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Oscar Who?


 

You know….

Oscar….friends of Tony, Emmy and Grammy?

I wonder if Oscar knows who he was really honoring Sunday night….

Does he care? What about Tony? oscar_11

Does Grammy understand the lyrics in the songs he rewards?

Does Emmy approve of the shows she recognizes?

These self-imposed flattery events are just that….filled with Hollywood elites who have lost touch with what is really important.

They are no longer ads for future actor’s roles but platforms to spew hate and vitriol towards anyone who disagrees with them. Fortunately, the ratings have dropped to the lowest in years but it is bothersome that still over 30 million people glue themselves to such a waste of time.

In case you haven’t figured it out I don’t watch them. The only reason I am writing about it is to sign in on the other side.

I use to wonder if Oscar knew how he was being treated…Does he have any idea who filters through the auditorium of red carpet celebrities just to win Oscar, take him home and sit him on shelf to collect dust.

Does Oscar and his many friends have any clue the funneled money of fashion, jewelry, fancy cars and gifts could be used otherwise?

Melt him down and he could aid in what many of these entertainment communities fight so hard for….such as; (that is without using their own personal finances)

Education

Feeding and sheltering the homeless

Abused and battered women

Aids and medical research

Sex trafficking

Philippians 2: 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

All these are worthy to be recognized as needing help. However the Hollywood crowd is very political in who they choose to support. While Matt Damon and George Clooney play shoot-em-up-cowboy with guns and rifles they yell and scream at anyone else who uses those weapons as self-defense backing up any politician who agrees with them to pursue gun control.

While stars believe abortion is a right not a life, they promote those who are medically trained in such murder.

While many in the acting/music industry believe anyone who doesn’t agree with their politics is intolerant, they use these platforms to bash our new President and anyone who supports him. HUH?

But what about the other people. You know. The Americans who really deserve awards?

First Responders: Police, Firefighters, Paramedics, Rescuers

Missionariesmilitary

Hospital workers, Doctors, Nurses

Pastors

Sunday school teachers

Private education

Military/Veterans

My aunt and uncle were missionaries to Mexico many years ago. The major earthquake that hit was not far from where they lived. We didn’t know for weeks if they survived. She later told me how it devastated the already poor country.

My cousin, their daughter was in Banja Luka, Bosnia when it was at war. She hid in a friend’s apartment for weeks just to stay alive. She taught English and Spanish at the University there helping many students grow in education as a missionary who also brought many of them to Christ.

Presently my cousin and his family, their son have moved to Germany and are ministering to many Muslim refugees. It is a dangerous calling; one which he has to keep private.

And then there is our military which really hits home with me. Living near one of the largest Jet Fighter Training bases in the world for almost 10 years has given me a whole new perspective of what sacrifice means.

A Major, told me a few years ago after being deployed to Iraq for 12 months he was, “so glad to get home because he was tired of getting shot at.”

My next door neighbor who has since retired and moved away was a pilot for 20 years. He flew every aircraft available and served in many operations. He would not talk about it.

Our neighbor now is in the new division of Army personnel at this base since President Obama shut one down in Atlanta a few years ago. His job is deciphering intelligence. As I probed him a few weeks ago for any information I thought I could get, all he responded with was, “There is a whole lot going on in the world right now.” He spoke it with a very strong sense of concern.

So again I ask, Oscar who?

As Americans where are our priorities?

Oscar and his friends probably would like to be more useful.

Instead of a superstar’s reflection of their own past achievements in a comfortable, protected environment, maybe we should be celebrating and supporting those who are the real heroes who live and work daily in life or death circumstances.

Then Oscar and his friends can throw out that can of Pledge.

 Isaiah 58:10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

 

 

 

 

 


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“Risen” A Quest for the Ages


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNGeGS_PUA8

The new movie “Risen” hits theaters February 19. Watching the trailer I must admit it gave me chills.
Not because of theatrics, but the truth of Christ’s resurrection. risen

The quest becomes, “the most important manhunt in history.”

How or if it is Biblically based is to be determined. Joseph Fiennes plays the part of a Roman military tribune, a non -believer, searching for the body of the risen Christ.

How many others searched for His body? The answer is, some still are.

As I pondered the scene when the Roman officials are given the news, “He isn’t there,” my heart skipped a beat at the awesomeness of God. Of course He wasn’t there. He told many He would rise on the 3rd day and that is what He did.

