Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Secession? by Pastor Ed Evans

For those who may be concerned that his old Pastor is applauding the 32 and growing petitions to secede from the Union, I would explain myself.  I won't apologize, because John Wayne said in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," that one should never apologize, it's a sign of weakness.  But I would explain.  For those who know me know I have counseled against the division that has beset us this electoral season, raged against the feckless accusations of "hater" and "racist" used by all sides.  So why would I now support those growing numbers of secession petitions?
First, many people are angry enough that they are serious about secession.  I am not.  I see these petitions as a plan of action to say to our recalcitrant Congress and Senate, and our newly reelected President, that it is We the People who give them their power, and We the People still have several Constitutional tools of redress at our disposal.
You are probably familiar, from your high school days, with the words, " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  A seminal statement on human rights.
But how about this statement from that same Constitution, "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."   That is the introduction to our Constitution, a statement of great import, dated that July 4th in 1776.
We are  today beset with the reports about bloody Benghazi where four Americans (that we know of, CIA is not talking about how many of their operatives were lost) were apparently abandoned, their calls for rescue ignored, and a pretty obvious cover up is in action.  Now the principles involved are refusing to appear before a Congressional investigative committee.  Senior military officers are being relieved of duty without explanation in key positions around the globe and even the CIA and the FBI seem beset with ethical scandals.
Many of those appointed by our President are known to have not paid their income taxes, and seem intent on forcing into law social experiments of which the majority of people do not approve and do not wish to live under.
Our President has gone around Congress and Senate and used his Executive signature to give millions to people it turns out were already known to him so they could set up "green" alternative energy businesses, which have not declared bankruptcy.  Where did all that money go?
Our President bailed out a long list of business, rather than allowing the free market system to work, and many of those bailed out business have now moved their jobs to China and South America and elsewhere.
America's credit rating has been lowered, twice, we are trillions in debt to the point that every man woman and child in America owes more than $59,000 worth of that debt.  Much of that debt is owed to China and other countries.  And now comes word that the President intends to spend several trillions more.  And he pushes the idea that increasing taxes on the more wealthy, who would otherwise invest in more jobs for Americans, to solve our debt problem.  And jobs?  The President who promised jobs programs in both elections has yet to come up with one.  Nor has his Democratically-controlled Senate come up with a federal budget in the entire four years of his first term.
Then there is this recent national election.  At least late night talk show host Jay Leno has some sense of humor about what everyone can now see has happened".  He said, "President Obama easily won his home state of Illinois. In fact, in Chicago Obama got 120 percent of the vote."
For it has now been reported that in Pennsylvania 59 voting precincts had not one vote, not one, for Romney. Has that ever happened in so close an election? And in St. Lucie County, Florida, post election figures show 139.9% of the registered electorate voted. I'm no mathematician, but that appears to be fraud. And now Ohio comes up on line and admits they have instances of voter fraud. The news media only this morning is beginning to report what people have been talking about for days, that there has been massive voting fraud.  
So should We the People simply shut up and sit down and allow this fraudulent election to stand? In fact, State Governors must certify this election by December. Now is the time to let it be known that We the People will recall any Governor who certifies this embarrassingly fraudulent election.
No, our federal government has turned a deaf ear to We the People concerning the disruptive social experiments of the Obama regime, a deaf ear to the murders involved on both sides of our U.S.-Mexico border because of the abortive Justice Department gun running known as "Fast and Furious," has ignored "secret" talks with Iran that cut out our Israeli allies but were admitted to by the Swiss, and the list of indiscretions and embarrasing faux pas just goes on and on.
So I say yes, let the federal government know, remind them, where their power comes from.  The final portion of Russell D. Longcore's copyrighted (used here with permission) article "Secession: Here is How to Secede from the Union," carries these words:
"Isn’t the process of secession much like writing this short note to end a relationship?

"Dear Washington: It’s over. We’re leaving. We ain’t asking your permission to leave. We ain’t asking for a legal divorce. We’re just ending this relationship right here and now. We’re rescinding the authority we gave you in 1788. Leave us alone. Goodbye.

