What if we are looking at the 5 fold ministry gifts wrong?

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The concept of the “Five Fold Ministry Gifts” comes from Ephesians 4:11 where it says ” Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, and the pastors and teachers”. The term “five fold ministry gifts” comes from man alone. That term is not used in scripture, it’s just a catchy phrase to sum this up without listing them all off when discussing them. I don’t have a problem with the term “five fold”, my issue is the premise that only a few get the gifts by election.

Some translations read “He gave some….”, others say “He gifted some to be….”, the Passion translation says “He appointed some with grace to be….” while others simply say “He (speaking of Christ) gave to the church…”

Of the various translations I find a combination of “He gave to the church” and “He appointed some with grace” to be the most consistent with the rest of the New Testament. If we look at it like this, He gave to the church those whom He gave grace to be …, we will get a better understanding of what Paul was saying.

When we phrase it as “gave some” it denotes an election by someone or something. Was the election by man or by Yahweh? If we say they were given by God to some, why do we have church and denominational boards to determine who has what gift? Why do they look at the external package and talents to determine? If we say man determines who has which of these gifts then that would be consistent with the above mentioned entities telling this one you have it and that one you don’t just because they look the type and have talents that closely resemble a certain gift.

Jesus made it clear that those who answer the call, die to themself, and follow Him at any cost all the days of their life are gifted with talents (gifts). A precedent is also established in scripture that Yahweh does not care what a person looks like, what they do, have done, live, have lived, stutter, not stutter and educated or not educated. He has made a practice of using the least likely and least remarkable to do the impossible so the praise will go to Him. Scripture also tells us not to worry what to say, that when the time comes the Holy Spirit will speak for you. We claim we know that Yahweh’s grace is sufficient for every situation for those who are in obedience to His will. Despite this we still have highly educated people evaluating others to deem them fit for what they themselves are not doing and have not done. How many people have been legitimately called by the Lord to something and people talk them out of it claiming they aren’t qualified?

Given this, I do not believe the “Five Fold Ministry Gifts” are just for certain people or that certain elect get two gifts bestowed on them. I also contend, in an unpopular opinion in many circles, that there are still apostles. If the position of apostle was only valid for those who walked with Jesus then we have two problems. The first, how does Paul claim to be an apostle? I’ve heard different dances around this centering on He was a witness to the life of Jesus. That holds as much water as a spaghetti strainer when the next question is posed. Secondly, if apostle was only good for the 12 plus Paul, why list it? By listing it, then man discounting it as not valid opens the door to say other passages of scripture are not valid for today. After all, things today are not the same as they were 2,000 years ago. This is a slippery slope that bit us on the marriage issue and will continue to bite us. We can not quote verses and say the entirety of scripture is good for learning and rebuke then turn around and say “well this one…it doesn’t apply” simply because we haven’t experienced it, understand it or like it.

So, what if the grace to be any of these gifts was given to anyone when it was needed to edify and build up the church? What if those who were unabashedly sold out, 100% committed to Christ with no regard to the cost, were in a position where the Holy Spirit was free to release anyone of these gifts at the right time in any follower? I say those who walk fully in the Spirit have that grace and it is not accepted nor understood by religion.

See, religion can not control the gifts when Yahweh decides to release them. Religion can not control when it happens. It can not control how it happens, what it looks like and who it comes through. Religion tried to have its way and claimed Jesus was so unorthodox and such a threat to them they killed Him. Religion still tries to stifle the Spirit in a bid to maintain control in the erroneous belief that they know best. This is why we have so many churches and ministries concerned with performance and appearance over the power of His presence. I will take a group under the bridge, in the woods, in an old theater or the Wal-Mart parking lot any day over religion! Everywhere religion has a stronghold there is difficulty and poverty. When religion is chucked and presence is embraced signs and wonders follow.

Afterall, Paul walked in all five gifts. When a gift was needed it was there. This was due to his faithfullness to Jesus and comittment to not being distracted by outside influence. Nowhere in any translation of the Bible can I find where it says that God will not give like kind giftings to others like Paul. It’s up to us to determine how bad we want to be used. How important is it to be truly set apart.

Andy

The many insights to the parable of the prodigal son.

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The parable of the Prodigal Son is well-known to anyone who has been in church for any length of time. There’s a lot of lessons that can be taken from the story. Some are obvious, some not so much and some just plain overlooked. For some the most obvious lesson is the prodigal son because your Bible has a headline over that section calling it that. It automatically gears your brain to see what the title tells you to see. This is a common flaw in most English translations that I wish was not there.

The entire thought of Luke chapter 15 is the master, father, owner, shepherd not allowing the ” one ” to be lost without going to great lengths to get that one back. It’s to give the image of God, Yahweh, the Father’s desire to make sure not one is lost, but all have the opportunity to come back to Him. The interesting thing about this section of chapter 15 is the title of ” Prodigal Son “. The only person in the parable that considered the son a prodigal was the brother. I’ll come back to that later.