I have played it over and over in my mind as one of those guarding the tomb who couldn’t believe what happened. The massive stone is rolled away. The tomb is empty except for His blood stained linen. He is gone. Left. Moved on and from all accounts fallen off the face of the earth. Or so they hoped.

I marvel at God’s wisdom and our lack of it. Or maybe it is simply unbelief.

They already knew of His power and mighty miracles.

They witnessed His brilliance and crowd drawing qualities.

They observed his charismatic countenance.

What they failed at miserably was His all-encompassing love, mercy and grace. Instead of looking at His heart of gold when He healed the blind man, or His unlimited forgiveness to the woman caught in adultery or His mercy for the poor, their limited visual was He was a threat to their personal greed and selfish lifestyles.

How dare anyone, much less a man who comes out of nowhere claiming to be the “Messiah” get in the way of Roman power or Jewish Pharisaical religion?

How dare He abuse them in public by showing up and showing off?

How dare this man do the unthinkable by somehow disappearing from a stone guarded tomb in the middle of the night after an obvious crucifixion that rocked the world?

Because God didn’t and doesn’t miss a beat.

God’s plans always succeed and no Roman Empire will stop Him.

God is God and we are not.

Sadly, as I previously wrote many today are still looking for His body.

You’d think with all the evidence we’d have wised up by now.

ways


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America, Bless Israel Now!


Hear ye, hear ye! America wake up!

It is no laughing matter the state of the union we are living in today. Our country has imploded itself to evil unlimited. We have strayed so far from God we have no choice but to return. You would have thought 9/11 would have been more of a wake-up call than it was. Now we are literally shaking.

This present government has done everything in its power to undermine Israel. And for America that is almost the last straw where God is concerned.

America was founded on Godly principals no matter what atheists or agnostics say. And for the record those who claim such a position have yet to win the argument, “how can you fight against something you don’t believe in?”

We must repent. We must support Israel. We must remove the evils we have allowed to enter. We must get over ourselves.

Recently a 4 hour mini-series titled “The Dovekeepers” was on TV. Roma Downey and husband Mark Burnett made the movie based on the story of the “Masada.” Adding some Hollywood to the movie it was a love story; and a reflection of the Jews in 70 A.D. and the Roman Empire. Besides the history it portrays it also reveals the sins of Israel. You may find yourself in one of the actors.

Without being a “spoiler” I hope you will find a copy of this film and watch it. Understand it is based on truth.  Read the true story of the “Masada” and how the people of God at that time in history survived.

Below is a short video of Israel including the Masada. I hope you will watch it.

http://unitedwithisrael.org/watch-exploring-gomorrah-masada-and-mount-sodom/


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It’s not just any weekend…..


This time of year is like none other. For me personally Easter weekend many years ago played a major part in the basis for my journey.

Reading in My Utmost for His Highest the other day it said,

“It’s not what you do, but who you are.”

Isn’t that at the core of the crucifixion?

Isn’t that the result of the Resurrection?

It is who we are in Christ.

Jesus Christ; after the fact is life.

If you allow yourself to ponder, think and truly recognize all He did for us on the cross, all the other stuff is mute.

 

 


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He speaks; he really does….


Spending time alone with God is one of the best ways to learn his voice. Along with his word, he gives us himself referencing his truth as the basis for life.

Mastering anything where God is concerned is like teaching a cat not to chase a mouse. It is a journey forever which makes every day a treasure hunt but he gives us bits and pieces of his character allowing us to understand him a little better.

Having uttered our lack here God is willing to talk to us if we ask him. His point isn’t as much the response as it is the relationship.

The skeptics may say, “Well, God might speak to you but he has never spoken to me.”
Don’t blame God; that is your fault. Maybe you should try talking to him first? Why not initiate a conversation with him and see what happens?

“Words of Knowledge” are mysteriously intriguing to me. God has used them numerous times in my life for different reasons. Limiting this great speaking engagement to actual “words” isn’t a fair assessment of God.  His creative and unique ability to speak appears in a variety of ways such as:

Noah’s Ark1175062_10153249759805010_1819584612_n

The plagues of Egypt

Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Jonah and the Whale

You may say those are extreme cases. Sure. But he spoke no less and used visual aids in the process.

How many people do you see everyday building an Ark in their front yard?

The Pharaoh of Egypt may have been one of the most stubborn men to ever live but he had to notice the water turned to blood, millions of locusts, grasshoppers, gnats, and flies that descended on the land.

And what about lions and whales? Go figure.