"In conclusion, try to envision yourself and your family in a new nation created by secession. All the people you meet are excited and breathless in their anticipation of the future. The general opinion of the populace is pure unbridled optimism. The new nation’s economy is booming, the money is backed by gold and silver, and there is no inflation. “Now Hiring” signs are in all the shop windows. The newspaper’s “Help Wanted” ads are packed full. Prices for goods and services are low, and the stores are loaded with goods. Manufacturers are streaming into the new nation to take advantage of the rare pro-business atmosphere. Wages are climbing steadily in manufacturing jobs as companies compete for the best and brightest for their employees. New businesses are being created at a fever pace. Residential and commercial construction is at a high level to meet the demand of the new residents.

"All because one state recognized this historic opportunity and realized the dream of liberty through the process of state secession."

So I say yes, load that secession weapon, but don't be too quick on the trigger.  Allow bigger government to recognize that without the States, they have no power, they no longer exist.  Even a blind dog will find a bone now and then.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

15 States Including Texas File to Secede from the U.S.

As of Saturday November 10, 2012, 15 States have petitioned the Obama Administration for withdrawal from the United States of America in order to create its own government.
States following this action include: Louisiana, Texas, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon and New York. These States have requested that the Obama Administration grant a peaceful withdrawal from the United States.
Judge Andrew Napolitano on Texas Succession
(Dynamite video.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Disarming America in the Fight for Its Life

It seems, curiously, that we are busy disarming America's best warriors in the middle of battle.  We are shooting our own even as the global terrorist enemy continues to advance.  Whose agenda is this?  Why does this continue in the midst of what should be competent military and civilian leadership in America?

General David Petraeus, a most effective warrior against global terrorism, goes down.

LtGen. Mark P. Hertling, commanding all U.S. European forces retires suddenly and quietly

U.S. Army General Carter Ham removed early from command of U.S. Africa Command over Benghazi?

U.S. Navy's Mid-East Strike Force Commander Removed

Friday, November 9, 2012

Calling for Prayer -- The Battle is ON!

by Pastor and MGySgt. (USMC - Ret.) Ed Evans

This is chilling. Chilling.
Just as Obama's top adviser, Valerie Jarrett, said very publicly, that after the election they would exact revenge on those who opposed them, that almost within hours of Obama winning reelection the members of SEAL Team Six -- who gave the lie to Obama's public and constant claim that he was responsible for the death of Osama bin Laden -- have been charged with violating the rules of classified information. And yet this is exactly what Obama did in bringing in Hollywood production members and identifying SEAL Team Six, so that the enemy was able to blow their aircraft out of the air, killing them in Afghanistan.
Michael Yon says, "SEALs, etc.: GET Ready for Political Payback time!"  Another commentator says, "They should have demanded a trial. Discovery would be damning. . ." Michael continued, "You could smell this coming a mile away. The special operations community (parts of it) campaign against Obama, with the commercials and OpEds and all else, were dependent on success.  Obama is still in power. And now it is in the administration's best interest to show that the community is not perfect, and in fact that many of them are seeking their own glory. It is in the best interest of the administration to see some SEALs, etc., prosecuted for the same OPSEC violations that the administration was blamed for. Fight's on!" 
Again, within hours of reelection the Obama regime has charged members of Seal Team Six with the very violations of classified information that Obama himself enacted by bringing in members of a Hollywood production team, actions which led to the identification of who killed Osama bin Laden, and ostensibly to their death at the hands of our enemies in Afghanistan. 
Obama's senior adviser, Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett, very publicly threatened to exact revenge on those who opposed them, after the election.  Active and retired members of SEAL Team Six publicly opposed the reelection of Barack Hussein Obama.  Make no mistake, there is reason to believe this Obama regime will protect itself with the same determination that King Herod went after the birth of a new king threatening his own rule.
Pray, and pray with fervor and passion, men and women of God, for the protection of the men and the families of SEAL Team Six.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Coming Election, by Pastor Ed Evans

