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Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year?


Something to ponder in the coming year.  BLESSED is he who appreciates what it is to love Jesus and who despises himself for the sake of Jesus. Hebrews 12:2,3 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all things. Affection for creatures is deceitful and inconstant, but the love of Jesus is true and enduring. He who clings to a creature will fall with its frailty, but he who gives himself to Jesus will ever be strengthened. Love Him, then; keep Him as a friend. He will not leave you as others do, or let you suffer lasting death. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to the glory of Him who alone can help you when all others fail. Your Beloved is such that He will not accept what belongs to another — He wants your heart for Himself alone, to be enthroned therein as King in His own right. If you but knew how to free yourself entirely from all creatures, Jesus would gladly dwell within you. You will find, apart from Him, that nearly all the trust you place in men is a total loss. Therefore, neither confide in nor depend upon a wind-shaken reed, for “all flesh is grass” and all its glory, like the flower of grass, will fade away. You will quickly be deceived if you look only to the outward appearance of men, and you will often be disappointed if you seek comfort and gain in them. “If, however, you seek Jesus in all things, you will surely find Him. Likewise, if you seek yourself, you will find yourself — to your own ruin. For the man who does not seek Jesus does himself much greater harm than the whole world and all his enemies could ever do.” Thomas E. Kempes.   May you seek Christ Jesus more in 2010 than in 2009. Happy New Year!

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The 12 Days of Christmas
In England, between 1558 and 1829, it was not legal for Catholics to practice their kind of Christianity in private or in public. Being a Catholic was treated as a bad crime. If you even owned a Catholic Bible, you could be put in prison! Catholics were stopped from worshipping because King Henry VIII fell out with the Catholic Church and started his own ‘Protestant’ Church (the Church of England). There were many people who were still Catholics and they worshipped in secret.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ was written in England at the beginning of this time. Some people think that it was written to help children learn about their Catholic religion. In the carol, the days are supposed to represent special symbols and have hidden meanings, because it was illegal to have anything in writing that would indicate that you were a Catholic.
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But there’s no evidence that this is true and it seems most likely just to be a folk song and the meaning were added at a later date! Also, all the symbols can be used by Protestants and other Christians! There was another song called ‘A New Dial’, written in 1625, which gave religious meanings to the 12 Days of Christmas, but not so people could practise their faith is secret. If you’d like to know more about this, please go to the 12 Days of Christmas page on snopes.com

The 12 Days of Christmas refer to the twelve day period that starts with Christmas day and ends on Epiphany (6th January). The song begins, On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… The ‘true love’ was meant to represent God, the true love of the world. The ‘me’ in the carol is the Christian man or woman who receives these presents. The meanings given to the 12 Days are:

The ‘partridge in a pear tree’ is Jesus who died on the cross. In ancient times a partridge was often used as mythological symbol of a divine, sacred king.
The ‘two turtle doves’ are the Old and New Testaments of the Bible – another gift from God. Doves also symbolise peace.
The ‘three French hens’ are faith, hope and love – the three gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 13). The French hens can also represent God the Father, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The ‘four calling birds’ are the four Gospels in the New Testament of the Bible.
The ‘five golden rings’ are the first five books of the Bible also called the Pentateuch, the Books of Moses or the Torah.
The ‘six geese a-laying’ are the six days of creation.
The ‘seven swans a swimming’ are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4:10-11)
The ‘eight maids a milking’ are the eight beatitudes, Jesus’ teachings on happiness. (See Matthew 5:3-10)
The ‘nine ladies dancing’ are nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22)
The ‘ten lords a-leaping’ are the Ten Commandments in the Bible. (See Exodus 20)
The ‘eleven pipers piping’ are the eleven faithful disciples of Jesus.
The ‘twelve drummers drumming’ were the twelve points of the Apostles’ Creed.

