Category Archives: Faith

Responsibilities of Citizenship


” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matt 6:21 ESV)

Where is your treasure?  If we delight ourselves in the Lord, do we still want the same treasures the world values?  Do we not, instead, draw toward the riches found only in the kingdom of heaven?

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4 ESV)

If the Lord is our delight, would we not find deep satisfaction and, yes, even joy in doing the work He has set before us as Christians? Would we not turn away from the treasures of the world so completely that if Our Father in Heaven put worldly treasures in our hands, they would sift through our fingers like so much sand?

There is no formula, God sees the truth that lies deep within our hearts. So if you’re just going through the motions, there your heart is also. But if your heart is full and overflowing with the greatest treasure, the love of Jesus, could the treasures of this world hold any sway?

Now, as a citizen of The United States of America you have to ask, what sway does the lure of money and power have over the people we elect to represent us in Washington?  These men are pulled many directions by the other insiders, lobbyists and the pet cause de jour.  Many who hold these offices end up with connections to great wealth and opportunity that ordinary citizens don’t have access to.  The very people who sent them to Washington, entrusted with the future of this nation, are now relegated to We The little People.

There is no greater responsibility that We The People have as citizens than to exercise our right to vote with great care.  Men who are of this world don’t have the same moral compass that a man who delights in the Lord. If the lure of riches and power hold no value, We The People can trust them to exercise the power he holds with great care.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matt 6:24 ESV)

If an elected official serves God, he, like our Founding Fathers, will consider what’s best for our nation, not just what will get them re-elected.

God Bless America!

Further reading:

Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Founded on the Rock

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Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas


Dietrich Bonhoeffer was, as the title so aptly describes, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyEric Metaxas uses Bonhoeffer’s own words, through letters and the recollections of those around him, to share the depth of Bonhoeffer’s faith and what that would ultimately require of him.  By guiding the reader through Bonhoeffer’s life, Metaxas helps the reader understand that to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his faith and his political actions were bound together so tightly, it was impossible to separate the two. When his faith required action against the evil sanctioned by the Third Reich, he did not falter or complain, Bonhoeffer simply obeyed the will of God unto death.

The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts.  For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts, while for the Christian who bases his life on the Bible it merely confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil. ~Deitrich Bonhoeffer (Metaxas pg 446)

I highly recommend this book to all Americans as we watch the opening salvos in the Middle East of another attack on the Jew’s right to exist.  Knowing the history of the resistance to the Holocaust during WWII by Christians within Germany may help We The People  avoid complicity through inaction in the American political system.

…the longer the German people tolerate the Nazi regime the greater becomes their responsibility for the crimes which that regime is committing in their name.  ~ Anthony Eden (Metaxas pg 404)

Any Christian who reads this well written biography will be inspired to examine the question, “what do you really believe?”

God Bless America!

Also see:

The UnPatriot Act

Founded On The Rock

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Founded On The Rock


The left and the right have different approaches to the question of what is our responsibility to the poor.  Both sides agree that sometimes we need to help our neighbors. What we can’t agree on how is that should be accomplished.

The left would create an ever-expanding welfare state that will help the poor and redistribute the wealth.  The right believes that charity should come from the individual.  In both cases, wealth changes hands, the difference lies in the freedom of choice in making that sacrifice.  Sacrifice only has moral value when we alone are free to make that choice.  So, if government takes and gives to the poor, the choice to honor God with our substance is limited more and more as taxes turn into theft as the tax rate steadily increases.

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. -Proverbs 19:17 (ESV)

When charity becomes an entitlement, the government not only enslaves the taxpayer through the wealth redistribution schemes, but also the recipient as they join others on the governmental plantation.

It is no wonder that America is steadily losing ground on the world stage. The welfare state dependent mentality sucks all creativity out of the community as it’s grip tightens to maintain control of the sheep.  We The Sheeple have been led down the road toward a collectivist state, waiting to be told what to think and what to do so that we don’t disturb the security bought through compliance.

We The People are so much more than sheep. We built this nation on a foundation of rock, not of sand.

