Charlotte belongs to my church family and we shared a bible study class together. I remember the day she announced her cancer. I wasn’t sure what to think at the time; I have been blessed to be in a family with healthy genes for the most part.
Since then I’ve understood a lot more. I understand the seriousness and the life impact, the pain and the challenges. And I understand that people facing cancer treatment are stonger than I’ve ever had to be.
Charlotte has faced melanoma with the most incredible amount of bravery during the last year of treatment. And just when it seemed to be getting brighter, the doctors found another spot of cancer. Yet through it all, even through the tears and anger that surely she must endure, Charlotte has been a wonderful example of praising the Lord and experiencing His joy and peace.
Her latest post where she talks about the newest cancer can be found on her website Charlotte’s Web. Please stop by, read her blog, and offer her words of encouragement.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
“Cage the Elephant’s joyful cacophony runs amok on this single that whets the appetite for the January release of its second album, Thank You, Happy Birthday. Cage the Elephant stirs a cauldron of primal screams, hot-foot “oohs” and “ahhhs,” dislocated Southern rock, kazoos, intermingled guitars excitedly banging tuning pegs, and a necessary pause to refresh, for a tasty rave-up. At its core lies a simple premise: I can’t get you out of my head.” — iTunes Store
You must be joking. Why would somebody intentionally do that to their ears?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
A touching eulogy to a family’s best friend, their dog.
I’m certain I have something in my eye.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
We continue with a study of Leviticus this week and we’re going to focus on the things God commanded the Israelites to avoid in order to live holy lives. Last week and this week, the Lord spoke through Moses to give the ancient Israelites the Law, rules and regulations the Hebrews were to live by. Are we bound by these same rules, are we under Old Testament Law? And if not, are we completely free to disregard the laws in Leviticus?
God provide His perfect Law to us out of love, not arbitrary restriction. It’s not a maze we’re supposed to follow to achieve Heaven; it’s a guidebook to a sanctifying, pleasing, rewarding life. Laws given to us in the Old Testament in some cases, such as dietary restrictions, were expressly waived by Peter’s vision; perhaps those “unclean” animals were identified for our health and hygiene, but we’ve learned a lot about cleanliness over the centuries. The remaining religious restrictions are no longer applicable, though the protection still applies, that unclean food must be prepared properly so we don’t get sick.
Other laws have been reaffirmed by the New Testament. Sexual immorality of many different kinds were considered an abomination to the Lord, and repeated in the New Testament that they are still an abomination. These sexual perversions stand in the way of God’s plan for us, for the relationships He wants us to develop, how man and woman are supposed to related to each other.
Other laws are less clear. Leviticus 19:19 prohibits wearing clothing of mixed fibers. Should Christians be able to wear cotton and silk at the same time? Nothing in the New Testament specifically addresses this either way. Most scholars would say this is like some sort of consumer-protection law, that silk and cotton have different strengths and result in a cheaper garment. I don’t know about that, But I do know that in the New Testament Jesus revealed how God is concerned entirely with matters of the heart. The legalism of the Pharisees seemed particularly troubling. I would say that the mixed fiber restrictions of the Old Testament have no relevance in today’s world. If I wear a silk tie and a cotton shirt at the same time, it’s not a matter of respect or worship. It’s just material stuff.
All that being said, just like last week we can look at what God told the Hebrews, remind ourselves that God wants a relationship with us and is less concerned about our petty legalism, and then study to see if our unchanging and loving God has a lesson for us today from the Old Testament.
II. Avoid Worldly Practices, Leviticus 18:1-5
So let’s start off with Leviticus 18:1-5 -
The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.
Notice any repetitive words there? Scripture uses the word “Lord” four times in five verses. Why do you think the Lord would repeat His name so many times?
The Israelites had just left Egypt where they had lived for 400 years. During that time, they were surrounded by a pagan culture. This pagan culture had a profound and corrupting influence on the Hebrews. Remember when Moses went up on the mountain? He was gone, like, a day, and the Israelites start saying, “Oh my, Moses has abandoned us” and they immediately made a golden calf to worship. The pagan culture in which they lived had corrupted their worship of the Lord.
