A Child is Born

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

(Isaiah 9:6 ESV)

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I have hope….

I HAVE ABUNDANT HOPE….

I have immeasurable hope…..

My hope does not lie in any worldly government or any worldly charismatic governmental official…

No empty words or deeds to appease me.

No worldly powers that be…

No failed promises…or man-made victories on conquered soil.

No hope in ordinary man who would eventually crumble a simple faith into the vast darkness…

For if my hope was found there….I would also find hidden there….

 My greatest despair.

This meaningless dark hole where the unbelieving despondent and discouraged await their everlasting anguish…

Their ever-wasting and secluded never land.

 Yet I’m unable to quantify this current expectation…this future anticipation that burns within me during the hours of each anxiously awaiting day….

And the long, still nights filled with tear soaked pillows in hopeful waiting…

That glorious anticipation of His promise …

For if I ever close my eyes to find myself to never again awaken that next morning…

 And if I were ever to awaken to an empty void filled with absolute nothingness….

That meaningless hole that many hopeless already await….

  I will have lost nothing in my efforts to simply believe….

I would simply just cease to exist….

For there is nothing beyond this world for those without hope….

But to have Hope…is to simply believe…

 To believe in this child born so very long ago…

This unassuming child who once lay in a splintered feeding trough…

Where men who studied the stars came from afar and fell at His feet…

 In worship.

And they came bearing expensive gifts to give Him….

Yet this child’s gift became the ultimate gift…

For all….

This gift of salvation…this gift of eternity…this gift of HOPE.

From an unassuming child who came to save… not to condemn…

 But to save those…. Who simply believe in Him.

To those wise enough to believe the ancient words once scribed…..

The ancient words that still resonate so loudly, so boldly…so demandingly…so life-changing!

For it is written…..

Understand that “I am He”….. (Isaiah 43: 10)

Understand….

“I AM HE”…. (John 18: 6)

Silence is not Golden…Anymore!

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“Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “ Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god accept their own God.”

(Daniel 3:28 ESV)

SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN……At least not anymore….

 We are living and just barely surviving within a fading and dying world… where sin is now celebrated …you now must embrace sin …the constant and relentless demand is now upon us to celebrate sin….or face your own disastrous ruin …your livelihood is now being held captive…unless you give in to the demands of those who blindly control the dying ways of this world…all while the wicked and evil One rejoices happily in this cunning and wicked contempt….for even the very blind do not see the whole Truth…. The Only Truth that would set them free from their own evil prisons…and from all their wicked vices, so they deny their own sins….. Hence….

They deny the Only Savior….

They remain trapped and dying….suffocating in their pure arrogance and pride…

“We have successfully made the practice of sinning now appealing”….

“So…now we demand that the eternal life- gift holders, the now disgusting and filthy self-professed sinners to”…..

Deny your church!…

Deny your leaders!….

Deny your God!…

“WE NOW STAND IN CONTEMPT OF YOU AND YOU MUST COMPLY”….

 

OR face ruin if you do not ….FOR we will destroy your God….

“WE are now destroying your God”…

We will also destroy you and your church… from the inside out….

“FOR WE CONTROL THE WORLD!…”

We will turn your Light into darkness…we will destroy you…piece by minuscule and pain-staking pitiful piece…

Your adversary prowls around like a roaring lion… always seeking someone to devour…

AND we will devour you…if you do not submit to our evil ways….

For we disguise ourselves very successfully…even as an angel of light…

We accomplish this by categorizing you as evil…..corrupt…nefarious….an abomination of your very own God!!!….we will label you… We will willingly use your own sins against you…for your own sins are very plentiful! and the evil one makes us well aware!!! …..

WE expect you to remain “Christ-like”…

Isn’t that your only defense?

  we will use that to annihilate you!….

For we want to utterly destroy you…..

WE will manipulate you with the very Words of your own God!…

For the prince of the power of the air knows your Scripture very well… 

Even better than you!

