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April 29th, 2018          2 questions

Did you know that it is OK to ask Jesus who He is?  He is big enough to hear your questions and answer them.

But sometimes we are afraid….just like the disciple.

John 21:12 – 17 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.  After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”  “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.  Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.  A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” 

Mark 8:27 – 30 “Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”  Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”  Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”  But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.” 

To todays text….

 Luke 22:66 – 71  66 At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, 67 and they said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?”   But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. 68 And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.”   70 They all shouted, “So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?”  And he replied, “You say that I am.”  71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.”

 The Holy Spirit inside you leads you to wonder “Who Is Jesus?”

Even unbelievers are led to ask, even if the disciples are afraid (John 21)

Are you the Messiah?  (Christ)

The Anointed One                                                                                                                                 The Savior or Liberator                                                                                                                         The Promised Deliverer                                                                                                                         The ONE WAY to the Father

Are you the Savior, Redeemer, Restorer we have BEEN WAITING ON?

  • Are you the Son of God?
  •             ** Jesus called Himself the Son of Man – the Religious Elite said “Son of God”***
  •             God come to us?
  •             God born of man
  •                         Facing life as we face life
  •                         Facing trouble as we face trouble
  •                         Facing temptation as we face temptation
  •                                     Living among us
  •                         Yet remaining fully God
  •                                     Yet remaining fully sinless
  •             Are You MORE THAN A MERE MAN?
  •                         We have been HURT and DISAPPOINTED by mere men MANY TIMES.
  •             We WANT…we NEED more – WE NEED GOD!

Jesus knew there was no need to debate who He really is

  • You either believe or you do not
  • He knew that even the Temple Elite were not believers
  • They may have head knowledge
  • They may have heard the Spirits call

They HAD rejected Jesus

  • Maybe because of their ingrained traditions
  • Maybe because of fear
  • Maybe to keep their power
  • Either way – God IS God
  •                         Without your permission being required
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March 4           Farmers and Ranchers

Farmers, Ranchers, dairies, feed lots, meat processors, granaries, textile workers, cotton mills, and pretty much everyone else owe their livelihoods to the GRACE of GOD.

We owe the reality of the difficulty of toiling the soil to mankind’s sins.

  1. God Made Everything
    1. Genesis 2:1 – 4
  2. God made man
    1. Genesis 2:4 – 7
  3. God GAVE man the garden for food
    1. Genesis 2:8 – 9
      1. to tend and watch over – Genesis 2:15 – 17
    2. Easy work then
  4. Man messed up God’s Plan
    1. Genesis 3:6 – 7
  5. Farming and ranching became HARD WORK because of mankind’s sin
    1. Genesis 3:1 – 7
    2. The ground became cursed
    3. Became a struggle to “SCRATCH” out a living
      1. Genesis 3:17 – 19
    4. Weeds, thorns and thistles (Cactus) became reality
      1. Real problems that plague farmers and ranchers to this day
    5. The reality of this text is a lesson we can all learn today:
      1. SIN MAKES LIFE HARDER
        1. Whether it is trying to keep up with the lies
        2. Dealing with the health issues of substance abuse
        3. The poverty of Greed and pride
        4. The Broken relationships of pride, adultery or simply NOT LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR
        5. The issues of law and conscience over criminal activity
        6. The broken relationship with God by loving the WORLD more than WE LOVE HIM
      2. Life gets hard when sin enters in the picture
  1. This is where farmers and ranchers learned TWO lessons
    1. Lesson 1: WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
      1. If you know it would be bad for you to eat or drink something then DON’T
      2. It doesn’t matter who gives it to you
        1. If it is going to be bad for you then LEAVE IT ALONE
      3. Lesson 2: It is always best to honor and obey God

Not just another gun article story.     11 15 2017

Today I was trying to get focused on Sundays message for our First Baptist Annual Camo Day this Sunday, but my mind kept wandering in another direction.  Ok, I was thinking about my guns; maybe the result of not competing much the past few weeks, or perhaps something deeper.  I asked God direct my thoughts and this is what He did with them.

I was not day dreaming of pulling the trigger, the smell of a fresh round sent downrange or even wondering if my guns were thinking of me at the same time!  I was pondering their construction and comparing it to our own.

I strongly believe that we, like our guns, were designed by the Great Engineer and built by a Master Craftsman.  But, let’s be honest, we are not born as we should or will be in our future.