I'm going to make one more statement about this coming election, then I'm going to get off that horse, because we are only one day away from one of the most important decisions Americans will ever make about this nation and its future.
The statement is this: If Barack Hussein Obama is put back into office, the next time we have a situation where people need to be rescued, and those trained to perform those rescues are told to stand down, those who voted for Obama will have as much blood on their hands as he does. That kind of decision can only be made by a sitting President, otherwise the military will do its job.
If they are not allowed to, you will have blood on your hands.
This nation needs experienced leadership. Leadership to get us out of the economic ditch, out of the ethical and morality ditch, out of the dangerous security ditch we are in.
So I'm now climbing off that political charger, and going into prayer that whomever is elected by the people of America will serve Jesus who is the Christ. Without the involvement of God Almighty, America is at the mercy of the world, the flesh and Satan. Count on it. Pray, with me, that whomever is elected, they will serve the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of Almighty God.
Now, who am I to even make such statements?
I am a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a minister retired from active church service, but once ordained to serve God, you are never out of active service to His name.
I am also a veteran of 30 years service in the United States Marine Corps. Afterward I served 17 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I was in Vietnam twice, the second tour cut short by being wounded in 1970. As a member of G-3 (Operations) I was in 17 named operations on the first tour during 1967-68, including the Siege of Khe Sanh. I was in Beirut. I was in Iraq 2003-2004. So I have enough military knowledge to know what the U.S. military can do when it is allowed to do its job with the sophisticated tools at its disposal, without being hamstrung or stood down. And yes, that is a direct reference to the bloody debacle at Benghazi, Libya.
Now it is decision time. If you have not already voted -- or perhaps have decided to give up your responsibility as an American citizen to vote -- consider carefully not only what lies before us, but what got us to this terrible point in history over the last four year. The classic definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing while expecting different results. 
There are people who are afraid to make decisions on even simple issues in their daily life experiences. Consequently, they live in fear and must live in the consequences of other people's decisions. But God has given us the tools of self reliance and innate values, and we are expected to make good use of what He has given us.
Trust in the Lord's sustaining grace, and pray -- once again -- that that whomever is elected by the people of America will serve Jesus who is the Christ.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ahead of Election, Obama Stops Releasing ‘Stimulus’ Reports


The $831,000,000,000 economic “stimulus” that President Obama spearheaded and signed into law requires his administration to release quarterly reports on its effects.  But “the most transparent administration in the history of our country” is now four reports behind schedule and has so far not released any reports whatsoever in 2012.  Its most recent quarterly report is for the quarter than ended on June 30, 2011.  See more.
[COMMENT:  Four quarterly reports missing ..... just stopped releasing them. Do I hear shredding machines?]

Vote Them Out!

Four reasons why:
State Department Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens
Glen Doherty, former U.S. Navy Seal, State Department member
Sean Smith, former U.S. Air Force, State Department member
Tyrone Woods, former U.S. Navy Seal, State Department member

These men were cowardly abandoned, left to die by the Obama regime which evidence now proves knew in advance the danger facing them.  In spite of the foul lies and attempted cover-up, the truth has emerged, as it always does.
Remove the lying, duplicitous Obama regime from power on Tuesday, November 6th.
There is no other possible response for a decent America.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

