A Desperate Warning to Christians, Part 1

pic of bible

Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld.  For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice comes out perverted….

Habakkuk 1:4

I remember that overcast summer day not too long ago when marriage was redefined by the United States Supreme Court…and considering my background and all the heartache I personally experienced of rejection, abandonment, and being the best friend…the only true friend… to my gay brother back in the late 1970’s through early 2000’s, I actually rejoiced!  I felt instant relief!   My immediate thought quickly turned to him…what would he think?  What would he say?  Would he celebrate this long fought “victory”?  All while painfully recalling the hatred others exhibited for my brother…. hatred from family…hatred from friends… and hatred from the church. The shroud of secrecy that gripped my family… and severed those who were left behind and barely surviving after a fathers’ adultery and a parents’ divorce… and my brother was constantly having to live in silence under a cloud of continual suspicion and guilt.

 “It is finally over”…….I thought.

Since the Supreme Court ruling…I have witnessed and read the fear of fellow Christians and of our great Christian leaders praying from the pulpit… or sermonizing a frightening condition…a feared future of losing our own religious rights… I would defend my position stating, “certainly the newly redefining of marriage would not result in losing our right to orthodox, long held Christian beliefs…That prediction is quite a leap!’  I would question their anxiety….marvel at their uncertainty….feeling safe in my own vindication of what was in my own past….. And refusing to look into the near future and taking into consideration that deep rooted hatred may eventually grow into an even greater disaster…..

This morning, I awoke to find a list of “hate” groups in the United States. This list appeared on CNN and was created by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  Scrolling down the list of  the well-known hate filled groups in our country….I paused and trembled when I came across the Family Research Institute listed…… (See link below) 

 

“This is only the beginning”….I fear!

 

 

https://www.splcenter.org/hate-map

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Eternal Midsummer Sun

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16) 

 

sunrise

 

I sit here very reluctantly with the imminent threat of storms looming overhead… yet still I eagerly await another early rising midsummer sun…. As the darkness continues to linger into daybreak… I am attempting rather unsuccessfully to embrace the predicted series of slowly moving storms which hastily interrupts my early midsummer morning. Late night storms have left my water starved annuals laying on their uprooted mangled sides… and a scattering of white and pink petals now lay across my parched wooden deck….. My sleepless night thoughts persist and I wander just too long in anticipation of the approaching storms… and my wandering mind only complicates the mix of emotions I’m experiencing from yet another one of life’s greatest disappointments….. Just another “failure” to add to my repertoire…but like too many failures in my already overstuffed life….this failure comes from within a deep and painful crevice of spiritually rooted connections and convictions with fellow believers….. Yet I feel a remarkable and undeniable familiarity to this type of great disappointment as I glance out my patio door staring blankly at the searing sheets of endless rain just beginning to pound the south facing side of my home…..

My thoughts take another turn to not only my own failures, but also to the multiple losses I have suffered throughout my life… Trapped within the walls of this sadly wandering state of mind…..  My thoughts turn to my sister.   I struggle to envision a much happier time where she stood firmly beside me… bravely fighting with her diseased and ravaged body in tow…. It was an extremely aggressive intruder which hastily interrupted her late winter morning sun many years ago…and many months before she finally succumbed to this ultimate life-robbing enemy…this sickening invader who eventually won the hard fought battle against her constant desire to remain here in this familiar yet darkened place….her final and seemingly unanswered plea to witness yet another one of her own early rising midsummer suns…..and in this frozen memory…. my heart sinks even lower.

With much regret….I think of the many disagreements my sister and I once shared….. Far too many of our own life’s experiences stood between the two of us and the One and Only Truth and our many experiences almost separated us from creating a final spiritual truce.  I being the lost prodigal child of a Great Comforter not too long ago and she being the ever faithful and everlasting daughter of a Mighty King… born in the faith and never wavering.  Sometimes this uncomfortable wedge created too wide a space for a compromise to even take hold…for a conversation to take place and grow…and to at last realize…… the simple understanding that our belief in the One and Only Truth did indeed take very different roads…. But both roads led back home!!   There are varied paths of Light that occur in this life’s constant darkness.   My road being twisted with many unwanted, and sometimes self-inflicted roadblocks… my footprints disappearing at long intervals of time upon its jagged edge and teetering on a lack of trust and commitment …her road well-traveled and worn with the unbroken trust of her steadfast feet.. Scattered were her footprints but never ever too close to its well-developed edge… yet narrow and unbending along the border…