We are born as babies and there is much experience, growth and adjustments to come in our future, and sometimes life leaves us with some issues and “stuff” that need work.

When I buy a gun, I know it is not all it can be, but it wants to be better!  I am 56 years old and still want to be better; ok, I need to be better.

Regardless of the brand of gun, if it is going to be competitive I know it needs work to be better.  Maybe a new trigger, a few springs, some file work here, some polishing there, more mag capacity, better sights, new barrel and the list goes on and on; as do the costs.

We should understand that if we want to be the best we can be there is some work that needs done as well!  Maybe it is an old part (habit) that needs replaced, or part of our life has been “roughed up” and needs smoothed back out, we need better sights (vision) so we can direct our life onto a better trajectory and the list goes on and on.

There are a few issues with my gun I am able to take care of on my own!  I have replaced a barrel, upgraded a trigger system and other simple fixes.  Unfortunately, my knowledge is limited and sometimes I really mess something up!

Now, maybe I am the only one that has had to go to a gunsmith with a nonfunctioning gun, probably with a bag full of springs, pins and bits, and had to pay them to fix what I messed up trying to fix!  Ugh.

Experience has also told me that some things improve with a little time and use.  Triggers smooth out, mag releases get easier and rounds feed better with a little “break in” time.  There are parts of our life that time and experience certainly help improve in our lives.  Burn my hands on a hot stove once and I got it!  Don’t touch hot stoves.  But am I the best I can be because I know that hot stuff hurts me?

Life is much the same.  We all have problems areas, broken parts and sometimes get lost trying to figure out where all the pieces go.  We know we should be better, have tried all we know how to try and probably made things worse.  Ugh.

What can we do?

What I have found that if I want my gun to run at its very best I need to take it to a Master Gunsmith.  They are able to do things well beyond my capabilities!  I believe in their skills so much that when I buy a new competition gun I will leave it with them before I ever pull the trigger once.

With all of our lives, we can go to the Great Engineer and Master Builder that designed us, built us and has the master specifications and plans for our lives.  They know who we are supposed to be and what is possible in our life.  They have the wisdom, experience, skills and compassion for their Creation to put everything back better than we ever thought it could be; they can give us life, and life abundant.

I am not sure what you are waiting to “wear in” to make life better; but chances are it will wear out first.  I am not sure what you are trying to fix yourself, hoping this time will be better but may just end up with more broken bits.

Here is a piece of advice for you:  Take your life to God with all the broken bits, worn down surfaces and off target shooting and ask Him to make you better.

John 1:1 – 5 “In the beginning the Word already existed.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God.  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.  The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  NLT

These are my “notes” from last Sunday – August 13th, 2017 This is mainly the text used and the message flowed from here.

We are a country of “different”
Different languages, histories, heritages, backgrounds, colors, political ideals, hobbies, hopes and…well most everything.

2 things connect us: We have 1 God and 1 Constitution.

Our Founders understood that we would be a nation of different when they wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,

Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Different but equal.

We have rights as Americans that are written in “The Bill of Rights”; freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to keep and bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search, …and more. These apply to EVERY American Citizen.

A simpler way to state this is that “We are Constitutionally guaranteed to be offended”
I am glad that we are not a country of 340 Million “me’s” – I think I would flee that country.

We are different.

Faith Makes Equals August 13, 2017 B

Racism, Sexism, partisan politics, …. anything that divides us and pushes us to “picks sides” against one another is sin.

James 2:8-10 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” ESV

We need to understand that EVIL is real and VERY ACTIVE in our world right now.

John 10:7-12 “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” ESV
The Battle is against EVIL,not PEOPLE/The battle is bigger than people
Ephesians 6:10-20 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” ESV

RESIST to temptation to attack and assault people

James 4:6-9 “Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” ESV

Skin color, race, ethnicity, heritage,….irrelevant in the big picture.

FAITH HEALS. FAITH MAKES EQUALS.

Romans 10:8-13 “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ESV

Galatians 3:23-29 “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” ESV

It may sound like the catch phrase of the biggest snowflake hippy you know BUT: LOVE IS THE ANSWER!

1 John 4:8-10 “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” ESV

When Jesus Stops       Luke 18:35 – 43

This is one of those scriptures that digs deep inside of our human-American weaknesses.  I hurt when I read this and ponder it for what God is speaking to us.

