Thursday, May 28, 2015

Prepare for the Day That The Lord Has Made!

When you truly eat of the Word, you begin to understand. Jesus said " First His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Men do not seek after God; He seeks after them ~ Matthew 6:33. God chooses all to be His people, and all we have to do is accept this gift. More maybe asked of us but none is required. God's Mercy and Grace is Ours; freely given, freely received. There is no other work that has to be done. "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" Luke 19:10. Our only work is to recognize His presence and rest in it; thus being salt and light for others. In this way, we live our salvation, we come to love ourselves and thus can love others.

In Rev. 22:12 Jesus said "My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done" NIV. Not works as what the flesh does/has done; but what the spirit has done. We understand that He has chosen... His reward is with Him and they will be given to accordingly. In the New Living Translation, Rev. 12 states that Jesus will bring His reward and repay all the people according to his/her deeds. In the Catholic Bible, we read "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works. And or, Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me, to repay everyone as their deeds deserve." How are these different or the same? What we also can notice in all Rev. 22:12 is that Jesus comes with His reward which suggests that He has already chosen. What is reward? Are we to understand that it means some kind of thing as a 'fleshy' gift as some other religions believe? 

What gift could God give man on this earth that a fleshy man would understand??? Man in his fleshy being can only imagine it to be a thing. And that Jesus is going to pass it out like candy to those who deserve. This is man's thinking. That is why if you are not born again in the spirit, you cannot be saved. Until you are born again, born of the spirit, you will do works of the flesh. And, that is my point. In Matthew 7:21, the man pleads saying he did all the 'right' works and yet the Lord says "I do not know you." The point is as Paul said... not by man's works so that no one can boast. It means that if you go about looking for and doing works so that you may enter the kingdom of heaven, then you are mistaken as you are doing 'your' works not His. He ~ the Holy Spirit directs you. No one can judge and say "oh, look he/she does not work". We cannot be the judge of others nor ourselves for we do not know what the Holy Spirit intends for us or others. It may come at the end of their life... read the story of the vineyard. We must prepare for that day! Which means to be open to the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How to Become Children of God?

God seeks after us who are willing and able to do His will; to be born again. There are no works we can do. We don't have to do anything as man not born of the spirit. For that would be works of the flesh. God chooses all to be His people, and all we have to do is accept this gift. More maybe asked of us but none is required. God's Mercy and Grace is Ours; freely given, freely received. There is no other work that has to be done. "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" Luke 19:10.... "The wind blows where it wills, the Holy Spirit seeks out His people. The Holy Spirit gives birth to spirit. You must be born again. The Holy Spirit must breathe into your heart so that all things like love, joy and faith come from Him and not you trying to." John 3 verses 6- 8

The Bible tells us that no one on this earth deserves salvation; not one of us is worthy. Yes, Jesus Christ came to save us from sin and to offer the promise of salvation. This does not mean that you have a ticket in just because you say that you accept this and declare to be a Christian. We have to become Children of God to enter the Kingdom of God. People today do not fear God. They should because... ultimately He decides.

That is why there are no works that anyone can do, no easy access for anyone. We can read in Matthew that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.Why a rich man? Is it because he is rich? No. It is because he is rich due to his or her own works and not God's. If you are rich because of God's works, then you are rich and will forever be rich. That is why in the story we learn that the rich man cannot part from his riches. If he were truly a godly man, a man who has God given riches he would share those riches freely.

God seeks after our heart not what we do; and we do not even seek Him. By our fallen nature, we cannot. We cannot be like him here in this fallen world. Salvation is done by God alone. We can say that we do, we can say that we believe, but even that is not enough.

God seeks after us who are willing and accept His will which is to be born again. There are no human works we can do. We don't have to do anything; because if we did, out of our own understanding it would be works of the flesh. We must be patient and quiet ~ Lamentations 3:26 ... "The wind blows where it wills, the Holy Spirit seeks out His people. The Holy Spirit gives birth to spirit. To enter the Kingdom, You must be born again. The Holy Spirit must breathe into your heart so that all things like peace, love, joy and faith come from Him and not by you trying to." John 3 verses 6- 8

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Children of God ~ Commit your actions to the Lord

"We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed". Proverbs 16: 1-3

In John, we can read "If you love me [Jesus], obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But, you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you."