There were other corrupting factors; in the Egyptian royal family, brothers were often married to their sisters. Near the land of Canaan there would be new influences on the Israelites. Some cultures practiced bestiality. Archaeological evidence shows some Canaanites sacrificed their own children to their gods. The Israelites were moving from one corrupting influence into another corrupting influence. The Lord’s warning was simple. Do not be like those you left, and do not be like those where you are going. Be separate, be holy.
I don’t think it’s necessary to read the details in the next verses of Leviticus, but it’s worthwhile to discuss corrupting influences of our culture on Christianity. Many of the corrupting influences are now so ingrained in our culture, we’re not even aware we’ve been corrupted.
As part of my study this weekend, I read about a man who always carried a small crucifix in his pocket for protection. Then he got involved in a car accident, and he wondered why the crucifix didn’t protect him. How is this an example of Christianity corrupted?
Every Easter, we hide Easter eggs and tell children that the Easter bunny left them over night. How is this a corruption of Christianity?
What other examples can you think of? (Christmas, Halloween, Mardi Gras.)
We can also apply this directly to our personal lives. Before we come to Christ, we are sinners in the eyes of the Lord. When we come to Christ, we become like new, the old is washed away. But where did we come from? Did the lives we lived as sinners have a corrupting influence on our lives that affect our new lives as Christian? I had many corrupting influences; greed, idolatry, pride, lust, gluttony. While I am forgiven of my past transgressions, I still feel the repercussions of my old Egyptian life. They corrupt me, and if I am not ever vigilant, these corruptions will attempt to creep back into my life.
And where we are going? We are headed to our own promised land, but along the way, our faith and our sanctification can be corrupted, even by well-meaning fellow Christians. Let me give you a few examples.
We can all agree that God is love, correct? And we can agree that love is a virtue that pleases God. But understand that when we try to apply this perfect love to our lives and those around us, we can do it wrong. Synonyms of love, definitions of love that are pleasing to God include: affection, charity, compassion, benevolence, adoration, fondness, commitment, caring deeply. And we know what to avoid, the opposite of love, the vices: hate, animosity, antipathy, aversion, dislike, enmity, hostility, ill-will, malice, vindictiveness, fear, dread. But the corruption, the perversion of love, is just as destructive. Possessiveness, overly protective, permissive, smothering love, manipulated love. On the surface, these appear to be love, but they are not. They are perversions of love.
Nearly every virtue has a vice, an opposite, that we know to avoid. But we are not as confident about the corruptions to our faith, the perversions. So let’s talk about them.
Virtue: Joy. Delight, gladness, cheerful.
Vice: Pain, hurt, agony, anguish, distress, misery.
Perversion: frenzy, crazed excitement, hysteria.
Virtue: Peace. Quietness, tranquility, harmony, serenity.
Vice: War, rage, conflict, feud, brawl.
Perversion: lukewarm, indifference, detached, uninvolved.
Virtue: Patience. Longsuffering, endurance, perseverance.
Vice: impatient, crabby, nagging, touchy, impetuous, restless. Perversion: lenient, indulgent, permissive.
Virtue: Gentleness. Kindness, goodness, kind.
Vice: Severe, harsh, rough, abusive, bitter, cruel, rude, violent.
Perversion: Mushy, neglect, lax, careless, inattentive.
Virtue: Faith. Trustworthy, reliable, fidelity, loyal, dependable.
Vice: Untrustworthy, inconsistent, uncertainty.
Perversion: Legalism, workaholic, fanatic, extremism.
Virtue: Humility. Meek, accepting
Vice: pride, egotistic, vain.
Perversion: Weakness, cowardly, wimpy, spineless, timid.
These perversions of Christian virtue sometimes come from other well-meaning Christians. Other times, these perversion come from outside the church, allowing non-Christians to tell us what we’re supposed to believe. We fall victim to these perversions because we allow people to guide our walk with Christ instead of letting Jesus guide our walk. God wants us to be vigilant, that our actions and our heart belong to Him. Don’t let our past, pre-Christian lives corrupt our Christianity, and don’t let others in our future corrupt us, either. Keep returning to God’s word for instruction.
