Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Making Of Heroes

Within humanity's seven billion people there are thousands, if not millions, of character traits and personality differences. Each person is uniquely created, uniquely exposed to a varity of environments, and affected in inumerable ways to become who they allow themselves to be. Among the personality traits which develope or predominate in people are that of the parasite, the fanatic, the helpless, the unconcerned, the victim and the hero. There are many others, of course. Within the parasitic types are egomaniacs, con-artists, sluggards, deadbeats, addicts, thieves and moochers. All of us have been victimized at one time or another, but some people constantly see themselves as victims. Others, not physically or mentally handicapped, yet feel unable to deal with the trials, reversals and challenges of life. Fanatics and narcissists often wind up in leadership positions because the majority of people are followers looking for a cause and a leader.  All of the above characteristics, except the hero, cause or contribute to the flood of victims lying bloody and bruised along the "broad way" of life. In this global communicating, international traveling, high tech world, the opportunities for credit card fraud, robbery, and ID theift are rampant.

The one human characteristic in shortest supply is that of the hero, 
the self sacrificing, responsible, caring and ready to rescue type person. Those people who step up to injustice and cruel abuse and punch it in the nose. Then, like the good Samaritan, lift up the true victims, care for them and pay the price. There, in such a scene you have the most likely source of new heroes ... the man, woman or child that was robbed, beaten, abused and left helpless ... but delivered by the heroic act of another person. There, in that victim, is a potential new hero. Little children rescued by a policeman or fireman or college student or passing citizen, are very likely, themselves, to one day be the hero.

The only way you can improve on the story of the good Samaritan is, as Jesus intended, a Christian good Samaritan.

"And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee." Luke 10:30-25.
In this account, the victim was not a hero simply because he was wounded, the priest was not a hero just because he was a priest, the Levite was not a hero simply because he was religious and the innkeeper was not a hero either. He was a business man who charged the Samaritan room and board to let the wounded man recuperate in his inn. The only hero here is the good Samaritan who was a half-breed Jew and despised by the blue blood Jews. But, if the rescued man, who owed his life to the Samaritan, had any appreciation for this loving, generous Samaritan and any thankfulness to God, he is the most likely candidate in the story to become a hero. We know nothing of him beyond what is recorded, but it is almost certain that he was a changed man, and more loving and generous himself, for the rest of his life, and probably, himself, became a hero. "Iron sharpeneth iron" Prov.27:17.... and heroes make heroes.
Spiritual conversion is by God's grace through faith, but in almost every case of the conversion of a soul, God uses Christians to go to the person, witness to the person, pray with the person, and lead that person to Christ. Christians, by God's word and His Holy Spirit, make Christians. Be a hero ... Be a Christian. Care for the dying; rescue the perishing. God wants you to be a hero ... the world needs you and you need an outlet for your faith.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Show Respect To Old People. You Never Know What Great Things They May Have Done

Past heroism, accomplishment and character do not show on the surface. But even if someone has done little or nothing with their life, it is still important to show everyone basic respect, as human beings created in the image and likeness of God. That is, until they prove themselves more worthy of disdain. Showing respect to a Charles Manson or Muslim terrorists, who rape children and murder the innocent is a contradiction of justice. Jesus, himself, openly condemned such wickedness without "respect of persons" (Col.3:25).... regardless of how rich or powerful the person might have been. Jesus showed no respect to the hypocritical Pharisees when He called them "whitewashed graves full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." Matt.23:27.  Nor was he showing the money changers, in the Temple, respect when he drove them out with a whip and called them a "den of thieves". But, in both cases, they had proven themselves to be just what Jesus said they were. In almost every other case, Jesus showed respect, not partiality, to sinners of every sort, loved them, forgave them and saved them.

So, respect to everyone we meet along the way is essential, unless they have proven themselves to be "beyond the pale" of common decency. "Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." 1 Tim.4:2  .... "Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Eph. 4:19. But, of course, that is for God to judge and reveal unto us, as He will, if we are uncertain and have need of increased spiritual perception. 

