Halloween

This peculiar day comes on the last day of October each year.  Next to Christmas, it is the most celebrated “holiday” in our nation.  It reminds me of Fat Tuesday before the Catholic lent period leading up to Easter.  Halloween, of course, precedes All Saints Day on November 1, and like Fat Tuesday, is the very antithesis of the holy day/period following it.  The following is a synopsis of Halloween from The American Folklife Center/Library Of Congress:

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Halloween costume at deaf social club
Halloween costume at a deaf social club, 1987. Photo courtesy of Stephanie A. Hall.

Halloween

The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows

Jack Santino

Halloween had its beginnings in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead. The Celtic peoples, who were once found all over Europe, divided the year by four major holidays. According to their calendar, the year began on a day corresponding to November 1st on our present calendar. The date marked the beginning of winter. Since they were pastoral people, it was a time when cattle and sheep had to be moved to closer pastures and all livestock had to be secured for the winter months. Crops were harvested and stored. The date marked both an ending and a beginning in an eternal cycle.

The festival observed at this time was called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween). It was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year. The Celts believed that at the time of Samhain, more so than any other time of the year, the ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living, because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year traveled into the otherworld. People gathered to sacrifice animals, fruits, and vegetables. They also lit bonfires in honor of the dead, to aid them on their journey, and to keep them away from the living. On that day all manner of beings were abroad: ghosts, fairies, and demons–all part of the dark and dread.

Samhain became the Halloween we are familiar with when Christian missionaries attempted to change the religious practices of the Celtic people. In the early centuries of the first millennium A.D., before missionaries such as St. Patrick and St. Columcille converted them to Christianity, the Celts practiced an elaborate religion through their priestly caste, the Druids, who were priests, poets, scientists and scholars all at once. As religious leaders, ritual specialists, and bearers of learning, the Druids were not unlike the very missionaries and monks who were to Christianize their people and brand them evil devil worshippers.

As a result of their efforts to wipe out “pagan” holidays, such as Samhain, the Christians succeeded in effecting major transformations in it. In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory the First issued a now famous edict to his missionaries concerning the native beliefs and customs of the peoples he hoped to convert. Rather than try to obliterate native peoples’ customs and beliefs, the pope instructed his missionaries to use them: if a group of people worshipped a tree, rather than cut it down, he advised them to consecrate it to Christ and allow its continued worship.

In terms of spreading Christianity, this was a brilliant concept and it became a basic approach used in Catholic missionary work. Church holy days were purposely set to coincide with native holy days. Christmas, for instance, was assigned the arbitrary date of December 25th because it corresponded with the mid-winter celebration of many peoples. Likewise, St. John’s Day was set on the summer solstice.

Samhain, with its emphasis on the supernatural, was decidedly pagan. While missionaries identified their holy days with those observed by the Celts, they branded the earlier religion’s supernatural deities as evil, and associated them with the devil. As representatives of the rival religion, Druids were considered evil worshippers of devilish or demonic gods and spirits. The Celtic underworld inevitably became identified with the Christian Hell.

The effects of this policy were to diminish but not totally eradicate the beliefs in the traditional gods. Celtic belief in supernatural creatures persisted, while the church made deliberate attempts to define them as being not merely dangerous, but malicious. Followers of the old religion went into hiding and were branded as witches.

The Christian feast of All Saints was assigned to November 1st. The day honored every Christian saint, especially those that did not otherwise have a special day devoted to them. This feast day was meant to substitute for Samhain, to draw the devotion of the Celtic peoples, and, finally, to replace it forever. That did not happen, but the traditional Celtic deities diminished in status, becoming fairies or leprechauns of more recent traditions.

The old beliefs associated with Samhain never died out entirely. The powerful symbolism of the traveling dead was too strong, and perhaps too basic to the human psyche, to be satisfied with the new, more abstract Catholic feast honoring saints. Recognizing that something that would subsume the original energy of Samhain was necessary, the church tried again to supplant it with a Christian feast day in the 9th century. This time it established November 2nd as All Souls Day–a day when the living prayed for the souls of all the dead. But, once again, the practice of retaining traditional customs while attempting to redefine them had a sustaining effect: the traditional beliefs and customs lived on, in new guises.

All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallows (hallowed means sanctified or holy), continued the ancient Celtic traditions. The evening prior to the day was the time of the most intense activity, both human and supernatural. People continued to celebrate All Hallows Eve as a time of the wandering dead, but the supernatural beings were now thought to be evil. The folk continued to propitiate those spirits (and their masked impersonators) by setting out gifts of food and drink. Subsequently, All Hallows Eve became Hallow Evening, which became Hallowe’en–an ancient Celtic, pre-Christian New Year’s Day in contemporary dress.

