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Wednesday
Jan112017

When Respect Is Distorted

I find it interesting that people like Stephen Colbert; the late night host on CBS is so obsessed with making Donald Trump look bad.  His anger over Trump’s victory is so evident that every night he is making sure that his monologue includes a disrespectful diatribe about the President Elect. (Other late night talk shows do the same thing). So whether you’re a late night comedian or a prime time news host, the only way to fight back is to be disparaging to Trump. I am convinced that everything you see in the main stream is full of distortion and deception. It may sound like I am some kind of conspiratorial fanatic, but I can assure you I am not. 

Lets take abortion for example. Here is a link to a video that challenges Planned Parenthood’s claim that only 3% of their services are abortions.

https://www.facebook.com/liveaction/videos/10154479443488728/

People are told that Planned Parenthood does more than just abortions, and they do, but their numbers are all messed up and abortions are still their main business.  As you saw in the link, this is a typical case for how deception is marketed. This kind of marketing is also played out in almost every aspect of American life. Are you aware when you subject to propaganda? Perhaps another way of looking at this could be described by the word “discernment.”  Are we discerning people and can we articulate what is truth and what is not? I think that is the weightier concern today. People just don’t care about doing the right thing any more.  When we have a weather catastrophe in America, there is always looting. In Japan after their series of earthquakes and tsunami’s there was no looting. Why? It’s called respect. American’s have lost their respect and as a result our culture thrives on disrespect and it breeds contempt for others.

What about the disrespect for life? 
What is right about abortion? Granted it is an unwanted pregnancy, but regardless of how unwanted it is, that should never be an excuse to terminate a life. In God’s economy you can never make a choice to kill a living being and expect any good to come from it. The Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 removed God and respect for life from the issue of abortion.  All life belongs to God and the deception was in transferring the rights for abortion to the rights of women.  The deception of abortion begins with eliminating God because if He is out of the picture then anything can be legislated. However, if God exists that changes the equation substantially. God sets the standards for what He has created, and life is not ours to take no matter what stage you define when life begins.   Abortion supporters do not have God’s understanding on this matter, even if they call themselves Christians. Christians who support Abortion become what the Bible terms apostate.

Apostate: a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.
Supporting abortion is denying the existence of God, it is the only way you can justify this evil practice.

I watched Facebook posts of people who are fearful that our President elect will be cutting funding for Planned Parenthood.  This organization is not based upon truthfulness and when you deceive others about your purpose it will be exposed. The problem is, people don’t care about the facts anymore, especially if the facts demonstrate there was a cover up or if the facts reveal a different purpose than what was presented previously. Here is the truth about the moneymaking policy of selling aborted body parts. When you really stop to think about this, abortion and any related aspects of it are barbaric? 

 http://www.lifenews.com/2016/12/30/will-planned-parenthood-be-prosecuted-for-selling-the-body-parts-of-aborted-babies/

Planned Parenthood is the epitome of a culture gone wrong. The mandate of parenthood is to protect and nurture their young, not kill them. A culture that does not honor and protect their children is a culture of violence and death. To those of you who support abortion, let me suggest that you start coming up with a good excuse why you do, because in death you will face God the creator whose creation you killed.  Good luck.

One last thought: God forgives those who have had abortions, and there is healing that comes from a forgiven life. Arrogance and denial of the truth about abortion will only be met with the judgment of God. This may not sound pleasing, but God gives everyone a chance to repent and move on in the grace of forgiveness. Think about it the next time you justify the right to have an abortion.

Keeping it honest and truthful…..K

Monday
Jan092017

Making Things Right

I don’t know about you, but I have designated 2017 a year to make some changes. Here are seven I would like to process this year. These are not in any order of importance.

 

  1. Ask more questions and be more direct in conversation
  2. Inventory time spent and eliminate the time wastes
  3. Be more grateful for life and the blessings of knowing God
  4. Look for more details about God that I haven’t noticed before
  5. Don’t stand down in light of difficult conversations and look for more creative solutions to opposing views.
  6. Spend more time loving people and less time in conflict
  7. Look for ways to uncomplicated my life and invest in clarity

 

It goes without saying that I want to spend more time with family and friends, but these seven are some of the changes I would like to make this year.

I remember some wise words from author Jim Collins: “Don’t add anything to your life without getting rid of something that now exists.”  That really is common sense 101 yet many of us keep piling on more stuff without taking inventory of what we already have in our routines.

The other angle of change has to do with the value of actions over words or concepts. I have always said that “actions are the language of the heart,” words can easily be formed and communicated, but actions must be the end goal of all the words we use. Change does not come easily for most of us, but if we want to see progress in our lives we must embrace change. I love these words from Oswald Chambers, “God never tells us to give up things just for the sake of giving them up, but He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having, namely life with Himself.”

