No one living today is perfect

  There are individuals and organizations that would attempt to sit in judgment and condemn women who have had an abortion.
  There are large numbers of Vets who have killed others; it was a job that their government wanted done for whatever reason, some still don’t sleep well even now 30 or more years later for the older ones and from the articles that I have read a large number of younger Vets are experiencing problems from “recent” assignments in foreign countries.
  I would like all you women who have had an abortion to look around, you will find there are lots of men and women who can relate to your pain, and won’t judge you – they don’t want to be judged.
  I would like all you men that have skeletons in your closets to look around and realize there are lots of women and men who can relate to your pain, and won’t judge you – they don’t want to be judged.
  It makes no difference how or why it happens, taking a life is going to be difficult for most people without the guilt trips that society hands out.
  There are lots of individuals who don’t feel they have the right to enter a church: Paul before he received his wake-up call was killing “Christians” and thinking it was a right and good thing.
  He was forgiven, read Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts and Proverbs for yourself don’t trust someone else to interpret the Bible for you, it is written in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, most any language in the world, it is so simple, yet we as people have to make it difficult.

 No one living today is perfect
Reach out to help someone else today, he or she could use a hand



  During the 1988 Bush-Dukakis U.S. presidential race, an unexpected shift of attention occurred. Instead of the evening news focusing on the presidential candidates, all eyes were glued to the television to follow the progress of three gray whales that had been cut off from their migratory route by a frozen sea of ice. Eugene Linden, a reporter from Time magazine, wrote:
  The sight of three battered and bloodied gray whales gasping for breath at holes on a thickening Arctic ice pack caused Americans to forget, for a moment or two, both the World Series and the Bush-Dukakis race.
  An unlikely, uneasy army of scientists, whale-hunting Eskimos, oil company officials and environmental activists mustered in frigid Point Barrow, Alaska, the northern most point in the United States, to organize a $1 million rescue effort. Biologists named the whales “Bonnet", "Crossbeak" and "Bone." By weeks end the Eskimo names---Putu, Siku, and Kanik, Ice Hole, Ice, and Snowflake. They also had the good wishes of President Reagan, who called to tell rescue workers that our "hearts are with you and our prayers are also with you". The media frenzy prompted a bewildered Ron Morris Fisheries biologist coordinating the rescue, to remark, "This is completely out of proportion."
  Once the media brought the whales' plight home to our living rooms, volunteers flocked to the scene with heavy machinery and a determination to free the stranded whales. But the volunteers' ingenuity and energy were soon exhausted. Enter the National Guard, who swooped in with helicopters to drop five-ton concrete blocks to break up the ice. Then, in a cooperative agreement with the United States and the Soviet Union dispatched two ice-breaking ships to facilitate the rescue.
  After three weeks of intense rescue efforts, Bonnet, and Crossbeak were finally freed. (Sadly, the third whale, Bone died before making it to safety.) This heroic and noble whale rescue sparked a sense of compassion throughout the world, but it did something else too. It revealed that people seem more willing to pitch in to save ocean-dwelling mammals then they are to join hands in rescue efforts that involve mankind.
  If you don't agree, just consider the following questions. How many people would dig into their pockets to help a homeless couple stranded on the icy streets of Chicago? How many would donate their money to free a family from a New York ghetto? How many would open their homes to unwed mothers? How many would sacrifice their time and money to minister to prisoners? How many would devote themselves to sharing the gospel with all their non-Christian neighbors and colleagues?
  It's a sad fact: we're often more willing to help save the whales then we are to help save human beings.
  You might wonder where in the world I'm going with this story about the whales and I'm happy to tell you. While I watched the scene and read about it in the periodicals, I noticed the irony in the trouble that we will take to set free creatures with whom we can't even communicate intelligently; but how slow we are on the family of God to set one another free from our own lists of rules, inhibitions, restrictions, and expectations! We'll spend millions to help the whales make it back to the ocean, but we'll hardly give each other room to breathe in the spiritual and theological area's in which we disagree.
  If I had one wish for the family of God, it would be that we would learn to demonstrate more grace to one another in our relationships.
  When I helped start a new church in Frisco, Texas, and we began to build our staff, we chose six core values. One of those values is "grace in our relationships."  We understood that IF we were to cooperate well as a ministry, we would have to show grace in our relationships. The full statement of that core value reads:
  As a ministry devoted to communicating God's grace, we must demonstrate that same grace within our own walls. We must put this into practice through our thoughtfulness, kindness, generosity, courtesy, freedom, forgiveness, encouragement, and appreciation of others' differences as we inspire greatness in those around us.
  The men and woman of my generation were not raised to be free. We were raised with lists of rules to follow. Expectations were laid on us, beginning with our parents, and then including teachers, pastors friends, and, fellow church members. We weren't given any wiggly room if we wanted to be perceived as "spiritual". Rather then celebrating the differences in the body, encouraging liberty, and, cutting through the ice so that we can all swim freely, authority figures tried to force us all into the same mold. We were told to "just sit there quietly and be good, little Christians" We were encouraged to act in a way that would please the pastor and allow us to gain status in the eyes of the people.
  One of my spiritual goals is to NEVER fall into that trap again. I've found that Christians can become such controlling people. Rather then freeing others and affirming their unique value and roles in the body of Christ, we tend to place them in bondage and judge them. We may be willing to travel halfway around the world to help free non-Christians from the shackles of sin, but we are pathetically slow to reach out to our own neighbors or to release our own brothers and sisters in Christ from the chains of legalism.
  Though Christ has already set us free from sin through His Death and resurrection, many of us remain trapped in the ice of impossible expectations, legalistic requirements, and performance-based spirituality. Instead of exerting energy to free fellow believers, we let them suffocate under the ice, never experiencing the freedom guaranteed by the blood of Christ.
  Lest you think this type of control is a new disease, let me show you Galatians 2:4, where Paul writes about some non-Christians who had sneaked into the mist of the Galatian church for the purpose of controlling the people.
  But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.

