Saturday, August 29, 2015

Scott Walker Shows the Class that John Boehner Lacks

It’s no secret that Ted Cruz bucks the system and is no fan of the Republican Establishment leadership in Congress. It’s also no secret that the Republican Establishment leadership in Congress do not like Cruz with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner being at the top of the Cruz-hater list. What we learned today is that Wisconsin Governor and GOP Presidential candidate Scott Walker doesn’t appreciate the treatment that Cruz receives from Congress.

In particular, he doesn’t care for the way that John Boehner publicly called Cruz a “jackass.” Kudos to Walker for not trying to use it as an occasion to promote himself but instead defended his Presidential competitor. Could Walker have a place in a Cruz team if he’s able to secure the nomination or even the Presidency?

Walker isn’t the most stable candidate, but it’s good to see that he has some class. That’s more than we can say about the Speaker of the House. Cruz acknowledged Walker’s defense.

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Donald Trump’s Discomfort with True Faith is Palpable

“I’m a religious person,” said Donald Trump in reply to a question at the Family Leadership Summit.

Even President Obama seems more comfortable talking about his faith than Donald Trump. Notice that I didn’t say that he seemed uncomfortable when he’s talking about religion or even the Bible. On those topics, he seems much more comfortable to the point that when he declares that the Bible is his favorite book, it sounds very much like a line from a sales pitch, pointing to his fans and giving thumbs up accordingly. As one Twitter user put it, he’s pandering.

Then, there’s the strangely not-famous line about how personal the Bible is to him and that he doesn’t want to quote a favorite Bible verse or two. I can respect the idea of keeping a personal faith personal, particularly in an election, but his discomfort over the question is conspicuous. It doesn’t take a behavioral scientist to catch the fact that he’s not saying what he’s saying from a perspective of religious conviction but rather out of fear and unpreparedness. He is smart enough to keep this same story going (too personal) but it also wouldn’t be a shocker if he’s able to pull out a couple of memorized Bible verses the next time he’s asked.

Again, there are those who simply weren’t fooled.

When asked if he actively goes to church or “just when you can,” Trump took the answer that was given to him in the question and then turned briefly uncomfortable with his own response. He is very aware that people will be checking up on anything he says, so he is cautious with his responses while trying to highlight the “positives” of always going… twice a year.

Even self-proclaimed “libertarian RINO heathen” Chris Barron noticed a problem.

Donald Trump is a political outsider who isn’t afraid to speak his mind and who has some good conservative ideas. However, he’s not the type of person who can truly lead this country even if you take his questionable faith out of the equation. With it in the equation (as it should be for many of us), he’s arguably the most dangerous potential President on either side of the fence.

His discomfort with the topic isn’t just palpable. It’s scary to think that he might just be able to pull the wool over so many Republicans’ eyes.

Donald Trump Faith



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Spiritual Preparation Supersedes Physical Preparation

The world is currently in a state that some consider to be indicative of the end times. It appears as if society is heading in the wrong direction – good is being called evil and evil is being called good. Governments are corrupt. Economies are failing. Wars and rumors of war fill the news every day. A conscientious and discerning Christian probably feels anxiety about the world around us.

These feelings can compel us to prepare, to circle the wagons so to speak and to get ready for the worst. The “prepper” movement is alive and well in America as people are buying food, ammunition, and emergency supplies as if tribulation and the apocalypse are right around the corner. They may be right, but there’s a step that many are skipping before they get physically prepared to weather the coming storm.

The step I’m speaking of is spiritual preparation. It’s very common for Christians in western society to take for granted their own spiritual preparation. This is a mistake. When tribulation comes, we will all be faced with challenges and persecutions that can make the unprepared turn away from their faith. I want to go over a few things that we believe are important to prepare before worrying about whether or not you have enough ammunition to keep the ravaging hordes away from your food and water stocks.

Certainty in Your Heart

If you’re like many in United States, you may have sat with a pastor and prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer.” It comes in many forms but usually ends with a statement from the pastor that if you said those words and meant them in your heart, that you’re saved now and forever. For many, this is a life changing experience that truly brings about a shift in your heart. That’s the Holy Spirit moving within you to make it sting inside when you sin, that guides you to do the right things even when they seem hard, and that fills you with sadness when you see people you care for who do not believe.

