Archive for November, 2008

I am a dreamer.  Have been since I first met my imagination many years ago as a child full of innocent wonderment.  I love to wander off into the thoughts, ideas, stories, visions and worlds that are created in my mind. My dream world is a beautiful place with child-like potential.

In real life, I am a very detail-oriented person but in my mind it’s all about the BIG.  I don’t dream in small, black and white details but in a big, bright, vibrant world that doesn’t concern itself with the details.  Let someone else dream about the details, right?  I’ll worry about the “big picture” in my dream world.

Honestly, my dream world and my “real” world are often out-of-balance, with my dream world often tipping the scales decidedly in its favor to the detriment of my “real” world because of its “bigness”.  Now, I’m not clinically crazy, delusional or out-of-touch with reality, and I don’t take medications to help my little brain stayed grounded in the “real” world.  The issue isn’t that I allow my “real” world to drift for long periods into my dream world, it’s that I don’t allow my dream world to become a part of my “real” world.  What?????  Huh?????

Okay, okay….let me explain so you can follow my thinking.  God designed me to be a dreamer.  He wants me to dream.  He wants me to allow my mind, and heart, to find itself unbound by reality in a world that isn’t limited by words such as “impossible”, “unrealistic” and “impratical”.  Often it’s in this dream world that He speaks to me and shows me things that are possible, are realistic and are practical in God’s world.  He has designed my imagination to act as a conduit into the realm of unlimited potential and possiblities that could exist in the “real” world if I’m willing to grasp these dreams and bring them back to the “real” world with me.  Once these dreams/vision/ideas are brought into my “real” world, I can begin to find the pieces of the puzzle that is found in the “little” things, the “little” details so that the dream can become a living vision. 

The dreaming is easy but the action, the work, the sacrifices necessary to make them a reality isn’t easy.  It’s hard, it tidious, overwhelming at times, emotionally draining and often carries an inherent frustration in it, and this is where I fail to take what God is giving to me through my dream world, and turn it into a reality that glorifies God and reaches lost souls.  I’m not afraid of failing or the risk that comes with attempting to build something “BIG”.  It’s not the work, the emotion toil, the frustration…I guess my inability to bring these dreams into reality lies in my impatience.  Normally, I have the patience of Job but when it comes to my dreams, I’m impatient.  I want to start at the end instead of the beginning.  I want instant gratification. 

I don’t want to go through the process of adopting one child from Brazil for Christy and me,  I want to start out with already having a Christian adoption organization that is already placing thousands of Brazilian children into American homes.  I don’t want to teach just five adults with special needs, I want to already have a Christian ministry that has thousands of children and adults with special needs learning about Christ and making a difference in a lost world.  I don’t want a new church that is being built by a handful of international seekers and new Christians, I want a church that is reaching thousands of international seekers and Christians, with a mature worship team, youth ministry, Discipleship ministry, Missions ministry and on and on and on.  I want to stand on the top of the mountain of the vision looking down on all that’s been accomplished for God instead of looking up the mountain at God and seeing all that needs to be done.

But life, and God, doesn’t work this way.  He knows that the growth, the faith, the glory, the treasure, the blessings and the rewards lie in the journey and all the “little” things that were experienced along the journey.  When life is easy and our dreams come too easy, we don’t learn, we don’t grow and we often fail to rely on God.  We miss His Power, His Mercy, His Grace and His Love in action.  It’s by witnessing God in action that we begin to truly understand who God is, and allow God to show the world His “Awesomeness”.  See, it’s really in the “little” things that makes something a “BIG” thing.  God loves the minute details of this world.  This is where you find Him.

God has given me the ability to dream with a BIG imagination but it’s up to me get out the hard hat, the work gloves and the hammer.  It’s up to me to get busy turning these dreams into a reality or to continue daydreaming God’s plans away. 

So that’s the question isn’t it?  Am I, or hordes of other Christians that love to dream and talk about doing great things for God willing to do something or just continue living in their dream worlds?  Am I?  Are you? 

Truthfully, I think I’m getting tired of feeling like the only person I’m benefitting and reaching for Christ is myself.  So where do I go from here…how do I start?  Well, I haven’t made it that far but I think a trip to my local hardward store to get my hard hat, my gloves and my hammer may be a good start.  What about you?  Care to take this journey with me?

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. (16) You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  (17)  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. (18) A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. (19) So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. (20) Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”  Matthew 7:15-20 (NLT)

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But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God.  Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. (4)  But you belong to God, my dear children.  You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (5)  Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. (6)  But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us.  If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us.  This how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.”  (1 John 4:  3-6 (NLT)

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(11) “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you[c] and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. (12) Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.   (13) “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  (14) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. (15) No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. (16) In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. 

(17)“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. (18) I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. (19) So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

   (20)“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!    Matthew 5:11-20 (NLT)

The road to the White House has been a long and difficult journey for people of color.  With Barack, America has, for the first time, a minority President.  It is a sweet victory for the minority, and for the equality that often eludes people born any other color than white, whether real or perceived.  Barack’s victory will not alleviate the reality of racism that still exists on some level in this country but it will move our nation forward, a little further along this road toward healing the hurts that racism leaves in its wake.

