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The Meaning of “is” – How Redefining our Vocabulary Has Destroyed the Fabric of our Justice System

In Bible, God, Justice, moral corruption, prayer, Scripture, terror, Truth on September 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm

impeachment

I was home watching President Clinton’s impeachment hearing the day he said that now infamous line, “It depends on what the meaning of the word is, is.” I laughed out loud when, in a desperate attempt to appear innocent, he threw that preposition under the bus hoping it could modify his situation.

We sneer and snicker at that ridiculous statement now–in fact, that silly line made it’s way into our lexicon–but are we even aware of the massive damage it did to our society?

Watch the news every day for one solid week and you will see that a clear pattern has emerged in our courtrooms of such insane statements. People of all ages, race and gender are tossing out alternative definitions to their wicked behavior. The unbelievable thing is, these new definitions are actually being taken seriously by the courts!

Can’t they see that this redefining of our vocabulary is destroying the fabric of our justice system? If all we have to do is stand up in a court of law and simply redefine our actions to excuse our behavior, why do we even need a judge or a judicial system at all? Is there no accountability? If there is no standard in which we measure right and wrong — will we not then destroy ourselves completely?

My heart is torn over the horrible state of our country. On this sacred day, 9/11, I opened my Bible, hoping for answers and comfort. I opened to Psalm 12 and was shocked at how exactly it describes the condition of America and my prayer for our beloved country:

PSALM 12

Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing!
The faithful have vanished from the earth!
Neighbors lie to each other,
speaking with flattering lips and deceitful hearts.
 
May the Lord cut off their flattering lips
and silence their boastful tongues.
They say, “We will lie to our hearts’ content.
Our lips are our own—who can stop us?”
 
The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless,
and I have heard the groans of the poor.
Now I will rise up to rescue them,
as they have longed for me to do.”
 
The Lord’s promises are pure,
like silver refined in a furnace,
purified seven times over.
 
Therefore, Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed,
preserving them forever from this lying generation,
even though the wicked strut about,
and evil is praised throughout the land.

Look at the keywords in that chapter: boastful, flattering lips, lie, deceitful, violence, helpless, groans, oppressed, lying generation, wicked . . .

Does that not describe our nation now?  Do not “the wicked strut about?” Is not “evil praised throughout the land?”  Neighbors lie to each other and they don’t even try to hide the fact that they’re lying! There is no shame–in fact, if you try to confront their lying, they blow you off with “Our lips are our own–who can stop us?” In other words, “You live your life, I’ll live mine.” and, “What’s right for you is not necessarily right for me.”

Notice that in this Psalm it states, “The Lord’s promises are pure” What are his promises but his own word? We have a clear, written record of the Lord’s promises — it’s called the Holy Bible. In 1776 the Holy Bible was the standard that our Founding Fathers used to create our justice system.

Today, the Holy Bible has been tossed aside, redefined to fit individual conduct. But this insane, incessant redefining hasn’t stopped there. People are redefining our Constitution and its Amendments. Our own president changes the definitions of his words from speech to speech! Our school system is being redefined. Our religious rights are being redefined–even in the military! The definition of our sacred institutions of marriage and parenting are being redefined and maliciously, militantly attacked. Our school system has been redefined. Even our genders are being redefined!

The most heinous of all: redefinition has breached the walls of the womb. Life itself–given and ordained only by our Creator–has been called into question by His creation!

What does it matter if we redefine when life begins? It matters when that redefinition gives us license to take the life of someone else. It is one thing to simply paraphrase the law–as egregious as that is–but it is altogether damning to have the blood of millions of innocent children on our hands!

What have we become, America? What lie from the pit of Hell have we bought that tells us it’s okay to simply rewrite the laws that once governed our country, our states, our communities, our schools and our homes simply because it makes us feel uncomfortable, or hinders us from doing whatever we want to do? How did we get so far off track from our foundational standards?

