Tag Archives: Religion

The Ministry of Politics

When one takes upon themselves the mantel of ministry, they take upon the role of a servant. Yes, a servant. This is an uncomfortable feeling for many individuals, because it is human nature to want acceptance, moments in the spotlight, and to be embraced with praise and glorification for our various deeds. Yet, with the call of ministry comes the abandonment of self, the crucifixion of pride, and the concluding fact that you are called to serve a cause greater than one’s self.
Ministry, in a religious respective, is an expression of the will of the religious faith. Politics, in theory, is an expression of policy or legislative affairs that should reflect the will of the constituents. Politics is a ministry, in the sense that the elected leaders are called to serve. In essence, they take on the title of “public servants.” In various parts of the international world, the word “ministry” is widely used. For example, we use the terms “Secretary of Defense/Secretary of State” to relate to our nation’s top military advisor and top diplomat. Overseas, the term used to relate to these positions are “Defense Minister and Foreign Minister.” I find this strikingly intriguing in the fact that “minister” is used to imply that government intends to minister, or to reach out through self-less service, to its constituents. Anytime the government takes on the term of “minister” it is responsible for expressing outreach through humility and having a passion for people.
Ministry is all about people and connecting with their needs. The problem with politicians in the current era is that they know of their constituents but there is no connection to their needs. This is displayed through policies and legislative procedures that ignore the will of the people, and through acts that benefits politicians but can put the constituents at an extreme disadvantage. Majority of politicians are seeking to be in the spotlight, serenaded by a paparazzi of television crew, radio talking heads and attempting to divulge the voter into thinking that they are acutely aware of their needs by doing glamorous, but deceptive public relations. The constituent knows when the politicians are sincere and honest with them. They know that when election time is vastly approaching, the politicians will appear to be interested in improving their economic conditions. This, however, is not ministry. Ministry is a CONSTANT process. It does not occur every 2 or 4 years but it is intact every single day. People need encouragement and advice every day. Ministry is being aware of these needs and making yourself available to being a helpful asset. This concept needs to be applied in the political theatre. The voter needs to see and hear from their elected leaders on a constant basis, not just during an election cycle.
Ministry requires outreach to every human soul that desires to have their lives impacted for the better. Ministry does not see race, ethnicity, sex, economic status, or past failures. Yes, ministry outreaches to those who have done deeds that are considered despicable. After all, it’s not what you were it’s what you can become. The political atmosphere can benefit from the aspects of ministry. Instead of particular parties outreaching to certain voting blocs and turning a deaf ear to others, they could simply engage in outreaching to EVERYONE in need. This will bring about more interest and a better engagement in public affairs and policy. When you reach out to everyone, there is a better feeling of overall satisfaction. The failure to reach out to everyone leaves a sense of discontent and the “out of touch” label begins to take its role.
Ministry isn’t about receiving a prestigious award or adoration. Many times your deeds go unnoticed. Many times you will not receive a “thank you” or a pat on the back. Ministry is selfless. It is the willingness to operate with passion and to influence others without asking for anything in return. Politics is about reaching out to others and impacting the lives of voters without looking for political favors or “back door deals.” It is about staying faithful to your values and principals and not abandoning them for fanfare or popularity. It consists of connecting to the people you have been chose t represent without betraying them for greed, corruption and deceit.
If you feel the call of ministry has landed on your shoulders, you must embrace it without turning back. You must be saturated with a burden to impact the lives of those you come in contact with and the willingness to serve people with the humble heart of a servant. For those who want to be a public servant through the political realm, you must stand with conviction and consistently display the principals that your constituents expect out of you. This must be shown through policies and lifestyle as well.
Will politics embrace the role of ministry and reduce selfishness and greed and increase humility and morality? This remains to be seen. In order for politics to be more positively embraced, it must become a ministry.

Mitt’s False Religious Credentials

Mitt Romney has been working overtime to establish himself as a conservative Republican. The evidence suggest he is far from being a conservative.

His credentials regarding social issues are weak. He has taken the moderate to liberal stance on abortion, same sex marriages, healthcare, and immigration. Granted he has tried to get folks to turn a blind eye to his past, but it remains there anyway. On these issues, where the government ought not to have any control, Mitt Romney has been and remains an advocate of government socialism.

He has attempted to established himself as a fiscal conservative. Research into his political experience (Taxachussetts governor) strongly suggests he is a moderate at heart. But there is something more telling about his “I’m superior to you, and you should obey me” mentality. We have read ad infinitum about his displays of arrogance. (“I like to fire people” comes to mind.)

But it goes deeper still. An honest assessment by anyone will reveal that Romney boasts about his great management skills. Yet, such an investigation will also reveal that Romney actually does not have any more management experience than either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. He has bought and paid for an image and message that is false. Mitt Romney was not a manager. He admitted that in the debates (“I didn’t manage those accounts, they were in blind trust”. Which by the way is on record as being a false statement). Br. Mitt as he is affectionately referred to by his worshipers in Utah believe he had significant management experience with the Utah Olympics. I will be a little charitable with him. He was at the helm when the Olympics played out. Yet, people should realize that the disgraced prior management team had been already ousted and those in control had already establish and implemented a plan to correct those flaws with the Olympics. When Mitt arrived he did not save the day. He simply ran a set of plays that were already in motion. Let’s not give him “great” credit for “saving the Olympics.