Do not be fooled….

 And we will use our wicked, non-stop name-calling…

And this dying world will begin to believe us….

Because the world believes in us now….

They hold us in high esteem and our UN-forgiven celebratory sins…..

They now celebrate us….They even march in the streets to defend us….

Even if you choose to remain silent….

“This is exactly where we want you”….

SILENT and SUBMISSIVE EVERMORE….

Because silence is NOT golden anymore….

“BUT WE STILL DEMAND YOUR VOICE…”

We want you to deny your God…

Your silence is not an option….

For our god deceived Eve by his cunning,

We know your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ!!….

  “Deny the Words of your Creator… Deny your Christ right now”…..

 Or we will now destroy you…..

For the day is coming……it is coming quickly!!!!

We control the airways…we control the mass media… we control and encompass the entire world…

“The whole world now lies in the power of the evil one!!!”!

Jesus’ Candidate

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“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews.  But my kingdom is not from the world.”

(John 18: 36 ESV)

Once again, we are witnessing increasing divide, more inflammatory and incendiary rhetoric, more hatred, more vulgarity, more insults, and even more vicious name calling from both sides….

We proudly burn the stars and stripes and we blatantly spit on our American Democracy…

We pledge allegiance to a rainbow…..

 Yet we currently know not the strife of those who walked before us….

American Prime-time TV has become 24 hour news programming where journalists have stopped reporting the news in order to create the news

Scandalous the stories in every way they create to win the audience they greatly desire…

They have become reality stars peddling their private agendas in order to sell their books…and their star-studded images…..

Their golden pockets are filled by the blind and weary who purchase the rhetoric they create…..

Rights were given and rightfully so… BUT now we want more…

And nothing will ever stop us….

Shaming our ancestors and spitting on the graves who victoriously fought and lost their lives

We won’t stop till we demand and get our way….

Our path of destruction is evil in intent…..smothering…..crippling…ending….

And there is no evil in the world?

So….we now denigrate those who oppose our own worldview…our own opinions…our lifestyles…our livelihoods….our political parties…

Yet… we proudly say we live in a politically correct America……

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I sadly grieve the growing divide erupting in my great country ….

A systematic divide which will continue to fuel…..

Fear…

Unrest…

 Hatred…

Further division…

Outright anarchy….

A growing divide which could ultimately conquer the greatest and strongest world power of all time…

A division brought about by a fallen pride….for nothing has changed.

And once again…

We continue to use the name of Christ for our political agendas…for our livelihoods…. for our opinions… for our political parties….

Democrats and Republicans alike…..

Christians and non-Christians alike…..

Protestors Rally Outside Republican National Convention In Cleveland

….Contrary to current popular belief….God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat….and

Political parties are and will always be…

 Fallen man-made institutions…..

Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric Part 1-B

anti-christ-1

Let’s now examine the content…

 

Secular (non-Christian) authorities of Jesus historicity:

 

Cornelius Tacitus… (A.D. 55-120)

A Roman historian, his most acclaimed works are the Annals and the Histories… The following excerpt was a writing of the reign of Nero, Tacitus alludes to the death of Christ and to the existence of Christians at Rome… (Annals XV. 44)

… “Such indeed were the precautions of human wisdom. The next thing was to seek means of propitiating the gods, and recourse was had to the Sibylline books, by the direction of which prayers were offered to Vulcanus, Ceres, and Proserpina. Juno, too, was entreated by the matrons, first, in the Capitol, then on the nearest part of the coast, whence water was procured to sprinkle the fame and image of the goddess. And there were sacred banquets and nightly vigils celebrated by married women. But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiation of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their

CHRISTIANS ACCUSED OF INCENDIARISM

centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired”….

