Clinton and Religion

I love it when our terrible choices for President of the United States clearly reveal themselves.  Hillary Clinton recently made clear her views on religion.  She said:

 “Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper.” “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Religious beliefs have to be changed? Who will do the changing and by what authority? How will such changes be enforced? Who will do the enforcing?

Christian beliefs are not chosen. “Political will” does not determine what we believe and practice.  Christians are folks who have surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is now the boss of all that we do, say and believe.  We model our conduct after His conduct.

Changing our beliefs to fit in with changing cultures is totally against the will of God. We are counter cultural. We stand against ungodly parts of any culture. We will never agree to compromise our faith simply because someone doesn’t like it.

And, by the way, we will continue to proclaim that the way of Jesus is the only way that makes sense.  It is the only way to salvation and eternal life (heaven).  It is the only way there will ever be peace in our divided, war torn, inhumane, racist, greedy, corrupt, immoral and cruel world.

Nothing will change until hearts are changed. People will continue to kill babies and accommodate behavior God considers abominable until hearts are transformed and turned to the One who made us.

Questions:

  1. Is there really such a thing and right and wrong?
  2. What about “gray areas?”
  1. How does one determine what is right and what is wrong?
  2. Is right and wrong determined by the Supreme Court or an act of Congress?
  3. Should the dictates and decisions of the Congress or SCOTUS be accepted and obeyed by all citizens? Why? Why not?
  4. Do you agree or disagree with this article? Tell me why.

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The Pitfalls of Being a “Self- Made” Man

James HJames Mom%20%26%20Jamesallmark is a good friend of mine…and I am proud to call him”friend.”  He is a pioneer in television in these parts beginning his work with KRBC when it was tiny studio up in the hills of the Callahan Divide overlooking Abilene.  We found we had a lot in common having both begun work when TV was just a kid.  I was on the “floor crew” at KMID, in 1960 moving cables and cameras around.  James was beginning his career as an announcer and doing voice over for commercials.  He has been responsible for telethons every year…hard, detailed work.  But best of all he is a strong, faithful, committed Christian.  He writes a great article nearly every week as you will find out when you read the post below

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” Someone once used these words to describe a man that he knew. Cutting but true! The world has convinced mankind that a self-motivated, self-serving lifestyle is his right and obligation. The self-worshipper is “full of himself” and thinks nothing of ignoring others and even God, if they stand in the way of his agenda and human nature’s desires. He deliberately keeps God and others at arm’s  length. The Apostle Paul described the self-driven lifestyle in these words: “And that means killing off everything connected  with this way of death: sexual promiscuity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like It, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. “That’s a life shaped by feelings and things instead of by God” (Colossians 3:7 MSG).

Let’s dig down deep and see if we can discover our spiritual enemy and how he has always worked his will in our lives. Let’s set aside the image of Satan as having horns, wearing a red suit (fire resistant I presume), and carrying a pitchfork. He is the general on the battlefield of our spiritual life, who dispatches his army of demons to torment us and take us as prisoners of war. Satan ensnares us by manipulating the man of flesh that resides deep within each of us. This man of sin is easy pickings for Satan and his hordes.

Self-control is the only weapon we have fight off the enemy. The problem that we have is that most of us don’t have sufficient ammunition to fight off the invaders. Their concept of self-control is that they, themselves, control our lives and actions. And, of course we as human beings excuse our bad behavior with the lame blaming that “after all we are only human”.   That leaves us holding the bag!

Self-control means that somehow we must exercise control of our choices. Let’s look in the mirror and see our ego-centric self is what we must overcome, and we have to be able to admit that it is out of control and uncontrollable without divine help. The truth of the matter is that until we can overcome the influence of our human nature that rules in our lives. our lives can only get worse…never better!