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Sharing this article from Prophecy News Watch.  Where will you spend Eternity?  A Scripture to think about while reading this article is ; “Re 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.
10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

There is a widely quoted statistic that more Christians died for their faith in the 20th century than in the 19 centuries leading up to it. But as bad as the 20th century was, the 21st century is starting to make that look like a Sunday picnic. In every corner of the globe, Christians are being shot, burned, hanged, tortured and even stuffed into metal shipping containers. Christian clergy are being marked for assassination around the world, hundreds of churches are being burned to the ground along with scores of homes and businesses owned by Christians. Dozens of nations across the globe have now passed strict anti-conversion laws in an attempt to stifle the spread of Christianity. In the countries where Christians are not yet facing physical persecution, they still must deal with open discrimination, lawsuits and increasing ridicule. Christianity is now the most hated and most persecuted religion on the plant. The reality is that the words that Jesus spoke in John 15:18 ring truer today than ever: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

Keep those words in mind as you read the following shocking reports of Christian persecution from all over the world….

China

Chinese authorities have conducted a crackdown on “illegal” Christian churches in recent months that church leaders are calling the harshest in years. Christians in China are required to worship in “churches” run by state-controlled organizations, and Christians who attempt to worship on their own are brutally persecuted.

Recently, hundreds of government police and hired thugs descended on a megachurch that served approximately 50,000 worshippers, smashing doors and windows, seizing Bibles and sending dozens of worshippers to hospitals with serious injuries. The co-pastors of the church are in prison and police vehicles remain parked on virtually every corner of the neighborhood where the church is located. Scenes such as this are regularly being repeated all over China as the Communist government seeks to eliminate all religion that is not government-sanctioned.

Eritrea

In a story that recently made headlines all over the world, thirty elderly women in Eritrea were arrested for simply praying together. But the truth is that this is just the latest episode in an ongoing persecution of Christians that is beyond brutal.

The Pakistan Christian TV website recently described the horrifc persecution of Christians in Eritrea this way….

Today some 3,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned for their faith. Some are in underground and solitary cells whilst some are in ‘secret’ prisons for the ‘disappeared’. However, most are herded into unventilated shipping containers in the desert where dysentery and infectious diseases go untreated. Torture is routine.

The truth is that these unventilated shipping containers are extremely uncomfortable. The temperatures in these metal shipping containers can reach well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and in many instances Christians are not even let out of them to use the bathroom.

Assassinations Of Clergy

Increasingly, Christian clergy are being targeted for assassination all over the world. The following are just a few of the recent examples….

*A Russian priest that had been highly critical of Islam has been assassinated inside his own church.

*Leftist guerrillas in Colombia brutally executed a Christian pastor just outside his own home.

*Two masked members of the al-Shabaab Muslim militia shot and killed a Christian pastor in Somalia as he drove home from a worship service.

India

Persecution of Christians in India is getting so bad that India actually made International Christian Concern’s Hall of Shame.

According to the ICC, 2008 was particularly bad, with “wave after wave of highly coordinated Hindu raids” that resulted in “the worst outbreak of anti-Christian violence in its recent history.”

The statistics that the ICC quotes regarding the outbreak of persecution in India are sobering….

“In all, more than 100 Christians are confirmed dead, 4,000 homes have burned down, and over 50,000 Christians have fled their homes.”

The following is just one example of what is going on in India. This story was originally posted by The Voice of the Martyrs….

—-

On April 25, Pastor Mohan Babu and two other believers were severely beaten by 35 Hindu extremists for holding a Vacation Bible School (VBS) near Bangalore City, in Karnataka State. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in India, the three-day VBS was organized by Ragigudda Baptist Church. VOM sources said, “Around 60 children from different backgrounds were attending the VBS. As they were worshiping, about 35 people belonging to a Hindu extremist group forcefully entered the hut chanting slogans and demolished the hut. The extremists mercilessly beat Mohan, Samuel and Krishna, alleging forceful conversion. The perpetrators chased the children without any courtesy and tore the Bibles. Mohan was severely injured on his lips and was profusely bleeding. The believers are living in fear and did not lodge complaint with the police.”