It hurts because it highlights a problem that is far too common in our country and our world today.

It hurts because of the way we pretty much ignore those on societies margins.  The Periphery People.

The poor, the dirty, the disabled…those who are different.

Acknowledging them only as habit or an uncontrolled reflex…. like sneeze or hiccup.  A quick nod of the head and twisted smile as we hurry about our business.

We know they are there…. but we don’t want to know they are there

We are all so busy…and so distracted by our phones, personal drama and our “self-absorbed selves” that we often have no clue what is going on around us.

We have seen the videos of people laying in the street bleeding as hundreds of people walk by oblivious to the person in need.

We have heard the text of the Parable of the Good Samaritan where 3 people you should EXPECT to have compassion walked away from a hurting man only to have the last person in the work you would EXPECT to help stop and render aid.

We have all provided an answer to a question that was not asked because we were not really listening.

Perhaps God get so busy He overlooks us or stops listening?  We are made in His image after all.  Right?

Luke 18:35 – 43   “As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant.37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”  ESV

NO!   Jesus is not like His FALLEN Creation!

Time after time in the text we find Jesus stopping, or going out of His way, to hear our cries for help!

Our text today is just one of many examples of His compassion and care for us, His wayward children.

  1. UNMET NEEDS

       Blind man begging

Definitely has needs

Begging only income to meet needs

Heard the crowd coming by and asked what was going on

They told him Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, but

He had heard of Jesus before and cried out for Him…. as “Jesus, Son of David” – different than the name he was told.

I bet the blind man was grateFULL to the one who told him about Jesus, Son of David”

He knew his need for Jesus

  1. SOME HELP/MOST HINDER

People tried to shut him up

Just like people try to keep a hurting world from Jesus today

Why?

Who knows how many times they had walked past this poor man and done nothing.

Who knows how many times he had heard their pace quicken as they approached him ….and slowed after they passed.

Who knows how many folks felt a sense of self-righteousness as they tossed a few pennies his way

Maybe they thought he was not worthy.

Maybe they were jealous because they were “In Front”

Maybe they were embarrassed by their inaction

            They COULD have done something but didn’t

They SHOULD have done something but didn’t

They WOULD have done something but didn’t

WHO are we leaving by the ROADSIDE waiting for Jesus to do something?

 We are to be HIS HANDS and HIS FEET and HIS LOVE

 3.    ASK RIGHT …We do not have because we ask wrongly

 What are we missing from God because we are not asking for it or are asking wrongly…… or our asking this so convoluted not even God can figure it out!

James 4:1-10 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”   ESV

Asking Rightly:

Humility

Resist the Devil

Draw near to God

Repent

Cleans your hands

Purify your hearts

**BROKENESS – knowing your need for and depending on God

The blind man was broken of all pride, all he knew was NEED and he had heard that Jesus, the Son of David, could help

No one else had

The blind man was determined and yelled more and louder.  

How hard do you work to be heard by God?

What are you NOT WILLING to submit to find help and hope

  1. JESUS CARES – ASK HIM

Cry out to Him…He will Hear and He will Listen

Jesus asked what he wanted … not what he needed

He wanted to see

He was very clear and straightforward in his request

No flowery intro

No KJV language

No hesitation

No “if you would/want too/ etc

Let me SEE! CLEAR and FERVENT

Jesus said ok…. then see

            The Spoken Word of God

                        His eyes obeyed God and he began to see

                                    When Jesus Stopped

  1. KNOW WHY YOU RECEIVE

What God gives you is not for you

For His glory

To help you follow Him

To draw others to glorify God

So they may follow Him

A hard look at today’s realities from the dismayed eyes of a veteran.

This is a “word puke” written hard and fast, so please don’t correct my spelling, grammar or writing process. ***I have added a little to this and corrected a few spelling/grammar errors, but this is still very rough****

WARNING!  This is a hard look at some hard issues.  This may offend some, I am ok with that, you are allowed to read it or not read it and are free to be offended.  It is your right.

I am a United States Air Force Veteran.  I say that not to solicit your words of appreciation, but to admit that today I wonder if our service was worth the effort.