There is more. At one time Burger King was number two in national restaurant chains. They floundered. Mitt invested money into them yet they still are below number two. Mitt Romney is not the great manager his campaign would have you all believe.

Now, one more reality check. Along with his investments in some companies that he did not manage Mitt had some success. However, he also had substantial failures with several investments, just like Obama. Obama has stolen money from taxpayers to invest in companies like two or three solar companies that have had failures, so far. His public investments in car companies has not yielded real success either. Romney would like contrast his successes with Obama’s failures. But there is a very serious question that deserves an answer.

Mitt Romney would have us all believe he is a strong conservative. That is false, but let’s follow the trend. Romney is using a prominent, yet errant, view of Mormons to portray his conservative image. Whether folks think about it or not they recognize that Mormon Country (Utah and Idaho) have held the role of being the most conservative states in the union. That image is transposed onto anyone that is Mormon. Fortunately, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not take political stances on most issues. But, if one were to examine a large sector of public Officials in Utah, at least, they will see a group of very moderate if not liberal elites; former Governor Mike Leavitt, former Governor Jon Huntsman, the current Governor,and several leaders in the state legislature. The Republican Party routinely elects its leadership from among the moderate thinkers in the party.

Most of these people are the ones aligned with Mitt Romney’s campaign. They are the epitome of establishment Republicans.

Yet, the public perception persist that Mitt Romney, the Mormon, is conservative. Why, because people won’t study him. Also people fail to have an accurate view of the Mormon population. It is perceived as very conservative because of the strong adherence to the traditional views of family, homosexuality, abortion, et al. Fiscally, Utah is among the states with some of the most liberal laws in existence.

Mitt Romney enjoys that perception of the Mormonism because it assist him in establishing himself among conservative nationwide, by association. The perception of Mitt Romney as anyone close to conservative is false. I personally would like Mitt to come clean with the FACT that he only wants to be president, just like Obama. He has little desire to do what is either best or even good for America.

William Way, Jr.

Mitt's False Religious Credentials

Mitt Romney has been working overtime to establish himself as a conservative Republican. The evidence suggest he is far from being a conservative.

His credentials regarding social issues are weak. He has taken the moderate to liberal stance on abortion, same sex marriages, healthcare, and immigration. Granted he has tried to get folks to turn a blind eye to his past, but it remains there anyway. On these issues, where the government ought not to have any control, Mitt Romney has been and remains an advocate of government socialism.

He has attempted to established himself as a fiscal conservative. Research into his political experience (Taxachussetts governor) strongly suggests he is a moderate at heart. But there is something more telling about his “I’m superior to you, and you should obey me” mentality. We have read ad infinitum about his displays of arrogance. (“I like to fire people” comes to mind.)

But it goes deeper still. An honest assessment by anyone will reveal that Romney boasts about his great management skills. Yet, such an investigation will also reveal that Romney actually does not have any more management experience than either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. He has bought and paid for an image and message that is false. Mitt Romney was not a manager. He admitted that in the debates (“I didn’t manage those accounts, they were in blind trust”. Which by the way is on record as being a false statement). Br. Mitt as he is affectionately referred to by his worshipers in Utah believe he had significant management experience with the Utah Olympics. I will be a little charitable with him. He was at the helm when the Olympics played out. Yet, people should realize that the disgraced prior management team had been already ousted and those in control had already establish and implemented a plan to correct those flaws with the Olympics. When Mitt arrived he did not save the day. He simply ran a set of plays that were already in motion. Let’s not give him “great” credit for “saving the Olympics.

There is more. At one time Burger King was number two in national restaurant chains. They floundered. Mitt invested money into them yet they still are below number two. Mitt Romney is not the great manager his campaign would have you all believe.

Now, one more reality check. Along with his investments in some companies that he did not manage Mitt had some success. However, he also had substantial failures with several investments, just like Obama. Obama has stolen money from taxpayers to invest in companies like two or three solar companies that have had failures, so far. His public investments in car companies has not yielded real success either. Romney would like contrast his successes with Obama’s failures. But there is a very serious question that deserves an answer.

Mitt Romney would have us all believe he is a strong conservative. That is false, but let’s follow the trend. Romney is using a prominent, yet errant, view of Mormons to portray his conservative image. Whether folks think about it or not they recognize that Mormon Country (Utah and Idaho) have held the role of being the most conservative states in the union. That image is transposed onto anyone that is Mormon. Fortunately, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not take political stances on most issues. But, if one were to examine a large sector of public Officials in Utah, at least, they will see a group of very moderate if not liberal elites; former Governor Mike Leavitt, former Governor Jon Huntsman, the current Governor,and several leaders in the state legislature. The Republican Party routinely elects its leadership from among the moderate thinkers in the party.

Most of these people are the ones aligned with Mitt Romney’s campaign. They are the epitome of establishment Republicans.

Yet, the public perception persist that Mitt Romney, the Mormon, is conservative. Why, because people won’t study him. Also people fail to have an accurate view of the Mormon population. It is perceived as very conservative because of the strong adherence to the traditional views of family, homosexuality, abortion, et al. Fiscally, Utah is among the states with some of the most liberal laws in existence.