—-

Egypt

Hundreds of Muslim villagers in southern Egypt recently burned and looted scores of Christian-owned shops. Christians in Egypt live in a constant state of fear and thousands are being forced to relocate. In fact, the forced deportation of Egyptian Christians from their homes by the government in order to “protect” them is rapidly increasing.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, of course, strictly forbids the conversion of any Muslim to Christianity. The penalty for conversion is death. Back in 2008, The daughter of a man who works for Saudi Arabia’s religious police became a Christian after she joined an Internet chat group. He responded by cutting out her tongue and burning her to death.

The United Kingdom and Europe

All across Europe, “anti-proselytising” laws are being passed. Not only that, but other laws are being adopted that force Christians to deny their beliefs. For example, the U.K. government is being forced by the European Commission to eliminate exemptions that allow churches to refuse to employ homosexual staff.

North Korea

North Korea is one of the most brutally repressive governments in the history of mankind. Tonight more than 200,000 Christians will try to stay warm in horrific North Korean labor camps.

Christians there are considered little more than dogs as the following story from The Voice Of The Martyrs illustrates…..

—-

The young brown-eyed girl looked up at her mother. What would she decide?

Earlier that morning, the young girl’s mother, their pastor, and twenty-six others in her North Korean village of GokSan were bound and taken before a screaming crowd of Communists.

One of the guards ordered Pastor Kim and the other Christians, “Deny Christ, or you will die.” The words chilled her. How could they ask her to deny Jesus? She knew in her heart he was real. They all quietly refused.

Then the Communist guard shouted directly at the adult Christians, “Deny Christ, or we will hang your children.” The young girl looked up at her mother. She gripped her and knowing how much her mom loved her. her mother then leaned down. With confidence and peace she whispered, “Today, my love, I will see you in heaven.”

All of the children were hanged.

The remaining believers were then brought out onto the pavement and forced to lie down in front of a huge steamroller. The Communists gave them one last chance. “Deny this Jesus or you will be crushed.” The Christians had already given up their children; there was no turning back.

As the driver started the heavy piece of equipment, the singing from the villagers started softly. “More love, O Christ, to thee, more love to thee.”

—-

United States

Even with everything that has happened, the United States still offers Christians more freedom than virtually anywhere else on earth. But that is quickly changing as well. Christians in the U.S. just do not have the same level of freedom that they used to experience.

For example, school teachers in Florida say that they are being forced to hide in closets to pray after a controversial court ruling. All expressions of Christian faith are being ruthlessly pushed out of the public sphere by very powerful interest groups.

Calls for government repression of Christianity in the United States have grown louder than ever before. The Huffington Post even published a deeply disturbing article that calls evangelical Christianity the number one source of domestic terrorism in the United States and that calls on the Secret Service and the FBI to investigate and “infiltrate” pro-life and evangelical Christian groups.

Not only that, but many of the hottest best selling books in recent years have publicly mocked Christianity….

Just consider the titles of a few recent New York Times bestsellers…..

*”God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything” by journalist Christopher Hitchens.

*”The End of Faith” by atheist author Sam Harris.

*”The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins.

But this anti-Christian sentiment is just not held by a few elitists. The reality is that it has spread to much of the general population.

For example, the following are the titles of just a few anti-Christian threads on one of the most popular political discussion forums on the Internet….

“Dirty, Filthy, Christians”: Treatise On The Most Dangerous Death Cult In Human History

How can we destroy Christians?

Christians should not participate in politics

Why Christians are so ******* lame…

Attention Heterosexuals! Repent! Jesus Can Finally Make You Gay!

Christian are sub-humans

The truth is that hatred for Christians and Christianity is rapidly increasing.

Jesus warned us that these days would come.

In Matthew 24:9, Jesus told us how the world will treat Christians in the end times….

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”

The times ahead of us are not referred to as “the Tribulation” for nothing. It will be an absolute bloodbath for Christians. The entire world system will be geared towards eliminating all traces of the true Christian faith. Members of the same family will even betray one another to the authorities.

The truth is that things are not going to get any easier for Christians from here on out. Someday soon there will be no place to hide from Christian persecution.

When that day arrives, what will you do?