But at what costs to our spiritual well-being?  Did we sell our souls and sacrifice a piece of our spirits just to place a minority into the Oval Office or just to get a particular political party out of office?  Did Christians forget about God and His Word because they were bear-hugged with worry and anxiety about our economy?  Did Christians dishonor God and the sacrifice that His Son, Jesus Christ, paid on the cross by their vote?

Sadly, my spirit tells me the answer to these questions is “yes.”  Yes, we sold our Christian principles out to the lowest bidder, the Great Deceiver, the Great Accuser himself, and in the process cheapened the sacrifice that Jesus paid to offer us true salvation, true hope, true mercy, true grace, true love and true change.   

God’s Word is absolute, it is divinely inspired.  It is the living word of God.  The Bible really isn’t as “up for interpretation” as many would lead you to believe it is.  When God says that murder, homosexuality, idolatry, adultery, etc. is an abomination to God and is in direct opposition to God….I believe it.   I don’t try to find “loop holes” to justify my disobedience.  When God tells Christians that we have been separated from this world by the sacrifice that Jesus paid for our salvation….I believe it.   When Christ tells us to be “salt and light” unto to this world and be examples of Christ unto a dark and lost world….I believe it.  I believe the Bible is a Christian’s “job description” and which we will be evaluated on when it comes time for our “Eternal Performance Evaluation.”  

God doesn’t expect perfection from imperfect, flawed, emotional human beings.  He made us, and understands exactly what He’s getting.  I struggle daily with pleasing God.  I always will, just as everyone does that follows Christ.  I also know that I cannot force anyone to accept Christ as Savior, to live more obediently and walk in greater faith.  I can’t force people to vote for or against any politician.  I understand why a Democrat won the election.  I understand why a minority won the election.  I understand that most people did not consider God’s Word in their decision to vote for a particular candidate, nor did they consider this a great opportunity to honor God with their vote. 

I did…for once.  Prior to this election, I was a registered Democrat that always voted for the Democratic candidate, regardless of their views on abortion, homosexuality, etc.  I voted according to how they were going to vote on education, the economy, the environment and social responsibility.  That’s exactly how I planned to vote this time around when this crazy, overhyped campaign began almost two years ago. But something changed along the way.  I simply asked God how I should vote, and how I could honor him with my vote.  So, He told me.  He told me that I had been chasing the proverbial “carrot” that satan had been dangling in front of America’s face for too long.  You see, by chasing this “carrot” and voting on the issues that affect my family and me personally such as whether I would get a tax break or not, I unwittingly voted for people that would promote an ideology that was in direct opposition to God.  I voted for people that wanted to strengthen abortion’s grip on this country, who would allow gays to marry and would attempt to remove God from our society.  I slept well at night because of how I voted.  I honestly didn’t even “think twice” about my vote. 

But looking back, I dishonored God many times with my vote.  I can attempt to rationalize and justify it all I want to but it is what is it.  I bought into satan’s plan.  I heard satan’s lies whispered into my ear, and I repeated them by my actions.  Not only did I repeat them but I shouted them to the world, and tried to get everyone to listen and “overcome the ignorance.”  Man, I was a poor excuse for a believer/follower of Christ. 

So what makes me different now????  Maybe nothing but for once I can honestly say that I did my best to vote according to the Word of God.  I sincerely wanted to please Him with my vote, and I think I did.  No…….I KNOW I did!!!  Did you?  As a Christian, did you vote based on race, the economy, education, the environment, etc.?  Or did you vote with the hope that we can make a difference in our country, in our world by voting for people that will have the best chance to stop the killing of innocent, unborn babies, will honor the institution of family and marriage, and will block society’s attempt to remove God from our country? 

What are the two ideals that God places above all else?  It’s life and it’s family, centered on His Word and the truth of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Forget about race and gender for a moment.  Don’t Chrisitians have a responsibility to do their best to keep life sacred and the family intact?  Yes, we do!  We have to stop chasing that “carrot” that satan has/is dangling in front of our faces to get us headed in a direction that is miles from God.  God is allowing Christians to step forward and be lights in the darkness that is engulfing this nation so we can encourage our nation to repent for our evil ways and return to God but he will only allow us to go so far with our disobedience and lack of discernment regarding satan’s plan for our nation.  We, as Christians, are failing God, and a country that needs God so desperately. If we can’t get this nation to repent and turn from its evil ways, then God will bring a swift and merciless wrath to us. 

I heard a lot of Christians talking about the econony, education, President Bush, the environment, gas prices, blah, blah, blah but not many talking about abortion, about homosexuality and its assault on the family.  I heard a lot of Christians talking about “hope” in Obama but not about the true HOPE we have in Christ if we chose to follow Him against the prevailing winds of evil and corruption blowing across this nation.  I heard a lot of Christians worried about the economy and how “we’re going to make it” but not many that said, “I have a BIG God that has and always will provide for my needs.  I’m not worried about the economy, my children’s education, the price of gas or anything else of this world because my God will provide.”  Granted, this isn’t easy.  We’re only human but we need to stop worrying about the things of this world, place our faith and trust completely into God’s hands, and do the best we can to place God’s Word and His love of life and family back into our country. 

