Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Prayer that Riled the Kansas Legislature

'Heavenly Father,

We come before You today to ask Your Forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ''Woe to those who call evil good,'' but that's exactly what we have done. We have lost our Spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism;
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism;
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle;
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
We have neglected the needy and called it self preservation;
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;
We have killed our unborn and called it choice;
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem;
We have abused power and called it political savvy;
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition;
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression;
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of this state and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state of Kansas. Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will.

I ask in in the name of your Son, The Living Savior, Jesus Christ."

The prayer you have just read was prayed on January 23, 1996, Pastor Joe Wright, of the Central Christian Church in Wichita, was guest chaplain to pray in the Kansas Legislature (House) that day. He prayed a prayer of repentance that was written by Bob Russell, pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. According to an article in the Kansas City Star from January 24, 1996, his prayer did stir controversy and one member of the legislative body walked out. Others criticized the prayer. The controversy didn't end there. Later that year in the Colorado House, Republican representative Mark Paschall angered lawmakers by using Joe Wright's prayer as the invocation. Some members there also walked out in protest.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's NOT the economy, Stupid!

"'It's the economy, stupid'" was a phrase in American politics widely used during Bill Clinton's successful 1992 presidential campaign against George H. W. Bush. For a time, Bush was considered unbeatable because of foreign policy developments such as the end of the Cold War and the Persian Gulf War. The phrase, ...made popular by Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, refers to the notion that Clinton was a better choice because Bush had not adequately addressed the economy, which had recently undergone a recession'"-Wikipedia

Well, I am here to tell you that it's NOT the economy, Stupid.   As Christians, is our trust in the economy or in God?  Can God not turn the economy around?  And we are told to vote for this or that candidate because they will bring our economy back to life--forget about the moral issues.

So we're back to that, then--the almighty dollar?  Forget about the moral issues, we are told.  Well, does God forget about the moral issues?  Does He look past a candidate who supports abortion so much so that the candidate votes that babies born alive should be left to die on the table--even if the baby is breathing on its own?  Even  if the baby is FULL TERM?  Folks, we are operating on babies at 21 weeks!  A full-term baby is 40 weeks!

Does God look past homosexual marriage even though His word says, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" 1Corinthians 6:9, etc

And you can try to use the Bible to contradict itself and think you're scoring points like this presidential candidate did, but you're not  In the Old Testament if you committeed certain sins you were stoned.  But when Jesus was presented with the adulerous woman, He did not stone her.  He did tell her not to do it again.  Jesus is looking for repentance. 

 Our families are breaking down and, therefore, our society is breaking down.  We say if only the poor had more money and if only the rich would part with more of theirs.  But, people, that's the economic talk again.  Can the economy fix what' really ails us: a lack of morality?  Morality tells us not to steal, not to cheat, to treat everyone equally regardless of their monetary worth (because they are valuable to God), etc.  Can money fix that?

On our money is stamped our national motto, "In God we trust."  But, we are acting like our national motto says, "In our Economy we trust."  Has our economy taken the place of our God?  Have we forgotten that,  "It is God who gives us the ability to create wealth"? Deuteronomy 8:18 

Folks, let's heed Elijah, "If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if [the Economy] is god, follow him."  1 Kings 18:21.

(PS:  When the next presidential candidate shows up, I'll give him/her the same treatment.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Who you gonna believe?

From Oprah to Bill Maher, we are told that all roads lead to heaven or there is no heaven.  So, if you want to know where a person stands when it comes to Jesus, just ask them, "Who is Jesus to you?"  This is the same question that Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew 16:15. 

Buddhists believe that Jesus was a good teacher, though less important than Buddha.

Hindus believe that Jesus was just one of many incarnations or sons of God, that he did not die for people's sin.

Muslims believe that Jesus was the second greatest prophet because Muhammad is greater than Jesus.

In Jainism you are responsible for your destiny and that it is possible to reach a perfect state through your own actions, because of karma.

The Mormon Church teaches that God the Father is a resurrected human man who is a married being who has "spirit children" in Heaven; Jesus was also born in the pre-existence to God the Father and one of his wives; and that Jesus and the devil are brothers born to God and one of his wives.

Wiccans say Jesus went through individuation, meaning He embraced His "dark side"

Jehovahs Witness teach that before His earthly life, Jesus was a spirit creature, Michael the archangel, who was created by God and became the Messiah at His baptism.

And there are other religions that deny Jesus.
So who you gonna believe?  Do all roads lead to heaven?  Are we all worshipping the same God?
(meanings taken from various sources)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Family Ties--Ishmael

I have certain decisions to make and not knowing which way God wants me to go, it appears that I am to do nothing at this point but wait.  And so, as I always do, I checked in the Bible to see if an example of this (when one is confused about God's direction then do nothing) was there.

Of course it was.  The Bible leaves nothing to the imagination.  I found that when God Himself stopped Paul from preaching the Gospel (!) in Mysia, Paul went down to Troas to wait on the Lord (Acts 16).  And there are other instances where God tells us to wait on Him.

Well, I started thinking about Ishmael (because Abraham, as you know, could wait no longer), and wondered just what became of Ishmael's twelve sons (Genesis 25:9-18)?  I came upon these two websites and their family charts.  You might want to read them for yourself.

You realize, once again, that we're all family and yet we fight so.  But then we don't need a history chart to tell us that we can't get along--it's in our own families!  So Stop Being A Christian Wimp and forgive your family member (or members). 