Mitt Romney enjoys that perception of the Mormonism because it assist him in establishing himself among conservative nationwide, by association. The perception of Mitt Romney as anyone close to conservative is false. I personally would like Mitt to come clean with the FACT that he only wants to be president, just like Obama. He has little desire to do what is either best or even good for America.

William Way, Jr.

The Importance of the Church being Culturally Relevant

The church’s role in a social interacting and advanced, technological paradigm-shifting world is very intriguing, but yet so important to world culture. The big question surrounding this is: How does the church engage in cultural outside the theological remedy without violating its core principals?

Culture is all about engagement. To be engaged, of course, means that you cannot be an isolationist. Culture is about expressing ideas, lifestyle and beliefs in various manners. The church, at times, can be so culturally isolated, that it could risk becoming an outreach mechanism to becoming an elitist oasis for the religious folks.

The church has the ability to embrace cultural diversity and should engage in differences. I strongly believe that we constantly learn and grow from individuals who are different from us. While we may or may not agree with the various socio-cultural views of people, we can at least learn in the aspect of approach and having a dialogue with them.

The importance of the church being culturally relevant is to welcome diversity. Regardless of the church’s religious platform, the most important way to grow the church and to make it a significant contribution to society is to make people feel welcome. People are not interested in embracing the church’s concept if they feel intimidated or judged by their lifestyle or acts.

Even Christ, in his infinite wisdom and sovereignty, embraced the cultural differences that surrounded him. He ate with tax collectors. He solaced a troubled harlot when the “religious” ones wanted to excommunicate her from society. He embraced Paul, an ardent murderer of Christians (talk about a cultural difference!) and turned him into an apostle. Christ didn’t attempt to circumvent the cultural and spiritual struggles and differences of his era. Instead, he produced a message of love and hope for those in despair.

There are so many times that the church’s attempt to reach out becomes strained and contentious. We live in a culture that is more engaged in progression. One way to unravel the church’s attempt to engage culturally is by means of aggression. If the messenger’s attempt to convert society to the church is in an aggressive, judgmental and abrasive way, then the message of love, hope and spiritual connection becomes diluted, ignored and irrelevant.

The fact of the matter is this: The church’s staunch opposition against a carnal and secular cultural nation does not mean that it doesn’t exist. Homosexuality exists and is rapidly increasing and becoming more socially acceptable. Pre-marital sex still occurs and is undeniably common in today’s culture. Alcohol will still be consumed among today’s teens and young adults and bars and nightclubs are still going to be a common scene among many cities. The church is more than welcome to stand opposed to these issues and doesn’t have to compromise on principle. However, a stern message of hell, fire and brimstone to those who are engaged in such lifestyle will not exactly persuade one to change his or hers course of action.

Conviction is a divine, supernatural God-sent message to alter one’s ways, not a man-made or human attempt to change one’s self. I strongly believe that God changes people’s hearts and minds. If there is something that needs to be changed in our lives, he will give us discernment and convict us of whatever the wrong may be. That’s not man’s job. It will never be. Man cannot presumably condemn people to eternity in hell….or transport them to paradise in heaven, for that matter.

Love and transparency can relate to many people. Welcoming people with open arms and offering hope for them in their darkest situations will always be more helpful than immediate criticism and cynical views on one’s lifestyle. Cultural relevancy is essential to just mere understanding of why people live the lives that they do and the views they perceive. It’s not so much conversion, which may occur at a later given time, but it’s more being able to leave the comfort of the church walls, and being engaged and active in a community that is looking for someone to be a difference, minus the judgmental and religious condescending rhetoric.

If the church is cultural relevant, it’ll be spiritually relevant. Church growth and expansion correlates with the ability to love the individual and allow God to put the remaining pieces together. If the church adopts this method, it will be a thriving and live-changing force in today’s cultural landscape.

Don't Get Offended This Christmas

Don’t you dare say “Merry Christmas” or someone might get offended! Don’t wave that American flag! Foreigners might get offended. Change the school mascot from the Redskins to something else or Native Americans might get teed off. Burn the Confederate flag, or African-Americans will get stirred up (yet the Civil War was not primarily over slavery, but state’s rights). Destroy your fur coat or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will hiss and growl. Sound familiar? Yet we shouldn’t be surprised because statements similar to these are the result of a “multi-cultural society” which over stresses diversity, leading to division and a one-sided tolerance.

Yet, as Christians, we should be concerned about not causing offences. Where do we draw the line? How do we walk the tightrope of never offending anyone, yet standing for what we believe simultaneously? It is important to stand, with the right attitude. Even then, some are looking to be offended. I could get offended all the time, if I so choose. Here’s a list of some things that light my fire. I could get offended:

**When Bible-believing, conservative Christians are portrayed as backward, illiterate fools, which is usually the way the news media and entertainment industry portrays them.
**When trans-sexuals claim they were born the wrong gender and want insurance companies or taxpayers to pay for the “handicap” they have had to endure. God doesn’t make mistakes. Live with what you have and be who you are born to be.
**When we are told that Islam is a religion of peace and that we cannot dare speak the words “terrorism” and “Islam” in the same sentence, nor can we point out the hypocrisy of the media in defending Islam while trashing Christianity.
**When Christmas haters continually attack Christmas in public government places, The should be reminded of the First Amendment’s guarantee is about the freedom FOR religion and not freedom FROM religion.