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0078%3Abook%3D15%3Achapter%3D44

Lucian of Samosata

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A Greek satirist in the latter half of the second century…Lucian spoke scornfully of Christ and His followers…

… “It was now that he came across the priests and scribes of the 11 Christians, in Palestine, and picked up their queer creed. I can tell you, he pretty soon convinced them of his superiority; prophet, elder, ruler of the Synagogue–he was everything at once; expounded their books, commented on them, wrote books himself. They took him for a God, accepted his laws, and declared him their president. The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day,–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. Well, the end of it was that Proteus was arrested and thrown into prison. This was the very thing to lend an air to his favourite arts of clap-trap and wonder-working; he was now a mad man. The Christians took it all very seriously: he was no sooner in prison, than they began trying every means to get him out again,–but without success. Everything else that could be done for him they most devoutly did. They thought of nothing else. Orphans and ancient widows might be seen hanging about the prison from break of day. Their officials bribed the gaolers to let them sleep inside with him. Elegant dinners were conveyed in; their sacred writings were read; and our old friend Peregrine (as he was still called in those days) became for them “the modern Socrates.” In some of the Asiatic 13 cities, too, the Christian communities put themselves to the expense of sending deputations, with offers of sympathy, assistance…”

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/luc/wl4/wl420.htm

 

Pliny the Younger

Governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor (A. D. 112) Pliny was writing to the emperor Trajan to seek counsel as to how to treat the Christians…

… “These accusations spread (as is usually the case) from the mere fact of the matter being investigated and several forms of the mischief came to light. A placard was put up, without any signature, accusing a large number of persons by name. Those who denied they were, or had ever been, Christians, who repeated after me an invocation to the Gods, and offered adoration, with wine and frankincense, to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for that purpose, together with those of the Gods, and who finally cursed Christ none of which acts, it is said, those who are really Christians can be forced into performing these I thought it proper to discharge. Others who were named by that informer at first confessed themselves Christians, and then denied it; true, they had been of that persuasion but they had quitted it, some three years, others many years, and a few as much as twenty‑five years ago. They all worshipped your statue and the images of the Gods, and cursed Christ…” (Epistles X. 96)

http://www.vroma.org/~hwalker/Pliny/Pliny10-096-E.html

 

 

Jewish References to Jesus Historicity

In the Babylonian Talmud…

… “It was taught: On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, ‘He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.’ But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover! — ‘Ulla retorted: Do you suppose that he was one for whom a defence could be made? Was he not a Mesith [enticer], concerning whom Scripture says, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him? With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government…”

  (Sanhedrin 43a)

http://becomingjewish.org/articles/talmud-and-jesus.pdf

 

Josephus

Josephus ben Mattathias born 37/38 A. D., died after 100 A. D. a Jewish historian in the pay of the Flavian emperors and a supposed Pharisee….He composed two great works…The Jewish War written in the early 70’s and the Jewish Antiquities finished about 93/94.

… “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared…” – Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63 (Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)

http://reluctant-messenger.com/josephus.htm

… “But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, (23) who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a Sanhedrin without his consent. (24) Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest…”

http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-20.htm

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Flavius Josephus

 

To BE continued……my friends! 

 

 

Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric Part I-A

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This anti-Christ image was found recently on social media…it is disturbing…it is offensive…it is damaging… but it may also be very persuasive.  The only purpose of these posts entitled, Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric is to expose the truth…and while I was prepared to research extensively these claims and then sharing all the references I use in order to debunk this type of rhetoric, I have now decided to conduct brief and informal online searches from reputable websites to replicate (and hopefully encourage) what the vast majority of people coming across these types of images can and should do.  As always, I strive to keep my blog truthful…honest…transparent… with no disrespect to anyone or anything…I will never personally attack those among us who (still) do not believe…

For I am a Sinner….

And I am always face down at His cross….begging for His mercy!!

Let’s first quickly examine the author……

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman….

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“I wonder if the fact that I left the faith is somehow seen as threatening, at least among people who have a gnawing suspicion.”

