Friday, November 30, 2012

The Governor's Hometown Award

       Yesterday I spent the day in Springfield with a group from Martinsville on the Move.  We were there to receive 'The Governor's Hometown Award' for Martinsville.  What a wonderful tribute to those like Norma Calvert, Florence & Jason Conner, Linda VonBehren, and George & Becky Greenwell who had vision and persistence in following that vision to improve our city!
       It was awarded to Martinsville because of the huge amount of hours given by the amazing volunteers at the Changing Hands Resale Shoppe, and because of other projects & volunteer work sponsored by Martinsville on the Move.
      There were 5 awards given to cities in each of 6 divisions which were determined by size of population.  We also won First Place in our division.  The first place winners were then entered in the final competition for the Governor's Cup.  East St. Louis won the Governor's Cup but we felt it was quite an honor to even be in the competition.   One of the judges walked out of the Governor's mansion with us at the end of the program and shared with us that she was so impressed with what Martinsville on the Move was doing and that we actually were near the top in the final competition.  Amazing, isn't it!!  Our little town of Martinsville, population of about 1200, really IS on the MOVE!
      I especially enjoyed hearing about the projects of the other cities who won the awards.  All were inspirational and many were ideas to consider as projects for our town.
     All in all it was a very interesting and exciting day!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It is time for holiness to return to the church.

     Today it is difficult to tell the church from the rest of the world.  The divorce rate of Christians is the same (or higher) than that of the rest of the world.  We hear reports almost daily of pastors who have fallen into sin and there doesn't even seem to be an outcry against it.  What ever happened to holiness?  What about repentance with Godly sorrow?  Do we really fear God?  Have we decided He doesn't mean what He says in the Bible--that it only contains "suggestions" for living instead of His righteous laws?  Why aren't we ashamed of tarnishing the Name of Christ?
     We often believe a person is spiritual when he displays 'gifts of the Spirit' but it is 'fruit of the Spirit' that defines a Christian.  Matthew 7 points out that many who operate in 'the gifts' will not inherit the kingdom.  Then how are we to determine which ministries are representative of the Kingdom of God?
       In this excerpt from John Paul Jackson's November newsletter, he talks about the fruit of a Christ-like life and what we are to look for in evaluating ministries.  I appreciate his wisdom.  You can read the entire newsletter here, if you're interested.

      Healings, miracles, signs and wonders are not fruit; they are gifts, and that being the case, what fruit are we to look for in any ministry?
  • Do the people have a greater love and concern for others than they have for themselves?
  • Do they radiate a contagious joy that others feel and take on?
  • Do they ooze a tranquil peace when life’s events do not go the way they anticipated?
  • Do they show a steadfastness or unwavering nature in the midst of long suffering, betrayal or deep disappointment?
  • Do they display gentleness with others who appear weaker or less capable?
  • Do they have an overriding goodness that seeks the wellbeing of others over their own wellbeing?
  • Do they have a faith in the unseen and the “not yet” purposes of God?
  • Do they radiate a meekness or softness, evidenced by how they handle others when they disagree with them?
  • Do they display a temperance or an ability to master their passions and desires?
These nine points are found in Galatians 5 and are noted as fruit of the Spirit. All deeply spiritual people will have fruit that is spiritual. Why? Because thorns produce thorns and grapes produce grapes. That which is Spirit will always have spiritual fruit.
There must be a change in the moral fiber of the Church, because the culture is not to blame for the condition of the Church, but the Church is to blame for the condition of the culture. When the Church actually begins to behave like the Body of Christ, we will see the fruit of that — not only in our pastors and ministers but also in our judicial systems and in our politicians. In other words, the culture will reflect the Church’s passion for Jesus.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

General Motors is becoming China Motors

     Why isn't this published by the media so everyone can know that Barack Obama's bailout of GM is benefitting only China with our tax dollars?  If the media won't get the word out, we must.  Please tell your friends & family.  Get everyone to watch this video.  China is going to own our country's assets without even firing a shot.  It looks as if they are well on their way!

Regina Brett's 45 Lessons Life Taught Me

      This great list sent by our friend, Greg, arrived in my mail box this morning.  It is worth posting and reading several times.  We take ourselves, & life, much too seriously as far as 'ought to's" and forget to really live.  Let's determine to have an attitude of gratitude and live life to the fullest, making the best of every situation, enjoying the people God sends our way.  We only live once.  What a tragedy to get to the end and realize we really didn't LIVE--we just existed!