We need to remind ourselves that .... "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet, to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God... children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God ~ Born again.

Children of God, commit your actions to the Lord... rest in His Presence!

*Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Psalm 119: 37

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Let us Direct our Children Wisely!

Let us all encourage our youth by directing them wisely! "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

In all those things, Christian women as mothers should be directing their children. However, we seem to be misguided by popular culture and end up guiding them toward what the world covets and not what God covets.  Money! We also demonize our children by telling them that they are great, they are so so special! By doing that, there is no room for God, for His Son in them. They become filled with themselves and being their own savior... and there is no salvation in that. Why? Because, who are they left to reach out? They have only themselves in their special greatness.

Children are told that they are good as they are and for who they are. Really? We, all of us including children, are born into this fallen world, a world filled with the darkness of sin which makes us all from birth sinners... hence; why we need to be born again, born into the Light. We need to recognize our own sinful condition and the sinful condition of the world so that we can forgive the sinner and love the sinner but not the sin because it is not the light which we seek; it is the darkness of selfishness and self condemnation which we desire to be set free from. 

Do not set your children on the course of darkness! Tell them that they are special to God!

 "I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don't obey me, For I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgement b the truth I have spoken. I do not speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And, I know his commands lead to eternal life." John 12: 46-50

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why Aren't Christian Women Confessing Sin ~ Resting in His Presence?

That's a good question. I listen to a lot of Christian radio, some programs hosted by men and quite a few hosted by women. Rarely, on the women's programs do I hear open confession of sin by the Christian women hosting or  women calling in. I hear most often about how they face their daily problems which are blamed on others as having caused their problems either by refusing to let them 'in' or refusing to let them do what they want when they are 'in'. Whether 'in' at work among colleagues, or 'in' at their church group or 'in' as a member of their community or neighborhood.  Occasionally, they do blame themselves and say " I wasn't really listening to them." Which only means that they got refused in because they were trying to get in and did not do the right thing to get in. Its all about work... working to be 'right' with others and the Lord.

I never hear any woman confessing their sins publicly; have they forgotten no one is without sin including women. As a woman and a sinner, I know how difficult it is to be humble and confess and repent. As I listen, most women make the mistake of not knowing that they are 'we' are sinning. What sins??? They tend to think that as long as they are not committing the 'big' ones, then they are not sinners.

But, we are: boasting, gossiping, denying their husbands, being over their husbands at home and in public, spoiling their children, indulging in their own flesh- comparing theirs with other women, indulging in their appearance, their hair, their jewelry, their clothes and handbags to match, their garden, their home and their car.

They like bragging about their good decisions regarding good deals made while shopping, healthy cooking, and wise cleaning etc. The gossip about so and so and how they don't dress up for church, or dress up too much. They complain about mother-in-laws, husbands bad habits and children's and their children's teachers and their boss at work.

I rarely hear women crying out their sin to the Lord and asking for forgiveness. I never them talking about repentance. I never hear them talk about how they should serve and respect their husband better as he is the head of the family and household. I never hear them talking about their everyday personal suffering and struggling with sin how it has brought them closer to God.

Among women in general, I hear more about the latest sleazy book they read, the latest Hollywood movie they saw, and the gowns worn by so and so at the film festival. I hear more about information regarding where to get the best pedicure and or facial or what is the best fragrance among soaps at the body works.  Sure, they brag about their children and husbands too. But, that is bragging and bragging is a sin. At best, women can describe their daily challenges and how they overcame them with a glass of wine in the evening. 

Why don't they talk about how they reached out to the Lord?

As a sociologist, I think that it is all to easy to get caught up in popular culture. Sometimes, jobs/work as in 'career' pushes us in that direction...What is American popular culture?  Well, Americans are into doing, they pride themselves on 'gettin it done' and taking the credit. They shift credit and blame when it suits them as in benefits their career ladder climb or fitting in with the right crowd on social media. American Christian women are not outside the influence of this secular pop-culture which indulges in the flesh, youth and speed.

