Persecution

It really is happening today, in America and around the world. I never really thought it would be as bad as it has become here, but it is getting worse. On christiannews.net today I saw an article about the “lower IQ” of Christians versus Atheists. Why that is even a question on a psychology test I don’t know. Besides, intelligence is not measured by your religion or how much education you have or don’t have.

Persecution happens when people are intolerant of others, whether it is because of their religion or their skin color it still happens. How can we get around this or away from it entirely? Actually, no we can’t. At least not while the world is entirely under the control of satanic forces as it is today. I know, many people don’t believe in any kind of spiritual being whether they are good or bad, God or Satan. The point of this is that whether you believe it or not, soon it will be evident to all, non-believers and believers alike.

In this article a Christian professor at the University of North Carolina, told the outlet that “every group is protected from offensive speech on campus except for conservative Christians.”

Why are Christians singled out in America and everywhere else? It is because of the One that we follow. When will it come to my town? It may already be there, it just isn’t in your face yet. Yes, freedom of religion means that you have the freedom to worship whatever you want or not. But, why all of the lawsuits and protests against Christians and their views?

Why can’t we just get along? You have a different opinion of life than mine, so what? I am not going to call the news station because of it! You might live with a pig, a real pig…what business is it of mine? I don’t care what you do in your home. Why can’t my practice of my religion, even if it is Christianity, be mine and you just stay out of it? If my religion was Islam, it seems, there would be no problem at all or if it was Wiccan or any other religion than Christianity then…no problem.

Difference of opinion, difference of religion, different skin color, eye color or hair color…we are human and we are all different. Differences, diversity in genetics is what makes us the way that we are and the same is true in religions. We don’t have to make such a big deal about whether we believe each others beliefs or not.

Just my 2 cents.

Addition:

No, there are no persecuted Christians in jail for their beliefs, but the persecution exists regardless. We may make up a majority in the polls which say that over eighty percent of Americans are Christians, but that number is far inflated. The point of my article is not that we are persecuted in America like they are elsewhere, but that it exists and it will likely get worse. Even though those who are making the most noise are in the minority, that may change in the near future. Believe what you want, this is America.

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What do you need?

Many times we look around us and wonder, “Is there anything that I need right now?” Are you sure that you really need what you think that you need right now?

I know, it sound sorta confusing doesn’t it? The point is that we are always looking for something in our daily lives, whether it is our glasses or our car keys or even a flash light, it seems that we are always losing something. When you are depressed, or down whichever way you look at it, you have lost a little of yourself. Some part of you, the happy part maybe, is either asleep or is hiding in a closet somewhere not wanting to come out.

I have felt this way. I still feel this way on some days, but then there are times when you have to get up out of the closet in your mind, dust your pants off and just do…life. I know this sounds simplistic, and when you are deep into the dark recesses of your mind, you really don’t want to come out. That’s OK. Everyone has had a day or a couple of days like that and sometimes it takes going to a clinic or a doctor to get past the door of your closet…your dark place.

Needing to get going, to go past your mental doors that may be keeping you from engaging the rest of your family or the world is something that those of us who have been depressed or maybe still are depressed is hard to do at times. You may not even want to get up and go to the doctor’s office. I didn’t. I don’t have insurance and many insurance plans don’t cover “mental illness”. It is like we made up something…that those of us suffering from this just think up some “condition” to have so we can get medication, so they choose not to cover it.

Nobody CHOOSES to be depressed! Nobody wants to feel the way that this makes you feel, so why do people seem to think that it is just something that we need to “get over”? Maybe because they are denying that they have ever felt this way? I was in denial about it because I finally realized that I have been depressed a lot longer than I thought!

My “way up and out” was when I actually admitted to myself that I was depressed, not just down. I had actually thought about suicide, not tried to accomplish it but the thought had crossed my mind a few times. Something that a Christian shouldn’t think about, let alone the pastor of a church, which I am. God has helped me through this so far and He will lead me through it, one day at a time. I am reading and praying about this daily through Psalms and Proverbs, so I have a long way to go yet, but that is fine. My life will be richer for it and I will be able to empathise with others better.

Call on Jesus, admit that you are not the problem but that you have a problem, He will help you to get through this too!

God will be with you during this period and if you feel that you need prayer or just a friend to vent to, drop me a comment or an email. I am not an expert, but He is and together we can get through this!

Do you feel blue?

Eeyore

Continuing the theme of Pooh, Eeyore is the most down and out of the entire troupe of friends that Pooh has. Is it simply because he has such terrible luck? Or is it just because he is depressed and his mood reflects his life? Or maybe his life reflects his mood? I have been feeling like him for about three months or so and I can tell you that my problem, my depression didn’t reflect my life…it just happened.

