Facts don’t change…but the outcome can

Leave a comment

The facts are in. They cannot be disputed. They cannot be changed. Deal with it.

Obama is President.

It is not what we, as Bible-believing Christians, wanted, but it is a truth.

He is making unprecedented changes in record time – much to the disapproval of conservatives everywhere.

We knew it would happen. We knew he was going to go for the biggest change – and he promised the very changes he is making. And then some.

An assault has begun, nay, been stepped up, on the very fabric of American freedom and foundation.

Again, those who listened to his campaign rhetoric, knew what was coming.

Nope. We can’t change what happened. We warned everyone we could think of that an Obama presidency would mean disaster for families, conservative values, and sanctity of life preservation. But, when the votes were tallied, he won. And, since then, many of us have done nothing but complain.

Now, I am not in any way suggesting that we should stop fighting Obama – on the contrary, we should scrutinize his every move, and make a phone call if he does anything in the direction of a liberalistic ideal. We should fight for our every right as we still have them – and fight to get back any we lose along the way.

However, more even than fighting the President, we should take action where we live! How? Support organizations which uphold the values and principles we stand behind. Prayerfully and financially (along with volunteer efforts, etc.) support organizations such as the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), Focus on the Family, etc., which fight for these things everyday – often with more pull than a single individual can muster.  Instead of arguing across the fence about our right to keep and bear arms, join the NRA!  When there is an opportunity to have your voice heard, don’t sit at home and say, “I just can’t believe what those {goofy} liberals are doing now!  When will it stop?”  Get up, get out, and get going!  Stand in front of an abortion clinic.  Talk to women who are considering one and offer CHRISTIAN advice.  Do something!

But there are more opportunities: volunteer at your local pregnancy help center to help prevent abortion in unwanted pregnancies, volunteer at local soup kitchens, encourage your church to have a more active and widespread outreach ministry, pray for our leader.

God never intended for Christians to be spectators – LIFE is not a spectator sport! Nor are we meant to be mere commentators! He never wanted us to sit around bickering and complaining about things we cannot change. He did mean for us to reach out to make a difference. He did mean for us to find ways to serve the downtrodden in society. After all, isn’t that where Jesus spent the majority of His own time?

So while we do need to stay abreast of what is happening here on our own soil, in the White House Oval Office, and abroad, we cannot let it dictate our mood or attitude any longer. If we do, our words will be ineffective because there will be no action to speak of.

I encourage everyone reading this to find at least one way each week you can make a difference: write to your senator/congressman/woman, etc., volunteer, support a worthy cause, etc. Do something to promote worthy “change” – not just moan about the bad.

Advertisements

The Name Game

2 Comments

From Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1594:

JULIET:
      ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
      Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
      What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
      Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
      Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
      What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;
      So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
      Retain that dear perfection which he owes
      Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
      And for that name which is no part of thee
      Take all myself.

Although I’m taking this a bit out of context, Shakespeare’s intended meaning is the same:  Juliet meant that it doesn’t matter what name we give to something, it remains the same.  Think about it:  does a rose smell any different if I call it garlic?  Nope.  Still smells delicious – just with a different name.

As it is with a lie.  Still reeks, just with a different label.

A lie is a lie regardless of the packaging.  It’s sort of like being given the most hideous gift ever, something truly revolting, in a beautiful package trimmed with bows, ribbons, exquisite wrapping and a lovely gift card with real gold lettering.  The package itself does not make the gift any less revolting.  In fact, it makes it worse because you expect something fabulous, and instead, get…..horrific.

In our society, we have given way to “New Age” beliefs, numerology, scientology, kabbala (sp?), hinduism, buddhism, islam, athiesm, homosexuality, abortion on demand, success-oriented churches, astrology, etc.    And in doing these things, we heap lie upon lie.

Satan, the author of lies and confusion, loves it.  He doesn’t really care what we call his lies as long as we believe them.  But the fact remains, it is still a lie.  It doesn’t matter what name we give the religion or agenda, if it is contrary to the Word of God, it is a lie.  Regardless of the name.

 

 

Christmas Poetry

1 Comment

Christ came to earth, one blessed
Holy night, to offer
Redemption to a world, so lost in His sight
Immanuel is His name, our
Savior He chose to be.
Three gifts were brought to Him, by the
Magi, for the One who would be
Atonement for sins – offering
Salvation to you and me.

Christmas Trees

Leave a comment

Have you ever noticed the differences in Christmas trees?

Some are simple – others are ornate.  Some are flocked – others are a beautiful evergreen.  Some are real – some are artificial.

