Loving Your Neighbor

~ Radical thoughts to follow. ~

So many Christians these days are stuck in thinking of God as the almighty Creator of the universe, the final judge and authority on everything good, and they fear this powerful deity enthroned in unfathomable power.  They get so caught up in the God who utterly crushed Sodom and Gomorrah, caused the ground to swallow up disobedient men whole, and sent bears to maul dozens of “youths” in response to a curse by His prophet after their “teasing” of him.  If that is the God you know, you are missing Him… essentially in a forest for the trees moment.

Now let me get this straight – the God I’m talking about did all of those things, but He is so much more.  The God I’m talking about is not vengeful and destructive – He is creative, He is merciful, He is loving.  He is not hovering somewhere up in space ready to cast down lightning and hurl giant hailstones at you if you stumble and fall in trying to serve Him.

This is why the concept of God the Father is so important.  Think to your own children if you have them.  As a father, we only want the very best for them.  We teach them, guide them, influence them, discipline them, and love them as much as we can before we turn them loose on the world.  God the Father is no different, except that He doesn’t want us to ever get turned loose, but rather to turn back to Him – to love Him in return and to become not just His child, but rather also His friend.

Few men in the Bible were ever credited as friends of God – Abraham, Moses, David. These men didn’t go on and do measly things either. Abraham is the forefather of two great peoples – Jews through Isaac (by extension Christians) and Muslims. Moses became the first civil rights leader the world has ever seen – he led an entire nation from slavery to freedom.  David established Israel as a nation-state and also provided the family lineage for the Son of God to be born with a royal bloodline.  These men also give us a stark contrast though because of their friendship with God – Moses talked God out of destroying the idol worshiping Israelites, but He also repeatedly angered God as well to the point where he was forbidden from entering the Promised Land at the end of the decades-long journey to freedom.  David had a man killed because he thought his wife was smoking hot and wanted her for himself.  Neither of these men were perfectly moral, but they sought and loved God for who He was and unconditionally on their parts.

It is friendship with God that brings with it God’s unconditional mercy.

Instead of fearing God because of His righteousness, power, and judgment, we should strive to befriend God because He is right there waiting for us to do just that.  It’s all that He wants as our Father…. the absolute best for us.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Matthew 22:37

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is One Truth – A Response to Momastery’s “I love Gay People and I love Christians. I Choose All.” and “A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On”

My wife brought a fellow blogger’s posting to my attention – in fact two such posts (one from back in 2010 and another from two days ago).

I wrote on this topic extensively a few months back, but I’m back for another crack at it because of the above two entries into the public consciousness.

What brought me back to the topic of gay marriage is not a change of opinion or heart (both of which would rely on my own faulty human emotions and reinterpretation of The Holy Word of God and the very meaning and Truth behind the words contained within).  What brought me back is the concept I see littered throughout those two pieces I linked above – that of a re-definable God.

Let’s settle something right now.

God is not human, that he should lie,
    not a human being, that he should change his mind.

Numbers 23:19

He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.

1 Samuel 15:29

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

I the Lord do not change.

Malachi 3:6

God is immutable.  The God of the Old Testament is the same God as the New Testament.  God, Spirit, Son – all are the same since the beginning of the frame of existence that we call time.  The metaphysical aspect of this concept is that the Triune God exists at all points in time simultaneously so if God changes, then there can be no true god as the concept would then be bound by a dimension of the universe that he created.

The author of those pieces I linked above does not seem to understand this fundamental concept about God and is prescribing a course of behavior completely at odds with the Word of God. This is a particular dangerous thing to do.  While there are some who read what this woman writes with a grain of salt and strong understanding of scripture and are able to test what she says (and what she says is sometimes right and true, which makes it all that more insidious).  Someone without a scriptural understanding and lens to measure her opinions over, they are incapable of spotting the inconsistencies and omissions of scriptural truth.

By biggest problem lies in these quotes:

Your parents are Christians who carefully choose what we believe and follow in the Bible.