I can’t give a reason for it nor a real honest explanation for any of it, which is what makes it so frustrating. I can’t find anything which would or could be typed as the trigger or the cause of it, at least not a specific cause. So what can be done about it?

Go to a doctor and then a “shrink”, then be prescribed some pills that will force my brain chemistry to behave maybe? I can’t afford any of that! I don’t have any insurance and I don’t want to consider the affordable care act options because they are not options for me.

My feelings are getting better with time and reading God’s Word as well as these writings that I am doing here. Believe it or not, this…the act of writing this stuff out is actually therapeutic or at least it seems to be helping in some way. Very likely the hand of God is doing this and using the act of writing my thoughts and His revelations to me as a way of healing my screwed up emotional state.

I apologize about the rambling nature of this but as I said, it does help.

Whether you think it will help you or not, try it. Sometimes just the act of writing your thoughts and feelings down can help, because you have to think about what you are writing and you have to (sort of) make it “make sense” and not just be a jumbled up bunch of words.

God said that “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 and He never breaks a promise. So cling to Him, lean on Him and His strength and not on your own because ours will fail and falter. He never does.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking….(envisioning Pooh)

300px-Pooh_and_Piglet,_Thinking

I really like Pooh Bear. His philosophy of life is profound and simple. Eat, enjoy life with your friends, think about…stuff. Like, how clouds look and how they get around, why is the Sun so bright, could I fly to the moon? All important questions, especially when you don’t want to think about the REAL world and its problems. Life is a question from the time that we can talk and make sentences until the day that we, in the words of Commander Data “go offline”. How can we really enjoy life when there are so many questions? Do we have to answer them all? I am only adding to the number of questions by asking all of these.

The point is that we are beings who think. Our minds work all of the time, except while we are asleep and some say that we actually solve many of our problems while we are asleep we just don’t realize it at the time. Unconscious thoughts, words, meanings and emotions cloud our thinking and crowd out the really weird stuff, but only while we sleep. When we are awake, we have news and Facebook and Instagram and conversations over our phones and computers as well as with other human beings. Not to mention the things which we really have to do, like go to work, drive the car, watch for the other people on the highway around us, then do our job (whatever that might be) and then drive home and either fix something to eat for our family or get it as take-out from a restaurant.

Your life and mine are constantly in motion. Our minds rarely have a chance to catch up with everything that we are doing, and yet I haven’t even mentioned giving time to God or Bible study and meditation, prayer, etc. It is possible to do all of these things but when you write them down…they look so overwhelming! God gave us the ability to do this but we take it for granted, because from the time we first start going to school, more things are added to our daily menu of things to do every day! It seems that we are never really caught up or that we ever will catch up. Why?

More questions. Think…think…think..what can we do that doesn’t require so much energy, so much brainpower? I don’t have the answer to that, unless you might want to play some games on a console or on the computer, that is a mostly brain-less activity in my opinion. So, without being brain-less, how about getting into God’s Word? The wisdom contained in it doesn’t require us to really think, just believe in Him and His wisdom, as well as in His Son Who made it possible for us to come to God at any time that we need Him, regardless of the circumstance.

Once Jesus took care of the atonement or payment for our sins, all that we have to do is to believe in Him and what He did and ask Him to forgive us and to help us be more like Him in our daily lives. So that we can bring His message to others and, if the Holy Spirit draws them, maybe they will want to give their lives to Him as well. Christians don’t go on jihad (except for the ones that were deceived by their church in the Middle ages), Christianity cannot be forced on anyone and neither can any other religion!

Please consider your eternal soul and really think…think this through before deciding to follow Jesus or not. The decision can be the most valuable in your lifetime, because then your true, eternal life won’t end at all!

Living the life

Do you dream of living the life? Can I ask, “What kind of life is it that you want to live?”

Is it one of wealth and prosperity, where you can provide for yourself and your family regardless of the price? Or do you want to have enough…to make the bills and pay your utilities and buy food without worrying about whether there is enough?

These are questions which I have pondered my whole life and I cannot truly answer which one I would rather have. Actually, the second option sounds more feasible….more achievable, but the problem now is “How?”

Many people seem to have cornered the way to make money on the Internet. Is it ethical? Is it right? Are you really providing a service…a useful service for people or are you just selling open, empty promises and when they buy into it, then they have to participate in the lie in order to make any money?

I am not accusing anyone of doing this but there can’t be that many ways of making hundreds or thousands of dollars per week or month that is actually legal and ethical! The life that I am challenging you to live is not one that has all of the money that you need to vacation in Tahiti, or to live there during part of the year.

