Faith, Family, Friends and Firearms

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“…resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves.”

Here’s another from the archives. It never ceases to amaze me how our nation went from men such as John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson to the soft, effeminate type that seems to be dominating our nation today.

“With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves.” –John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, 1775

The period leading up to the American Revolution was a turbulent time. Men had been giving much thought to the issue of what it meant to be subjects of a power that was interested only in maintaining itself and not with their well being. Slowly, but surely, the movement to break ties with “Mother England” took shape and gained ground until there came a point of no return. But once that point was reached freedom was not yet ensured. First there was a long period of harsh battles, of labor, sweat, tears, danger and the terrible possibility of being once more forced to bow to a foreign power.

Our Christian life is much the same. We must carefully consider (count the cost, the Savior said) that which has claimed our life and forced us into subservience and obedience to a power that has not our best interests in mind. And once we break the bonds that bind us we are often STILL subject to a long and drawn out battle. Too many people downplay this and lead others into a false sense of security, assuring them that “Jesus won the war so you’ll have no problem at all.” They forget that we are in a life or death struggle against forces that would destroy us. Not flesh and blood but rather spiritual forces that for millennia have been fighting against God’s Kingdom of Light. The war was won at Calvary when satan’s head was crushed under the heel of God’s Son. But many battles are still being waged until Christ’s return. The serpent was killed but yet he wields a tremendous venom that can still bring lives to an end.

Consider carefully the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the church in Ephesus: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12) These words were written TO THE CHURCH. They were written to people who had been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and whose names were written in the Book of Life. Yes, the war has been won – but many battles are yet to be fought.

Peter also warned us of possible dangers: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (I Peter 5:8-9) Again, these words were written to those who had been redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice.

Yes, as Christians we have written our Declaration of Independence from satan’s evil schemes. We have also founded our lives on a new Constitution – the Word of God. BUT we must also be constantly alert and ready to fight against our enemy’s schemes to drag us back into slavery. Truly the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Let us keep a jealous eye on our Christian freedom and be ready to repel satan’s attempts to drag us back into the slavery of sin. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) These words were written as an admonishment to not be dragged back to living under the Mosaic law – but they ring true in regards to sin as well.

I Played With Matches

Another from the archives…

Yep, when I was a kid I wasn’t “Smokey’s Friend” – I played with matches. Never did we burn down a forest nor even a house or anything we shouldn’t. But we played with matches. And gun powder, fireworks, power tools, firearms, airguns, slingshots, bicycles, machetes, axes, lead based paint – etc.

And yet, we grew up. All our appendages were intact (in spite of that one incident where we re-enacted a knife fight from a Louis L’Amour novel and someone got their fingers cut) and our hearing wasn’t too badly damaged (I’m only deaf in one ear but can still sometimes hear out of the other – don’t tell my wife) and the only damage to our eye sight was genetic. We rode bicycles without helmets. We played soccer without pads. We played volleyball in the street. We paddled canoes without lifejackets. We climbed trees and chopped them down. OK – THEY climbed the tree and I chopped it down). Skinnydipping, fishing, bee hunting, wasp nest capturing, campfire building, lead smelting, gun building – all these and more were part of our lives. And we lived and grew up and became reasonably stable, sane, productive citizens.

We can kill our own dinner, as well as skin it and cook it. We can change a tire – or an engine. We can wire a house, run the plumbing, dig a well, build a wall. We can plant a garden, cook a meal, change a diaper, discipline a child, educate a child, train a dog, butcher a goat. We can find an egg, set a hen, castrate livestock, build a fence, change the oil, lube a bike, repair an innertube, load a cartridge. And all these things we learned as kids.

We also learned to say “Yes, ma’am.” “Yes, sir.” and call adults “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or “Uncle” or “Aunt”. We played “Kick the can” and “Hide and Seek” and “Red Rover, Red Rover” and “Barrage” (our own variation of “dodge ball”) Chores were done. School work also. God’s word was memorized and passed on to younger kids.

We sharpened knives. Killed, skinned and roasted birds (over the campfire). We chased bats, caught, cleaned and ate piranhas. Swam with piranhas. Played with snakes and tarantulas. Slingshot, knife and a sack of smooth pebbles were our daily companions. We wrestled. We fought. We stood up for each other. We competed with each other.