So when I look back at those seven changes that I would like to make in 2017 I recognize how they can help me grow in my appreciation for God, and the life He has given to me.  When I look at all of this from a selfish perspective, my life is in the final stages of being lived out. As a result, I don’t want to squander whatever time I have left on issues or people who waste my time or drain my resources. Keeping myself fit both mind body and spirit is a core interest in 2017 and my seven changes should assist me in accomplishing my personal goals.

One of the revelations on all of this occurred to me last weekend as we prepared for company.  My wife asked me to vacuum out the fireplace before starting a new fire. I gladly grabbed the shop vac and proceeded to vacuum up all the ash in the fireplace. I did not notice all the ash that I was vacuuming up was immediately pouring out the back of the vacuum.  Needless to say, I knew I was in trouble and our evening was spent with cleaning supplies and elbow grease. Ash is dust on steroids and it went everywhere in the house.  So what was the revelation I had?  I grabbed the wrong shop vac to clean the fireplace. So often we too are using the wrong tools in life trying to establish a positive result. Wasting time, overly committed, not having clarity, living in avoidance, letting criticism rule our conversations, being committed to always being right, and using spirituality as shield for insecurities.

These tools are always wrong and they will never get you to where you want to go. One of the reasons this blog is called “keeping it honest and truthful” is because most of the time we are neither. In my 66 years I have never met an honest and truthful person and if you are one, please introduce yourself to me so I can say I have met one. This is not to be judgmental or critical, it just reinforces what the Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Our need isn’t to dig down deep and find more honestly, our need is to dig down deep and yield more to God. His honestly and truthfulness is our only hope to find peace with ourselves and with the world we live in.

Please consider making an honest list for yourself today. Don’t skimp on being brutally honest, because changing only the surface issues will never be good enough.

Keeping it honest and truthful…..K

 

Sunday
Jan082017

Did You Know?

Did you know that we had four Presidents assassinated and two other Presidents were shot during an assassination attempt since we became a Republic?  There were also two other Presidents who died while in office of suspected poisoning. Several Vice Presidents as well had assassination attempts on their lives. So when you look at America it has not been a safe Republic if you hold a high political office. Now think about it, we are a country who allows its citizens to vote for the people who are running for office, and even when a person wins the election they could lose their lives at the hands of disgruntled citizens. As we watch more and more people voice their opinions about a Trump Presidency, we could end up with a dead President because of all the hatred toward him. It is my opinion that Donald Trump will never be in a safe place and every time he fulfills a campaign promise he could get that much closer to an attempted assassination. Now no one wants to think about such things, but as we see the kinds of reactions to his election, we have a volatile citizenry that cannot stand this man or to watch him undo the legacies of the past administration. The liberal media along with powerful Democratic leaders will not retreat licking their wounds. They will increase the pressure on making Donald Trump look bad, and sound bad at every turn. 

This shouldn't surprise anyone, because we are told that men will increase in wickedness as time goes on and today’s enemies are more numerous than in the past.

2 Timothy 3:13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

Not only do we have more enemies today, they are more evil and many are hidden from sight until the day they strike. The recent airport killings in Florida proved that to be true.

There is no way out for a country that seems to be determined to eradicate God from its shores. Look at Europe, they are so deceived in their thinking that they will usher in the Anti-Christ. I know there are those believers who are hoping for a global revival, which would end the violence around the world, but the Bible does not indicate that will happen. Nowhere in the prophetic scriptures do we see any mention of a great revival in the last days, but what it does describe is a cursed humanity that defies God and denies Jesus. No wonder some Christians are looking for the Rapture with increased urgency. I know I will get some push back on this, but I see Christians today much like Nehemiah’s day. The builders of the Temple were people who had a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other. They worked on the building and were ready to defend their work. We who believe in His return have that hope in our hearts and are willing to defend it, but we also need to have a desire to see others find the hope we have in Jesus. We cannot just live only for the hope of the Rapture, as pleasant and as reassuring as that might be, we are still called to watch and pray. That means that our eyes may be looking at the horizon for His return, but our praying is for the success of our hands doing ministry in His name. We will not hear that trumpet sound until all have heard the message of the gospel, including the Jews around the world,  then our work will be done according to God.  However, as the days get darker ministries will get more deluded. This is not new even in the days of Jesus there was ministry collusion that interfered with the work of God’s Kingdom. Much of the time Jesus was confronting the delusion of the religion of his day. Bible believing Christians do the same today. The Bible says that the Kingdom of God was being taken by force, and men ran God’s work, and not God.

Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”

One commentator said of this verse:

“The phrase, “…the kingdom of heaven suffers violence,” refers to how religious men have used positions of authority to bully their way into control of the religious institution of Christ’s time, which was the Jewish synagogue, but more particular, the Jewish temple with its wealth, prestige and status as a political establishment.”

I believe we have the same kind of take over in today’s church. The emphasis is often on issues that tickle the ears and we deny the power of the gospel. Today, truth is disseminated by those in preaching and teaching positions and they often don’t know God. The prophet Hosea said it best:  My people are being destroyed because they don't know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.”

Did you know we are in a battle today for the integrity of truth in the church? 

Just like many of us did not realize that we had so many Presidents shot or killed while in office, we don’t realize how deluded truth has become in many of our church ministries. I think we need to ask more questions in 2017 that search for truth and not just coast along with the status quo. We live in dangerous days and evil has been masquerading in our churches for a very long time keeping people in the dark. I just thought you should be aware.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

 

Wednesday
Jan042017

Can The Numbers Lie? 

After yesterday's posting I ran into an article by Tony Perkins of the Family Counsel.  I think it once again illustrates how much of what we read and are told by our media outlets may not be true at all. I find article very interesting, but as I said yesterday, if the numbers are as high as they say they are for people believing in God, then why does it seem so ungodly in America these days? 

January 04, 2017

If you were surprised by the media's exaggerated (and incorrect) reports of the demise of the political influence of conservative Christians, then you'll be happy to see Pew Research Center's latest poll. According to the report, the Christian faith isn't as rare on Capitol Hill as the media and those on the Left would have you to believe. A whopping 91 percent of the 115th Congress describe themselves as Christians, which is higher than the general population -- and almost the same number as when these stats were first collected in 1961. Of the 293 Republicans who kicked off the new session this week, all but two are Christians (the others are Jewish).

And the faith factor isn't just a conservative phenomenon. Eighty percent of Democrats also call themselves Christians -- in addition to the 28 Jews, three Buddists, three Hindus, two Muslims, and a single atheist. "The group that is most notably underrepresented is the religiously unaffiliated," Pew points out. "This group -- also known as the religious 'nones' -- now accounts for 23 percent of the general public but just 0.2 percent of Congress... [Only] Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) describes herself as religiously unaffiliated..." Aleksandra Sandstrom, who authored the report, is as surprised by the findings. "[This] really is telling," she told reporters, "especially with the changing U.S. population and the very big change in the presidency. Congress is really, at least religiously, staying very, very steady."

Sandstrom can't explain the strong faith presence on the Hill, but the November election may have provided a few clues. At its core, the religious make-up of Congress reflects the increased engagement of Christians in the political process. They understand (sometimes painfully so) the government's role in shaping -- or denouncing -- their values. After Obama's eight-year war on religious freedom and expression, most believers desperately wanted to reverse the damage done by this White House.

That was abundantly clear in the overwhelming turnout of evangelicals in 2016 -- which, as most every pundit agreed, is what ultimately propelled Donald Trump (and a host of Republicans) to the most stunning upset in modern history. By the end of that night, the GOP nominee had won 94 percent of engaged social conservatives -- easily outperforming every Republican since Ronald Reagan. Remarkably, 90 percent of them turned out to vote -- which was the result of a lot of hard work from FRC Action, who invested tremendous time and energy explaining the stakes of this election and urging battleground voters to get out and vote. It paid off. Donald Trump's "largest segment of support," George Barna pointed out, "was the Christian conservative vote." Even Fox News credited our team with moving the needle on evangelical turnout.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), one of the rising stars of the conservative movement, is another case study in evangelical influence. A successful businessman in his own right, he saw the need for principled leadership in Congress after years of involvement with FRC, running for the seat in North Carolina's 11th District where he won in a very crowded primary. Now, he's the leader of the influential House Freedom Caucus and helping to elect other likeminded conservatives. Obviously, our country is looking for leaders who still believe in America's godly heritage. Voters elected a big class of conservative Christians last November. And now that we have more believers on Capitol Hill, maybe we can put more faith in it!

Well, I hope he is right that faith in God won't be something of the past in our nation's capital. I think Tony is optimistic about the conservative Christians on Capital Hill making long term changes in this country. I do hope and pray he is right, but my gut tells me that they will make headway in changing some polices and laws, but what I think it will do is divide the country even more. Just today the Democrat's came out with a sloan in response to the Republican goal to repeal Obama Care. "Make Amercia Sick Again!" This is the kind of sick rhetoric that you will see from the Democrats for the next four years. What so ironic about this sloan is that America is already sick, because people can't afford Obamacare. I hope that all the Christian folk Tony said were on Capital Hill will use their conservative wisdom and bring us back to a common sense country again and that is worth praying about. 