46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. [3] 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 (ESV)

The ruin of the house that is America will indeed be great if We The People don’t heed the words of the Lord and of our Founders.  Our nation was built by men of great faith and principles. They honored God in their words and deeds.  They knew that it was only with the hand Divine Providence that would allow them to prevail against the odds.  We The People must turn again to Divine Providence for guidance to help us find our way back from the brink of self-destruction.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. – The Declaration of Independence

It’s time to return to our foundation on the rock and trust that Divine Providence can rebuild our unity so that once again we are un-hyphenated Americans joining together to repair that crumbling foundation lest it disintegrate into sand…

God Bless America!

Related Articles:

  1. The Death of American Exceptionalism
  2. Lower Taxes to Increase Revenue
  3. Hey Dude, Where’s My Melting Pot?
  4. The Overton Window

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Filed under American History, Bible Study, Blessings, Faith, political

Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado


Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference

Max Lucado, in is usual down to earth style, has  challenged believers to Out Live Your Life.

We are given a choice…an opportunity to make a big difference during a difficult time. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope?

He uses inspiring stories to bring us to the understanding that regular people, like you and me, can be used by God for his purpose.

God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.

Max Lucado peppers each chapter with biblical examples and scripture to help the reader grasp the reality that God can and will do extraordinary things through ordinary people.

Each of us has a built in set of assumption that we use to view the world we live in.  Lucado makes the reader face head-on their prejudices with pointed examples and more scripture.

And us? We are still pondering … “God has shown me that He doesn’t think anyone is unclean or unfit.”

This was particularly stinging for me. Even though I try never to judge a book by its cover, we all find ourselves making assumptions about people because of their labels: biker, divorced, fat or homeless. How often are we wrong?

Labels relieve us of responsibility. Pigeonholing permits us to wash our hands and leave.

You will not be able to sit comfortably by after reading Out Live Your Life if you have allowed any part of this book to soak in.

I recommend this book for anyone who has ever wondered “Why am I here?”. For those who are interested, it even has a discussion and action guide at the end.

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I review for BookSneeze®

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To Be Saul or To Be David


Guest post by Robert W. Ray

Saul was tall, handsome and picked by God himself.  Saul had all the traits of a leader; commanding presence, strong authoritative voice and a personality that made people want to follow.   He also had the I’m in charge attitude once he became king.  He constantly went to the prophet of God for his answers or for a voice of direction.  He reads like a pretty good guy until he falls out of grace with God, and even then he apologies and cries and ask forgiveness.   So what’s the deal?  He did what he thought needed to be done to be the leader; a take charge type of guy.   A sacrifice needed to be performed and the man of God was late, there was a war to fight, we’re burning daylight here.   Lets Git ‘er Done and he performed the sacrifice without the prophet of God.

He did what I, and most leaders, would have done.  We have a goal.  The goal is from God.  We proceed to perform and get it done.  People follow people who lead, sheep need a shepherd, and it’s what we do!  How is doing what God chose us to do so wrong?  Simple.  We do what we do in our own abilities.  We take our dependence off of the One who put us here; the One who made us leaders of men.  We do what is right in our own eyes.  God save us from or selves.

When we look to do what we think needs to be done, at that crucial point in time to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together, we leave out the biggest part of that puzzle… God.  By stepping up to the plate, and taking charge, we leave God out of the process and move on in our own pattern and in our own strength.  We might know the right path to take, or in Saul’s case the correct pattern of events that need to take place, to ensure victory.  But, without God, that is all it is, a pattern. It’s not divine, it’s not ordained or predestined by God.  It’s us moving as men, blind and afraid that if we don’t do it right in the people’s sight they won’t follow.  And we become failures.  You’re only as good as your last victory.  We simply become performing dogs for the circus and the people are waiting for the next big trick.  Sit, jump through the ring of fire, roll over, play dead!  We leave God in the shadows of the stands, and then want to blame Him when there is failure.  It was Gods fault.  He didn’t come through.  I stepped out on faith and He let me fall.   So when the big trick falls apart and we land on our faces, bloody and bruised, now we want to pull God out of the stand and tell everyone it was His fault.  We point our fingers we cry and claim ignorance.

God does not want a performance and He won’t perform at our command. He insists on being God!