No. No. No. No! This is the biggest lie that Satan has managed to interject into the world and deep within believers that must be rooted out.  You do not get to pick and choose for yourself what is Truth.  That is your pride speaking.  That is you saying that you know better than God Himself.

What I’m trying to say is that each Christian uses different criteria to decide what parts of the Bible to prioritize and demonstrate in their lives. Our criteria is that if it doesn’t bring us closer to seeing humanity as one, as connected, if it turns our judgment outward instead of inward, if it doesn’t help us become better lovers of God and others, if it distracts us from remembering what we are really supposed to be doing down here, which is finding God in every human being…

STOP!  Finding God in every human being?  Okay… problem.  BIG BIG PROBLEM.  You can see the finger of God in every person, every creation, but you cannot find GOD Himself.  We are made in His image – that’s it.  Purge this thought from your mind now because it will grow like a cancer and pervert your understanding of God’s nature and the nature of our relationship with Him.  Do not assign your personal pride to another person.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

God gave you the Bible, and He also gave you your heart and your mind and I believe He’d like you to use all three.

Well, that almost sounds like a good idea.  I wonder what scripture says about the heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

“I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.

Jeremiah 17:7-10

For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Matthew 15:19

Well then, sure seems like judging by the heart is a bad idea – it is easily swayed and emotionally led.

Shifting gears here a bit – when you redefine words you change their meaning to you, but not the meaning when they were written, nor the intent of the author.  The author of Momastery relies on these redefinitions to validate her opinion.  She relies on scripture’s call to love, but she badly misunderstands the various types of love.  And here is where she falls into a terribly tenuous place for her – because of her platform and audience, you could consider her a teacher.  I have a tiny fraction of the same audience, but I hold myself as God will upon judgment – as a teacher as well, and for that reason I carefully reflect on scripture, context, and pray upon every word I write so as not to lead someone else astray unintentionally.

Let me try to set something straight here.  Like I said, not everything the author said was wrong, and that’s why it’s difficult for some to separate the truth from it and discount the rest without a strong scriptural understanding.  We’re going to head back to the immutability of God.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

This is the Gospel.  This is Truth.  God loves every one of His creations – mankind – that He Himself, through Christ, offered the only pathway to righteousness through the crucifixion and resurrection.  This God is not a different God from the one who wrote His laws in stone on the mountain in Exodus or provided the remainder of the Law.  Remember – God is constant and unchanging.  The God that rained fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah, sent the plagues on Egypt, and struck down entire armies is the same God who became man two millenia ago.  God is fearsome in His might, majesty, and absolute demand of perfect adherence to His law.  God – pure goodness, pure love, and holiness unblemished in even the slightest way – cannot tolerate sin, even the tiniest one because it is a corruption of the image of God and the bearer of that corruption cannot survive an encounter with the pureness of God.  So the author is neglecting significant chunks of scripture in order to justify their understanding of God and sin.  She discounts Levitical law and various points in the bible where sexual immorality, sodomy, and unnatural relations are expressly prohibited as sinful and meriting death, but forgets that God is unchanging.  She, and so many others, want God to change because it is IMPOSSIBLE for man to follow all of the law without Christ, and that is not unexpected – Christ never promised an easy path – but to use your public pulpit in order to spread mistruths… well scripture has a lot to say on that as well.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute….

2 Peter 2:1-2

…these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

2 Peter 2:12

they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

2 Peter 2:18-21

When you deviate from the perfection and completeness of scripture and begin picking and choosing in order to validate your own opinion, you are acting out of pride.  That in and of itself is bad, but to spread your word as truth rather than The Word and The Truth, you are supplanting God and essentially telling Him that He is wrong and spreading that understanding to others and potentially causing them to fall away from God also.

Now, I will briefly touch on a few things that she got right.

God loves all mankind. Yes, absolutely, otherwise redemption would have been withheld from us.

We are not to judge others or condemn others. Judgment is reserved from God alone and Christ alone is our intercessor.