  Now look at Paul's response:

  But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you. (2:5)
  I love that! The same verse in THE MESSAGE reads, "We didn't give them the time of day."  If all legalists were treated like that, they wouldn't get a foothold in the local church. But because these types of people tend to intimidate others (and because so few Christians are willing to stand up to them like Paul did), they often worm their way into the church and start controlling others

  Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:32, 36) But those with legalistic tendencies paraphrase this verse to read, “If you wish to be free, you must be free on my terms. You will be free if you keep the list of dos and don'ts that I give you. If you don't you'll be marked for life, and you'll never attain a high level of spirituality"

  Consider this funny but telling example:

  A group of theologians was discussing predestination and free will. When the argument became heated the dissidents split into two groups. One man which was unable to make up his mind which group to join slipped into the predestination crowd. Challenged as to why he was there, he said, “I came of my own free will". The group retorted: Free will? "You can't join us!" He retreated to the opposing group and met the same challenge. "I was sent here." he answered honestly. Get out! They stormed. "You can't join us unless you come of your own free will." The confused Christian was left out in the cold.

  We can laugh about such ridiculous examples until their truth hits us. It's these very things ----splitting hairs and judging others----that drive people miles and miles from any interest in the church or any desire to spend time with Christian people

  One of my prayers for the church worldwide is that we will become a people of grace. Every time I sniff out legalism I confront it. Why do I do that? Because legalism ruins churches. It puts people in bondage, and it "ices them in." Their "breathing holes" become smaller and smaller as a few controlling, strong-willed people strive to get in their way. And I'm not going to let that happen.
  One of the responsibilities as a spiritual shepherd is to guard the sheep from heresy, and there are few heresies worse then legalism. We do not believe in a legalistic kind of salvation; we believe salvation is by grace through faith, as the Bible clearly states. However, for some strange reason, we seem to believe in SANCTIFICATION by legalism. We believe that people are saved by faith alone, in Christ alone, apart from works--buy spirituality.--We seem to think that a person can only become spiritual by doing this or by giving up that, by hanging out with those like us and by not associating with those who say or do things we don't agree with. Nothing could be further from the truth.


