Reclaiming American Integrity and Pride!

Reclaiming American Integrity and Pride!

In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies will be destroyed; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim. They will swoop down on the slopes of Philista to the west; together they will plunder the people to the east. They will subdue Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them. The Lord will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that anyone can cross over in sandals. There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt. Isaiah 11:11-16 NIV

Taking a few literary liberties to use this scripture as the foundation for an analogy this morning.

No matter what the tRump administration does to subdue the press or depress the public, we will not be left alone to fight this fight of faith. We will be victorious with The Lord on our side. We will reclaim the trust of Americans and our allies once the cancerous boil is removed from the White House and we no longer have the stench of corruption and treason oozing throughout the nation.

God has not forgotten us, but unlike those who claimed God chose trump and some even said, “Jesus went into the voting booth and voted for trump,” we know God always works through people. It was ill-informed, undereducated, and misled people who voted for trump–many of whom simply voted out of the hatred they had for President Obama and the Clintons, and “facts” did not matter to them.

For those of us who are true Everyday Americans, we know better–facts do matter and fake news is collected lies used to misinform those who refuse to think for themselves. It’s truly a shame critical thinking skills are lacking from such a large portion of our population. If people were capable of critical thinking, they would know (not think) truth has never been part of the current administrations platform.

  • The coal mining industry will never be what it once was–trump lied to them.
  • Companies will still send their jobs to other countries–trump lied to them
  • Repealing and replacing ACA has been a nightmare, lived daily for those who hated Obama so much, they voted for trump to rid themselves of Obamacare and now–trumpcare will help to see early deaths.
  • “The election is rigged! They’re going to rig the election!” trump cried. Hillary didn’t rig the election–he did.

For those who claimed they were embarrassed by Obama as a president let me ask this:

  • Did Obama insult our allies by shoving them around?
  • Did Obama need a golf cart to walk a short distance?
  • Did Obama speak with word salads that most media decree “unintelligible?”
  • Did Obama hire unqualified family (or others) to hold key positions in the White House?
  • Did Obama fall asleep during a photo op with other world leaders?
  • Did Obama attempt to man-handle other world leaders when simply shaking their hands?
  • Did Obama decide that humanitarian efforts (saving humanity) was not worth it?
  • Did Obama launch missiles to flex his muscles?
  • Did Obama use commencement opportunities to whine about how the press treated him?
  • How many students at commencement ceremonies stood up and turned their backs,  or walked out on Obama while he was speaking to them?
  • How many times did Obama not show common courtesy and affection to his wife while they traveled?
  • Were you embarrassed when Bin Laden was killed?
  • Were you embarrassed when gas prices came down below $3.00?
  • Were you embarrassed when he held press conferences and took the tough questions without whining?
  • Were you embarrassed when his wife cared enough about other children that she wanted to see all eating healthy, nutritious meals?
  • Were you embarrassed when Obama wanted to make sure everyone had access to affordable healthcare?
  • Exactly what did he do to embarrass you and make you ashamed he was President of the United States?

Only those who harbor hatred within their hearts–against any who don’t look like them or worship like them–are claiming to be embarrassed when they should be ashamed of themselves–for espousing their bigotry.

Though there were many outcries for his impeachment, it was simply because people didn’t agree with his policies, not because he committed treasonous acts. We cannot say the same for trump. His policies belittle and leave the poor bereft–facing even more financial challenges than they have before. But the rich–the 1% of the nation will enjoy even more riches under trump/GOP corrupt policies.

We will soon be able to celebrate reclaiming sanity, integrity, and honor returning to the White House–as long as we continue to fight to reclaim it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the challenges of reclaiming American pride!

eda

 

 

When We Fail, Who Do We Blame?

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:18, 20,21 NIV)

The Word provides us with much insight about wisdom and pride. Not only through the proverbs, but through James who says, “If any lack wisdom, ask of God who gives liberally and won’t upbraid (find fault with) us for asking” (James 1:5 paraphrased) It would appear from this simple statement that James understood all that was said about wisdom through the insight given to Solomon and other sages.

Wisdom is referenced as a  female in several places, but the female reference is also used to warn against adultery and other folly.

A wise person receives correction and instruction from wise counsel. Only a fool rebels against correction and instruction.

But who is wiser than God? No, not one human being is wiser than God. God gave Solomon wisdom and Solomon shared what God had given him, but he never assumed he was wiser than God.

Proverbs 4:5-9 NIV

vs. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.

vs. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.

vs. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: “Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

vs. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

vs. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

When we ask God for wisdom–insight to solving problems and addressing issues, we must not only hear what He says, but know how to apply what He says. For instance, we can obtain information and not know what to do with it and if we don’t know what to do with the information we have, what good is it?

If we establish guidelines and protocols to ensure order in all that we do, yet we do not follow the protocol and chaos erupts, what was the point of establishing the guidelines in the beginning?

Many motivational speakers, successful corporations–large and small–understand that without a sound plan and adherence to the plan–success is not possible.