To CNN: To Know Good and Do Evil Makes You the Enemy

by Ed Evans, MGySgt., USMC (Ret.)
     Attributed to English statesman and author Edmund Burke is the statement, "There are Three Estates in Parliament; but in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sits a Fourth Estate more important far than they all."  The Three Estates of which he spoke were the Parliamentary representatives of the church, the nobility, and the common people.  Thomas Macaulay, writing much later in an essay, stated, "The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm."
   Both of these esteemed men were referring to the power of the press, which was then limited to the printed word.  Today the power and influence of the news media has exploded beyond all expectations.  In this coming election in America, especially, it is evident they see themselves as "king makers."
   However, along with their willing acceptance of the power and influence with which they operate, they have not demonstrated the requisite responsibility, the exercise of wisdom and restraint that should accompany such power among a just people.  And now, the American people, whom over a lifetime I have observed are a basically fair people, are beginning to react to what they see as injustice, crass and commercial power-mongering, and bullyism.
   Pollster Pat Caddell has stated frankly that today's news media is an enemy of the American people, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBR4g6cBYeA&feature=player_embedded.  CNN gives you a blatant example of what he's talking about:
In a story that few in this country have heard about, the UK Guardian reported that CNN refused to broadcast an award-winning 2011 documentary, “iRevolution.” The documentary featured CNN’s on-air correspondent Amber Lyon and was highly critical of the regime in Bahrain for brutally suppressing peaceful protests by its own citizens.
Why didn’t CNN broadcast its own correspondent’s production? The reason might shock you.
According to the Guardian, “CNNi’s pursuit of and reliance on revenue from Middle East regimes increased significantly after the 2008 financial crisis, which caused the network to suffer significant losses in corporate sponsorships. It thus pursued all-new, journalistically dubious ways to earn revenue from governments around the world. Bahrain has been one of the most aggressive government exploiters of the opportunities presented by CNNi.”
The Guardian story continues, “These arrangements extend far beyond standard sponsorship agreements for advertising of the type most major media outlets feature. CNNi produces those programs in an arrangement it describes as ‘in association with’ the government of a country, and offers regimes the ability to pay for specific programs about their country. These programs are then featured as part of CNNi’s so-called ‘Eye on’ series (‘Eye on Georgia’, ‘Eye on the Philippines’, ‘Eye on Poland’), or ‘Marketplace Middle East’, all of which is designed to tout the positive economic, social and political features of that country.”
To the average viewer unaware of these government sponsorships, CNN’s stories all falsely appear to be the result of standard, unbiased reporting.
Back to the award-winning documentary that CNNi never aired. As noted above, “iRevolution” was critical of the Bahrain government for using violence against its own people. During the time the documentary was considered, Bahrain was highly invested in CNN’s “sponsorship” opportunities. The Bahrain-CNN relationship was so strong, “official agencies of the regime often boasted of how their extensive involvement with CNN was improving the nation’s image around the world.”
Bahrain’s image was apparently improving because Bahrain got what it paid for: “multiple examples of CNN International producing plainly propagandistic coverage of the regime, often without any minimal disclosure of the vested interests of its sources.” And Bahrain wasn’t the only country with the CNN “sponsorship” arrangement.
Essentially, CNN’s approach to government sponsorship of CNN content represents a merger of advertising and news. Frankly, CNN should drop any pretext that such stories are “news” and, instead, clearly label the pieces what they are: government-sponsored advertisements.
This recent revelation appears to be another nail in the coffin of CNN’s loss of public trust.
More stories on CNN bias, dishonesty:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

There Will Be Blood? There Already IS Blood.

Our freedoms are God-given, not state-given, not authorized by some elected official with Emperor envy.  We are His, not his.

By Pastor Ed Evans

President Barack Hussein Obama is on record as having told his supporters that if he doesn't win the Presidential election in November there will be fighting in the streets.  Spoken as a double-edged sword, this was said to his supporters as an urging for more supportive action, but the intention was undoubtedly also for the ears of his opponents, his detractors.  
"Take the hint, don't make trouble," is the unspoken warning.  But they are Pres. Obama's opponents, his detractors for reasons none of them takes lightly.  For they have seen active threats to their religious freedoms, frightening threats to their longevity and health through political agendas, threats to their God-given freedoms represented by their Constitutional First and Second Amendment rights.  They have seen the law of the land trampled upon, causing death and destruction in some cases, wars expanded, military respect mocked and embarrassed.  They have seen the America they grew up in depicted as something to be shunned and changed through social experimentation.  They have seen morals and integrity pummeled and questioned at the highest levels.  They have been told that their President and those they themselves elected "know best."  They have been made to understand that author George Orwell's "1984" assertion that "some people are more equal than others" has come to be a truly bitter pill to be accepted and swallowed.  For those who are more equal "know best."  And this "experiment" regarding individual rights will soon be over, to be accepted for the good of the state.
However, those who would rule by tyrannical power never understand that those who have tasted freedom will never give it up lightly, even at the cost of their lives and their livelihood. It is not nearly so much that free men hate what they see before them, but that they love so dearly what is taking shelter behind them.
This Sunday, Pastors in their churches across America must ignore the threat of the IRS regarding involvement in politics and preach the complete word of the Living God.  For He, the Living God, the Creator, He meant us to be free.  He still means us to be free.
Governmental threats regarding preaching on political evils, threats that violate the God-given rights of the U.S. Constitution are but mists in the winds of time as compared to the standing truth of the Living God. We must, we must obey God rather than men.
Such innuendo from the left that speaks of dissolving tax-free statuses, of prison terms, of claims "there will be blood", need have no meaning whatsoever for men and women already covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. He is our God, and we are His. "Be still and know that I am God," says the Creator to the Created.  Upon that we must stand.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Christian Shift: Stop the Hate, by Pastor Ed Evans

