Wednesday, October 30, 2013


     Here's the reality, I love to argue with people. I'm grown and I can admit it. There is a huge clamor and discourse over the way that a church presents the gospel. It seems that there are some people who want the church of their youth, people who want the church of their parents youth, or people who want church to be relevant. Here's my caveat: however the gospel is presented, you don't CHANGE the gospel. The bible is the Word of God. You don't break God's commandments; you break yourself against God's commandments. We're not talking about churches who want to twist scripture to fit their political, ideological, or theological goals. We're not talking about churches who want to fit a pop-culture cookie cutter and don't talk about things that are taboo in today's PC environment. Even though the last scriptures were written nearly 2000 years ago, it is relevant for us today. So here's my argument...

     I laugh at people who think that newer music isn't as holy as some of the old hymns. They act like Peter, James, and John were singing these songs with Jesus. Ahem... Amazing Grace (1779), It Is Well (1871), Great Is Thy Faithfulness (1923), Jesus Paid It All (1865), Come Thou Fount (1757), etc... are some of the greats sung in many churches every Sunday. Shoot, we sing these same songs and I love them! What these songs do is bring us to a place of remembrance. That we can reflect back to when we were first saved, going through a tough time, or being delivered from something. These songs were a part of our anthem to God in good and bad times. They inspire emotion in our praise and worship because of these things. Can you imagine being in these congregations when these songs were first being presented? I'm sure they were met with some of the same resistance that some of our congregations meet new songs. The older crowd said, "Why can't we just sing the good old songs?" or "I just can't get into these new songs, I don't know the words!". It's silly to think about, but you know it's true. You know it's true, because you've probably found yourself saying this or heard someone saying this. These songs are great, but so is Hillsong. In fact, there are more talented people in the church today than ever before. The last thing we want to do is to stifle the creativity of the young to satisfy the old. We've been alienating the talented for too many years. I could tell you 20+ stories about current secular artists who were driven out of the church because they didn't fit the mold. But this is just the music and this argument is about a lot more than just the music.


If you really want old school church, here it is. This was the church for hundreds of years. We don't want this because we would be so far out of culture that we would have no traction in people's lives. For some reason, in the last 20-30 years the church has settled to be nearly relevant. Like a fanny pack or flannel shirt wrapped around the waist. Cool for a time, yet the church is still doing it and expecting results. Jesus called us to be IN the world, but not OF the world. The difference is a heart issue, not a external one.

     I am so happy that as a culture, we've begun to shift away from the super dressed up style that sprung into popularity in the 1800's. The fact that many, if not most, workplaces accept jeans as an appropriate dress code. This movement really began 20 years ago and I'm thankful. The reality of today is that now many people, unless they work at a bank or a church, don't have but one or two suits. One of the greatest fears of a visitor to a church is that they'll be under-dressed. Isn't that funny? People are unwilling to attend church because of a fear that they'll be ridiculed because of their lack of "Sunday best". This is the culture that many churches have created. We forget that for hundreds of years the church was conducted in the homes of people. That you came as you were. Only once the Romans romanticized church and brought in many of their pagan rituals did it become an event to dress up for. Much like our red carpets of today they would show of their wealth, their duds, their Sunday best. It was a social event. Church was never intended to be a red carpet, nor was it intended to be a social event. It is a time for true worshippers to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It is a time for us to gather and get our marching orders. A time for our status quo to be challenged, and for new convictions to be instilled. The reality that the temple isn't where we meet, but it is our bodies. It's not even the dressings that we put over our bodies.

     The best thing about churches today is it's kind of like 31 flavors. For the most part, everyone's teaching sound doctrine, (again, we're not talking about those who are compromising the scripture for relevance or hate) it's just that everyone's got their own vision and version. Some have praise and worship with lights and haze singing the latest Hillsong CD, others sing Come Thou Fount under fluorescents with an organ, others still don't even use instrumentation at all. Some preach messages targeted at unbelievers, some at the new believer, some at the life-long Christian. Some churches focus on building the believer and others focus on making new ones. You've got to find the church that you can buy in to their vision and version. It's out there, I promise! Little Clovis has over 80 churches, so I 'm sure there's a church out there for you.

