Thursday, December 31, 2009

Shalom


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
We all hear the word “Shalom” used a lot in greetings as we say hello to a love one or a goodbye as we leave. Did you also know that Jesus, who is also called The Prince of Peace means “Saar Shalom”, in Hebrew. You may have already known that the word "shalom" means peace. But in fact, if you research and study the word, you will see that it has several meanings in the Hebrew language. It is a very important word. Shalom means peace, completeness, prosperity, safety, contentment, health, blessing, and rest -- and not only that. Shalom is the common word for hello and goodbye. This is the reason and the season to speak “Shalom” {a blessing} over and over again to one another! But let us not stop there. Make the year 2010 the year of blessings so, when you greet someone or bid them a farewell by saying "Shalom", what you are actually doing is speaking all those blessings upon them -- and really, speaking over them the ultimate blessing, Jesus {The Prince of Peace}, the Savior of the World. Himself!

Shalom my friend,
Bill

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Applying The Blood

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And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt.

Without a doubt this has to be one of the most single over looked verses in the whole Bible, but one of the most important scripture in the whole Bible. It was not the self worthiness of the Hebrews, it was their faith in that blood. God did not say “when I see you, or, when I see your good works”, or “When I see how much money you have” or “When I see how important you are” nor did He say, “when I see where you go to church”, but He said “When I see the blood” Has the blood been applied to the door post of your heart? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?Are you washed in the blood of the lamb? Applying the Blood of Christ to your life is a very important matter just as it was for the Hebrews when they were in Egypt. The blood applied to the door post meant that the Hebrew's faith and their trust was in the blood of that Lamb. The blood that was applied then, was meant to be a token of the ONE to come, a symbol of the one who would redeem man kind by the shedding of His life Blood. The Hebrews in that day were facing many hardships (as we are today) by the hands of the Egyptians. You do not have to read between the lines to see the hunger, hardship, sickness, and the poor quality of life that the Hebrews (God's Children) were facing, and just the plain brutality of their Egyptian masters. The Hebrews had a hard life. But deliverance came! It was when they applied the blood.

It did not matter if the house was new, old, large, or small. The blood had to be applied to the door post. It did not matter how far they could trace their linage back or if it was perfect, or they went to the synagogue often, or what religious ceremonies they took part in. All that mattered was applying that blood. The Hebrews may have not known much or understood of what was taken place, but this one thing they did know, if they were to be safe that night, the blood had to applied and that was all that mattered. The Blood of the lamb and the word of the Lord formed that foundation of the Hebrews peace and safety that night. All that were under the cover of that blood were made safe, just as it is now to all that are saved and under the cover of the precious blood of Jesus.

This story take us to the very heart and true meaning of Christianity. It is the story and true meaning of the cross. We, as Christians, must see our full redemption in the blood of Jesus because our full redemption rest in that precious Blood. Our simple forgiveness of sin rest on that. We either trust it or we do not trust it.

If our nation wants deliverance, from the evil that has come upon it, then it should take a page out of the history that is found here. We must look to Jesus. The one who died on calvary, long ago, and shed His Blood that we might be saved. We must apply the blood of Christ to our hearts and to the door post all across America, in our homes, schools, government buildings, our churches, because it is nothing but the blood of Jesus that can save us. What can wash away the sins of this nation? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!

Here is how you, this nation, and I can be safe and secure from all that alarms us. We can read in Revelations 12:11 this: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” We overcome Satan by the blood of the lamb! The blood on the door post was evidence of the Hebrews faith in that they were commanded to do it and they did it without question. To most people this would be a laugh, a joke, a fairy tail, But to a servant of God it means everything. That is the mind set of most people today. We can read in 1 Cor. 1:18 This: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

There was nine other plagues that befell Egypt and yet the Hebrews were still held captive by the Egyptians . Why was the last plague any different? It was different because it struck at the very heart of the Egyptian empire. You might ask how does all this tie into our present day problems that we have in this country and our salvation? We have had, in the last few years great floods that killed thousands and destroyed thousands of homes. Remember the Gulf Coast? We have had terrorist attacks on our cities that have killed thousands, we are experiencing a great recession that some are even calling a depression, earth quakes on the west coast, and many other disasters that have never been as bad, there is a very high unemployment rate, no work, people going hungry, but yet this country is still rebellious and rejects God. This is in no way a “Dooms Day” thought, but it is a warning to be ready. Soon there will be things that will strike at the very heart of this country. Make sure that you have the Precious Blood of the Lamb applied to your heart.