A Christian Shift: Stop the Hate
by Pastor Ed Evans

Scripture:  Daniel 3
1  Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
2  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3  Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4  Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
6  And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
7  Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8  Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
9  They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
10  Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
11  And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12  There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
13  Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
14  Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
15  Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
16  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
19  Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
20  And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21  Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22  Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
23  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25  He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
26  Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
27  And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
28  Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
29  Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
30  Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

For as long as God has created people, there has been hate.  It begins in the eighth verse of Genesis 4.  We in this generation have seen an abundance of it.  Now, it is time for a Christian shift in society, a shift in how we treat one another, how we deal with one another.
Let us recognize some given facts of which we are all aware.  There are two kinds of people in the world, neither of which are going to change the others' minds.  There are those who belong to God, and those who belong to Satan. 
Any mention of God, of Christian ethics, of Biblical standards lights up the hate machine, and it roars.  It was never more evident than in this latest dustup about the same-sex supporters' call for a boycott of the Chick-Fil-A chicken franchise, and they absolutely heaped the hate on those who refused to bow down to the false god of same-sex.  But some of those who called themselves Christians reciprocated, and that is not of Christ.
We in America have many people, some even in the Christian church, who are using the world's values to make their decisions about spiritual matters, and that is always a mistake.  God has a standard of conduct, He has had His say about those standards thousands of years ago.  What He said remains the same.  He is not going to change.  It is up to us to change.
Change is actually what is badly needed right now; a dramatic change in America's political, economic and cultural integrity.  Having integrity is a matter of being complete and undivided, having the quality of honesty with strong moral principles.  We see the clash of hatred today because when those who follow Jesus Christ hold the line on what God has said, and refuse to compromise His standards, those who will not respect our commitment call that hatred.  That is an attempt to bully others by controlling the language.  We see the same thing at work when those who support same-sex ethics insist on being called "gay."
However, while that has its own effect, that is not where the battle must be fought.
The battle for a shift in integrity, morals and ethics in America must be fought on spiritual grounds even though the opponents of such a shift will deny it, and will claim a false moral and spiritual ground for themselves.  They demand, on those false grounds, that Christians approve what God has said cannot be approved.  Christian believers today occupy the same battleground as Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego when they were set up by the Chaldeans to incur the wrath of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. 
But what is significant about this historic test of wills is that at no time were these three young men angry, disrespectful or revengeful against King Nebuchadnezzar, against those who set them up, or even against those who threw them into that fiery furnace.  These were three young men who had been taken captive with the rest of the Jewish nation.  They had been separated from their families, but they remained true to their faith in the face of opposition.
No one was ever convinced to change their mind by being nasty to them, calling them names, telling them they are going to hell, or hating them.  Arguments don't change minds, they only build resistance.
Separated from all they knew, in a foreign land, under foreign laws, yet they lived out God's law of Leviticus 19:17-18, "You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.  You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am Jehovah."
They were set up before King Nebuchadnezzar by the Chaldeans for death, and yet they refused to respond in kind.  They obeyed God, and He was faithful to them.
If the nation of the United States of America is to survive in this world beyond what we know, there must be a national shift which only Christians can bring about.  But it will not be accomplished through pride or right or might.  It will only be accomplished through the power and the actions of Almighty God.  And in that environment, in those actions, there is no place for hate.  For these three young men whose story is told in the book of Daniel, they knew from Genesis the story of Esau and Jacob, and the impact many generations later when God spoke through the prophet Obadiah to the men of prideful Edom, because of the sin of Esau, saying "For the violence done to thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever."  For the slaughtered warriors were but a portion of the loss of life, loss of wealth, and loss of a future before God.
There must be a shift of dramatic proportions in how America sees success, but hate has no place in that.  We have a chilling reminder in 1st John 3:15, " Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."
As Christians, if we want to recommend the way of Jesus Christ to others, we must be respectful, and not hateful, to those who hate us.  We can be respectful to President Barack Hussein Obama without agreeing with his policies and decisions; we can be respectful to Muslims without worshiping their god; we can be respectful to politicians and others without agreeing to support their goals and programs.
That's what we must do.
What we also must do is hold the line on what God requires.  Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego were respectful to King Nebuchadnezzar and his court, but they still said "We will not eat your pork and other foods unlawful to us," and "We will not bow down and worship your god, but will worship the Living God only."
As followers of Jesus Christ we can respect each person for the creation of God that they are, but we will still not agree to condone what God has said is wrong, we will not agree with worldly values and programs that support rebellion against God, with programs that harm the innocent, that do not support the orphan and the widow.  With all respect and love of God, those things we cannot do.
Psalm 18:2 reminds us, "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
When Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego made their stand before King Nebuchadnezzar, they said to him in Daniel 3:17-18, "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
Like these three brave followers of the Living God, Christian followers today must respectfully and lovingly take the stand our God has placed before us, but stand we must, like the rock that is our Lord.  Why would anyone follow Jesus Christ when all they see coming from His followers is drenching hate?  He does not tell us to hate or to attack.  Jesus did say to feed the sheep, not beat the sheep.  This is His battle, and He will fight for us, but we must stand firm on who He is, and what He has decreed, for all of us.  Amen.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bad Day To Be A Chicken, by Pastor Ed Evans

