THOUGHTS & COMMENTS
Parental control. Interesting. This causes me to think: "Just what kind of controls do parents have over their children?"
Parents have responsibility for their children. If a person's child acts irresponsible it is the parent who must pay the consequences; this I see. And for this reason parents bother at all to turn on things like "Parental Controls" that keep even the adult from accessing their browser, their connection to the outer world, because it has the possibility of displaying a naughty word.
But the child?
If the child wants to view sexual, violent, obscene and other such material we all know they shouldn't see, all they have to do is watch TV or go to the movies. If the child doesn't have a TV or the money for a movie ticket, then all they have to do is visit a friend with a computer or TV. If the child has no friend with a computer or TV, then all she or he has to do is use the school computer. And should all this fail, the Public Library is just a few footsteps away.
At school the child, from the time he is old enough to enter school, is taught and had demonstrated on film the advantages and pleasures of all forms of sex, including the benefits of participating in deviant sex.
Then at the library the child, without fear of being restrained by some adult or "Parental Controls" can browse through all the books displaying in graphic detail what they learned in school. And should they wish more detailed and graphic depictions, such as motion pictures, the computer is at their disposal.
In our institutions of learning there are no restrictions, except to insist that you partake of your inappropriate and illegal activity q.u.i.e.t.l.y. It is imperative that the child indulge in their inappropriate activity in such a place as the school and the library, because if they were to be given such instruction by you, the parent who objects to such learning; you would be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or worse.
Fair is fair.
When the logical consequence of such an education expresses itself, in the form of transmitted disease and/or childbirth (or school shootings if it is violence the child is inclined toward), the child is instructed in "Family Planning" and other such Government sponsored and approved means to deal with the problem. Here the child learns about abortion and birth control that allows them to continue practicing all they are being taught at school, the library, and by the media, without having to pay the consequences of such practices.
Of course medical treatment for disease, birth controls, and abortions are expensive. And it is unlikely that the teenager or pre-teenager is going to be able to pay for all the required peripherals necessary to keep them active in their chosen field of youthful activity.
Who pays for all this? The Government who allows it and sponsors it? The school who promotes it? The Media who broadcasts it? The Libraries who support and provide it?
Of course not. It would be foolish to assume that people with the ability to create and promote such a situation would not also find a way to keep from having to suffer the consequences for it as well. After all, look at what they are providing already? Isn't that enough?
Then, if not the child with the problem; nor the agencies who caused the problem; then just who is it that will be expected to pay?
Why, the parent, of course.
But, not to worry. You, the parent only have to deal with the final end of your child's endeavors that you try so hard to prevent. For you are not allowed to know about, nor restrict, the school's right to show pornography, nor the Library's right to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, nor the government's right to instruct, and perform, that abortion you and your church opposes so vehemently.
No. none of this is your responsibility nor your right. It is your responsibility to pay the doctor bills, raise the baby(s) your 12 year old daughter produces, and to continue to buy the birth control pills she needs (as well as the cigarettes you can't give her, and she can't buy, but she has a perfect right to smoke all she wants).
The "Free Love" movement of the 70's has come a long way, Baby.
CHRISTIANS WITHOUT A CHURCH
I have no doubt but that such a statement is going to draw a lot of flack my way. Regardless, such has been my experience.
Elsewhere I have written about attending several different churches in effort to detect the presence of the Holy Spirit. Of course you might well ask who I think I am that I could tell if the Holy Spirit is in a church or not. And that question surely deserves an answer. I am merely one who has recently received the Holy Spirit and find that I can tell if He is with me at various periods of the day or night. If I feel His presence before I walk into a building, and again after I leave that building (or person I am talking to, or activity in which I am engaging), but I have to struggle to communicate with Him while I am in that building - then I conclude the Holy Spirit is not in that building. That is only my assessment; but my assessment is all I have to go by.
I have yet to attend a church where I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. There have been moments I felt He was there, but then I could feel Him leave.
There have been occasions when I would attempt to enter a building, even a church, where I could feel the Holy Spirit revolt. I knew full-well that should I enter, I would have to do so at my own risk, because I would be totally alone.
Or do you watch the clock during the sermon, plan the evening meal while your mouth sings, and judge the clothing and hairdos of the ladies in attendance?