III. Avoid Immorality, Leviticus 18:20-26
Leviticus 6-18 describe various forms of incest and adultery, I hope you don’t mind if we skip over most of that. The next verses are graphic, but I think they’re necessary to understand that God also wants us to avoid immorality in our lives. Leviticus 18:20-26 -
Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her. Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD. Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.
Sexual immorality, adultery, child sacrifice, bestiality. It’s amazing to me that God would have to provide a specific warning to avoid this sort of behavior. Molech mentioned here was the god of the Ammonites, and worshiping Molech involved sacrificing an innocent child as somehow pleasing. Sadly, the Israelites were indeed corrupted; 2 Kings 23 and Jeremiah 7 both mention that the Israelites had started worshiping Molech. But this wasn’t worship; this was murder. Any practice that takes a human life made in God’s image for the purpose of convenience or to benefit ourselves is murder in God’s eyes.
And yet today, our society has slipped into the same practices. The practice of abortion for convenience, or the practice of euthanasia, taking the life of the young or the elderly is violating the sanctity of life.
How does the phrase “anything goes” describe our society? Do you think “anything goes” should be considered Christian? What word or phrase should describe the life of a Christian?
Homosexuality is condemned as detestable which means this act is especially offensive to God. And yet our society in the last thirty years or so has changed; it used to be morally offensive to be gay or lesbian, now our country is considering passing laws protecting such lifestyle, and to speak out against it is a hate crime.
We are called to love one another, to share the love of Christ with unbelievers so that they, too, will learn of God’s love. We are called to rebuke those who use scripture incorrectly for personal gain. We harm the image of Christianity if we cannot learn to speak the truth in love. Gays and lesbians should be welcome in church. I’m thankful a church welcomed me when I was seeking. But acceptance of the person is not the same thing as acceptance of the lifestyle. Some churches are in great schisms now because they are ordaining gays and lesbians as pastors, in effect saying that a homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable sin, there’s no need to repent. All sin is offensive to God, and all sin should bring repentance, a turning away from that sin. Would we accept a pastor with any other unrepentant sin? One in an adulterous relationship maybe? Sins detestable to God should not be acceptable to Christians. Sinful people acceptable to God should be acceptable to Christians. Those two statements do not contradict each other.
God says these detestable practices led to the land vomiting out the people that lived there, which is why God is giving it to the Israelis instead. And God says if the Israelis or even the aliens, the non-Israelites, engage it detestable practices, they, too, will be vomited out. My interpretation of this says that this great land of America given to us by God should maintain Judeo-Christian values. How are we doing in that regard? Are Christians standing up against immorality, or is society dragging Christians down?
We forget that God judges nations when immorality runs rampant. The Canaanites had no covenant relationship to God, and God punished them for their excesses and abominations. There comes a day when the patience of God is replaced by the judgment of God.
I am struck by the fact that these sexual practices are so detestable to God, that even if the aliens living among them practice it, the land will vomit them out. We should take that as instruction from God to continue speaking out against immorality. When Massachusetts passes a law that permits gay marriage, Christians should speak out against it and oppose this slide in moral values. It is not all right. God doesn’t like it. He is the Lord our God.
IV. Avoid Sorcery, Leviticus 20:6-8
Leviticus 19 contains a host of other laws; don’t cuss, steal, lie, slander, murder. Don’t turn your daughter into a prostitute. Don’t get tattoos. Basically, a framework for moral living, and each of these points can be debated as to whether they’re still applicable today. Let’s jump all the way to Leviticus 20:6-8 and see what it says about witchcraft and sorcery.
I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people. Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.
Some background here; the Canaanites practiced fertility rites at their temple in order to bring fertility to the earth for a good planting season. Worshippers at the temple engaged in sex with temple prostitutes; the thought was that if the people were engaged in sex, the god, too, would have sex, and then their crops would grow.
