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Archive for June, 2016

We Don’t Know History

I’m going to make a bold statement (that shouldn’t be strange to you). 🙂 Most Americans are truly ignorant of our history as a nation, or they are believing the “rewritten history” that’s being postulated as history in our schools and universities today.

This is President Woodrow Wilson…

He was president in 1913 and he said:

“A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do.  We are tying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we have come from, or what we have been about.”

So, where have we come from?  What have we been about?  Do we, as a people remember the ancient paths that we once walked?

Jeremiah 6:16a says: 16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

Many Christians have been duped into believing that we must somehow compartmentalize our faith.  Therefore, we have a compartmentalized view that allows us to express faith and values in church but then divorces that same faith and values from the civil arena.  The teachings of the Bible reject this compartmentalized approach to life.  We are called to be salt and light in all areas of life.  We must not hide our light under a bowl.  And what we are seeing today is that indeed, our history demonstrates that for generations Christians embraced a viewpoint that we must assert the principles of Christ in all facets of life.

Benjamin Franklin not only drafted a statewide prayer proclamation for his own State of Pennsylvania, but also recommended Christianity in the public schools and he even worked to raise church attendance in his state.  He also worked to start a colony in Ohio with the help of Rev. George Whitfield to “facilitate the introduction of pure religion among the heathen…”  Franklin said, “In such an enterprise I could spend the remainder of life with pleasure, and I firmly believe God would bless us with success.”  It was Franklin who called for the establishment of chaplains and daily prayer at the Constitutional Convention when the Constitution was being developed, discussed and ultimately written.  And these actions by Franklin (well documented as one of the “least religious” Founding Fathers) show you his grid for living.

Do you know this man?

That’s John Jay. He was the original Chief-Justice of the US Supreme Court…now think about that…he was the first Supreme Court Justice (let that set the context of what a Supreme Court Justice might say today). He said this: “Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son…Blessed be His Holy name.”

This is Roger Sherman, a signer of both the Declaration and the Constitution and he declared: “I believe that there is only one living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost…and that at the end of this world there will be a resurrection of the dead and a final judgment of all mankind when the righteous shall be publicly acquitted by Christ the Judge and admitted to everlasting life and glory, and the wicked be sentenced to everlasting punishment.”

Richard Stockton, signer of the Declaration of Independence declared: “I subscribe to the entire belief of the great and leading doctrines of the Christian religion and I exhort that the course of life held up in the Christian system is calculated for the most complete happiness that can be enjoyed in this mortal state.”

There is no mention of Buddha, or Confucius or Mohammed or Islam in the founding documents of this nation.  There is no mention of Hinduism or Joseph Smith or Charles Taze Russell. Bottom line: This nation was founded on Christian principles and on the teachings and tenets of Jesus Christ.  The faith and belief in Jesus Christ of our Founding Fathers permeates every document written from the Constitution to the Declaration of Independence.

But something happened in the early 1960s. In 1962, our nation allowed a simple, non-denominational prayer in public schools to be declared “unconstitutional.”  This was the prayer:

“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country.”

The people of this nation should have demanded the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren…

He’s in the middle of the picture seated and surrounded by the other 8 men of his court.  But, nothing was said or done.  So, in 1963 Bible teaching in public schools was banned, and again…we did nothing.  In 1980 the public schools were ordered to remove the Ten Commandments from students’ view, and we did nothing.

Friends, from the Revolutionary War through the 1930s our school children learned to spell and read from passages from the Bible via McGuffy’s Reader.

1stmgreaderhb

Mr. William McGuffy, the author of the Reader died in 1873, just two years before the church I help Pastor was established. This Reader was basically the “Bible” of the schools and it taught principles from, guess where? THE BIBLE!

Did you know Our Continental Congress approved on September 11, 1777 the purchase of 20,000 copies of the Holy Bible in order for people in our nation to have a Bible who didn’t currently own one? In the word of the Special Congressional Committee in 1777:

“The use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great…the committee orders the Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles for distribution in the states of this Union.”

Yet, today, the great heritage of our nation is being removed from our history books by progressive, liberal, humanists who are re-writing history to suit their agenda.  One day…if we don’t point our children back to Scripture and to the true history of this nation…all of the true history of the founding of this nation will be lost.

What must we do?  We must pray for our nation and its leaders.  I encourage people to speak up for truth and to get involved in the public forums of our day. Get involved with the local school boards, county commissioners and state and government politics. I, for one, am going to do my civic duty this November and vote. So many suffered and sacrificed to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not placing America above the Lord Jesus. I’m not even speaking of American exceptionalism. I don’t believe in that. The Lord sees people, not national borders. But, we as a nation have been blessed by God because (in my opinion) we sought Him and as a nation, had a desire for what pleased Him.

As we look to celebrate our Independence as a nation next week, this is my overriding prayer for our nation and for the world:

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Oh how we need another Great Awakening in this nation and that can only begin as we humble ourselves and seek the face of God and repent of our sins. Then, and only then, will there be any real hope for this nation. Oh that we would remember!