The most obvious lesson here is the son taking what he felt was his and going away from home to live how he wanted to live. When things dried up and he was scrounging slop from the pig pen he realized he should go home. It was better to be a servant there than a slave where he was currently. This indicates the relationship with the father was such that the son was confident that his dad would take him back as a hired hand at the very least. He didn’t feel as if he was banished and unwelcome to return. Those two lessons are of great importance for all parents, especially fathers. Kids will eventually strike out and some will do so without your blessing. Some will fail and want to come back. Your attitude towards them, your actions when they leave is a determining factor on whether they feel they can come back to set things straight. The revelation of how things were with his father and the willingness to come back would not have happened if the father was not loving and caring.

The second lesson is the devotion of the father. He didn’t stand in the way of his son leaving despite wisdom gained from life telling him it was a bad idea. While the son was gone the father continued to watch for his sons return. Nowhere does it say the father sat in judgement over the sons poor decisions. It doesn’t say he lectured the son when he got back. It says he ran to his son when he saw him coming and embraced him. It goes on to say that he put all the things back on his son that showed everyone his position in the family. He didn’t make his son work for the forgiveness asked for. Instead the father gave quickly and restored him to his former place.

These first two lessons are perfect illustrations of how God the Father acts. He doesn’t stop us from wandering off. When we do He will not allow to stay gone in peace. Through prompting from the Holy Spirit, what we call a guilty conscience, to stop and go back. Through a series of events that allow us to hit rock bottom to bring us to our senses. Whatever the means He will allow to happen to bring us back. He will not condemn us when we return and truly repent seeking forgiveness. Instead He quickly restores us to our rightful place as heirs to the throne, a royal priesthood – His child, not a servant.

The third lesson is one we don’t really look at with western eyes. I’ve read the story numerous times, but until I was shown this through a book titled ” Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes ” did I see the significance of verses 14-16 where it talks about a great famine sweeping through the land that caused great hunger and very difficult times where one had to struggle for survival. In the Western world we glance over the famine reference because we can not relate to a true famine. When someone from the Middle East, Asia Minor or Africa read this they completely understand the significance of the famine. Without the famine life might not have become so miserable that the son wanted to go home. He might have fought it out and made a life for himself. As it were the famine came taking away all options but returning to the father.

What a perfect picture of our relationship with the Father Yahweh and our own stubbornness! We will fight kicking ans screaming trying to do it our way, trying to pave our own road. Eventually when things get so bad that we are truly at wit’s end, bottom of the barrel with no other options we return to the Father who has been waiting for us to make what should have been our first choice.

The last lesson I’m going to highlight is the reaction of the brother. When the brother came to realize who the party was for he was more than angry. Notice the brother is noted as being the ” older ” one. The older one in this culture was the rightful heir, the one with greater responsibility and rights. When the younger was recognized and celebrated he allowed jealousy to rule his emotions. His response says it all. He was angry that his father was celebrating the son that abandoned them while he ” slaved ” for the father. See, he had a slaves mindset, not a mindset of a son ( sonship ). Because he had the mindset of a slave he could not rejoice because, in his view, another slave who did less should not be recognized.

What I find interesting is the older son proclaiming that his brother spent the money on prostitutes. How did he know that? He had yet to talk to his brother and didn’t know he was back yet. The only way he knew was if he was engaged in gossip, spying on his brother and getting reports or took time away for a quick trip himself. When we get mad and our sense of whats fair gets trampled on by someone who we know was living in sin we point it out. ” Well you know they were hanging out with those crack heads “, ” you know he was drinking with that woman ” and so on. What business is it of yours? If God accepted them back with forgiveness and they truly repented then all is good. If you are not walking in the same level of favor, faith and worship then something is out of place in your life.

How often do we see ” Christians ” get upset, uppity and offended by someone walking in blessing that just a short time ago was living like the prodigal? How often do we hear grumblings of ” I’ve done all this work “, ” I’ve always been faithful to God “, ” I’ve tithed every week ” followed by a variation of ” they don’t deserve it, who do they think they are! “. They don’t think they are anybody, they know they are a redeemed child of God and have fully accepted their forgiveness. They are not stuck in religion that tells them they have to work and perform for God’s favor like the oldest son thought.

Read Luke 15, the whole chapter without reading the headlines over each section. Honestly, read the entire Bible like that. Ignore, black out, find a Bible that doesn’t have them, but read it without someone else’s comments on what the section means and see what the Lord wants you to see. You might be surprised at what you find.

Andy

What did Jesus mean when He said “turn the other cheek”?

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When Jesus gave what is dubbed “The Sermon on the Mount” He gave a peculiar instruction that defies human nature. To be honest the whole Sermon on the Mount goes against human nature, but the one to turn the other cheek is hard to swallow. What did He mean exactly when He said that? Was He saying when someone hits you to not defend yourself, but allow them to hit you again?