Several years ago I discovered that hyphenated words that start with “self” run up a red flag. I’m talking about words like self-indulgence, self-fulfillment, self-absorbed, self-motivated, self-love, self-driven, self-pity, self-centered, to mention just a few. I’m sure that others may come to mind. Our problem is that many of these appear to be good characteristics that we have been taught to nurture. Now, substitute “God” for “self” in each of these words and you may be surprised at the cleverness of our enemy. Replacing “self” with “God” brings into sharp focus the kind of live we are prone to live, left to our own devices, and the real life that God offers. It has been suggested to me that sin is a perversion of God-given. When our instincts for security cross an invisible line it can morph onto pride, greed, and envy and anger. Our human need for companionship can turn into lust and lust into sexual impurity. Our need for self-preservation can find expression in angry outbursts and gossip. It has occurred to me that all of my unacceptable behavior can be traced back to my self-centered distortion of legitimate human needs that are carried too far. My responsibility is to learn the difference between my “wants and “needs.” He leaves the choice with us. Do you want to be a self-made man or the Creator’s creation?

A few years ago, a commercial ran on national television that really caught my eye. It was a commercial for the Edward Jones financial people. It opened at a nurses’ station at a hospital. A doctor is on the phone with a patient, who is at home. Try to visualize this scene. The doctor is instructing his patient on how to do surgery on himself. The doctor said: “Now, make an incision about six inches long between your third and fourth rib.” The camera cuts to a very distraught man standing in his kitchen with shirt unbuttoned. In his hand is a butcher knife from the kitchen. He had broken out in a cold sweat, and muttered nervously: “Doc, shouldn’t you be doing this?” The spiritual surgery that must be performed to set a person free from himself is drastic and painful, but absolutely necessary. You must decide whether you want a scalpel, or do you want the Great Physician to take over?

Archbishop Fenelon was a spiritual advisor in the court of King Louis the XIV in France some three hundred years ago. He ministered to a small group of faithful Catholics and often wrote letters to them to encourage and instruct them. Here is an excerpt from one of the letters. “The death that God brings pierces deep within. Soul and spirit will be divided. He sees all in you that you cannot see. He knows exactly where the fatal blows should fall. He heads straight for that which you are most reluctant to give up. Pain is only felt where there is life. And in this situation is precisely the place where death is needed.”(The Seeking Heart-Fenelon, pg 5).

The Christian life was never meant to be a self-improvement program because it requires that we nail our old self to the cross of Christ. When we have carried out this self-crucifixion, God immediately goes to work recreating man in the image of his Son. As Peter wrote, “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust” (II Peter 3-4 MSG). Read Peter’s words again and absorb the significance of what they mean about the daily, intimate relationship that our supernatural God wants to have with each of us.

It boils down to choosing whom we will believe. We have to decide whether we will believe the lies of the father of lies, or take the word of the One who created the universe and mankind. Many years ago I put my trust in God, and have never regretted my decision. I have even begun to experience God working in my life, and that brings me peace, and hope that the world cannot comprehend. I am not willing to be a self-made man any longer, I much prefer becoming A God-fashioned man.

I am content to be the clay and put myself in the hands of the Master Potter to turn a pile of mud like me into something beautiful.

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WHO DIED AND MADE THEM BOSS?

eyeseeyou

There’s a lot going on in these dark days that is infuriating.  For me the actions of the so-called “Supreme Court” are most infuriating.  Here we have five justices who are appointed by the current regime (not voted on) who have overarching power over us.  Their job is to “interpret” the constitution for us.  Any thing the majority of justices deem “unconstitutional” (whether it really is or not) is declared unlawful.

For years I have believed the Supreme Court is one of the major problems in our democracy.  It ranks second to giving everyone an equal vote when electing the members of congress and the president. (This assumes that everyone except convicted felons has the best interests of all the people in mind when voting).  Unfortunately, in this increasingly “nanny state,” the recipients of federal aid tend to vote for who can give them the most entitlements. I fear these problems will prove to be seeds of our demise

SCOTUS has made some decisions I applaud. I rejoice when they rein in a president who uses his telephone and pen to make his own laws by executive decision.  But, as a resident of the great state of Texas, I was particularly rankled when SCOTUS struck down our law that provided the safest care possible for women who sought abortions. As a consequence many substandard abortion facilities closed their doors. How, in the name of common sense, was that deemed unconstitutional? Previously, these un-elected and fallible lawyers had forced all Americans to accept marriage between same sex men and women as lawful. It didn’t seem to matter that most religious Americans found this to be morally unacceptable and repugnant.