We lived free – safe in the guidelines set by our parents. No, it wasn’t a matter of “Don’t do this. Don’t do that.” It was a matter of “Remember who’s son you are.” and the knowledge that we should never cause harm to another nor another’s property. We were taught honor, love for God and respect for our fellow man. We were taught right from wrong. We were taught to think.

And I feel sorry for today’s children. Raised with a long list of “safety” equipment and “things not to do” because “someone might get hurt”. The scars on my body give testimony to “Stupid should hurt” and also to “bodies heal”. Our modern society tries to shield us from life. Why? I believe it’s because they believe that this life is all there is. They don’t believe in One Who is greater than us and One Who is preparing a place for those who love Him and obey His commandments. And thus they are bound by fear, tied down with chains of terror – terror of losing that which we all must lose someday. Our bodies WILL die. Life WILL kill you – sooner or later – it’s inevitable. HOW you live your life says a lot about who you are. Are you living life suffocated by fear? Or do you live life in the knowledge that if we seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness that He will provide for us and protect us along the way?

Love of God and His ways gives us freedom. Fear not those or that which can kill only your body. Fear Him Who has power over physical death and Who will either welcome us to a beautiful new home or Who will send us away from His Presence forever. That fear is healthy. It’s just like that admonishment of old – “Remember who’s son you are.” That sentence alone was enough to keep me on the right path, not from a morbid fear of some punishment but rather the fear of letting down my father.

Who’s child are you? Don’t forget. And it’s OK to play with matches – but use your head and play carefully.

Fear

Fear. It does bad things to people and societies. It causes people to be paralyzed or to act out irrationally. We’ve seen it demonstrated especially over the past year and a half. “The virus is going to WIPE US ALL OUT!” seems to be the thought that most in society have held on to. From the beginning of the “pandemic” we’ve been telling people – “It’s NOT about the virus.” A simple observation of the steps taken by governments around the world shows this to be true. Isolating healthy people is not about stopping the virus. Keeping people locked up in their homes where they are unable to get sunshine and thus their bodies are not able to produce vitamin D – which is important in preventing infection and/or combatting it – isn’t about the virus. Constant death counts while refusing to recognize the vast majority who survive with no ill effects isn’t about the virus. It’s about producing fear, because a fearful people will cling to anything that they deem might possibly prolong their life even by a tiny bit.

And there’s the problem. The vast majority of our society is afraid to die. So afraid to die that they refuse to live in freedom. Instead, they seek any glimmer of a possible extension of their life, no matter the cost.

Some of us, on the other hand, are not limited by that fear, we know Who holds our life in His hand. As the apostle John wrote, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” (I John 4:18)

Fear leads to irrationality. People snatch at straws and criticize those who point out that a straw does not a flotation device make. A good example is the current “vaccination” drive. What people don’t realize is that the current “vaccination” is NOT an immunization like we’ve known for decades. Yes, the vaccines for Polio, Smallpox, Measles and TB and others have been responsible for saving the lives of millions. But they are vastly different from those things being promoted now as “vaccines”. We are seeing the current “vaccines” being injected into people before there have been clinical trials to show their efficacy and possible side effects and other issues that need addressed before being trotted out and used on the general population.

Yet fear leads people to give up their rational functions and reach out to grasp straws. The “vaccinated” can still catch the COVID-19 virus. The “vaccinated” can still pass on the COVID-19 virus. The “vaccinated” can still die from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. The only thing they hold out as a POSSIBLE benefit is a supposed reduction in severity of the symptoms once the person catches the COVID-19 virus. Supposed because there are no clinical trials showing the effects of the virus on vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. In fact, before all the drama started in 2020 there were many people who had already caught the virus and survived, some of them having very mild cases. Y

Yet fear – we can’t let people overcome it. We MUST keep them afraid and we MUST keep them from thinking for themselves. That is what seems to be driving the mandates and other governmental meddling around the globe, pretending to do something, but not doing anything that actually would help.

The state of Texas already had 80% immunity back in May of 2021. Without “vaccines”. (see video by Dr. McCulough ) Yes, there have been deaths, yes there have been severe cases – but there has also been a lot of negligence in getting out the message about ways to treat the virus nor has there been an effort at early treatment to help people overcome the virus BEFORE it gets to the critical stage.