What ever the plague may be it will come and it may not take the first born as in Mose's time but it will be just as bad and devastating. The only remedy is the “shed blood of the lamb of God”, His Son. It is the only remedy for sin. It is that shed blood of Christ that gives perfect peace, divine righteousness, purges the conscience, and gives us our right and our title to receive all the joys, and glories of heaven. What a great feeling. What a great God.

You can believe it or not, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. It was good enough for my mother and father, uncles and aunts and it is good enough for me. What can wash away my sins (and yours) nothing but the blood of Jesus.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Bethlehem



And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem." But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."
(Micah 4:8;5:2) NKJV

We are told and can read that Bethlehem was the birth place of Our Lord. Bethlehem (meaning is “The House of Bread”, so fitting because it was here where He, who is “The Bread of Life” was born.) was located in the district of Ephrathah (Fruitful) and Bethlehem was sometimes called Ephrathah. We all sing the song at Christmas “OH little Town Of Bethlehem” and we all remember the manger scenes. But there are many people who are do not know of the very deep importance and the significance of that little town of Bethlehem, Jesus' birthplace. Sometimes the history behind what we read and study in the Bible are very important because it give us the reasons and answers for the questions we ask about events and scriptures in the Bible. Have you ever wondered why Bethlehem was chosen as the birth place of Our Lord? Everyone knows that Bethlehem was a place where shepherds grazed their sheep, and where the Messiah was to be born, but how many people realize that it was a town designated and selected as the birthing place for lambs which were used for the Passover sacrifice. The Scriptures found in the Bible give significant and important details about this little town as to why this little town was picked as the birthplace of our Savior.

In Micah 4:8 we read about the "watchtower of the flock", or in Hebrew, "Migdal Eda r." While reading the story of "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah", by Alfred Edersheim, who was a Christian Jew that lived in the later parts of the 1800's, I learned that Migal Edar was the location where the Jewish people believed the Messiah was to be revealed. This watchtower stood as a place of protection for the city from approaching enemies, but it was also utilized by shepherds to watch over the specific flocks from which sacrificial Passover lambs were taken. How much more important is that Precious Lamb was born there, the one that would take away the sins of the world, Our Savior.

The shepherds who were tending these particular flocks were no ordinary run of the mill shepherds. They were picked and specifically trained by the Rabbis for a holy task. They had to know what they were doing. They were just not ordinary, run of the mill, Sheppard. They had to be holy. They had to insure that every lamb, that they raised, was free of any blemish or injury, in order to be used for the Passover sacrifice. Great care was taken in the raising of this lambs. This was something the shepherds did not take lightly. Since they were instructed by the Rabbis, they, also, had to knew of the passages and the writings in the Targums (The Aramaic translations) and the Mishna associating the birth of the Messiah with "Migdal Edar". For example, Migdal Edar is translated in one of the Targums as "The Anointed One of the Flock of Israel." It is also written in the Mishna (this is a collection of oral laws compiled about 200 A.D. by Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi and forming the basic part of the Talmud) that "He spread his tent beyond Migdal Edar, the place where The Messiah will reveal Himself at the end of days."

Those shepherds had strong clues of Messiah's advent in the small town where they lived, so that when the angels appeared, to them, telling them of His arrival, they reacted right away and went to worship Him. They had to know something. We too have growing signs of His very soon Coming again for the second time. All we have to do is to read the scriptures and open our eyes. Are we also ready to react and respond to his coming? Are we ready to rejoice? Our readiness and wiliness to act in faith and worship will show how well we understand the signs of our own times. There is still so much work to be done, let us stay awake and keep our lamps trimmed (like the 10 wise virgins) and be inspired by the belief of His soon coming. Go tell it over the mountain, because, just like those shepherds of Bethlehem, we truly were born for such a time as this and we, as Christians must never forget this.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thinking Things Over



As I sit here thinking and pondering over things this morning the thought came to me it's amazing how quickly we, as God's Children, can forget the good things that God has promised us and done for us, and not only do we forget, we begin to grumble! We begin to murmur and complain like the Hebrews in the wilderness. Everything that is good is before us and we would still rather grumble and complain.

More than once in the Gospel of Luke, we can read that Mary, the mother of Jesus, kept these things and pondered them. It seems that Mary always kept a place in her heart where she stored away God's promises. We, also, must create a place in our hearts to store away Gods gifts and promises to us so that we can always remain in a state of joy all the days of our lives. His promises are real and they will come to pass.