From before the very foundation of our country young men and women of character, bravery and valor have answered their countries call to fight for freedom, democracy and the American way.  This call many of us answered freely, volunteering to serve; while others answered the call through the military draft system.

All served.  Many did not return to their home, spilling their blood on foreign soil.

When we entered military service each and every one of us swore an oath to the country we love and serve.

“I, Charles Alderman, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; So help me God.”

The brave folks who swore this oath were willing to fight, to bleed and to die for our country, defending the constitution that binds us all together as the United States of America.

These men and women were mostly in their teens and early twenties, wet behind the ears and without really knowing who they were and what was possible.

These youths were the ones who fought WW1, WW2, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other wars, battles and conflicts.

They fought on beaches, in jungles, in forests, on mountains and in the sand.  They fought in the air, the sea, on the land and both on and under the seas.

They left families and communities behind to be shipped off to faraway lands of strange languages, customs and enemies.

They left their homes and comforts for tents, barracks and trenches.

The placed themselves in harm’s way for the country that had blessed them so much.

It is often said that the men and women of our armed services do not go to war to kill an enemy, but so the enemy will not go to their homes to kill their loved ones.

They do not fight to kill the enemy in front of them, but serve their country and the loved ones they left behind.

Tonight I wonder if it is all worthwhile as the legacy of the American veteran is looked upon with such hate and disdain by many of the very countrymen we served.

Today’s youth seem to have little respect for their country or our constitution.  The actions by many “Americans” over the past few years makes me wonder if the next great enemy of our Constitutional Republic will rise from within.

Actors, musicians and professional athletes use their platform to disrespect the military, the veteran and their country.

There are violent and destructive protests over an American Election.  This is absolutely contrary to the American Traditions and Laws.

Where young men and women were once true patriots, today they burn out flag, defecate on our streets and bring chaos to our cities.

Where we were once fair minded and accepting of others and when things did not go our way, today we cry like little babies and throw temper tantrums like toddlers.

We served for your freedom.  Do not disrespect our service by disrespecting our flag, our constitution or those who serve.

Grow up.  Mature.  Learn to ADULT! Stop being babies.

Maturity is more than a plot on an age progression chart.

I was young once and understand what it is to operate on zeal, hormones and raw emotions.  The truth is that the energy and impulsiveness of youth is a great thing for our country!  The problem comes when it is not tempered by responsibility, faith and wisdom; this is when undirected energy becomes destructive.

The wisdom of experience is a wonderful teacher.  The wisdom of failures and mistakes is a harsher teacher but a great educator.

So many in our world today think they know everything but have not truly experienced life enough to realize how little we really know.  This may be a reality of age or by living in a protected bubble with exposure to only one set of ideals or beliefs, but no real look at different viewpoints.

The U.S. service member is plucked out of their bubble in their youth, placed in a new reality with a large group of others from different areas, lifestyles, attitudes, religions and temperaments; all of who are just as freaked out by the sudden change.

They become a unit, a team, a fighting force and closer than brothers.  They learn, grow and mature together, quickly.  They develop trust in each other because in battle they are all they have.  They depend on their team mates to keep them alive.

Veterans have been placed in dangerous situations where maturity, responsibility and quick, logical thought are necessary to stay alive and fulfill their missions.  Experience comes at a fast pace and lessons are engrained on their hearts.   We know what it is to take dangerous actions and have seen first-hand the consequences of war.

If you continue to bring battles to our street and engage our law enforcement officers with violence you may force some grizzled old veterans to follow their oath to our country and take action.  You may force a young officer to act is ways they had prayed they would never have to act in order to save their life and the lives of those they are sworn to protect.

Perhaps the first action we should take is to introduce a bunch of adult babies to the serious side of our belts and bring some discipline and correction into their lives.

Perhaps we should actually hold people to account for their behavior.

Maybe we should stop giving everybody trophy’s except the champions and allow our teachers to use their red pens and give students the grades they actually earn. The fruit of hard work should be encouraged.

Maybe we should allow our kids the kindness of failure.  Then teach them how to deal with failure constructively, learning to communicate and cope with the ups and downs of life.

Then teach them the history of their country and the constitution.