We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Absolutely.  We’re all in the same boat – we’re all sinners hopelessly lost and in need of the grace and mercy of God, our Father and Creator.  But the author fell short again here… I will end this session with a question – do I truly love my neighbor if I tolerate and celebrate his or her lifestyle if it is sinful?  Am I doing them any eternal favors, by not bringing them into the saving grace of Christ which will free them from the bondage of sin?

 

 

Symptoms and Birthpains

I have struggled with speaking up on this issue.  My struggle was not one where I thought my positions were contrary to the Word of God.  It wasn’t because it was a difficult topic to address because if you have read this for any length of time, you’ll know that I am willing to say the harsh truth if necessary.  My struggle wasn’t with any person or group.  My struggle was with my own guilt – I am a sinner, and as I have written before, if you have broken God’s law once, you have broken all of it.

I hesitated to wade into this issue because I was clouded with anger over it, but I have recently realized that my angry was misplaced.  My anger was not wrong or sinful and I believe it was and is still a righteous anger.

What issue could have me so hesitant and angry all at once?

What issue would the world tell me I’m not allowed to have a valid opinion about because I lack the necessary anatomy to fully understand it from the right perspective?

Abortion.

Don’t stop reading now though. I am not going to wax for pages on this as others have already well-worn the Biblical arguments against it. I just want to ask a few simple questions.

Has abortion-on-demand had a cultural impact since it’s nationwide legalization and inception in the 1970s?

Has that impact been a cheapening of the value of life within our society?

Could that lessened value have a negative impact as the generation that is in the thirties or below have not known a country without such “convenience” at terminating life that does not fit into one’s “plans?”

Could that very loss of value that life has historically had within Western Civilization be the causal reason why men like Kermit Gosnell and Douglas Karpen feel that they can get away with the wholesale slaughter of viable infants, including those born alive, not in an act of surgical birth control, but of mass murder of the worst degree – infanticide?

How can the world say that I cannot take a stand against evil – against murder?

How can I not burn with righteous anger as the horrors of the Gosnell abortion case came to light?

Now what should we do about it?

There are some that believe we should picket outside of abortion providers’ offices.

Some believe that we should fight this battle in the legislature and judiciary.

Some believe that we should fight this battle in the court of public opinion.

I believe that while those tactics have their valid places, they will not succeed in the face of one simple fact.  The houses of horror that they are designed to counter will not be swayed by such temporal, human weakness.

Are you ready for the answer?

I wasn’t.

Love.

Not human love though as our love is tainted with selfishness, pride, and jealousy.

We must ask God to pour into us His love.  We must shine the light of Christ, the infinite, forgiving, all-consuming love of our Creator and our Savior on these clinics, on these men and women corrupted by the pervasive evils that they perform day in and out at the behest of women that are afraid.  They fear the consequences of past actions. They fear future encumbrances because they believe that they are entitled to something, whatever it may be.

You cannot fight evil with evil. You can only fight it with love, specifically the pure love of God.  You cannot fight evil with man’s laws, man’s protests, man alone cannot stand against evil.  If man tries to fight evil by himself, he will be undone because you cannot fight evil without exposing it to good.  The only source of good is God.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:7-12

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?”They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:3-11

Passion

I think one of the things that people would say about me is that I am a passionate person.

I am passionate about sports.  I love competition and the push and pull of a hard-fought football, basketball, or baseball game.  I love the thrill of victory snatched from the jaws of defeat – the buzzer beater in basketball, the successful Hail Mary pass in football, or the bottom of the ninth bases loaded hit to score the winning run.

I am passionate about my country.  I grew up with a deep understanding of freedom and the sacrifices in the past in order to win those liberties and the ongoing sacrifices necessary in maintenance of them.  I look at those men and women who have sacrificed limbs, years of their lives, families in some cases, friends, careers, and lives in maintenance of those liberties and freedoms.

I am passionate about my family.  I deeply love my wife, more than I could ever express in words. I cherish everything that she does and sacrifices for me and my sons.  I watch earnestly as they learn new things and hunger for new experiences and share their excitement in going out to tackle those experiences together.

