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Thursday
Dec182014

When Lawlessness Prevails

You may not agree with the theme of the Sony movie, "The Interview" in which the main characters go to North Korea to assassinate the North Korean dictator. It was a comedy, and it may have been done in poor taste. However, one of our platforms of freedom in this country, the freedom of speech, has been breached. One could argue, that this theme is like yelling fire in a movie theater when there is no fire, that kind of speech endangers people, and is not covered under our constitution. However, this was a movie, however bad or in poor taste it was, should not have been pulled from being released simply because of its theme.  Again, this is another example of the lawlessness of our age.  Hackers are a lawless breed of modern day pirates that rob people using the internet. They steal whatever they want by hacking past internet security and taking what does not belong to them. According to one report, most companies, and government agencies have been hacked at one time, some have knowledge of the hack, others do not. Most professional hackers are never found, and leave little trace of their presence. I spoke to an executive at an IT firm, and ask him if it was possible to stop hackers, and he said no, if they want to get in they will find a way.  So, there is no safety net when you are dealing with the internet, that is the lawless reality of our day. 

However, when freedom of speech is threatened by an unknown entity, is it right to cave in to their threats? To me this is the beginning of a much bigger problem, cyber extortion, that demands action from a company based in a country that has freedom to express viewpoints.  Entertainment does have a viewpoint and a world view, and I might add, I am too am against some of these viewpoints, but I will defend their right to express them, just as I have a right to express myself through this blog. Lawlessness is a characteristic of the last days, and it will continue to grow in every sector of life. Jesus said that lawlessness will lead to a hateful society in the last days.

Matthew 24:12

 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

And the Apostle Paul said that lawlessness is at work everywhere. 

2 Thessalonians 2:7-9

 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

Jesus warned us, that the human heart without God, will continue to get worse, there is no end to the the evil that godless people will be able to create. The only source of restriction to a complete anarchy of evil in this world is the Holy Spirit, which Paul refers to as the one who restrains. We think the world is bad now, there would be no hope if He was not controlling an ultimate take over. 

These news stories are all warning us of what is coming, lawlessness will increase, and our only hope is to keep sensitive material off the internet, of the grid, and continue to grow stronger in the character of God through His Word. As we face this world, we need courage, hope, and a heart that does not fear. This incident at Sony is an example of how lawless people use fear to control a desired outcome, and Sony caved to that fear. Fear is a tactic our spiritual enemy uses to take a free people down. 

Lawlessness is here to stay, no question about that, but the bigger question to you is, are you ready for it? Obviously Sony was not.

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

 

 

Wednesday
Dec172014

When I Was A Young Christian

I spend a lot of time looking back these days, not because I am depressed that things aren't the way they used to be, but because there was a day that the church had some great teachings.  Those teachings shaped my life, and continue to shape my life, even though I don't hear things like that any more.
Let me illustrate some of the life changing theology that has changed my thinking over the years.
1. Submission:  It was taught that nothing in this world belongs to you, and trying to claim it would only bring you deeper into a selfish existence.  Submitting to God was the ultimate crowning action in life, and that was what we were to strive for as Christians, a submitted life to God.  Another word that was similar was surrender, an action that was required before God could use you in doing His work. That is quite different from where the church is today, where we are dealing with more coping mechanisms for people to deal with their issues, rather than submitting and surrendering to God.  There is a world of difference in the approach to ministry today, than when I was young in the Lord. 
2. Repentance and Restitution:  These two words relate to one another, because one preceded the other. Once you were convicted of a sin, you would repent, and turn away from it, asking God to help you never to repeat it again.  It was also required of you to make restitution to those you injured, or maligned by your actions.  Repentance and restitution were signs of proof that true repentance took place. Today, we have what some have called cheap grace, which means we accept all God has for us, without any personal responsibility what so ever. Restitution is a great way to demonstrate there is a changed life. The question to you is, has this been preached in your church? 
 3. Prophecy oriented:  Much of the teaching back when I was a young Christian had to do with the future. We were constantly challenged to keep our lives in line with God, because we never knew when He would be returning. We believed that Jesus would return, and set up His Kingdom on earth and the church would be those people who would rule and reign with Him for 1000 years in the millennium. It was this motivation that kept our lives focused and directed in serving God. We knew that God's Word was correct, and we studied it to see what God said would happen in the last days. Today, most churches see prophecy as irrelevant, and counter productive to the church, so they avoid teaching on the subject. 
4. Holiness: This is a theme that always got the young people upset, because it always seemed as if the preachers were picking on them. There were strict rules about movies, dancing, playing cards, and drinking. Holiness was an outward expression of how you loved the Lord, and you wouldn't want to do anything that would bring dishonor to His Name. I realize now that some of these rules were pretty silly, but the admonition to keep yourself from sinful behavior was worth it's weight in gold. Today, there are no standards, or few if any, and young Christians have freedom to explore life at every level without reserve or conviction. That includes sex before marriage, drinking, and partaking in lewd and indecent entertainment. The internet has provided more liberty to view things on line that are not morally right. 
5. Judgment of God: We had a healthy dosage of knowing that one day, we would all stand before God and give an account for our behavior. All actions will be judged by God, things done in word, action and deed. Often we don't hear this today, because it's too negative. 
Unfortunately, the issues we face in our world are not easy, but the question that I keep asking is, "are we prepared in the Lord to face them?"  These five themes are those that will help us prepare for a world out of control.  We may not be able to correct this world in it's quest to be anti-God, and anti-Christian, but we must be prepared to face it in heart and mind.  This has been my greatest criticism of the modern church, are we too busy trying to be friendly to the world, rather than preparing the church for the world to come? 
Please take some time and think through these five words, and how they resonate with your current teaching in your local church.  How often are they talked about, and if you find that they are not preached in your church, ask your pastor why? 
Keeping it honest and truthful...K

