I've moved! http://caffeinatedhighs.blogspot.com
I've moved! http://caffeinatedhighs.blogspot.com
It’s funny to me that I find myself time and time again identifying with certain songs. I don’t listen to the radio often (except talk radio) so you wouldn’t think I’d be exposed to new material, but somehow I’m continuously introduced to music. Usually the songs that get me are romantic songs like Melee’s “Built to Last” or Teddy Geiger’s stuff. I’ll catch a phrase, and then before I know it I’m completely drawn into the song, relating to the passions and emotions of the artist.
Should Christians be hateful towards homosexuals? The answer to this provocative question is: no. Should we swing to the opposite end of the spectrum by accepting the homosexual lifestyle as good and valid? I believe the faithful Christian can do neither of these things. But if so, how should Christians respond to the gay community? This issue has become very dear to my heart because I have family, friends and coworkers that are actively living a homosexual lifestyle. It is my conviction that how the Church chooses to respond to the issue of homosexuality will either bring glory or shame to Christ’s reputation.
Many of you know that Dr. James White is one of my elders at church, as well as President of Alpha and Omega Ministries - a ministry I am a part of. Yesterday he offered some thoughts on the election. Also, for more information about Obama's heretical theology, please listen to Dr. White's webcast, The Dividing Line, on the subject.
Obama was out campaigning when he was approached by a plumber named Joe, now affectionately called "Joe the Plumber." This conversation is invaluable because it points out the glaring difference between a free-market society and the Socialism espoused by Barack Obama. In a nutshell, Joe asked the Democratic candidate if he would raise taxes on his small business making about $250,000 per year. Obama's answer was essentially yes, and spent five minutes or so trying to explain to Joe why this would be a good thing for him and the economy.
How should a Christian vote? Republican or Democrat? Conservative or Liberal? Right of Left? Moderate? How about Independent?
A lot of talk has been about the possible government bailout that will, theoretically, sustain and stimulate the economy to remain on level ground. From the beginning I’ve had mixed feelings about it. Quite honestly, I am still uncertain about whether I would be for or against such government intervention. This bailout may work; it may not. And yet, folks seem to only focus on the possibility that it may work. Well, the fact that it may not work needs to be given serious attention, if not more attention. Because if the government spends $700 (or more) billion that it does not have and the economy doesn’t resurface, then what do we do? Should the government shell out a trillion dollars?
The Holy Spirit recently blessed me while I was reading through Psalm 41. The psalmist is experiencing intense difficulties that brought him to the point of despair:
“12For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head, And my heart has failed me.” (NASB).
Have you ever felt like that? I have been in the place where evils have surrounded me; where my heart aches and I can no longer make sense of my circumstances.
But this psalm doesn’t begin here at verse 12. He doesn’t start by expressing his worry. Quite the contrary, he describes how he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord was faithful to hear him (vs 1). As Christians, this is precisely what we’re supposed to do when we encounter difficulty. Whether we need to make an important decision or face difficult circumstances, we are first to pray to our God. The glorious thing about these encounters with God is that He cares for us in the midst of these times. The Maker of heaven and earth condescends far to hear us! What comfort and joy this brings the regenerated heart! To have the knowledge from the holy Scriptures that our Creator desires to hear us is overwhelming, for He “inclines” Himself to us.
When we place this truth in its proper perspective we are able to be truly grateful for such a communion with God. The Bible informs us that all men are guilty from the moment of our conception. Not only that, but we daily offend God by breaking His Law. Even after experiencing salvation we continue to disregard His righteous standard and live as though there were no God! Because of our many sins it is a wonder that God’s patience does not run out toward us.
Of course we know that God’s wrath was appeased because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on behalf of His elect people. Praise be to our triune Lord of majesty for such a perfect work of salvation!
David continues throughout the psalm, expressing thankfulness to God for the ways He has provided deliverance. “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm” (verse 2, NASB).
One of my prayers of late has been to ask God for wisdom in my life, which we know He grants liberally (James 1:5). Faithfully, in the same sitting, the Holy Spirit again ministered to me as I continued my study time in Proverbs:
“5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8, NASB).
If you are a faithful Christian, I imagine you are well acquainted with these words. I grew up hearing them. The danger with being overly familiar with the words of Scripture is that we do not allow them to impact us as we ought. We zone out because we have become so accustomed to this admonition from the Lord.