Here are a few of your first lessons:

  1. You are constitutionally guaranteed to be offended.
    1. Deal with it.
    2. There are no safe spaces.
      1. In today’s world danger seems to lurk around every nook and cranny seeking ways to bring its evil to bear on our world.
    3. You are tougher than you think!
      1. You don’t have to let the words of others anger or damage you
        1. The only way the words or actions of others can harm you or effect your life is if you allow them to make an impact.
      2. If you insist on being a dainty butterfly then you are in for a rough ride.
        1. A butterfly is at the mercy of a strong wind
        2. A snowflake cannot take any heat.
      3. Outside of college/educational systems your cry for “safe spaces” or insistence on a world or workplace free from conflict will probably get you unemployed quickly
  2. Your employer does not care if you feel offended or the president elect is scary.
    1. Your employer cares that you get your work done, earn the wages you are being paid to get your work done and help the company be successful.
    2. When you are no longer profitable for their venture you will be relieved of duty and terminated
    3. When you are gone you will be quickly replaced and the new person will be accepted into the fold; just like you were.
  3. When someone’s words of correction, wisdom and guidance make you feel bad it is called your conscience.
    1. Follow it! Change your direction.
    2. You are not being “triggered” you are being given a chance to be a better person
    3. We need instruction, correction and wisdom. These are part of our maturing process.
  4. We are a country of 350 million individuals from different states, countries, economic realities, races, colors, creeds, religions, backgrounds, tragedies and triumphs.
    1. We are a collection of different people
    2. We will not all get along
    3. We do not have to be the same
    4. I am not required to upturn my life to make you happy; and neither are you.
    5. If you have a different faith and religious practice than I do then don’t join my church. But do not restrict my constitutional right to freedom of religion and my religious beliefs and practices.
    6. If you do not like guns then don’t buy one! But do not infringe my constitutional right to own them and bear them
    7. If you do not like what I am saying then walk away. But do not infringe my freedom of speech.
    8. If you don’t like a certain person, group or corporation then don’t join them. But do not infringe upon their right to gather together.
    9. If you do not like the results of an election then work hard to raise up the candidates you prefer and get them elected in the next cycle.
      1. Don’t burn communities, colleges or our country down.
    10. Give others the right to be who they are and expect them to do the same for you.
  5. Never trust just one source of information.
    1. Learn from many sources and ALWAYS ask questions and seek wisdom
    2. Understand that most of what you hear and read from the free press is biased.
    3. The internet is full of lies
      1. Some news stories are actually satire but written so well some folks believe them
      2. Some are just lies written to change a narrative or create division
      3. Some are just spun, rooted in truth but twisted to fit an ideal or political purpose.
      4. Some are true but hard to believe
    4. Go and learn things.
  6. Learn to love the country that is blessing you
    1. The USA might not be perfect but we are the best country and system of government in our world today!
    2. Respect the gift you are given
    3. Be a patriot.
      1. There is a difference between being patriotic and being a true patriot.
      2. The patriot will offer their wealth, time and life for this country.
    4. You can always ask a veteran what it is like in the Middle East or how Hitler treated his own countrymen to see if you would like to move.
    5. The USA is very tolerant of most, if not all lifestyles. Lifestyles that other countries would bring beatings, imprisonment or death.
    6. We have a great life here; learn to love and appreciate what you have.
    7. Be part of building our country, not tearing it down.
  7. We are a tolerant people
    1. We may struggle with lifestyles and activities we find socially or religiously wrong, but are willing to tolerate this behavior because of the freedoms we all have.
    2. We may absolutely disagree with you, your ideals, your politics or your lifestyle. That is a right we have, as do you about our choices.
    3. What binds us together is not uniformity, it is a Constitution that guarantees our right to be different.
    4. We know that an orchestra sounds best when every instrument plays their part in harmony; not when everyone plays the same note at the same time.
    5. What is hard to tolerate is people who take and take then disrespect the gift and the givers. Parasites are most usually users and destroyers that do little to build their host.
    6. Forrest Gump said “Stupid is as stupid does.” Don’t be stupid.
    7. Be constructive with your criticism and approach to conflict resolution.
  8. BUCK UP!
    1. Stop being a baby
    2. You will not always win
    3. Your candidate didn’t win? Neither did mine, didn’t even make the final big show.
      1. We have a Constitutionally elected President
        1. Whether you voted for him or not, he is your president
        2. Respect the position
        3. Respect the office
      2. Half the possible voters – did not vote.
      3. The half that did was pretty much evenly divided…. A few percent difference
    4. The system plays out and we have what we have.
      1. Accept the results
      2. Stop calling half of your country ignorant haters just because they didn’t agree with you.
      3. Look for ways to serve to make America better.
    5. Love your country
      1. You cannot love your country as you seek to destroy its Constitution
      2. You cannot love your country by demanding your own way
      3. You cannot love your country by ignoring the voices of others
      4. You cannot love your country by burning it down
      5. You can love your country by listening, helping, giving
      6. You can love your country and peaceably gather and protest
      7. You can love your country by serving in elected office
      8. You can love your country by working to make things better
      9. You can love your country by following our Constitution and laws
      10. You can love your country by being a patriot
    6. Life is tough, tougher if you are stupid. Don.t be stupid
    7. You are responsible for you
      1. You are the first person responsible for your education, safety, finances, food and every other thing you will need in life.
      2. Not your parents
      3. Not your professors
      4. Not your government
      5. You are responsible for your actions
        1. Not the mob
        2. Not the organizer
        3. Not the inciter
          1. You
          2. Your choices matter
          3. Your choices will guide your life
          4. Your choices will guide your community
      6. Your success in life depends on how hard you will work at being successful.
        1. I am not responsible for you.
        2. If you want something work hard and earn it

