The Saltiness of Salt

November 16th, 2015 lindarae No comments

The saltiness of salt. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matt. 5:13 NKJ). “Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another” (Mark 9:50 NKJV).

Scripture says we need to retain our saltiness as Christians. What does that mean?

One interpretation is that salt has to retain its saltiness in order to enhance the flavor of food. Otherwise, it has failed. If you are cooking a stew and pour in salt that has no saltiness, the stew remains bland. The salt does not enhance its flavor. It fails to impact the stew in any way. While if the salt put into the stew has saltiness, has retained its seasoning, it will change and improve the flavor of the stew.

If a Christian is not growing like Christ but is lukewarm and self-centered, that Christian has lost his/her saltiness. Christians without the saltiness of knowing and growing in Christ do not impact the people they know with Christ’s flavor and salvation. They are ineffective in impacting the world for Christ just as salt that has lost its saltiness is ineffective to fulfill its purpose of bringing out the flavor in food.

It can also be seen how if salt loses its saltiness, its ability to preserve meat is lost. The meat will spoil. So too, if a Christian is lukewarm and lacking Christ’s power to impact the world, they cannot preserve Christ and His principles in people’s lives or in a culture.
We have seen this in America. Many Christians have lost their saltiness, the power of Christ in their lives, and so our nation has not been able to keep Christian principles alive and growing and has not been able even to preserve them for future generations.

The body of Christ in America, Christians, have failed the Lord. We need to seek forgiveness for our sin of being lukewarm and cowardly, asking the Lord to send the fire of His Holy Spirit to cleanse us and restore His saltiness to our lives.

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What Makes a Christian, a Christian?

November 16th, 2015 lindarae No comments

What makes a Christian, a Christian?

Many people in our nation have a difficult time identifying who is a Christian. The question constantly arises in politics since most candidates point to some belief in God. Also, many others think they are Christians when they are not. What is needed is some standard to know how to identify a Christian.

Being a Christian does not depend upon a person belonging to a certain Christian denomination. It does not even exclude some offshoots of Christianity that include some obvious false doctrines, since all Christians and Christian denominations will most likely discover in heaven that some of their non-essential beliefs were wrong.

Even though there are many factors that are not necessary to be a Christian, there are some absolutely necessary beliefs or doctrines. What does Scripture say is necessary? 1 John 4:2 says that a person has to confess that Jesus Christ, meaning the Son of God, came in the flesh. In other words, Jesus is God who became man. That means the virgin birth really happened. Romans 10:9 says that whoever confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead will be saved. These are two very important acts of faith. If a person says they are a Christian but doesn’t believe Jesus is God, came to earth, died for the sins of humanity and rose from the dead, they cannot be a true Christian. Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again” (Mark 10:33-34). If a person claims to be or thinks he/she is a Christian and their beliefs do not line up with Scripture, they are deceiving themselves and others.

A true Christian would also have to believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, although the Old Testament rituals have been nullified by the law of grace introduced by Christ. In other words, many rituals and practices, such as food requirements, stoning, and women’s menstrual requirements are no longer required since Jesus fulfilled the law and established grace. However, the Old Testament, as clarified and redefined by the New Testament, is also the inspired word of God.

I have heard many people claim they are Christians, but they do not believe the above truths. They reject that Jesus is God and the validity of His miracles and resurrection. They think Jesus was a great moral teacher and that is all. They cannot be Christians, little Christs, in the true sense of that designation. They pick and choose from the Bible what they think applies to them and ignore its most important truths. They redefine sin to support their sinful habits.

So if someone asks you if such and such a person is a Christian, you need to give the questioner the above list of requirements or standards by which they can determine whether a person is in Christ or not. Why is that important? It is important because Christians are presently being pressured to agree that someone is a Christian just because they call themselves one. They are being made to feel that they are being judgmental if they inquire as to a person’s beliefs. If Christians agree to accept a person’s designation without questioning it, they will allow people to misrepresent Christianity and Christ, and then anyone can claim to be a Christian and spread lies and deceptions about Christ’s teachings. Every person will create their own definition for a Christian and the term, Christian, will have no meaning. The truth will be lost and along with the truth, people will be denied hearing the truth and having the possibility for salvation.