If only the general public would realize God’s sense of humor is far reaching, artistic and ingenious the world would be laughing instead of living lives full of doom and gloom.

In my own life God has spoken to my heart through his word more times than I can count or remember.

He has used movies, billboards, and people to tell me what he wants me to know.

Once, he had me in a grocery store walk up to a woman sitting on a bench I have never seen before and offer her a ride home. She almost cried because God told her I was going to do this and to accept right before I appeared to her

There have been days when he changed my schedule so that I would run an errand to specifically meet someone who he knew may have needed encouragement or a specific word they otherwise would never hear.

And then there are the mornings when I wake up and see a “word” literally written in the air. He did this for 2 months 7 years ago with the word “move.” We moved 6 months after that from one state to another.

For the last 5 mornings as soon as I have sat down to have my devotions with him and opened my Bible, the book “Obadiah” has appeared before me. Now God knows this interrupts my daily routine with him so it must mean something very important. I have read it every morning immediately after this and cross referenced verses from it.

Let me insert here I have never been that interested in Obadiah nor have I ever spent any time studying it. Simply stated, it was not on my radar. Period.

So why now?

To be continued……2_timothy_3_16

 

 

 


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What are you watching? Listening to? Reading?


 

In a recent edition of “Decision” magazine, Franklin Graham wrote an outspoken article on the entertainment industry in America titled,

“Hollywood: Entertaining ourselves to death?”

After living many years in the hometown of the Graham’s, Franklin remains a household name.  I worked with a man for 12 years who was in the same class as Franklin growing up.

Not only him, but many others who knew the “rebel” he was saw him giving his parents a hard time as a teenager into his early 20’s. However, he is now using that “rebellious overtone” to speak bluntly and candidly about issues facing our nation his father preached against for decades.

Like, Franklin I remember when there was no cussing, sex and very little violence except for a few John Wayne shootouts and The Rifleman. Good always won over evil but nothing was ever an embarrassment to watch with anyone else.

Trying to explain that to the generation of young people today is like helping them understand how we lived without cell phones and computers most of our lives. It is incomprehensible.

In the article he quoted Michael Landon who died many years ago after his efforts to keep TV/movies clean and child accessible.

“Let’s face it, television is an invention where you’re entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your house!”

Landon, speaking at a roast for Dean Martin was applauded with shameful grins.

There is no need to exacerbate the unlimited vulgarities played out on the screens today because we all know them.  As garbage goes in, garbage goes out. In the process it filters through our brains leaving trash sloshing around for the enemy to use. And we wonder why we have nightmares.

The ill -fated, sick delusion of Hollywood has laid upon our nation a reputation certain leaders in other countries want no part of.  Christian artist Natalie Grant walked out of the Grammy’s due to the Gay/LGBT community takeover of this awards show. Mandisa didn’t attend and won two awards. Threaded with the Gay implications and nuances throughout the show was a huge maneuver of control by this group.

A number of well-known actors such as Kevin Sorbo, Kirk Cameron and Gary Sinise have made their stance clear against homosexuality. An addition to the Gay agenda are any actors speaking out against the Obama administration. The latest fatality has been James Wood. He spoke that he now believes he will never get another acting job due to his conviction. And he is not alone in the “black list of fallen actors.”  Kevin Sorbo recently revealed the number of offers for him has greatly diminished.  So much for being qualified.

(An interesting side note about James Wood. He has an IQ of 186; higher than Einstein. And he has a story about flying on a plane a month before 9/11 in which there were 4 Middle Eastern men who he later found out were planning the attack; 2 of which were on the planes that evil day.)

The “Decision” magazine also had an article about the Ugandan President who signed an Anti-Homosexuality bill on 2/24. President Yoweri Museveni has been outspoken about the split his Ugandan church made from the Anglican Church of Canada 10 years ago over this issue. An Ugandan Archbishop stated, “homosexuality is incompatible with scripture.”

President Museveni has been criticized from Western leaders such as President Obama over certain remarks he has made and I quote:

“We have been disappointed by the conduct of the west, the way you conduct yourselves there. “

Having been told the Ugandan’s must abide by this stance he answered unequivocally,

“That’ where we say no.”

President of Uganda

President of Uganda

 

President Museveni was interviewed by a CNN reporter who asked him if he personally dislikes homosexuals. His answer,

“Of course. They’re disgusting. What sort of people are they?”


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2014: Year of the Christian films or Christians crucifying them?