David on the other hand started out just as good a guy as Saul. People loved him.  He could fight. He could lead. He was a man’s man. Good looking and daring.  Later in his rule as king he made great mistakes; takes another man’s wife, gets her pregnant, tries to trick he husband into sleeping with her to hide his misdeed and when that fails he has her husband  murdered.

Then why does Saul have the kingdom torn from his hand and not David?

People say it was pride, Saul’s arrogance to perform the sacrifice, his not waiting on the man of God. All this sound good but David did all of this and more. Why is David called a man after Gods own heart?  David didn’t fool God.  He didn’t hide the truth from Him. What is it that made David be the lineage that Jesus comes from?  There is only one thing.  David had a direct relationship with God. He didn’t use the prophet of God as a middle man. He didn’t go to a seer or a which to get answers.  David went directly to God and then he would act on what God told him to do.  Not the people.  Not what he thought was right, but what God told him to do.  David refused to be the trained dog.  And when David does blow it he doesn’t blame God he goes into the house of God and weeps for forgiveness.   The difference is relationship.

Saul was tall, hansom, and picked by God himself. Saul had all the traits of a leader, commanding presence, strong authoritive  voice and a personality that made people want to follow. He also had the “I’m in charge” attitude once he became king. He constantly went to the prophet of God for his answers or for a voice of direction. He reads like a pretty good guy until he falls out of grace with God, and even then he apologies and cries and ask forgiveness so what’s the deal, he did what he thought needed to be done to the be the leader, a take charge type of guy. A sacrifice needed to be performed and the man of God was late, there was a war to fight “We’re burning daylight here” “ Lets Get’er Done”  and he performed the sacrifice without the prophet of God.

He did what I and most leaders would have done, we have a goal. The goal is from God. We proceed to perform and get it done. People follow people who lead, sheep need a shepherd, and It’s what we do! How is doing what God chose us to do so wrong? Simple we do what we do in our own abilities, we take or dependence off of the One who put us here, the One who made us leaders of men. We do what is right in our own eyes. God save us from or self’s.

When we look to do what we think needs to be done at that crucial point and time to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together, we leave out the biggest part of that puzzle, God. By stepping up to the plate, and taking charge, we leave God out of the process and move on in our own pattern, our own strength. We might know the right path to take, or in Saul’s case the correct pattern of events that need to take place to insure victory. But without God that is all it is “a pattern” it’s not divine, it’s not ordained or predestined by God, it’s us moving as men. Blind and afraid that if we don’t do it right in the peoples sight the wont follow. And we become failures.” You’re only as good as your last victory.” We simply be come performing dogs for the circus and the people are waiting for the next big trick. Sit, jump through the ring of fire, roll over, play dead!  We leave God in the shadows of the stands, and then want to blame him when there is failure. It was Gods fault, He didn’t come through, I stepped out on faith and He let me fall.   So when the big trick falls apart and we land on our faces, bloody and bruised, now we want to pull God out of the stand and tell everyone it was His fault. We point our fingers we cry and claim ignorance.

God does not want a performance and He won’t perform at our command, He insists on being God!

David on the other hand started out just as good a guy as Saul. People loved him, he could fight, He could lead. He was a man’s man. Good looking and daring. Later in his rule as king made great mistakes,  takes another man’s wife gets her pregnant tries to trick he husband into sleeping with her to hide his misdeed and when that fails he has her husband  murdered.

Then why does Saul have the kingdom torn from his hand and not David?

People say it was pride, Saul’s arrogance to perform the sacrifice, his not waiting on the man of God. All this sound good but David did all of this and more. Why is David called a man after Gods own heart, David didn’t fool God , He didn’t hide the truth from Him. What is it that made David be the linage that Jesus comes from? There is only one thing , David had a direct relationship with God, he didn’t use the prophet of God as a middle man, he didn’t go to a see’er or a which to get answers. David went directly to God and then he would act on what God told him to do. Not the people, not what he thought was right but what God told him to do. David refused to be the trained dog.  And when David does blow it he doesn’t blame God he goes into the house of God and weeps for forgiveness.   The difference is relationship.