It takes more courage and power to forgive while it's easier to wimp-out and not forgive--don't you agree?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Laughter: the Dental Way

You know, we sometimes see God, or as like to call Him:  Daddy (that's what Abba means), as just waiting for us to mess up and then "BAM!"  He hammers us.  Now what kind of sadistic Father would that make Him out to be?

 ABBA Verses:  Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6

And then, we could even say Dad would also be schizophrenic:

1.) one minute He is stripped naked in front of people, then allows Himself to whipped with an instrument that takes his flesh off, is cursed and spat upon, is hung on a cross, barely being able to breathe, skin and blood sticking to the splinters in the cross, more cursing and all because he wants to save us and take us to be home with Him;

 BUT then next minute

2.)  God is waiting to clean our clock, to find reason to be angry with us?

C'mon!  Who you gonna believe:  God or satan?  Either Dad loves us to death (hey!) or He is against us.  Can't He make up His mind?  Are you gonna let the evil one convince you that you're so far gone that even God can't save you?  That your sin is so great that not even the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to wash that away?  And will you let the enemy tell you, "You just can't ask for forgiveness for that sin and expect that God will be immediately cool with you.  You've got to give it time."  Rubbish!  God is always quick to forgive:  Jonah 4:2 and Luke 15:30.  So don't wimp out, tell the enemy to get away from you.

And let's lighten up today, people.  Watch this video that will make you laugh.  And that's another thing, why would Dad create us with the ability to laugh only to want us to live a life where we're so pious we look like we've been sucking on lemons all day?

Remember, righteousness comes from the inside out, not the other way around!

Here's the video

Post some of your "laugh" videos here!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Faith: A simple definition

For so many years I've asked people what faith is.  I've gotten so many different answers that no sooner than I thought I knew what it meant, someone else gave me a different answer!  And even reading the Bible left me somewhat confused.   Have you experienced that, too?  But that same Bible pointed me to the definition and it was there all the time

So let me tell you right away the definition of faith:  "Knowing that God has the power to do whatever You're asking him to do.  I'll explain more later and then you'll see my point.

Now back to my story:  It wasn't until I lost my race for Congress that I began the process of understanding faith.  I thought if God sends/calls you to do a thing, then you will be succcessful.  And so, when I lost my congressional race, I was in shock.  But what tripped me up is that I viewed success from the world's point of view.  What do I mean?  Well, the world looks at the outcome of some action that you took and then proclaims whether your plan was successful.  But God's idea of success is simply this: " Did you do what I told you to do?"  Put another way, "Were you obedient?"

See, I was having faith in the outcome of the election--that God would cause me to win.  My faith should have been in the One who has the power to make it happen.  Faith doesn't look at the outcome, the end.  Faith looks to the POWER of God.  Faith is KNOWING that God HAS the power (or is able)  to do whatever you ask of Him. 

Here's proof:  Mark 9:23 the man doubts that Jesus has the POWER to heal his son; Mark 5:30 when the woman touches the hem of his garment, she is healed and Jesus says "...POWER has gone out of Me"; Numbers 11:23 When Moses doubts God can supply the meat, God asks Moses, "Is there any limit to my POWER?"; Luke 7:8 The Roman officer tells Jesus that since Jesus has authority (POWER), then Jesus just needs to speak and his servant will be healed.  Jesus then exclaims that He has not experienced this kind of faith anywhere!  And I could go on and on but search it for yourself.

Now, you understand that it takes faith to believe that what the Bible says happened did actually happen.  And that what the Bible says will happen, will infact happen.  It takes faith to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  And when you read Hebrews 11 you realize that all those people KNEW that God had the POWER to accomplish what He said he would do.

Your faith is not a blind faith, though.  It is a proven faith.  You KNOW that God has the power to do whatever it is.   And we are called to prove to unbelievers that Jesus is the Son of God--did you know that.  It's in the Bible.  Additionally, Habakkuk 2:4 tells us that the proud people trust (have faith) in themselves--but that the righteous people are supposed to live by faith (KNOWING that God has POWER) to do whatever.

Here's the deal, if you don't KNOW that God has the power to do whatever it is, you will not want to obey Him, obey him halfway, or take your time to obey Him.  Fear will enter your heart becuase you are doubting that God is greater than your employer, than the drug dealer down the street, than your client who God has told you to witness to.

So, are you sick?  Then your faith should say something like this:  "Lord, I know that you have the power to........heal me.  The first part of the sentence is your faith and the second part is your hope.  Faith and hope are not the same thing.  Are you in need of God's help in some other way?  It's the same sentence, only change the second part.  Remember, your faith is not in the outcome but in KNOWING that God has the power to .....

And I want to quickly say that not everyone who asks for healing, etc will be healed/be successful the way that the world sees it on this side of life.  Timothy wasn't healed of his stomach trouble (as a blog I recently read pointed out).  And consider how many were martyred for believeing in Jesus Hebrews 11:37.

Finally, bretheren and sisteren, faith ultimately comes down to trust.  Now I've gone and done it:  I've thrown in trust right as I'm about to finish.  Listen, faith and trust are not the same thing.  The same as faith and hope are not the same either.  While faith is KNOWING that God has the power to....Trust is RELYING on God's strength, integrity, power, etc.  So going back to my healing example, you would say, "Lord, I know that you have the power to heal me.  And I trust you.  Do whatever You want."  So trust makes yoy rely on God's will.  Trust causes you to rest, to simply fall back into God's arms to be held up by His power.  So, faith, hope, and trust.  It's all there.

But without faith (knowing that God has the power to) it is impossible to please God  (Hebrews 11:6)

Question:  What is faith to you?