Many supernatural creatures became associated with All Hallows. In Ireland fairies were numbered among the legendary creatures who roamed on Halloween. An old folk ballad called “Allison Gross” tells the story of how the fairy queen saved a man from a witch’s spell on Halloween.

O Allison Gross, that lives in yon tower
the ugliest witch int he North Country…
She’s turned me into an ugly worm
and gard me toddle around a tree…

But as it fell out last Hallow even
When the seely [fairy] court was riding by,
the Queen lighted down on a gowany bank
Not far from the tree where I wont to lie…
She’s change me again to my own proper shape
And I no more toddle about the tree.

In old England cakes were made for the wandering souls, and people went “a’ soulin'” for these “soul cakes.” Halloween, a time of magic, also became a day of divination, with a host of magical beliefs: for instance, if persons hold a mirror on Halloween and walk backwards down the stairs to the basement, the face that appears in the mirror will be their next lover.

Virtually all present Halloween traditions can be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead. Halloween is a holiday of many mysterious customs, but each one has a history, or at least a story behind it. The wearing of costumes, for instance, and roaming from door to door demanding treats can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era, when it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and around, along with fairies, witches, and demons. Offerings of food and drink were left out to placate them. As the centuries wore on, people began dressing like these dreadful creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This practice is called mumming, from which the practice of trick-or-treating evolved. To this day, witches, ghosts, and skeleton figures of the dead are among the favorite disguises. Halloween also retains some features that harken back to the original harvest holiday of Samhain, such as the customs of bobbing for apples and carving vegetables, as well as the fruits, nuts, and spices cider associated with the day.

Today Halloween is becoming once again an adult holiday or masquerade, like mardi Gras. Men and women in every disguise imaginable are taking to the streets of big American cities and parading past grinningly carved, candlelit jack o’lanterns, re- enacting customs with a lengthy pedigree. Their masked antics challenge, mock, tease, and appease the dread forces of the night, of the soul, and of the otherworld that becomes our world on this night of reversible possibilities, inverted roles, and transcendency. In so doing, they are reaffirming death and its place as a part of life in an exhilarating celebration of a holy and magic evening.

September 1982; updated 2009

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I Thessalonians 5:1-28, The Day Of The Lord, End Times Prophecy

I Thessalonians 5:1-28

The Day Of The Lord

1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Final Instructions And Benediction

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 25 Brothers, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.        

 

   

Proverbs 30 And 31

A Deeply Profound Passage-  18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yea, four which I know not: 19 The way of an eagle in the air; The way of a serpent upon a rock; The way of a ship in the midst of the sea; And the way of a man with a maiden. 20 So is the way of an adulterous woman; She eateth, and wipeth her mouth, And saith, I have done no wickedness. 21 For three things the earth doth tremble, And for four, which it cannot bear: 22 For a servant when he is king; And a fool when he is filled with food; 23 For an odious woman when she is married; And a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.  Prov 30:18-23 (ASV)

The Praise And Characteristics Of A Good Wife-  10 A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain. 12 She doeth him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant-ships; She bringeth her bread from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth food to her household, And their task to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it; With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh linen garments and selleth them, And delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing; And she laugheth at the time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying: 29 Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all. 30 Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates.  Prov 31:10-31 (ASV)

 