The whole sermon deals with our actions and reactions from the heart. We are prone to react in a very un-spiritual way when sued, forced to do something we don’t want to for someone we don’t like, when slandered and especially when assaulted. The reactions He is instructing are so radical that we must have His spirit in us to respond in these ways. Almost everyone says they will never turn the other cheek when hit, that they will defend themself against violence.

Mathew chapter 5, in context, gives a different outlook to verse 39. To get the proper context you have to read the entire chapter as one thought, one line of thinking to arrive at a given point. Verse 39 relies heavily on a custom of the day that involved getting hit on the right cheek, not being assaulted with the intent of bodily harm. If the intent was to allow evil people to beat a believer with the believer giving no resistance Jesus would not have instructed His disciples in Luke 22:36 to sell their cloak and buy a sword.

In that time period the ultimate insult for someone to give was a backhand on the right cheek. It was worse than being spit on or at. What Jesus doesn’t want us doing is trying to defend ourselves against insult, criticism and rumour. He’ll do that for us in time. The meaning of turn the other cheek is to let them continue showing their true colors and your character testifying to the I AM.

That’s the same reasoning behind verses 40 – 48. It’s to show you are set apart from the world. It’s to show that you live under the influence and discipline of the Spirit, not man. It’s to be set apart, peculiar, different to attract people. We can’t attract people when we act like everyone around us. There’s no allure or testimony to the power of Christ in that. Everything we are instructed to do is for the purpose of glorifying Him.

Spiritual Boot Camp

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I was listening to Jack Graham on Sirius XM the other morning when he used the phrase ” Spiritual Boot Camp “. To paraphrase, as I was driving and couldn’t write it down, he said when God called the Israelites out of Egypt He had to take them through a spiritual boot camp. That line stuck with me.

Boot Camp is a time when the military attempts to break off all individual thinking. They try to break off all civilian mindsets, thinking and actions. They then go through the process of attempting to build the person up into a Marine, soldier, sailor or airman. They teach the basics of what it means to be a Marine, soldier, etc. and the basics of how to think, act, respond and obey.

When a person is in boot camp and they fail to learn what is required at different stages they are then ” recycled ” to a training company that is not as far along as their current training company. There they must go through the process again in the hopes that they will learn it the second time around. The military will only ” recycle ” a person so many times before they are deemed a lost cause and discharged, never attaining the prize they set out for. The same thing happened to the Israelites. God only allowed them so many attempts at getting the basics right.

Spiritual boot camp would be a time when a person learns how to think, behave and obey as a follower of Christ. In Israel’s case they didn’t know of Jesus, but did follow the Father – Yahweh. The two most important and basic acts are faith and obedience. You can obey without faith and be in disobedience or you can have faith and disobey. Obeying with faith is the basic form of obedience that God is looking for. In order for these two behaviors to sink in our thick heads as first nature responses God has to take us through various basic tests, situations to grow our faith and willingness to obey.

The Israelites were shown what God could do while in Egypt. They were elated, full of joy and excited as they were leaving the county with their new-found freedom. The very first obstacle they encountered they reverted to their captivity mindset and had a complete loss of faith, which is disobedience. Every step of the way they showed no growth in this regard. They complained, doubted and disobeyed God at every turn. As a result God continued to ” recycle ” them until the only ones left alive to obtain the prize were the obedient and faithful few.

In the military a person advances from boot camp to the next level of training where they are given a bit more freedom and responsibility. Some call the graduation from boot camp as a promotion without an advancement in rank. The church , or body of Christ, is referred to as an army and the individual as soldiers in more than one instance in scripture. The same principle holds true, when you demonstrate a firm grasp on faith and obedience you are advanced, or promoted, to another level. The opposite is true in both the military and the body. Those who refuse to conform stay at the lowest rank with no recognition or advancement. Eventually the military will discharge the person due to ” failure to adapt ” under a ” good of service ” administrative discharge. The same principle is true when you read how we are to respond to a fellow believer when they are in unrepentant sin and when Jesus talks about abiding in the vine.

There is a point where an individual refuses to conform to the mere basics of the faith. At this point, not only does God’s Holy Spirit stop convicting and guiding you, but the enemy Satan also leaves you alone. You have demonstrated that you are no threat to him and no benefit to the Kingdom. The good news is there is always a second chance to come around. God will not abandon you, but He will leave you alone in the hopes that once you have worn every option out your way you will come back to the Father.

If you find yourself going through the same trials it may be because you have failed to learn the basic traits of faith and obedience and are being ” recycled ” through the same training evolution until you get it. You might say I have faith, but what does your mouth say while you are going through said trial? You might say I’m obedient, but do you obey the voice you hear when praying or does your obedience stop at love your neighbor and giving your tithes & offerings?