When your sins weigh heavily upon you, they drag you into darkness...Women in all aspects of their life should seek the Lord first, rest in His Presence... though you are in this world, you are not of it. Give thanks and Praise to the Lord God Jesus Christ for He is the Light of the World.

Take up Your Cross and Be Restrained!

Many women especially moms lead very busy lives. They don't have time for themselves let alone their spouse and certainly not enough time for the Lord. When they do... it is often a quick prayer for the safety of their family and its prosperity and yes showing up at church on Sunday. They all too often boast to their friends that they did, they got through another week. We need to deny ourselves. This means when we get through a week, we give credit to the Lord.

God works best in us when we not only fellowship with Him but with others about Him. We were not made to be islands as in self absorbed. God fulfills our needs through others and visa versa. One of the best stories of this which many people are not aware of is the story of the demon possessed man. Why? Because, he was a kind of wild man, unrestrained, cast out, living outside of society yet harassing society. He was filled not with the love for others but with disdain and dislike. He was consumed with selfishness so much so that  there was no longer any love in him. The Lord cast out those demons and sent them into some pigs... which we could interpret as a better situation for the man and the animals as they naturally live the way he was living... selfishly and in self indulgence. "If any man come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross..." Matthew 16:24

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Why Don't Christians Wear their Sunday Best to Church

Why do we see Christians attending church in flip flops and t-shirts and pajama pants? Why do we see young and older women with cleavage and short skirts?  Why aren't we dressing modestly? Why aren't we  covering our heads?  "And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head... for this reason... the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head." 1 COR 11: 5-10. This is in respect to God. This is not submissiveness toward men. It is a shame if we think that; especially women.

We as Christians, as Christian women, need to be more concerned with our outward appearance before the Lord and others. We need to ask ourselves are we dressing as Christ minded people, as people who revere their Creator and submit to His will?  We need to reflect on what we appear to be doing and are doing. For example, we need to ask are we putting ourselves first as in who we are based on what we do (I am a lawyer, I am a CEO, I am a Manager, a Designer, a Politician, I am Dr. so and so), are we putting our body, hair style, jewelry and clothes first as a form of self idolatry, do we put our country first as in being a proud member of a 'civil' religion with its popular culture, are we putting our desires first as in wealth, and including family first as our main source of pride and accomplishment???... Are you doing that?

If others notice this who are outside the Church, why aren't we paying attention to it?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Jesus is Calling ~ The Supermacy of Christ

The Fool says in his heart, "there is no God." Psalm 14

...are you still trying to make things go according to your will? If you keep trying to carry out your intentions while I am leading you in another direction, you deify your desires ~ Jesus is Calling

Jesus told them, "My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies." John 7: 16-19

The Supremacy of Christ ~ "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers of rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together." COL 1: 15-18

What does it mean to be a child of God? It means that you have realized and embraced what it means to overcome the world... resting in His Presence; essentially the only 'work' that requires us to rest and not do. We are never judging others for that is work of the flesh. We work on ourselves, not through self condemnation for that too is work of the flesh but through forgiveness for this is work of the spirit. In this way, we are making ourselves accountable. We are not seeking from others to affirm our sin, but seeking forgiveness for our sin. With that forgiveness, we do not seek to sin any longer but to overcome sin.

Your joy is overcoming sin, overcoming this world as you seek salvation from sin. Your work is to rest in His Presence, by doing so, you are overcoming sin 'the flesh'... your flesh which includes your wicked heart which all are born with in this fallen world. This rest brings joy and peace to the wicked heart. This joy overcomes this world. This was made possible for us through the Supremacy of Jesus Christ.

Glory to God in the Highest, for He alone is the Holy One, He alone is the Lord, the Almighty Father of Heaven and Earth! Glory to God in the Highest, and peace to His people on Earth!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What to tell Young Adults about Sex And What else are We Called to Do?

I heard a Christian radio broadcast this morning and I was truly disappointed. Speaking from experience and as a Christian sociologist, what we tell 'our' young adults and children about sex and its purpose is the most important discussion parents and society can have with the next and or upcoming Christian generation.