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

     "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good..
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends    and parents will. Stay   
     in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15.. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no 
      one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special 
      occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words :'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life..
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Post Mortem by Laura Hollis

     I wasn't planning to post anything else about the election, but this is such a good analysis and commentary on the results of--and the reasons for the results--of the election that it seemed one more post couldn't hurt.
(by Townhall columnist Laura Hollis, an attorney and professor of law and entrepreneurshipresiding in Indiana.)

1. We are outnumbered
       We accurately foresaw the enthusiasm, the passion, the commitment, the determination, and the turnout. Married women, men, independents, Catholics, evangelicals – they all went for Romney in percentages as high as, or higher than, the groups which voted for McCain in 2008. It wasn’t enough.
       What we saw in the election on Tuesday was a tipping point: we are now at a place where there are legitimately fewer Americans who desire a free republic with a free people than there are those who think the government should give them stuff. There are fewer of us who believe in the value of free exchange and free enterprise. There are fewer of us who do not wish to demonize successful people in order to justify taking from them. For the moment we are outnumbered. It’s just that simple.

2. It wasn’t the candidate(s) 
       Some are already saying, “Romney was the wrong guy”; “He should have picked Marco Rubio to get Florida/Rob Portman to get Ohio/Chris Christie to get [someplace else].” With all due respect, these assessments are incorrect. Romney ran a strategic and well-organized campaign. Yes, he could have hit harder on Benghazi. But for those who would have loved that, there are those who would have found it distasteful. No matter what tactic you could point to that Romney could have done better, it would have been spun in a way that was detrimental to his chances. Romney would have been an excellent president, and Ryan was an inspired choice. No matter who we ran this year, they would have lost. See #1, above.

3. It’s the culture, stupid
     We have been trying to fight this battle every four years at the voting booth. It is long past time we admit that that is not where the battle really is. We abdicated control of the culture – starting back in the 1960s. And now our largest primary social institutions – education, the media, Hollywood (entertainment) have become really nothing more than an assembly line for cranking out reliable little Leftists. Furthermore, we have allowed the government to undermine the institutions that instill good character – marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches.
        So, here we are, at least two full generations later – we are reaping what we have sown. It took nearly fifty years to get here; it will take another fifty years to get back. But it starts with the determination to reclaim education, the media, and the entertainment business. If we fail to do that, we can kiss every election goodbye from here on out. And much more.

4. America has become a nation of adolescents
       The real loser in this election was adulthood: Maturity. Responsibility. The understanding that liberty must be accompanied by self-restraint. Obama is a spoiled child, and the behavior and language of his followers and their advertisements throughout the campaign makes it clear how many of them are, as well. Romney is a grown-up.
       Romney should have won. Those of us who expected him to win assumed that voters would act like grownups. Because if we were a nation of grownups, he would have won.
But what did win? Sex. Drugs. Bad language. Bad manners. Vulgarity. Lies. Cheating. Name-calling. Finger-pointing. Blaming. And irresponsible spending.
       This does not bode well. People grow up one of two ways: either they choose to, or circumstances force them to. The warnings are all there, whether it is the looming economic disaster, or the inability of the government to respond to crises like Hurricane Sandy, or the growing strength and brazenness of our enemies. American voters stick their fingers in their ears and say, “Lalalalalala, I can’t hear you.”
        It is unpleasant to think about the circumstances it will take to force Americans to grow up. It is even more unpleasant to think about Obama at the helm when those circumstances arrive.

5. Yes, there is apparently a Vagina Vote
        It’s the subject matter of another column in its entirety to point out, one by one, all of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the Democrats this year. Suffice it to say that the only “war on women” was the one waged by the Obama campaign, which sexualized and objectified women, featuring them dressed up like vulvas at the Democrat National Convention, appealing to their “lady parts,” comparing voting to losing your virginity with Obama, trumpeting the thrills of destroying our children in the womb (and using our daughters in commercials to do so), and making Catholics pay for their birth control. For a significant number of women, this was appealing. It might call into question the wisdom of the Nineteenth Amendment, but for the fact that large numbers of women (largely married) used their “lady smarts” instead. Either way, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are rolling over in their graves.