Scripture:  Psalm 51:1-12
51:1  Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
51:2  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
51:3  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
51:4  Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
51:5  Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
51:6  You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
51:7  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
51:8  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
51:9  Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
51:11  Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
51:12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

          In 1968, the Sunday after Martin Luther King was assassinated, Pastor Joe McKeever writes in his blog at http://joemckeever.com/wp/ that he changed his sermon and preached to the congregation at Greenville, Mississippi’s Emmanuel Baptist Church about what our country was going through. In the middle of the message, a lady got up and walked out. He writes that she phoned him that afternoon to let me know she had.
          “What are you going to be preaching on in tonight’s service?” she asked.
          He told her, then asked, ”May I ask why you wanted to know?”
          That’s when she told him she had walked out that morning, saying, “We come to church for some peace and quiet. We get enough of the world situation on the news, and don’t need to hear about it from the pulpit.”
          Pastor McKeever goes on to point out in his blog, entitled "What the Church Forgot," that too often Churches overlook movements and trends they do not understand and cannot appreciate.  And the two-fold solution to that happening is, first, preach the whole word of God, and second, preachers should stay alert to the world around them.
          Pastors already have the first charge from 2nd Timothy 4:1-2, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 
          And the second point just seems common sense; make the message timely.  Following the attack of September 11, 2001, or after Hurricane Katrina, who would not have preached about what the people of God were facing?  Hardly the time to preach on the sins of gossiping or how to feel better about yourself.
          But there is such a thing as getting so caught up in the crafting of your message that you miss the point.
          The story is told of the pastor who just couldn't seem to come up with that last illustration to finalize his sermon.  His wife suggested they take a drive in the country to clear his mind, so they did.  Out in the country they came upon a family's house on fire, with neighbors forming a bucket brigade, everyone working together to put out the fire, and off the side the grieving family being comforted in their loss.
          "That's it," he said, and rushed home to put the finishing touches on that sermon.
          But that Sunday, after the sermon, as he and his wife drove home, the Pastor allowed as how he really thought that illustration would have been received better, about everyone working together for the good of that family in need, describing the bucket brigade and all.  But it just didn't seem to work, he said, the congregation just sat there and looked at me.
          His wife smiled at him, and said, "Well, dear, you forgot to tell them the house was on fire."
          All across the nation this past Wednesday, you would have thought something was on fire.  Millions of people crowded into 1,600 fast food chicken restaurants in such numbers that the lines to get in wound around the buildings and the drive-through lines stopped traffic on nearby streets.
          Now, there has been a great deal of heat and smoke about this issue, so let me begin by adding some facts.  First of all, this was mainly a news media-generated event.  You see, a Baptist newspaper, the "Baptist Press" interviewed the CEO of Chick-Fil-A, and they asked him about the claim that his business is operated on traditional Christian values.  He said it was his opinion that we are "inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than You as to what constitutes a marriage."
          CNN TV news then picked that up and misquoted the CEO, claiming he had come out against same-sex marriage.  Is he against it?  He does not support it.  However, he had not just out of the blue decided to attack everyone who is for same-sex marriage.  But you see, the news media in America today seems to have this mindset that conflict sells, so they seem to approach every story with "let's you and him fight."  Then they have news.
          The extremist supporters of same-sex marriage reacted to this in the very way I believe the news media thought they would, and demanded a nationwide boycott of the restaurants.  More news to sell!
          Now understand, there are homosexual people working at these restaurants, because Chick-Fil-A neither discriminates in its hiring of people nor its serving of people.  But the boycott was on.