However, I choose to be mature and not walk around crying and sniveling over these blatant inequities. Yet, I get so weary hearing of the few who yell the loudest. ONE person doesn’t want a Christian symbol displayed, so the FIVE HUNDRED people who prefer the symbol MUST defer to the ONE. ONE or TWO complain about a Santa appearing at a public city government sponsored event, so the whole town is supposed to give up the time honored tradition, even for the ONE or TWO (regardless what your personal opinion of Santa Clause may be, the principle is the issue here). ONE artist has the right to express himself or herself by creating and exhibiting obscene art, so EVERYONE must be exposed to it and endure. And so forth, and so on . . .

So what answer do you give to people who on these issues? I want to say, “Get a life” but that might offend someone. Instead, I’ll just say get in the Word of God. It will thicken your skin, ground you in reality, and insulate you with wisdom and discernment. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them,” Psalm 119:165. People who are easily offended are usually immature and selfish. Those individuals with a healthy degree of maturity (from the Word), who put others first in Christian service, aren’t easily offended, and they stand like a rock.

Tim Tebow Does it Again, and So Does Mainstream Media

Tim Tebow has done it again. As quarterback of the Denver Broncos, this past weekend he led them to yet another fourth quarter comeback victory. With the Chicago Bears up 10 points, he put together two drives that ended with a 59-yard Pratter kick sending the game into overtime. This is where Pratter kicked the game winning 51-yard kick to give Tebow his seventh win out of eight starts, impeccable for a veteran let alone a sophomore professional. Among all this, mainstream media is dismissing the remarkable stories for a fixation on his display of faith and being a Christian.

Mainstream media has become the social bullies to Christianity, on a scale unmet by any schoolyard kid. They spotlight Tim pointing to the sky, bowing in prayer and comments to his Savior Jesus. While also pointing out Reggie White “polarizing religious figure”, ESPN points to an “era of negativity and anonymous hate”.  In some instances, the media has watchdogs for themselves. Newsbusters didn’t waste any time in criticizing USA Today for ignoring Tim Tebow’s religious stance. By the way, who really has a problem with Tim’s religious acts?

Earlier last week, Fox Sports highlighted John Elway’s comments denouncing Tim Tebow’s display of faith. John later admitted that he had given the media too much meat to spin.

The mainstream media seems to have a serious problem with his displaying loyalty to God and their true colors toward Christianity are clear. Before Tim Tebow could make it out of the stadium, the Wall Street Journal stated, “defying his critics and revealing the deep seated anxieties in American society about intertwining religion and sports.” Who? Maybe the fans of his opponent or a few activist groups who advocate for an overreaching government may have a problem with Tebow’s celebrations. According to the PEW Forum on Religion & Public Life, 78.4 percent of Americans practice Christianity. We are constantly bombarded by the supposed disrespect that displaying Christianity has become…and Tim represents this.

What’s wrong with him thanking God, praying or practicing Christianity? Is this about people having a problem with a 24-year old demonstrating his faith or the future mainstream media and Hollywood has of our future, America without religion? It is painted as this evil ritual that should not be tolerated and Tim Tebow must be put in his collective place. We, as the audience, are robbed of the great accomplishments and example of this kid.

Our media is full of anti-religion memorabilia. No stone was left unturned when it came to Terry Jones burning the Koran. …and no funeral would be complete without the anti-military or anti-gay rhetoric of the Westboro Baptist Church. Even Hollywood took their digs when Mel Gibson produced “Passion of the Christ,” that ended up 17th on the all-time gross sales list. After this, Mel Gibson’s career seem to have taken a nose dive.

These events are even monitored at the local level. In Newport News, Virginia, The Daily Press addressed the practicing of religion in public concerns from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a group based out of Madison, Wisconsin. The article even provides recommendations in luau of prayer…a moment of silence. Now, they provide guidelines to clergy for providing invocation at city council meetings, a sort of practice our religion. I guess the practice of Atheism should be addressed in this manner or the right that our clergy is not provided the right to practice freedom of religion in public.

During the New York City mosque incident, the mainstream media injected it was a freedom of religion practice ensuring that the narrative remained as such. The true argument was about flying the flag of the people who declared war under that flag. Now, if the discussion was about how far this corridor should reside, so be it but it wasn’t. It was determined that the mosque must be built in the shadows of the World Trade Center.

The media and Hollywood continues to expose Christians as evil and religion having no place in public. Should we be given the right to practice freedom of religion…that’s one of our Constitutional rights? And even though you cannot opt your kid out of sex education class, the clergy’s prayer has no place in the American public.

Meanwhile, Tim Tebow has offered us an insight to how the media views religion. We have a media that extenuates the circumstances involving religious acts. They paint a tone that seems rather anti-religion and highlights flaws of a person that commits flaws. As we have bureaucrats and politicians robbing us blind, the media focuses on Tim’s allegedly breaking up Lindsey Vonn’s marriage, and International Business has labeled him as “God’s Quarterback”. It’s nice to see a young man doing what he enjoys, inspired by his faith providing a self-confidence that inspires him to do remarkable things…and inspire others around him. This is the true issue, we cannot have citizen’s inspired by a God that promotes individualism and self-responsibility. Faith that instills a belief in yourself and a responsibility to yourself, a standard most people cannot obtain. Media has no place in a peerson’s relationship with God.