6. It’s not about giving up on “social issues”
      No Republican candidate should participate in a debate or go out on the stump without thorough debate prep and a complete set of talking points that they stick to. This should start with a good grounding in biology and a reluctance to purport to know the will of God. (Thank you, Todd and Richard.)

      That said, we do not hold the values we do because they garner votes. We hold the values we do because we believe that they are time-tested principles without which a civilized, free and prosperous society is not possible.
      We defend the unborn because we understand that a society which views some lives as expendable is capable of viewing all lives as expendable.
      We defend family – mothers, fathers, marriage, children – because history makes it quite clear that societies without intact families quickly descend into anarchy and barbarism, and we have plenty of proof of that in our inner cities where marriage is infrequent and unwed motherhood approaches 80 percent. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, many thought that the abortion cause was lost. Forty years later, ultrasound technology has demonstrated the inevitable connection between science and morality. More Americans than ever define themselves as “pro-life.”
      What is tragic is that tens of millions of children have lost their lives while Americans figure out what should have been obvious before.
      There is no “giving up” on social issues. There is only the realization that we have to fight the battle on other fronts. The truth will out in the end.

7. Obama does not have a mandate. And he does not need one.
        I have to laugh – bitterly – when I read conservative pundits trying to assure us that Obama “has to know” that he does not have a mandate, and so he will have to govern from the middle. I don’t know what they’re smoking. Obama does not care that he does not have a mandate. He does not view himself as being elected (much less re-elected) to represent individuals. He views himself as having been re-elected to complete the “fundamental transformation” of America, the basic structure of which he despises.
         Expect much more of the same – largely the complete disregard of the will of half the American public, his willingness to rule by executive order, and the utter inability of another divided Congress to rein him in. Stanley Kurtz has it all laid out.

8. The Corrupt Media is the enemy
       Too strong? I don’t think so. I have been watching the media try to throw elections since at least the early 1990s. In 2008 and again this year, we saw the media cravenly cover up for the incompetence and deceit of this President, while demonizing a good, honorable and decent man with lies and smears.
This is on top of the daily barrage of insults that conservatives (and by that I mean the electorate, not the politicians) must endure at the hands of this arrogant bunch of elitist snobs. Bias is one thing. What we observed with Benghazi was professional malpractice and fraud. They need to go.
        Republicans, Libertarians and other conservatives need to be prepared to play hardball with the Pravdapress from here on out. And while we are at it, to defend those journalists of whatever political stripe (Jake Tapper, Sharyl Atkisson, Eli Lake) who actually do their jobs. As well as Fox News and talk radio. Because you can fully expect a re-elected Obama to try to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in term 2.

9. Small business and entrepreneurs will be hurt the worst
       For all the blather about “Wall Street versus Main Street,” Obama’s statist agenda will unquestionably benefit the biggest corporations which – as with the public sector unions – are in the best position to make campaign donations, hire lobbyists, and get special exemptions carved out from Obama’s health care laws, his environmental regulations, his labor laws. It will be the small business, the entrepreneur, and the first-time innovators who will be crushed by their inability to compete on a level playing field.

10. America is more polarized than ever; and this time it’s personal
        I’ve been following politics for a long time, and it feels different this time. Not just for me. I’ve received messages from other conservatives who are saying the same thing: there is little to no tolerance left out there for those who are bringing this country to its knees – even when they have been our friends. It isn’t just about “my guy” versus “your guy.” It is my view of America versus your view of America – a crippled, hemorrhaging, debt-laden, weakened and dependent America that I want no part of and resent being foisted on me. I no longer have any patience for stupidity, blindness, or vulgarity, so with each dumb “tweet” or FB post by one of my happily lefty comrades, another one bites the dust, for me. Delete.
       What does this portend for a divided Congress? I expect that Republicans will be demoralized and chastened for a short time. But I see them in a bad position. Americans in general want Congress to work together. But many do not want Obama’s policies, and so Republicans who support them will be toast. Good luck, guys.

