage… it’s from 2 Chronicles chapter 7:

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Mark

Should Christians be involved in politics….

This seems to come up now and again, so I thought I would put out there that the answer is: Yes.  This is the United States of America! everyone should be involved in how our government operates.  Now since being a follower of Jesus is not a part time thing, you don’t get to hide your faith away from the public sector either.  Does this mean that you should only support christians?  no.  It should ensure that you are most supportive of men and women of good character though.  And towards those politicians that claim that they are christian, we should keep track of their actions and votes.

While we are not the judges of their hearts and salvation, we can indeed judge the fruits that they produce.  If you say you’re a Duck but act like a Coyote I’m liable to toss you back out of office on the next election cycle.

I know we’re all busy, but politicians do need to be kept track of, so that you can know that they are doing what they said they would do.  That is the only way to weed out those who don’t belong.  Or better still… call and write them so that they know what their voters think on different issues. That can help keep things on track between elections.

What Christians can do to help a former witch…

Thanks Brandy, for your question.

Things that you can do to help a new Christian that came from witchcraft start with prayer.  That’s where they end also.  Prayers for God’s love and power to cover them as well as yourself.

Now that you know the beginning and the ending… let’s look at some things in the middle.  They are people, same as you. They have a past that Jesus has saved them from, same as you. Yes, they will have special challenges along the way, since Satan likes to hit us where he got us before.  Encourage them to read the Bible and pray, and perhaps get into a bible study.  In times of extreme stress, pray more for them.  Be willing to pray with them.

Please understand that much of what the church thinks about witches just doesn’t fit the reality of most that I have met. One thing that may follow them even after they have turned to Jesus though, is they may remain sensitive to the spiritual realms around us. Above and beyond many people. This can lead to confusion, sometimes serious. What you can do to help with this is show them about prayer and the shield of faith. The last thing we want is for them to think that the only way they can defend themselves spiritually is with what we learned on the magic paths.  Getting closer to God is a much better option.

Another thing would be to neither buy into or spread the various church myths about witches and Halloween…They are mostly wrong anyway.  Those are some of the things that can be done, then again, we end in prayer.

Sorry Chris Martin, Franklin Graham was right…

Another blog was shared and crossed my news feed on facebook, by a gentleman called Chris Martin who has taken issue with Franklin Graham over his decisions about Wells Fargo and their support of the LGBT community.

Martin’s heart may well be in the right place, but I find his conclusions to be somewhat off.

First, let’s be clear; Wells Fargo can support whomever they choose, after all, this is America.  By that same token, Franklin Graham can bank wherever he chooses.  He even has the right to call on people to join him in moving their accounts away from that Bank.  This seems to be what Martin has taken exception to.

Martin says that we are to love our neighbors, no matter what. Okay. I’m good with that.  What he seems to be missing though is that there is a difference between loving them and supporting them in a sinful lifestyle.   You don’t love your alcoholic neighbor by keeping a bottle of Crown handy in case they need a drink.  Much as you don’t love your addicted neighbor by driving them to their next fix.   To bring it a little closer to home… you don’t love your local witch by helping them get to coven meetings.

This is the principle involved here, as Franklin Graham moves his accounts from a bank that is providing support for and enabling people following the LGBT lifestyle.  He is calling for others to do the same and some of them probably will, thusly removing their resources from a place of being used to support this lifestyle.

It is not always possible to make such an informed choice, and at times even when informed such a choice is not possible. However, making the choice to love your neighbors without helping them wreck their lives is to be commended rather than condemned.

enjoying your religion….

A quote is apparently going around on facebook from Kerr Cuhulain and was drawn to my attention…

“If you’re not enjoying your religion, either you’re not doing it right or you’re in the  wrong religion.”

Letting alone for the moment that Kerr is a witch with whom I have crossed paths a couple of times in the past, let us look at the statement as it stands by itself.   For starters, it implies that all religions are equally valid, which is reasonable coming from an occultist worldview.  Also reasonable from that perspective is the thought that one could be unhappy doing a religion wrong…

The actual issue that I have with this otherwise okay statement, is that the number of folks who do not realize that christianity is not really a religion and will just lump it in with the world’s religions when they see statements like that.  My Father in Law liked to explain it this way…  ‘religions are man made ways of reaching out to gods… Christianity is God reaching down to mankind’.  Following Jesus is truly a relationship, not a religion. Sometimes we make it out to be a religion, but it really is more than that.

Taking that all into account, I would like to submit that Kerr Cuhulain’s statement is almost correct.  My thought is a little different though:  Whether or not someone is enjoying their religion, they should trade it in for a relationship with our Savior, Jesus,

Just ask Him to forgive you and save you…

~Mark

Is something missing?

This came about by a question which was posed to my daughter.. a paraphrase is:  Is it possible to lose part of yourself, possibly magic and can it be regained? Now this is an absolutely GREAT question.

The best way to look at it is thus:

What you have felt is missing, is a connection to the spiritual world.  Yes it can be filled, poorly, with witchcraft. What really needs to happen though is to accept Jesus as your Savior.  Ask Him to forgive you and save you.  After all, that is what He invites you to do, and it is what all of us need to do.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

The good news is this: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

And this is how we, as humans, are supposed to interact with the spiritual realm, through Jesus.  You will find some conflict among the christian community about how this works and how much interaction with the spiritual world is proper.  I invite you to read the Bible and then to read a book by John Rice called “The Power of Pentecost”. Those will set you well on your way.  I’ll have some of the points showing up in the blog here, indeed there have been snippets already if you look at earlier posts.