It seems Christmas trees are a very personal thing in our country.  One person may have a designer tree full of gorgeous department store ornaments, ornate ribbons, and hundreds of lights.  Truly a sight to see.

Others may prefer a simpler decoration – perhaps just lights and some tinsel.  Or maybe all homemade decorations.  There are trees with ornaments depicting our hobbies and memorializing our deceased loved ones.  Some of us use garland, others use ribbons, some tinsel, and others pinecones.  Trees run the gamut from truly country-style to high-end upscale fashion.

Yes, Christmas trees are a personal expression of ourselves.  For us, our tree this year is one with multi-colored lights (I generally prefer clear, but am outnumbered by 3!) and decorations of all kinds.  There are the beautiful ones my Mom bought for my sister and I a couple of years ago.  There are ones the girls have made with no help from anyone.  A few were purchased at the girls’ first or second Christmases.  One is a photo ornament of my late father-in-law given to us by my sister-in-law last year.  Perhaps the most sentimental to me are the ones that John has chosen for the girls each year.  It is a special gift from him each year to his girls, and they all look forward to the tradition.  There are puffs of white tulle in various places on the tree (my attempt at simulating “snow” – actually very cute!), wonderful large ribbons of varying colors and types of ribbon – all made from bows received on ornately-wrapped gifts in the past.  Tucked in the tree in a few cozy spots are small teddy bears – remnants from a set of 12 we bought for Alexis when she was a toddler.  She insisted on using the red beaded garland, so that encircles the tree, as well as a 4′ length of cranberry garland she made this year.  With the exception of ONE – every ornament we have, I believe, is on the tree this year!  And, to top it off, they are all on the front 2/3 of the tree!  LOL….When I asked the girls if I could move a few to the back and rearrange a little – they both said, “NO!”  So, the tree remains a little “front heavy.”  Hopefully it will stand straight until Christmas!

The night our tree goes up, I always like to stay up after everyone goes to bed with the lights out and only the tree lit.  It somehow really helps to put me in the Christmas spirit.  This year was no different, and while I sat, God gave me this thought:

We (God’s children) are like Christmas trees. 

How?  Easy.  We are all different.  No two of us are exactly alike – we all come with different experiences (ornaments) and backgrounds (the tree itself).  The tree itself represents the whole of our lives, and the lights reveal His presence.  Like our individual Christmas trees are to us, we are all very special to Him, indeed. 

He sees the absolute beauty in each ornament as it adds something unique to our lives that no one else has.  He put it there!  The ornaments of our lives are used by the Lord to shape our hearts and bring us closer to Him, while showing an outward sign of what He has done for us, and can do for others.  The ornaments are one way for us to show the love of Christ.

He is the Light that illuminates our trees and shines so that the holes where ornaments are missing, or broken ornaments are placed, can be seen.  Clear or multi, the lights reveal empty spaces and magnify mistakes.  The Light of Christ reveals unrepented sin, and therefore, the lights are the most important of all the elements.

The tree itself was grown and handpicked specifically for us – God knew the exact tree:  shape, size, type, flocked or not – and He knows why that tree was chosen.  Sometimes we are disappointed in His choice of trees, but we shouldn’t be – #1 – we can’t change it.  Our past is our past and our background is what made us who we are today.  And #2, God has reasons far beyond our comprehension for choosing the background we have had.  He can and does use any circumstance for good, and for His purposes.

So, you see, your Christmas tree can remind you of more than the birth of Christ this year, although I am in no way taking that away.  I merely want to add that your Christmas tree can remind you, if you allow God to use it that way, of what He has brought you in your life.  Of what He has brought you out of in your life.  And when you look at the top of the tree – the star, the angel – let that be a reminder to know where He is taking you in your life.

I hope that after reading this, you look at your Christmas tree a little differently.  And I hope that you spend a little time in the Light of your tree, looking to the One who decorated it so beautifully.

Merry Christmas everyone.

The Christmas Gift

2 Comments

I wrote this originally in my personal journal (don’t you feel like a special friend, now?) as a Valentines poem. But I have been wanting to share it with you.  I changed a few words so it pertains to Christmas…hope you like it…let me know.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 The Christmas Gift

Lord, I have forgotten Your ways

I haven’t read Your Word in too many days

I have missed the mark time and time again

Who am I to say that You are my friend?

 

But, Lord, in Your grace I want to grow

And I’ll need Your help, this I know.

To find my way back to Your Throne

This is a journey I can’t make alone.