  In order to loose the chains of legalism and lead people to freedom, we must let grace flow freely. We need to let people look different from us, act differently, and see things in a different way then we do. Now, we're not talking about differences of doctrine here. We can't waver on the essentials, but the non-essentials are just that: not essential. We're not talking about changing the pillars of our faith----just the window dressing.
  I'm going to mention a couple of traps that we can fall into, and then I'm going to give you some guidelines from Romans 14. But first, let me explain the ways in which we can allow grace to flow freely.
  Here's the principal: ALLOWING GRACE TO FLOW FREELY MEANS WE LET OTHERS BE. Unfortunately, two strong and very human tendencies work against this principle. First, we tend to compare ourselves with others, which leads us to criticize or compete with them. Second, we attempt to control others, which results in our manipulating and intimidating them. Let's dissect and examine both of these tendencies that keep grace from awakening in our lives.


  Most people tend to prefer others who share agreement, sameness, predictability, and common interests with them. As a result, if someone thinks differently, prefers different entertainment, wears different clothes, or enjoys a different lifestyle, we get a little nervous. For example, how do you respond to your friend who:













  If Scripture refuses to comment, why do we pipe up to judge and criticize others who disagree with us in these gray areas? Our problem is one of superficiality. We tend to see only the surface, and therefore, we put too much weight on externals. We judge by appearances rather than actualities.
  But the problem goes deeper than that. It goes beyond the need for and eye exam. We also need an attitude adjustment, because comparison knocks our attitude out of alignment.  It makes us prejudiced people. And it counteracts and opposes the work of grace.
  We need to guard ourselves against the comparison trap. You might say "Well, I don't really compare myself to others much." Really? What about your income? Your academic degrees? Marital status? Music tastes? Size of your home? Choice of vehicle? Vacation destination? Clothing styles and labels? The schools your children attend? The job you have? We compare all these things and all of it nullifies grace.
  God never meant for the church to be a religious industry designed to churn out cookie-cutter Christians and paper-doll saints. On the contrary, His church is supposed to be a celebration of diversity (1 Corinthians 12). God loves differences. He made the zinnia as well as the orchid. He made the buzzard as well as the butterfly. I mean, visit the zoo! Some of the animals will make you laugh out loud. The giraffe doesn't look at all like a swan. The crocodile doesn't look a thing like the toad. God created the stars, and He also created the swamplands. He made it all, and He finds the differences delightful.
  Unsure of this? Look at the people in the Bible. They are as different as Rahab and Esther, the one an ex-prostitute and the other an exquisite queen.
  Variety honors God. Uniformity bores Him. Consider the variegation of the threads woven through the genealogy of God's Son in Matthew. Cup your ears in the marble hallways of faith in Hebrews 11, and hear the echoes of diversity Page through church history, and read about the great differences in the men and woman who shaped the world.
  Legalism requires that we all be alike, unified in convictions and uniform in appearance, strictly abiding by man-made rules and regulations. Grace, on the other hand, takes pleasure in diversity, encourages individuality and leaves room for differences of opinion. But before we will be able to demonstrate sufficient grace to let others be who they are, we'll have to get rid of our legalistic tendency to compare.