Saul was tall, hansom, and picked by God himself. Saul had all the traits of a leader, commanding presence, strong authoritive  voice and a personality that made people want to follow. He also had the “I’m in charge” attitude once he became king. He constantly went to the prophet of God for his answers or for a voice of direction. He reads like a pretty good guy until he falls out of grace with God, and even then he apologies and cries and ask forgiveness so what’s the deal, he did what he thought needed to be done to the be the leader, a take charge type of guy. A sacrifice needed to be performed and the man of God was late, there was a war to fight “We’re burning daylight here” “ Lets Get’er Done”  and he performed the sacrifice without the prophet of God.

He did what I and most leaders would have done, we have a goal. The goal is from God. We proceed to perform and get it done. People follow people who lead, sheep need a shepherd, and It’s what we do! How is doing what God chose us to do so wrong? Simple we do what we do in our own abilities, we take or dependence off of the One who put us here, the One who made us leaders of men. We do what is right in our own eyes. God save us from or self’s.

When we look to do what we think needs to be done at that crucial point and time to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together, we leave out the biggest part of that puzzle, God. By stepping up to the plate, and taking charge, we leave God out of the process and move on in our own pattern, our own strength. We might know the right path to take, or in Saul’s case the correct pattern of events that need to take place to insure victory. But without God that is all it is “a pattern” it’s not divine, it’s not ordained or predestined by God, it’s us moving as men. Blind and afraid that if we don’t do it right in the peoples sight the wont follow. And we become failures.” You’re only as good as your last victory.” We simply be come performing dogs for the circus and the people are waiting for the next big trick. Sit, jump through the ring of fire, roll over, play dead!  We leave God in the shadows of the stands, and then want to blame him when there is failure. It was Gods fault, He didn’t come through, I stepped out on faith and He let me fall.   So when the big trick falls apart and we land on our faces, bloody and bruised, now we want to pull God out of the stand and tell everyone it was His fault. We point our fingers we cry and claim ignorance.

God does not want a performance and He won’t perform at our command, He insists on being God!

David on the other hand started out just as good a guy as Saul. People loved him, he could fight, He could lead. He was a man’s man. Good looking and daring. Later in his rule as king made great mistakes,  takes another man’s wife gets her pregnant tries to trick he husband into sleeping with her to hide his misdeed and when that fails he has her husband  murdered.

Then why does Saul have the kingdom torn from his hand and not David?

People say it was pride, Saul’s arrogance to perform the sacrifice, his not waiting on the man of God. All this sound good but David did all of this and more. Why is David called a man after Gods own heart, David didn’t fool God , He didn’t hide the truth from Him. What is it that made David be the linage that Jesus comes from? There is only one thing , David had a direct relationship with God, he didn’t use the prophet of God as a middle man, he didn’t go to a see’er or a which to get answers. David went directly to God and then he would act on what God told him to do. Not the people, not what he thought was right but what God told him to do. David refused to be the trained dog.  And when David does blow it he doesn’t blame God he goes into the house of God and weeps for forgiveness.   The difference is relationship.

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Word of Promise Audio New Testament


Listening to The Word of Promise Audio New Testament felt like I was hearing familiar passages again for the first time.  It made the Word alive to me in a way it never has been before.  The sound effects that were a part of this dramatic audio theater presentation added to the experience rather than being a distraction.  Following along in my Bible for a short time, I didn’t find anything changed or left out except for “Jesus said”.  But the actor, Jim Caviezel’s, now familiar voice made it clear who was speaking.  The lineup of gifted artists who also participated in this project included; Marisa Tomei, Michael York, Richard Dreyfuss, Stacy Keach, Louis Gossett Jr., and many others.  The production quality of this work leaves nothing to be desired.  The 20 disc set comes in a sturdy CD book that is easy to take along or store on the shelf amongst your books.

There are three generations of very real fans of this audio presentation of the New Testament in my family.  It is absolutely engaging.  My 11-year-old son likes it because, “It’s like having someone read it to you. It’s great for people who don’t like to read.  It’s cool.”  My mother-in-law said that it reminded her of what radio was like when she was a kid.  It’s wonderful to be able to fill the house or the car with God’s word.  I can’t recommend The Word of Promise Audio New Testament strongly enough.