I am passionate about truth.  The mission statement and purpose for this collection of writings is part of my passion, which is to share the unvarnished truth.  I mix in my opinion, but always with an eye on the truth of the matter.  Whether a million people happen to read my words or not doesn’t matter – the truth on it’s own is justification enough for me to expend my energy in this endeavor.

I am passionate about my God.  I wish I could say that I was the perfect follower of Christ and always place Him at the center of my life.  I try, but it is so easy to get out of balance.  It is so easy to put other things in the center of my life, even for just a moment, but as I have gained more perspective in life it has become easier to realize that my motivations, my focus, my hub are out of whack.  This perspective has given me the ability to go to God to re-centralize my focus on Him.  I don’t get it right all the time, but I know that He has already forgiven me for those moments.

That’s really the crux of passion if you think about it.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

God, one and the same as Christ and the Spirit, is eternal, infinite love.  The triune nature of God is one of love and passion.  The God of the universe loved the Son infinitely.  The God of the universe loved the world, mankind, so much that He asked Christ, the Son, to die and suffer separation from the triune bond, even if only for three infinitesimal days from His perspective.

What passion.

How much passion must you have to ask your SON to die?

How much passion must you have to respond, as Christ did, by doing so?

To lay down His crown and authority for us?

I believe from the core of my being that He hung on the cross and rose after three days in the grave, yet I have a hard time grasping that amount of love and passion.  I want to desperately.

I could be ruled by my own passions… I could chase the desires of my flesh – sex, food, wealth, vanity, pleasures of every kind, but they do not fulfill me.  They fail to satisfy me, and leave me wanting more and more.  Instead of inspiring me, they ensnare me in an endless cycle of trying to gain my next “hit.”

I choose to be ruled by His passion.  As I want more and more, He freely gives of His own passion.

I know a lot of people who would ascribe to me the passions I listed above, amongst others, but what I desperately want people to see is that my passion in life is not my own, but His.

 

 

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a simple concept in and of itself.  Forgiveness implies the erasure of debt basically.  When someone wrongs you, they become indebted to you in order to make you whole again and correct the wrong.

Forgiveness implies that you count the debt fulfilled even without recompense (payment).

The last few weeks have been filled with heartache and bloodshed.  The terrible consequences of living in a fallen world echo throughout our civilization.  Despite all of our intrepidity poured into minimizing such horrors, they still occur.  Since shortly after the creation of mankind, man has shed man’s blood.  Disease takes the young and the elderly.  Accidents happen.  Atrocities occur.  Death, destruction, and evil overtake our personal worlds without warning.

Today, there are families walking about missing husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, cousins, and close friends all because of our humanity.  That which sets us apart from a dog in the street, or a bird in the sky, that spark of the Divine that makes us unique with a power to create, conceive, invent, and to improve our own human condition can be harnessed for the worst of evils – to shoot, stab, bomb, abort, and destroy each other.

I have written before about the importance of Godly men and women being willing to stand up and fight such evil over, and over, and over again.

My sons are not yet ready to stand and fight at four and just over one and a half.  In our household, I stand with my gaze fixed outward at the horizon – trying to discern and classify threats.  My wife does the same, but she also must look inward and remind me from time to time that there is little we can do against some threats, but come to our knees and pray.

There is one more thing we must do though.  Those that are hurting from loss and death are usually incapable of taking this step at first as the searing pain is too great, the anguish too fresh, but those of us detached from the situation personally must take up the mantle.

Despite all of the evils done, despite all of the losses taken and the pain caused… we must forgive.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his elder brother could never be sufficiently punished in this life to fill the void and pain caused in so many lives (or in our collective soul as Americans).  Even if Dzhokhar faces the death penalty and is ultimately killed for his role in the Boston attacks, his life does not equal the three innocents lost and the almost two hundred permanently changed by the evil action.

Must we accept evil in this world? Absolutely not.

Must we forgive the lost souls abducted into committing gross evils among us?  Absolutely.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2

Dzhokhar is a lost soul, just as many others.  He is as much deserving of forgiveness and grace as me.  Will he face judgment for his actions?  Yes, but they will fall short of making those hurt or killed whole again, and that is why we must forgive and turn to God in prayer so that He may make us whole again as it is He who is uniquely able.