With Tim Tebow’s success, the media is forced to engage on this adventure waiting on the opportunity for him to fail. As we know, his comeback victories will not last forever. So the mainstream media will eventually have their time with their “see we told you so” glory. But for now, they will need to wait another week to baste in the glory of another American individual failing. If there people are truly disgusted with his display of religion, it’s likely because he is beating their team and the mainstream media is taking advantage of this, by pointing out what they view as a fringe ritual.

For that reason, I have become a Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow fan. Not only because of his God given ability but because of the role model he is, how others are inspired by him and his respect for others. Will he slip up? He is only human. For now, the only limits on Tim Tebow are the ones he puts upon himself and this cannot be tolerated in a collective world, a mainstream media’s utopia without religion.

It’s a shame because the media will be waiting to gleefully point out his flaws and how hypocritical it is. But for now, they will need to wait another week.

For this reason, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

An Evening of Learning With Nuns

This past weekend, my wife, Melinda and I embarked on a journey to Richmond, VA to attend, what I jokingly refer to as my “Save the World” Conference. When we normally go to Richmond, we visit her aunt and this time was no different. You see, her aunt isn’t like all the other aunts. She doesn’t live in a house, own a car or have any possessions. Sister Angela is a nun who has declared her loyalty to God at “The Little Sisters of the Poor.”

As we arrived late on Friday afternoon, the receptionist informed Sister Angela of our arrival. Sister Angela greeted us with her usual smile and cheerful hello while being assisted with a walker. In her 70s and having been a nun for over 50 years, she doesn’t quite get around like she used too. We had dinner and I made reference to how misguided society is. She shook her head in her usual non-confrontational manner and smiled, not truly affirming yes or no.

After dinner, Melinda and her went to finish some arts and crafts. Sister Angela’s contribution is doing arts and crafts with the residents. This provides meaningful activities for the residents and produces gifts and merchandise for the gift shop.

Arts and crafts are not my cup of tea so I headed out to do my new Thanksgiving tradition of sorting canned goods. As I made my way through the hallway, two sisters were helping three residents. Two of the residents were in wheelchairs and the other wasn’t far. Watching those sisters in action was like poetry in motion as they worked in harmony to provide the care needed. I did not think about injecting myself, as I would have only slowed them down. So, I proceeded to my mundane chore.

Walking into the room, the reality of the task was overwhelming as donated cans were everywhere. My previous comment on society was eased slightly as I saw the giving. So, I started my task. Working in solitude, I slowly devised my organizational scheme. I shouldn’t admit this but stacking cans can be quite addictive.

While in my state of unconsciousness, I would occasionally be interrupted by Melinda or Sister Angela checking on me. I threw the obligatory salute and proceeded with the task at hand. This time, Sister Collette entered the room who I’d never met. She was checking on her pet project and informed me there would be volunteers coming the next day. I was even more determined to finish the task at hand. When Melinda came to help, the dent in my project was hardly obvious. Once we figured how Melinda would fit into my newly created scheme I’d spent hours perfecting, we were off again.

Shortly after midnight, we realized that if we were going to the “Save the World” Conference that we needed some sleep. As we were leaving, we looked back in amazement that we were only half way finished. I guess that was the pessimistic way of looking at it but at least the volunteers would come in handy. We would wake up, had breakfast with Sister Angela and we’d be on our way.

The “Save the World” Conference seemed rather trivial in comparison. After being around these ladies, you understand what helping others truly mean. This is not the occasional occurrence or a 9-5 job, helping others is their life. They are organized, pleasant and disciplined. We hear so much from others telling us what we should do to help the poor while these ladies are showing us how it is truly done. It is difficult for politician, environmentalists and even fellow human beings to stand next to them for the goodness they represent. They have made so many sacrifices in the name of God that we could not truly understand what that means. Hopefully, next time you see a Sister in her attire that you extend your gratitude. So many times, I have seen them mocked. As I did not say anything then, I know better now. But extend a Thank You to a Sister for what she does. Most likely you’ll receive a warm smile and greeting in return for your gratitude.

In the next couple of weeks, the War on Christmas begins and it would be nice to see a Christmas to where God isn’t attacked. But in this environment, anything that promotes individualism is demonized. But as usual, the onslaught will continue in the media and in public. Even if you do not practice religion, at least show them the respect they have worked so hard to deserve by allowing their Savior to be blessed in public.

The volunteers did not show up, the Congressional Super Committee, as predicted, did not fix our financial problems and the poor are multiplying in America but you know that the nuns at the “Little Sisters of the Poor” are chugging along as they have done for so many years. Lyndon B. Johnson declared Government’s “War on Poverty” and Sister Angela took action to help the poor at nearly the same time and I have to say…Sister Angela’s is doing her part to truly help the poor.

As a family member (even if I’m a transplant), I wanted to take this opportunity to share this moment with you and say thanks to all who sacrifice and the volunteer at the Little Sisters of the Poor. If you get the opportunity…help a church.

Happy Birthday, Rev. Billy Graham!

Ninety-three years ago the world was changed forever. November 7, 1918- William Franklin Graham, Jr.- known to all the world as the Reverend Billy Graham, came into this world.