Our Religious Liberties Are Under Fire In America

“All it takes for evil to prevail is for a few good men to do nothing.”  Edmund Burke
Houston, We Have A Problem-
The First Article Is About Houston Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker Demanding Sermons And Speeches From Pastors.  Did You Ever Believe You Would See The Good Old USA Come To This?  If There Is Any Conviction For Truth Left In The Church At All, May It Come Forth Now.  Check The Second Article Out Below As Well, Whereby Ministers In Idaho Are Being Forced To Perform Same Sex Marriages Or Face Jail Time And Fines.  I Have To Pinch Myself To Make Sure I Am Not Dreaming!  If I AM Dreaming, It Is Definitely A Nightmare.  How Did We Get This Way?  Number #1 Is The Aforementioned Quotation By Edmund Burke.  Today’s Church Rarely Even Mentions Sexual Sin.  The Church Majors On Tickling Ears And Presenting A “Gospel” Without Offense.  When This Happens For More Than An Entire Generation, And At The Same Time The World Is Indoctrinating The Younger People With Its’ Pack Of Lies, The Skid Is Greased For  Total Darkness.  Today, Church Members And Frequent Attenders Live In Blatant Sin Without Remorse, And Are Welcomed Rather Than Warned.    Pastor Steve
On Monday, October 20, 2014 4:24 PM, Pastors’ Rapid Response Team <info@pastorsrapidresponseteam.org> wrote:
Pastors of America –
The appalling situation in Houston has brought into sharp focus the very real threats we are facing to our religious liberty. The blatant infringement of the First Amendment rights of Christians in our country is now a rallying point for believers — and it’s time for us to unite and stand together like never before! If you aren’t aware of what has taken place in Houston, I’ll include information below.
Please join me for an important conference call on Wednesday with Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee when we will hear more about what’s happening in Houston and about iStand Sunday (istandsunday.com), a national webcast rally from Grace Church in Houston on Sunday, November 2.
Let’s stand together with the pastors of Houston! It has never been more important for American Christians to be vigilant, vocal, and united in our commitment to stand firm for religious liberty.
CONFERENCE CALL
Wednesday, October 22
8 AM Hawaii / 11 AM Pacific / 12 Noon Mountain / 1 PM Central / 2 PM Eastern
Phone 1-605-562-3140 – Passcode: 123731#

Serving with you,

Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor, Skyline Church, San Diego, CA

Here are the basic facts about what has taken place in Houston:

  1. Mayor Annise Parker, Houston’s first homosexual mayor, pushed through a ruling in the 16-member city council that allows men to use women’s bathrooms (and vice versa) in Houston.
  2. 82% of Houstonians objected to this, not wanting their privacy invaded and deeply concerned about the possibility that children could be harmed in restrooms by individuals of the opposite sex.
  3. Wanting to vote on the issue, citizens of Houston surpassed the needed 17,000+ signatures required by getting 50,000 signatures in a petition drive, and carefully checking the names for accuracy.
  4. The appropriate city official validated that the measure had qualified to be on the ballot with the needed 17,000+ signatures.
  5. Mayor Parker got the City Attorney to rule the signatures invalid.
  6. A group of citizens then sued the city.
  7.  Subpoenas were sent to five Houston area pastors who were not a part of the lawsuit demanding their records and 17 different forms of communication including sermon, emails, texts, private correspondence with parishioners and others, referencing anything they had said about men using women’s bathrooms and vice versa, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.
  8. Mayor Parker originally defended these actions, later changing her story, saying she did not know the attorneys were asking for so much, and later changing the wording in the subpoenas from pastor’s “sermons” to “speeches.”

If you would like to call and express your concerns to Houston Mayor Annise Parker and stand in solidarity with the “Houston Five” pastors and the citizens of Houston, please call the Mayor’s office at 832-393-1040. In your call, be courteous, kind, and brief – it is quite likely you will need to leave a message – but be direct and forthright expressing such thoughts as:

  • “Please stop violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution by demanding sermons and personal notes between pastors and their church members.”
  • “Please stop trying to bully and intimidate pastors who believe that only women should use the women’s bathroom, as opposed to allowing potential child molesters in the same restrooms as little girls.”
  • “Please stop violating the voting rights of the citizens of Houston by acknowledging the findings that the 50,000 signatures were valid and met the required 17,269 needed signatures.”

Additionally, since Mayor Parker is demanding sermons/speeches, you are invited to send yours to her at:

Mayor Annise Parker
Houston City Hall
901 Bagby Street
Houston, TX 77002

And one more very important consideration.  Annise Parker was elected mayor because a majority of the Christians in Houston did not vote in the last two mayoral elections.

For the sake of your community and America as a whole, please participate in PROJECT 75 with a goal of insuring that 75% of your congregants are registered and voting with your strong encouragement from the pulpit.  If you will, please join with other committed pastors by signing up for PROJECT 75 at Project75.org.

 

If you do not wish to receive further emails from Pastor Jim Garlow and the Pastors’ Rapid Response Team, you can unsubscribe here. If you would like to send a question or suggestion, simply reply to this email.