If, like many, you said the prayer and went about your business living life the same way you always did with the only difference being a feeling of license to sin without consequences, then it’s time to pray again. And again. And again. The Holy Spirit will move you to pray always, read your Bible, and fulfill the desired goals and actions that our Father has set before you. If you aren’t baptized, get baptized. If you aren’t certain if you’ve ever been baptized or you think that you were baptized as a child, get baptized.

There’s a verse in the Bible that is conspicuously missing from many translations. That verse is Acts 8:37:

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.Acts 8:35-39

The King James and other versions of the Bible make it very clear that being baptized is a choice that depends upon belief that Yeshua is the Son of God. Babies are incapable of believing this which is why the verse is excluded from Bibles that are commonly used by faiths that promote childhood baptism. Baptism is necessary and should be performed when you believe in Yeshua, not when you’re a child or when you still have doubts about the inerrancy of the Bible.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.John 3:5 (KJV)

This isn’t the time to debate whether or not Baptism is necessary. That’s something we’ll cover more in-depth later. The point here is that you should make sure you’re truly in the Body of Christ. Going to church every Sunday and asking for things in prayer every now and then is likely not the certainty you need in your heart.

Understanding of the Possible Trials and Tribulations

We aren’t going to go into our perspectives about the pre-tribulation rapture. That’s a topic we’ve covered before and we’ll cover again, but not here. As Christians, we know that at any time we may be called out for our faith and even told that we must denounce it. Throughout American history, even recently, we’ve seen occasions where people are given a choice between death or denouncing the Bible. In many countries, this potential is a part of everyday life.

Would you be willing to accept death the way that the 21 Coptic Christians did? Reports show that the Islamic State abducted dozens of men and told those who were Christians to convert or die. 21 of them chose death.

It is terrifying to imagine that we could be put into the same situation. Believe it or not, things can be even worse. What if you’re in a terrible situation where your family is going to be tortured and killed if you don’t denounce your faith. Would you have the spiritual fortitude and courage to know that worshiping the Father, believing on the Son, and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit must supersede all worldly considerations, even family? Would you be able to do as Abraham did, nearly sacrificing his own son at the command of our Lord?

These questions aren’t meant to depress you. It’s important that you consider them. It’s imperative that you’re mentally and emotionally prepared if, God forbid, you are put into a situation where you must make these types of choices. It’s something that nobody likes to think about but it’s the type of situation that we all must prepare for just in case.

Bringing Your Circle to Faith

We all have friends or family members who simply do not believe. They may be lukewarm Christians. They may be non-believers or worshipers of false religions. Once you are steeled in your own faith, it’s important for both you and your family/friends that you do what you can to bring them to the same place in life.

That’s an important distinction to make. Being a Christian isn’t just a belief. It’s a way of life. It’s a stage in the journey for many of us that brings wonders and joy to those who truly get there. I’m not talking about wonders of this world or the joys of these bodies. Faith isn’t about riches or ease. True faith is the knowledge that we are given the ultimate gift and the desire to share that gift with as many as possible. It’s important to start with family and friends.

Bringing your circle of family and friends to the faith isn’t just a selfless act. As the world gets crazier and crazier, it’s our inner circle that influences us whether we want it to or not. Yes, we want to help them, but being surrounded by fellow believers, particular in these end times, makes it easier for us to continue down our path and is part of the strength we’ll need to persevere.

Wait, Help, Strengthen

Once you have accepted the gift of Salvation, prepared yourself mentally and emotionally for tribulation, and done what you can to bring your inner circle of influence to the faith, it’s time to partake in the great commission.

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV)

For many, the next step can mean forsaking all else and doing ministry or missionary work. For others, it means finding that perfect cabin off the grid and getting physically prepared for the coming tribulations. We are not against “preppers” by any means. We’ve even done a small amount of preparation ourselves. However, all of this is secondary to the needs of the Spirit – spreading the Gospel and continuing to be students of the Bible in a constant state of learning and worshiping.

If we truly are in the end times, it’s a time to rejoice. As things get more and more difficult in this life, we know that the next life is drawing closer. Praise be to God.

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Donald Trump is the Right Man at the Wrong Time

Donald Trump is unlike any Presidential Candidate in the modern age.  He is rough, intelligent, unapologetic, and a true showman. After 26-years of uninspiring Presidents and GOP candidates (yes, including both Presidents named Bush), he is showing many conservatives that they can think outside of the Republican Establishment box and have a candidate of action.