During this Christmas season let us reflect and think about all the promises of God and uncover the many buried treasures with which God has blessed us. Let’s ponder and think about these things and thank God for His goodness, for His mercy, for his love, and His protection. He has already done so much for us and He wants to do more and will do more if we will only let Him in. He knocks at the door to our heart today and everyday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas





Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
(Isaiah 62:11)

"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer..... but our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior."

Yes, God sent us a Savior -- that we might know His forgiveness. But not only that we might know it. God sent us a Savior so that we, who have been given the privilege of this knowledge, might go and share the good news of His forgiveness with all the world!

Let us cherish His forgiveness today. Let's delight in it and let all who don't know that they can have the same






Monday, December 21, 2009

The New Year For America







As this year, 2009, comes to a close and a new one begins I, as well as all Christians, are concerned about, and pray for the spiritual condition of our country. Our country is on a face pace to destruction. At the rate that this country is going we will soon be living in a country without God. Our country has taken the attitude of: “Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we may die.” God is no longer in our court houses, our schools, and our government buildings. Most of our churches compromise the word of God. This nation kills unborn baby's, condones homosexuals, lesbians, and many other ungodly sins. We have cities in this nation that are worse than Sodom and Gomorrah and we wonder why this country is in the state that it is in. All we need to do is look in God's Word for the answer.