The life that I challenge you to live is one that is such that you wouldn’t be ashamed to bring your mother along with you. One that you would even be able to take Jesus along with you, no matter where you might go. Don’t you realize that God created us, each one of us, for a purpose…His purpose, not yours! He will make you prosperous if that is His will for you, but if you are in His will then your life will bring glory to Him and honor Him as well.

God loves you and intended for you to be a part of His Kingdom! You are a vital part of His plan. How do I know this? Because the Bible says that we are all unique and wonderfully made and because God would not create such a wonderful human being if you, each of you, did not have a place in His Kingdom!

All that you need to do is to ask Him to come into your life and your heart. Change your life and He will, repent of your sins and tell Jesus that you will learn to walk with Him. It is not hard. Read God’s Word, pray that He will show you what you need and how to follow Him and when you have done this you will know Him. He already knows you. Please consider this, the time of grace for the world and for the church is soon coming to a close. Nobody knows when this will be, but almost every prophecy that was supposed to happen before His coming has already happened. This life is the only chance that you get to make things right for eternity, so get it right the first time.

The One who Sees me

He is El Shaddai (The Almighty)
He is El Olam (The Everlasting God)
He is El Ohiym (The Strong One)
He is Adonai (Master)
He is Yahweh Shalom (The Lord is Peace)
He is Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord Who Heals)
He is Jehovah-Hoseenu (The Lord our Maker)

These are the names of God..the names of our Lord, but you know He also occupies places in your life that are important as well.
He is our Deliverer. He is our Rock and our Fortress.
He is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He is our Saviour. He is the One Who Sees our troubles and carries us through them.
He is our Creator. He is the I AM. He is our Rod and our Staff.
He is our Healer and Protector.
He is our Shepherd and our Friend.
He is our Father in Heaven.

God is all of these. Jesus is all of these. The two of them and the Holy Spirit make up the Trinity and they are One. They rule over the universe and watch over all of our lives and our troubles as well as our fears and our heartaches. God is all that you or I will ever need, even when we have nothing that this world calls wealth, we are rich in Him. When we realize this and begin to act like it, then the world will see it and want what we have because they will know that it was not bought with money. It was given to us by God Himself and nobody can take it away.

Yes, I admit that I have been very deeply depressed for over a month. I have thought of ending my life. I have felt worthless and useless but God has been with me through it all. I have cried out to Him and I have yelled at Him. I have cussed and fussed about the way that I feel and asked Him why do I feel this way? Through it all, He let me rage and fuss. He allowed me to vent and cuss and then ask forgiveness for what I had said. I am not finished with my depressed state because it is not something that goes away like a cold or the flu. Unfortunately, it is what our society calls a disease of the mind. They used to put you in the mental hospital for it and depending upon how bad you are, they still do. But…I am not there yet.

The point that I had to make today is this: God never leaves you where you are, no matter what you are doing or what may be wrong in your life. He is always there with you, holding you in His hand. Giving you strength and comforting you like a child, which we are. But, He is also very patient with His children as well. His patience is far greater than ours and it goes deeper, like His love for us, than we can comprehend.

God cannot do anything to you or for you except through love because that is His character and His being. That is why we can’t understand it, because we can’t love that deeply or completely and yet the love expressed between a man and woman and their children is as close as we can get in this life to it. If you haven’t given yourself to Him, please do it before it is too late. Because once this life is over, you don’t get another chance to make it right. Think about that, please?

My mentality

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

Actually, I had put up this site and others for a witness for Jesus to draw in some who might otherwise choose not to read my other blogs. But, this has been so therapeutic for me in other ways until I can’t keep from changing the tone to one which points toward the mental health of everyone who may read this. I went through an illness in December of 2012 which permanently disabled me. Prior to this, I was able to go and do mostly what I wanted within reason and sanity.

During this time of illness, I had some dreams (for lack of a better way to describe them) which brought me to a point which, I believe, was like a stepping off place. One that would eventually take me to places that I really didn’t want to go, but it did whether I was willing or not.

My “mental state” has always been suspect (if you will allow me) since my parents divorced when I was very young. I have been and grew up being an angry young man, and but for the grace and prayers of my family I might not have survived through my teenage years. Because I was angry at my parents and at the world in general, I couldn’t or wouldn’t see my problem and I didn’t for a very long, long time.

All through 2013 I struggled with my state of mind because it seemed to point back to the fact that I couldn’t work and because I really didn’t know or understand what was happening to me. Why was I feeling this way? Only recently, within the past six weeks, have I finally come to understand that my mental state…my depression was at the root of my biggest problem. It was not my inner ear balance which was causing my anger and frustration, it was my “inner mind”.