 

road 1

 

The rain is tapering as the sound of thunder rumbles off into the distance as the storms move to the unsuspecting East…and my sadly wandering thoughts are slowly turning to the present-tense as I sense the departing storms and begin to plan my day…..yet I pause and attempt to envision my sister’s present day view of her eternal midsummer sun….so Majestic….so Gracious…and so very Merciful……but I cannot envision it for both the current and departing storms here cause too much turmoil……And there is yet another winding road for me to travel… but I know my simple belief in Him gets me through one more storm and one more jagged edge along its path…and I seek…and I plead… and I’m given comfort by Him once again… and by this simple truth…..

My faithful sister is the daughter of a Mighty King and I am the rebellious child of a Great Comforter!

 

pic of road 3

 

Take comfort in knowing He is there with you on your current winding road…..and there is nothing that can separate you from Him as long as you are a believer and you continue to simply believe in His promise!  

 

Two Simple Words

pic of im sorry

 

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His garments by casting lots.

Luke 23:34

 

Two words so honest… but only when spoken from the one who knows.  A simple apology, so hopeful and so pure… to amend a wrong….a sincere gesture of grace and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so powerful… allowing the process of forgiveness to finally begin.  To mend the brokenhearted, the wronged, the abused…and all of those who believe.  A thickened salve to heal a past insult and lessen the pain of an unfortunate indiscretion…A sincere gesture of a higher greater mercy and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so pure… but only if released from the lips of the one who speaks its continual song.  Its melody comforts not only the wounded, but also the one who holds the weapon.  Disarming the attacker and releasing the real prisoner from within dark and unforgiving walls…A sincere gesture of human love and reflective of the greatest type of love….a love which forgives a past unspoken apology.

Two words yet so painful when left unsung.  No reconciliation for the one who cannot utter a mere two words.  A growing silence which festers and destroys our only current hope.   The pride of humanity tried to slaughter this love…. …yet He asked for forgiveness for all those who could not find two words to say.   

When you looked out among the crowd of your vicious attackers…Did you see me standing there?

I am one of the forgiven,

I was present and silent among the crowd…

An Open Letter to my Muslim Friend Part 4

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

(1 Timothy 2:5 ESV)

muslims to christians pic 1

Dear Friend,

I could not fall asleep last night!  So I laid there and prayed for both of us….for you, I prayed that God would be with you and that He would answer the current needs of your heart!  For me, I prayed for courage and strength for I have been very fearful recently of a lot of things…and this has caused me to worry more!  I also prayed for the words to give you this morning….never wanting to offend you or your beliefs…never wanting to say something untrue! …never wanting our conversation to become mean spirited or cold!   You see, we view God through different eyes…but one thing I am absolutely sure of is that the God of creation…the God who created both you and me….He loves us both equally!  He does not love me more than you…or you more than me….He loves us both equally even though we see Him very differently!  After my prayer, I really felt a peace within me!  And as I lay there feeling more peaceful and calm….I wondered if you felt His Presence even more…more vividly…..more real… Like His arms wrapping around you like a father and son would embrace…. if only for just a minute…..I hope so my friend!

To finally answer your question my friend…..I believe the entire bible reveals Gods plan to redeem mankind and unite all the nations into one family and into one kingdom…This was all fulfilled in the God-Man… Jesus Christ!  The Bible is the complete autobiography of Jesus…beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation….Because of what Jesus Christ did for all of humanity…there is absolutely no need to add to what He has done….

…There is no need for a new religion…

There is no need for any additional sacred books

And… There is no need for “other” prophets of God….

This is the most truthful answer that I can give you!

Peace and Blessings……

Kathy

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

(Galatians 1:6-8 ESV)

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)

christmas-hope-2

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)

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

flavuis-josephus

Flavius Josephus

 

To BE continued……my friends! 

 

 

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)

wilted-plant-2

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!