  Another attitude we need to change is the desire to control others. This tendency is especially prevalent among those who find their security in religious rigidity. One of the clearest signs of insecurity among leaders is a tendency to control people. They manipulate by using fear tactics, veiled threats, and oblique hints to get their way.
  Controllers attempt to win by intimidation. Whether physical or verbal, their ways are those of the schoolyard bully. Resist that. Controllers often rely on strong wills and manipulation. Resist that. Don’t let anyone manipulate or exploit you. You are not here to fulfill anyone's agenda except God's. You are here because you're led. We're all here to please our Father who is to be glorified.
  You might say, "Well, you know, Chuck, offering people this much grace and freedom seems kind of risky?" It is: that's why most people don't do it. But it's also risky to teach your teenager to drive, right? It's risky to fly. It's risky to work out to the point of sweating profusely. It’s risky to trust your employees to be honest. It's risky to give church members the freedom to make their own choices. Of course it is! But you never grow up without risks.
  You’re free to fail, and you're free to succeed. Don't do what you do because of anybody else. Do it because of you. You name the name of Christ, You live before Christ, You answer to Christ, and that is freedom at its best. Guard against comparison, and watch out for the tendency to control. Whatever the method, controlling, like comparing, nullifies grace.


  But we don't want to dwell on those things that nullify grace. We want to discover those things that magnify it.

  In Romans 14, Paul sets forth four practical guidelines to help us release others on grace. He goes onto great detail regarding the issue of personal freedom. The first guideline is found in verses 1-4.


  Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt he who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:1-4)
  Here's guideline one: Accepting others is basic to letting them be.  The problem in Romans 14 was not a food problem. It was a love problem, an acceptance problem. It still is. How often do we restrict our love by making it conditional?  How often do we make our acceptance dependent upon how others measure up to our own set of expectations? Whether the subject in question is meat sacrificed in a heathen temple or a movie showing in a Hollywood theater, the principle Paul teaches here is the same: accept one another.
  When we don't accept one another, conflicts arise. Paul pinpoints the two most common ways that people react to these conflicts. First, he said, "The one who eats is not to regard who with contempt the one who does not eat" (14:3) The words regard with contempt mean "to regard as nothing, to utterly despise, to discount entirely."
  Second, Paul says, "The one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats." (14:3). The word judge means "to criticize, to view negatively, to make assumptions that are exaggerated, erroneous, and even damaging to character."
  Stop! What in the world is that about? I mean, is this a passage promoting the eating of vegetarian meals, or is it promoting the eating of meat? The big taboo back then was not drinking and smoking. It was not going to the theater or listening to certain kinds of music. The biggest taboo was that of eating meat that had been offered to idols. Back then, if you were from a pagan background and had worshiped idols, you had eaten meat that had been left over from and idol offering. It was sold in the meat market, you bought your steaks there, and you went home, fixed them, and ate them.
  But then when you came to Christ, there were some in the church who thought, if part of that carcass was offered on an altar to an idol, then it's contaminated. I shouldn't touch meat that's been offered on an idol alter because part of it was given to a (pagen) god, and we don't believe in false gods. So I'm just going to eat vegetables.
  Paul's point here is, if you don't believe you should eat the rest of the meat, don't eat it---but don't tell me I can't eat it! And if you prefer to eat meat and I prefer to eat only vegetables, don't tell me that I'm wrong for just eating vegetables.
  No matter how strongly we may feel about a certain cultural taboo, judging another who disagrees with us or looking down our nose with contempt is wrong. Why? Because, as Romans 14:4 indicates, another person's convictions are none of our business. After all, who made us the judge to pass a verdict on other people's lifestyles? Who made us the judge to mete out a sentence of condemnation? It's God's job to direct them. It's our job to accept them.
  What does acceptance entail? It means you are valuable just as you are. It allows you to be the real you. You aren't forced into someone else's mold of who you should be. It means your ideas are taken seriously because they reflect you. You can talk about how you feel inside and why you feel that way---and someone really cares.
  Acceptance means you can try out your ideas without being shot down. You can even express difficult and less- then- orthodox thoughts and discuss them with intelligent questioning. You feel safe. No one will pronounce judgment on you, even though they may not agree with you. It doesn't mean you will never be corrected or shown to be wrong; it simply means it is safe to be you, and no one will destroy you out of prejudice.
  Acceptance is basic to letting others be themselves. Consider the next four verses of Romans 14 as we turn to a second guideline.


