Tag Archives: Freedom

A Thought on “You’ve Got To Stand For Something.”

Maybe you’ve heard the old Arron Tippin song, “You’ve Got To Stand For Something.” If you haven’t you might want to view this before you go any further. I’m still hopeful that most of you might be able to catch a clue from just the title, but it’s better to make certain anymore than to leave any room for doubt.

Now in case you’re thinking I’m going to write about standing up for what you believe in, you can go ahead and give yourself a point, but you might want to hold off on giving yourself any more until you’ve read this thing through because there’s always the chance I might surprise you. I never was much of a baseball player, but I always thought it’d be the neatest thing to be able to throw a curve ball, so just imagine me standing on the pitching mound and winding up.

Over the last year, I’ve heard enough garbage to cover a small country, and that’s being kind if you want to know the truth. And if that’s not bad enough, I’ve heard it coming from every quarter and segment of society. We won’t even mention politics/politicians because to do so would almost be akin to flattering garbage, and yes, I’m being mean, and I know it, but I’ve never been much to hide what I think or feel, and I’m of the opinion it’s better to be honest and less than kind, than it is to be nice and a liar and a hypocrite. Sometimes you just have to call’em like you see’em.

You name it, I’ve heard just about every excuse, justification, rationalization, and every other word one can use to describe someone who stretches something to such extremes that to call it a lie would be like saying that Dolly Parton doesn’t have big boobs. I mean no disrespect to Mrs. Dolly, and I realize that someone reading this might be offended, and the United Nations might send me a letter for hate speech, and Chris Matthews might call me a ‘bumkin,” and our President might have me kicked off the internet, and if any of that should happen . . . Well, all I can say is “Thank God.”

The way I have it figured, somebody ought to at the very least say it because it sure doesn’t look like there’s very many people in this country who show much in the way of appreciation. I’m all for freedom, and I’d stand up for anyone’s right to say what they think, and to believe in whatever or whoever they choose, but when did it become acceptable in this country for everybody else to have their say and express what they think, and yet when it comes to my believing in and living my life for Christ, and wanting to share my love, and what I think and believe in an honest and (mostly) respectful way somebody else can attack me in the most hateful and ugly way.

Now, I want you to understand something; I’m not complaining about being treated by people who are hateful and ugly. I consider that an honor and a privilege, but just in the interest of freedom, respect, and just plain old-fashioned courtesy whatever happened to just listening to someone else’s point of view without trying to shout over them or call them all kinds of vile names. Why is it that every single minority and almost all groups, religions and philosophies are readily accepted, and every kind of filth is shamelessly promoted and encouraged, and yet when it comes to anyone who takes a different view or stands in opposition to anything-especially if they’re a Christian-then they’re labeled as being intolerant, narrow-minded, and bigoted, and those are just the nice words.

The shame of it isn’t that they’re attacking “Christianity,” but that they’re attacking the “U.S. Constitution” that guarantees my right to be one. You want to attack me for loving Jesus Christ, for believing that He’s the Son of God, and that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God, go ahead, and more power to you. As Clint Eastwood says, “Make my day!”

BUT, just consider this . . . if they’re willing to do away with the “U.S. Constitution” in order to strip me of my rights what’s to stop them from stripping yours?

I’m not asking you to believe the way I do, though I think and believe that my way is the right way, but is it too much to ask that the freedom I’m guaranteed under the “U.S. Constitution” be honored? If not? I’d like to ask you one more question . . . What would you like to say to the parents of all those who have shed blood and died for it?

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes” by Horatius Bonar

The Christians Continuance In The Law.

“Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”- Jam_1:25.

It is of ‘blessedness’ that the apostle is speaking here; the blessedness of doing, not of believing, or rather, of doing as the result of believing. Paul dwells on the latter, James on the former. Both are to be kept in view. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven (Psa_32:1); and blessed is he ‘that believeth’ (Luk_1:45; Joh_20:29). But blessed also are ‘they that do His commandments’ (Rev_22:14); blessed are ‘they that keep His testimonies’ (Psa_69:2); blessed is the man ‘that delighteth greatly in His commandments’ (Psa_62:1). Let us see the apostle’s statement here.