As I read over these words, the Holy Spirit answered my prayer asking for wisdom. Rather than leaning on my own wisdom – as though my thoughts and feelings were somehow more intelligent than God’s – I should lean on the Rock of ages.
Once I acknowledge Him, then He will make my paths straight. Have I done that? Have I acknowledged Him in all my ways, or just some? Do I consider myself wise? Do I fear the Lord’s anger and turn from evil? The answer to each of these questions will bring about specific consequences. When I trust in the Lord with all of my heart and lean on Him, He will heal me and refresh me. When I do not trust in the Lord or look to Him for wisdom to make decisions, He will not heal me and refresh me. The text could not be clearer.
The promise that God offers to His saints is marvelous, isn’t it? God, the sovereign Ruler of the Universe, wants His creatures to rely on Him and His strength. It is the nature of sinful men to trust in themselves, to rely on their feelings and emotions, and their way of thinking. We are not like the world in this regard. No, we filter our thoughts, ideas and feelings through the filter of God’s holy Word. I confess that this is something I must work hard to improve on, because I have no choice. I am a slave of righteousness now, and I want nothing but to always please my King, the Lord of Glory.
I hope this was an encouragement to you,
I was a little tyke during the Cold War, and by the looks of it I will have a chance to understand what it is like living during a second one. Russia’s aggression towards Georgia is unbelievably barbaric. First, a couple things: Russia invaded Georgia while claiming to support Georgian rebels seeking independence. My best bud, Scott, compared this little rebellion to the L.A. Riots not too long ago. Obviously it doesn’t fit perfectly, but I still think this is an excellent comparison! From the first moment of Russia’s unwarranted invasion of Georgian territory, Georgia has repeatedly refused to accept a Russian presence there. The Georgian President, an ally with the West, met with 9 presidential leaders from other nations who were formerly part of the Soviet Union. This meeting was quite unusual because it is difficult to acquire that many presidential figures in one meeting place. I’m sure they all know that unless a firm response from western nations is given Russia may not stop with Georgia.
Tonight my dad, Scott and I saw “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” It far exceeded my expectations. From the trailer I posted in the previous entry I knew that Ben Stein would present an entertaining flick, and would at least document how modern academia seeks to suppress any discussion about alternatives to the modern Evolutionary Theory. But the film is so much more.
Good news. NATO has endorsed Bush’s plan to install a missile defense system in Europe. What has struck me as odd from the beginning of these discussions has been Russia’s response.
“Russia charges the intent of the system would be to weaken its nuclear deterrent capabilities and upset the balance of power in Europe. Bush has repeatedly denied that, saying the facilities are designed to protect Europe against a potential missile attack — or even just nuclear blackmail — by Iran. The dispute has become heated at times, with confrontational, Cold War-style rhetoric from Moscow.”
From some bizarre reasoning Russia has been led to believe that the United States means her harm. Quite frankly, I do not understand this at all. Are we really to believe that the true reason President Bush wants to put a missile defense system in Europe is to weaken Russia’s military ability against the USA and her allies? Could it be that Iran and other Islamic nations might pose a threat? How about North Korea? These are realistic concerns that we cannot pretend do not exist.
Putin has repeatedly charged the U.S. of trying to tip the balance of power in her favor, to which our President has rightly responded that Russia is a friend and not an enemy. This allowed Bush to remove the issues of balance of power from the discussion of our relationship with Russia. We have even invited Russia to be a part of the cooperate effort that will oversee the production and the continued management of this defense network. Unfortunately, Russia’s response has been to seemingly ignore our efforts of extending the hand of peace and friendship by retaliating with hostile words and mild threats. This is not how peace is made. But to President Bush’s credit, he has done nothing but return Putin’s rash comments with calm, well formulated ones.
I will say that, while I am not happy with everything George Bush has done, he has handled this situation wisely, so much so that I am proud to call him my President.
Let me be the first to wish you a Happy Friday, as it is now officially Friday. After a near-perfect evening spent at Bucks how could I possibly be expected to go to bed on time? Exactly, I can’t.
“11 For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 "As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. 13 "I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. 14 "I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 "I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord GOD. 16 "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy I will feed them with judgment” (NASB).