  One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. (14:5-8)
  Here's guideline two: refusing to dictate to others allows the Lord's freedom to direct their lives. Do you want to help others grow to maturity? Here's how: let them grow up differently. Let them unfold to blossom at their own pace and in their own way. Let them decide for themselves. Let them have the freedom to fail and to learn from their own mistakes. 
  To spell that out, don't try to make up other people's minds for them. Don't manipulate them if your opinion happens to be strong. Leave them alone. Don't judge them. Don't step in and push your weight around. Don't assume that because others choose differently that they're wrong and your right. We answer to God. When you stand before the Lord in the final accounting of your life, you'll never have to give an account for any other person but you. Isn't that a relief? You don't have to worry about anybody's choices but your own.
  My wife will never be asked to give an account for Chuck Swindoll, even though she's been married to me for more than fifty years, God will never say, "Now tell me about Chuck," He will never do that. First of all, she wouldn't have enough time, and, second, God's going to ask ME about Chuck. He's going to ask her about Cynthia. And the same is true for you and your family and your friends. Each of us belongs to the Lord, Paul states in Romans 14:8. When we realize that, we will stop dictating and start trusting the Lord to direct the steps of His children.


  The third guideline is found in Roman 14:9-12:  For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written.
  "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God". So then each one of us shall give an account of himself to God.
  Here's guideline three: freeing others means we never assume a position we're not qualified to fill What keeps us from being qualified to judge? Several things. Not being omniscient, we don't know all the facts. Unable to see into people's hearts, we can't read motives. Being finite, we lack "the big picture" Having poor spiritual eyesight, we live with blind spots and blurred perspectives. Most of all, being human, we are imperfect and subjective.
  I'll give you an example, which I share to my own shame. I was slated to speak at a conference a number of years ago. On the first night, I met most of the couples who were there. It was a couple's conference, and I met one dear lady who was kind and had a lot of sweet things to say, I thanked her. I noticed then that her husband seemed somewhat sleepy and distant. He was gracious but removed from the situation.
  The next morning, I began to teach. I was about ten minutes into my message when I noticed that this man was fast asleep. Normally, that doesn't bother me, but that particular day it kind of irritated me and I thought, Well, good night, I've got all these great pearls of wisdom that I'm sharing, and he's sleeping through them ! I'm sure there was some pride in the way I was thinking.
  By the third day, it was obvious that the man only attended my talks so he could sleep. He didn't come to listen. Before the end of the week I was thinking, Boy she has got one challenge on her hands. She always listened carefully, perched on the edge of her seat, writing things down, and drinking it all in. The last afternoon we were there, she asked me, "Could I speak with you when the meeting has ended tonight? There are some things I'd like to share." And I said "Sure, that'd be fine, I'll stick around and we'll talk." And I just knew that she had marriage problems. I just knew she would say that her husband wasn't sensitive to spiritual things, and I hoped I would have a chance to encourage her.
  That evening, after pretty much everyone had left, the woman walked up to me. She said, “First of all, I want to thank you for all this week." I said, "Your welcome." She said, "You see, my husband has terminal cancer." My stomach turned at that point, She said, "One of his great wishes before death was that he'd have a chance to meet you and hear you teach. You're his favorite."
  I blinked through tears as I said to her, "I need to apologize. I've had a rotten attitude, and I didn't know about your husbands’ situation." Of course, she understood. She was very gracious. And then she left.
  I stayed there another thirty minutes all by myself. I felt so ashamed. But I learned a very important spiritual lesson that evening: I don't know enough to judge anyone else. And neither do you. You don't know why people do what they do. You think you know, but you don't. You're not God. You don't know all the pain and all the reasons behind people's action.

  Does this guideline mean we must always agree with other? Certainly not, but it does mean we should be civil in our conflicts, realizing that others may be dealing with situations that we are not aware of.