     This church decided over 23 years ago to reach people. Black people, Hispanic people, Anglo's, and mix breeds like me. We decided to be an inclusive church; to include every race, creed, age group, and economic status. Whether they wore clothes from Goodwill or a high end shop they were welcome. We made a choice to not just be multi-cultural but also multi-generational; to celebrate and incorporate the older generation. We didn't want to be a church that said, "It's us four and no more", but a church that wanted to reach the community at large. We refused to be a church that sang songs about the Great Commission, spoke messages about the Great Commission, yet when push came to shove we never accepted those with a pre-existing condition. We weren't going to be the church that traded church members like playing cards only to have the rest of the city go to hell. 90% of those over the age of 55 are either in a church already, or made a decision never to attend church again. At FCFC 3 out of every 4 visitors is under the age of 32. 75% of the people who are stepping foot in our building for the first time are looking for a church that fits them. They listen to Jay-Z and Katy Perry. They like romantic comedies and action thrillers. They read Cosmo, watch SportsCenter, and if they're smart a little Duck Dynasty too. They're looking for an expression of church that matches what they're watching and listening to. Do we sing hymns? YES! Usually not the way they were done in 1751, but we sing them. Are we seeker sensitive? If you ask that question, you've never sat in our seats and listened to David Swann preach. We hit the issues, we talk about the tough topics, but the difference between us and most, WE LOVE SINNERS. How are they going to change if they don't know they're wrong? How will they know if they don't hear it from us? (Romans 10) Who will step up and help to change the tide of this generation? We'll answer the bell and I hope you'll join us. It's going to take all of us. So who wins in the debate between Old School and Relevant? Both. Simply because too many "relevant" churches have reached the lost while failing to build the believer. Because too many "old school" churches have built up the body of the believer without creating new ones. The best church is one that can save people from their sin and build disciples. If that church is old school or relevant isn't the real question we should be asking ourselves. It's just one of the 31 flavors. THE REAL QUESTION IS ARE THEY REACHING AND DISCIPLING???

Friday, May 24, 2013


What does a successful life look like to you? I’m going to have you do a quick exercise, but here are some questions to ask yourself prior to starting: Is success a place or an object? Objects are okay to want, but if you base your success on these kinds of things there can be problems. The saying goes, “The end justifies the means”, and what are you willing to do to get the stuff you want? As Christians, our dreams should be about things that will take a faithful life to achieve. Do you want things that could hamper or kill your growth? This is a second problem with having objects in our dreams. Once you achieve the object, what’s the point of perseverance, hard work, or dedication to the team? Your goal should be a championship, not a scoring title. In 60 seconds write down all the things you can about your dreams for your life.

I listed mine in order:
-A life with God.
          I don’t want to know about God, I want to KNOW God. Jesus didn’t die for us to achieve a ticket into Heaven. He died so we could have a relationship with the Creator. We were reconciled back into a relationship like what Adam and Eve experienced. They walked and talked with the Almighty. Heaven is a byproduct of our relationship with God, it’s not the goal. If heaven is the goal, how terrible will eternity be? You've reached the goal, now you have to stay stagnant for ETERNITY. Relationship with God is the goal. Revelation 3 tells us that he reveals a new side to himself every day in heaven and the angels cry out Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come. That's what should drive us, not a fear of an eternity spent in hell.