Without God's leadership and the spiritual perception, that only He can give, we are not wise enough or spiritual enough to recognize what another person truly is and therefore often miss judge or miss read them by their outward appearance.
"....The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Sam.16:7.

Take, for instance, the case of an old gentleman who was retired, but bored so he took a job with Walmart as a greeter of customers at the entrance, and to help them with a cart. He had arrived for work late several times in the first month so his boss asked him one morning, "Before you retired, what would the manager have said to you if you came in late for work?" The old man thought a moment and answered .... "Good morning Admiral, would you like coffee?" True story.

Another true story, and just as pertinent to the importance of showing respect to everybody, without partiality (respect of persons) to those who look deserving, is at the link below. Be kind ... Be Christlike. Respect others, if you have no real reason to do otherwise.... and there are such times. RB

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

God Speaks Clearly To Every Person...Some Listen, Most Don't

There are basically just two kinds of spiritual orientation in people prior to faith and Christian conversion ... light and darkness. The children of light are and have been forever known to God and are God conscious. "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." 1 Thess. 5:5. God knows and has eternally known who these future people would one day be and their future acceptance of His light.

The children of darkness are not God conscious. He has also always known the children of darkness and disobedience would, in their lifetime, reject Him. Since He has always known all of their choices, faith or lack of it, the children of light have always been known as His "elect", His "chosen" and His "children". The children of light will, in their lifetimes, see, hear and receive the three clear, testimonies of God's primary witnesses of Himself as the universal Creator God.

The first of these three is Natural Creation itself. the second is the Holy Scriptures. The third is God's Holy Spirit. Natural creation is physically and emotionally perceived by all of our human senses, by both the children of light and the children of darkness. So, all human beings are "without excuse" if they reject the fact of an obvious Creator God. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto themFor the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.... 1Thess.18-22.

The children of light are willingly drawn to the Creator by the witness of Natural Creation's majesty, beauty and complexity, to seek this Creator God of the Natural Universe, and find peace with Him and to know Him spiritually....

This brings us to the testimony of God's second clear witness... the Holy Bible. Of all the world's written history, millions of books and writings, there is only one that reveals the true Creator, His person, plan and divine will for all people. The very first message of God in the Bible is the confirmation of the one true God as Creator of heaven and earth and all living things, including people... in His image and likeness. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Gen.1:1. The Bible then gives us a history of humanity from its creation to its fall, God's planned redemption by His Son, Messiah (Christ), His prophets, His purpose, His will, His church, the end times, and final judgment, heaven and hell. The Bible, the Holy Scriptures are also called the "word of God" and "the seed of the sower"...."Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. .... Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand..... For this people's heart is waxed gross and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears .... and should understand with their heart, and should be converted .... But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.... Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one (Satan) , and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart....." Matt.13:9-19.

Here are two phrases which are key to the children of darkness rejecting the light with the consequence of being left in their darkness."... their eyes they have closed ...." "...they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not...." It is they who have closed their own eyes to God and His light ... His truth and God has always known that is what they would do.

 The third and last witness, after Natural Creation and the Biblical confirmations of the reality of a supremely intelligent Creator, God, is His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, in conjunction with the Creation, convinces every person born .... of the of the truth of God as Creator. "(John the Baptist) came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe....That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." John 1:7&9.  Natural Creation and the Holy Spirit enlighten "all men"  and "every (human) that comes into the world" sufficiently, that we and the universe were created by the one and only Creator.... God. Some see and listen, some do not. The Holy Spirit convicts and convinces every human of their guilt of sin, their need for righteousness and the consequences of impending judgment. Jesus said it in John 16:7-11."I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come unto you ... I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will re prove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgmentOf sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." 