I. The law-This is the Hebrew torah, the Greek nomos, the Latin lex, and the English law; all of them expressive of two great ideas,-a superior that instructs and enjoins, an inferior that learns and obeys. It touches our minds as instruction; and our wills as precept. Through these two it touches or operates upon our life. In some parts it touches more the former, as in the psalms, in others our wills, as in the ten commandments, though sometimes it is mixed, as in Proverbs and the prophets. We do not take up the question whether ‘law,’ as used by James, refers exclusively to the Sinaitic code. We affirm, however, that it includes these, as is evident from Jam_2:8; Jam_2:12; Jam_4:2, where two of the ten are specified, and the summary of the law is given, ‘the royal law.’ Plainly, then, the apostle refers to the moral law in his epistle. If any one say that James was writing to Jews, we answer, (1) Paul, writing to Gentiles, uses law in reference to the ten commandments (Rom_13:8-10). (2) This makes no difference, for they were believing Jews, members of the body of Christ.

II. The perfect law.-By this we understand the same as in Rom_7:12 : ‘The law is holy (as a whole), and the commandment (each of its commandments) holy, and just, and good.’ It is altogether ‘perfect,’ complete in all its parts; not reduced, or narrowed, or modified; fully unfolded; more fully now than ever; established (Rom_3:31); not destroyed; fulfilled by Christ, and to be fulfilled by us as His disciples. The law is now expanded to the uttermost, and exhibited in all its parts; held forth in all its fullness. Never was its excellence and righteousness seen so gloriously. Some of the excellent names applied to it are,-(1) spiritual, Rom_7:14; (2) holy, Rev_7:16; (3) just, ib.; (4) good, ib.; (5) fiery, Deu_33:2; (6) perfect, Psa_19:7. The 119th Psalm is full of expressions denoting in manifold ways its excellence and glory; its entire and divine perfection.

III. The law of liberty.-It is only bondage to the unforgiven. To those in reference to whom its penalty has ceased, it is a law of liberty. Obedience to it is true liberty. The greater the obedience, the greater the liberty. Disobedience is bondage. ‘I will walk at liberty, for I seek Thy precepts’ (Psa_119:45). Twice over in James it is called the law of liberty; for the law, fulfilled in Christ, and presented to us in the gospel, though unchanged and unmodified, is a law of liberty. In obeying it we are enjoying and exercising true freedom.

IV. We are to look into it.-This means stooping down so as to gaze closely into, as in 1Pe_1:12. We are to study the law, the whole law. It will unfold its riches to us. There is no terror in it now to make us shrink back. It smiles on us. Let us hide it in our hearts. Thus David speaks: ‘I will meditate in Thy precepts’ (Psa_119:15); ‘In His law doth he meditate day and night’ (Psa_1:2). ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things’ (Psa_119:18). ‘Thy servant did meditate in Thy statutes’ (Psa_119:23). Psa_119:30; Psa_119:40; Psa_119:48; Psa_119:71; Psa_119:78; Psa_119:93-95; Psa_119:97; Psa_119:99; Psa_119:131; Psa_119:148. In the cross we see the law magnified and made honourable; let us then study it as thus illustrated and interpreted by the cross. The cross is a magnifying glass for revealing the breadth and purity of the law, yet with all that could terrify us taken away.

V. We are to continue in it-Looking and study is not enough. We are to abide in it, be molded thereby. ‘I do not forget Thy law’ (Psa_119:153). ‘I will have respect unto Thy statutes continually’ (Psa_119:117; Psa_119:112; Psa_119:102; Psa_119:93; Psa_119:83). It is not a look, nor even a compliance, nor many compliances; it is a continuing in the law that is enjoined on us. Steep yourself in its spirit; abide in it (Pro_28:4). ‘Thy law is within my heart’ (Psa_90:8).

VI. The blessedness of so doing-That man shall be blessed in the doing; not merely after the deed, but in the doing. In keeping Thy commandment there is great reward. ‘Great peace have they that love Thy law’ (Psa_119:165); that delight in the law (Psa_119:24; Psa_119:77). The apostle delighted in the law, found blessedness in keeping it. Obedience is blessedness. Each act of obedience is so. Fill the whole life with such acts, and you fill it with blessedness. Love is the fulfilling of the law, and each act is a flowing out of love to God and man. All acts of love are blessedness.