There is only One Who can help us now. His name is still printed on our money. (That, too is in danger of being redefined! Today the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against the national motto, “In God We Trust”!  see petition to stop that here: http://aclj.org/in-god-we-trust/committee-protect-national-motto?sf16864079=1)

Will you stop right now and pray to God with me?

Help, O LORD! You promised in Your Word, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We repent! Wash us clean from our sins! We cannot survive without Your divine intervention. We fall to our knees and repent! Save us O LORD!

Amen.

May God bless the United States of America!

~ CCS

11 Lies Every American Needs to Stop Believing

Disclaimer: the intention of the author is not to imply that the current state of the Union was caused by
President Clinton's comment as quoted in this above post.

In Like a Flood: How to Overcome the Onslaught of Evil in Our World

In Bible, choices, faith, fear, God, Jesus, prayer, Scripture, terror on September 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm

The Boston Marathon bombing poses searching questions for counter-terrorism agencies across the world. Photograph: David L Ryan/AP

When I was a child, the nightly news seemed like a foreign movie. It seemed that everything evil happened on the other side of the planet, far from our suburban home.

When we went to church and heard the Holy Scriptures, sometimes one of those news stories would surface in the sermon and the pastor would use it as an example that God was seriously going to punish those who did evil—but not here in the United States. At least that’s how I interpreted the sermon. After all, we’re all safe here in the good ol’ US of A, right? Sure, we had our crime as any country does, but generally, my view of America was that we are the peacemakers, the humanitarians—the civilized.

As Christians, we are called to spread the good news of Jesus Christ across the globe, but the uncivilized, dangerous and evil people were handled by missionaries. These were people specifically called by God to leave the comfort of their American home, travel to a jungle and tell the natives they need Jesus.  At home, we would dutifully pray the Lord of the Harvest to send workers to the fields to gather in the lost souls as Jesus told us too—but secretly we’d pray: please, Lord, don’t send me!

With the truly sacrificial duties left to the missionaries, we could focus on gossiping and judging each other; arguing about what color the carpeting should be in the new sanctuary and snubbing those who dared to enter our place of worship unkempt. After all, did God not say we must be holy and separate from the world?

Now our children kill other children for fun. Our teens set off bombs in our streets. Our junior high boys stock up ammo in their room and bring it to school so they can shoot as many people as possible.

How did this happen on our soil? The talking heads have endless theories and solutions, and some of it may indeed help, but those who call Jesus their Lord and Savior can no longer play church. Evil is here, in our homes, our schools, our churches and streets. Evil has come in like a flood and we will quickly drown in it if we don’t pay attention and get on our knees. We can no longer pretend that the bad stuff happens off shore. We can no longer just put a dollar in a church envelope as the offering plate passes by and smugly feel good that we’ve blessed someone somewhere.

The ancient book of Isaiah, Chapter 59, practically describes our country word-for-word. Life is bleak and overwhelmingly hopeless and our own sins have brought dark consequences upon us. Justice flees from us; peace eludes us and shedding blood is a sport. What can good people do? We try to live good lives and we give our time and money to help others, so what do we do about all this evil in our beloved country? Many snipe at the government, others snipe at the school system, the justice system, the lack of two parents in the home, etc., etc. Yes, all these are factors in our dilemma, but not one of them alone released this flood of evil into our streets.

In fact, none of the solutions we concoct matter in a flood–all that matters is survival, and undoubtedly, a flood of evil is here. It is sweeping away our religious traditions, setting our church buildings on fire and driving us into corners of fear and hopelessness.

Is there no answer?

In verse 19 of Isaiah 59, the Lord proclaims that, “When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

Though this chapter is written to Israel, God is the same everywhere, and He will not allow evil to destroy those who love Him. Interestingly, the west is mentioned in the first part of the verse:

“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

God will save us, America, but we must fear only Him. We must call upon Him with repentant hearts and pure motives. This flood of evil rushing over our precious land, threatening to devour our families will not prevail if we get on our knees now and call out to the only One Who is mighty to save!