 

Monday
Dec152014

One Size Fits All

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeBq9gLrnPo

This video says it all.  A person couldn't write a fictional story any better than what was displayed in Lake Worth Florida recently at the opening of a city council meeting.  This person was obviously an atheist who had an agenda to prove that every belief structure known to man was a valid way of finding your way as a human. To me, this will be the wave of the future, no exclusivity like Jesus being the only way, everyone will have a valid avenue of truth.  If you listen carefully to the use of his descriptive terms as he lists the various beliefs, you get a sense that Satan is all knowing, and atheists are growing, now 1 in 5 in America. How could the city council of this Florida city be so naive to think that this prayer, or statements, had merit or meaning?  It wasn't praying to anyone, it was giving a politically correct statement that all beliefs are valid and true. If you noticed, at least some of the city council members decided not to stay but exited just prior to the delivery of this prayer. 

The Pew Research group did a massive study on religion and how it is changing in America, here are some of their results.

More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.

The Landscape Survey confirms that the United States is on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country; the number of Americans who report that they are members of Protestant denominations now stands at barely 51%. 

Slowly, traditions are being removed, and people are no longer affiliated with any religion, and will eventually end up with a religious world view that encompasses all beliefs as truth. If you have no Biblical standard, you will be open to accept whatever makes sense to you as truth. 

Jesus told us that prior to His return, people would believe in false prophets and teachers. The Apostle Paul also stated that in the last days there would be people wanting teachers to tell them what they wanted to hear. 

2 Timothy 4

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.  As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

This example from Lake Worth Florida is what the Apostle Paul said would happen in the last days almost 2000 years ago.  Truth becomes relevant, it is what the person wants reality to be, and there are no absolutes. This is our day.

I thank God, we have the Bible, and Churches with fellowship with people who don't follow this thinking, and what a relief it is to know there is a God, and He is truth. This example from Florida is only the beginning, so stay the course, know your Bible, pray for courage, boldness, and a heart to present Jesus as the truth, no matter what culture thinks. 

Keeping it honest and truthful...k

 

Friday
Dec122014

The Secrets That Cripple

You think you know someone, and then the allegations start.  You begin to realize that the person you thought you knew, isn't that person at all.  Bill Cosby for example has been in the news recently with multiple allegations from women that he sexually assaulted them. How could such a beloved comedian be the kind of person he now be being portrayed in the news?  It seems to be one of those stories that won't go away, and it is tragic if the allegations are true.

But that raises the point that before God, nothing is missed, and everything will be exposed. I think this is an important element to guide our thinking and behavior.  Most people only see the best side of us, what we want them to see, but is there a side of us that no one sees.  For me, I am reminded continually that God will expose all secrets and nothing will be hidden forever as Jesus said in Luke 12.

“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  3Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

When we think of the behind closed door conversations we have had about people or when we aren't as diligent to check our motives against scripture, and motives go unchecked and unbridled. It happens to us all, no one is exempt, but it is a good thing to be reminded that nothing will be hid forever. Recording artist Rebecca St James once said, "where there are no secrets, there are no lies." I have repeatedly used that phrase to keep my heart in check against the kind of self deception that can happen that hardens us to being accountable before God.  I believe that accountability is one of the strongest elements of fellowship with other believers. God uses others to help keep us in a spirit of self examination so secrets, or hidden issues of the heart don't fester into self deception, and away from restoration through repentance. As humans we are good at spinning things in a way that favors us, discounting the fact that it may not be true. I saw a sign once that read, "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember what you said."   

We need others in our lives that are loving, and honest people.  We don't need Pharisees who will only beat us with the truth, we need people who will love us with the truth. God's desire is to bring us to Himself, healing us as we come. Perhaps more than anything else in this world we need to surround ourselves with people who love us, and want only the best for us. No hidden agenda, no ulterior motives, only the willingness to walk together in His grace and mercy, without the baggage of secrets and selfish motives. 

Our objective as believers is to keep ourselves praying what Jesus taught His disciples to pray. 

