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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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Filed under Bible Study, Faith, political

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

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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A Cultural Attack on Biblical Marriage


wedding-ring-handsHat’s off to Miss California, Carrie Prejean.  At a time it would have been easy to give a politically correct response to her pageant question; she stood up for her values and supported the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman.  It is troubling that standing up for Biblical values is somehow now politically incorrect or beyond that, even offensive.  A slow erosion of American society’s expectations for a Biblical standard for behavior has led to many small compromises along the way so we can all “just get along.”  As Christians, are supposed to love one another.  This has been twisted over time into total acceptance of this behavior.  We now have “rights” for what used to be called sin.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t hate anyone.  I can love my fellow man without accepting behavior that is self destructive to both themselves and to others around them.  Since the relationship we have with God is like that between a father and a child, if we don’t have that model in our lives anywhere how skewed will our view of any relationship with The Father be?

In Revelations 3:15-21, the Church in Laodicea is warned about being neither hot nor cold and because they are lukewarm, God will spit them out.

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.  (ESV Online)

We now live in a time where it is imperative to choose this day who you will serve.  Our efforts to be tolerant in the name of Christianity have made us luke warm. Each of us is faced with the decision to get along and say nothing about the deterioration of our values or to risk personal consequences for standing up for what we believe.  What do you believe?

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Book Review: The [Expanded] Bible – New Testament


The Expanded BibleThe Expanded Bible – New Testament is a fresh translation from the original Greek by Tremper Longman III (Ph.D., Yale), Mark L. Strauss (Ph.D., Aberdeen) and Daniel Taylor (Ph.D., Emory).  While recognizing the weaknesses inherent in any translation, they strive to maximize the reader’s understanding by giving pertinent detail in [brackets]. The authors have clearly outlined the various in-text notations and what they signify.

From The Expanded Bible Introduction:

One of the virtues of The Expanded Bible is that it represents the best of both approaches, offering idiomatic renderings to clearly convey the meaning of the text, and literal alternatives to show underlying structural features and allow the reader to assess the choices a more meaning-based translation has made.

It is clear that the goal is to give the reader enough pertinent background information to discern the true meaning of any passage.  While reminiscent of the Amplified Bible, it goes far beyond a series of synonyms to include other related passages, cultural notes, as well as insight into other possible meanings.

An excerpt from Acts 10:

14But Peter said, “·No [Absolutely not], Lord! I have never eaten food that is ·unholy [profane; common] or ·unclean [ritually defiled; Cthe OT food laws differentiated Israelites from Gentiles; Lev. 11; Ezek. 4:13–15].”

In this example, the bullet immediately preceding the brackets notes where to start any possible substitution.  The brackets signify the end point.  “C” at the beginning indicates cultural insight.  The related passages are listed as well.  There is a depth of knowledge included on every page.

The authors filled the pages of this Bible with the tools necessary for serious Bible study for anyone for the full range from novice to expert.  This will make a great addition to your Bible study arsenal and personal library.

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Sitting at the Feet of Jesus


open-bible-with-crossIn the midst of railing against what is going on politically, we still need to sit at the feet of Jesus and let His wisdom guide us through the turmoil that encroaches our homes and our peace. This is not to say that it is not essential to speak up about where America is going. We can’t loose sight of the source of our strength, Jesus. We cannot become Marthas.

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42)

It is so easy to get torn away from our time in the word and prayer. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and soaked in everything she needed. My prayer for everyone that we can keep our eyes on Jesus; being strengthened and guided through it. I am blessed. If you call on His name, you will be saved.

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