The guest on the program who has a book out was asked by the presenter/host - "What do you tell kids about sex?" She said, "I tell them first that it is wonderful experience and that there is no greater expression of intimacy between people". Now, its not that I disagree with this. However, when you as a Christian parent are trying to instill an important message in your children, you should always start with God and His Word.  I stress this because in popular culture we very often hear words like 'wonderful experience' used to describe every day routine....whether those saying it are Christian or not.

We need to tell our children first that sex is for grown ups only, as in married grown ups. The grown up age is over 18 and again, stressing that sexual activity especially intercourse is for married people. Why? This is God's design which has a specific purpose. That purpose is to bring two people (a man and woman) into a greater spiritual relationship with God. Through their intimate bonding, they become one flesh and as that one flesh seeks to have a greater and deeper relationship with its Creator ~ God.

My criticism for the program guest is this: "So, You start telling young people that sex is a wonderful experience. This surely gets their attention and they want to have a 'wonderful experience'. There is no depth as to what that 'wonderful experience' is and what for God's Kingdom. Second, you tell them that there is no greater expression of intimacy between people. The problem with that statement is that you do not describe the people as in who and how many and what is their relationship to each other and to God.

Don't 'naively' lead your children into the Lion's Den.

What else are we called to do?

We are called to cast out demons and devils, heal the sick and raise the dead. I heard a pastor say that those commands were already fulfilled in the Gospel. I tell you that those commands apply to all Christians for all times/generations; especially today. You can argue that there are no 'demons and devils' to cast out. I say, maybe you don't watch the news or visit the prisons. I would also say that today's medicine attempts to cover up those controlling spirits and when they do get out, we read in the paper that some person went crazy and shot up an innocent audience at the cinema.

As for healing the sick. Modern medicine has replaced that task. Raising the dead, well now you need special permission to enter the ER let alone visit the morgue.

Church leaders are telling us our commands are to tolerate and serve soup... that 's pretty lukewarm if you ask me.

" I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth" Rev. 3 15-17.

Discernment today is necessary ~ we need not be lukewarm!

Do not be confused. Obviously, those tasks mentioned above suggest the necessity of the supernatural. Being able to cast out demons and devils, heal the sick and raise the dead requires our acknowledging the Holy Spirit in us so that we can accomplish those commands through quiet supernatural. How? Once you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit emanates from within. You become salt and light. You have worked from within to overcome and are thus ready to and able to do the will of God.

When we go about doing what God's will, what he commands us to do, not what we think we must do, we don't do it to make a spectacle of it. We don't need to call the major news networks, we don't have to have it printed up in the paper. We don't need to take tickets for the next event. We do it quietly and we move on. The quietness of the Holy Spirit is supernatural. This is our strengthen and this is what causes demons to leave, the sick to be healed and the dead to rise.

And, though quiet, we are on fire... not lukewarm!

Jesus Christ Makes us Righteous Before God

Sinners we are; born into sin caused by the Fall from Paradise. Only those who come to Jesus Christ with their confession of sin and ask for forgiveness will be forgiven of sin and translated into the body of Christ.  Because of this choice and transformative experience, they no longer seek sin though they may sin again in this fallen world. 

Church leaders have declared to be sinners and that he cannot judge others. I agree. I am a sinner too. And I declare that because all people are sinners they must profess this truth. While at the same time, we need to be  reminded that there is forgiveness of sin.  In order to receive forgiveness, you ‘we’ must come to Jesus Christ with our confession of sin and desire for forgiveness of sin. We 'you' cannot be and will not be forgiven or translated into eternal life unless you confess. 

Faith comes from seeking Jesus Christ and knowing that such seeking leads to truth. Because, you sought you shall receive... as in choosing to believe that by coming to Christ with your sin and desire for forgiveness, and having faith that He will forgive you; surely, you will be forgiven and you will receive eternal life. 

Stop doubting and believe ~ John 20:27... for it is your faith in what Christ that sets you free. It is your believing that He can do for you what you cannot do for yourself.  It is His love and forgiveness that sets you free and gives you eternal life, salvation ~ John 8

It is acknowledging sin and accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior that makes you righteous before God!  It is not your job to do any other work than glorifying God. Judging is work. Therefore, do not judge. Calling out sin is not work; because knowing what God commands causes us to smile on 'the sinner' not for their sinning but for their salvation.