  The final guideline flows out of Romans 14:13-18: Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this---not to put an obstacle or stumbling block in a brother's way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy on the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
  Here's guideline four: Loving others requires us to express our liberty wisely, In other words, love must rule. Our goal is not to please ourselves----or others---- but the Lord (Corinthians 5,9,15) He is the one who bought us with His blood
  Consequently, we shouldn't act out our lives according to what others say. Rather, we should act out our lives on the basis of out love for others because we answer to Christ (Romans 14:10). When you love someone, you adjust your life. That's a sign of growing up.
  One way to show our love for others is by expressing our liberty wisely. We do that by enjoying our liberty without flaunting it.....quietly, privately, and with those of the like mind who aren't offended by the liberty.
  I've known Christians who didn't mind drinking wine in public, so they would get a big bottle, pour it, and drink it while they mocked other Christians who didn't believe in drinking whine. That's not love: that's selfishness. If you don't mind a little wine, drink it. Just drink it privately, that’s your business. Don't feel like you have to explain it to me. If I was in your home and opened the refrigerator to get a drink of water, and I saw a bottle of wine there, I wouldn't say, " Oh, my gosh! I thought you were a Christian!" I'm not going to do that. You know why? What's in your refrigerator is your business.

  A person of grace never rubs others' noses in his or her freedom.


  Can I go back to Bonnet and Crossbeak for a moment? Their story reminds us that our task is to free people, to help them to find room to grow and learn and swim and breathe, not to plug up their windpipes. Our task is to love and encourage other people.
  I love Ruth Bell Graham's answer when asked about her role in the life of her husband, the renowned evangelist Billy Graham. She said, "My job is to love Billy; it's God's job to make him good.”May every wife and every husband remember that. It's my job to love my wife, it's God job to make her good. It's your job to love your husband or wife; it's Gods job to make them good. It's your job to love others; the rest is up to the Lord.
  I'd like to conclude with a few thoughts culled from Romans 14:19: so then we pursue the things which make up for peace and building up of another.
  On the basis of this statement, consider a few actions that signify grace:

****Concentrate on things that encourage peace and assist others' growth. Filter whatever you do through this twofold grid: Is this going to encourage peace? And, is this going to hurt and offend or help and strengthen?

****Remember that the sabotaging of the saints hurts the work of God. Paul warns in Romans 14:20 not to "tear down the work of God for the sake of food.' You sabotage the saints when you flaunt your liberty, knowing that others have convictions against it. Enjoy your liberty, but enjoy it discreetly.

****Exercise your liberty only with those who can enjoy it with you. In other words, keep it private and personal. That's not deception; it's wise and necessary restraint.

****Determine where you stand, and refuse to play God in anyone else's life. By letting others be, you free yourself to give full attention to what God is trying to make of you. When you're totally absorbed with that, you won't have the time or the energy to meddle in someone else's life.

  Romans 14 is not about issues central to the faith, but about peripheral things like meat sacrificed to idols and the observance of religious days. Paul's point is that these peripheral issues shouldn't cause division. The body of Christ should feature both unity and diversity. The church incorporates not only a diversity of gifts (1 Corinthians 12), but a diversity of personalities and opinions (Romans 14). We're all different, yet we're all one.

BY Chuck Swindoll

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense
 *TRUTH*                How God’s Truth Is Distorted                         *LIES
filtered through
                 God is:                                        the grid of                                  We feel that God is:

            Loving & Caring                         IGNORANCE                          Hateful, unconcerned

          Good & merciful                         BAD or FALSE                         Mean & unforgiving

             Giver of unconditional                   NEGATIVE                             A giver of conditional
         grace                                     THOUGHTS                                     approval

          Present and available                    UNHEALTHY                          Absent when needed

            Giver of good gifts                       POOR ROLE                            A killjoy, takes away
             Nurturing                                   OF AUTHORITY                        Critical & unpleasable
          Accepting                                                                                       Rejecting         .          
          Just, fair & impartial                  MECHANISMS                           Unjust, unfair, partial

   Steadfast & reliable                      IMMATURITY                          Unpredictable &

Wake-up people; wake-up:

  We are in very deep crap; unfortunately most people are clueless as to the spiritual battles being fought over this country and how close we are to losing.