Jesus tells us in another passage of scripture that,”a wise person considers the cost of building anything before they start to build.”(Luke 14:28 paraphrased).

On the flip side of exercising wisdom is the conduct of a fool who allows his pride to rule. And there is much said about fools in Proverbs,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV),

“The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” (Proverbs 15:2 NIV)

“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” (Proverbs 15:7 NIV)

“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” (Proverbs 15:18 NIV)

What I’m taking from all that is said about wisdom, knowledge and fools, is that if we don’t know God or know how to seek Him when making decisions, we set ourselves for failure because we allow our pride to keep us from seeking Him.

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 NIV)

Herein is the heart of the matter. When we think that our plans can succeed without wise counsel or consideration of all involved in the planning, our plans are doomed to failure. Though they may appear to succeed for a moment; the final outcome tells the whole story.

The difference between success and failure of any entity or individual lies in the ability one has to set aside pride (the “I” mentality) and to seek wisdom from wise counsel. If we do not think we need to heed wise counsel and instruction, then our failure is our own and we must look within to determine how we change the course of events.

Are we wise enough to seek God today for every decision we make or will we allow our pride to cause us to fail? We are the only ones who can make that decision for God does not make anyone do anything.

I pray God’s wisdom will overflow into your hearts today and pride will never be the reason for failure in any area of your lives.

Return!

“Return, Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!” (Hosea 14:1 NIV)

In the seventh chapter of Hosea, the prophet tells us that it is “pride” that keeps people from returning to The Lord. Although, the reference to the Children of Israel then was specifically for them, it is yet applicable to us, today. Understanding what God has said to others who came before us, is critical–knowing why it was said then and how it is applicable now!

When God came down from heaven and hung on the cross–the ultimate sacrifice for sin–He did it for everyone. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son so whoever believes in Him would be saved and not perish.” (paraphrased) Whoever believes! Are we not all–whoevers?

In times past, God used those who were willing to speak for Him–though their lives were constantly in danger from those who did not believe God. His prophets–or spokespersons warned people time after time of the dangers they would encounter if they did not repent of their sins.

God is yet using those who are willing to be His spokespersons to warn people about their demise if they continue in sin. Why won’t people hear? Their pride and egos get in the way. It is not that they do not know they sin–they have chosen to defy God’s Word to pacify flesh and to do whatever they want to do. These are the people who “think” they are the masters of their own fate and it is pride that gives them the impetus to feel that way. They have forgotten that “pride” is one of the seven things God hates.

When we refuse to obey those in authority–pride opens the door to our downfall. We miss opportunities to achieve all that God desires because we don’t want anyone telling us what to do. Why? Because we think we know better than God! Pride–has led people to public humiliation when they refuse to tell the truth; it has led people to expose their foolishness when they lie and think others are as foolish as they are; it has led to entire nations crumbling and ceasing to exist. Pride–the open door–to destruction.

When are we going to close the door on pride and return to The Lord, obeying Him rather than man?

Man’s wisdom without God’s guidance is fallible at best, and dangerous at most–totally useless. We cannot afford to follow the wisdom of foolish men who allow their pride to make decisions to the detriment of all mankind.

It is time to ignore the foolish pride of men who allow their egos and self-desires to rule over anyone; repent of our sins, and return to God–our Savior and Deliverer! We need to let pride go and let God abide in hearts, in total obedience to Him!

Are You The Ones?

“Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them.” (Isaiah 33:15,16 NIV)

No matter what some people about those who do everything in their power to live right, God’s promises never fail. Even though, the righteous have to deal with the same things as those who live ungodly lives, God has a plan to save those who honor His Word and those who don’t–will be left to suffer the consequences of their actions.

When I look at the world and the chaos that abounds, I gain greater understanding of those things the prophets said–warning people about their behavior and associations. History–if not remembered and lessons learned from it–has a way of repeating itself and we see this every day. Everything that was prophesied about the descendants of the Children of Israel is falling into place. The hatred between the brothers is being played out right now in Israel and Gaza, Syria and Afghanistan–all because of jealousy and envy. How foolish we must appear to God to not have learned our lessons well! Could it be that those who read the Words of the prophets read them in unbelief? Or is it stubborn nature that makes us foolish in our attempts to “prove ourselves” to others?

Whenever we think we are better or superior to another group of people–disaster is bound to come upon us and others because of our pride and ignorance. It is pride and ego that leads us to believe in our own superiority and ignorance of the truth of God’s Word that makes us believe that others are inferior. This prevailing attitude often results in people cheating others, misusing and abusing people, lying, and plotting acts of violence and murder against others–superiority. Is there anyone really superior to another? When it rains–does the rain not fall on everyone at the same time or does it just fall upon those who think they are important?