* Discernment today is necessary ~ Do not be lukewarm!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Holy Spirit ~ Quiet Supernatural

Someone said that we need the supernatural in order to draw people to God. People have been saying that for generations. The problem is that they don't know where the supernatural is or if they did ... how to see the supernatural; for it is always there. The  human life itself is supernatural. Of all God's design, man created in His image is supernatural when compared to other created life on earth.

This is our quiet supernatural being a creation of God, created in the image of God. As read can read in Luke, The Kingdom is within us, the supernatural. It is not out there as in strangely appearing phenomenon waiting to be noticed for us to say "Look, there it is"!

Jesus said that we should spend our energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give. He also said that the only work God wants from us is to believe in the one he has sent. [John 6: 27-29]

As we are engaged in this work, the Holy Spirit in us fills us and the Kingdom within us grows; this becomes an outward appearance ~ revealing 'our' supernatural quietly.

When we are lured into discussions of 'hot' topics as in current gender issues and newly discovered scientific findings that attempt to usurp the authority of the Word of God, we are thus led into a lion's den of gnashing of teeth and showing of claws and thus away from exhibiting our quiet supernatural; in this way, we lose in building the Kingdom within.

The Church must rest in His Presence, His peace. We should not show alarm to those that seek to steal our quiet supernatural from us. We need give them the time of day never fighting with nor affirming their behavior; and in this way, they are witness to the quiet 'supernatural'.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Jesus is Calling ~ Daily Devotional for May 8

In America, we have a tendency to want to create heaven on earth. We want prosperity here and now, we want good health and seek the best doctors. We want our children to have the best of everything, yet we fail to give them the best of everything ~ The Word of God!

Do not long for the absence of problem sin your life. That is an unrealistic goal since in this world you will have trouble. You have an eternity of problem free living reserved for you in heaven. Rejoice in that inheritance which no one can take away from you, but do not seek your heaven on earth.

Begin each day anticipating problems, asking me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is My living Presence, My hand that never lets go of yours. discuss everything with me. Take a lighthearted view of trouble, seeing it as a challenge that you and I together can handle. Remember that I am on your side, and I have overcome the world ~Sarah Young.

John 16:33; Isaiah 41:13; Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What God Closes No Man Can Open

Guest Blogger ~ My Mom

When we are young we are told about the arena of life. As we get older we anticipate getting into life's arena. We learn life skills and seek higher education. Many are fortunate to go to college and get a degree in a specialized career. So that, one day they will be opening the door of that arena and enter into their new life.
Upon entering life's arena, we are told to use a specific door for our career. We must enter though door #1. We try the door and for some reason it doesn't open. We knock, we bang and yell loudly but the door isn't opening. Maybe there is a sing or someone who saying, "try another day".

But when we try again at the door it still doesn't open. Now, there is a sign on the door that says, "door number one won't open for six months." In six months the sign is replaced with another sign that says, "try again in a year or two."  Someone tells us to try another door in order to enter the arena of life. But, we are determined to only use door number one though we see people going in door number two, three, four... seven and eight which are open wide. We are indignant and will only try door number 1. Our reasoning is we are highly skilled and have spent a lot of time and energy to go through this door and it had better open. We are not going to do anything less. Our frustration grows and we become discouraged. Why, did God do this to us? We refuse to go through any other door. "What God closes, no man can open." Rev. 3:8

Yes, we can prepare for one thing and be asked to do another. We should then "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7 and remember that what He opens no one can shut and what He shuts no one can open." Rev. 3:7-8

We may find ourselves waiting, but if you believe that God has His best for you, then wait you should resting in His presence.  God helps those who help themselves to Him.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Take Control of Emotions ~ Through Christ our Comfort Overflows!

Feelings can control us more than any other aspect of human existence. For women, this is especially true. Our feelings are delicate and complicated. Because of that, they can torment us, control us and make life a burden. That does not have to be. The Lord God knows this about us. That is why, He asks us to Rest in His Presence. To turn over all those feelings to Him. If we don't, we run the risk of usurping His best for us.

As Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth...
"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." 2 COR 1: 5-7

Man's Emotions Ruling ~ Usurps God's Authority???