  Going through life I have tried to live by what in engineering terms is the KISS method, Keep It Simple Stupid, I try not to use the second “s” or substitute it with a different word, reason being most people are not stupid, ill-informed maybe, unknowledgeable of the subject maybe, but rarely stupid.
  The two most important issues in the world are religion and politics; both subjects are intertwined in the formation of this country; from the Biblical violations that were the religious underpinnings that gave us our Declaration of Independence (27 Biblical violations), to the Bible used at the swearing in ceremonies of our elected officials.
  There was a time not that long ago that the majority of the people in the United States of America believed  the principals put forth in the Bible, in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit; that understood the concept of Heaven and Hell, that understood the concept of good and evil and understood the concept of Spiritual Warfare.
  These days many people snub their nose at the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God! It was that fundamental belief and the want to practice their Christian belief that led to the pilgrims coming to the “New World” to the Christians establishing the Declaration of Independence, it was Christians who fought the Revolutionary War and then it was Christians who wrote up and then ratified the Constitution. For some reason this is no longer taught in the school systems.
  Unfortunately being human, people forget their ways and misinformation gets taught instead of the fundamentals (KISS) of Christianity and in the 1800’s we had “Christian brother” killing “Christian brother” in the Civil War.
  Somewhere in the bowels of the National Cathedral is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in prayer. President Lincoln was once asked If God was on the side of the North or the South, his response “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right” with both sides professing Christianity and killing people it becomes difficult to envision “whose” side God is on.
  World War II had the Christians of Germany massacring Blacks, Gypsies, Jews or anybody who got in there way it took a large number of American Christians to stop the massacres.
  Some people naturally gravitate toward power and there is nothing wrong with that when it is not abused, but when the Preachers, the Rabbi’s and the Iman’s are confused enough not to speak out on injustices that come from abuses of power and money everyone suffers.
  Where does the misinformation come from; people who laugh at the concept of God, also laugh at the concept of Satan. People that have no knowledge of Spiritual Warfare, because “we” are to enlightened to believe in Angles and Demons, “we” are way too intelligent to think of the Bible as anything other than a child’s fairy tale.

  WAKE-UP, Satan, devil, Lucifer, serpent, ancient serpent, dragon, evil spirit, demon or demons is mentioned or addressed at least 217 times in the Bible. In the spiritual world these are some big, ugly, powerful creatures (thugs). This battle between the forces of good and evil has been going on for thousands of years. We are but a small pawn, a deposit on a pledge (foot soldier) in a very large battlefield. It is inexcusable for a man or woman of the cloth who has read the Bible not to speak-up.
  I realize that for most people this will be a difficult concept but try to think of God as a Father and Jesus as his son, his son that is willing to fight for us and think of Satan as a Thug. (Remember KISS method)
  Satan the Thug and his buddies are alive and well, he got his butt kicked by Jesus at the cross but that didn’t finish him off, it did piss him off. But it also gave us someone akin to a big brother or friend or mighty warrior to call upon when we get into trouble.
  Friendships are not free or easy, they take a lot of work, Jesus died because of his desire to be our friend. Just like in real life if you want a friend be a friend. You have to acknowledge that you have a friend and remember to call to get help, wait too long and you can get slapped around pretty good by the Thugs.
  Jesus is the best nonjudgmental friend we could possibly have, ever killed any one, had an abortion, lied, cheated, stole he knows, he understands, talk to him he will understand (this does not mean you get a free ride, there are still consequences for actions).
  The Thugs and the bullies will torment you just like Thugs (Satan) and (his) bullies have throughout the course of time but a friend wouldn’t.
  Do not think for one moment that you are big enough to take on Satan and his demons yourself; the founders of this nation knew they needed help and the smart ones asked for help every day. Were they perfect? No, they made mistakes but they acknowledged their friend Jesus and his Father, who walked beside them and helped in the establishment of this nation.