The problem is one of irony for the Republican party. This is the first election cycle since Ronald Reagan left office that we actually have some incredible candidates. We’ve needed someone like Donald Trump to come along and galvanize the party even if he’s not the best choice to lead it. Unfortunately, the year that he decided to run is the only year since the 80s when we didn’t need him to run.

Why didn’t he come in and give us someone other than Mitt Romney? Why couldn’t he have taken the place of John McCain rather than helping him raise money in 2008? A Trump Presidency from 2000-2007 could have yielded better results for the country than the Bush Presidency. He would have been much better than Bob Dole and at least a little better than G.H.W. Bush. Moreover, he would have had a better chance of keeping Bill and Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

Today, we don’t need Trump. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson are much better GOP choices than anyone since Reagan. Even Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and possibly Carly Fiorina are more inspiring than Romney, McCain, or Dole. Perhaps more importantly is the fact that this is the weakest group of contenders for the Democrats since Walter Mondale.

This is the year that we didn’t need Trump to come in and turn the Republican party upside down. We have the candidates. It was much simpler a couple of months ago when it was only necessary to beat Jeb Bush. Now, the most talented Republican primary contenders that we’ve seen in decades are being relegated to occasional questions here and there and most of the time they’re being asked about Trump.

I like Donald Trump and I really wish he would have been there for the party and the country when we really needed him. Any of the past seven elections he would have likely been the best choice. Today, he’s in the middle of a powerhouse pack of contenders but he’s getting all of the attention.

When we needed him, he wasn’t there. Now that finally don’t need him, he had to come in and mess everything up.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Hope, Despair, and Thundercats: The Reality of a Post-Christian Society

When I was a child, I loved watching the Thundercats. I don’t want to dwell on the storyline of post-apocalyptic feline humanoids battling mutants led by a demigod creature. Instead, I want to look at one episode that has stuck with me after three decades and how it applies to the world today.

We look around and see things changing very dramatically. Everything seems to be heading towards a post-Christian society in the United States, Europe, and other western cultures. Then, we can look to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and see the persecution that’s driving Christians to make terrible choices. Sometimes, they must decide whether to save their lives by denouncing their faith or keep their faith while losing their lives.

The challenges faced by Christians in regions of the world where it’s dangerous to be a Christian are a different topic from what we’ll discuss here. Their challenges require a completely unique perspective, one we’ll cover in a future post.

Here, we’re talking about a western society that’s enamored by celebrities, willingly exposed to abominations, and accepting of sins that were once seen for the evil that they are. What’s worse is that these things are being allowed and even promoted by those who believe they are faithful, discerning, and conscientious. Modern sensibilities are used as excuses to be more tolerant. Forgiveness is used as a reason to reinterpret the Bible. Those who have their eyes open realize that the pace of the growing evil in the world is much faster than the hope that’s being spread through the Gospel…

… or is it?

If there’s one thing we can know for sure about this world, it’s that the powers, principalities, and rulers are gaining more control over the flow of information in the world.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

As a result, we are manipulated beyond our earthly understanding. This means that the rise of the Gospel and its spread across the world is likely increasing much faster than we can know. We can see it in our lives when talking to the people around us if we’re looking, but the parts that stand out are the opposite. We see the evils of the world, the friends we find on the Ashley Madison list, the spread of our sinful natures accepting things that simply shouldn’t be, the rise of atheism and Islam – it can cause great despair in those of us who want nothing more than to serve our Father and honor our Lord and Savior.

If we can look beneath the surface by taking pointing our noses away from the television and the iPads, we’ll see that there’s hope. This is a post-Christian society for those who are willing to believe that it is. Unfortunately, that’s most of us. However, those who realize that God’s Will is all powerful and that nothing is impossible for Him, we can see that there truly is hope.

The adversary cannot defeat us unless we lose faith in our Lord and hope for the world. What we see around us is designed to deprive us of both faith and hope. Now is not the time to give up and accept the post-Christian society that we keep hearing about. Now is the time to fight harder, to push forward, to persevere.

In one particular episode, the leader of the Thundercats, Lion-O, has to beat all of his companions at what they do best. He has to race Cheetara, the “fastest creature alive,” in a footrace. After a long race, they are head-to-head for the final five miles. She is much faster than him and gets off to a huge lead, but we learn that she can only sustain her top speed for two miles. Lion-O can beat her if he doesn’t give up, but for a moment he allows the impossibility of the situation to fill him with doubt.