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What Can Christians Do to Save America?

November 8th, 2015 lindarae No comments

I hear Christian leaders on radio and television abandoning their belief in God’s calling on America. They are shifting away from the historical fact that God made a covenant with the nation of America, not the Christians in America. God directed the Puritans through prophecies to leave their homes in England and settle in New England where He could create a new nation and reformed churches, cleansing out the corrupt government and church structures found in England and the rest of the world. Chapter two of my book, Winning the Culture War, presents the historical proof for God’s covenant with America.
God does not want the body of Christ in America to abandon His covenanted nation. His callings are irrevocable, and we will be disobedient if we, American Christians, turn away from America and its role in God’s plan for the future. He said it was our nation that was to be a “City upon a Hill,” not American Christians. That does not mean Americans will all be holy, but it does mean Christians have a responsibility to be “salt and light” in our nation and its institutions. It is not our nation that has failed God, but American Christians who have failed Him.

The churches and Christians in America have failed God by focusing their attention on Jesus’ return. By believing Jesus is going to return in our lifetime, we have failed to be salt and light to the culture. We have practiced escapism, meaning we have avoided the persecution that accompanies letting God use our voices and examples in the major institutions that influence society. Christians have isolated and become moles, failing to let God use their talents and leadership skills to influence the education system, the entertainment and new media, unions, government, courts, and churches. If they do enter these institutions, many become passive and hidden because they think they just need to wait out their time until Jesus returns.

America is in the secularized state it is in because Christians have failed their nation and God. They have forgotten the covenant of their founding ancestors. The Puritans, Pilgrims, and founding fathers are the ancestors of all citizens of America, no matter from where and when their family originated. Americans become part of God’s covenant with our nation when they arrive and become citizens. American Christians have the responsibility to maintain and retain God’s calling.
God’s calling and covenant mean our nation is supposed to be an example to the world of God’s goodness, mercy, and justice and how God blesses a people who honor and practice His principles and values. If our nation restores our covenant with God, It does not mean everyone in our nation will practice Christian morality, but those moral principles would become the culturally agreed upon moral principles for behavior. This would provide an absolute standard that could restore order and diminish the violence and lawlessness that has grabbed our nation.

How can our nation restore its covenant with God? Some years back I would have recommended that Christians focus on a long term plan to train Christian Culture Warriors to enter the most influential institutions of our society to begin a process of restoration. Now I believe we will need a revival for Christians and a spiritual awakening in our nation to initiate the larger plan. It is the responsibility of American Christians to pray for a 21st century great awakening, releasing the Holy Spirit into the culture to bring many to salvation. We need a spiritual awakening to drive Satan back into hiding as happened in the 18th and 19th centuries.

We had some spiritual revivals in the 20th century, but they were only partially effective because of weaknesses and misconceptions of many sincere and not so sincere spiritual leaders and the material distractions of many believers. The devil found ways to distract and mislead many of those who committed their lives to Christ. This time we need to pay the price and hold onto the power and direction of the Holy Spirit to allow God to recharge our nation spiritually.

God’s purpose for an awakening in America would not be solely winning many to Christ. The two major awakenings in American history prepared the way for the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, which increased justice and freedom for all Americans. God had a purpose beyond salvations; it was also to accomplish His historical plan for our nation and the world. We were a light for His justice and freedom to all nations throughout the world because He hates injustice as well as wants all people to have an opportunity to be saved.

This 21st century awakening would also have an historical purpose, beyond salvations, to restore, renew and strengthen His covenant with America for whatever its role in God’s historical goal. He is not revoking His covenant with our nation but renewing it. An awakening will lead to a saturation of godly principles in the most influential institutions of our society. It will help restore the previous, strong influence of Judeo-Christian principles in our culture.
The awakening will begin by a revival in the body of Christ in America that will through the sovereign activity of the Holy Spirit spark a great awakening throughout our nation. God is presently looking for Christians like the Pilgrims and Puritans who will be obedient in prayer to begin with and then be willing to obey the direction of the Holy Spirit. We need to ask the Father to send His Spirit to put flesh on the dry bones of America. We need to seek Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We are at His mercy because we have no power in ourselves to cause a revival and awakening. God help us in our weakness to sovereignly reach beyond our power to perform His will.