You might say that I know I’ve made it beyond the basics and I still have trials. You are going to. Jesus never said we wouldn’t, just the opposite is true. Just like the military when you promote to new ranks. There are new training evolution’s, new schools and new responsibilities with each promotion. With your promotions and advancements there are new responsibilities that bring new trials. Some have dubbed this as ” new levels – new devils “.

Don’t lose heart as we all go through the same training evolution’s as believers. We all have to learn the basics to move on. None of us do it perfectly and our advancements do not all look the same. God has different things for each of us, but no position is less than the other regardless of how people see it.

Andy

 

 

Tips for a happy life.

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Everybody wants to be happy. It’s a driving force behind many of our decisions. We buy things thinking we will be happy once we have it. We eat, drink and consume things with the hope it will make us happy for a time. We even make life long decisions like marrying someone with the thoughts that “if I can just be married I’ll be happy.” We do all manner of things in the pursuit of happiness. It’s so important to us that the pursuit is listed in the beginning paragraph of one of America’s founding documents.

In 1988 Bobby McFerrin released a song titled ” Don’t Worry, Be Happy “. It spent 26 weeks on the Billboard Chart with 2 weeks in the top spot. Besides it having a catchy tune it spoke to the desire in all of us. There have been numerous books, movies, blogs, articles and advertisements putting out the idea of happiness that we flock to. The root of advertising is to make you think you must have it, once you do you will be complete and happy. Whether it’s the perfect romance, the perfect spouse and family, the perfect car, phone, clothes, home or whatever, if we make and spend enough money we will find happiness. Sadly that feeling is fleeting and feeds a desire to do and get more to obtain that feeling again.

The truth is being happy is a state of mind more than anything else. When we allow ourselves to think we will be happy if we can only do the things fed us by corporate America and the media, then we find we aren’t. What I’m going to give you are  6 easy things you can do to bring happiness and contentment to your life that cost little to no money.

  1. Eat and drink with joy. In other words be thankful for what you have and that you are not starving. Eat and drink each meal as if it’s a banquet. There was a saying we had to yell in boot camp when asked  ” What is today! “. We would respond with ” TODAY IS ANOTHER GRAND AND GLORIOUS DAY IN THE MARINE CORPS WHERE EVERYDAY IS A HOLIDAY AND EVERY MEAL A BANQUET!” It seems absurd, but I’ll tell you that by the time we got to the chow hall we were thrilled with whatever they threw on our plates. It was a mindset of gratitude that we got food, much less hot food.
  2. Live happily with your spouse. The easiest way to achieve this is to start talking to each other and not at each other. Talk to each other and not through the kids. Stop complaining about your spouse to friends, family, co-workers and stop hanging around those that do. Stop comparing them to someone else and they can become your greatest blessing.
  3. Do everything with excellence. As discipline begets discipline so does excellence beget excellence. Once you are conditioned to do everything in that manner you will not settle for anything else. You will sleep better at night knowing you gave it your all, your best effort. This also helps make you a bit more tired at the end of the day as you spent more energy than someone trying to find the laziest way out. None of your skills and talents will go with you when you die. You might as well give people the benefit if having them now.
  4. Remember that the fastest, strongest and most skilled person does not always win or come out on top. Sometimes they don’t even get recognized. Sometimes luck, or chance, just wasn’t on their side. At times the slower, weaker and less intelligent gets pushed on top. They may have had a bit of wisdom that you didn’t or their character and work ethic was being recognized. Dwelling on it will distract you. Analyze why, learn from it and move on. Let it be an opportunity to grow and mature. Carry on, your time will come.
  5. You can not predict when tragedy or hard times will come. All you can do is prepare with the knowledge that those times will come. None of us can escape it. The mindset and preparation determine how we will come out the other side. Dwelling on the myriad of different things that can go wrong will only lead to anxiety, depression and a general hopelessness that robs you of all happiness.

These five things are actually wisdom passed on from a king in his older years of life. They are lessons learned as he reflected on life that he penned for us. The first sentence of all 5 are his, the how to are mine and his mingled together. You can find these in Ecclesiastes chapter 5. That’s a book in the Old Testament of the Bible right after Proverbs. I know! Who would have thought so much relevant wisdom would be found in the Bible? Don’t take my word for it, read it yourself.

The last component for true happiness comes from contentment in all things good or bad. This contentment comes from peace that generates a general happiness and is rooted in your spirit through following Jesus. Add that component to the previous 5 and you will have a joy that you don’t understand at all times. You stop following Him, or never start, that true happiness is never on solid ground. You will continue to try to “get” things to fill the void in your spirit, but never really fill it. You won’t be able to put your finger on what exactly is lacking. You will do the previous 5 and your stress level will come down and you will have a greater measure of happiness, but that void….. Ultimately true happiness is a condition of your mind and spirit.

Andy

Praying for Mikialah

Some of you who will read know of the medical problems our daughter is having. Those who are praying, we do appreciate the prayers.