11. It’s possible that America just has to hit rock bottom
        I truly believe that most Americans who voted for Obama have no idea what they are in for. Most simply believe him when he says that all he really wants is for the rich to pay “a little bit more.” So reasonable! Who could argue with that except a greedy racist?
        America is on a horrific bender. Has been for some time now. The warning signs of our fiscal profligacy and culture of lack of personal responsibility are everywhere – too many to mention. We need only look at other countries which have gone the route we are walking now to see what is in store.
       For the past four years – but certainly within the past campaign season – we have tried to warn Americans. Too many refuse to listen, even when all of the events that have transpired during Obama’s presidency – unemployment, economic stagnation, skyrocketing prices, the depression of the dollar, the collapse of foreign policy, Benghazi, hopelessly inept responses to natural disasters – can be tied directly to Obama’s statist philosophies, and his decisions.
       What that means, I fear, is that they will not see what is coming until the whole thing collapses. That is what makes me so sad today.
        I see the country I love headed toward its own “rock bottom,” and I cannot seem to reach those who are taking it there.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Here is a night picture of our tree:

A Different Tree Than I Had Imagined

      We have our Christmas tree up.  It is beautiful, we think, and entirely different than we've ever had.  For one thing--it is artificial.  We always put up a real tree.  See last year's tree post for a comparison.   This year I had planned to do the same but one thing led to another...    
     Since our ceiling is so high in the living room, I love getting the tallest tree I can find each year.  This year, though, 10 feet seemed to be the tallest, and then our daughter called to say they would be coming after New Year's instead of at Christmas.  Since I usually take the tree down right after Christmas, I just couldn't get excited about putting up a tree that wasn't as tall as I wanted and that wouldn't be enjoyed by many people.
      I then decided I would set the small artificial tree (already decorated) that I usually use in the window over the entryway on a table and call the house 'ready for Christmas'.  I couldn't seem to resist getting out some of the decorations I enjoy, though.   As I began to arrange them I seemed inclined to use the silver and white things and frosted garland on the mantle over the fireplace in the living room.  That looked so pretty!  But then the little red & gold decorated artificial tree looked so out of place and the plant shelf over the entry looked so bare!  I decided I might as well put the little tree in its usual place and find something else for the living room.
    Country Guy and I decided to go shopping--on Black Friday no less--to see if we could find a 7 or 8 foot artificial tree that we could decorate with silver, sparkles, and glass this year and then use it in the basement in coming years.  We found a beautiful 7 foot pre-lit tree at Menard's, called Arctic Frost, which looks very real and was the most reasonably priced of any we looked at, so we were excited!
     Sydney & Owen spent the night Saturday.  We had a great time decorating the tree and we're thrilled at how beautiful it turned out.
     I'm including a photo (which doesn't do the tree justice) so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.  I guess I should have taken the picture before the sun shone through the window but then I wasn't thinking about writing about it last night!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Daily Bread 11/18/12

God’s Word is filled with warning labels, alerting us to things that are harmful to our spiritual health. When we read, “These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him” (Prov. 6:16), it grabs our attention like a flashing warning signal. The list that follows (vv.17-19) warns against destructive tendencies like pride and dishonesty—sins that damage earthly relationships and grieve our heavenly Father. The text further states that “reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (v.23). In other words, God’s warnings aren’t meant to take the fun out of life, but rather to protect and preserve life.
I’ll always remember as a child standing with my friend Bobby outside after church and watching him suddenly run toward the busy street. I heard his mother yell, “Stop!” It was a warning to protect him, not to hinder his freedom.
Too often we’ve ignored God’s warnings to stop running in the wrong direction and suffered the consequences. Let’s remember that there’s freedom in heeding His warnings. They’re for our good.
Lord, thank You for the warnings in Your Word
that are intended to protect and preserve my life.
Help me to heed Your reproofs and instruction
that I may live a life that is pleasing to You.
God’s Word is full of loving warnings
to protect and preserve us.
READ: Proverbs 6:16-22
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

I looked the above passage up in The Message translation.  It is even clearer there:

Seven Things God Hates

16-19 Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.
20-23 Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
    don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
    wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
    whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
    when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
    good teaching is a light,
    moral discipline is a life path.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Daily Rant by Mychal Massie--Lessons Not Learned

      I love Mychal Massie's blog.  He is practical, passionate and bold in speaking the truth.  He says so many things most people believe but are afraid of being called racist and intolerant if they spoke them openly.  Since he is black he has a little more leeway to say them but it certainly takes courage for him to go against popular opinion--or at least the opinion the liberal media says we're supposed to have.
     I firmly believe we have been intimidated into silence by those who don't want the truth spoken.  We must reclaim our right to free speech and to disagree with those who hold values contrary to the principles our country was founded upon.  That is one reason I post articles like this one with which I totally agree--they say what I would like to say so much better than I can.
     Here is another post (which is actually a repost) that I found insightful and true.