Symptom

I recently got into a long conversation with someone regarding a stance that I published on this blog.

The conversation was enlightening for me in one way, and not in the way that the other participant anticipated.  They were hoping to either trap me in a rhetorical loop or get me to recant my position by being unable to defend it aside from the Bible.  I refused to play that game as there is only One Truth and why should I deny it in order to win a rhetorical argument?

That entire episode and my reflections on it have encouraged me to write a little further on the topic of sin.  In that conversation, we were focused on the political hot-button topic of gay marriage.  Gay marriage as a topic of conversation is merely a symptom of an all-consuming sickness that this world is suffering from – sin.

Sin is not a fun thing to talk about.  Sin is an infection that we are all born with.  Whether you want it or not, sin is there.  It is rooted in man’s fall from our created state and has been the root cause of every moment of heartbreak, malice, vice, and destruction in our collective history.

The fundamental truth that we need to recognize in order to fully understand grace and mercy is that we are fully incapable of correcting the infection of sin.  It is insidious and amazingly survivable.

There are many avenues that people take in trying to cope with their infected state.

Some deny it and live as if they are perfectly normal.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:8-9

Some try to equate or rhetorically minimize their sin by either pointing out the sin in someone else’s life as worse than their own, or by using someone else’s sin as an excuse for their own shortcomings.  The problem is that sin is sin.  Small or big – the blackness on your soul from sin is impossible for God not to see.

Your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.

Isaiah 59:2

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.

Habakkuk 1:13

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Matthew 7:3

Or perhaps the sinner disagrees with the correctness of the translation or of the validity of the scriptures themselves – disagreeing that their sin is not prohibited based on language, societal, or cultural differences.

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 1:21

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16

Others will just, with full knowledge of their state of sin, refuse to change, or believe themselves as being honest about their sin state by flaunting it rather than abrogating themselves of it.

For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8:13

So what will it be?  Own up to your sin?  Refuse to assist your brother in committing a sin that may cause him future pain as he goes through the agony of the infection that sin truly is?

Just as I should avoid sin in my own life and invite Christ and the Spirit to purge me of those fleshly desires, should I not also do everything in my power to help my brother to do the same even if they are still horribly infected with sin?  Is it not my responsibility to teach, rebuke, correct, and train up in righteousness as Paul instructed Timothy and as I cited above?

So, to those that would say that I or anyone else firmly planting our feet and saying that we will not concede an inch to the infection of sin as being bigots, or old-fashioned, or bible-thumping?  How dare I!

How dare I stand with the Law?

How dare I be willing to stand with Christ and overturn the money tables with Him?

How dare I look at the woman at the well and love her, but tell her to stop sinning?

How dare I speak the Truth?

Is it love if you give in to sin and allow it to continue unimpeded in this world?

Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

Romans 14:22

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

Romans 6

 

 

 

Die

I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Do you know what you are willing to die for today?

Is it your family? It it your home? Your rights?  Your faith?

Powerful motivators abound in this world.  A man driven to be willing to die in order to preserve something else is love in it’s most pure form.

The example Christ gave was of the God of all creation, eternal, all-powerful, and all-knowing, who laid aside His authority and power to crush the reign of sin and death completely by dying for the love of His creations.  Through this death, he drew all sin from the beginning to the end of time to Himself in that moment on the cross outside Jerusalem.

So what is it that would make you willing to die in order to preserve?

Love Song

A thought I’ve had rattling around my skull for a long time is the concept of the love song.  What is it about love songs?  They have been around since time began in the form of poems, sonnets, odes, eventually evolving into moving symphonies and then into the more modern forms we are familiar with today.

Music is a powerful emotional medium.  It’s crescendos, diminuendos, running rises and falls, and ability to pull not only the mind along lyrically, but to grab at your soul with it’s melodies, counter-melodies, and harmonies gives it the power to touch within your to your soul and the divine spark that resides in our heart – that thing that makes us images of an Almighty God.  Even the powerful visual medium of a movie can be made greater by a moving and perfect piqued score and accompaniment, or as equally ruined by a discordant or oft-kilter one.