Mikialah has been having severe, persistent headaches since November. She has also had nights of little sleep, nausea, random & severe chest pains resembling being shocked, random loss of breath, random eye twitching and a few other symptoms. The hospitals we’ve been to locally all have blown it off as “normal for a teenage girl”.

Wake Forest Baptist Hospital took it serious and got her in pretty quick after contacting them. The thought was it might be related to a disconnective tissue disorder. After a lot of examining they determined it wasn’t that, but something outside their wheelhouse was wrong.

We eventually got her into John’s Hopkins. The doc there diagnosed her with New Daily Persistent Headache. He studied all the results from all the hospitals and doctors we’ve seen beforehand. He didn’t see anything concerning and went with that diagnoses and gave a lot of good info. He also prescribed two medications. The pain med was slowly increased in dosage over a couple weeks.

Today Amber talked to the doc and told of Mikialah’s chest pains increasing in severity. He instructed to immediately take Mikialah off the meds. He is aware of the side effects of sudden withdrawal, but thinks that is much less of a concern than the side effects this drug has concerning the heart.

There’s no end to what to pray for. All this is it out if pocket expense as Obama Care wiped out our old plan and priced us out of coverage. Mikialah is looking at some painful days ahead unless Jesus intervenes. Amber is dealing with this basically alone as I’m gone weeks at a time. It’s draining on her mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Combined it effects her physically also.

Now to where I’ll offend some of you. If you are praying out of fear and anxiety, don’t. Pray out of boldness and faith only.

If you’re praying and telling God what to do, stop! You’re wasting your breath. Pray for His will and His glory first, then your request.

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray He said “…your kingdom come, your will be done…” We overlook His will and jump to our demands then get discouraged when nothing we demanded happens.

The good news is Mikialah is the strongest person I know. She’s much stronger than Amber or myself. She plainly stated that she can’t just lie in bed, she had to learn to deal with it. Her faith is still good and has said that she knows this is preparation for something. She knows it’s to be a witness for someone and we know her strength and endurance is from the Holy Spirit.

So when you pray, pray for His will & His glory first. Then for whatever the Lord places on your heart or don’t pray until you can.

I’ll do another post later laying out the treatments to date in some detail.
Andy.

The problem with Children’s Ministry

Children’s ministries have a glaring fundamental flaw that is rarely spoke of publicly in the church. If the pastors or elders did speak from the pulpit on this flaw it would seriously offend some people and money would walk out the door. We all know that we have to be hyper sensitive to people in today’s day in age where we get easily offended by the simplest words.

The first problem is that we have a multi-billion dollar children’s church industry. I am not a fan of separating children from parents in church. It creates subcultures in the body that breed discention, a lack of community and a disconnect between generations. Once a child graduates children’s church they are moved to youth group where they are separated still. They then move up to young adults and college & career where they are still living in a subculture that is separate from the rest of the church. Kids don’t get to witness their parents worshiping, they don’t get to see other adults worshiping, they don’t get to witness adults learning and taking notes. The family often has no idea what went on in children’s church and the answers from their kids when asked is often ” it was OK ” or ” it was fun “. When asking what the children’s pastor taught they shrug and mutter something about fun or a character in the Bible. There is nothing for the kids and parents to discuss. Is it any wonder why each subsequent generations church attendance gets smaller and smaller? They no longer feel that they have anything in common with the older generation that they were separated from. The sad fact is we are stuck with it for the forseeable future.

We are in an age where everything has to cater to the individual. The individual needs to be entertained. We can’t take responsibility for our kids in church, we need them out of our hair so we can relax. They need to be someone else’s problem. We can’t take responsibility to discipline them during the rest of the week so we can’t make them mind during a two-hour church service. We have trained them through T.V and video games to switch topics ( gears if you will ) about every minute or two. Now the pastor is too boring because he isn’t fast paced and loud so we feel the need to farm them out to the children’s ministry and expect them to make a huge and lasting impact on their behavior.

Now that that’s out-of-the-way. The problem is not the Children’s pastor or the volunteers. My wife and I were children’s pastors, led Royal Rangers and Missionettes ( Impact Girls ) volunteered in inner city outreaches to kids and with our churches children’s ministry in other areas. There are some really good volunteers and children’s pastors who try, care, pray for and cry over the kids they see each week. The problem is they only see the kids a couple of hours a week. They might have them two hours on Sunday morning and that’s it for most of them. They get to see a few more back on Sunday night and even fewer on Wednesday night. All in all they might see your kids a total of 4 hours max out of 168 hours. That leaves 164 hours where the kid is being influenced elsewhere.

The remaining time is split with roughly 45 hours a week at school for around 180 days a year. That leaves as few as 119 hours a week where the primary influence on the child is at home. That is a huge and insurmountable difference between time under the influence of a children’s pastor and influence of the parent. Those 4 hours your overworked children’s pastor has can not overcome the learned behavior of the other 164 hours a week. Sure, the children’s pastor can influence your child. Sure they can help instill a love for Christ and the knowledge of good and evil, but they are not the primary influence in the child’s life. Mom and dad  – you are.