Israel’s covenant relationship with God is often called a marriage, just like Christians’ relationship with Jesus. When the Israelites were corrupted by the Canaanites, they literally prostituted themselves and committed spiritual adultery. This is idolatry, misplaced worship someplace other than the one place it’s deserved. Our God is a kind and gracious and just and loving God, but He’s also a jealous God. Worship belongs to Jehovah God and nobody else.
God says He will set His face against those that worship other gods, those that turn to mediums and spiritist. Fortune tellers, palm readers, astrology, Ouiji board, séances, tea leaves, anything and anybody that claims to be able to tell the future or contact the dead is acting contrary to God’s desire.
If you were given the chance to see the future, would you accept the chance?
The emotions we feel about loved ones who have died can override our spiritual sensibilities. Even in the church we can find ourselves saying things such things like “I know she’s looking down on us and watching over us.” Is that true, or is it just supposed to be comforting? We miss those we can’t spend time with anymore, but we also want to honor God and His Word. God has revealed certain things about the afterlife, and other things He has chosen not to reveal. We should be careful that we are honoring God and not attributing our wishful thinking to Him.
I think the root of this warning in Leviticus is one of the ten commandments, “Thou shalt have no other god before me.” Wicca, witchcraft, all those false religions that teach many ways to heaven are all detestable because it says our God is not big enough and we should put our trust in other things just to be on the safe side. Putting our trust in other things is not being safe; the occult and other religions are detestable to the Lord.
Do you think God is mean when He turns His face from those who worship false religions or turn to the occult or sorcery? Or do you think it’s for our protection?
God called Israel to live a holy life apart from the customs of the people around them. The paganism of Egypt, the idolatry and sexual immorality of the Canaanites. Likewise, today, God want His children to lead separate and holy lives. Immorality has a way of becoming the norm, leading to further degradation of morality. Our society accepts premarital sex, then it accepts children out of wedlock or it accepts abortion. Who knows what the next generation will accept? There are already ungodly practices around us in such abundance that sometimes it’s hard to even tell what is ungodly anymore. God is calling you and me not to be influenced by the culture around us, but to recognize we belong to Him and He has a greater plan for us.
As believers called by God, we need to seek the Lord’s standards rather than the world’s standards around us. We should strive to believe and exhibit the highest ethical and sexual conduct for holy lives, pleasing to God, sanctifying us and showing the world there is a better way, a higher calling, than secular living, sexual immorality, idolatry, fortune telling and lucky charms. God has a better plan for us. Let’s turn from worldly ways and seek the face of God.
AmenRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Pastor Bob did an excellent job of speaking the truth with love. It was not received that way, but Pastor Bob stood unflinchingly by his faith, judging the sin and loving the sinner.
If I’m ever in San Diego, I’m going to his church at Horizon Christian Fellowship.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 42 so far )
When George Bush ran against John Kerry, Kerry’s pictures always showed him looking thoughtful, pondering. Bush’s pictures made him look deranged.
It’s beginning again. Sarah Palin spoke yesterday to Tea Party protestors, declaring, “America is ready for another revolution.” And this is the picture the Associated Press chose?
I’ve seen many pictures and videos of Sarah Palin, but this picture looks like she eats her Wheaties with steroids and lithium.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Win or lose, Scott Brown has already sent a message to Washington. We’ve had enough government already.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Some surprises can be good, some can cause a lot of stress and tension. Several years ago, I decided to throw a surprise birthday party for my wife. I had arranged all the guests and the time to show up at our house that afternoon, each of them bringing the cake or the drinks or the paper plates and so on. Her sister Linda was supposed to bring a couple of bags of ice for the drinks.
The morning of Diane’s birthday, I took her out to lunch. She had no idea that there was a party in store for her, and she was itching to go somewhere. The beach, the Balloon Festival, something, anywhere. And of course, I was dragging my feet because we need to be near the house that afternoon.