In Psalm 9 :17 we read this "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God," during the days of Jeremiah the tribe of Judah, was a nation which had forgotten and discarded God, much like this nation of ours has now for gotten the Lord All through the Book of Jeremiah as he preached to that nation, we see a nation that was still going straight to a devil's hell. They did not heed the word of the Lord. There was chaos spreading throughout the land, corruption was widespread in government, morality constantly declining, sin and evil corrupting the people, the life of the nation and its people slowly becoming more and more hellish just like the word in Jeremiah said it would. God's word always comes to pass. We must never forget that.
In our own day, as Christians, we all know, America is a nation that is rapidly forgetting God. This nation is condoning abortions, homosexuality, and many other things such as taking God out of our court rooms, and schools. We have a president that says some of the Bible is outdated. And so, in our own time, as it was in the time of Jeremiah, we also are watching the phenomenon of a nation which has forgotten and disregarded God, being turned into hell , with corruption and sin spreading in every fiber of our country, the moral fiber of this nation's people are losing its consistency. It is coming apart at the threads, Our government is increasingly unable to govern wisely and properly, going against God's Holy Word at every turn. The very establishment of the American way of life is being shaken steadily by terror and fear. We are a nation that is torn with dissension and discord. Our nation is rent into. All because this nation is turning its back on the creator. We are being ripped apart at the seams and it is all exactly in line with the prediction of the Scriptures. What lies beyond these predictions? What can the American people expect?
There are two great truths from the word of God that we must consider as we think about these things: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt," in other words "There is no hope in man." No nation, ever, has reversed the trend of deterioration simply by trying to gather up its own resources and building up its own moral strength and, through human wisdom, work out a remedy for the reprobate mental faculty in that nation. It has never happened. America is no different. There is no hope, what so ever, in man. We must depend on God! That is a fact. Our hope is in God! The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt. We must wake up to that fact. It is God that will save this nation and Him alone.
Remember this, "There is hope in God -- And when a person, or a nation turns to God, healing begins to come back into that life whether it is a single person or a nation. Does not the Word of God tell us this very thing in 2 Chronicles 7:14:: "...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
In Chapter 18 we have an additional lesson that we can learn from. It says this:The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. (Jeremiah 18:1-4)
Jeremiah was sent down to the potter's house, and there he saw three simple things. But these three things showed him a great lesson. The art of making a clay pot has not changed through the centuries. The wheel is now, sometimes, turned by an electric motor, but that is about the only difference. Even this is still controlled by the foot of the potter. The clay is the same as it has always been. The potter is the same, with his capable hands, guided by his intelligence, working to mold and shape the clay into the vessel he has in mind. As Jeremiah watched the potter shaping and molding the clay, he was looking at a picture of himself, and of every man, and of every nation. We are the clay. In the New Testament we have the voice of Paul in that great passage in Romans 9, reminding us that God is the Potter and we are the clay. So Jeremiah saw the clay being shaped and molded into a vessel. Then some imperfection in the clay spoiled it in the potter's hand, and the potter crumbled it up, and began again the process of shaping it into a vessel that pleased him.
Jeremiah saw the wheel turning constantly, bringing the clay against the potter's hand. That wheel is just like the turning circumstances of our life, under the control of the Potter, for it is the potter's foot that guides the wheel. The lesson is clear. As our life is being shaped and molded by the Great Potter, it is the circumstances of our life, the wheels of circumstance, which bring us again and again under the potter's hand, under the pressure of the molding fingers of the Potter, so that he shapes the vessel according to his will as to what he wants us to be. The vessel is shaped according to the image in the potter's mind.
So as Jeremiah, watched, he learned that an individual or a nation is clay in the Great Potter's hands. He has a sovereign right, as our lord and Master, to make that person or nation what he wants it to be. He has the skill and design to work with the clay and to bring it to pass. And if there be some imperfection in the clay, something which mars the design, spoils the work, the potter simply crushes the clay down to a lump and begins again to make it yet a vessel according to his own mind. In the verses which follow, this lesson is applied to the nation:
Then the word of the Lord came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? says the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will repent of the good which I had intended to do to it." (Jeremiah 18:10)
In other, other words, this is the same lesson Jeremiah learned at the potter's house, applied to the nation. It also applies to this nation of ours! When the pressure the potter applies is successful in turning the clay in the right direction, the potter seems to repent, the pressure is relieved, and the clay is allowed then to remain in the form it has taken. But when something in the clay resists, the potter then seems to repent of making a vessel at all, and he crushes it into a lump, and begins again to make it yet into the vessel he desires. And this is true of our individual lives, as well as this nation. If some hard circumstance comes into our lives {and it may be there right now, or it may be just around the corner, or you may just have passed through it} that circumstance is the wheel of God, brining us against the pressure of the Potter's hand. If you do not resist, if your will does not spoil the work by murmuring, grumbling, or complaining, or feeling resentful and bitter, but you accept the working of the Potter, then the pressure is relieved, and the vessel takes shape. But if there is resistance, if the human will, like some imperfection in the clay, chooses something other than the Potter has in mind, then the Potter can do nothing else but crush it down to a lump once again and, beginning with the same lump, and he make it over into a vessel which suits his heart and mind. The great lesson Jeremiah learned at the potter's house was that of the sovereign control of God. He is the potter, and we are the clay. His will be done not ours! We must learn a lesson from that. Mold me and make me, Lord, to what you would have me to be.
There is a lesson in the word "repent" as it is used in reference to God. When you and I talk about repenting, we speak in terms of changing our mind. We started out to do something. Circumstances occurred which caused us to change our mind. So we then did something else. But that is not the way the word is used concerning God. Many Scriptures tell us that God never changes his mind. And though we use the word "repent" because it looks as if he has changed his mind, it does not express the thought satisfactory or in the right way. The Hebrew word used here is very interesting. It is really the word "sigh," or "heave a sigh." It can be used either as a sigh of sorrow, or a sigh or relief. The word is used both ways here in this passage. God says, "If I say to a nation, 'I'm going to destroy you,' or to an individual, 'I'm going to uproot you, crush you,' and I will bring pressure upon you to that end, if you yield to it, if you conform to what the pressure is driving you to do, then I will heave a sigh of relief."
The Lord has one thing in mind -- to make a vessel according to his design and to what he wants. Nothing will stop him because He is God. But he does not like to judge. He does not like harshness and severity and chastisement. In fact, in the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah says that God does not willingly afflict the sons of men. He takes no delight in it at all. Isaiah calls it God's "strange" work. Judgment is not according to the desire of His heart. What He is doing is bringing pressure, molding and shaping the clay, forcing it up and out and into the shape of the vessel He wants it to be, hoping the clay will conform. And when it yields to His touch, He breathes a sigh of relief: "This is enough pressure, I don't have to bring any more." He heaves a sigh of relief.
There is the self-determination of the Potter over the clay. Men make plans. God makes other plans. Napoleon had to learn that lesson the hard way. He once said, "God is on the side of the army with the heaviest artillery and the biggest army." But there came a time in his life when he was exiled on the island of St. Helena, when he said, "Man proposes; but God disposes."
"'And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will cause their people to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life.” (Jeremiah 19:7)
These words came literally true. In but a few years the armies of Nebuchadnezzar surrounded this city, laid siege to it,Then the armies broke down the walls of the city and leveled them to the ground, so that later those passing by would whistle in amazement at the destruction which came upon this city. That is the way the world sees God right now. They see the hell which is coming into our nation, the hellish things which are taking place. And soon it will be worse, according to the prophetic Scriptures. America needs to turn back to God. There will be worse signs taking place, worse affairs among men, in which "men's hearts will fail them for fear of seeing the things which are coming to pass on the face of the earth." They will cry out against God as being harsh and ruthless and vindictive, filled with vengeance and anger and hatred. That is all the world sees.
But the people of God are taught further truth. Jeremiah had been to the potter's house. He had seen the potter making a vessel, and he knew that it was love behind the Potter's pressures, and that when the vessel was marred, the Potter was capable of crushing it down again, bringing it to nothing but a lump, and then molding it, shaping it once again, perhaps doing this again and again, until at last it fulfilled what God wanted. That is the great lesson Jeremiah learned at the potter's house, and that we can learn at the potter's house, as well.
One of the great lessons we can learn from the New Testament's use of the figure of the potter is in the book of Acts -- the incident when Judas brought back the thirty pieces of silver and flung them down at the feet of the priests, after having betrayed his Lord. The priests gathered up the money and took counsel together, and bought with the money a potter's field. And it was known thereafter as "the field of blood," (Matthew 27:6-10). This once again is God's wonderful reminder of the heart of the Potter. For if you watch this Potter very carefully, at work in your life, you will find that his hands and his feet bear nail prints, and that it is through his precious blood, the blood of the Potter himself, that the vessel is being shaped into what he wants it to be.
When we are in the Potter's hands, feeling his pressures, feeling the molding of his fingers, we can relax and trust him, for we know that this Potter has suffered with us and knows how we feel, but is determined to make us into a vessel "meet for the master's use" (2 Timothy 2:21 KJV). What a tremendous lesson, what a beautiful lesson Jeremiah learned at the potter's house -- one which I hope will guide us and guard us under the pressures which are coming into our lives these days. Remember, as the new year approaches, that the Potter has a purpose in mind, and the skill and ability to fulfill it, no matter how many times he may have to make the vessel over again. Let us pray that this nation will return to God so that he can mold us and make us to what He desires us to be.
My prayer for this new year is this: Dear Lord, Please mold me and make me into the vessel that you would have me to be, for your use, and above all my God please mold and make America into the country that you would have her to be.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Render To Caesar What is Caesars