We are delivered from the law’s condemnation. We are ‘not under the law, but under grace.’ But shall we obey it the less? No, the more; for to this end we are delivered, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. The condemnation of the law is cancelled, that the righteousness of the law might be free to exhibit itself in us, who are still ‘under the law to Christ;’ for the law is still good, if a man use it lawfully.

 

 

If You Love God, This Country, and Our Freedom….

Lyn Leahz published this on her blog, and I think it’s one of the most important and informative videos you’ll ever see. I can’t recommend it enough.  Please don’t ignore this!  It’s been ignored too long already.  We can’t afford to do so any longer… 

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian

SEEK RECONCILIATION

Sometimes the only way to get over your hurt feelings is to seek reconciliation.  And if you are willing, God will help you do it.  George Elliot wrote: “Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”  A college teacher who was teaching on the high cost of unforgiveness asked each of her students to bring a sack of potatoes to class.  For each person they refused to forgive, they had to select a potato and write the date on it beside that person’s name.  Then for a month, without fail, they had to carry that sack of potatoes with them wherever they went.  After lugging those sacks around for a while each student began to recognize how much weight they were carrying; the amount of energy it took to focus on their bag; and that they had to be careful not to leave it in the wrong place.  Eventually, as the potatoes began to rot and stink, they realized that getting rid of them was the only smart thing to do.  Jesus said, “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good.  If you don’t…what are you going to do with them?” (Jn 20:23 TM).  Good question!  How would you like God to forgive you in the same way you forgive others?  If that thought makes you uncomfortable, do something about it!

A Thought on Our Country

     So what do you think?  Is our country in trouble?  Do you feel as if the America you grew up in is disappearing?  As if everything that you grew up believing and thinking and living your life by is now under attack?  Are you afraid, fearful, worried about what’s going to happen, and how your chldren are going to fare in the future?  Do you look at the future with a sense of hope, with a belief that the opportunities, dreams and desires you’ve been looking forward to will still be there.

     There’s a lot of people these days who are deeply troubled, and who are really in trouble; trouble that comes in the shape and form of survival, of surviving from day to day.  More than at any time in recent history people are having a hard time getting by; they’re out of work, behind in house payments, worried daily about how they’re going to feed their kids, and have a hard time looking at the future with any sense of hope or well being. 

     People, by and large, are looking for a hand up; not a hand out.  People want opportunity, a chance, an atmosphere in which they can grow, develop, and thrive.  When I look at the heartland of America, the middle-class family, the small-business owner, I see a group of people  who are just yearning for a chance to prove themselves.  They don’t want someone trying to take care of them, or make people share their wealth with them; they just want to live in a country that gives them opportunity, a country where they can feel a sense of security in their lives; where people can feel confident in their government and elected officials that govern them, and most of all a county that treats everyone with dignity and respect without catering and pandering to one  particular group or philosopy.

     When I look at a lot of the young people in our society, I see a group of people, who are scared, who feel a deep sense of hopelessness, who, sadly, have no faith in anyone or anything; who feel like they’re living in an alternate America that has all the trappings of a prosperous country, with all it’s freedom’s and seeming opportunities, and yet when they look around, see themselves as the kid on Christmas morning opening the prettily wrapped package only to find that there’s nothing within. 

     What our young people need is to live in a country that inspires them to be great, who offers them a chance for a great education all the way K-12, and then gives them the chance to go to college without racking up a lifetime of debt to repay and no way to pay it back.  Who need oportunity, and who have the tools, talents, and abilities needed to seize it when it comes.  Who need to see what real success looks like, and not the gilded, glitter-ridden, emptiness that our so-called entertainment industry with it’s fame-starved, greed loving, money gathering junkies and proponents like to throw before them as if any of those things have ever led any of them to real contentment and happiness.