How can you as a parent honestly say the children’s ministry at your church is ineffective when your actions and behavior at home counter what they are being taught at church? In church the kids are taught the importance of reading their Bible, yet your kids never see you reading yours. They may not even know you own one! They are taught not to gossip about people but over dinner you gossip about that coworker living with his girlfriend who can’t chew gum with her mouth shut, or you gossip about sister so-and-so who wore that hideous dress that made her already large behind look even larger. They are taught not to lie, but they watch you lie to get a discount or get out of a speeding ticket. They are taught to pray, but the only time they see you pray is when the car breaks or something goes wrong and you mutter “Jesus Christ!” They are taught to be kind to the poor and watch you badmouth the homeless guy on the corner. See where this is going?

Parents, you are the most influential person in their life and they learn what is important from you. They learn if church is important by your commitment. When you pull them out of church at 8:30 PM because it’s a school night, but you don’t bat an eye when they stay on the ball field until 10:00 PM on a school night you are showing that sports is more important than church. The same is true when you blow off numerous services in the name of sports throughout the year or every weekend at the beach during the off school months. When you casually blow off church you are telling your kids church just isn’t that important.

In short you are spending the week undoing what the children’s pastor and volunteers are trying to teach. Then you get angry with the pastor and volunteers when your kid doesn’t know even the simplest Bible stories or is frequently needing discipline during service for acting up. The problem is not the children’s pastor, it’s not the volunteers, it’s not the curriculum, it’s you!

No one ever said parenting was going to be easy. No one ever promised you a rose garden once you became pregnant with your first child. The responsibility to raise them and instruct them in the ways of the Lord is your responsibility, not anyone else’s. Children are a tremendous blessing that come with an incredible burden. In truth all great blessings come with a great burden of responsibility that can not by delegated to someone else. None of us will parent perfectly, but you will be amazed at the grace your kids will show you when they know God is your first priority, your spouse is your second than them. That grace comes from security in their position with you and later from their own relationship with the Lord.

Andy

 

Is it Global Warming, Global Cooling or Climate Change?

According to the American Museum of Natural History the earth is 4.5 billion years old, give or take 50 million years. Biblical historians say the earth is 6,000 years old.

We have been keeping track of temperature since 1880 and later in some parts of the world. We’ll just say 1880 for the whole world in regards to temperature recording. That’s 138 years of recordings. Now that is being extremely generous as in the early 1950’s there was no temperature recording in North Korea. They guessed the temperature at the Chosin Reservoir by the effects on weapons lubricants, wound clotting, etc.

If the world is only 6,000 years old then we only have data for about .03% of the earth’s life. If the earth is 4.5 billion years old then we have data for less than .0001% of the earth’s life.

With that little data how can we honestly say the earth is warming or cooling at alarming rates? How do we know what the normal temps should be? No other area of science would this little amount of data be considered enough to even come close to drawing any kind of hypothesis. So why then are we taking the theory of global warming as gospel? Why did we change it from global cooling in the 70’s to warming and now climate change?

We can see an undisputed pattern of climate change since man started keeping records. In these records we see a lot of change that indicates a cyclic pattern of nature.

To have any accurate data set to make climate change, cooling or warming trends alarming we would need at least another billion years worth of data if you adhere to the “old earth” philosophy.

Stop and think about what you are being told and ask yourself, why are they pushing this with so little evidence?
Why are they so hostile to those who question it?
Why do they actively try and suppress science and reports from the scientific community that challenge their assertions?
Why have they buried the leaked data that shows the data being used was false?
Why are we putting man made computer models, with such a miniscule data set, in such high regard as to cost the world economies trillions of dollars and exasperate the hunger problems?

If only people would abandon “group think” and think on their own.

Andy

If Jesus were here today He would….

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Recently several articles have been circulating around social media about a certain televangelist who was asking his “followers” to pony up $54 million for another private jet. This after a video of the same televangelist with another laughing about why they need their own private jets. A comment in the most recent video was “I really believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey. He’d be in an airplane flying all over the world.” This brought to mind all the crazy claims people make saying “Jesus would” to justify it.

Lets start with the plane. I doubt Jesus would be flying all over the world in any plane, let alone a $54 million private plane. Why you ask? When Jesus walked the earth he used the most common mode of travel to the masses at the time. He walked, rode in a fishing boat and one notable occasion a donkey. He didn’t travel very far from his earthly home in Nazareth. He stayed within a close proximity of that area despite the “known world” by Roman standards being journeys of many month’s. The known world to God the Father would be years of walking, sailing and riding. Despite the knowledge of the whole world and the people in it He stayed in a relatively small area.