On November, 20, 2009 the historic Manhattan Declaration was unveiled and made public to all Americans. It is a historic and significant 4,700-word manifesto, which is a public written declaration of principles, values, ethics, policies, beliefs, and objectives, authored by Chuck Colson, Dr. Robert George and Dr. Timothy George, with input from many Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical leaders as well as many doctors, nurses, and other leaders. It is without a doubt one of the most important documents that has come forth in my lifetime." The people signing this document will grow and grow to historic proportions as more and more people read it.
In my mind, signing the Manhattan Declaration is the closest I'll will come in my life time to understanding the thoughts and feelings of those signing the Declaration of Independence.  Those men were willing to pay the ultimate price to stand against tyranny. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and others in their circle may have thought their biggest obstacle to publicly funded abortions in socialized health care were Catholic bishops. They were so wrong.
Manhattan Declaration drafters are inviting all like-minded believers to sign on, but the potential ramifications for doing so are sobering. Now, by signing the Manhattan Declaration, a growing number of determined and unwavering pro-life Americans say they are willing to endure sanctions, imprisonment and even exile or banishment to defy involvement with abortion in any way, either with their tax dollars or by compulsory participation in preborn child killing. To date approximately close to 500,000 have signed the Manhattan Declaration and it has been public for only 30 days. These include 168 religious leaders, many whose names you know and the list grows daily, 18 Roman Catholic bishops, 9 other bishops and leaders from other denominations: 11 editors and publishers of publications, 22 chancellors and presidents of colleges, seminaries and universities, this also includes 46 leaders of various other independent ministries, hundreds of doctors and nurses, and thousands upon thousands of Americans who also say "NO" to this government when it becomes necessary to do so.
The Manhattan Declaration draws a line in the sand on the three paramount issues of our time: the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of marriage as the holy and conjugal union of husband and wife, and the rights of religious liberty and conscience. Its bottom line is this, as the last paragraph in the declaration states so clearly:
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's.