I pray that the Physician of the Universe, our Creator will touch your lives and mine with His healing hands through this project and through, possibly, something that I have said or written or even something that other bloggers have written. God is an awesome God and He has created us in His image but sometimes our image becomes a bit blurred by the cares and consequences of this world. The most encouraging thing is that He loves you beyond anything that you can know or feel and will carry you through it if need be.

http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/

time……..

Have you noticed that time doesn’t wait for anyone? When  you are born, your life-clock begins ticking and no one knows when it will stop. Be very careful about what you value in life, because putting value on something that is useless is a fool’s way of doing things. Yes, it is true that the world and those in it value things more than they value people, but that is not how we are supposed to live our lives.

A nice home is worth more than two hundred thousand dollars these days. To many people, a car that is worth a good portion of one hundred thousand dollars means that you are a success. Nice, expensive suits and shoes and jewelry all go along to keep the illusion alive. But exactly what are these things going to do for you? What can they do?

To answer those two questions, simply…nothing. So, in my eyes and to my own heart they are worth nothing. Regardless of the cost of any of them, if they don’t make a difference in your life or the life of someone else then they are worthless.

We only have this life and the time that we have is limited. Maybe seventy or eighty years, possibly ninety if you have the genes for living a long life. But, what have you done with it? Has it made a difference in the world? Have you?

Look to God’s Word for support and suggestions for what you should do and say to others. Live your life and your work, your business as the book of Proverbs says and seek the Kingdom of God at every turn in your life. When you have done these things, then your life will have meaning, purpose and a reason, no matter how long it might be.

Think about it.

In the interest of….

Being involved in life. What have you accomplished? Any success in your business or in life itself? Can you truly and honestly say that you are doing everything that you can do to be true to your life and calling, whatever it might be? Have you considered what your purpose in life really is?

Many people get beyond high school and still have no clue what they should do with their lives. Some even get out of college with a degree in “liberal arts” and don’t really have any idea what they want to do or need to do with their lives. Why is there all of this confusion in life? Why can’t we just determine our path and stick to it? Is it because that path is hidden or hard to see?

I really don’t think that is the case. I do however, believe that the blame points to the church and the lack of leadership in it, especially in the past fifty years or so. The church, regardless of the denomination, has not stepped up in the political arena to protect and defend the rights of Christian people in America and elsewhere.

Yes, our country was founded upon Christian principles and the schools which were brought into existence early in our country’s history were first and foremost training schools for ministers. Yes, believe it or not, Harvard, Princeton and Yale were all seminaries for the training of those who are called to be Ministers of the Gospel. They did not begin their life as playgrounds for the rich, nor were they liberal in their views toward the world, at least at the beginning. People came to the colonies to escape religious persecution and to further the Kingdom of God, at least that is what was in the Mayflower Compact so long ago.

Being involved in life or in the church, regardless of the level that you choose to make yourself known, is a process which involves more than just showing up for work on time or choosing to be someone who can be used by God to further His Kingdom. The process of being someone in this life and doing something that will matter in the life to come, is called being a disciple of Jesus Christ. But, we can’t just decide that we are going to be ministers or evangelists, we have to be called by Him to be that.

In your business life or in daily life, your relationship to God needs to be defined to a point where you know whether you believe in Him and in Jesus’ atonement for you. Why do I bring this up when business doesn’t involve Christ? Some businesses do and truly your business should be a partnership between you and Jesus first and foremost. If your business is not one that you would feel comfortable with Him in it, then you might need to check your relationship with Him as well.

Conduct your life and your business as if Jesus is the CEO of it. Start your days by studying the “business book” of Proverbs. Ask God to show you what you can do to bring His Kingdom glory through your business. Why am I bringing so much Bible into a business discussion/post? Because God is interested in your life and if your life includes your business, then He should be involved in that too. One other reason is that since He is the Creator of everything, I imagine that He would know something about business.

We are coming to the end of the age of grace, so consider who you are going to line up with. There are no dates that I can give you, only that the time is drawing near. The signs are in the heavens, the blood moons that are happening this year and next, and the unrest and persecution which is happening everywhere. It is time for those who have felt or heard the Holy Spirit calling to them to make their decision if they haven’t already. Get into the Bible, learn as much as possible during the time that is left because the persecution will increase and we will be called to give account of ourselves in one way or another.

I have been writing these pages and posts, not here but on my other pages, for about five or six years and I do believe that God has given me the words to say. I never had this “talent” if you will, before I became a Christian so His influence is the only explanation that I can give. God has done this, not me. Visit my other sites: thelivingmessage.com or inhisservicetilhecomes.com, you will see some other messages that I have put up. Please, consider becoming a Christian if you are not already. If you are get deeper into the Word of God so that you will not be deceived in the time of trouble that is coming.