The church was never meant to be a building for good people to gather and revel in their goodness while everyone else gets what they get. The church is here to represent the unconditional love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who loved us so much He chose to pay the penalty of our sin so we could be delivered from evil.

What will you choose? Will you drown in the flood of evil, or will you embrace the standard that God raises against it and look to Him for your salvation?

~ CCS

How to Know God

Photograph: David L Ryan/AP “The Boston Marathon bombing poses searching questions for counter-terrorism agencies across the world.”

9/11

In change, choices, healing, memorial, plots, prayer on September 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm

They went to work.

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That’s all.

They boarded a plane.

That’s all.

One plot.

That’s all.

They’re gone.

But that’s not all.

We will never forget.

Help

In change, choices, God, help, jobs, prayer, weight-loss on September 1, 2009 at 10:12 am

If I didn’t have to have food or money, I could really enjoy life.

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In fact, much of my life has been spent resenting the fact that I am so dependent on these two elusive slave masters.

Diets and jobs and bank accounts and bills, chocolate and carbs and house repairs and taxes – what gravity! I loathe the pull it has on me; the prison bars that skew my view of life. What if it could all be wiped away?  What glory!  What rapture!  Put me in a library and throw away the key.

Such loathing extended toward those who control these monsters. The skinny, healthy ones; the owners of manicured lawns and custom drapes and three car garages.  Their secrets have eluded me all these years.

Yeah, I know their secrets now: eat right, exercise, save.  I also know now that my fight isn’t against food or money, but against my own lack of control.  It took me a lifetime to realize I need help outside of myself; that I cannot deliver myself from evil.

HELP!  That’s the place I need to be, crying out to God.  Not just when I’m desperate, but every single minute of every single day.

In this midlife crisis of  economic challenges and an aching, aging body, I need Him now more than ever. 

Where does my help come from?

I look to the hills, says the Psalmist, I look to the One who made heaven and earth. Does He not own the cattle on a thousand hills?  Does he not give me my daily bread?

He will not allow my foot to be moved; He who keeps me will not slumber…nor sleep. The Lord is my keeper; the Lord is my shade…He will preserve me from all evil; He will preserve my soul…my going in and my going out…forevermore.

Psalm 121 was a reference made in this past Sunday’s sermon, it’s point being that we are to focus on trusting God.  Not on my resume, not on my expectations, my logic, on other people or on my circumstances, not on my personal strength.

Lord, thank you for showing me how helpless I am. I need You.  Help me!

Plan B

In God, moving, plans, prayer, stress on August 28, 2009 at 11:38 am

There is no Plan B.

1966 Plymouth Fury VIP - #4(3)

It was 4:15 p.m. and the cables had been hooked to the ’66 for an hour to no avail.  My heart sank.  The old girl just wouldn’t stay running.

I assessed all the possibilities of not getting involved, but the marching clock was a cruel dictator and we were just about out of time.

I left my packing frenzy in the office and started down the stairs.  At the landing, I looked out at my husband, Pete, sitting in his 1966 Plymouth Fury VIP which he named after his Mother, Morine. I could tell by the expression on his face that he too was disappointed. His buddy was bent over the engine searching in earnest for the solution.

The Fury hadn’t run in a year. It’s an asset, by way of its age, a classic car, a sweet ride, but since we couldn’t drive her to our new home, we had to haul her up on a trailer. The dilemma at 4:15 was how do we get her on the trailer?

At 3200 lbs., Morine wasn’t going to get there by our brute strength. She had to stay running.

I walked down our gravel drive and said what no one wanted to say. It’s time for Plan B.  What the plan was no one knew but Plan A didn’t work.  The guys looked at me as if I had delivered a eulogy. I left them to mourn and headed back to my mess.

I had no sooner sat down in the chair to finish packing the box I had abandoned when I heard Morine – running!