-A life with my family.
          I want my wife to love me more when we’re 100 and wrinkled then she did the day we got married. I want to fill my kids’ minds with so many positive memories that they would have trouble picking which ones would make their top 1000. I want my family to know that they come before any other human being on this planet

-A life worth living (making an impact with and on people).
          I want to live life with people. I want to know that my life meant something. If your goals are to retire on some island away from everyone else, you’re missing out. When you invest in people you always get your money’s worth. The return on investment is always worth the risk. I’ve found that when you challenge and empower people, they become something truly special, the greatest version of themselves. John Maxwell always says, “If you help people accomplish their dreams, they’ll help you accomplish yours.”

-A life where I’m challenged spiritually and personally.
          I’m an athlete, and I love to push. I love to push the boundaries of my body and my prayer life. I want people to remember me for walking the walk. You can’t challenge others to be great without pushing yourself to the limits too.

Our needs can be boiled down to these things: Intimacy with God, feeling loved by someone who knows everything about us, belonging to a group, finding your purpose in life, and being significant in this world. As a young adult, these years of our life are our foundational years. Now is when we determine whether or not we'll achieve these things or the extent to which we achieve them. One of the most common questions I get as a young adults Pastor is, “How do I get where I want to go?” “How do I know it’s where God wants me to go?” I always respond to these questions by asking them, who is influencing you? Rick Burke always used to say this to us in 180, “If God wants to do something in your life, He’ll put a person in your life. If the devil wants to do something in your life, he’ll put a person in your life.” Psalms 32:8 (NLT)-The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Are you seeking God for the answer to these questions? Is he the #1 influencer of your life? Psalms 37:23-24 (NLT)-The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

The next question I always have for young adults is this: who are your friends and who are your mentors? Proverbs 27 tells us so clearly that our friends are what sharpen us. 1 Peter 5 gives us a biblical process for mentorship. If you want to get somewhere, you’ve got to find someone who can guide you along the way. In our relative world people will say, find your journey, make your mistakes, and learn what works for you. I say, get a road map from others, learn from their mistakes so you don’t have to have their pain, and apply it to your life in any way possible. I can spend $20 really easily. I can either spend it on a steak that will taste great and be gone in an hour, or I can spend it on a book that tells me all a person’s secrets to their personal success and failures. Your mentors give you a lasting picture of what success looks like for you. Your friends determine if you get there or not. They’re the ones who are either pushing you up the hill or dragging you down it. If you’re the only one in your circle of friends that has any potential, EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE. Find people who want to be great. Be the least successful person in your circle, because nothing motivates like competition.

Get a picture of success in your life. Don’t let anyone rob you of your dreams. Allow God to determine the direction of your life, and remember to do His job, the potter has to apply pressure for the pot to go from formless clay into His masterpiece. Be blessed, change the world, and express the love of the Father to everyone you meet. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


     It's been a "bumpy" ride for the Obama camp to start 2013. Their only real positives are the unemployment percentage, as flawed as it is, has dropped steadily(UNEMPLOYMENT #'S), and the many vacations his family has been able to take I'm sure have been a great break from the madness (4 MILLION DOLLAR HAWAII VACATION ON THE TAXPAYERS DIME).  However, there's the fact that only now are we seeing anyone be noticeably punished for the Fast and Furious fiasco, there's Benghazi, the IRS singling out Rightwing organizations, the unlawful tapping and seizure of AP phone records, and the fact that now the "real" numbers are coming out on just how detrimental Obamacare will be to the national debt. So lets start with F&F:

     "Operation Fast and Furious was run by the ATF in Phoenix in 2009 and 2010. Agents allowed sales of about 2,000 guns, mostly variants of AK-47 rifles, to suspected smugglers. The aim was to prosecute top traffickers, but many of the firearms have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S., and hundreds more are unaccounted for."

     "The report came 645 days after a Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed in a shootout with traffickers in Arizona. Two guns tied to Fast and Furious were found at the scene."

     "Mr. Holder "has clearly known about these unacceptable failures, yet has failed to take appropriate action for over a year and a half,'' Mr. Issa said."