Isaiah has said it well and it would profit all of us to remember that God is not a respecter of persons. His Word is truth and His promises are for everyone–the righteous and the unrighteous–shall receive their just reward for their deeds committed in the earth. I’d rather live with the understanding that I’m better off seeking God’s wisdom than man’s wisdom; doing what God decrees instead of what man commands; and speaking what God speaks rather than changing what God has said to accommodate man’s ever-changing perspectives about God and what He has said.

I pray that God will see me as one who speaks what is right, according to His Word, and doing what is right always in His sight. I pray the same for all who love the Lord and have decided to live according to God’s Word. Are you the ones?

The Beginning of Wisdom!

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).

This selection of wisdom provided by Solomon to his son is as relevant today as it was hundreds of years ago.

Who better to tell someone about respecting and reverencing God other than one who started life in His reign totally dependent upon God and then, turned away from God’s instruction to pacify  his flesh (namely all the wives)?

When Solomon admonishes his son by saying “fools despise wisdom and instruction” he knows what he saying. He did not completely follow God’s instruction and although he was given wisdom beyond measure out of obedience at the beginning of his reign, he lost sight of what he had. He became a braggart, showing off all God had given and allowed his ego and pride to overrule common sense. As a result, he did not live to see or receive all of God’s promises to him fulfilled.

What do we learn from Solomon’s experience? A study of Proverbs (or the book of Wisdom) helps us to understand self, flesh, others and God and what it means to obey His Word.

The first thing we have to do in order to receive and understand God’s wisdom is to keep Him in the position greatest honor and reverence. This what “fear” means in this passage–not that we should be afraid of God, but to reverence Him and honor Him enough to always obey.

In many homes, children are taught to respect and honor parents and to some–it might appear that the children fear the parents. What is more important to note is that obedient children, when they are loved and nurtured and admonished about behavior, usually do not want to disappoint their parents, so they obey them as a matter of respect and honor. We should do the same with God–obey Him out of a desire to not want to disappoint Him.

This desire–to please God and not disappoint Him–is the beginning of Wisdom!

 

 

Lust and Pride!

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:16)

John continues to write to the Body of Christ, from the isle of Patmos, in the same manner in which the Gospel of John is written–up close and personal.

In the first part of this passage of scripture, we see the love of Christ in the words he uses to specifically address all in the churches. He states, “I write to the children (those new in the faith), I write to the fathers who have known (those with experience with the love of Christ and will of the Father), I have written to those who are strong in the faith” (tried by experience and overcame) [I John 2:13,14 paraphrased]. Why care so much about those in the church? John wanted to remind people that although their sins had been forgiven, they should not get caught up in the ways of the world, for it they did, they would fall again into wickedness.

Now, notice he did not say–don’t love the people in the world; he said, don’t love the world (the ways of those who don’t know The Lord). And then he explains why–the lust and pride that leads people astray. Lust–intense and uncontrolled sexual desire; overwhelming cravings that dictate behavior. Pride–having an inordinate opinion of self and one’s own superiority.

When we refuse to exercise discipline in a Godly manner, our behavior lacks self discipline and people end up doing whatever they want to do–to gratify selfish desires, without regard for others. When we think that we are superior to others and we are not, we set ourselves up for failure because we are not willing to admit, we do not know everything there is to know and we refuse to learn from others. These are the two greatest obstacles that leave many suffering, on the path of self-destruction.

Uncontrolled sexual behavior leads to diseases, emotional upheaval, mental instability, and shortened lifespans.

Feelings of superiority lead to wars, confusion, and chaos–the ego leads to destructive behavior.

The warning from John–don’t get caught in the things of the world that have nothing to do with doing the will of the Father. There is no sustaining victory in life apart from God. What some might experience–is a temporary situation at best–and permanent destruction at the other end of the spectrum.

Love the people of the world–unconditionally, but don’t get caught up in the world’s way of doing things because of misplaced desires and cravings and feelings of superiority. The Word tells us that when a person thinks more highly of themselves that they should, they have only deluded themselves–not those who can see–clearly–what force is guiding them. Shake off the shackles of lust and pride and receive the love of God and know victory in Jesus!

 

Stay Strong!

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in The Lord” (Psalm 31:24 NIV)

Staying strong in the face of adversity, persecution, and ridicule takes courage.  And courageous people are stronger than those who are full of pride and arrogant.  How do we know?  Those who are arrogant–so full of themselves that think rules don’t apply to them–or think they know everything–eventually discover the end of themselves when they realize–the rules do apply and they don’t know everything.  Those who are full of pride–who think they do not need anyone but them or are too ashamed to ask for help–eventually fall under the pressure of their pride.

But those who dare to stand up–to the bullies, to injustice, to fight for the rights of others, to withstand the ridicule of fools (for The Word says,”the fool has said in his heart, there is no God”), who face enduring illness with determination, who will maintain their faith in God, no matter what–those are the strong.

Think about your reaction to life–the good and bad things that occur almost on a daily basis; are you the strong?  Take heart!  If you are willing to keep your focus on the hope you have in Christ Jesus, your determination will strengthen you and you will know–the hope of glory!