I for one am fed up with stuff like this…fed up to the eyeballs. You say you don’t like such antics and you want to get out from under such high-handedness?  Tough. There’s nothing you can do.  You can write your blogs, send letters to the editor, petition the congress…but…it will be for naught for the Supreme Court has spoken.  This isn’t government of the people…it is government by a few of the people. It is government in spite of the people. It is government by a board of dictators who answer to no one. I never liked dictatorships and I certainly don’t like this one.

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What a Dilemma!

eyeseeyou

I don’t want Clinton or Trump to win.  Whether democrat or republican we have the choice between a “conlady” or a self-important windbag.  I usually vote republican but this election cycle puts me in a position to deprive both parties of my vote for POTUS.  Knowing what I know, my conscience won’t let me do otherwise.

 

I will probably vote Libertarian this time.  I know that is a somewhat meaningless vote but it enables me to not only vote but, at the same time, make a statement.  OK, I know it is a statement that is worth less than a hill of beans.

 

For reasons made known in previous posts (you do read all my posts don’t you?) I cannot, in good faith, vote for either candidate.

 

I used to think, “All right, vote them in and everyone will see how inept they really are.”  But when Barack Obama was reelected I had to ditch that idea. I will continue to do my duty as a citizen as best I can but I will not violate my conscience.

 

Several comments regarding my last post were from people disgusted with Trump but will vote for him because he is “better than Clinton.” It is “the lesser of two evils” argument. But if I vote for Trump am I not still choosing evil even though a lesser one? What a dilemma!

 

Ultimately, American voters will decide who wins. Based on past elections, I am not optimistic.  I will, however, continue living with the results of elections even though I may disagree with them. I just hope for a more informed and moral electorate in the future. But, I ain’t holdin’ my breath.

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Mystery Solved

For months I have been puzzled about the meteoric rise of Donald Trump in the polls. I have also been puzzled by the staying power of Hillary Clinton as the choice of Democrats for president of our once-great nation.
For the life of me, I just could not figure out how both Democrats and Republicans could choose candidates who have perfected the dark art of lying. This is not even considering the narcissism of Clinton and the uber-narcissim of Trump.
How is it possible that the electorate can continually be informed of these shenanigans and keep supporting the perpetrators? I was stumped!
Finally, I think I have solved the mystery. As a nation, we no longer consider moral transgressions to be all that important. It should not be a surprise to those of us who have witnessed the moral decline of our nation.
I am not going to rehearse the indicators of moral decline. Most readers (those not living under a rock somewhere) don’t need to be reminded of the symptoms. Suffice it to say, some people are getting by with behavior that once in our history would have spelled the end of their public careers. Without moral restraints, anything goes!
So, Donald Trump keeps rising in the polls in spite of lies, insulting comments about women and Mexicans and anybody else who gets in his way. Are we actually willing to see this creature inhabit the oval office with no reason to expect a change in his behavior?
So, Hillary Clinton remains the Democratic candidate of choice regardless of her all-to-obvious penchant for bending and breaking the truth…once again without expecting her to become honest and trustworthy as president.
Really? Are these our choices? Have we really come to this? Two candidates who have both chosen the dark side? Can’t we do better? Have honesty, integrity, humility, dignity, honor, equality and justice become unimportant moral tenets?

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 eyeseeyou    Did you hear about the guy who walked into a Jewish delicatessen and ordered a ham sandwich? When the proprietors told him that they didn’t carry ham or any pork products, the customer asked why. When told it was against their religion, the man became irate and said, “We’ll see you in court!