     There’s a whole sub-culture in this country that are almost non-existent, except by those who exploit them at election time, that live in a different America.  Children that go to bed hunry, many of them used and abused in –  terrible, cruel, unspeakable, intolerable – ways, who grow up (knowing in a way that we never can) that they live in a country that shows over and over again that nobody truly cares for them.  People that are trapped in a life that many of them didn’t want, but have no way out, and – who in many ways –  are kept where they are by a government and a people who are willing to give them a food-stamp voucher or a free bowl of soup, but aren’t willing give them a real opportunity by showing them how to help themselves.

     So many of our children and young adults live as lambs among wolves; they  live, play, work and walk among well-dressed, well-mannered, affluent monsters only too ready and too willing to devour the innocent, the unfortunate, and the unprotected.  What’s worse is that they live among a group of people who cry tears, who bewail, and rage against the injustice done to them, but who won’t step up and act on their behalf.  Who prefer reputation, prestige, and wealth over doing the right thing, and thus leave them always vulnerable to the monsters who would hurt them.

   Our country lives under what, I believe, to be the best system of government this world knows.  It’s not perfect, we all know, but no other system allows as much freedom, as much opportunity, as our does.  What other system can be named where people are allowed to prosper from their own hard work, their own creativity, their own willingness and determination to succeed as this one?  Where even people who rail and protest it can be heard without fear of recrimination?  Where even the lazy, the irresponsible, the unmotivated, and the uncaring can live in a prosperity that much of the rest of the world would envy?

     America as a country and as a people,  has always thrived because its ideals were the greatest that man can aspire to, the chief of which – to serve and worship God freely – were unlike any else in the world.  The things we valued: Our Freedom, Our Families, Our Country, and most of all Our God were on full display and we lived by their tenets.  We were exceptional – thus the term American Exceptionalism was born – for those very ideals, and it’s why every American citizen has an ancestry that originated somewhere else. 

     Our country is in trouble, as our people are, but we are not beyond hope, are not so far distant that we can’t hear the voice of Our Great God calling to us to step foot upon His path once more.

A Thought on Interpretation and the Christian Life

Sometimes, I think there are too many people who believe that they’re the only ones who have the proper interpretation of God and His word as revealed by the Holy Spirit and that nobody else can be right.

I’m not going to judge, correct, or openly rebuke others unless I know someone is clearly teaching false doctrine. To judge sin and whether someone is sinning is not something I’m comfortable with. I’m too fallible to ever think that what I know and that what I’ve experienced is a solid enough platform from which I can stand and judge others.

I’m not going to try and correct the faults of others when my own are just as bad and just as much against God as theirs. I think the Holy Spirit has enough work to do in helping me deal with my own faults and shortcomings. I believe I have a responsibility to love people, to pray for them, to encourage and support people in their walk with Christ.

When are people going to learn that santification is a process, that learning how to walk, how to live in a way that pleases, honors, and glorifies God is a life long process. I will not put stumbling blocks in the way of people who are sincerely doing the best they can to follow Christ. To me to try to correct people that I’m no better than smacks of hypocrisy, pride, and unbelievable arrogance.

If people want to do that, if they think it’s their responsibility to judge and correct people then they should follow the dictates of their own hearts and minds, and to follow the Spirit as they feel He leads.. As for me, I will continue to live my life and walk with Christ as I feel the Spirit leads me. I will continue to use the tools and resources that I believe God has provided and led me to in order to spread His love and promote His kingdom.

I reserve the right as a freeborn American and Christian to assess and analyze anything that comes into contact with my life and the lives of my family, and to determine whether or not I wish to let that content have any influence on me or my family. There are some places I won’t go, some things I won’t read, view, or listen to because I don’t feel that they honor God, and I don’t personally agree with. Those who read my blog have the same rights and privileges. If people don’t like what they read here or disagree with the content they are under no obligation to spend time here.

I think I will be surprised, as many will, when I get to heaven and realize that I’m standing along side many of the people I disagreed with on earth singing and praising God. I believe I will see a vast number of people of different ethnic, social, and educational backgrounds enjoying the wonders of Heaven given to them by their glorious God who holds each of us in the palm of His hand, and who enwraps us all in His everlasting arms.