     "By dismissing some of the most heated allegations against Mr. Holder while finding dysfunction beneath him, the report leaves room for both sides to battle on. Congressional Republicans continue to demand access to White House documents that President Barack Obama has shielded, citing executive privilege."
     "The documents also showed the White House, along with several other departments, played a role in editing the so-called "talking points," despite claims from the White House that it was barely involved. And they showed then-CIA Director David Petraeus objected to the watered-down version that would ultimately be used as the basis for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's flawed comments on several TV shows the Sunday after the attack."

     "The early versions stated that "Islamic extremists with ties to Al Qaeda" participated in the assault and discussed links to militant group Ansar al Sharia -- and referenced prior attacks against western targets in Benghazi, as well as intelligence warnings."

     "State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland: The penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that either?"

     "The U.S. military could have intervened and saved at least two of the four Americans killed in the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday."

     "Collins said there was a plane in Tripoli with security officers who were held up"
     "The Internal Revenue Service has admitted that it targeted groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names. We've since learned that a wider array of groups concerned about spending, debt, high taxes, government growth, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights -- basically any conservative or libertarian issue you can name -- was targeted."

     "On Wednesday, the president requested and received the resignation of Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller -- but that is not enough. The executive branch has been aware of this scandal for nearly two years and now, only as a result of massive public pressure, the administration has found a scapegoat."

     "The president did not announce that Miller was responsible, and we still don't know who came up with the idea to target the tea party. The IRS is under the president's jurisdiction. He needs to fully recognize the gravity of these charges."

     "The First Amendment was written to protect many different types of expression. But the Founding Fathers' primary concern -- and a first principle for every generation of Americans that followed -- was the protection of political speech. Apparently, the IRS was even targeting people who criticized how the country was being run."

     "We have learned that some tea party groups had unduly long wait times for tax-exempt status. Some eventually withdrew their applications out of frustration."

     "This is not about Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. It is about arrogant and unrestrained government vs. the rule of law. Imagine if the IRS had targeted liberal or progressive groups under the Bush administration. The First Amendment cannot be renegotiated depending on which party holds power."

     "The Justice Department's controversial decision to seize phone records of Associated Press journalists was just one element in a sweeping U.S. government investigation into media leaks."

     "Attorney General Eric Holder, who recused himself from involvement in the case, largely sidestepped questions from angry lawmakers on Wednesday about his department's secret seizure of AP records, which the news agency revealed on Monday."

     "The seizure, denounced by critics as a gross intrusion into freedom of the press, has created an uproar in Washington and led to questions about how the Obama administration is balancing the need for national security with privacy rights."

     "Floyd Abrams, a prominent First Amendment and media attorney, said, 'The breathtaking scope of these subpoenas served on the telephone companies might suggest that after all this time, they have no idea who they're looking for. Justice's targeting of a large number of phone lines and the AP journalists who use them taken together, certainly makes it look like the largest, most intrusive action by the government vis-a-vis the press that I can remember.'"

     "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed three years ago with President Obama saying it would not add one dime to the federal deficit, is now projected to add $6.2 trillion to the deficit and inflict severe cuts to Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals and physicians."


     So needless to say, the President has had a bit of a rough go of it the last couple months. He has made a positive impact on the gun business however:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

To tithe... or not to tithe... that is the question???


(HEBREWS 7:5) And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:



(GALATIANS 2:16) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of JESUS CHRIST, even we have believed in JESUS CHRIST, that we might be justified by the faith of CHRIST JESUS, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

(GALATIANS 3:11-14) But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does the law shall live in the law. CHRIST JESUS has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through JESUS CHRIST; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

(MALACHI 3:8-9) Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, Wherein have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.