He was born to Morrow and William Franklin Graham I, on a dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina. Though he was raised in the Presbyterian Church by his parents, at the age of 16 he converted and became  an evangelical Southern Baptist.

America’s Preacher, as he is now known, was not always looked so fondly upon. In his teenage years, he was not allowed to become a member of the local youth group because he was “too worldly.” He later went to college, but found himself facing expulsion. He was warned by administration staff not to throw his life away, and was told: “At best, all you could amount to would be a poor country Baptist preacher somewhere out in the sticks…. You have a voice that pulls. God can use that voice of yours. He can use it mightily.”

Indeed, God has used Billy Graham’s voice. He has preached the Gospel of Christ to more people than any other person in history, with more than 3.2 million accepting invitations to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior at Billy Graham Crusades. As of 2008, his lifetime audience was more than 2.2 billion people. His evangelism career spans more than half a century- six decades, in fact- actively preaching the gospel.

He has been a trusted spiritual adviser to most of the last 12 Presidents, and has met personally with every President, starting with Harry S. Truman, up to our current President Barack Obama.

Today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Billy Graham! You have truly changed the world! May God bless you sir!

_________

Source:

Wikipedia 

 

 

Imagine. No Religion, too.

There’s a woman who lives near me with a personalized license plate that proclaims she’s a WICCAN. If her idea of theology is a penetrating discussion with a pecan tree and she wants to proclaim her lasting commitment to cellulose; that’s her right. Even though the sentiment appears on a plate issued by the Commonwealth.
She’s joined by motorists displaying plates with DRUID, PAGAN and even VEGAN.
Although the thought processes behind the adoption of these belief systems are opaque to me — much like the decision to go out and get a tattoo — knowing religion–oriented plates are out there is not disturbing.
However, one can’t say that for atheists who are very easily disturbed. Evidently their dedication to their lack of faith is so fragile that exposure to slightest whiff of Christianity has the potential to propel them backwards into darkness and superstition. The next thing you know they’re eating Wednesday night dinner in a Baptist Fellowship Hall and wondering why there are never any salt shakers on the table.
Atheists and the separation–of–church–and–state crowd are busy banning Bibles in schools, crosses from Utah roadsides and the phrase “God bless you” from funerals in a Houston VA cemetery. Consequently, they aren’t focused on license plates, but I have a feeling it’s on a To–Do list.
Readers who rely on the news media for their Constitution instruction may not know this, but the document is not actively anti–religion. The founders were believers and the thought of banning government from even the most glancing connection with God would have seemed absurd to them.
The Constitution only prohibits the establishment of a state religion, for example: Emperor worship during the Roman Empire or the Anglican Church in England under Henry VIII.
The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution. This atheist catchphrase originated in a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson and has no more force of law than this column.
And Jefferson, bless his heart, had his idiosyncrasies. Acting as the Gutenberg of the scissors and a paste–pot set, Jefferson produced his own Bible by literally cutting out the parts he didn’t like and keeping what he did.
This may make him the first Unitarian Universalist and would probably qualify Jefferson to be ordained as an Episcopal bishop, but it does not make him a reliable source on the religious views of the founders.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume the religion scrubbers are correct and the Constitution justifies purging all trace of worship from the public square. The question is what type of government do they think will result?
A cool, clean empire of intellect ruled by Mr. Spock? Maybe, but China is more likely.
This would make many progressives very happy, including those in the White House. China is a communist government run by experts. (A two–fer in progressive circles.) These experts don’t get bogged down in partisan gridlock caused by annoying Republicans who smoke. Decisions are made based on science, not politics. Plus, the experts are Asian and everyone knows how smart they are.
China is also rich. And it has bullet trains that fly between major cities. State–sponsored abortion is legal. (You could almost call it human sacrifice, but that sounds too much like religion.) And since there is only one party, there are no messy political campaigns and tacky commercials.
China is everything a secular humanist could wish for, until a toddler gets hit by a truck.
Then you learn the price for removing religion from the public square. 18 different people in Guangzhou watched as a two–year–old girl, who wandered into traffic, was smashed by delivery van. They left her lying bloody in the street until she was run over by a truck. Finally, after seven long minutes, an elderly scrap peddler, who may not have had anything to lose, dragged her out of the street.
People don’t help injured two–year–olds in China because helping others is not state–approved behavior. In 2007 a young man was sued after he helped an elderly woman with a broken leg to the hospital. The Wall Street Journal reports the court ordered the rescuer to pay 40 percent of the woman’s medical bills because “according to common sense” he would not have helped her if he had not been in some way responsible for her fall.
This is social Darwinism as a governing philosophy. Altruism only creates suspicion in a government where religion is banned.
This is why over time the religion haters won’t like the government that results from their efforts. Because when you jettison God you also jettison the Good Samaritan.

Christian Online Game Competes with Disney and Other Top Brands

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — When it launched BIGBibleTown.com last year, Third Day Games knew it would be facing some heavy competition. But after several months and thousands of kids playing, the response is confirming that the game is a competitive Christian alternative to secular juggernauts from the industry’s top brands.

There is no doubt that kids love video games. According to a recent study released by NPD*, over 91% of kids in the US play them. As kids’ interest in games has grown, so has the popularity of online games from top brands including Disney (Club Penguin) and Legos.com, with millions of kids playing these games for several hours each week.