Fear. There’s no reason for it if you truly trust in Jesus the Christ and if you truly understand that in Him there is nothing to fear, except fear itself.

Thoughts on the current unrest

2020 has been an “interesting year” so far. I don’t recall any of the “prophetic ministries” foretelling the Covid-19 pandemic, the massive shutdown of the economy around the world nor even the unrest blamed on racial injustice in the US of A which has lead to massive rioting, looting and violence in certain areas of the country – and the world, as agitators have hastened to add their log to the fire.

This has lead yours truly to cogitate considerably on the situation and, as is his wont, what should be a disciple of Jesus the Christ’s response to it all. The book of face social platform has become a virtual battleground as many rush to tell everyone else “the RIGHT way” to confront the issue. Vitriol and barely disguised hatred boil to the surface in too many discussions and it’s easy to tell who listens to which “news media” by their attacks on “evil Trump” or support for “Trump, our rescuer”. People tend to flock together with similar thinking folks and to yell shrilly at those with whom they disagree, and it mostly seems to be fueled by different ideologues who rarely (never?) seem to be based on a truly Biblical world view.

Recently an invitation to join an innocuously named “Race and Grace” group on Facebook was sent to my inbox. I was intrigued and as an invitee was granted the ability to scroll through the posts in the group. This supposedly Christian group on Facebook quickly divulged the influence of the far left media on the majority of their members (at least the ones whose posts I briefly scanned). Denigrating those who stand for “justice for ALL” and ad hominem attacks on the current POTUS dominated the posts scanned. No where did I hear the TRULY CHRISTIAN message that

In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.

Colossians 3:11-15 HCSB

Personally, I will NOT declare that one color group’s lives matter while ignoring the fact that ALL lives matter. When those who echo the anti-Christian message that there IS a difference between people based on the color of their skin, they are ignoring the truly Christian message that WE ARE ALL THE SAME in the eyes of our Creator. He does not value one race/nationality/culture group over another, rather He calls all men everywhere to repentance and redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Yet this message is shouted down by those who prefer to echo what they’ve heard on the mass media. As Christ’s disciples, are we not called to be merciful to all, especially to the innocent?

One of the great problems with current culture is that most people have NO grasp or even fleeting understanding of history. They forget where we come from and seem intent on returning to a point in history where the gains made by those who have patiently preached the Gospel of Reconciliation (of God to man and of man to man) would be lost. When we take a look at the work of Charles Darwin and the huge impact that his writings had on history, we really should be skeptical of those who continue to promote the segregation of humans based on the color of their skin. Reading the writings of Theodore Roosevelt and others who ventured into the wilds of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century world we see the insidious grasp of the theory of mankind’s evolution from “the goo to you via the zoo”. This ideology lead to the destruction of millions of people in the German colonies in Africa during the Great War (1st World War of the 20th Century). After all, ridding the continent of the “inferior, unevolved race” (I’m quoting the attitude of the time and place, not a personal view of this blog) would be a service to humanity as it allowed the destroyers to seed the land with the “far superior and highly evolved race” of the German homeland. (again, note this is not a personally held view – why do I have to say this? because some will assume it’s a stance that’s natural to one of my own ancestry).

While the darwinian doctrine of macro evolution dominated the thoughts of “progressive” thinkers, the Christian doctrine of equality of ALL men in the sight of God took a hit as attacks were made on the Bible and the Christian faith by those who longed to be free from the moral constraints of a Christian worldview. This is understandable when one examines the teachings of some who called themselves “Christian” over the centuries, but flies in the face of the evidence for a Creator and His Plan for the human race that can be found in natural law. As the psalmist wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard.
Their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
(Psalm 19:1-4 HCSB) and as the apostle wrote: “For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.  For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” (Romans 1:18-23 HCSB)

One of the great problems that has plagued the Church of Jesus the Christ over the centuries is the fact that adherents of the gospel have too often ignored the clear teaching of Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” True Christian worship is how we live each day and each moment in our own bodies. This should lead us to think differently from the world around us, but far too often the church has focused on rituals held within four walls of a building and for too long the church has conformed itself to the world’s way of thinking.