–Dr. Bart Ehrman

An American Professor, Author, and Scholar

Received his PhD, and M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary

Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Has written more than 30 books, including college textbooks

Became a Christian as a teenager and considered himself a Christian for more than 15 years

After struggling with the philosophical problems with evil and more specifically suffering…He then became an agnostic atheist…

“This was my view for many years, and I still consider it a powerful theological view. It would be a view that I would still hold on to, if I were still a Christian. But I’m not.

About nine or ten years ago I came to realize that I simply no longer believed the Christian message. A large part of my movement away from the faith was driven by my concern for suffering. I simply no longer could hold to the view—which I took to be essential to Christian faith—that God was active in the world, that he answered prayer, that he intervened on behalf of his faithful, that he brought salvation in the past and that in the future, eventually in the coming eschaton, he would set to rights all that was wrong, that he would vindicate his name and his people and bring in a good kingdom (either at our deaths or here on earth in a future utopian existence).

We live in a world in which a child dies every five seconds of starvation. Every five seconds. Every minute there are twenty-five people who die because they do not have clean water to drink. Every hour 700 people die of malaria. Where is God in all this? We live in a world in which earthquakes in the Himalayas kill 50,000 people and leave 3 million without shelter in the face of oncoming winter. We live in a world where a hurricane destroys New Orleans. Where a tsunami kills 300,000 people in one fell swoop. Where millions of children are born with horrible birth defects. And where is God? To say that he eventually will make right all that is wrong seems to me, now, to be pure wishful thinking.”

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blogalogue/2008/04/why-suffering-is-gods-problem.html#yAl4ESA5FrhGS7SB.99

 

 

…my heart goes out to Dr. Ehrman and I sincerely hope he can answer one day this question of why pain and suffering exists which has tested and destroyed his faith in God….I hope one day he is able to view the world through an “eternal” perspective and realize exactly what Christ promised His followers…..

My personal perspective so far…..

The claims made in this anti-Christ image by a self-professed atheist is nothing new

Having a M.Div. or PhD does not insure one believes in the Christian worldview

What we read/see/hear can be very deceiving…

To be continued….

 

The Great City of Nineveh

Dear Readers, 

I would like to share with you something I posted (a reply) on another Christians’ blog back in August.  I have always hoped my blog would be transparent and truthful, (that is why I am sharing this response) written mostly for the lost and hopeless among us!  A blog that intentionally does not mention denomination or religious creed! A blog I have shared my very personal life experiences with and shame!    A blog only to honor Christ… very little pics of me or my family….Christ only…Christ centered… and Christs’ love for all people… always!     The debate regarding homosexuality continues…never ending, sometimes (mostly) loveless and hateful toward each other.  This summer has been quite long and filled with utter hopelessness! I find myself now lost for words..unable to write anymore.  I have been the victim of attack from a Christian who I thought I was helping…I was also evaluated by a fellow Christian as to why I want to help people “spiritually”…and I lost!   God helps us all for thinking His Word…and His Gospel is only for a select group of people!  

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read my blog!  It means more to me than you will ever know!  I have prayed for all of you and I love you all! I hope I have touched one soul… only one soul with my words…that truly was my only prayer!!  That was my intended purpose!!

The world we now live in is a very scary place…Christ did not promise this road..this life would be easy…but He does promise a glorious ending!  

again, I thank you and I love you all!! 

“And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night.  And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand for their left…”

(Jonah 4: 10-11 ESV)

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I was doing a Google search on heaven and came across this post and truly, I wish I hadn’t stumbled upon it!  This is so sad to read…to digest. To realize the length of time this post has survived…to read the hatred and bickering between Christians….the hatred from Christians to those who are still lost and in darkness…and in great need of our Savior….and to those few who were/ are struggling with same-sex attraction/ homosexual lifestyle….and decided to share their thoughts through their painfully honest and transparent testimony…..It is in times such as this….I must remind myself to keep my eyes focused on Christ alone….and not on a fallen humanity! 