Of course, he doesn’t give up and is able to catch up with her in the end. She pulled so far ahead but she couldn’t sustain. It was Lion-O’s perseverance that allows him to win. We are faced with the same task. The world around us is telling us how impossible it is for the Gospel to continue to spread in a society that is pulling away from it and turning its attentions elsewhere. If we believe that this is the case, then it is.

If we maintain the faith and keep the hope that has been promised for all of time, then there’s nothing that the perceived changes in our society can do to us. The time is short. We’re likely in the final five-mile stretch in our race. The adversary is pulling away. It’s time for us to run faster, push harder, and be part of the fulfillment of the eternal promise of salvation.



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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Carly Fiorina has Earned a Place at the CNN Debate

I wasn’t a believer. I thought that Carly Fiorina was overrated as a candidate and deserved to be on the bottom tier. Then, I saw her Fox debate performance. More importantly, I saw how the public responded to her at the polls following the debate. She made me a believer. Carly Fiorina is the real deal and needs to be at the CNN debate, but chances are very strong that she won’t.

The issue here is that CNN is stupid. They published their asinine debate criteria back in May. Once published, the Federal Election Committee prohibits making changes. The stupidity of CNN comes in the form of reliance on polls that will be over a month old by the time the debate occurs, polls that did not include performances during the first debate on August 6. This stupidity basically states that they did not believe that opinions can change to make polls irrelevant over a 40+ day period.

I cannot stress this enough: their rules are insanely stupid.

Whatever the polls said before the Fox debate are pretty much irrelevant. Fiorina is more deserving and currently polling better than Rand Paul, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, and Chris Christie, all of whom fell after poor performances in the first debate. Fiorina shot up in the polls after her performance in the consolation debate and now she’s probably going to have to do the same thing again based upon the silliness of a network that believes in antiquated data.

Like many Americans, I’m not certain if Carly Fiorina is the right person to lead this country, but it’s very clear that she’s earned the right to state her case on a national stage. Her campaign is blaming the RNC in part for her challenges and that may be the case, but there’s no doubt that CNN should shoulder most of the blame.

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Horses found after fifteen years of neglect

This story won’t give you confidence in humanity. After 15 years of neglect three horses were found on farm in Woodbine, Maryland surrounded by four-feet of manure. Their hooves had grown to over 3 feet long which made them unable to walk without getting tangled up.

One miniature mare had to be euthanized. The other two were 18 year-old males that will need a minimum of one year rehabilitation, if they survive.

The two surviving horses were taken to Days End Farm Horse Rescue where they are said to be in critical condition. Both animal rescue and the vet attending to them say it is the worst neglect they have ever seen.

The case is currently being investigated and we are sure that whoever is responsible, if caught, will face severe penalties or even jail time.

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All paths lead to #bacon.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Donald Trump appeals to ignorant Americans like David Duke

There’s something important to note: ignorance and intelligence are two different things. We’re not calling Donald Trump’s supporters stupid. They are, however, ignorant of the reality of the man and naive about what he’s selling versus what he’s actually going to do if he were to get into the White House.

Nobody doubts his ability to sell. He sells television ratings; even he calls himself the “Ratings King.” He sells ideas; a business man doesn’t achieve the heights he’s achieved without being able to sell concepts that would be appealing to the average listener. He sells the deal; that’s his greatest strength in business and proving to be his greatest strength in politics.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke recognizes this. That’s one of the things that he finds most appealing about Trump as he reiterated over and over again last week on his radio show.

Being the “best in the lot” would normally be considered a great thing to hear from a radio host and two-time Presidential candidate, but it’s definitely not the type of endorsement that Trump would want publicized. The reason is because he’s a smart man who knows that the most likely people he can sell his dreams to would be the ignorant (not stupid) Republicans who become enamored easily by his straight-talking style.

Donald Trump is a salesman through and through. He knows how to analyze a situation and create support from the people he’s trying to whom he’s trying to sell. Again, it’s his greatest strength. He’s selling America his own brand of politics and many are buying into it, not because of the merits of the plans but because of the way he’s able to sell it to them.

It’s been said twice and it should be said again. Being a Donald Trump supporter does not make someone stupid. In fact, ignorant probably isn’t even the right word. Trumps supporters are gullible. They’ve fallen for the sales pitch of a master salesperson and they think that it will equate to change in America. The reality is this: the disappointment that many of President Obama’s supporters are feeling today is small compared to the regret that Trump’s supporters will feel if he’s elected.