(Luke 14:33) So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

(HEBREWS 10:5-10) Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 7 Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, my God.'"8 First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them"—though they were offered in accordance with the law.9 Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second.10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

(Matthew 16:24-25) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013


     Freedom- ability to act freely: a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restraints or restrictions. Freedom of speech, of assembly, of religion, to protection of your family, from tyranny. To what extent would you be willing to go to protect these things for the next generation? How far would you go to make sure that your children and their children lived in a free place? People flocked to America because it was the beacon of light. It was the place you could make something of yourself, no it was a place you were free to make something of yourself. Kitty Werthmann who survived in Austria after the takeover by the Nazi's said, "America is truly the greatest country in the world. Don't let freedom slip away, after America there is no other place to go."

     Let me be clear, THERE ARE NO FREEBIES IN THIS WORLD, everything has a price. Socialization of a nation has a price. In a socialist nation, most children attend public schools that are "free". They're not free however; each citizen pays taxes that pay for that education. Those students who seek a "private" education pay the taxes to the government, plus a fee to the school they attend. In a socialist nation, 1/3 to 1/2 of the population receive free assistance from the government in services like free healthcare, free food, free retirement, and other free services that the government supplies. These aren't free either, however. They might be free to those receiving them, but with some citizens paying between 60-80% of their income to support these "free" programs.


In a socialist nation, the rate of those reaching the middle class decreases each year, while the separation between the top 5% from the bottom 5% grows each year.


In a socialist nation, the small businessman is put out of business. The large corporation/government is given special privileges to provide however they see fit, while the small/local businessman or woman is restrained by ticky tac legislation that makes it impossible to make a profit. I wonder if any of this is sounding vaguely familiar to you?


In a socialist nation, the push becomes greater and greater for a "one-world" unified governmental system. No strays, no dissension, just compliance. In a socialist nation, they would restrict travel by many means, shutting down roads, militarization that forces the community to stay in its own areas, or by making it too expensive for the average citizen to travel. I could go on and on, but I believe that you're beginning to see the point.


Socialist takeover principles:
1. Establish a terrifying internal and external enemy: (Hitler used communism, Russia used socialism, We used terrorism)
2. Create a gulag/camps with special rules: (Russian gulags, German camps, Guantanamo Bay/Internment camps)
3. Develop a THUG caste: (private contracting being immune to prosecution)
After Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security hired and deployed hundreds of armed private security guards in New Orleans. The investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill interviewed one unnamed guard who reported having fired on unarmed civilians in the city. It was a natural disaster that underlay that episode - but the administration’s endless war on terror means ongoing scope for what are in effect privately contracted armies to take on crisis and emergency management at home in US cities.
4. Setup an internal surveillance system: (Patriot Act, use of drones on American soil)
5. Control the press: (Really, I mean this is a given right? They tell us that FoxNews is conservative lol)
6. Suspend the Rule of Law: This hasn't happened...yet...

      The thing that's separated America from every other nation is the reality that each generation has sacrificed for the next to continue the traditions of freedom. That each generation did things that it felt were important, even though it might have hurt, so that the next generation didn't have to experience these things. I hope that this generation is ready to do the same... I don't think it is though. I mean, only 54% of Americans voted in 2012 in a race that couldn't have been more clearly divided between sides. We're not even willing to do the easiest, most simple things to continue our freedoms. Nope, we're a nation full of couch potatoes who are more likely to vote for American Idol than President of the "free" world.
      It blows my mind that Christians have such a hard time with this thought process. The reality that one read of Revelations and even the most simple of interpretations gives us this picture. A picture of a world where the majority falls in line with this agenda, and there is a small minority who through loss of life and large sacrifice don't succumb to things like markings that determine if you can eat. Our congress already tried to pass legislation inside of Obamacare that required RFID chips inside all those enrolled in the program. It was voted down...this time. Listen, I'm not saying this is on our doorstep. I am saying that this is on the horizon. It's coming toward us rapidly. They will manipulate us by saying you can't eat, you can't get healthcare, you can't get electricity, you can't get your trash removed, you can't have credit, etc.... if you don't use this device. Then gradually, after most everyone complies, they'll start eliminating the less desirable: the older, the handicapped, those that have special needs, and those who don't fall in line.