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Does Character Really Matter? (updated)


12/30/2009   (UPDATED)

As we look to the new year, we are facing the fruit of our national apathy as we watch Congress wheel and deal for their votes in support of a bill that America clearly does not want.  For decades, the national silence has been deafening while elected officials of BOTH parties showed their true character.  Bringing home the bacon to their district through ear-marks as the price for their support of a bill they would not otherwise agree to has become the normal M.O. in Washington.

In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide.  Regard not the particular sect [party] of the candidate – look to his character… It is alleged by men of loose principles or defective views of the subject that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations.  But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine.  They direct that rulers should be men “who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.”

~Noah Webster

As the President and Congress are sworn into office, they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic.  Why would our Founding Fathers choose to use that particular turn of phrase?  Why would a citizen be a threat to the Constitution?  Having just rid themselves of tyranny, they valued their hard won freedom and rightly knew that in the passage of time, our national memory would fade and a domestic tyrant could again threaten the liberty of the citizens of this country.

But you must remember, my fellow citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.

~President Andrew Jackson, Farewell address 1837

While we are busy with the details of our own lives, we often neglect our duty to ourselves, our country and future generations by guarding jealously the inheritance our fore fathers left us.  We don’t want to get off the couch and get out of our comfort zones to send good people off to attend to the people’s business.  Andrew Jackson had much more to say:

You have no longer any cause to fear danger from abroad; your strength and power are well known throughout the civilized world, as well as the high and gallant bearing of your sons.  It is from within, among yourselves–from cupidity [excessive desire, especially for wealth; covetousness or avarice], from corruption, from disappointed ambition and inordinate thirst for power– that factions will be formed and liberty endangered.  It is against such designs, whatever disguise the actors may assume, that you have especially to guard yourselves.  You have the highest of  human trusts committed to your care.  Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen  you as the guardians of freedom, to preserve it for the benefit of the human race.  May He who holds in His hands the destinies of nations make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed and and enable you, with pure hearts and pure hands and sleepless vigilance, to guard and defend to the end of time the great charge He has committed to your keeping.

~Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address 1837

As We The People have slept, a diligent minority have worked to “fundamentally transform” our nation.  The American Dream has morphed into a garish caricature reflecting our enslavement through apathy.  We The People sat silent and let our national leadership completely ignore the Constitution.  Its hard to say who is more wrong.  Those who swore to protect and defend the Constitution, or those who did nothing to hold them accountable.

We The People sat quietly, not wanting anyone to be offended, as a few have decided that we can no longer have God in our public life.  George Washington, in his farewell address in 1796 talked about religion and morality’s role in preserving freedom:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness — these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.  The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them.  A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.  Let it simply be asked, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?” And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.

Sitting in the Oval Office we now have a President that sees the Constitution as a speed bump, “a charter of negative  liberties”, on the road to the new America he has envisioned.  This same man has claimed that we are no longer a Christian nation.

We The People are doomed if we won’t stand up for what is right and good.  Personal responsibility and honest self interest have served this nation well as we have grown and prospered.  While some grow extremely wealthy, many are lifted up because of their pursuit of the American Dream.  Jobs are created, the free market drives innovation and generous people give to support those who are less fortunate.  People of character work hard.  People of character don’t want hand outs, they want opportunities.  People of character will lend a hand.  People of character know right from wrong even if no one is looking.

America needs people of character to step in to the fray and run for office at every level of government.  School boards, city councils, state legislatures, judges and federal offices are all important positions.  Honest people that aren’t looking for what’s in it for them can help turn this country around.  If We The People stand up and support the good guys with our time and money we can vote the in-bred Washington elites out.

UPDATE (09/13/2010):

It’s nine months later and We The People have seen that the slogan HOPE and CHANGE didn’t exactly mean what they said it did. We The People have watched unpopular, oppressive legislation speed through Congress as though they would never have to face another election again with arrogance and impunity. America’s economy is in the worst shape imaginable since the trillion dollar stimulus was going to prevent exactly what we’re experiencing. This administration’s response to criticism is merely that it would have been much worse if they hadn’t done it. Hard to prove, huh?

Now We The People face the mid-term elections. If we don’t clean house in Washington, we’re jumping off the cliff into an America we don’t recognize.  If we don’t fundamentally transform Washington by electing honorable candidates, kiss America as we know it and the Constitution good bye. How should Lady Liberty’s eulogy read?

God Bless America!

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