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Separation of Church and State: Why Christians Must Vote for Ted Cruz

The vast majority of voters would say that they do not weigh religion into their voting practices. The concept of the separation of church and state is often part of this mindset; most do not want religion to play a major role in their government. It’s the misunderstanding of the concept that brings about this perception and it’s exactly why those of faith must vote for Ted Cruz.

There’s a shift happening in America that is only a little alarming now. Unfortunately, this shift is ongoing to the point that most would consider it to be a trend. That trend is pointing to a society where religious liberty is abandoned for the sake of personal rights of expression and lifestyles. Mandates are superseding freedoms and choices. We are heading towards a society where the condition of being a Christian is only acceptable behind closed doors.

The separation of church and state was primarily intended to keep the government out of the church, synagogue, mosque, or any other religious building. It was intended to allow people their rights to adhere to their religious beliefs even if those beliefs included no religion at all. Before the country was even formed, it was religious persecution that drove Europeans to settle in the new lands of America. Then, the Constitution echoed these foundations. Today, the pendulum of the “separation of church and state” has swung all the way to the left so that we now have a mindset of “elimination of church from state.”

In other words, the state is starting to mandate what religious views we’re allowed to practice and any utterance of religion in the context of government will give you an instant classification as a bigot.

There are many reasons that this is happening, but one of the most notable for today’s conversation is payback. Religious freedoms have been abused to push inappropriate agendas or to harm people for the wrong reasons ever since the dawn of man and America is no different. One would be naive to think that this isn’t the case. Today, we have been able to remove many of the obstacles that were placed before people in the name of religion and we should be at a point of harmony where religion doesn’t get in the way of government or society while government and society do not get in the way of religion. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. We’re in the process of over-correcting. Religion was a freedom that many abused. Now, religion is becoming a freedom that certain groups are trying to eliminate.

The real bigotry that we’re seeing emerge is not coming from Christians but rather being directed towards them. There is absolutely nothing American about forcing someone to bake a cake for a ceremony that goes against their religion, but that’s exactly what’s happening. Would there be equal outrage if someone refused to bake a cake with a cross on it for a Christian family’s birthday party? Possibly, but I assure you the argument against anyone who protested would be that no baker should be forced to support a religious symbol for a birthday party if they didn’t believe in that religion. Would the ACLU swoop in and cry foul? Of course not.

The funny part is that I would support a baker’s right to not bake a cake with a cross on it. In America, the freedom to practice your religion or to not practice any religion at all means that we must allow for choices. When it comes to religious liberties, we’re seeing the protections are only being levied in one direction.

There are other so-called “evangelical” candidates such as Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum. None of them can win. More importantly, none of them have the other qualities that Ted Cruz possesses.

Some say he’s too divisive, that he’s too conservative and outspoken. If you look at eight of the past nine elections, the winner has always been the divisive, controversial candidate. The Democrats know this. The Republicans keep putting up moderate, uncontroversial, milquetoast candidates like Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Bob Dole.

Others say that Donald Trump is the solution. They love the fact that he’s willing to speak his mind, that he’s not a politician, and that he even has a few good ideas. Unfortunately, his leadership style is based on bullying and corruption, not dissimilar from the way that President Obama operates. He will get frustrated by not having the absolute power that he’s accustomed to and will respond to his own ineffectiveness the way that President Obama has responded to his.

Is it worse to buy politicians or to be bought as a politician? Trump might be the first person to be prolific at both if he’s elected. He won’t be bought with money, of course. As President, he’ll be bought through promises of deals here and favors there that he will believe will help his Presidency. The man simply lacks the ability to handle the constraints of the Presidency and it will rattle him terribly that he can’t just do what he wants. You can see in his inability to handle the Megyn Kelly situation that he is easily rattled. That’s nothing compared to what he would face in the general election season and it’s a far cry from the abuse he’ll get as President.

He will be eaten alive in Washington DC. Donald Trump as President would set the country back 8 years and set the Republican party back 20 years.

Don’t get me wrong. I think he’s an exceptionally talented business man and entertainer. He has some good ideas. However, he lacks the temperament, political skills, and ethical barriers that are required of a great President. He is not Ronald Reagan or anything close to is as some are saying. The President that he most resembles truly is President Obama. It’s unfortunate that so few see this.

To improve the economy, defend the nation, and galvanize the people, there are a handful of strong candidates this year. Once you filter those choices by adding morality, values, and a willingness to keep the Judeo-Christian core that made our country great, there’s only one candidate that makes sense for America.



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