      What's the solution? Have you watched movies like The Pianist, Defiance, Uprising, and Charlotte Gray? They do their best to detail the struggle of Jews against German/Russian occupation. They show in part, no movie could show in full, what life is like for those the who defy their government's agenda. You are relegated to hiding with little to no food, no amenities, and no pride. Those who are found are eliminated, or wish that they were. The only true escape for these people was to run to America... Where do Americans go if we ever have to escape?


Thursday, February 7, 2013


     This is not for the faint of heart, nor for the unconscionably optimistic. If you can't handle the thought of God judging America, stop reading now. If you can't handle the reality that we just might have passed the point of saving ourselves, stop reading. Judgment is coming to our doorstep. Is it too late to stop it? You be the judge.

     Our nation is diseased. We have contracted the worst disease of all too. No not AIDS or Herpes, but of lust. See we'll eventually come up with a cure for AIDS, but it won't end the root of the problem. The root is that our lust has taken over our bodies. It has made our minds its playground, and it's captured the attention of our youth. Did you know that 90% of 8-16 year olds have watched porn? Did you know that 80% of 15-17 year olds have had multiple "hardcore sex exposures"? What about the fact that 29% of “born again” adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior? Maybe this is the worst, 37% of pastors say they view pornography regularly. What hope do the people have when the leaders of our nation do this? I can hear your words now, this generation is filth. They're the worst generation since Sodom and Gomorrah. Well, that's not technically true. Of the porn users in our country the highest demographic is the 35-44 year olds. Next is the 45-54 year olds. So why wouldn't kids be looking at porn? That spirit was brought into their house by mom and dad.

     You know one of the stats that always makes me proud to say is that America is responsible for more missionaries and money to missions than every other nation combined. That stat pales in comparison to this one; America is responsible for nearly 90% of the pornographic web sites on the internet. This Christian nation, the light of the world, the salt of the earth, supplies nearly 23x's the porn to the world as then next closest nation. American individuals gave somewhere between 8-12 billion to missions, while the pornography industry had 14 billion in revenues from the same crop of people.

     The most simple of biblical commands are disobeyed and disregarded by us all. Love your wife, respect your husband, keep the marriage bed pure, give, don't be drunk, don't have any other gods before me, etc... We can't seem to get it right. We try, we fight, we claw, but we constantly come up short. This is the theme of Paul's letters, of messages being given at your local church this Sunday, yet I can't help but to wonder, is this true? Are we actually trying? Are we actually fighting the good fight? The fact that the church has the same divorce rate as the world, the fact that being religious has no effect on the rate of those who cheat on their spouse, or the fact that only 6% of Americans tithe. The reality that we spent 100 billion on alcohol last year, while individuals gave almost 90 billion to the church. SAD JOKE: "Why do you always invite more than one Christian to the lake with you? Because, if you only invited one, they'll drink all your beer."

     Scripture and prayer has been replaced by our televisions. We aren't a Christian nation, we were once, but those days have passed. My honest belief is that our only hope is to tell the world that we don't represent Christ in any way. That our only hope, to distance ourselves from God's judgment, is that we stop proclaiming to be a Godly nation (Rev. 3:16). Maybe He'll have mercy on us then. Because if we proclaim ourselves to be his, but our actions show the world a different story, God will not put up with it. He will make an example out of us to the Christians around the world. It will tell them that if you say you're my child, but you constantly disobey my words, I will have to discipline you (Prov. 13:24).