I will admit that I am a terrible lyricist, but I greatly appreciate well-written love songs, and one of the questions I always find myself asking about a good love song is who is it meant to be sung to?  Most are for boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, wives, husbands, even children.  The reason why I ask this is the song takes even more meaning for me if it is one that I could sing to God; those songs are usually the most moving and capture love in a way that others fall far short.

So today, in the midst of all of the madness, destructiveness, wickedness, and corruption of this world, why does this matter?  Because despite it all, despite all of the decay around me, I can see His hand and His voice at work – a stanza here, a piece of artwork there, the miracle that occurred over there – all of them subtle reminders that He is hard at work in this world to make Himself known.  That is praiseworthy.  Even more so when that truth, that purity of love explained in words, is buried within a song written or performed by someone far from the heart of God.  It doesn’t matter that they do not know Him, He placed the inspiration on their hearts to write of love in the only way it can be written, from a place of truth.

As I have said before, I am fascinated by the faith of David.  He was renowned for his love songs to God. In them, he whines, complains, exalts, and praises, but the constant is that the outpouring of trust and love for God is exuded in every line.

I do not possess the ability to put pen to paper and express myself and my heart in this way, so I can only hope to live my life as a love song to God.  I know that, ultimately, this is what He wants.

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.

Psalm 108:1

I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Psalm 104:33

Wisdom of Others

I’ll be the first to admit that ultimately, I know and understand very little in this world.  Despite all of the negative news coming from Washington and other supposedly patriotic politicians, let this serve as reminder of what really matters.

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.

Tecumseh

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.

Erich Fromm
May we be strengthened with the understanding that being blessed does not mean that we shall always be spared all the disappointments and difficulties of life.
Heber Grant
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.
Elizabeth Gilbert
An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.

Aiden Wilson Tozer

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

Paradigm Shift – Forget the Clutch

Those of us in the liberty movement, the patriot movement, the pro-gun camp, libertarians, Constitutionalists, conservatives, what have you… we need a paradigm shift if we are ever to fight back against the onward trudge of tyranny.  For too long we have allowed the political left to dominate the discussion by setting the terms of debate.

It is time for that to end.

I have pointed out before the fallacious term assault weapon and the misused term assault rifle in the past as have others ad nauseum.  The firearm industry has coined sporting utility rifle as an alternative, but I have stumbled upon another idea that has merit.  I like the idea of classifying a semiautomatic pistol grip rifle as a sporting utility rifle as it caters to the left’s strange obsession with not targeting “sportsmen” and “hunters,” but it still is allowing them to define the terms of debate.  Like I said, this is going to end here and now.

If the liberals get what they want, and I am choosing to just highlight one of their foci, on standard (or as they call them high) capacity magazines banned, they will put me and my family at risk.  If I have to reload after ten shots, I may find myself locked in close hand-to-hand combat with a thug intent on doing me and my family harm and while I believe myself capable of handling one such individual, two is another story entirely.  That is why standard (12, 15, 18 rounds for most modern semiautomatic polymer frame double-stack handguns such as the common Glock, Springfield XD, or Smith & Wesson M&P; 30 rounds for AR pattern rifles) size magazines are so important.  I can engage four or five attackers down the hallway of my house, with enough firepower and ammunition to resist a determined advance from all of them at once.

You see, my rifle is not an assault weapon, an assault rifle, a killing machine, a weapon of war (yet), or a sporting utility rifle.  My rifle is a FAMILY DEFENSE RIFLE.  With it, I can put up a wall of lead to shield my sons and wife.

So the next time someone asks me why I need so many shots in one magazine, my answer will simply be because I love my family and will always possess every advantage necessary to defend them.

 

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Word: They are acting. They are creating. They are framing their reality around you. And we … we bark at the end of our leashes. Our ambition for freedumb is at the end of our leash.