With the liberal push to increase acceptance and involvement with abortion and homosexual marriage via socialized health care and "hate crimes" prosecution, it's our turn to say "NO" and to stand up to what we believe. I urge everyone ready this to sign the Manhattan Declaration at www.ManhattanDeclaration.org.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Lesson To Be Learned




This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whither soever thou goest. (Joshua 1:8)

The people of Israel and Jews around the world are now celebrating Hanukkah. It is not found in the scriptures, but in Israel it is an important one. As Christians we could learn a good lesson here. Hanukkah observes the story of small group of Jews that with much courage, enough courage and a love of their God to defeat a evil empire that was removing their God and religion from them and putting in place another god and form of religion. Does this sound like something that you heard before?

The Greek-Syrian Emperor Anticochus Epiphanies defiled the Jewish Temple, of that day, by erecting an idol of a god in the place where the Hebrews worshiped their God. Anticochus Epiphanies commanded all of Israel to worship this idol. He tried to make them go against everything that they believed in. If that wasn't enough, he made it illegal, for the Jews to follow God’s laws and anyone caught observing these laws or praying to God would be put to death. That was horrible but it could may very well happen again before the end of time.

A few Jewish men, called, the Maccabees, decided to fight an entire empire on their own! They had a miraculous victory, restoring and rededicating the Temple, and relighting the menorah. The nation of Israel is celebrating the victory of old this week. A few good men that are on the Lord's side can do things that are thought to be impossible. Not by power, not by might, but by the Spirit of the Lord comes the victory.

Let Us Also Be Courageous! - In the dark days that are approaching America , We as Christians, are going to need a deeper walk with the Lord, to stand up for His truth and His word. We must be a lighthouse to the people around us! Let's get our soul restored, our life rededicated and rekindled so that we can be strong in the Lord and the power of His might! Remember what a few good people can do! Let us say: “ As for me and My house we will serve the Lord”

We are living in a time much like the Jews in this story. We have leaders that no longer want God in anything. We are told by our leaders that we are no longer a Christian nation. We have people who are trying to mix up the Christian faith and beliefs with things such as: the new age movement, Carma, re incarnation, yoga, name it and claim it, prosperity religion and many other things. The only thing that counts is being bought by the perilous blood of Jesus and living for Him. By the precious Blood of Jesus we can win every battle, rebuke every evil spirit, defeat the devil, and bring our nation back to Christ. Lets get to work!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remembering The Warmth of Christmas Past – and the sadness of Christmas Present