I dreamed I was in heaven
Where an angel kept God’s book.
He was writing so intently
I just had to take a look.

It was not, at first, his writing
That made me stop and think
But the fluid in the bottle
That was marked eternal ink.

This ink was most amazing,
Dark black upon his blotter
But as it touched the parchment
It became as clear as water.

The angel kept on writing,
But as quickly as a wink
The words were disappearing
With that strange eternal ink.

The angel took no notice,
But kept on writing on and on.
He turned each page and filled it
Till all its space was gone.

I thought he wrote to no avail,
His efforts were in vain
For he wrote a thousand pages
That he’s never read again.

And as I watched and wondered that
This awesome sight was mine,
I actually saw a word stay black
As it dried upon the line.

The angel wrote and I thought I saw
A look of satisfaction.
At last he had some print to show
For all his earnest action.

A line or two dried dark and stayed
As black as black can be,
But strangely the next paragraph
Became invisible to see.

The book was getting fuller,
The angel’s records true,
But most of it was blank, with
Just a few words coming through.

I knew there was some reason,
But as hard as I could think,
I couldn’t grasp the significance
Of that eternal ink.

The mystery burned within me,
And I finally dared to ask
The angel to explain to me
Of his amazing task.

And what I heard was frightful
As the angel turned his head.
He looked directly at me,
And this is what he said…

I know you stand and wonder
At what my writing’s worth
But God has told me to record
The lives of those on earth.

The book that I am filling
Is an accurate account
Of every word and action
And to what they do amount.

And since you have been watching
I must tell you what is true;
The details of my journal
Are the strict accounts of YOU.

The lord asked me to watch you
As each day you worked and played.
I saw you as you went to church,
I saw you as you prayed.

But I was told to document
Your life through all the week.
I wrote when you were proud and bold,
I wrote when you were meek.

I recorded all your attitudes
Whether they were good or bad.
I was sorry that I had to write
The things that make God sad.

So now I’ll tell the wonder
Of this eternal ink,
For the reason for its mystery
Should make you stop and think.

This ink that God created
To help me keep my journal
Will only keep a record of
Things that are eternal.

So much of life is wasted
On things that matter not
So instead of my erasing,
Smudging ink and ugly blot…

I just keep writing faithfully and
Let the ink do all the rest
For it is able to decide
What’s useless and what’s the best.

And God ordained that as I write
Of all you do and say
Your deeds that count for nothing
Will just disappear away.

When books are opened someday,
As sure as heaven is true;
The Lord’s eternal ink will tell
What mattered most to you.

If you just lived to please yourself
The pages will be bare,
And God will issue no reward
For you when you get there.

In fact, you’ll be embarrassed,
You will hang your head in shame
Because you did not give yourself
In love to Jesus’ name.

Yet maybe there will be a few
Recorded lines that stayed
That showed the times you truly cared,
Sincerely loved and prayed.

But you will always wonder
As you enter heaven’s door
How much more glad you would have been
If only you’d done more.

For I record as God sees,
I don’t stop to even think
Because the truth is written
With God’s eternal ink.

When I heard the angel’s story
I fell down and wept and cried
For as yet I still was dreaming
I hadn’t really died.

And I said: O angel tell the Lord
That soon as I awake
I’ll live my life for Jesus-
I’ll do all for His dear sake.

I’ll give in full surrender;
I’ll do all he wants me to;
I’ll turn my back on self and sin
And whatever isn’t true.

And though the way seems long and rough
I promise to endure.
I’m determined to pursue the things
That are holy, clean and pure.

With Jesus as my helper,
I will win lost souls to Thee,
For I know that they will live
With Christ for all eternity

And that’s what really matters
When my life on earth is gone
That I will stand before the Lord
And hear Him say, well done.