BIGBibleTown.com is designed as a Christian alternative. This online game immerses elementary age children in scripture-based Bible adventures and includes all the features that make secular games so appealing to kids — a customizable virtual character, their own house that they can decorate, a virtual economy, and mini-games that kids play to earn virtual money. The compelling distinction with BIG Bible Town is that its 32 mini-games are interactive recreations of 32 Bible stories. So as kids have fun playing, they are learning these Bible stories and practicing Christian values.

According to Bobby Wells, CEO of Third Day Games, “Our goal is to capture a portion of video game playtime and repurpose it toward building Bible knowledge and Christian character in kids while they are young. To accomplish this, we knew the game had to be so much fun that it could go up against today’s popular games and compete for kids’ attention.

Why is There No Mention of ‘God’ in the Quotes at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther Jr. King Memorial?

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2011 — “God” does not appear in any of the quotes from Dr. King at his memorial in Washington, D.C. (For a list of all the quotes go to Wikipedia: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.)

Failure to include the mention of God in the memorial is a shocking betrayal of the life, legacy and teachings of Dr. King who was an ordained Christian minister and pastor.

The question must be asked, “How is possible to have a memorial dedicated to Rev. King and not even mention the word ‘God’ once in any of his quotes?”

Failure to include the mention “God” in any of the Dr. King quotes demonstrates a troubling erosion of public expressions of faith and God in the public square.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington, D.C., comments:

“Just a few days ago I walked to the Dr. King Memorial for a moment of inspiration, reflection and prayer. It was the first time I had visited the memorial.

“The setting and vision of the memorial was powerful and moving and served as a prophetic reminder that we must always stand for human rights and justice.

“As I walked around the memorial, I was stunned and shocked to see that the mention of ‘God’ was not included in any of the quotes from Dr. King on the granite wall surrounding his sculpture.

“Dr. King was an ordained Christian minister and pastor who made faith in God and the teachings of Christ the central part of his life and message. The heart of the civil rights movement was rooted in the church and drew its strength from the timeless truths proclaimed by God.

“Not to include any mention of ‘God’ in the quotes at the memorial is a betrayal of the life, legacy and teachings embraced and lived by Dr. King. I think he would have been stunned and disappointed to see this oversight.

“How is it possible to have a memorial dedicated to a Christian minister, who based his entire message on faith in God and the teachings of Christ and whose movement was founded in the church and not include even one mention of God?

“Simply stated, it is very troubling, dishonest, and should be corrected.”

Need A Good Laugh?

This guy is HILARIOUS! He is a Muslim comedian, and is very funny!

As The Blaze says, Azhar Usman is “part of ‘a fresh wave of humor’ that is sweeping clergy and comics, [and] a welcome distraction from the contentious social and political debates that often surround faith and religion’.”

Courageous! The Movie

I am not one for going to the movie theater, preferring instead to watch movies from the comfort of my own couch. It just makes logical sense to me. It does not cost a drop in the bucket what the cost of going to a movie theater costs these days. I can have all the snacks I want at a mere fraction of the cost, and most importantly, I can actually pause the movie and go to the powder room when necessary!

I’m sure it came as quite a surprise to my husband when he received an email from me telling him that I wanted to go see this movie! I knew we had an upcoming trip out of town, away from the kids, and knowing how much he loves going to the movie theater, I thought this would be a great surprise for him to have me actually say I want to go to a movie theater.

I had seen the preview several times, but did not read any movie reviews. I have found that so often, the movies I like are given bad reviews by other reviewers. Knowing this movie is a wholesome movie made me stay away from reviews even more.

I have visited the main page of the website, but did not want to go any deeper until after I saw the movie. Needless to say, I was completely surprised by the entire plot.

This is just a blurb from the actual synopsis of the Courageous website:

From the writers of Fireproof and Facing the Giants comes a story about four law enforcement officers whose lives are deeply tested as they embrace their calling to serve and to protect. As crime fighters, they must face danger every day. Yet when tragedy hits close to home, they are left wrestling with their hopes, their faith, and their priorities as men. 

Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From this struggle will come a decision that changes all of their lives. With action, drama, and humor, the fourth film from Sherwood Pictures embraces God’s promise to "turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers." Souls will be stirred, and hearts will be challenged to be … courageous!

Having seen all of the movies that have been produced by Sherwood Church in Albany, Georgia, I thought I knew what to expect. A heart-felt movie that dealt with real life, but not with quite the same depth and reality as Hollywood. This movie provides very little distinction between the production quality of professionals and those who are called by God for the purpose of bringing Him glory in their movies. That is- with the major exception of the foul language that seems to be a "necessity" in every Hollywood movie.

Please do not get me wrong- unfortunately, I have grown accustomed to the harsh language that peppers our world today, and in fact, at times have been known to speak in a way not so becoming of a lady. Sadly, I’ve grown so accustomed to this reality that there are very few times I’m actually phased by foul language. However, in many movies that come out of Hollywood today, it’s as if they just stuck a four-letter word here and there to seem cool and acceptable to their audience. 

There were times in this movie that I was literally hanging on to the edge of my seat, anticipating what was coming next! There was a moment of actual fear, as I became so lost in the story that it was almost reality for me. There were times I laughed. And there were many times I cried. It hit home for me because of past experiences in my life.