     We've got every kind of perversion of scripture imaginable. The fact that there are whole denominations allowing homosexuals to be ministers inside of their churches blows my mind. I understand that no one is perfect, but allowing an open acceptance of sin blows my mind. They say things like "God's grace is enough", yet they forget the life that Paul talks about so clearly throughout Galatians and Ephesians saying strong words like:

Galatians 5:16-17; 19-21 (NLT)
     So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    There are whole church movements who don't want to talk about anything controversial at all. Let's not tell them to give, let's not do salvation calls, let's not tell them abortion is wrong, let's not tell them homosexuality is a sin, let's not tell them to stop living together, let's not tell them masturbation is a sin, WE WOULDN'T WANT TO HURT SOMEONES FEELINGS. My heart breaks for these churches. They're growing, who wouldn't want to go to a place that says: SIN AWAY, GOD ALREADY PAID THE PRICE. Yet we know that when we follow our sinful nature it means that we're not following our Holy Spirit, and those who don't follow the Spirit will not inherit the Kingdom of God (see above).

    I'm reminded constantly that the Holy Spirit has no place in our lives. He's not allowed in our churches, our schools, our public squares, or our government buildings. He's reminded constantly by half of our nation that He's to remain separate from the public sector. That private businesses are boycotted for even presenting his name (Christmas) on their storefront. That speaking in tongues is taboo, that you're considered CRAZY if you actually do what the bible says in red letters (Mark 16). We've trivialized the scriptures as out of date. I don't need scriptures that tell me how to live; I'll just use my feelings. If it feels good, it must be right.

     Stop reading this and go to 2 Peter 1:16 and read through 2:9. God knows how to deliver the just, and the Godly from these times. We, the Christians, have to hold our ground. Quit drinking the cultures kool-aid, as Ed Young would say, and wake up. Use the bible as a guide for our actions. Re-think positions that we hold so tightly to be true because of relationship, and open our eyes to the truth that God offers us so freely. God has rescued his children from times of destruction over and over again. Examine yourself through and through. I know that I'm not perfect by any means, but my hearts desire is that I never put a frown on the face of God. That if I do, I repent immediately.

     Christianity needs a Kobe Bryant style makeover. It can't be done by the loud mouthed, hypocrites either. It has to be done step by step, day by day, by you. You live the life that God has called you to live. You call on the carpet those around you who claim Jesus as Lord and Saviour, yet live as though they've never met the man. You live above the fray, a life above reproach, like A CITY SET UPON A HILL. That's what will either turn the tide of judgment, or at least spare you from the midst of it. (See Psalms 91 and Isaiah 65:8)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Post Gun Control: 4 Biggest Issues for Americans

     Will anyone address this issue, or will it become the wedge issue that destroys the Republican party? If Republicans don't get their act together, the fastest growing demographic in our nation will alienate them. The Hispanic population is, and will be, a power player in every future election of the United States. They are a Godly people who stand against all the social issues that conservatives stand against, yet they vote democrat because of this issue. There are a couple thoughts out there that deal with illegal immigrants, and I want to share mine:

     No Amnesty, yet we need to make the process as easy as possible. Don't require them to have a full understanding of the English language, just a basic one will do. It's ok for us to have more than one language in our country... SIDE NOTE: If a person who speaks 3 languages is tri-lingual, and a person who speaks 2 languages is bilingual, what do you call someone who only speaks 1 language? AN AMERICAN...Allow them to get a work visa (not full citizenship) for a period of five years. This makes it to where they pay taxes, but don't get benefits like social security, medicaid, medicare, obamacare, etc... This gets them on the path to citizenship. It allows us to help all those who are here illegally to become contributors to our economy and our government. At the end of the five years, if they fulfill all of the requirements needed, they are given full citizenship.

     The reality is we can't just round up 12 million people. They wouldn't be here if they weren't filling a need. Have you seen the pictures of the Alabama harvest when they round up all the illegal immigrants? Food was literally left on the vine because the farmers couldn't find anyone who wanted the job. We need comprehensive immigration reform. We need to educate their children, and by doing this, we will assimilate them into our society.