**********************************************************
The Second Article Is About Ministers In Idaho Being Forced To Perform “Gay” Marriages Or Face Jail Time And Fines.  These Are Clear Unequivocal Signs That Our Nation Is On The Brink Of Total Judgment From God Almighty.  Lord Help Us.       Pastor Steve

 

 

 

Photo: Ned Frisk/Blend Images/Newscom

Government to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Wedding or Go to Jail

 SocietyGovernment to Ordained Ministers: Celebrate Same-Sex Wedding or Go to Jail

Photo: Ned Frisk/Blend Images/Newscom

For years, those in favor of same-sex marriage have argued that all Americans should be free to live as they choose. And yet in countless cases, the government has coerced those who simply wish to be free to live in accordance with their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

Ministers face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

Just this weekend, a case has arisen in Idaho, where city officials have told ordained ministers they have to celebrate same-sex weddings or face fines and jail time.

The Idaho case involves Donald and Evelyn Knapp, both ordained ministers, who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel. Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation.

On Friday, a same-sex couple asked to be married by the Knapps, and the Knapps politely declined. The Knapps now face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding.

A week of honoring their faith and declining to perform the ceremony could cost the couple three and a half years in jail and $7,000 in fines.

Government Coercion

The Knapps have been married to each other for 47 years and are both ordained ministers of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. They are “evangelical Christians who hold to historic Christian beliefs” that “God created two distinct genders in His image” and “that God ordained marriage to be between one man and one woman.”

But as a result of the courts redefining marriage and a city ordinance that creates special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Knapps are facing government coercion.

Governmental recognition of same-sex relationships as marriages need not and should not require any third party to recognize a same-sex relationship as a marriage. Government should respect the rights of all citizens. Indeed, a form of government respectful of free association, free contracts, free speech and free exercise of religion should protect citizens’ rights to live according to their beliefs about marriage.

The Knapps have been celebrating weddings in their chapel since 1989. Government should not now force them to shut down or violate their beliefs.

After all, protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms. No one has a right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in same-sex ceremonies, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. They should not be forced to choose between strongly held religious beliefs and their livelihood.

What Can Be Done

At the federal level, Congress has an opportunity to protect religious liberty and the rights of conscience.

Government should not now force ordained ministers to shut down or violate their beliefs.

Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The government should be prohibited from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation or contracting.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act—sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, in the House (H.R. 3133) with more than 100 co-sponsors of both parties, and sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, in the Senate (S. 1808) with 17 co-sponsors—would prevent the federal government from taking such adverse actions.

States need similar policy protections, including broad protections provided by state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) and specific protections for beliefs and actions about marriage.

Indeed, Idaho has a RFRA, called the Free Exercise of Religion Protected Act (FERPA). State RFRAs prevent the imposition of substantial burdens on sincere religious beliefs unless the government proves that such a burden advances a compelling government interest that has been pursued through the least restrictive means possible.

Protecting Religious Liberty

It is unclear how the city could claim that forcing the Knapps to perform a same-sex wedding is a compelling government interest being pursued in the least restrictive way. There are numerous other venues where a same-sex couple could get married. Indeed, there is a county clerks office directly across the street from the chapel.

States must protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form—both nonprofit and for-profit—to speak and act in the public square in accordance with their beliefs. It is particularly egregious that the city would coerce ordained ministers to celebrate a religious ceremony in their chapel. The Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion arguing that this action “violates [the Knapps’s] First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of speech, the free exercise of religion, substantive due process, and equal protection.”

Citizens must work to prevent or repeal laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We must also insist on laws that protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience.

Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience is the embodiment of a principled pluralism that fosters a more diverse civil sphere. Indeed, tolerance is essential to promoting peaceful coexistence even amid disagreement.

Join The Discussion

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Proverbs 29

5 A man that flattereth his neighbor Spreadeth a net for his steps.  Prov 29:5 (ASV)

7 The righteous taketh knowledge of the cause of the poor; The wicked hath not understanding to know it.  Prov 29:7 (ASV)

9 If a wise man hath a controversy with a foolish man, Whether he be angry or laugh, there will be no rest.  Prov 29:9 (ASV)

10 The bloodthirsty hate him that is perfect; And as for the upright, they seek his life.  Prov 29:10 (ASV)

11 A fool uttereth all his anger; But a wise man keepeth it back and stilleth it.  Prov 29:11 (ASV)

20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.  Prov 29:20 (ASV)

23 A man’s pride shall bring him low; But he that is of a lowly spirit shall obtain honor.  Prov 29:23 (ASV)

FAITH

While walking home from church thirteen days ago, Kenneth Jackson was struck by a drunk driver.  He had severe head injuries, placing him in a coma from which he has yet to recover.  His parents have been at Tampa General Hospital ever since.  I was visiting them two nights ago (Thursday evening) and Kenneth’s mother Betty made the following statement that revealed great faith:  “I know that God will heal him, I just don’t know when.”  That is the kind of faith that pleases God.  “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”  Enough said…….