 Daily Rant  by Mychal Massie

Lessons Not Learned – From My Vault

Lessons Not Learned – From My Vault

The following is a syndicated article written by me and published May 16, 2006.
George Wilhelm Hegel is credited with saying, “What experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principle.”
To merely suggest that there is an abundance of wisdom contained in that 21-word sentence is a gross understatement. And nowhere at present is its truth more evident than in the mishandling of the illegal immigrant situation.
Just as radical Islam is not a religion, it is a murderous cult of unparalleled evil, and just as abortion is not about choice, but the selfish, paganistic murder of innocent unborn children, illegals are not simply nice migratory agrarians searching for a better life. They are criminals, they are dishonest and they are usurpers, ultimately controlled by those with a political agenda.
Jimmy Carter’s ineptness and treachery led to the unleashing of Islamic terrorism in the modern civilized world. Bill Clinton’s non-responsiveness after the World Trade Center bombings in 1993 gave rise to the bombings of American interests around the world and resulted in Sept. 11. President Bush’s coddling of Islam as a peaceful religion has been evidenced by beheadings, Fallujah and manipulative attacks against journalists and talk-program hosts by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
A boot on the throat of Islamic fundamentalism and the conviction to challenge groups like CAIR would have spared America and her citizens much pain. However, our government and far too many citizens – having learned nothing from history – played pity-pat with the devil to our harm. As I continue to point out, we now capitulate to illegal aliens at the risk of the destruction of our way of life.
We must be inflexible hardliners when it comes to defending and enforcing immigration laws and when it comes to defending our borders. One primary reason is, as Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies correctly points out: “We cannot allow illegals turned legal into a well-developed welfare state.” Doing so would create a fatal, debilitative drain on the middle class.
Internal Revenue Service figures show the bottom 50 percent of wage earners paid 3.46 percent of all income taxes in 2003. Yet we know they consumed the greatest amount of government sponsored aid and entitlements. This group is comprised of couples filing jointly who earned less than $29,019 in that same year.
Illegals are already consuming tremendous amounts of unwarranted government subsidies provided at taxpayer expense. Then factor in the additional monetary drain that would be associated with over 12 million illegals suddenly given carte blanche access to federal programs such as Medicaid, Section-8 housing, and food-assistance programs. Many of them already freely enjoy the benefits of programs like WIC (Women, Infants and Children).
It is an undeniable fact that the majority of illegals are – at best – poorly educated, low-income workers. And if this single fact is to be disputed, then there remains no supportive argument for those who claim illegals do the work Americans won’t do. But I get ahead of myself.
There is a reason that legal immigration has been strictly regulated – maintaining strict limits on how many unskilled, skilled and professional immigrant applicants were admitted each year. Accordingly, how will creating another dependent class better America? What will creating another dependent class do to the already supposedly strained resources of the middle class?
Americans sat on their voices pursuant to the homosexual agenda until we were confronted with the redefining of marriage. Americans were passively ambivalent pursuant to liberal socialist judges, until Kelo vs. Connecticut opened the door for private property to be seized and given to private industry.
America cannot afford to applaud the president for a promise to strengthen our borders, without a specifically defined way to repatriate the illegal aliens residing within our borders – no matter how long they have been here.
If history has repeatedly taught one thing, it is that there are instances where hostile belligerence and indifference on our part is not only acceptable – it is in the interest of our secure well-being to be nothing less. This is a seminal moment pursuant to the future of our culture. We cannot afford to be nice. We can only afford to preserve our nation as one with liberty and justice for all legal citizens – not criminal vagabonds who bully their way in.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Romans 1

      Are you reading the New Testament in chronological order with me?  Weren't you amazed this morning how well Paul described the disdain for God and the resulting lawlessness that is rampant in our country today in Romans 1?  In case you haven't had time to read it, I'll insert it here.  I usually read the NIV version but after being so amazed at how accurate the description was, I looked it up in The Message, too.
     Revival is our only hope!