     This is HUGE. My own personal beliefs say that you'll only appreciate something if you work for it. In fact, the best things in life are the ones that you've shed blood, sweat, and tears for. That personal realization is what's driven my belief system when it comes to taxes. 46% of Americans don't pay income tax. Why would they appreciate what we have, if they're not paying for it? That's why I believe that a flat tax rate for ALL Americans is the right answer. I would love to see a 10% flat tax rate on all American's income. The advantage to this is obvious, it's simple and fair. Where the money would be made is in an implementation of a federal sales tax of 10% on all goods. This would tax those who purchase goods at a high level aka the richest Americans. It would be a fair tax rate as well, because it'll tax those who spend. Obviously I'm no economist, so I realize that it's more complex than this. I just know that this will also save our government money because it will simplify the tax code, it'll save American's money because they'll be able to understand their own taxes, and it creates buy in for all people in our nation.

     A voucher program is the only answer in my opinion to the problem of the public school system in major metropolitan areas. I was lucky enough to grow up in small town America. CMS is a great school system, but my parents chose to put me in private Christian education. I'm so grateful for this! I was given a biblical world view from the time I was in the 4th grade. Our taxes go to fund our public school system. We're all paying for our kids' education. I think that as FREE Americans, it's our right to CHOOSE where we want our money to go to. If you want private education, then you get a voucher from the government, if you want public education, then go right ahead. This way, the very best schools in our nation will get rewarded. The worst schools will get shut down. Imagine that, the free market system at work in our education!

     I understand that this will NEVER HAPPEN. Too much indoctrinization happens in our metropolitan public school system for our government to ever allow it. They don't want our kids learning about negative belief systems like intelligent design, abstinence, capitalism, freedom, or history. They would rather stick to the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Yet most Americans can't put two and two together to figure out that they're really not free.

     We should be better at educating our kids. We spend nearly 810 billion dollars a year (LINK) compared to the next closest nation (Japan) at 161 billion. yet we're in the middle of the pack in Math and Science scores. It's time to reward those schools that are great, and shut down the schools that are failing. No Child Left Behind failed because we didn't give kids the option to leave the schools that were failing. We defunded them, then kept those kids at the defunded schools. How could we have smart kids when we have dumb leaders? Give kids the option to go somewhere else, get out of the bad schools.

     The classic moniker drill baby drill is an oldie and a goody. Our public lands need to be opened up for more drilling. Private lands are booming right now, yet our government is denying permits left and right to Americans. They have no problem "sharing the wealth" with uber-left wing countries, just not their own citizens. If they were serious about alternative fuel sources, they'd look at Brazil. Sugar Cane Ethanol is a viable solution to our problem. Corn ethanol is a joke and everyone, but DC, knows it. It has a negative effect on our feed prices for any industry that relies on animals, it drives up other commodities because more people are growing corn, and it has no effect on our greenhouse emissions because it releases more CO2 than gasoline in the process of conversion. Sugar cane however is 10x's better than gasoline and corn. It could be grown in our Southern states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, etc. where we have large swampy areas. It's not a naturally occurring plant here in the U.S. so it wouldn't influence the market for the other commodities.

     The reality is this; they don't want to solve this problem either. The left wants to use this as a wedge issue for the next 10 years. They want to make the right look like the bad guys who "want dirty water and dirty air". While they're the crusaders of clean. With their leaders like Al Gore who parade around talking about Global Warming yet their houses put out 32x's the average greenhouse gas as the normal American. They fly around in jets and drive Hummers. How are we supposed to take these people serious? If they really believed what they said, they'd be more conscientious. In fact, they'd be who they want us to be. So no, just like immigration, they're playing to their audience. They're preaching the good old strategy of, "Do as I say, not as I do". You can always count on politicians to be great at politics and terrible at living up to their promises.

     These are the issues of the next four years and beyond. They will plague us and generations to come if we can't get them right. What do you see as the biggest issues that need to be solved in the next four years? Leave a comment and explain why you think that issue is crucial.