He would ask for money every time He ministered to carry on the ministry. There is not one recorded instance that I can find that even suggests that Jesus asked for money. We know He and the apostles had some or Judas would not have been the money handler. This suggests that people gave out of a holy conviction. There are those who travel to evangelize and never ask for any money or lodging accommodations. They foot the bill out of their own pockets and rely on God to provide through the people where they are ministering to. If the amount given does not cover expenses, all well.

Jesus would drive a Prius ( or insert your favorite eco-friendly car ). Jesus was a carpenter by trade. In his day carpenters not only worked with wood, but stone also. A Prius, Tesla, Civic Hybrid or whatever can not carry the tools and material. Jesus had a crew of 12 that went everywhere with Him. There is not one eco-friendly car on the market that can accommodate 13 men, food and clothes.

Jesus would never go into a bar. Really…..have you read the stories of the people He ministered to? They weren’t exactly presidents, congressmen and billionaires. They were the working class, the tax collectors, the prostitutes and such. The very people you would find in “that side of town”. He went to where they were and they in turn went to find Him.

Jesus would certainly be “this denomination”. That’s as deluded as it gets! Jesus taught of loving one another and being of one mind. The denominational structure of the church today is anything but loving one another and being of one accord. He never talked of wearing no makeup, covering all bare skin, not affiliating with people of the world, nor eating this or that, not drinking, not going to parties. He did all those things. His first known miracle was at a party and involved alcohol.

Jesus would certainly be King James only! Please……stop…..just stop. Jesus would have been about whatever translation gets the point across in a manner that is consistent with the word of God and is understandable and relatable to the masses. He spoke in the local languages of the day which would have been Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek ( Latin ). He related truths of Gods word in stories that the common man could understand and put into practice. If you really want to go down that rabbit hole, do you really think the man who taught on one wife, no divorce and sanctity of marriage would be thrilled with a bible commissioned by a man, for a new church, separate from the existing church so he could divorce one wife and marry another? Somehow I think Jesus might frown on that.

If Jesus were here he would live in a nice house. I doubt it. There is no record that He had a home of His own. He said the son of man has nowhere to lay His head. In the gospels He is traveling and staying in other people’s homes. If your justification for a big house is “Jesus would” you will probably find yourself a vagrant.

If Jesus were here He wouldn’t harp on sin. He wouldn’t want to make people feel bad about themself. Have you even read His teachings? He had no qualms about being challenging, in your face and brutally honest. He would call out sin in a minute and let the truth bring conviction. He also had an amazing amount of compassion at the same time which allowed people to sense His sincerity and love.

Jesus would never put people in charge of churches or ministries that didn’t have this degree or that degree. About that…..non of His followers, who all became early church leaders, had any formal doctrinal teaching. Most were not schooled at all. What they had was a firm and unshakable belief in His deity. They had the power of the Holy Spirit and an unquestioning desire to be totally obedient. They had dynamic prayer lives and were accountable to each other. When was the last time the church grew by 5,000 in a single day or the members voluntarily sold their stuff and pooled it all together to make sure everyone in the church was provided for?

If Jesus were here today He would be married. Not so fast, there is no record of him being married. Most likely He wasn’t given His knowledge of His future and the pain and hardships that would cause someone. It would also have been a distraction that He did not have time for. This is alluded to in Paul’s instructions on marriage in later years. Given Jesus’ schedule, travels and lodging a woman would have been a hinderance and a distraction He could not afford and still fulfill the Father’s plan.

If Jesus were here He wouldn’t have a problem watching this. I’m not convinced He would watch anything on any form of media today. When I look at His life I don’t see much spare time that He didn’t have devoted to His Father’s business. He was always traveling, preaching, teaching, healing, counseling, discipling, eating or sleeping. He was first and foremost about His Father’s business and didn’t seem to entertain anything that would be a distraction from that.

If Jesus were here He would find a way to get away and get work done. Not likely. The few times Jesus “got away” the crowds found Him and He had compassion on them. He then ministered to them, taught, cast out demons and healed people. He was never concerned about people bothering Him or there being to many “demons” around. Given this, He still found time to get alone and pray.

The next time you hear someone say “if Jesus”, stop and take a good look at the life Jesus lived while here on earth. I’m not saying that you doing any of the above is a sin. It’s not a sin unless it’s strictly forbidden in the Bible or His holy spirit brought conviction on you about it. Just because Jesus didn’t do it doesn’t mean you can’t. The problem is when we try to justify what we are doing by invoking WWJD.

Andy

The reasons behind the anger over the firing of Roseanne.

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Roseanne Barr goes to Twitter and tweets a comparison between Valerie Jarrett to an ape. The left went apoplectic and she was fired about five hours after her tweet. Many of her fans and many conservative leaning individuals first condemned the tweet then blasted ABC for firing her. In response to the outrage against ABC many left leaning individuals, the press and the entertainment industry are trying to call conservative minded people hypocrites over applauding the NFL’s new rule, but condemning ABC. This shows they really don’t see the problem or don’t care, they just want the talking point and the division. I believe they just want to keep us divided and the best way to do that is to ignore the truth and stoke the flames.