And that is why I refuse to echo the “A Certain Color’s Life Matters”! That is NOT a Christian voice. It clearly scribes a line between one group and another while Christ calls us to erase those lines. It also ignores the injustice that is happening in other places where other groups are being targeted even more than the group mentioned above. For an example from history, which lives mattered more in Rwanda? The Hutu, the Tutsi, the Twa? They were all of what in the US is considered “one race”, yet one group rose up and slaughtered the others – even going so far as to slaughter those who were of their own tribal origin because they dared to differ in opinion. And in the middle of it all were many who professed to be “Christian”, but who either slaughtered people whose only crime was to be from another tribe or else refused to give shelter and protection to the same.

And that brings us back to the “current events” unfolding across the land many call simply “America”. Were the lives of Dave Patrick Underwood and David Dorn worth less than the life of George Floyd? If the skin color by which the media identified Floyd matters, why does the skin color of Underwood and Dorn not matter – even though they are identified the same? And that is but one of the many issues I have with the whole movement. Christ died to redeem us and to transform us. We should raise our voices in defense of ALL innocent life, taking no notice of color, nationality or ethnic group.

And no, I did not join the social media group. There are far too many who echo the words of the world and ignore the words of the Bible that call us to love one another as Christ loves us. THESE are the words I’d far rather promote. “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Two Roads

Two roads diverge in a world perturbed.
One is narrow, the other is broad.
One’s full of promise of immediate “pleasure”.
The other leads to eternal treasure.

Facebook Jail

Well, it was my turn, 24 hour detention in “Facebook Jail”. It should be no surprise to anyone that Facebook and Twitter and many other related “Social Media” sights have a definite twist from what used to be called “normal”, “good” and “right”.  Their fomenting of an agenda that goes against heterosexual, Christian, Anglo Saxon men is nothing new, it’s been going on for a while.  So it was not too much of a surprise when I clicked on an announcement that someone had responded to something I’d posted – only to receive the photo below along with the included message.

The Hammer

Recently we had a children’s party as part of “Operation Christmas Child” which is part of the Samaritan’s Purse ministry. We partnered with the local representatives of “Operación Niño de Navidad” (the Spanish version of Operation Christmas Child) to take the gospel to the neighborhood where one of the families from our congregation live. 

Is Taxation Necessarily Theft?

There are meme’s floating around the ‘net with the bold statement “Taxation Is Theft”.  Many people have bought into this way of thinking, including many that claim to be Christian in orientation  and thought.  This idea is very popular with those of a Libertarian leaning and is accepted by many who otherwise claim to be Christian and claim only a libertarian inclination.  (the difference between Libertarian and libertarian? – the difference between seeing pedophilia and some other behaviors as acceptable and recognizing that some behaviors are wrong and SHOULD be punished by government)

Isaiah 5:20 – getting things backwards.

The USA, where folks believe there are forty-eleven genders but only two political choices…

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:20

I mourn for my birth land, she has fallen far below where she began.  Reading the documents that placed her on a firm foundation at her birthing, one can see how godly men set forth the foundations for a strong, godly nation.  But starting strong is not enough, one must continue  strong.  Once we, as a nation, began to deny Him Who blessed us with the opportunity to experiment with a nation founded on His Principles, it was the beginning of the end.

Apostolic Catholic

One of the frequent questions folks ask us is “What religion are you?” This is a good and valid question, especially considering that we live in a country that is nearly 90% Roman Catholic. Well, they are about 51% ACTIVE Roman Catholic but the rest mostly consider themselves “Catholic”. So when they ask I often tell them “I’m Apostolic Catholic, Biblical but non Roman.” That’s always good for a “Huh?” or “What do you mean?”

Well, “Catholic” means “universal”. I’m catholic in my faith in that I hold the universal Christian faith in God the Father, Jesus the Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit as my seal of redemption and the Bible as the Word of God. Apostolic? Well, we believe what the Apostles taught and we seek to live and practice as they did, as we find recorded in the Bible. So, why not Roman? Because Christ’s church was founded in Jerusalem, not Rome.  Also, the Roman church diverged greatly from the teachings of Jesus the Christ and His Apostles over the centuries. So it’s simple, “Apostolic Biblical Catholic – non Roman”. A simple concept, but a great way to describe our desire to return to the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles.

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