 

 

Films about God are making their way through Hollywood. How has that occurred?

Some question their validity and maybe with good reason, but we should never underestimate God.  Whatever God uses to bring a soul to him need not be examined. He can take the images, words and even Hollywood drama to open doors for those who know very little or zilch about Him.

Solomon, Esther, the Book of Esther, The Story of Ruth have been on TV this weekend. Considered “Women of the Bible” series, there are differences; diversions and deviations. However, if one truly knows the stories and the Biblical interpretation, determining the truth isn’t problematic. We as Christians should be careful not to exploit the legalistic views by nit-picking this and that.

Reading more in depth about Solomon and his famous father King David, it jars the mind how God used them mightily even in the midst of their adulterous affairs, murder and lack of self-control. As with many Biblical men and women, their personal faults are no different than ours. Yet we tend to crucify that which we know nothing about without giving God any room to alter the direction.

Who are we to determine what God may do with an atheist film about “Noah?”

Who are we to decide God’s intervention in the “Son of God” after the 2 Christian makers are thrown curve balls of being in the New Age movement?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating anything here. Each individual is subject to God.

How can we throw stones at today’s versions of Biblical accounts with those of King David’s murder? Or Solomon’s love of way too many women?

It isn’t justifiable.

We don’t know their hearts. God does.

And….we are not God.1506054_770527439637946_556783362_n

 


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Relatives of Caiaphas


Wisdom is an ultimate goal. So much so God made it infinite.1800193_755457477811609_1300236819_n

A repeated question for generations most likely has been,
“is this all there is?”

Please God, tell me there is more?

When you decide to open the pages of God’s dictionary you will be enlightened to his secrets and mysteries. The few who move into this categorical level of spiritual maturity are raising the bar of their own future. It is shameful how many Christians choose not to venture into his society of judiciousness and advisability. (Wisdom of God, 1 Cor. 1:24)

What you don’t know, God will teach you. (Rabboni: teacher, John 20:16)

What you do know he will change, re-arrange or throw out all -together.

You may experience the unthinkable. Lose friends. Lose family.

You may find yourself getting out of the boat while others call you crazy.

You may find yourself alone for very long periods of time. And while you are alone the devil slips in and kicks you while you are down.caiaphas-the-bible

Expect to be misunderstood, misinterpreted and considered blasphemous.

Expect to be hated, called names and laughed at.

Expect to be seen as Caiaphas’s long lost relative.

While we all want more, the process to finding it is the answer. During this journey we can hear God in our isolation. (Comforter, John 14:26) Being alone drives us closer to Him. Pitching our busyness for quiet tranquility with Jesus builds our character, gives us his strength and opens doors to his world. (Door, John 10:7, Strength, Jeremiah 16:19, Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6)

Falling to our knees in humility and confession God sheds his awesome love over us like the good shepherd that he is. (Chief Shepherd, 1 Peter 5:4, John 10:11)

Isolated conquests can become public triumphs.

Isolated wins can become shared successes.

 

You are back in class without lunch or recess.
You are placed in real-life circumstances as visual aids.
You are led by the Holy Spirit who grades your papers after being tossed to the bullies.
You arrive clothed in ignorance and uncultivated barbarism.
You are stripped of all things “self” only to be “robed” in all things God.
Class never ends. Forget receiving a cap and gown.
God awards “Crowns of Gold” and Eternity fringe benefits.

(Heir of all Things, Hebrews 1:2)

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Finisher


Many years ago Charlton Heston caught my attention in the Ten Commandments.  It helped solidify what the Cross of Christ meant.

Charlton-Heston-as-Moses-The-Ten-Commandments-1956-Paramount

From that movie God revealed to me the death and Resurrection of Jesus was the most important event in history. It was a timeline changer; a weekend of antiquity; a narration that chronicles life for every human being that has or ever will live.

Whether the event is believed or not nothing else has created more controversy. It is the butt of jokes, the question of doubters and skeptics and the twist of nature even atheist can’t stop talking about.

A very large heavy piece of wood cut into a cross has riled nations, caused wars, and fueled debates.

Some have made it into an idol, others trash it. Some burn it and others weep over it. Many wear it around their neck.

While scoffers ridicule it, many search for its true meaning. Those who hurt or grieve look to the cuts on his back, the bruises from beatings and his nail pierced hands as the ultimate in ransom for our hearts.

No matter how you feel about it, the cross cannot be discounted or overlooked.