     In the ensuing trial, the judge found the owners of the delicatessen were guilty of discrimination and forbade them from refusing orders from those who disagreed with their religious principles. The fine imposed by the court was so heavy; they had to close up shop. Oy vey!
Yes, this is a fictional account; but not an impossible account. No one in their right mind would expect ham from a Hebrew. Yet somehow, according to the Supreme Court, Christians cannot refuse to accept customer orders because of religious principles that have guided them for two thousand years. Already, we have seen our brothers and sisters slugged by the heavy hand of the law to the point of going out of business and being jailed. What kind of religious liberty is that?
The Supreme Court is supremely wrong. It is not their prerogative to make laws – that’s the job of congress. Does not the first amendment to the constitution guarantee our right to the free exercise of our religion? Who gave our highest court permission to reject the highest of our freedoms? “I call on Congress to make sure deeply held religious views are respected and protected,” Dr. Ben Carson said in a statement at the time. “The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs.”
I fear this is only the first shot in a coming period of intense persecution. Are you ready?

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Rethinking Donald Trump

Trump-1In your mind, feature Donald Trump as President of these United States. Like what you see? In my view, electing Trump as president would be a disaster. I cannot envision a president who would speak on important issues before he thinks then justifies his foolishness with telling us how wonderful he is. If he wins, how many world leaders will he offend? Consider his unsubstantiated comments about illegal Mexican immigrants:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. … And some, I assume, are good people.”

I wonder what the leaders of Mexico and China think about being called “stupid”?

Is he the “family man” he has boasted about? Well, he has been married three times. He explains that by admitting that his two failed marriages were because he loves his business so much. Wow! some advocate for traditional marriage!

No doubt he is successful financially but how many voters know about the bankruptcies he has been in involved in? He boasts about never being personally bankrupt but admits to “using the laws of this country” to shut out creditors to his own advantage. We don’t need a president to further mess up our economy. And, since when has economic prowess become a prerequisite for presidents?

“The Donald” never admits being mistaken. In his eyes he seems unable to do wrong. He is always right. He can’t even admit his sins (by the way, we all sin). In an interview with moderator Frank Luntz at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Luntz asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions. Hear his amazing answer, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.” That pretty well settles it for me. I can’t speak for you but I want a president who has a better understanding of the meaning of the gospel and his relationship to our Creator.

His morals are betrayed by his speech. “You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of axx.”

Add to that his disrespectful way of viewing women he doesn’t like. “If I were running ‘The View,’ I’d fire Rosie [O’Donnell]. I mean, I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’” “Rosie O’Donnell’s disgusting both inside and out. You take a look at her, she’s a slob. She talks like a truck driver, she doesn’t have her facts, she’ll say anything that comes to her mind.” Oops! Did he really say that last part?

Concerning Arianna Huff he tweets: “@ariannahuff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.”
Concerning Bette Midler he tweets: “While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.” Really?

“All the women on The Apprentice flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”

So, if blatant, sexist disrespect for women is what you want, vote Trump.

“The beauty of me is that I’m very rich .“  “Braggart” is not a necessary quality for presidential hopefuls. Yes, many are adept at bragging. But, they need to simply point us to their accomplishments. Narcissism, however, has no place in anybody’s resume. Notice his statement when he announced his candidacy.

“I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” “The wall will go up and Mexico will start behaving.”

And in a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black: ‘One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.” Is that so Donald?

He doesn’t stop there unloading on politicians: “If you can’t get rich dealing with politicians, there’s something wrong with you.” He also tweeted: “I laugh when I see Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush pretending to “love” each other, with each talking of their great friendship. Typical phony pols.”

“Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people [in office].”

Here he takes a shot at Jews: “The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yamakas (sic) every day.”

Concerning John McCain he blurts: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK, I hate to tell you.”

As one writer put it: “While McCain was a POW in Vietnam, Trump was living the lavish lifestyle of dining and clubbing with beautiful women. To quote the Washington Post: “As Trump was preparing to take Manhattan, McCain was trying to relearn how to walk.”

To hear more of Trump, especially his comments about the debate, see relevant articles at NEWSMAX.
If you want to know what intelligent persons have to say look at what Carly Fiorina had to say in the first debate go to CNN POLITICS.
Long ago, Jesus set the standard by which we determine the character of a person. He said: “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good [a]treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from [b]that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:44-46) See also Matthew 12:34
We can know about the heart of Mr. Trump by listening to his words.

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