Powerful Proverbs From Chapters 27 & 28

12 A prudent man seeth the evil, and hideth himself; But the simple pass on, and suffer for it.

Prov 27:12 (ASV)

 

14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, It shall be counted a curse to him.

Prov 27:14 (ASV)

 

1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth; But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Prov 28:1 (ASV)

 

12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory; But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

Prov 28:12 (ASV)

 

13 He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.

Prov 28:13 (ASV)

 

23 He that rebuketh a man shall afterward find more favor Than he that flattereth with the tongue.

Prov 28:23 (ASV)

 

27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack; But he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

Prov 28:27 (ASV)

 

 

 

Devotional On The Need For Prayer Around The World

From the Peace River Shopper, October 7, 2014, page 18-

Serious Prayer Is Needed Around The World

     I hope the prayer events that took place on Thursday, September 25th at Washington, D.C. went well.  Franklin Graham should be pleased that so many people poured their hearts out for pastor Saeed Abedimi.  Pastor Saeed has been imprisoned in a dangerous Iranian prison.  He has been beaten so badly he had to be hospitalized.  He is threatened by Islamic State terrorists who also are in prison there.  Folks, this prayer event should let ISIS and other terrorist parties know that we are still a righteous nation serving God.

     Our world is in dire need for prayer.  People in Iraq and Syria are beheaded, children are cut in half, people are buried alive, Christians are crucified and 3 American journalists have been beheaded and young girls are taken into sexual slavery.  Folks, how evil and wicked can our world become.  Can’t you see that evil is taking over the good.  Satan and his demons are collecting many souls into his kingdom of sin.

     ISIS doesn’t care if you are a Catholic, Baptist or any other name connected to Jesus Christ.  You have declared your own death sentence.   As ISIS takes over more countries, they tell people they have 3 choices- 1)pay heavy taxes, 2)convert to Islam, 3)or die by the sword.  The collapse of much of Iraq has made the situation in the Middle East very dangerous.  As terrorists have threatened to kill pastor Saeed Abedini an American citizen imprisoned for his faith in Jesus Christ, his wife Naghmeh has organized a nation wide prayer on September 25-26.

      All people, especially Christians, are under persecution around the globe.  Folks, our world is falling apart.  Our Savior Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24, a warning to us about wars, famine, plagues, disasters, tribulation, betrayals, hatred, and false prophets and teachers.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end will be saved.  This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world to all nations and then the end will come.                                                  

     Folks, things are more serious than you think.  Our way of life in America will be changing in the future.  As a warning of things to come I hope whoever reads this message will give their heart to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Folks, don’t forget to pray and ask God to protect the lives of people threatened by Ebola in West Africa and ISIS in the Middle East.  Thank you folks.

Wake Up America                                                                                                

More Profound Wisdom And Truth From Proverbs 25

8 Go not forth hastily to strive, Lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, When thy neighbor hath put thee to shame. 9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself, And disclose not the secret of another; 10 Lest he that heareth it revile thee, And thine infamy turn not away.  Prov 25:8-10 (ASV)

14 As clouds and wind without rain, So is he that boasteth himself of his gifts falsely.  Prov 25:14 (ASV)

15 By long forbearing is a ruler persuaded, And a soft tongue breaketh the bone.  Prov 25:15 (ASV)

17 Let thy foot be seldom in thy neighbor’s house, Lest he be weary of thee, and hate thee.  Prov 25:17 (ASV)

18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbor Is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.  Prov 25:18 (ASV)

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble Is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.  Prov 25:19 (ASV)

20 As one that taketh off a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon soda, So is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart.  Prov 25:20 (ASV)

21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou wilt heap coals of fire upon his head, And Jehovah will reward thee.  Prov 25:21-22 (ASV)

26 As a troubled fountain, and a corrupted spring, So is a righteous man that giveth way before the wicked.  Prov 25:26 (ASV)

28 He whose spirit is without restraint Is like a city that is broken down and without walls.  Prov 25:28 (ASV)

Our Daily Bread, Radio Bible Class, Ocober 15, 2014

Seeing Upside Down

In India I worshiped among leprosy patients. Most of the medical advances in the treatment of leprosy came about as a result of missionary doctors, who were willing to live among patients and risk exposure to the dreaded disease. As a result, churches thrive in most major leprosy centers. In Myanmar I visited homes for AIDS orphans, where Christian volunteers try to replace parental affection the disease has stolen away. The most rousing church services I have attended took place in Chile and Peru, in the bowels of a federal prison. Among the lowly, the wretched, the downtrodden—the rejected of this world—God’s kingdom takes root.