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Ducky’s Dangerous Daily Adventure

August 13th, 2015 lindarae No comments

I have many neighbors that I greet on my walk with my dog each day. The grazing cows that I call, Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Adams, come over to the fence to have a chat. If Ducky is boisterous and noisy, they will cross the field just to lunge at the fence, showing their wish to charge and squish him, but some days they just walk towards us under the fallen tree branch and munch some high leaves acting as if they don’t really care. They express democratic patience with the little peon.

Today, as King George was clearing the field across from the patriots, behaving like an agreeable horse, Ducky barked at the apparent monster, and King George galloped menacingly up to the fence to show Ducky whose boss and demanded the little squirt of a dog shut up in the presence of royalty.

The most threatening villains are the rabble dogs who meander with their masters down the gravel road, nonchalantly pretending no fear of the yapping Chihuahua, driving Ducky to convulsions the size of the French Revolution, crying “Off with their heads! Off with their heads!” It is quite a spectacle of warlike proportions for Ducky each day as he tries to take a quiet walk just to go potty.

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Sun’s Heat, Horses and Cows

August 13th, 2015 lindarae No comments

It’s around seven in the morning and the sun is climbing up Moxy Way, the private Road below our home. The sun is halfway up the road and climbing, pushing up the shade. The shade will move up the road past the Batey’s house, up through the field past our house and the widower Mr. Fletcher’s house, up through the mining land and disappear over the hill, leaving the sun’s light pressing down on the houses and fields. The sun even dictated the movement of the seven horses that used to graze in the Pinnell’s field; they would stand under a clump of trees below our house as they saw the sun creeping up the road, eating up their shade–the limbs protected their eyes from its brightness.

Both fields are empty now, all of the horses and cows gone, having done their job to eat up the fire hazard. They all moved from place to place, eating day and night. They only stopped eating when they couldn’t bear the heat and rested on the barren ground under the trees. Then the cows lay together and let birds climb on them and licked each other, and the horses stood under the trees close together, swishing their tails and poised to attack with a flicking hoof if challenged–a more human bunch.

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A Christian Parent’s Response to a Gay Son or Daughter

August 13th, 2015 lindarae No comments

I have waited to make some comments about the recent celebration of LGBT successes. I do not want to overstate or understate the biblical response to them. The main question being asked Christians, even in a presidential debate, is: How would you respond if your son or daughter announced they were gay (meaning gay or lesbian)? Of course, any committed Christians would love and accept their child no matter his/her choice, but that is not the whole story. True, godly love of a parent for a child would necessarily go beyond acceptance to making an effort to lead one’s child away from that choice. The large majority of Christian parents will always love their children, but that does not mean they have to approve of all their choices. I made some bad choices in my life, and my parents did not stop loving me; in fact, they warned me against those bad choices because they loved me. I have done the same thing with my children.

The Bible, the Old and New Testament, states that homosexuals and sodomites, along with fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, swindlers, revilers, and covetous will not go to heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is one example). Out of love for my child, I would have the responsibility to explain why he/she should not follow a sinful path. How could I celebrate and approve of a choice that God has clearly defined as a sin, and not just a onetime sin, but a sinful way of life that can cause them to suffer for eternity. Because I love my children I would at some point and in a loving way try to sway any one of them away from practicing any of the above sinful life choices.

Of course, I would not expect people who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior to live up to God’s standard. Therefore, as a Christian, I welcome friendships with everyone, not just Christians, and I do not feel the need to repeatedly point out their sins. My life and values should speak to non-Christians more than my mouth. However, out of love for all people, it is good for secular society to know God’s opinion on all sinful behavior. I think that message has been made clear by most pastors and church leaders in our nation, hopefully in an honest but loving manner. Christians want all people to receive Jesus as their personal Savior, and they want everyone to hear the good news of salvation. God became man, was put to death, and rose from the dead so that every person has an opportunity to be forgiven, receive salvation and go to heaven. God loves everyone and wants a relationship with them, and He grieves for those who turn away and hold onto their sinful natures and ways. He grieves because they will not spend eternity with Him.