 11Give us this day our daily bread,
 12and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

 13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

The secrets and hidden motives will destroy us, and they won't deliver us from evil, but draw us to it. We need to remind each other about the calling He has for our lives, as Reinhart Bonnke once said, 

I think of the centuries of debate over insignificant issues - they are the evil's red herrings to divert us. Our job is people, their salvation, their cure, their needs. Jesus did not come to answer theological conundrums, but to seek and to save that which was lost.  

Secrets can also be the red herrings that keep us from the objective of serving Christ in this manner. 

Keeping it honest and truthful..K

Wednesday
Dec102014

When Work Matters

A friend of mine does a weekly radio show on the Faith Radio Network where he talks about work.  Work is seen as a means to an end, but often is not seen as an opportunity for eternal purposes.  Here is an example of his work in a weekly e-newsletter that he publishes.  I think you will find his upcoming guest interesting, and provocative on the theme of the poor.  

Keeping it honest and truthful..K

 

 

 

THIS WEEK'S SHOW

John Hope Bryant is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. and bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass)His bestselling book is How The Poor Can Save Capitalism (Berrett Koehler Publishing)  and it is the subject of our interview. He is a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, under both Presidents Bush and Obama. Bryant is the only bestselling author on economics in the world who is also of African-American descent.
Click Here to learn how and when to listen December 14th. 4:30 PM CST.

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Christmas 

God Gave- We Give
We are dedicated to helping you develop what has become "whole-life discipleship", being a follower of Jesus in your whole life.  We focus on the marketplace because it encompasses life where you and I spend the majority of our time and where we influence the world the MOST. 

As you consider this goal, please consider supporting us in it's attainment.  Our show is doing very well on-air, and we believe many many more people need to hear our message.of doing great work with great faith. Some of you have made six month commitments of $25- $50 per month of support to help us pay our station fees and produce and support the production staff, (which includes your's truly).  I have yet to receive any money from the ministry, even though I work at now, full time.  I see God working in the marketplace, and the value of Christ at-work. I also have done the math.  God is being pushed aside by men, aided by powers and principalities. But He has called the Church to push back. (Eph 3:10) This season please consider a pre-made decision to give  $25, $50 or $100 for the next six months. Go HERE to give.
 
 

How the Poor Can
Save Capitalism

I was flipping channels and began to click by CSPAN but I stopped. There was a man speaking to a group of people and he caught my attention. He was an African American and his cadence and words reminded me of someone who has long passed.. He was speaking truthfully and speaking peacefully and from the heart. He was speaking about poverty as a mindset, not a condition. He was also speaking from the "other side" of poverty, as someone who had overcome. He was speaking as someone who was passionate to help anyone in that condition to overcome.
His words referenced the Bible and were "sprinkled with the salt" of faith.  

He was talking about how the poor can save capitalism. And he was speaking in real economic terms that resonated with me.  

And he had a plan. A plan to raise the economic sea level.  It was win-win, not win-lose.  It was about the rising tide that lifts all boats. He was talking about real economic and cultural empowerment and using words that had quality and content that spoke to the whole audience. 

After the one hour show, I was so impressed I went on-line and tweeted this- "Just watched a great program entitled "How the Poor Can Save Capitalism". John Hope Bryant. This guy KNOWS what he's talking about"

Within three minutes I got a notification that John Hope Bryant had retweeted my tweet.  

This led me to his website where I reached out to his organization. told them about the show and said I was interested in having John on to discuss his book. The next day I got an email from his Executive Assistant Charmela confirming he would be a Guest.  We recorded his interview in October and it airs THIS Sunday, on the Faith Radio Network. (Click here  for listening choices.)


You can watch John's CSPAN appearance here.
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Great Work with Great Faith

Great work with Great Faith is not just a slogan. It is the way to redeem this broken fallen system. Col 3: 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

Great work with great faith is found in this passage and many others. 
Let's break it down. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.  Great work is work in which your talents and gifts are fully utilized so the work is done as well as YOU can do it.. (Sometimes we find ourselves doing work that is not fully aligned with what  we are qualified for, but we can still do it to the "best" of our ability. THAT is what the verse is saying.)  And  great work is work in which your passion is fully engaged.  Passion is what you CARE about, it is an outcome or a return that you want your work or effort to achieve or add to the situation.. When you work with passion in play (your heart), you do work that reflects that. 

Great Faith is work that is NOT done to the SEEN master, but is done for the UNSEEN God.  It is work that is done with the knowledge that GOD is a worker, who has created you and me to work, and who has created work for us to do.  Approaching work this way places our belief about work in line with God's view. This view makes it an act of GREAT FAITH. (There is more to great faith IN work in future posts.)
If followers of Jesus everywhere understood work this way and approached "the work of their hands" in this way, God would be glorified, (we would not seek credit), and many more of us would rise to positions of influence in Business, Government, and Education until  we  would reach "critical mass". (Believers will feel less alone too.)   When this happens, when Jesus returns, He will find more people,  ready, and willing for that return to happen. It is our calling and election to act on God's plan in this way.  (Eph 3:10)  Remember he wants NO one to perish and He wants all to come a knowledge of the truth..  Comment Here
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