Jesus also warned us that "...Many are called, but few are chosen. Matt.22:14
Every person is called by God's glorious creation, or Bible preaching, teaching or Christian's testimony... by the Holy Spirit. But most reject those witnesses. Why? For many reasons. If they acknowledge the reality of God, it means they must cast aside inherited religion, repent of the sins they cling to, and deal with disapproving family and friends. They know such a God would require them to seek Him and submit to his will and purpose for them, and yield to His changes to their lives. So, "Many are called"... but few respond to God's call, repent, and accept His Son, Jesus and yield to His will. And, only those few are "chosen".

The Apostle Paul speaks of God's children of light as "the elect" before the fact of their salvation, but whom God has always known would believe as a result of Paul's preaching and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives .... in God's own timing. "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." 2 Tim.2:10. 

When I was a young preacher in seminary in the early 1950s, an old (75-85) Japanese pastor, who had founded many churches and several Bible schools, in Japan, gave us this testimony ... When he was a young man, he had many doubts about his family's and Japan's traditional religions. When he considered nature, the stars, the miracle of life, the 5 senses, and the human brain, he knew that the stone god, Buda, or his ancestors did not create this universe. He also knew it couldn't have happened accidentally by evolution. Therefore, it must have been created somehow. So, he felt compelled to discover who the intelligent Creator of all things was. He climbed a high mountain near his home and sat down and prayed to this unknown God all of a day and night for this true God to reveal Himself unto him. but, he left the mountain with just one small impression ... that he must leave home and go out looking for his Creator.

He walked many miles across Japan and finally found himself in Tokyo on a street of many shops, walking slowly along studying each shop and praying for God to reveal Himself. As he passed one shop, he heard a man's voice coming from it ... reading from a black covered book ... aloud. Instantly he knew the words were the word of God speaking to him. "What book is that?" he asked. To which the man said, "The Holy Bible, the word of God". This young seeker knew at once it was true and the Spirit of this man's God brought him to that shop, convinced him and converted him to Christ. God's Holy Spirit knows who and where every seeking sinner, every witnessing Christian and every Bible is ... and how to bring them together.

"For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." Acts 17:23. The Master's master plan. RB

Sunday, September 4, 2016

New Report ...1000 Evangelical Leaders Asked Trump His Positions

But the press can't even get to Hillary

Trump was not my first or second choice, but he is the one God allowed to be selected as an alternative to Hillary and I'm for almost any alternative to her. As much as I was opposed to Trump, I will not help elect the Democrat who is a lying, corrupt Liberal Socialist who will further destroy this country. I will vote for Trump/Pence in hopes of avoiding the complete destruction of our country by a President even worse than Obama which would seem impossible. but is. RB

You might enjoy hearing from someone who was “inside the room” for the Trump/Evangelical meeting in New York.

This is from Bill Perkins of Compass International.  PLEASE VOTE in November. Not Voting IS a Vote for Hillary

Trump Meets With Evangelical Leaders

This was a fascinating day in New York City as over 1000 Christian leaders from all over the U.S. gathered to ask Donald Trump tough specific questions about his policy and intentions should he be elected POTUS.

The event organizers originally requested Dallas, Texas as a middle-of-the-nation location to hold a get-some-private-time with Trump event, hoping to attract some 200-300 national Christian leaders. But the only opening on Trump’s schedule was in NYC for 30 minutes, 30 days out. So they took it.

A screening committee, scouring the Internet, sent out invitations to about 1000 Christian leaders. Because the high expense of flying into and staying in NYC, and the date less than 30 days away, they reserved a room for only 100 people at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

Each person who accepted the invitation then had to be vetted, and ultimately ok’ed by the Secret Service. Once cleared, you were notified by phone. I got two sets of phone questions about my work with Compass and when finally approved, had 10 days to make plans.
(I’m sure I was at the end of the list!!)

But despite receiving the late notices, the response to attend  was off-the-charts. Almost everyone they invited accepted the invitation. And some who were left off the original list apparently lobbied for inclusion. Ultimately there were over 1000 who hastily changed their schedules to attend.

The security was tight for the 7 AM opening for registrants. I stood in long lines for an hour, passing through three check points before finally getting through Secret Service security.

