Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Substance and Evidence That is True Faith

What is faith? A direct answer has been provided for us in the 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews. This one book of the Bible provides in its forty relatively short verses an exact meaning, and some definitive examples of this often misunderstood and often undervalued spiritual principle.

Hebrews begins with the definition, that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It does not leave us there with no direction as to where this quality originated, or with no practical examples that highlight the simple definition of faith.

It is the 'substance' of things hoped, their very essence or foundation. Without a solid foundation, a structure or a system, or a person, will crumble.

Faith is the substance of every good thing that we wish for ourselves and those we love. With faith, the achievement of all our dreams and goals is made possible.

It is the 'evidence' of things not seen. We cannot 'see' the being of God. We cannot look into His eyes. His arms do not wrap around us in a hug that we can feel. But when we have faith, we are actually aware of His loving presence in our daily lives.

During our best of good times, our most difficult periods of challenge, and during our most awful of tragedies we experience that we are never alone.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Up With Hope, Down With Dopes

No matter what our specific backgrounds, we all pretty much have at least one thing in common: we were all once young and dumb. As teenagers we began to become aware of the larger world outside of ourselves and to develop our own opinions on the matters involving that world. Then we develop further into young adults, and begin to make decisions that affect our lives in vitally important ways.

Unfortunately for many young people those opinions are developed, and those decisions made, with incomplete or downright bad information. Teachers who indoctrinate students in their own social values rather than actually teach subject matter, culturally biased news and entertainment media, and parents who are either unplugged or not there at all all contribute to this phenomenon.

The one person who has most importantly been removed from many youths lives these days is the single most important person that they actually need to be influenced by: Jesus Christ.

Some young people are so turned off by Christian influence that they cringe at the very name of Christ. It becomes an immediate wall-builder and conversation-killer to even raise His name.

Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson (and Farrah)

I'm going to start this post with a plain statement: I don't believe that Michael Jackson was a pedophile at all. I don't believe that he ever had any type of inappropriate sexual relations with any child whatsoever.

And I hope that the man, who I do believe was a tortured soul thanks to a traumatic upbringing, is finally at peace now in God's glorious heaven.

Michael Jackson, the 'King of Pop' and a true American cultural icon, died yesterday at the age of 50 of what is believed to have been cardiac arrest.

Those who saw him in recent months have reported that he looked skeletal, emaciated, and unhealthy. A fan who got to watch him on Monday in training for a hoped-for comeback tour said that she thought "he could die."

Michael lived a life mixed with blessings and curses. He was blessed with phenomenal gifts in his natural talents for singing and dancing. Unfortunately, these very gifts led to the curse of his father's abuse.

The elder Jackson unmercifully whipped and beat him as a young boy in a misguided effort to push him to stardom. His father's abuse, emotional and verbal as well as physical, would reverberate through the entirety of his life.

I remember as a young boy watching television cartoons of Michael and his brothers, their singing and dancing, and hearing their songs performed as the 'Jackson Five'. Hits that he recorded both with the group and in his solo efforts in those 1970's days included "ABC", "I Want You Back", "Rockin' Robin", "Ben", "Dancin' Machine", and the gorgeous "Got to be There" as AM radio staples of my youth.

In the 1980's, Jackson's solo career truly took off into another stratosphere.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where Will You Be When the Missiles Drop?

During his State of the Union address back in January of 2002, President George W. Bush famously called the nations of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea an "Axis of Evil", criticizing nations that sponsored terrorism and were seeking weapons of mass destruction.

Liberals everywhere, and especially their cheer leading media, called Bush a war monger and a liar, among other choice names.

Sitting here over seven years later, we understand far better that President Bush was in actuality simply a truth teller.

At the time of Bush's speech, former Iraqi leader Sadaam Hussein was still in power. He had already shown his propensity for evil and terror by using weapons of mass destruction on his own people.

He tortured political enemies, and his sons used 'rape rooms' to satisfy their own lusts and to further punish political enemies. Thankfully, the United States acted to rid the world of this evil power structure.

In Iran, a crazed President came to power under with the blessing of the Islamic religious leadership. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began to assail the United States with threats of destruction and domination by Islam and accelerated Iranian efforts to develop or otherwise obtain nuclear weapons. A nuclear weapon in the hands of a fundamentalist Islamic regime will mean devastating war at some point in the near future. They are simply that crazy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Express 'Em If You Got 'Em

There is an old saying that usually comes into play when some group, often a military platoon, is about to take advantage of a brief lull before some important, heated, restrictive battle: "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" is how it goes. It relates to cigarettes, and the idea that if you are going to want one, now is the time to light up, because you may not get another chance for awhile.

Today's online edition of the Washington Times (www.washingtontimes.com) features a poll asking whether the Obama administration should have contacted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iran's supreme religious leader) before the Iranian elections.

The poll is in response to a lead article at the paper's website which reports that the Obama administration sent a letter to Khamenei calling for an improvement in relations between the U.S and Iran. Khamenei referenced the letter last week during a sermon in which he accused the U.S. of fomenting dissent following the Iranian elections.

My problem or point here is not the article itself, the poll, or even the issues of Iran and the so-far feeble Obama administration response to Iran. Our new President is mad. Really, really mad, darn it.

You can tell, because yesterday he "strongly" condemned the Iranian regimes unjust actions towards the street protesters of the rigged elections. Strongly.

No, my problem is with the supporters of America's first socialist President.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Splitting Up for the Kids Sake is a Lie

'John and Kate Plus Eight' are now apparently going to be just 'Kate Plus Eight', with John seeing the kids once in awhile, or taking them every other weekend, or having joint custody, or some other arrangement such as the beginning one where the kids will stay in the house, and John and Kate will take turns living there.

What is not going to happen is having these eight innocent little kids growing up in their home together with two loving parents who also care about one another.

That is not only a shame, but it is also to the little tykes detriment. Problems for the children of broken homes are many and well-documented.

But in their case it is not a detriment, not if you ask John and Kate themselves. In a public statement, they claimed that one of the reasons they are divorcing is actually FOR the kiddies benefit, because it "is not healthy for the kids to grow up around all the fighting and arguing."

This is a very lame argument indeed. Kids have grown up with parents arguing and fighting for millenia. I would bet that Adam and Eve themselves had some real donneybrooks after the whole 'snake and apple' fiasco, and it has been going on ever since.

People need to start returning to our grandparents day, when you married for life, and you toughed out the ups and downs. The bottom line in those relationships was simple: family first.