But let's say they are in possession of the Holy Spirit. The chances are the Pastor and his wife are just like everybody else. They have their lives to lead - household and family duties to perform, current events to follow, and entertainment to pursue. On top of this they must plan and prepare the upcoming service as well as midweek activities. That seems simple enough to those who have not partaken in such endeavors. But consider that, like yourself, the parishioners who attend services are difficult to keep entertained and attentive. And to prepare something new each week is a near impossible task at best.
Fortunately there are books and web sites available to help Pastors and their wives plan a service. But this also takes time and effort. And there is Bible reading that must be kept up with in order that the Pastor can continue to impress his congregates with his knowledge of the Scriptures.
The Pastor and his wife are lucky to find the time to get in a quick prayer before meals and at bed time - just like his parishioners.
The Holy Spirit, if not completely forgotten, ignored or disbelieved, has little space and time to move among those who attend church.
For myself, I find my mind almost always communing with God. Of course the conversation is a one-way activity with me doing the talking, but I know He is there. I don't know if He listens to all my jabbering; and I doubt He cares a wit about what I am saying - but the fact I am there jabbering keeps me close at His heels and out of trouble. It's a lot like the mother who would prefer that her small child who has just learned to walk and to talk stay by her side muttering his gibberish than to have him off wandering into no-telling-what in the next room.
This is the way it is in the World.
This is proof of the fact these people think a great deal of that performer, perhaps even to the point of worshiping him or her.
Rock concerts and sporting events attract adherents by the thousands. Those in attendance throw every bit of enthusiasm and energy toward their favorite team or player (or performer). There is no doubt in the mind of anyone who any one of these spectators are there to see. The look in the eyes of each of them radiate an energy akin to a warrior in the fit of battle drawing the life's blood from all those who oppose him.
Watch as people fight to keep their eyes open and gaze at their wrist, trying to force the hands on the dial to move.
Notice that people do not come alive until the Pastor proclaims those famous and anticipated words: "You are dismissed."
This is church.
Consider the extreme anticipation and excitement a person might feel waiting to finally be once again with the parent they had been separated from at birth.
Notice the reaction of a small child when she is being removed from the protecting arms of her mother.
Now, once again, look around the church and try to find any of that same enthusiasm and driving lust to be with the very God and Father who each say they have come there to be with.
Imagine, if you will, having to reprimand your child for some serious offense; then have the child say, while picking his fingernails and watching TV: "I'm yawwn sorry."
Let's see how that works in life outside the church.
"Just tell us you will be a good boy and that you're sorry, then you can do whatever you want. Remember, we're your parents and we love you, so we will forgive you over and over for anything you do."
"Just tell the judge your sorry for your murders and he will let you go. It's his job to forgive and forget. Just remember that for all your future murders...."
"You say you're part of a group that is against this nation and all it stands for and that is why you blew up our buildings and poisoned our water, killing many thousands of people. But you are also a citizen of this country having taken the pledge of allegiance. Well, that's different. As long as you have said the words I guess we will have to set you free to do as you will."
"This document says your name is Adolph Hitler and that you grew up in the church and was baptized. I guess there's nothing we can do but release you and forgive you for whatever you might have done. You've said the words, what else can we do?"
You've heard that expression before. And I highly suspect you know just what it means because you have experienced it, both as the recipient and the giver.
Those things that come easy to us, we care little about. We seek those things that are elusive, that try to avoid us, that we have to struggle to attain.
That girl (or boy as the case may be) who has a "crush" on you and follows you around like a lap dog, you stay just as far away from as you can. That one who seeks your attention might, under different circumstances, be the one of your dreams. But because they are easy, and available you look down on them and wish for them to disappear.
But the cheer leader who every boy pants after. The football hero who every girl would give her eye teeth to have as a Bou - that person you treat the very same way the one who chases after you treats you. And with the same results.
So we concentrate our efforts on those things that are close enough to give us a feeling of satisfaction without our having to make a supreme sacrifice.
47Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (Luke 7:)
One who is forgiven the most will love the most. Is this true in your experience? Like the lovelorn suitor above, this does not always hold true.
Matthew 18: tells the story of someone who had been forgiven a great debt, then turned around and persecuted someone who owed him but a little.