I was not aware of the fact that the movie deals with the tragic death of a loved one. The raw emotion portrayed by the family members who lost their loved one struck a cord in me that cannot be explained. Only those who have lost a loved one in a horrible tragedy know that raw emotion. Only those who have clung to the hem of His garment in the aftermath of the tragic death can know exactly what I’m talking about.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this movie! Support a Christian movie that has a lot to offer- entertainment, wisdom, knowledge, strength, comfort, laughter, tears, action, romance, and challenges. I specifically challenge any man who is a father to go see this movie. It very well could change your life, and how you view the calling on your life.

While it is a very well made movie, technically, in my opinion, it is a movie made from the talents and gifts of many every day, ordinary people. It is not a movie made by the Hollywood stars and starlets who see millions of dollars per movie. The real-life quaintness was refreshing to me.

If you go to the movies to critique the camera angles, lighting and video technique, this may not be the movie for you. However, I still recommend it to you. I simply challenge you look through the eyes of your heart rather than the eyes of the technical critic in you. 

".. honor begins at home."

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  
Joshua 1:9

 

Say “Bless You” – Get Detention!

Before I begin this article, I must first quote the words of a great orator, John McEnroe – “you have got to be kidding me??!!”

As we all know, political correctness run amok has become commonplace in today’s society – particularly when it comes to religious expression. It has obviously reached the point that those who seek to purge religion from the public arena in all forms have totally abandoned subtlety in their modus operandi.

Steve Cuckovich, a health teacher in California has decided the common colloquialism “God bless you” is no longer acceptable to him in his classroom. According to Cuckovich, “it’s not got anything to do with religion, it’s got to do with an interruption of class time.”

Really??!

So when someone sneezes in Mr. Cuckovich’s class, the century’s old courteous response “God bless you” is evidently off the table (ironically in a health class) because it…. “disrupts class?”

REALLY??!!

I was a classroom teacher for 15 years, elementary through high school, and had my share of sneezing kids. Not once did someone saying “God bless you” after a mighty rushing wind cause a disciplinary meltdown. Not once did it throw me off my lesson plan, cause any of the students to break out into a spontaneous riot – no alarms went off – it was even a point of levity when someone’s sneezing style sounded somewhat humorous!

As a person who has not only run several successful classrooms, but also has taught several classroom management workshops to other teachers, I can comfortably say that if your disciplinary skills are so fragile that you have to ban the commonly unsolicited, yet expected retort from a student’s sneezing like, “bless you”, then perhaps you need to seek out a good workshop on classroom management (I know of a good one) or perhaps you may need to seek out a new profession.

OF COURSE this has to do with religion!

Cuckovich went on to explain that the out of date “blessing” was first used when it was assumed that people who were sick were demon possessed. Now that modern medicine has disproved that with their infinite wisdom (the same ones who killed off the father of our country by “bleeding” all the bad blood out), there is no longer the need for the words to be uttered.

So if we are to follow the true meaning behind the ban, that this is not allowed because it may have religious implications – and that violates the first amendment – then I suppose that a 9th grader in California saying “bless you” when someone sneezes, is equivalent to Congress passing a law establishing an official religion?!!

HEY! Our problems are solved!! Let’s just get these kids to balance the budget, fix Social Security, repeal Obamacare, the works!! Tissues for everyone!!

Why am I so worked up about this? One phrase comes to mind – death by a thousand pin pricks. This is another small, yet stupid example of how politically correct we have become. A Jewish carpenter turned Savior once said, “you strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.” Can someone rescue common sense from its exile? Please?

Freedom of Religion- Except in the O.C.

Despite the fact that this great nation was founded on religious freedom, officials in San Juan Capistrano, California, are trying to deny this basic right to Chuck and Stephanie Fromm. The Fromms hold weekly Bible studies with their friends in the SJC home they live in. T Officials from SJC claim the Fromms are operating as a “church” because it is a regular gathering of more than three people. There have been times that the Fromms have had upwards of fifty people at their Bible study, and all are without incident.

via ABC News- Courtesy Nicole Fromm

The Fromms have been fined $300 and are facing further fines of $500 per meeting if any more “religious” meetings are held. The gathering of friends have not caused any disturbances according to neighbors of the Fromms. Their neighbors have even written letters to the city in support of the Fromms.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

1st Amendment of The United States Constitution

Liberals are quick to throw the 1st Amendment up in their right to free speech arguments, but conveniently forget about the 1st Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion and the exercise thereof. The Fromms have assembled peacefully to exercise their religious freedom with their Bible studies, yet have been issued fines for it.

The city official cited that “a regular gathering of more than three people” is the reason they are considering the Bible studies a “church”. “A regular gathering of more than three people”, could that mean your weekly friendly poker game with your four or five buddies could possibly get you fined for having “church”?

It is tempting to speculate that during these hard economic times the City of San Juan Capistrano is trying to make up some of their lost revenue with frivolous fines. Maybe it is an overzealous liberal official that wants to make it hard to be a Christian in SJT? Either way, there is no question that it is an attack on the freedoms of a citizen(s) of the United States of America.

For anyone that resides in San Juan Capistrano, please contact your elected officials and city offices and help the Fromms correct this wrong. Even if this story does not directly affect you, the next time the city officials attack personal freedom, it could be your freedom they are coming after.

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