          Former Presidential candidate and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee then used his TV show to set last Wednesday as Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, and encouraged people of Christian values to take part in a "buycott" on that day, giving the restaurant their business.  And they did, in a big way.  Chick-Fil-A has not released sales figures for that day, saying only that "it was an unprecedented day."
          Five other nationally known companies have now stepped up to say they stand with Chick-Fil-A's traditional family approach.  In North and South Carolina, 75 Wendy's hamburger places posted signs outside saying, "We stand with Chick-Fil-A."
          In the meantime, Chick-Fil-A has issued a statement saying, "Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."  The same-sex organizers however, have vowed the battle isn't over and they claim to be organizing "kiss-ins" at the restaurants.  Other same-sex organizations have refused to participate, calling it a "shallow way" to voice opposition.
          So before I lose my connection to the illustration, let me assure you, the house is on fire.  I say that because sometimes we get so caught up in trying to interpret scripture and what it means to us today, and what the activities of this age mean to us, that we are like the preacher talking about the beauty of the bucket brigade and the depth of emotion of the grieving family -- and we forget to mention, the house is on fire.
          You see, there is a great effort to say this is more about the issue of free speech, and I agree to the extent both the CEO and those who disagree with him have the right to say their piece.  But in this case, the house really is on fire.  I don't want to be like those who fill us with cute stories that tug at our heart in order to motivate people to do all the right things, but without telling them the house is on fire.
          It's in Romans 1:18-32 that we find a wide range of the sins of mankind detailed -- sinful desires of their hearts, sexual impurity, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, shameful lusts, gossipers,  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful, and more. 
          But it is in 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 that scripture is very specific about whom we will not see in heaven: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."  And make no mistake, by "house on fire" I mean hellfire.  At the end of life we have only two choices, heaven with God or hellfire with the Father of Lies.
          Some make the argument, "Oh, that's too harsh!"  I agree.  Harsh.  But your argument is not with me, it is with the Creator of us all, the Living God, who has said time and again He will not put up with unrighteousness.  Our only hope is to put on the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  And He wants us to do that.
          And many will say, oh yes, they know all about Jesus Christ.  But there is much more than a semantic difference in knowing of Christ, and believing in Christ.  To make it more pointed, all we need do is look at the words of John 14:15, where Jesus says, "If you love me, you will do the things I say."  Almighty God has already had His say on this issue.  He does not change.  We can change, and we should.  He love us, but He will not change, for He is truth and He is righteousness.  Walk away from the house on fire.
          This past week was a bad day to be a chicken, or to be a supporter of same-sex marriage.  But it will always be a bad day for those who rebel against God.  There is so much more joy and fulfillment waiting for us, more than anything the flesh, which disappears, can offer.  Accept what Jesus Christ offers through His shed blood on the cross at Calvary -- His righteousness.  Accept the gift of life He offers. 
          Let us repent of our sins so that as the Psalmist says, God will hide His face from our sins, and blot out all our iniquities.  Let us pray with the Psalmist as in verses 10-12, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your holy spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit."  Amen.

Week of Worship
August 5, 2012

Invocation:  Almighty God, create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us, that amid the din and confusion of this noisy world we may always choose the more excellent way.  Through Christ.  Amen.

Read: Psalm 73

Daily Scripture Readings
Monday                Luke 10:38-42
Tuesday               Romans 8:18-25
Wednesday          2nd Corinthians 6:1-13
Thursday              Revelation 19:1-8
Friday                   Hebrews 10:19-39
Saturday               Colossians 3:5-17
Sunday                 2nd Samuel 15b-24; Ephesians 4:1-6; Psalm 34:11-22;
                             John 6:24-35 

Reflection: (silent and written)

Prayers for the church, for others, for yourself.

Hymn: "Dear Jesus, In Whose Life I See"

Benediction:  My Lord, today I will make a thousand choices, bit and small, consequential and trivial.  In the midst of all these decisions, help me to choose the one thing needed for a richer, more vital life in You.  Amen.