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Great Day! What a Wonderful Savior! I was pondering about the Christmas message and discovered a new found Truth. All the years of going to Church and Preaching has left me speechless concerning this Truth. This Truth has always been there and may not be new to you, but it is for this Preacher.  Here is the Truth; Elizabeth(John the Baptist mother) did not know Mary was carrying the Christ child. The Angel Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant. Elizabeth only knew that her cousin Mary was carrying the Christ child after Mary greeted her and John leaped for joy in his mothers womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. I always thought Elizabeth knew about Mary’s Miraculous Conception but she did not. Here is the Scriptures; Luke 1:35-45 The angel answered,(to Mary) “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” What a Truth to be shared! Thought I would share a Christmas thought.

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Thoughts about Jesus from my heart and Thomas E. Kempes.
JESUS has always many who love His heavenly kingdom, but few whobear His cross. He has many who desire consolation, but few who care for trial. He finds many to share His table, but few to take part in His fasting. All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him. Manyfollow Him to the breaking of bread, but few to the drinking of the chalice of His passion. Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the Cross. Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him as long as they receive some comfort from Him. But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection. Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if He should never give them consolation, yet they would continue to praise Him and wish always to give Him thanks. What power there is in pure love for Jesus — love that is flee from all self-interest and self-love! Do not those who always seek consolation deserve to be called mercenaries? Do not those who always think of their own profit and gain prove that they love themselves rather than Christ? Where can a man be found who desires to serve God for nothing? Rarely indeed is a man so spiritual as to strip himself of all things. And who shall find a man so truly poor in spirit as to be free from every creature? His value is like that of things brought from the most distant lands. If a man give all his wealth, it is nothing; if he do great pe nance, it is little; if he gain all knowledge, he is still far afield; if he have great virtue and much ardent devotion, he still lacks a great deal, and especially, the one thing that is most necessary to him. What is this one thing? That leaving all, he forsake himself, completely renounce himself, and give up a ll private affections. Then, when he has done all that he knows ought to be done, let him consider it as nothing, let him make little of what may be considered great; let him in all honesty call himself an unprofitable servant. For truth itself has said: “When you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: ‘we are unprofitable servants.'” Then he will be truly poor and stripped in spirit, and with the prophet may say: “I am alone and poor.” No one, however, is more wealthy than such a man; no one is more powerful, no one freer than he who knows how to leave all things and think of himself as the least of all. How about you? Do you love the cross of Christ? If not Why? Great Day He is Worthy!!

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Great Day! Why so much distress and anxiety concerning the US economy?  I desire to address this issue. There is no doubt money is important for every day life. Money is neither good nor evil. But why so much worry and distress about money or in many cases the lack of money?  There are three things I would like to address.
1. Who supplies all our needs? Is it money that we earn? My Bible tells me that Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  Where is God in your distress? If our Trust is in money we will fail, but if in Christ we will not distress over our needs.
2. Who do you serve?  Where are your loyalties?  To seek financial stability seems to be a noble task but what did Jesus say? Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
3. Have you checked your heart lately? 1Timothy 6:3-10 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” The bottom line is this, whom do you trust? Be Blessed. Merry Christmas!

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by Chuck Norris

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

But what if those who restrict our freedoms are the very people who are in charge of securing them?

Over just the last year, Washington has worked double-time to limit your liberties, despite such reductions being cloaked under the guise of governmental progress.

First and foremost, Washington has reduced our freedoms and restricted our future by heaping upon our posterity astronomical amounts of debt, trying to jump-start the credit circus in our economy. Despite borrowing $787 billion from China to stimulate the economy with a promise to cap unemployment at 8 percent, unemployment has climbed to 10.2 percent and shows no sign of decreasing. And right now a record 14 percent of homeowners are either in foreclosure or behind at least one mortgage payment.

(Thanks to Ron Paul and others, last Thursday a House panel decided to audit the Federal Reserve, finally providing some accountability to this financial runaway train that doles out billions to whomever it pleases. Even with this mandatory audit, however, the Fed’s monetary policy deliberations will still need to be reined in. I recommend two insightful and strategic books toward that goal: Ron Paul’s “End the Fed” and  Vox Day’s “The Return of the Great Depression.”)  Because of all their excessive spending, bailouts and borrowing, Washington has further restricted our financial freedoms by decreasing the value of the dollar. Since just March 2009, the U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the dollar against other major currencies, plunged more than 15 percent, making U.S. stocks also cheaper for foreign investors.