I ran to the window and looked down at the driveway.  There she was on the trailer! I ran down the stairs, out the back door, down the driveway screaming and jumping like a crazed sports fan whose team had just won the pennant, praising God at the top of my lungs – Plan A WORKED!

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Within two hours of that blessed, victorious, divine moment, we were packed up and ready to drive away from our precious little House of Grace in Peoria, Illinois. I snapped this picture on my cell phone as a constant reminder to me that God is with us and has great things waiting for us in our new home.

But, Plan A was only half over. Would Morine start and run long enough to drive her off the trailer at the condo?  Of course, that wasn’t the only question. Would there be a ‘VISITOR’ parking space for her?  If she wouldn’t run, who will help us push her?  Certainly I couldn’t push her!

I started formulating another Plan B.

The three-and-a-half hour drive went off without a hitch and we arrived at midnight. My hubby parked the truck with Morine in tow on the street and we crashed hard.

The next day we drug our aching bodies out the door and discussed how the parking of Morine was going down. Thankfully, there was a ‘VISITOR’ space in perfect alignment with the path he planned to get her off the trailer. So far so good.

When Pete turned the key she roared like a lion, commanding the applause of a half-dozen bored kids from several balconies. He was in heaven. So he revved her again, well, a couple more times, just for the kids.

He put her in reverse and she obediently rolled off the trailer, then died.  Plan B was now in force.  But there was no Plan B.  We were stuck.  I had zero strength to push her, though the path to the parking space was downhill.  I guess Plan A was for me to push!

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Nope.  Plan A was walking up to us!  A man from around the corner who came out to throw out his trash, got distracted by the purring lion and when she died he said, ‘I can help you!’ and pushed her right snug into her little cage.  Isn’t she pretty sittin’ there?

I stood there with my mouth hanging open.  There was no Plan B!  God had a perfect Plan A the whole time.  We asked for His help and he gave it – all the way to the very last minute.  Yes, our hope was that she would run and stay running, but he gave us what we needed.  She ran up onto the trailer in Peoria – that’s what we needed.  She ran off the trailer at the condo – that’s what we needed.

End of Plan A.  No Plan B.  God wins. I learn.

Dull Hearts

In books, change, choices, Christ, God, healing, Jesus, prayer on July 31, 2009 at 10:19 am

Last night I was talking with a friend on the phone apologizing for not being available to her these past two months. “It’s like I’ve been in a coma,” I explained.

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I realize my choice of words was exaggerated, as I’ve never been in a coma, but she got the point.  She knew that in June my husband and I uprooted our lives and moved north to live closer to our kids and new grandson.  Thank God for good friends with lots of patience!

But, this morning as I was musing on that conversation, I admitted to myself that I’ve been in a ‘coma’ longer than these past two months.  I didn’t realize my condition until I arrived at Chapter 13 in the book I’m reading:  Matthew 13:13-17 in my Bible.  Jesus was teaching his disciples and those who had come out to hear him speak using parables, short stories packed with dynamite.

After a few stories, the disciples pulled him aside and asked, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”  Jesus pulled a quote from the ancient prophet Isaiah to answer their question.  It was here that I realized the state of my own heart:

“…the hearts of this people have grown dull.  Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so I should heal them.”

Ouch.  You mean I can close my eyes and ears to God’s Word?  And, if I do, my heart will grow dull?  It is this word ‘dull’ that caught my attention.  I’ve been so focused on my earthly state of affairs that I allowed my heart to grow dull.

If a dull heart comes from ears and eyes that are closed, then it only stands to reason that my own will closed them.  My will.  What was that one part of the Lord’s Prayer? 

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Yes, that’s it.  That’s the prayer I repeat when I hear it in church.  Good Christians know that by heart.  The question is, do they mean it by heart?

Lord, I choose to open my eyes and ears so that when I read or repeat Your Word, when I raise my hands in worship or take notes on a sermon at church, my heart will be sharp and not dull.  I want to understand with my heart and turn so that You will heal me.  Thank you for your patience with me and for friends and family who love me in spite of my dull heart.