As you can see, it is somewhat complicated, and unless you are an informed Christian, it is difficult to grasp all of the distinctions and applications of godly principles. Many worldly principles that sound good can be mixed in with Christian ones and really add to the confusion. I advise those who want to know the truth to start with a blank slate, ridding yourself of preconceived ideas and societal prejudices. Truth does exist, and an sincere and humble reading of the Scriptures, will give you the truth for every moral decision.

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Death to Life in Charleston

June 22nd, 2015 lindarae No comments

The death of the nine Christians in the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina has become a trigger for unity rather than causing a race war. God intervened in our recent racial struggles and miraculously shifted the emphasis from division to unity. Whites and blacks in Charleston have chosen love and peace over prejudice and war.

It is a God intervening moment because, as we will come to understand: What Satan meant for evil, God turned to good for our nation. He is using it to make progress on racial unity. “E pluribus unum: Out of Many, One” is written on our one dollar bill. That American principle and goal has depended upon supernatural intervention from God since our beginning. We have had times of great upheaval and resistance to the goal of unity, but God always intervenes supernaturally at moments when Satan believes he has won. The devil causes great human sacrifice, but God uses that sacrifice for redemption from evil and the accomplishment of good.

God initiated this moment of forgiveness and unity in Charleston through the God-loving relatives of the saints who were slain. They have lived up to the Jesus-centered message of their slain pastor, Reverend Pinckney. His message was one of unity, love and forgiveness rather than the anger and hatred that has been driving the message of the majority of the media. It’s about time the American, Christian message of love and forgiveness replace the divisive, hateful messages of people who have been stirring up hatred and racial division.

It is terribly sad and painful that nine wonderful Christians had to die, but that too is a Christian tradition, starting with Jesus. Throughout the centuries the blood of martyrs has been shed to move and empower a person or nation to respond outside the natural limitations of love and unity. The shedding of innocent blood breaks the hold Satan has on weak human nature, allowing supernatural, unconditional love to prevail. It releases people and nations who are captive to evil and hatred.

America is supposed to be “a city upon a hill,” a light to the world of God’s plan and character. Overcoming our racial division can be a light to those involved in the Muslim civil wars throughout the Middle East between Shiites and Sunnis. The Middle East needs an example and hope, and America can provide it if we will follow the leading of the relatives of the martyrs in the AME Church in South Carolina. It is time for forgiveness throughout the nation, blacks for whites and whites for blacks. It is time for hatred to come to an end.

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Freedom of Religion and Gay Marriage

June 18th, 2015 lindarae No comments

It is interesting that 70% of Americans identify as Christians and liberals demand that Christians deny their right to exercise freedom of religion. A very small minority is dictating to the majority. They are demanding Christians violate their consciences. In Revolutionary times, the Virginia Bill of Rights stated that the free exercise of religion was according to the dictates of conscience. That bill of rights was used as a guideline for the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights. If a religious group cannot follow their conscience, they are not able to freely exercise their right to religious freedom.

If the Supreme Court decides that gay marriage is a federal right, then the consequences will be criminalizing pastors, churches and religious non-profits. Lawsuits will be filed to force Christian leaders, churches and organization to violate their consciences, their principles, and doctrines by forcing pastors to perform marriages for homosexuals, Christian schools to hire homosexual teachers and multiple other violations of Christian beliefs.

However, if the Supreme Court violates freedom of religion, it will not succeed. Christians, who realistically make up about 35% of the population, will begin to demonstrate and challenge enforcement of the laws. Christians will perform non-violent demonstrations in acts of civil disobedience to these laws and accept jail time rather than submit to violation of their First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of religion.

If progressives want to awaken the giant, I am all for it. It is about time Christians resist persecution and silencing manipulation and demand the rights in our political documents that protect us. In fact, the majority of religious people in this country, whether Jews, Christians or Muslims will stand together to protect our rights.

Progressives and activist homosexuals may think they are about to win, but a new day is coming if they think Christians will remain passive; I am 74 years old and I will demonstrate and go to jail to protect religious freedom in America.