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It’s another hot week in the foothills of NC and I’ll admit to you…I’m about ready for a break. The pace has been relentless over the last several months. Perhaps you are there too. Have you had a break lately? Do you ever get a day off? Good! That’s so important! I’m hoping to catch a break in late July and then I’ll head to the coast with the family in late September like we normally do. We’ll hope we can chase the hurricanes away! 🙂 Until then…I’m kind of like what the Carolina Panthers say… “Keep pounding!”

You know lately, I’ve been watching the political landscape and I continue to be dismayed at what I see. It’s like watching something from another planet. It’s hard to fathom the yo-yo-ing up and down of this Presidential campaign. The ads by Clinton have already started. They make her look like Mother Theresa as she cares for all the children. Have you seen them yet? Wow! I wonder if they have any footage of all the “Whitewater” days from Arkansas?

I’m also wondering what Trump will say next? It is a bit disconcerting that he is saying that we should shut down all mosques. Why do I say that is disconcerting? Read carefully: Because one day a President could say the same thing about Christian churches. The first amendment is clear here, in my opinion. The government has no right to get involved in telling people what to believe. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not espousing Islam. You know me better than that. Islam is a religion inspired by Satan. But, when a government can determine which “house of faith” remains open based on what they (the government) thinks is right…well…that’s all “peaches and cream,” until the government decides that what Christians teach and preach is also unacceptable. We just saw this last summer in Kentucky with the County Clerk. We are seeing this now with bakers and t-shirt makers, etc. Believe me, if we go down this path…and the government begins dictating what is and isn’t acceptable to believe…wow…that’s going to become a very slippery slope in a hurry.

By the way, have you seen any Trump ads? He’s not started yet, apparently. I’ve not seen even one. I’m hearing that he’s looking for money now. Truth is…if he doesn’t start running some soon, he’s going to get behind in a hurry. Clinton has a huge money machine behind her and people believe what they see on TV. Most Americans are so easily  duped. Am I saying that we’re dumb. Yep…pretty much…yep…that’s what I’m saying.

You see, regarding this whole election, I continue to allow my thoughts to be directed toward the Supreme Court vacancies. That’s what is driving my thinking right now. Which person is going to select conservative judges? Clinton…NO WAY…zero chance. Trump? Who knows. He says he will…but, then again…he flip-flops so much, it’s hard to tell. Pray and let the Holy Spirit guide your conscience. That’s what I’m continuing to do. All I know is that we are in one HUGE (to use Trump’s word) mess!!

Here’s another example of the mess we’re in… I’ve decided that the situation in Orlando is being played out by the Obama Administration as just another form of their spin and propaganda. I’ve never in my life seen anything quite like it. They’re scrambling you know. Why? Because they are absolutely bewildered in how they are supposed to spin this whole thing? Think about it. They’re big-time pro-homosexuality and pro-Islam…so, how does Obama do this? How does he make this thing work without alienating either group (who are so loyal to him)? Well, you’re seeing it. He sends Attorney General, Loretta Lynch out on the Sunday shows and she spins a tale and then he has her walk it back yesterday. Amazing! It’s so wacky. Poor ole Loretta Lynch! She’s such a scapegoat. I feel sorry for her.

I feel sorry for us as a nation. I feel this way particularly about the next generation. We are failing you, young people. We are raising a generation that can’t tell fact from fiction. College professors, according to an ACT study, say this is the case. Only 18% of college professors say incoming freshmen have the ability to tell fact from fiction. I talked about this earlier today in my Two-Minute Tuesday. You can watch it here:

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/8b3c583

Do you know what I’ve decided? Just give people Jesus. I stopped a long time ago trying to win people over to my argument about politics or global warming or evolution or traditional marriage. You see, if I win them to my side of the argument, but I don’t win them to Jesus, then I’ve “won nothing.” I don’t want to major on the minors. I want to major on Jesus. So keep preaching Jesus! We need to preach Him in how we live even louder than what we say! He said, “Be doers of my word…not hearers only.”

Let’s do it!

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Jesus Came Down To Us

We had VBS this week… Here’s my granddaughter singing…

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Wasn’t it just yesterday that was Katy standing up there doing that? What a great week! Perhaps the hi-light of the week for me was this:

http://https://www.facebook.com/april.shell.12/videos/1100315446681848/

It was a fantastic week!!

We finished up last night and this is what I shared with the parents and the children. I titled it: “Submerged: Jesus Came All the Way Down To Us.”

Here you go:

I love this by C. S. Lewis…

“In the Christian account of God bringing Himself down to man. Jesus Christ descends to reascend. He comes down, down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity, down further still, down to the very roots and sea bed of the nature He had created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the ruined world up with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great, complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift. He must also disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders. 

He is like a diver…gone with a splash, vanished, rushing down through green and warm water down…down…down into the deep black and cold water, down through increasing pressure into the death-like region of ooze and slime and old decay. Then up again, back to color and light, his lungs almost bursting till suddenly he breaks the surface again, holding in his hand the dripping precious thing that he went down to recover.”

What is that precious thing He went down to recover? YOU and ME!!! The Apostle Paul told Titus:

Titus 2:11

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. 