I can’t control what the candidates do once I vote for them.  They are imperfect humans as well, and they may not honor God with all their actions but that’s not my concern.  I was asked to vote for either Obama or McCain.  I voted for McCain.  He supports Pro-life, Obama doesn’t.  McCain supports bans on same-sex marriages and adoptions by homosexuals, Obama opposes.  There are more issues but I believe how a candidate views life and family is the key. 

Will abortion ever be overturned?  I don’t know the answer but I know that if Christians don’t “saddle up, put on some Godly armour” and start standing up for God and His Word, then the answer is “absolutely not.” 

Simply, Chrisitians, and Christian leaders,  have a responsibility and obligation to stand for God and His Word.  We have to remember that Christ BOUGHT US WITH HIS BLOOD THE DAY HE DIED ON CALVARY.  Christians no longer have a right to “free will or a right to chose.”  By receiving the Gift of Salvation that Christ bought for us with His Blood, we then become His bondslaves, obligated to live according to His Word.   He doesn’t expect perfection but He does expect obedience and faithfulness.  He does expect us to stand for Him when the opportunity comes, and He does expect us to honor Him above all else. 

We did not honor God with our choice for President.  McCain may not have been the best choice but for Christians, it really wasn’t about the candidates.  This wasn’t a political decision but a spiritual decision.  This was a test that we failed miserably.  Now the time has come to move forward, repent for our disobedience and do it better next time.

Tomorrow, November 4th, our country will vote for our next President.  Not only will this person be our President, he will be the leader of the most powerful nation on earth and leader of the “Free World.”  This election is historic but not for the reason many presume.  If Barack Hussein Obama (a.k.a, Barry Soetoro) wins, he will be the first minority President, and for people of the minority, this will be truly historic but the significance of this is minor.  The significance of electing Barry is that he will attempt to take us so far liberally left that we will find ourselves in a society increasingly hostile and intolerant of God and Christians, and spiritually bankrupt.  Being openly Christian and a follower of Christ will become increasingly difficult and subject to persecution.  What little morals and values are left in our country will begin to fade like the last light of the day, leaving us in a state of darkness.  Biblical prophecy is being fulfilled in real-time these days and electing Barry will only intensify this fulfillment. 

Christians, I am calling on you to put aside your racial bias, and your lust for the things of this world…vote against Barry and his godless and socialistic, radical views.  Vote according to the Word of God and the principles of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Go out and not only vote against Barry “Barack Hussein Obama” but  tell every Christian that you come into contact with to vote for God, not some minority guy that claims to be a Christian.  He talks a good Christian game but walks the walk of a hypocritical politician counting on the avg. American to be ignorant and prideful enough to vote for him in spite of his godless ways just because of his color and “Hope” rhetoric.  God is our only true Hope.

So, here’s a little something to chew on from the Christian Coalition.  This isn’t “heresay” or “opinion” but information obtained from each candidate’s websites:

Issues:

 1. Educ. vouchers that allow parents to choose public or private school for their children –

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes

2.  Sex Educ. for children in K-12th grade

McCain Opposes/Barry Supports

3. Increase federal income tax rates.

McCain Opposes/Barry Supports

4. Appointing judges that will adhere to a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes

5.  Further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

McCain Opposes/Barry Supports

6.  Public funding of abortion (that’s right, YOUR Tax Dollars) such as govt. health benefits and Planned Parenthood.

McCain Opposes/Barry Supports

7.  Parental notification for abortions by minors (yep, your 13 y.o. can get pregnant and kill the little unborn without ever telling you).

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes:  this means Barry opposes parental notification.  Again, Barry’s little one can get pregnant, take care of the “mistake” and not even tell him and he’s cool with that.

8.  Legislation mandating health care for infants surviving abortions.

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes

9.  Granting sexual preference a protected minority status under existing civil rights laws.

McCain Opposes/Barry Supports:  this could cause major issues for  Christians that preach homosexuality is an abomination to God.  How would you like to preach God’s word to someone and be arrested for a hate crime?

10.  Allowing adoption of children by homosexuals.

McCain Opposes/Barry Supports

11.  Enforcing the 1993 law banning homosexuals in the military.

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes

12.  Prohibiting public funding for art that is pornographic or anti-religious.

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes

13.  Tax credits for purchasing private health insurance.

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes

14.  Allowing federal funding for faith-based charitable organizations.

McCain Supports/Barry Opposes

15.  Tax credits for investment in renewable sources of energy.

McCain Supports/Barry Supports

16.  Legislation to enact a “cap & trade” system to redue carbon dioxide emissions.

McCain Supports/Barry Supports

 As a Christian, we are, first and foremost, responsible to ensure that God’s Word and the Truth of Jesus Christ is honored.  Our obligation is to God’s commands and principles, not to our white or black ethnicity.  Don’t underestimate the importance of your vote.  Let’s go to the polls and show God that we are going to be obedient and faithful to His Word.  Vote for McCain.  We already have!!!