I just heard on Christian radio that emotional logic is good and that corporations are using EQ to take advantage of work place situations. For any Christian who thinks that is a good idea, beware. There is no logic in emotion. Why? Because it is based on feelings and people's feelings change. Today, you like that person and tomorrow you won't. Today, you love it 'your job' i.e, tomorrow you may not. Today, it feels right, tomorrow it won't. If corporations are jumping on the band wagon of emotions, believe me they don't have your best interest at heart.

Jesus Christ has your best interest at heart and you  know that with His love comes pain as we struggle to do what He asks of us; even to rest in His presence can be painful as we want to jump in and start doing what we want. He asks us to wait and listen. He asks us to obey His will, not ours. Obeying His will is love which is not easy, it is not always what we would choose based on our feelings. God asks us to love our enemy, to love someone we would never think of loving. In this fallen world, we don't love other people as we should, as we love ourself. We feel like that person is right for us or deserves our love. We don't feel like that person is a good person or good enough for us. We don't feel like that person feels the way we feel. We don't feel that his/her idea is the best solution, we don't feel like ... You know, what we feel like is not what God feels like. The road to salvation is difficult for us as we live in a sinful world of 'like' which is here today and gone tomorrow.

Emotions do have a place in our heart, mind and spirit. They have to be tempered with wisdom, not feelings. This is not an easy task because emotions are delicate and yet complicated. It is not easy to understand our emotions, let alone someone else's. Emotions don't have a place in the world of work. Understanding does which is not an emotion; a necessary aspect of understanding is wisdom. Love is not an emotion either as we like to think it is ~ "I love ice cream" is not Godly love and neither is loving your pet. Godly love, is much more than a feeling. Godly love requires wisdom and even sacrifice. Wisdom is necessary for understanding Godly love. I cannot imagine speaking as a Christian sociologist that any corporate entity that is not Christian minded understands love in this way. 

If corporations did, they would not be as profitable for their investors. If they could be Christ minded, that would be an incredible and wonderful structure/system... utilizing Godly love to make profits. But, would they make profits and whose profits??? The CEOs? Maybe everyone who participates in the corporation would be CEOs. In saying that, isn't that the Kingdom of God. As far as I know, that is not possible in this fallen world? Can we having God work in us bring about the Kingdom here and now?  Is that Revelations?
I cannot answer that and nor should I. God is in charge and as far as I know, reading Revelations, God will's be done, He will come and bring the New Jerusalem, not man.

Christians can and should reach out to people in Godly love. But, we must be careful not to let our emotions usurp God's plan. We should not let our emotions 'our desire' for a perfect world here and now rule over us.  I don't hear that message. I am not saying it cannot be, but we 'man' cannot be the orchestrator of God's plan. My advice ~ Ask and pray for wisdom and ask CEOs to pray for wisdom!

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator (Ro. 1:20-26).

Our own Wants and Desires make us Slaves to Sin

"...those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants" John 3:21.... not what they want. In our culture, we want to justify our desires/wants based on our relative points of view that everything is love and love sets us free. That is not true. Only Jesus Christ can set you free. You see, Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." If you continue to sin, you are a slave to sin. Thank God He sent His Son to save us from sin, and in that we are set free. By accepting that truth, we no longer seek sin ..."if the Son sets you free, you will bee free indeed." John 8:36

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator (Ro. 1:20-26).

Monday, May 4, 2015

Whose Values?

Someone said recently that we just need people to have the same values. I said, yes but there has to be agreement as to the source of those values. Who or what source, by whose authority to we agree?
Man's??? That cannot be. How could we possibly choose one man to represent every individual fairly and which values? Where would his/her values come from?

You see, what western people value is not what other cultures value. What Christians value is not what other religions value. I wrote my doctoral thesis on the social imagination. I asked respondents to describe their ideal society. My respondents though coming from western civilizational societies, had to have traveled extensively and lived in other countries outside of the 'West'. All the respondents described their ideal society as having liberating the individual allowing for the pursuit of happiness through wide personal freedom and including private property as the utmost important.

This comes from Judeo-Christian traditions and beliefs. Christianity promotes individual choice and mastery over the world, and pursuing happiness through relationship as freeing and that ownership is part of that.