Paul told Timothy:

1 Timothy 2:4-6

4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Have you considered lately what God did to reconcile us back to Himself? He came in the second person of His essence, Jesus Christ. And when He did…He came all the way down to us. Think about that… Here He is. He owned everything, but when He came into this world He was borrowing everything from men. He had no place to lay His head when He was born in a stinking, nasty animal feeding trough. He had to borrow a place to perform His ministry in Capernaum, because He didn’t even own a home. When He traveled down to Jerusalem, He had to stay with Mary, Martha and Lazarus in Bethany or sleep under the stars on the Mount of Olives. He had to borrow a boat every time He wanted to cross the Sea of Galilee. He had to borrow a donkey to ride into the Jerusalem. He had to borrow a room for the Last Meal. He even had to borrow a tomb to be buried in.

Think of it, the only person who had the right to everything in the universe wound up with nothing. He became a slave…a bondservant. He came into the world as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the rightful heir to the throne of David. Yet, He had no advantages, no privileges, no prosperity in this world. He had no money. He had no treasure. Nobody gave Him anything. No land. No animals. Nothing! He walked everywhere He went. And yet He was the Son of God! But, in all of that…He became nothing for us!

You know it would have been one thing for God to become a man. Certainly that is humbling enough…but for God to become man and then, for mankind to treat Him as a common criminal is almost unconscionable. Jesus allowed mankind (His own creation) beat Him and mock Him and punch Him in the face and pluck out His beard…and ram a crown of thorns on His head and treat like scum…and then hang Him on a cross…

Yes, that’s God’s grace…

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. Titus 2:11

That’s the love of Jesus, who…

Philippians 2:8

8 being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Do you want to know the truth? If I had been Jesus, I would have looked at us and said, “They’re not worth it! This is too much…Don’t they know who I am!” If I had planned it, and I was Jesus, I would have come to a palace. I would have been born wealthy and to a prominent family…not a couple of poor peasants in a stinking feeding trough. I would have been educated in the finest university in Rome with the most elite teachers and the finest tutors. If I had been Jesus coming into this world, I would have made sure everybody loved me and revered me and honored me and respected me like I deserved.

I would have never spent time in a sweaty carpenter’s shop in an obscure, nothing little town in Nazareth. I would have never lived without any earthly possessions. I would have never put up with a rag-tag bunch of faithless followers like the Apostles, who would all desert me. Yeah…I would have done it differently and you know what…because of that…if I had done it my way…we would have never had the opportunity to be saved. Do you understand that? Because Jesus chose to go all the way down for you and for me we have the privilege of being saved. May that fact humble us all today!

Kevin

 

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The Death Zone

See the dotted line…

everest-graphic copy

That’s the Death Zone on Mount Everest. It’s fascinating to consider. That’s 8000 meters straight up or about 26,247 feet above sea level? And it’s at that point that you enter the Death Zone on Everest. From there it’s another 2,782 feet to the top(29,029 ft) …all through the Death Zone. Now understand this…you can only be in the Death Zone no longer than 16-20 hours depending upon your health and conditioning because the air is so thin that your body is only getting a fraction of the oxygen you need, even with oxygen tanks. And remember this…you are right at 30,000 feet up and that’s the cruising altitude for many planes. This man…

160523093603-eric-arnold-everest-exlarge-169 copyEric Arnold was from the Netherlands… He died of a suspected heart attack. He was only 36 years old and was an avid triathlete. So sad.

This is Maria Strydom of Austraila…

160523092709-maria-strydom-everest-exlarge-169 copy

…she started suffering altitude sickness while at Base Camp 4 (see chart above) and she couldn’t climb any higher.

This is a picture of Base Camp 4, the last camp before you seek to summit Everest. That’s the summit of Everest in the distance, only about 1/2 mile away.

SouthColtents copy

Maria was in the same group as Eric Arnold. She stayed back at Camp 4 while they went ahead to try to Summit. Eric made it, but again, he died of a heart attack on the way down. A rescue attempt to get Maria back down to Base Camp 3 failed. She was only 26…

What happened? They were in the Death Zone too long. It was estimated Arnold had spent close to 30 hours in the Death Zone. And people are living this way today. Maybe even some of you reading this. You are in the Death Zone and it’s not high altitude sickness you are dealing with… It’s not storms or ice or freezing temperatures or frostbite…it’s your sin that you are choosing to carry with you and try to hope you can get through the narrow gate to heaven.

If you are without Jesus right now, then you are right now in the Death Zone. And because of that fact, you are one breath away from Hell. But, thanks be to God because He sent Jesus Christ to die for you on the cross, you are just one prayer away from being able to (one day) summit heaven. Oh, please, please…don’t wait too long. Don’t you dare risk it and stay in the Death Zone too long without Jesus. Give your heart and your life to Jesus while you still have time…before it’s too late and you find that you waited too long and you stayed on the broad and easy way that leads to eternal destruction.

Jesus said…

Matthew 7:13-14

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Be among the few and choose Jesus today!

Here’s the video portion of what I’ve just shared…

http://subsplash.com/mpbc/v/7c03d2f

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