Once I finally got to my seat at my table I was astonished to be sitting next to a sharp-as-a tack Auburn grad who is married to another Auburn grad and lives in Vestavia, Alabama where I grew up. She’s a registered lobbyist who worked for George Bush (W) when she first got out of Auburn. War Eagle to that one!

Also at my table was a Congressional candidate from North Carolina, a Christian TV station owner from Florida and the Chairman of the Board of the Washington Times. There were about four past Steeling conference speakers in the room, that I noticed. Probably more I didn’t see.

After opening remarks by the conference organizers, Jerry Falwell Jr. spoke, then Franklin Graham. Both attested to the authenticity of Donald Trump.

George Barna, the polling guy, spoke. Using several charts he showed that Trump has a genuine path to victory if Christians vote. But in the last Presidential election, some 40 million evangelicals stayed home and that was literally the difference in the election.

Then Ben Carson spoke for about 20 minutes. His easy and soft-spoken style easily warmed the crowd. He referred to the fact that Trump had a bad three weeks, and Clinton had a good three weeks and yet the race is still close, virtually tied. But his main point was that Trump is a proven leader. He’s certainly not a politician who’s always worried about offending someone. And that’s what we need, a leader, not a politician.

Next came Huckabee, who moderated the discussion between the crowd and Trump.  Before introducing Trump, he made the point that we’re not voting on a pastor or a Pope, but rather a leader.  A leader who is quite different from the past in order to change things from the status quo.

So the day was set that this was not about Trump’s Christian knowledge or virtues, but rather where Trump wants to take the country.  And where we’re headed if Trump is not elected.

The biggest concern centered around the Supreme Court. The next President will appoint anywhere from one to five members. The Second Amendment, freedom of religion, prayer in public places, etc.will likely be settled by the next President’s appointees.

When Donald Trump was introduced, he didn’t speak from the podium but rather sat next to Huckabee on the stage fielding questions from the crowd for about 90 minutes. So much for the 30 minutes originally allotted. There was no press allowed inside, so it was just Trump and the Christian leaders talking back and forth.

The really big Christian leader names got to directly ask Trump questions from the floor— i.e. people like James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, etc. Most felt religious liberty was at stake with this election, saying that if the policies Obama has set in place are allowed to continue, Christians will eventually have no freedom to worship. Harassment of Christian organizations would continue.

Through it all, Trump answered each of their questions with solid answers, both acknowledging the problem cited and how he would take care of the problem. He seemed to be genuinely concerned about changing the direction of the nation.

He addressed many subjects including the Supreme Court, national defense, border problems, Christian persecution, his pro-life stance, Israel, healthcare, education. and energy.

I would say that most of those who attended who were not sure if they would vote for him, left convinced of how much is at stake in this election if Trump is not elected.

After Trump left, to a standing ovation, more questions were taken from the audience addressed to a panel of Christian leaders. Things like the weakening of the military, Christian business rights, etc. were discussed at length.

I have to say, we pretty much all came away thinking that if Clinton, or any Democrat, is elected, the path this nation is currently on will continue and WILL lead to disaster. If we don’t turn the ship now, we’re headed to be like socialized Europe— religion pushed out of everyday life and a financial disaster getting worse by the month. Even reaching problems like what’s going on in Argentina, where they are currently literally fighting for food, is not out of the realm of possibilities. It’s that bad. Don’t think it can’t happen here.

At the end of the day was prayer. With few exceptions, the entire room knelt on the floor in corporate prayer for our nation. I took the opportunity to take a quick picture of that sight, some 1000 people in their Sunday clothes on the ground praying together. Who knows where this will lead. Maybe….

So, the bottom line for me is that I love this country and our Constitution more than I dislike Trumps antics and ego. He will attempt to change the direction that Godless liberals and their propaganda-media have led this nation. With Trump we have a chance.  With Clinton we have no chance. Be thankful we still have a chance and VOTE this fall.

Please pass this on.  The future of our country in general and our religious liberty in particular depend on every Christian being registered to vote --  AND VOTING.