Then, her sister Linda called. She wasn’t going to be able to make it on time to the party, she’d be about 2 hours late. Since she was bringing the ice, I was going to have to go pick it up for her before the party started. This caused a problem. I’m driving around with Diane 30 minutes before the party, refusing to take her to the beach, and I have to come up with a reason to pick up 2 bags of ice and go home.
I pull into a convenience store, fill the car up with gas. I go pay and pick up 2 bags of ice. It’s 10 minutes before the party. I walk back to the car where Diane is sitting, wondering why we’re at the convenience store during her birthday and she sees the two bags of ice.
“What are those for?”
“Um… I thought I’d defrost the freezer this afternoon, and I need the ice to keep the contents cold.”
I suppose the idea of spending your birthday at home defrosting the refrigerator is a little much for anybody. She looked at me incredulously and said, “Have you lost your mind? It’s my birthday!” We drove home in silence just in time for the party. My “defrosting the freezer” comment is a source of amusement today, but I think she was mad at me for 10 years over it, even after she realized the surprise party plans.
What surprises have you had, good or bad?
What sort of reactions are normal when you’re surprised? Fear? Anger? Or Praise and rejoicing?
Today in preparation for Christmas, we’re going to look at a surprise Mary received. Let’s turn to the book of Luke, chapter 1.
II. Luke 1:46-47, Reacting with Worship
In Luke 1:26, the archangel Gabriel appears to a young teenage girl named Mary and gives her a surprise. I am amused at the NIV translation; I don’t know if the original Greek was intended to be funny, but in English in Luke 1:28-29,
“The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.’ Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.”
Now, what in the world did Gabriel say that made Mary so troubled? It’s like somebody telling you, “May the good Lord bless you and keep you,” and you thinking suspiciously to yourself, “I wonder what he meant by that?”
But I don’t think that’s why Mary was troubled. I think if Gabriel appeared to me today and said, “Greetings, Michael, the Lord has a surprise for you,” I’d be thinking, “uh oh.”
But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
It’s normal to react with fear, anger, or any of a number of other emotions. But God challenges us to be something more than just our natural emotions. As His children, we have His glory to anticipate. Romans 8:28 reminds us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
So if we know that God is at work for us that love him, our reaction should be quite different. It is good news – God is at work for me.
That does not mean that everything that happens in our life is good. Tragedies, trials, temptations, evils and calamities will come. But with a complete view of the work that God is doing in us and a hope for our salvations, we don’t have to react with fear or anger or anxiety.
So when Gabriel the archangel appeared to Mary and said, “Surprise!” Mary’s reaction was quite different. Let’s look at Mary’s Song beginning in verse 46 –
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Mary reacts with joy and praise and adoration to the surprise Gabriel just sprung on her. Her soul glorifies the Lord, a recognition of God’s awesome power and wonder. Her spirit rejoices in that she knows the Lord is about to use her in a powerful way to accomplish His will. And she rejoices in the Lord God, her Savior.
This is the reaction God desires from us today when we are confronted with the unknown. God is awesome, God is at work in me, God is my savior.
That sounds great on paper. What keeps us from reacting with joy and praise when we are encountered with the unknown? (Possibility: We fear God is not at work, our faith in God to care for us is little.)
III. Luke 1:48-50, God’s Favor
Let’s look at the type of person Mary was. Perhaps if we can better understand why the Lord chose her, we can strive to become the type of person God is looking for. Luke 1:48-50 -
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
According to these two verses from Mary’s Song, she believes God’s favor rests upon her because she is humble and she fears Him. To those who are humble and fear the Lord, the Lord will extend His mercy.
What is humility? How do we get better at being humble?
Many people misunderstand what Christian humility is all about. “I am such a wretch, I’m worthless.” But thinking poorly of yourself is not the same as humility; that’s more like low self-esteem. And while the pious Christian is right to recognize that his own righteousness pales to the righteousness of God as in the hymn, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me,” it does not mean we should be depressed or morose about it. Because while we may be wretches of righteousness, we are also children of God! Not by our own hand, but by the tremendous grace of God.