Taking God’s assignment seriously means that we must learn to look at the world upside down, as Jesus did. Instead of seeking out people with resources who can do us favors, we look for people with few resources. Instead of the strong, we find the weak; instead of the healthy, the sick. Instead of the spiritual, the sinful. Is not this how God reconciles the world to Himself? “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. . . . I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt. 9:12-13 niv).

To gain a new perspective, look at the world upside down as Jesus did.

We know, Jesus, that You sought the lowly ones
who were rejected by others. We want to be like
You. Open our eyes and show us how.
We long to be used by You to bless others.
Do you see a needy world through the eyes of Jesus?

Insight

Jesus dined with the Pharisees (Luke 7:36; 11:37), perhaps even with a member of the Sanhedrin (14:1). But Jesus ate so often with social and religious outcasts that He earned the reputation as “a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Matt. 11:19). He even appointed a tax collector as His apostle. When the self-righteous Pharisees criticized Him for socializing with those they considered the outcasts of society, Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:32).

  1. doctor-perspective says:

    A study of Matthew 8:1-4 and 9:9-12 allows for several valuable conclusions. There are also some pitfalls that we must avoid at all costs.
    Matthew was a tax collector, and as such was not considered to be a poor man. It was because of the perception that his wealth was at the expense of other Jews that he was described as a sinner. In answering his accusers, Jesus implicitly described Matthew and his fellow tax collectors as being “sick”. Since we have no reason to believe that Matthew was physically sick, Jesus must have been referring to his spiritual condition.

    The leper, on the other hand, was physically sick, and because of societal rejection, we can safely presume that he was also poor. He approached Jesus and “worshipped” Him while requesting healing. Jesus healed him. The common denominator is that both men were sick. Note that both men were healed. In the case of Matthew, he became a disciple of Jesus. There is nothing to suggest that Jesus had a preference for the poor sick, as against the rich sick. In fact, the text states that other rich “sick” tax collectors joined him that day and at least on another occasion, Jesus imposed himself on another rich “sick” tax collector. His name was Zacchaeus. Abraham was a wealthy man who must have been “sick” before God “cured” him, and then used him mightily. Saul was a wealthy, educated, “sick” man who was influential enough to obtain a mandate from the religious hierarchy to annihilate the followers of Jesus. God cured him and used him to write more books of the New Testament than any other person. In fact, even to persons like Moses, David, and Joseph who had poor, humble beginnings, God entrusted great wealth, authority and power to them as part of preparing them for service. When Solomon passed the spiritual test, God rewarded him with unsurpassed physical wealth.

    However, there are natural built-in problems that come with wealth, great education and human authority. Those things can easily become alternatives to reliance on God. For this reason “…Not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”. (1 Corinthians 1:26) On the other hand, the poor and the unlettered are so aware of their own deficiencies and inadequacies, that they are superconscious of their need to depend on God. This dependence on God is what qualifies the rich and the poor to be used mightily by God. Of course, it is also true that numerically speaking, for every one rich, and/or educated, and/or influential person in the world, there are hundreds & perhaps thousands of poor, and/or uneducated people. Since God does not depend on our education and wealth to achieve His purposes, if He were to randomly enlist followers, He would naturally select far more poor people than rich ones.

    Jesus’ focus is to be our focus. He came to call the spiritually sick and especially those who accept and acknowledge that they are spiritually sick. He is definitely not biased towards the poor and uneducated and uninfluential, although in a real sense, they are usually more biased towards Him. We are therefore not to profile our ministry targets based on their wealth or lack of wealth, or their education or lack of education, but only on their acknowledged spiritual sickness and need of Jesus.

    Finally, every honest pastor and missionary will confess that whereas they welcome all into the kingdom, they are especially happy when millionaires and influential people are converted. The value of their soul to God is the same as that of the poor, uneducated man. However, the value of their tithe and offerings and their social and political influence is exponentially greater than that of the poor and uninfluential person in funding kingdom-building activities and expanding the Kingdom. Therefore, It is just as wrong for us to discriminate against a man because he is poor, as it is to discriminate against a man because he is rich. Neither should we set low standards of poverty and social irrelevance for ourselves in a futile attempt to impress God.

 

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