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War on Drugs and Freddie Gray

May 1st, 2015 lindarae No comments

During the Baltimore demonstrations over the death of Freddie Gray, a bail bondsman on Sean Hannity’s show said the war on drugs has reached too far and has become harmful and self-defeating. He said that the last time Freddie Gray was arrested the police had seen him selling drugs on video, but when they picked him up, he wasn’t selling drugs, so the police planted drugs on him.

To Freddie and the bail bondsman, that was an injustice even though the police were right that he had been selling drugs earlier. Framing a person who was guilty is wrong even though that person was a drug dealer. The police have to catch him in the act.

If the police use illegal methods in trying to stop crime, they become part of the problem and incense the community. Still, some in the community are probably happy to get drug dealers off of the street, but two wrongs do not make a right. Legal procedures must be followed by law enforcement or the whole justice systems crumbles. Police framing people is probably only one of many questionable ways the police in Baltimore have used to clean up the streets.

Of course, improving policing is not the complete answer. Inner city crime has become so complex that personal commitment and sacrifice of God-loving people is required to make positive changes. Politicians are more of the problem than the police. They allow poverty to continue in order to keep the status quo that keeps them in power. Justice is postponed as a convenience for political trading. For example, teachers’ unions that donate and work for campaigns lobby politicians to prevent students from having a choice for better schools. School choice becomes bogged down in political bargaining, ignoring the needs of the people.

Education is the way out of poverty. It gives people knowledge of the opportunities available, shows people how to take advantage of the opportunity and gives them the training and knowledge to take advantage of the opportunity. Knowledge gives people power, and it is disturbing to me to see people denied the power to change their lives. They are being denied hope, and hope denied makes the heart sick.

The police are caught in a trap as well as the poor because politicians use police to keep order, which makes it possible for politicians to postpone providing the means to raise people out of poverty. Just thinking about it is frustrating and makes me feel powerless. There are so many wrongs that could be made right with genuine efforts to provide the poor with the education, hope and citizen training that could give them a choice and opportunity to rise to the middle class and higher and become contributing members of society.

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Is There an Answer on How to Improve Race Relations?

April 28th, 2015 lindarae No comments

I am so disappointed by the deterioration of race relations. It is difficult to understand why racial tension would increase while we have an African American president. You would think President Obama’s election would have improved racial relationships.

I have no answer to why this is happening. Sometimes I think President Obama could do more to provide calming leadership. I know he has the speaking ability, but I do not know if he possesses the sociological viewpoint to provide the balanced leadership to unite the nation. Any tinge of bitterness on his part becomes an excuse for the black agitators. Self-pity breeds violence and self-destruction. It seems like the President could be able to counteract those feelings by using his accomplishments as an example of hope for those living in poverty.

Still, I cannot claim to understand the complexities of racial tension. My former husband of 29 years is black and my four children are bi-racial. We were very poor for the first 14 years of our marriage, but gradually through hard work and ingenuity we rose to the middle class. We thought we could do better, and so we worked hard to make that happen. I think there are those in the poor black communities who think there is no way out. Their perception is that the system is working against them.

I also had experience when I fostered two black teenagers for two years. They were drug dealers before coming to my home, and while living with me, they did not deal drugs. They succeeded in high school and found part time jobs. However, when they left my home, they immediately returned to their past behavior and ended up in dealing drugs again, going to jail and one of them being shot. They had the experience and the example of how to succeed, but they chose past behavior. I don’t understand why they went that way, but it is possible I failed in some way to provide sufficient tools for future success. I would like to know more about what I could have done to have provided a better foundation for success in their lives.

However, at the same time, it takes effort on both sides to reach what will work to unite the country. We cannot listen to those who have personal ambitions and incite riots by their blaming others or to the people who think poor African Americans should be able to take hold of opportunities when their education system has failed them; instead, we must listen to both sides to find the heart of the problem and begin to mend and improve relationships. There is always something to learn that makes it possible to reach agreement. Somewhere in the conversation the truth can be found to bring unity.

How will this communication be accomplished? Only through insightful and wise leadership. Mature and unselfish leadership is the answer. We are waiting for unbiased leaders to surface who will put into action the justice required to provide opportunity for poor blacks and, at the same time, insist that there are no excuses for following the lawless fast and easy path. All citizens have a responsibility to contribute to their nation and make it better. We are not here to live for ourselves.

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