As Christians, the world over are getting ready to celebrate Christmas and rejoice over the birth of Jesus, we as Americans should also give serious thought and thanks to The Lord's influence on the great American freedoms, among us, that we cherish so much, and which did make this country so great. Out of respect and reverence for our Christian roots, if for no other reason or purpose, As Christians and American's we should have, as our main goal and concern to put Christ back into Christmas and not only that but to make Him apart of our daily lives and the lives of those who control this country. Not only did God give us eternal life, through his Son, he also gave us the greatest country on this earth to live in and also gave us through those first settlers, that landed on Plymouth rock, the Christian principles and laws that have guided this country for so many years. It was those principles that have made this country the greatest on the face of this earth. God has truly blessed and shed His grace on this country. He has been the Rock that has kept this country free for over two hundred years.
As I sat and tried to remember all the Christmas' that took place in the nearly sixty four years, of my life, There are a few things that remain burnt into my mind forever. I will always remember wanting to go to my grandmother Patchett's house to see her Christmas tree. I will always remember how big it always was and how beautiful it was decorated with all those old Christmas bulbs, from years past and the beautiful lights. How they ever got those big tree in the house every year I will never know. But it always made my eyes glow. I will always remember how my grandmother would remember all her grandkids with a small gift and to see her small fingers as she played Christmas carols on her piano, as her small feet barely touched the pedals on the piano as she played “Silent Night”. I know that she is in heaven now singing those same glorious songs.
I will always remember when I was but a very small child in the small village of Harmony, the manger scene at the small Methodist church, where I grew up . That warm feeling that I had whenever I would look at that manger scene and hear the music coming from it. It was beyond all words. I knew, even at that very early age, it was more to Christmas than just toys and candy canes. I was so happy and excited with the toys and gifts, the candy, and many others things, the Christmas lights and all the holly, the turkey beard reefs, and the many other things that would remind you that Christmas was on its way, but it was nothing like the warm feeling that I always got, when I would gaze upon that manger scene and still have every time that I think of that manger scene in front of that little church in Harmony. I was so always so excited and proud to stand on the pulpit of that little church, as a small child, with the other kids and say my Christmas piece and sing those old Christmas Songs. Now that I'm much older (a old clunker) How thankful I am for the greatest gift in the world. I'm also glad and thankful that I was able to pass that same warmth on to my children and they to their children. How thankful that I am after all these years that I can still tell the word through many ways that Our God gave His only Son for us so that if we believed in Him we would have everlasting Life. What a gift! It is the only gift that keeps on giving.
Then I can remember during the later years of my life going to that little country church in Brookview, Maryland where my father has been the pastor for over thirty years, I remember the old Christmas songs that we sang through out those years, the Christmas plays depicting the birth of Christ {that my kids took part in}, passing out of the Christmas cards after the service was over, the bags of candy with apples and oranges. But the most important thing that I will always remember is my mother standing in front of the church and in her beautiful voice would sing: “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, Shine On! “ She sang many other Christmas songs but As I think about her singing that song, tears will come to my eyes and then I smile because I know where my mother is, With Jesus! Once again there was a warm feeling inside of me that goes beyond all understanding or explaining. Oh! To know Jesus is the most important thing that has ever happen to me in my life or that could happen to you in your life, what warmth, what happiness!
When I visit my grand kids on Christmas day, how exciting to see them with their gifts, to see the
Christmas tree, to smell the pies, and hot coffee. But you have that warmness inside of you when you pull up into their yard and see the Nativity Scene, when you go into the house and see the many ways that a person can find that Christ is there in that house. By the Bibles you can easily see, the memory verses for the month that are on the wall and refrigerator. By the very fact that the kids will stop what they are doing and very quickly tell you what Christmas really means. It is always a warm feeling to me when Christmas is near.
Christmas should be a joyous and thankful time of the year, however, there are more than just the Ebenezer Scrooge's of this world to who try to take the meaning of Christmas away from us. There are a lot of sad parts about Christmas, now days, that brings tears to the true Christian eyes. People going here and there to do their holiday shopping, no longer called Christmas shopping, not once remembering that great gift that was given to us so long ago. They have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. What great gift that God has given us. People have took Christ out of Christmas. A large part of our American society even call Christmas the holidays, They would not dare to say “Merry Christmas”, not even one small mention of Christ. We are no longer allowed to have manger scenes on most government property nor have any thought of that most special day. I believe that it is called political correctness which is a term heard quite often in our country these days. For the most part this nation not only has taken Christ out of Christmas but they have done away with Christmas and now we have the holidays instead. There is holiday gifts, holly, Santa Claus, candy, much liquor, much food, and many other things, but there is no Jesus. Then these same people wonder what is happening to our country. If you are a Bible believing Christian then you know already know: This country has forsaken Jesus Christ the Saviour.  
We now have a President that has gone so far as to say more than once that we are no longer a Christian nation, but we are a nation of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhist, and many other religions. He also said that some parts of the Bible are out of date. I would remind our president that although this nation is made up of all these other religions, it was Christians who founded this great nation and it is our Christian roots that have made us so strong and productive since it was founded. Also that great Book was, and still is, a light that guides our way. Most all laws of this land come straight from God's Word. Forever His word is settled in Heaven and is always up to date. His word changes not. It is in that Great Book where we can read of the very first Christmas. It is sad how this country is turning its back on God.
Not only has this nation taken Christ out of Christmas but it has taken Christ out of our schools, our government, and every other place. This nation no longer heeds the commandments given to us in that Great Book. We are fast becoming a godless nation with no thoughts at all about our Christian Roots that started growing that day on Plymouth Rock. We no longer feed our land with the pure raw word of God so that it will flourish. We are feeding it with sin and evil that is causing this nation to promote every evil that is imaginable such as adultery, homosexuality, abortion, and you name it the sin is there. We now have more tares in the land than the good grain. Evil has overtaken this country. People have turned our backs on God. They no longer want him in our schools, court rooms, or government buildings.
What we as Christians should be so thankful for is: We have the greatest gift in the world. We have Jesus and for those of us that believe on him and live by His Word will have everlasting life. What a gift! What a great warm feeling inside to know that you have been given the greatest gift ever. As we celebrate this Christmas Season  let us be thankful for God’s great gift to us, his Son, and remember: Jesus is the reason for the season. There is no other reason for the season.