Stars and Stripes expanding circles…

The American Heritage Girls ‘Stars and Stripes’ award…

For those of you who are not familiar with it, this is the highest award in AHG.  It takes a considerable amount of work and dedication to receive it but the ranks are expanding these days.

The first Stars and Stripes ceremony I went to was my daughter’s.  Everything lined up just right so that it was not only on her Birthday, but the founder, Patti Garibay was in town so she could present the award to Lydia personally. It was a wonderful evening with multiple troops and other groups present and participating.  Lydia was number 81… that was a couple of years ago. I was, and still am, extremely proud of her.
Lydia was called upon to issue the charge to the next Stars and Stripes recipient whose ceremony I got to attend, just a couple of weeks back.  A friend of hers from another troop had also attained that high rank and bestowed the honor of administering the charge to my daughter.  I was quite moved and proud again.. for her continued involvement and commitment. The ceremony was different but touching as well.  I suspect that they will all be different, reflecting the individual young ladies that they are honoring.

Today we went to the Stars and Stripes ceremony for another of her friends. I believe she is number 144… a number that is climbing fast.   Participating as one of the honor guard escorting her to the platform was my daughter.   Another young lady, another fabulous project for a community, another award ceremony that was a bit different…

Different yet good, and with a memory trigger that actually sparked this post… coming back around to when my daughter was working on her project.  She had been thrown from a horse and just had surgery on her hand when a multi-troop camp was scheduled….
Ellen Samek had asked that I make a couple dozen Native American style flutes for the older girls and my world was in such an uproar that I was still making them on delivery day, finishing a couple of them at the camp.  You see, Lydia wanted to go and be there at least for a while, in spite of the pain she was in.  Flutes delivered and mostly forgotten… until today.  One of my flutes was on that young lady’s table at the ceremony.  It just sort of reached out and slapped a little reality on me….

The things we do touch people and lives.. and that’s one of the things that the American Heritage Girls is about.  Touching and changing lives for the better.  For those of you who have reached this crowning award; the Stars and Stripes…. I know how hard you have worked. I know because I had a front row seat as my daughter did some amazing things..  BUT…. it’s not over now Ladies. Not even close.  Help the other girls, spread the flames throughout the ranks of AHG and encourage all to strive for their Stars and Stripes.  Don’t stop with your own troop either, there are troops out there without anyone that has made it yet.   Be available to go visit them and talk to their girls.  You are ambassadors of the highest rank now..  Shine brightly and encourage all of the girls to reach for the Stars!

Sincerely,
Lydia’s Dad

Preferences and their proper place…

Dear Brethren,

Why, oh why, do you persist in insisting all of us have the same preferences as you do?

I really do get it, that some of you find comfort in the liturgy and symbolism of the Catholic/Orthodox/Lutheran churches… and others…

I even understand that some of you find comfort within the structure of the Torah observant groups.

While I could thrive in those environments at need, that is not where God has placed me.  You remember Him, right?  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He keeps sending me to fellowship with Indy Fundy Baptists and mildly charismatic non-denominational groups…

The only problems I really have with you folks is when the leaders of your respective movements start twisting scripture to try to make it seem as if your preferences are mandated and that all should abide in them.  If you choose to follow those branches of Christianity, you should at least be allowed to do so honestly, realizing that you are following a set of preferences. And that I don’t need to follow them…

If you don’t want to observe holidays, and I do.. that’s nothing more than a preference.   If you don’t want musical instruments used in church and I do… again, that’s a preference.   Or… how about this one?  traditional hymns vs contemporary…. preferences.

It’s does get more serious when your leading lights start rewriting the Bible to support their claims, but all in all… I would rather let God deal with them on that one. I will hold forth the Truth for people and pray that they let the Holy Spirit guide them out of those dangerous fellowships.

I will put forth the thought that when someone says that they have discovered biblical truth that has been lost for centuries, you should excuse yourself and depart for God has preserved His Word and made sure it is fairly easy to understand.  It is people that complicate it as they seek to build themselves up, rather than honor God.

Read your Bible, seek God’s face and let preferences be preferences, not doctrine.

Jeremiah 10: 1-5

This passage has been used for years in attempts to bully followers of Jesus into not putting up Christmas trees.  This tends to be part of a larger push towards convincing them that Christmas is a pagan holiday.  We’ll look at the verses cited first:

Jeremiah 10 King James Version (KJV)

Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

So far this can be convincing to someone who has only a cursory knowledge of the issues at hand.  Upon reflection though, one can see that what is being discussed here are idols crafted to be worshiped as ‘gods’, and that their shortcomings are many when compared to the Lord of Lords.  No matter what the craftsmanship, they are but created things.. even if a demon chooses to manifest in one of them, they are still created things.  This is in contrast to the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  Even those who have walked far different paths than I will understand as they read further into the passage….

Jeremiah 10 

6  Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.

7  Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.

8  But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.

Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.

10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.

12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.

14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.

All of this in contrast to simple holiday decorations…. for I know of no one at all who worships their Christmas tree, or considers it a ‘god’.

Now, I want all who read this to think a moment the next time someone claims that Christmas is a pagan holiday… and ask them to explain exactly which of the pagan religions celebrate the birth of Jesus.  After all, for a follower of Jesus, that is what Christmas is all about.