Start with those, then grow into the American Citizen you should be for your country and you to prosper.

The American Veteran loved you and this country enough to write a blank check for everything we have, up to and including our very lives…. for you.

PLEASE, stop making veterans regret their service by your behavior.

Learn to Appreciate.

Learn to Respect.

Learn to Love.

Love Wins                             10-23-2016

Luke 13:10-17 “Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.  When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”   And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”  Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites!  Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?  And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.”   ESV

  1. Jesus was in church serving on the day set aside for worship
    1. The Sabbath Day
    2. The Lords Day
      1. Where are you on the Lords Day?
    3. There was hurting people present
      1. One was a woman who was disabled
        1. Bent over FOR 18 YEARS!
        2. Can you imagine?
        3. Could not stand straight
          1. Persistent pain is one thing BUT THIS?
  1. Jesus saw the hurt
    1. Jesus called her to Himself
    2. Through Word and Deed Jesus healed to hurting woman
      1. She glorified God
        1. When you are set free from pain and hurt from God you should be glorifying Him
    3. The Temple Elite were LIVID
      1. They became indignant because Jesus healed a broken person in church on Sunday
        1. It brought them and their leaders MUCH GRIEF that this woman was healed
      2. Why did He do this on the Sabbath? Why not Tuesday?
        1. COME BACK ANOTHER DAY!
        2. I kinda doubt this poor woman would have found any help from these RELIGIOUS SNOBS on any day!
      3. Jesus called out their hypocrisy
        1. An actor under an assumed character
          1. They were PRETENDING to be God’s Servants
          2. They really only served themselves
        2. He knew they themselves worked on the Sabbath
          1. They worked their livestock, for example
        3. If they cared for their donkeys on the Sabbath how much more should they care for God’s children?
      4. Great shame came upon the hypocritical Temple Elite
        1. God shamed them
        2. God shamed the haters
      5. The people rejoiced
        1. God HEALED the believers
        2. Jesus did great miracles that day in Church
      6. What does this mean for us today?
        1. We can get to “CAUGHT UP” in the “program” of church or the “OPERATIONAL NEEDS” of presenting a service.
          1. Is the grass cut, pews clean and the AC working?
          2. Do we LOOK and SMELL right?
  • Have we completed enough RELIGIOUS RITUAL to make US HAPPY (not worried about TRUE WORSHIP and PLEASING GOD)
  1. We get so CAUGHT UP in the PROCESS we FORGET THE PURPOSE!
  1. We act more like we are on a CRUISE SHIP than in a SPIRITUAL HOSPITAL
    1. We are HERE TO SERVE – NOT TO BE SERVED!
    2. Church should be a place for healing and hope
    3. Church should be a place that the broken are accepted, the lonely are hugged, the angry are soothed and ALL are brought to Jesus Christ
      1. Not told to come back another day
    4. Many times we need to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let Jesus do His healing, restorative work in our lives.
      1. No questioning
      2. No wondering why
      3. No complaining because church is encroaching on the 12 Noon football game
    5. LOVE WINS Even on Sunday!

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