Romans 1:20-32

The Message (MSG)

Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral

18-23 But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

24-25 So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

26-27 Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

28-32 Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Words of wisdom; Creative turkey

I saw these on The Northern Gleaner blog and wanted to share them with you:

Some people are so creative, aren't they?  Who would ever think of making a turkey out of vegetables?

Story #2 from the Conference last weekend

   This story was quite an encouragement to those of us who want to be used by the Lord to speak encouraging, edifying and comforting words to all who need to know God loves them.  It is not up to u to decide if the word is important enough in our eyes to give.

     Joni Ames said she was on a team of people under the leadership of Rick Joyner who were being trained in the prophetic  This team was ministering at a conference and were given the instructions to look around at the participants of the conference to see if God highlights one in particular to you and then ask Him for a word for that person.  Then go give it to him/her.
      She said one lady, in particular, stood out to her, but the only thing she heard to tell her was that "God loves her."  She thought that was a generic thing to say, that she obviously wasn't hearing God clearly, and kept asking for Him to give her a "word" for the woman.  When she didn't hear anything else she decided she had been wrong and therefore wouldn't speak something so simple.  Anyone could speak that kind of word to her.
     Rick came to the microphone and said there was someone on his team who had a word for someone but was not giving it because they didn't think it was good enough.  He said God had told him if the person wasn't faithful in the little, He couldn't give the much.  Joni knew he was speaking about her and since she wanted "much" from God she would give the word even if she did feel ridiculous giving such a short simple word.
     She walked up to the woman and told her "God loves you."  When she said it the woman collapsed onto the floor in sobs and wailing.  When she finally calmed down, she told Joni her story.  She said she had to travel over a large bridge to get to the conference.  When she crossed the bridge she said to herself that if someone didn't tell her at this conference that "God loves you", she was going to jump off this bridge on the way home.  Her life was saved by three simple words!

     What an amazing story!  How important to be obedient to speak words of encouragement to others!  They may change a life!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Story #1 from the Conference last weekend

    Joni Ames told an amazing story at the conference last weekend.  She said she was in Birmingham, AL, at the request of an Episcopal priest.  During the day she had agreed to see people on an individual basis to give them a prophetic word.  A priest who knew she was in town, but not connected to the church where she was ministering, called to see if she would pray with a young woman from his church.  She readily agreed to see her.
     The room she was ministering in was in the basement.  As this lady came down the stairs the advertising jingle, "You see Libby, Libby, Libby on the label, label, label, etc." popped into her head.  She said she dismissed it and told herself to get down to business.  It was very obvious the young woman was pregnant.  As she sat down the advertising jingle popped into her head again so Joni decided she would tell it to the young woman who had told her nothing about herself or her reason for coming.  When she mentioned the Libby, Libby, Libby ditty the woman nodded as if to encourage her to continue.
    As soon as she told her the song, a picture popped into Joni's head of a table set with 3 plates, cups and spoons and Jesus standing there sweeping his arm toward the lady as He said, "you can have this if you want it."
   As Joni said that to the young woman her face lit up with a smile.  She said, "Thank you," and left without saying anything else.
    Joni thought that was really unusual, but then forgot about it as others came for ministry.  The next year when she was at the same church someone asked her if she had heard the story of the young pregnant woman she had prayed with last year.  Joni said no, she knew nothing about her.  The person proceeded to tell her the woman was pregnant with triplets but the doctor had said one of them was not growing and was causing problems with the pregnancy and her health, so he recommended "selective reduction" by removing the child that wasn't healthy to enable the other two to come to term. He said, though, there was no guarantee that could be done without harming the other two and might terminate the pregnancy.  The young woman didn't know what to do and had gone to her pastor who knew Joni was in town.  He sent her there in hopes Joni would hear a word from the Lord for her.
    The young woman's name was unusual so they had always called her "Libby".  When Joni told her the picture she saw, Libby knew that Jesus was offering her all three babies.  She left knowing what she would do--she would keep all 3 babies.  Within 2 weeks all the babies were the same size and she carried all three healthy babies to term.
     Five years later when Joni was again in Birmingham, she was told a lady with her children wanted meet her.  When they came in the children ran to her, hugging her and calling her Grandma.  The lady said she didn't know why they did that, she had not told them to.  They said, "But Mom remember the dream we had with the lady in it and Jesus told us that was our grandma.  This is the lady in the dream." Those were the triplets saved because of a word from the Lord delivered by a woman who didn't understand what she was hearing but was obedient to speak it.   Isn't that an amazing story!!