We are angry with ABC, the media and the entertainment industry in general because of their blatant hypocrisy. The cry about a war on women yet it took them 30 years to fire Harvey Weinstein and they all knew about his behavior. It took them 5 hours to fire Roseanne for her tweet and they all knew how unstable she is.

They claim they are for free speech, but applaud and cover up social media’s persistent censoring of conservative and Christian speech. They fire the only real conservative sitcom, Tim Allen & Last Man Standing despite it being the highest rated show on ABC.

Jimmy Kimmell mocks Melania Trump for her accent and calls her stupid. The left laughs and says no big deal, yet they fire Roseanne.

Bill Maher calls blacks n!g@*rs, makes fun of blacks and calls them house slaves. He gets called out on it and issues a very insincere apology and the left calls him a great comedian. He goes on to compare Donald Trump to an ape, the same thing Roseanne did to Valerie Jarrett yet he keeps his job.

Wanda Sykes, one of the most vile comedians on TV and movies gets to call President Trump all manner of obscene names and compared him to an ape. She keeps her job and gets applauded, yet Roseanne gets fired.

Joy Reid gets investigated by the FBI for homophobic blog posts and mocks gays & lesbians, lies to investigators and tries to blame hackers and the left holds her up as a great example of a strong woman.

The comedian for the White House Correspondents Dinner jokes about abortion and delivers one insulting joke after another about Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the left applauds her as funny and entertaining.

Keith Olberman tweets “F$ck Trump Nazi Nazi f*ck Nazi Nazi racist Nazi BIGOT go f@ck yourself f%cking Nazi f*ck” and page after page of similar tweets. What’s his punishment…a promotion and a show on another Disney – ABC station, ESPN.

Whoopie wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Donald Trump blowing his brains out with a handgun with the caption “Make America Great Again”. Not only is the shirt obscene, but it depicts gun violence that the left rails against!

Hillary Clinton called young black males a kind of super predator that are a danger to society and something needs done about them. She gets praised by the left and nominated on the Democratic ticket for president! Yet, Roseanne gets fired.

Joy Behar calls Mike Pence and all Christians who “talk” and “hear” from God insane with a mental disorder. She continuously vilifies and lies about Christians & conservatives on The View. She is praised and applauded while Roseanne gets fired.

The left applauds and licks the feet of George Soros, an admitted Nazi who has been kicked out of several countries. He stated on a live interview that he enjoyed being a Nazi. The greatest time of his life was turning in Jews to the Nazi government and confiscating their property. He went on to say he had no regrets.

Obama called conservative Christians bitter clingers. He repeated the line that gun owning, Christian conservative males were a domestic terror threat.

The left automatically jumped to the conclusion that Roseanne was insinuating that Valerie Jarrett was black, therefore her ape comparison was racist. What is racist is the automatic assumption that this was Roseanne’s intent. In Staford’s 1977 year book Valerie Jarrett wrote that she was Iranian and wanted to use Islam to destroy America. She went on to be Obama’s primary policy adviser and moved in with them. The Iranians, and Islam in general, say that Jews are descendants of pigs and apes. Where’s the outrage?

The left also demands that school children are descendants of apes, just we managed to evolve faster than they have. Now they get upset when someone compares one of them to an ape, but it’s OK for one of them to compare a conservative to an ape.

The media, when reporting on Roseanne’s firing, reports that Roseanne Barr and Trump friend, supporter ( or a variable of this ) was fired for racist tweet, yet when Harvey Weinstein was perp walked this weekend the media didn’t once mention his party affiliation, the Democrats he donated to and were friends with or the causes he stood with Democrats on. The media continues to only report party affiliation when it’s against Republicans, conservatives, Christians or whites. They bring division into everything. White officer, black victim. Black officer, white victim and so on.

The funny thing about the left painting Roseanne as a conservative is that she isn’t by any stretch of the imagination. She thinks Bush planned 9/11 and Obama planned and organised Benghazi. She thinks the guillotine should be brought back and bankers should be beheaded. She supported the socialist/ communist candidate from the Peace and Freedom party for president and the left has been A-OK with her antics until she spoke out in favor of Trump.

I can go on and on for pages writing about the hypocrisy of the left in how left leaning voices get a pass for anything because they are on the “right side” while conservative leaning voices get censored, lied about and punished for the exact same thing that the left applauds one of their own for. That ladies & gentlemen is why the outrage over ABC’s firing of Roseanne comes from. The conservative, independent, moderate voice in America is tired of being lectured, scolded and talked down to by people who do exactly what they castigate others for. This is just beginning to boil over in other arenas. We see it with CNN’s & MSNBC’s ratings in the toilet. We see it in Target, Dick’s and Yeti taking huge profit hits. It shows in the NFL losing billions in a single season. The “forgotten man” is beginning to be heard and the left doesn’t know what’s happening.

Andy