We are all sinners, and we must remember that at our very best, we all have nothing but filthy rags to offer.  We all spat on Him and beat Him beyond recognition!   We ALL nailed Him to the cross!   We must love without compromising Truth.  We must be Christ- like in how we approach everyone!  God humbled himself and became one of us in a darkened and fallen world to save us all.  Jesus was approachable to the lowest members of society in His time…prostitutes and tax collectors….they felt very comfortable approaching Him….He never compromised truth yet He was able to serve those who were in greatest need. 

Please remember the story of Jonah…Jonah had an extraordinary calling to deal with a group of people he did not want to deal with…but he reluctantly went to this group of people and preached the worst evangelical sermon ever…..Destruction is coming!  Destruction is coming!  Then, Jonah went and purchased a front row seat to watch them burn….but Nineveh repented! Jonah wanted more than ever to see those people burn as He cared more for their destruction then for their repentance!  Let’s not become like Jonah….wanting complete destruction of an entire group of people instead of hoping for eventual repentance….no matter how long that repentance may take…..we are all currently under the state of grace….

The issue is…where do people stand?  Are they dead in sin or alive in Christ?  If they are dead in sin, it hardly matters what sin it is….the Gospel must be the priority of the homosexual just as it is for the heterosexual!  The church is the place to hear the gospel!  The church is a place for sinners! Jesus can and will transform lives! Transformation may take time!   Christians need to serve in truth!  Christians need to serve also…. in love.  We will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ!  We will all be asked about our lives while here on earth…..and how we all responded to the cultural issues and difficulties of our day…. Christ is not surprised by these issues….and He placed us as Christians in this exact moment in His creation for such a time as this!!  When I stand before Him, I pray I hear my Lord and Savior tell me…. “Well done good and faithful servant.”  As fellow Christians, I hope you all do too! 

 

 

 

 

Preface…Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric

antichrist pic 1

 

It’s everywhere…growing and flourishing in the very landscape of a growing post Christian Americana. If I am haphazardly becoming victim to its sinister message, surely others are too.  And what about our children?  It is upsetting, disheartening, it is filled with pure evil and ill intent.  I have wrestled with this for many months.  Should I attempt to debunk this anti-Christ rhetoric that seems to be prospering everywhere?  I am not a theologian or scholar.  So where are they?…  The modern day theologians, scholars, and apologists?… The great astute and intellectual minds who can easily give explanation to this new and growing mystery? Or can they?  Perhaps their silence on this subject should be of great concern. It is certainly difficult to view. What is really fueling this growing hatred of Christ? 

 

Coupled with the rise of anti-Christ rhetoric is the ever growing effort to shame, belittle, and label those for what they believe.  And for who they believe in! They silence their voices by bullying them into submission of their own disbelief.  There are now no debates in this new secular world of no truth. Absolutely no agreeing to disagree.  They demand tolerance yet have none..  The faithful have become the new minority…but without protective provisions afforded everyone else.  These millions of the majority have succumbed to their tactics….  They degrade them, they deface them…one by one. They slowly silence their beliefs….. Quite easily bullied into submission it appears….frightened and terrified of reprisal.

 

 

The ranks of martyrs are growing….in the East…and in the West, it is only a matter of time.  The quiet and discreet mention of genocide and then heard of no more.  The real and brutal enemies of religious freedom constantly planning calculated attacks and growing larger in number…Their weaponry of force are the written words of a deranged one who slaughtered many others.. And even some faithful fall victim to this incredible deceit.  And Americana is busy and distracted opening old wounds!  Fighting old wars of past generations.  Demanding payment… seeking lawlessness and disorder Casting away moral values and absolute truth. They make heroes out of villains…Their young so easily offended by mere words…Their old are withdrawn and discouraged by the new.  A perfect storm for the enemy to invade. A nation already in turmoil… a lost and struggling generation fighting from within…..

 

There seems to be a perfect storm brewing on the horizon…

 

On this diminishing Western Americana…..