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

Wednesday
Jan042017

Is Religion Benign?

Benign: not harmful to the environment

This just came out by the Gallup Poll people.

Gallup Poll says: Americans continue to say that religion is losing its influence in American society. Americans continue to perceive that religion is less influential than it used to be, with 72% in 2016 saying that religion is losing its influence on American life.

You have to wonder if there is any correlation between what is said on Sunday and the workweek on Monday, if Gallup is right. Is the message from the pulpit and the emphasis of the church making any difference in changing the way we live our lives?  Note this statistic from Gallup.

America remains a largely Christian nation, although less so than in the past. Seventy-four percent of Americans identify with a Christian religion, and 5% identify with a non-Christian religion. The rest of the U.S. adult population, about 21%, either says they don't have a formal religious identity or don't give a response.

Most of us know that 74% of those claiming to be Christians may be in name only. There is a big difference between those who call themselves Christians and those who pursue a lifestyle of discipleship. Calling yourself Christian and attending church does not mean you really know God.

If 74% of Americans were really following Christ as the Bible mandates, I doubt we would be as godless as we are in this country. According to Pew research they confirm there is a decline in Christianity in America.

Over the past seven years, evangelicals have lost less than 1 percent of their share of the population, holding steady at about 1 in 4 American adults (25.4% in 2014, vs. 26.3% in 2007) and preserving their status as the nation’s largest religious group.

 

In contrast, mainline Protestants have lost almost 3.5 percent of their population share and are currently less than 15 percent of American adults, while Catholics lost about 3 percent of their population share and are currently about 21 percent of adults.

The Telegraph did a report on atheism and concluded that there may be a sea- change coming as it concerns religion in public life.

One recent Pew poll finding that more than one third of Americans aged 18 to 29 now say they have “no religious affiliation”, compared with less than 10 per cent of their grandparents’ generation.

While America still remains outwardly far more religious than Europe, the sudden rise of the “nones”, as they were dubbed by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, has raised the question of whether the US is on the cusp of a dramatic sea-change in attitude towards religion in public life.

I know from my own experience with the younger generation, few have little to no affiliation with the church or with God, and really have no interest. The institution of technology has made life more connected than ever before keeping people busy with their personal lives leaving little time devoted to any spiritual development.

I just read a story about a former youth pastor and son of a famous Evangelical leader who decided that atheism was his choice to replace his evangelical faith. 
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/29/magazine/the-evangelical-scion-who-stopped-believing.html?_r=0

We have also seen that happen with Frank Schaeffer who is the son of the late Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer. While Frank Schaeffer was a conservative, fundamentalist Christian in his youth, he has changed his views, becoming a liberal Democrat and a self-described atheist.
There is even a website that is called, Recovering From Religion, and they write: Learning how to live after questions, doubts, and changing beliefs is a journey. We at Recovering From Religion are intimately familiar with this path, and we are here to help you to cross that bridge. Our passion is connecting others with support, resources, community, and most of all, hope.”

There is are many groups like this and according to an article in Charisma News written by JENNIFER LECLAIRE, she writes: There's a long list of Christians who turned to atheism on WikiPedia. And the Clergy Project, a secret initiative that's willing to foot the bill to get you out of your pulpit and into a new career, claims to offer a "safe haven for active and former professional clergy/religious leaders who do not hold supernatural beliefs."

There is no doubt that religion in the hands of leaders who abuse people with it is a dangerous and sadistic religion. The Pope just released a statement that the Catholics now have a “no tolerance” position against anyone who abuses children. It takes the kind of scandals the Catholics have experienced in the past decade or two to now finally have a Pope come out against child molestation. No wonder people are leaving religion even the church isn’t safe anymore.

Religion can be toxic and I have seen the results of this toxicity over my lifetime. I have written before that I have met more narcissists masquerading, as Christian leaders and creating teachings that are full of wrong thinking all in the name of Christ. It doesn’t surprise me to see Christianity losing members because the Bible tells us that people will lose hope in God and depart for other experiences. Jesus told us in Matthew 24:10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other”

The Apostle Paul also told us that there would come a great falling away in the last days. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don't be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed--the one who brings destruction.”

All of what I have written about today is the result of religion becoming benign. Jesus has become in some churches only a source of entertainment, while in other churches He has become a tradition, and still others He is the key to living out a successful life. What ever happened to the Jesus of the Bible whose ministry touched and changed the lives of people forever, so much so that they gave up their lives in order to share His Story. Religion may be benign, but Jesus is never benign. True Christianity is never in neutral, it is always moving forward affecting everything it encounters.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

 

 

 

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