 

Lord, I have called upon You only when in trouble

Perhaps that is why lately, all I do is stumble.

I’ve cursed and I’ve cried, I’ve felt I could die

But, Lord, You never left. You were always at my side.

 

You’ve never forsaken me, you’ve always been there

In the morning, at night, and when I say the occasional prayer.

You’re there when I sleep and there when I cry

You’re there when I slip, though I sometimes wonder why.

 

I wonder how a Lord so sovereign and good

Can still love a sinner like me – I’m not so sure I could.

But You do Lord, and I’m blessed

For of every gift in life, Jesus is the best.

 

So, Lord, this Christmas Day, I want to tell You

That whatever it takes, that’s what I’ll do

I’‘ll do what’s needed to get back that fire.

Lord, I just ask You to teach me to desire

 

The things that are good, righteous, and just

And to never lose faith in Your love, but to trust.

To trust in Your provision, Your love, and Your promise

For You o Lord, cannot be dishonest.

 

Lord, You have my heart from now until forever

I will love You Lord, and not lose faith, no never.

So, Lord, be with me as on this new journey I start

And Lord, please accept this Christmas gift – my heart.

Sharpen Your Sword (wk of 12/7/08)

3 Comments

My mother said something last night I thought was awesome.  And, of course, I personally think my mom is a very wise, intelligent, brilliant, wonderful person (especially since I am just like her…ha ha ha!).  But, seriously, she made a statement in a conversation we were having that was very profound, yet very simple:

“The closer you get to God, the bigger your sins appear.”

Isn’t that true?  I know it is for me.  Recently, I have been reading and rereading Psalm 51 – a prayer for remission of sins.  If you’ve never read it, I encourage you to do so, prayerfully, as it is a Psalm that will allow God to reveal hidden sins in your life, and remind you that ALL sin is against Him.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to they lovingkindness:  according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions:  and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in they sight:  that thous mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:  and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:  wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God;  and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from they presence;  and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;  and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways;  and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation:  and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips;  and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice:  else I would give it:  thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:  and broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thine good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering:  then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

 

Awesome words from an awesome God….

Iron sharpeneth iron…

Leave a comment

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.  Proverbs 27:17

On our trip to Houston this past weekend, we were blessed to be able to stay at the home of some dear friends of ours.  (You know who you are!)  I cannot begin to count the ways the Lord has blessed us through them.  With loving kindness, they have brought a message from God to us on many different subjects.  And to top it off, they surprised us with another great blessing – another dear couple from our old church joined us for dinner!  It was a joyful reunion, and a gift and blessing that means so much to me.  Friends have always been very important in my life, and these two sweet couples simply define friends.  I have learned much from both, and look forward to spending eternity with such as these. 

This verse from Proverbs proves that we can learn from our friends and that having friends can definitely improve our attitude.  God uses our friends to show His grace, His comfort, His mercy, and His heart – sometimes.  No man is an island, is the saying.  A man with no friends is a very lonely man, indeed.

But be warned:  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.  Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled.  Matthew 26:56. 

Friends are wonderful gifts from Jehovah, but we must be sure to keep our friendships in their right place.  They are a gift FROM God, not an idol to be placed on a pedestal.  Our friends are human, and therefore, completely fallible.  They will fail us on occasion.  There will be times when we call, and they will not be there.  There will be times when they don’t listen and grieve or mourn with us.  They will not always take our side in a battle, and we will have disagreements. 

But, there is hope!  There is One Friend we can always count on…One Friend who will never leave us nor forsake us. 

Isaiah 54:10  For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

John 14:18  I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:  for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

No matter what the circumstance…no matter if everyone else around us has fled the scene, Jesus remains.  When it seems no one is listening, He is.  And, it is my contention that sometimes He causes our human friends to forsake us so that we have to turn to Him.  He longs for us to run to Him first, every time.  He is waiting, with open arms, for the chance to comfort, to teach, to grieve, or to praise with you! 

I can honestly say that my best friend on earth is my husband.  I love him more than I can express with words (and I can talk – a lot!).  But, there are times when he can’t give me what I need.  Only Jesus can help at those times.  It is not a cause to be angry at or blame my husband for a shortcoming, because in doing so I am condemning the entire human race. 

We can’t be everything to ANYONE.  There is a void that only Christ can fill, and there is a limited time to ask Him to do so. 

So, I implore you this day, right now, if you have not asked the Lion of Judah, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ to be your Best Friend – to save you from your sins and the wrath to come, do it now, while there is still time.

Standing on the Rock of Ages,

Toni