When we stand before God at the day of our judgment, we will be judged on our righteousness. If we have been washed by the blood of Jesus, Jesus’ will substitute His righteousness for ours. While we may be wretches, Jesus is awesome, and we are His.
The humility of Jesus also far outpaces anything that comes from us. For instance, our natural tendency is to associate with people we find interesting. Or attractive, or intelligent, or well-bred, or accomplished. And we’re happy to let other people know we are in the company of such amazing people. Other people make us uncomfortable and we don’t want to spend much time with them. The mentally-retarded, people who smell awful. People who have disgusting habits or drool in public. We are ashamed or uncomfortable around such people, yet our Lord and Savior is willing to come into their lives and live in them. They become part of His family. And perhaps we can come to realize that compared to the amazing compassion and humility of Jesus, we are the drooling ones.
Who among us would be willing to let our child to be born in an animal feeding trough? In order to fulfill the will of God, Mary was willing. She was humble before the Lord.
IV. Luke 1:51-53, God’s Fairness
Then Mary sings in Luke 1:51-53,
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Mary recognizes that God and God alone is in control. He brings down prideful rulers, he raises up lowly people born in animal feeding troughs. God is fair and takes care of His children, but He will bring down the prideful.
God is against the prideful. What is pride?
Pride is the opposite of humility. While Christian humility recognizes that God is in control and that God alone is worth worshipping, pride says that I rely on myself. Pride says, “I deserve this.” Got wants us to be his hands and feet in His service but make sure we’re giving all the glory to Him for being able to serve. Got definitely wants us on the path to righteousness. But we’re not supposed to be an obstacle in that path.
I think John the Baptist says it well. John was baptizing at Aenon near Salim when some of his disciples said, “Hey, that man you metioned? Jesus? He’s baptizing people on the other side of the Jordon, and some people are going over there instead!”
John 3:27-30 –
To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.
And that’s our balance between pride and humility. He must become greater; I must become less. I will strive to do His will and give Him all the credit for what I am able to do.
V. Luke 1:54-55, God’s Faithfulness
Mary’s Song ends with the remembrance of God’s faithfulness in Luke 1:54-55 -
He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.
We can take great joy in God’s favor to the humble by remembering that God’s plan is working and that He has given us a chance to be part of His plan. God made a promise to Abraham that He would be a father of nations. God made a promise to Abraham’s descendants that they would enter the promised land. And He made a promise to Mary that her child would be the son of God. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
And He made a promise to you and to me. We have eternal life with Him and that is our ultimate destiny.
Life is full of surprises. We can react with fear or anger, but we miss out on the joy of recognizing God’s plans for us. Are you fearful over a surprise in your life? How can you turn that into joy?
By recognizing the plan God has for you, that in this life and he next it is our joy to serve Him however He sees fit. By remembering our humility in the face of His awesome splendor without giving in to self-deprecation and low self-esteem. By being pleased that God will show favor upon us and we are His children without giving into pride that somehow it is us who are awesome, but instead it is Him being awesome through us toward others.
We have no reason to feel fear or anxiety. We have a savior, a savior born to us in a manger to save us all. Rejoice in our God who surprises us. To God be the glory.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
I, personally, saved or created over 3 million jobs myself, using only my mind.
According to the US Department of Labor, there were 15.1 million people unemployed at the end of September. That means that without my help, there would have been 18.1 million unemployed.
So Obama is claiming he saved or created 650,000 jobs. Even assuming that is true – and you can’t prove that any more than my 3 million jobs – the White House rammed a $787 billion Stimulous bill to do it. That works out to $1,210,769 per job “saved.”
US Census estimates there are 115 million households in the US. I think a better use of the money would have been just to give out $7,000 per household. Just as expensive, but at least you and I would have been able to touch it.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
At last, great news. The nationalization of healthcare with it’s outlawing of private insurance and forced coverage for abortions and exemption for Congress looks like it is on the way to defeat.
And that’s great news. I hope that drives a spike into Obama’s plans to socialize our great country. Once defeated, he’ll appear vulnerable, and perhaps defeatable in 2012.
He’s already more unpopular than Jimmy Carter.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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