Washington is also reducing our medical choices or freedoms by mandating a government option upon all of us.

Despite the biggest economic recession since the Great Depression, like a ramrod, Washington believes it’s also a good time to force another $1 trillion on American taxpayers by providing another governmental entitlement called universal health care. In so doing, Washington is further reducing our financial freedoms and slowing future economic recovery by placing even more increased debt and taxesupon Americans to pay for yet another social program.

To add insult to injury, Washington is also going around the back door to provide illegals with universal health care by seeking their amnesty. Not only will Americans pay for another 14 million people’s government health care, but amnesty will also reduce the number of jobs available to legal citizens by adding more to the legal workforce (and demand for better jobs) and simultaneously slow down the rate of the unemployed being re-employed.

(Ask your representatives to support H.R. 615, which expresses that all members of the House who vote in favor of the establishment of a federal government health-insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and agree to enroll under that public option as well. There are 97 co-sponsors thus far.)

Washington has also reduced our speech freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment by passing a hate-crimes bill that was appended to the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, potentiallycriminalizing conservative free speech if it can be proven to have contributed to assaults based upon sexual orientations.

The White House has even reduced religious freedoms by belittling America’s rich Judeo-Christian heritage, enabling a secular progressive and pro-Islamic agenda, and remaining indifferent to issues such as the ACLU’s disposal of veteran memorial crosses in the Mojave Desert and at Mount Soledad.They also turn a blind eye to the whitewashing of our godly heritage from Washington’s historic landmarks and on U.S. artifacts.

Washington will also restrict religious freedoms and freedoms of conscience by forcing pro-life citizens to pay for abortions via universal health care.

Washington has also reduced our Second Amendment firearm freedoms by appointing anti-gun advocates like Justice Sotomayor or OSHA’s David Michaels, by seeking to micromanage gun ownership via proposed legislation like H.R. 45 and by politics-as-usual, like blaming guns rather than Islamic extremism for the shootings at Fort Hood. (Those who believe that the Second Amendment is a foundational right and freedom might want to consider my new “limited edition Chuck Norris tribute revolver” on their Christmas wish list.)

Washington has also reduced our freedoms by increasing the threats to our country via the delay in response to our generals’ requests for more troops in Afghanistan, allowing Gitmo detainees and terrorists to come to the U.S., and enabling homegrown terrorists like Maj. Nidal Hasan within the very fabrics of our military.

As I consider these many freedom robbers and the political culprit enabling them all, I can’t help but think of a country song, the lyrics of which are:

What can they all be thinkin’ Wanna take the cross off of the hill
Put away the pledge of allegiance
Lord, just the thought gives me a chill
They can take God off our money but, in the end oh ain’t it funny
How we’re all gonna see him on the Judgment Day
So sing it loud
One more time
Hear what I say
When you got the truth inside, now they can’t take that away
One more time
’cause it ain’t too late
Hold on to what you believe ’cause they can’t take that
They can’t take that away

As I experience the loss of American freedoms, two more thoughts repeatedly come to my mind.

The first is from Daniel Webster, who said, “The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.” Since the Revolution itself, I believe we are in the fight of our lives for American freedoms. I don’t know who said it, but I definitely prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.

The second thought is one attributed to M. Grundler: “It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been as thankful for American freedoms as I am now. I must admit that I’m also appallingly alarmed that some of them might not exist at all by this time next year. Like a sunset dropping over the horizon of our founders’ dreams, so our freedoms are vanishing from view.

So if you lack something for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving, I’m recommending that we give thanks for our freedoms, for they’re fading fast and possibly soon to join the endangered species lists. The truth is:  Food is far more plentiful than our freedoms at this point.

You don’t need to be eloquent, just bow your head and say from your heart this simple prayer a good friend wrote and sent to me:

God is great
Guns are good,
Let us thank them for our food and freedoms.
Amen.

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