The cross defines history. Before and after.  

If Jesus never died on the cross, it is the largest con ever performed.

If he did, no other event in history will come close to matching it.

The Cross is one for the record books; a one of a kind heartbreak and blessing all wrapped up in God’s redemption.

Skeptics will argue he can’t possibly be God on earth. And if one really thinks about it, his mission was quite absurd, but it had to be done. No other blood could do what the Holy blood of Christ did.

Beyond its cleansing power over sin, it fooled the devil and ruined his plans. For the time being he is fighting for a kingdom he will never have and making life miserable for as many as he can attack.

Jesus conquered the enemy in the most horrific death anyone has ever experienced. It is unfathomable to the human mind to comprehend it.  (Isaiah 52:14)

Up to his last breath, insults were hurled, jokes were made, and his robe became a gamble.

And Jesus? He looked beyond their sin and his unbearable pain knowing why he hung there.

Love.

Hebrews12.2


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Talking Donkey’s for Sale


If you are a true skeptic of the Bible, this story is one for the record books. God is creative and enjoys using and performing the extraordinary. He is the Master of Billboard rights; Producer of theatrical plays and Director of taking that which is evil and turning it around for his purposes.

Balaam was a sorcerer; a self-imposed dream interpreter who hated the Jews. He was evil and actually believed he could change God’s mind about Israel.  He joined forces with Balak, the King of the Moabites to curse the Israelites for the slaughter of the Amorites. The battle was a result of this wicked nation trying to stop the Israelites from passing through and their sin.

Balaam tried to use God for his love of money. As he and Balak schemed to curse the Israelites he was met with “fees for his divination” from Balak’s messengers. (Numbers 22:7)

If your donkey all of a sudden began asking you, “why are you beating me? What have I done to deserve such treatment” what would you do?balaam

As the story goes Balaam’s donkey was stopped by an angel Balaam couldn’t see.  How embarrassing. But not for Balaam. As the angel appeared to him he fell on the ground as if to be repentant of his sin, yet sincerity isn’t a positive characteristic of the wicked. It didn’t last long.

God basically forced the words he wanted to come out of Balaam’s mouth to the King of the Moabites. 3 times he blessed the Israelites instead of cursing them.  Balaam told Balak he had to speak blessings; if he didn’t it was probably physically painful.

How many of us need a talking donkey?

Most of us?

The church itself needs a lot of talking donkeys.  The vision of the angel in front of Balaam was invisible to him, but not the donkey. Like us, we can’t see past the donkey ears to what is ahead because we have pushed the angel and God to the side roads or the ditch.

The vision God wants for us is to see the good in everything yet the first thing many see when walking into a freshly painted room is the one spot the painter missed. Where is your focus?

In a beautiful field of flowers many will find the dead one first.

Your harvest of corn is growing better than usual but that one stalk is covered in bugs.

The latest so –called Christian movie is full of the love of God, but don’t go see it because the producers are New Agers.

If God told me to walk into a bee hive even though I am allergic to bees, I would obey him, but that is the only way I would do it.

The Bible is full of bad people. Murderers. Adulterers. False Prophets. Evil Kings. Stupidity. Fearful Prophets. Prostitutes. Hypocrites. Religious Zealots. Betrayers. Money changers. Thieves. Liars. Idol worshippers. Sound familiar?

Did God tell Abraham when he committed adultery “Forget it? That promise I made to you to become the Father of many nations won’t happen now. At least not from you.”

Did God tell David after he became King, stole his best friend’s wife and then murdered him, “You really have blown my plan. My lineage to the Messiah was to come from you, but not now. How could you do something so stupid?”

NO. God went right ahead with his plans and used them anyway. And what happened?

He took the evil and turned it into good.

He took their sins and put them on Jesus.

He took the darkness they were living in and brought them into the light.

Are we limiting God by nit-picking evil out of the good he produces?

Have we stooped so low we believe God isn’t powerful enough to remove the evil so we have to step in and do it for him? Have we become such great believers in ourselves we can dictate to non-believers or the backslidden from going to see a movie or read a book about God that isn’t quite up to what we as Christians believe the Bible wants it to show?

Isn’t God capable enough of revealing the differences of an imperfect movie made by humans to the awesome perfect wisdom and knowledge of his own theatrics?

Give me a break.  Anything we do will be imperfect and God will take that imperfection and do for us the same thing he did for Abraham and David.ugly-donkey.jpg

Who wants a talking donkey?