Of course, other people from other cultures can adapt to that kind of thinking, value system. But, it has to be their decision. And it has to be understood that it is expected as part of the integration process. In this way, society though diverse in race and ethnicity remains unified.

In our walk of Christian faith, the same principles apply and play out in our lives: individual choice, mastery of the world 'self', pursuing happiness ' harmony' through relationship as freeing and owning relationship and thus our self ~ as in self control and in this way we can love our neighbor as ourself.

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator (Ro. 1:20-26). 

Same Sex Married Couples ~ The Institution of Marriage

With all the trouble and sin in the world today, Christians continue to find themselves overburdened more by the ongoing debate over same sex married couples. I read this article and wished I wrote it myself. I don't think I could have written it any better so I paste it here for you.

What is the Institution of Marriage ~ Timothy Dalrymple

When we take a look at human history, what we can be impressed by is the remarkable continuity in what marriage has meant across time and across multiple cultures.  There are variations, to be sure, including some important ones (like polygamy or concubinage), but the most important variations almost invariably served the interests of those in power.  Some Christians have believed that polygamy was necessary at some times in biblical history, and may be acceptable in some circumstances (amongst jungle tribesmen, for instance) where mortality rates are high, or etc.  Others believe that figures like Solomon were simply wrong and sinful in taking multiple wives and concubines.  In any case, the model of marriage has been remarkably stable in the Judeo-Christian tradition for two-thousand years.  Even outside that tradition, almost every culture has had something like marriage; and the greatest variation is over the issue of polygamy, but many Christians simply see (and condemn) modern polygamy as a case of men behaving badly.  And for Christians, it doesn’t particularly matter whether other cultures have gotten it right, or even whether their own history represents the ideal well, but whether the institution and ideal of marriage emerges from scripture and church teaching.  Falling short of the ideal is not, in itself, reason to trash it.

First, marriage is the uniting of elements that are fundamentally, naturally and beautifully different. The Christian tradition has not seen male/female differences as merely cultural constructs.  While there are always cultural factors in how masculinity and femininity are expressed and valued, there are always also natural — which is to say created and ordained, purposeful and beautiful — factors distinguishing male/female and masculinity/femininity.

Second, in marriage the different elements of male and female unite in a complementary, creative and purposeful way.  We are irreducibly relational creatures.  We are all created for relationship — relationship with God, with friends and community, and in many cases with a spouse and children.  Now, something important needs to be stated here: not all people are meant for marriage.  The Christian tradition teaches very clearly that some are called to remain single in order to pursue the calling God has for them.  The rest, however, and the vast majority, are meant to unite with a person of the opposite sex and become ‘one flesh’.

When you find a spouse, you are finding one of the greatest tools that God will ever use to shape you, and one of the great vessels of God’s grace into your life.  I’m speaking here of what marriage is intended to be, and what it can be (at least in general) when two individuals are seeking and submitting to God’s will.  And here’s the rub: the male will be complemented and enriched, edified and humbled, challenged and improved by the female, just as the female will by the male.  Traditional Christians have long believed that this is a part of the natural order created and ordained by God; the male is meant for the female, and the female for the male, for companionship, for sanctification, for refuge, and for bringing new life into the world.

Men and women enter into a lifelong commitment both for their own sakes (so that they can be themselves and give themselves in complete security) and for the sake of any children they might have.  Not all married couples have children, of course.  This does not make their marriages any less valuable.  But it also doesn’t change the fact (from the Christian perspective) that marriage in general is intended, among other things, to provide children with a safe, stable environment, and one in which they can learn to understand, love, and be loved by both men and women.  It is, to my mind, one of the sublime mysteries of Christian doctrine that a relational (Triune), self-giving (sacrificial) Creator God invites his children through relationship and through their self-giving to participate in his constant task of creating and preserving, nurturing and maturing new life.

Third, the church traditionally has taught that the natural bond and creative complementarity of male and female is rooted in the created order. Marriage is a social contract (a covenant between two people), but it is not a social construct.  Marriage is an enduring social arrangement (an institution) ordained by God, rooted in the different ways in which God has created us, and intended by God as a sacrament of his grace.  We are not free to redefine marriage any more than we are free to redefine the laws of physics.  We might call something else marriage, but that will not make it so.