This blogpost by Sarah Bessey yesterday seems to encourage us to do the very thing Joni did.  Step out!  Know we are called by God to be His messenger in any way He sees fit.  I thought you might enjoy reading it if you haven't already.  Thanks to Mariann for calling it to my attention.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gifts of the Spirit

      Have you ever wondered why many churches don't talk about the gifts of the Spirit?  I have.  It seems to me they are not preaching the full gospel and are in danger of falling into the category of "having a form of godliness but denying the power" that II Tim. 3:5 speaks of and warns us to stay away from, if they don't include the fact that Jesus died not only to make a way for us to go to Heaven, but also to give us His Holy Spirit to live in us here on earth.  The Holy Spirit manifests in us in different ways and at different times as "gifts of the Spirit."  In 1 Cor. 12, Paul says, 7 "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."  

Paul goes on to say in verse 27 "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts."

       Obviously Paul believes the gifts of the Spirit are for the church.  He continues speaking of gifts of the Spirit in chapters 13 and 14 of 1 Corinthians.  He ends chapter 14 with these words, 39 "Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."  I believe that people are going to begin to flock to those churches who believe and preach the whole gospel because as times get even worse God will be their only hope.  People are looking for a power greater than themselves.  They see that if the supernatural is not welcomed then our religion becomes "something we can do for ourselves"--having a form of godliness but denying the power. 

     All the gifts are important to the Body of Christ.  We are in need of hope which comes from demonstrations of power through the operation of the gifts of the Spirit.  We live in discouraging and frightening times which we are constantly reminded of by the media as they bombard us daily with bad news.  Right now, though, I am particularly interested in learning more about prophecy which is given for the encouragement, edification and comfort of the Body. As Dale Gentry says," Just one word from the Lord can change your life forever." How needed this gift is today!  That's one reason we went to the conference at the Wabash Valley International House of Prayer last weekend with Joni Ames.  There we heard some incredible stories of how prophecy worked to change the lives of those she ministered to.  I will share a couple of them with you tomorrow.


From L.A. Marzulli's Blog

     God's word says that He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse them.  I believe it is important for all of us to understand this and to help others see what is going on in the news media to predispose us to side with the Arab world.  We must educate ourselves.  It is imperative our country stands with Israel.

From L.A. Marzulli's Blog:

The Daily Post:
      I believe there is a supernatural hatred of Israel and it is manifesting like never before.  Let's take a look at the current crisis and examine the facts.
      1.  HAMAS will not recognize Israel's right to exist.
      2.  HAMAS fired upward of 200 rockets into Israel BEFORE Israel retaliated.
      3.  HAMAS won the election in GAZA and set the present course of attacking Israel.
      4.  Israel gave up land for peace in 2007 when they relinquished GAZA to the Palestinians.  The mortar and rocket fire began as they were leaving.... so much for land for peace.  Israel gives up the land and they get NO peace.
       5.  Egypt's Moslem Brotherhood has declared Jerusalem will be the capital of the United Arab States.
       Our news media avoids and perhaps deliberately obfuscates informing the American people of the facts.  I show a clip from an Arab news outlet showing the fiery Imam, Higazi at a rally for now elected Egyptian president Morsi.  Higazi is telling the thousands of people gathered there, Morsi will liberate GAZA.  Next there is a song whose lyrics declare ; it's time to wake the sleep from the eyes of the Jews.  Higazi then proclaims Jerusalem will be the capital of the United Arab States.

     I ask for a show of hands of how many people in the audience have seen the clip.  I get a few hands raised, but the other 99% of the folks have never seen this.  The American people have the right to see for themselves the underlying, overwhelming hatred of Israel and the Jews.  Without seeing this, current events can and are being spun to placate the Palestinians and make them look like victims.
      In closing todays post: Please take a moment and watch the video I linked to and see for yourself the unmitigated vitriol aimed at Israel and the Jews.  Israel has the right to exist and if she does not then neither does, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq as all of these countries were formed after WWI.  It is unconscionable that the American people have not seen the video above and so remain in the dark as to the real intent of the Arab states who surround Israel.  Now we see this hatred spreading to other countries.  Please forward this link so people can see for themselves, the unedited, real intent of Moslem Brotherhood and HAMAS.