I have (and I am sure you have as well), had occasion where I have done what I consider a special kindness toward someone, only to be "spat upon" in return. And even in the best of situations, I find it is not in the nature of Man to be appreciative. We are a race of egotistic, self-centered creatures. The more someone does for us, the less we appreciate both the gift, and the giver. But should someone give us a tidbit, we fawn over them and shower them with appreciation.
This is not reasonable, but it is our nature.
But so was it with those who followed Baal. And so is it with those who follow the various cults and communities of the World today. Is there anyone more "blessed" than those who delve into the realm of witchcraft and other such mystic practices?
To select from the finest and most dedicated: you don't advertise for the Many, you call for the few and the chosen.
The Army desires the best, but will settle for those who are unfit for the other branches of the service. They will, if all else fails, enact the draft where all have to serve.
The Marines, on the other hand, calls for the "few and the chosen." When you enlist into the Marines you expect to serve, not be served. You are promised nothing but hard work with little rewards, and possibly death. You know what is expected of you, and the chance of disappointment is slim.
Then there's the Apostles. They were just ordinary men with faulty natures just like you and me. Yet they took on the nature of Jesus.
Jesus is calling for the best of the best. But like David, the one chosen by God to be king, who chose for his mighty men those from the low ranks and the slums, so does Jesus look for His "Mighty Men" from the low class and the lost.
Jesus' call is in two directions. He calls for the "whosoever will," in hopes that they may later see the need to join the ranks of the "few and the chosen." And few there are who choose to leave their feather bed and follow Jesus into the Valley of the Shadow of Death. They go as far as the door of the sheepfold where the grass is tall and plenty; and there they settle, listening to the pretty music while growing fat and lazy.
The other call of Jesus is to the dedicated, the brave and the thankful. It is a call to arms that those in the green pasture cannot hear because they haven't had their ears trained toward His voice as have those who have put on their armor and joined the fight.
Two calls. Two directions. One call leads to God, the Holy Spirit and Eternity.
The other call leads to self-satisfaction and destruction: "Wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Do you say: "Thank you for the little..."?
The child grows, and is still talking, but there is no doll nearby. You ask: "Who are you talking to Dear?" to which she replies: "I'm talking to my friend." "I used to have an invisible friend I always talked to and confided in." Perfectly understandable and acceptable behavior - for a child.
The child is no longer a child, yet is still talking to herself. "Who are you talking to dear?" you ask. "Nobody, I'm just talking to myself." Now we wonder. If the young lady is just "thinking out loud" we accept her behavior as normal, as a momentary occurrence. However, if she is seen often in dialogue with herself, or with some invisible friend - we start to wonder, perhaps even worry a bit.
Why do we wonder if someone is speaking to themself? Well, we think, it's not normal behavior. Everyone knows that talking to oneself is a sign of emotional instability. It might be time to see a shrink.
Talking to an invisible friend, though all right as a child is not considered sane as an adult.
So when asked: "What are you thinking of?" we either say we aren't thinking of anything, or we are just thinking. We certainly would not admit to thinking to someone.
Yet thinking to someone else, that is, directing our thoughts toward another person is much more "normal" than directing them toward ourself, which is nothing but a closed circle, a dead-end street.
But talking to ourself or to imaginary friends is far more acceptable to "normal" people, even those in one's church, than to reply to the question: "Who are you talking to?" "I'm talking to Jesus" (or God, or the Holy Spirit).
And why is this?
But to talk to God? To walk down the street talking to God? To consult God as to which cereal to purchase while shopping at the corner grocery? To talk to God while sitting in your car waiting at a red light?
"I'm just singing to myself," you reply. Or: "I'm talking to my buddy. He's bent down trying to find something on the floor." Or (which can be used nowadays) "I got a cell phone in my ear and I'm talking on the phone."
The first reason is that you are afraid your family, friends, or church members will think you're nuts.
The second reason is that you would figure you must be nutso to do such a thing.
The child's doll or invisible friend is real, or at least real enough to be accepted and spoken to.
The invisible friend the man who talks to himself loudly as he walks down the street is real, or at least real enough to be accepted in society.
Jesus is not real. God is not real. The Holy Spirit is not real. Even though people speak of Him, and acknowledge Him to those who are "believers" themselves, and pray to Him on occasions when it is acceptable to do so, people do not believe in Him.
In this culture, though we say we believe in the real and living God who created us, we do not even believe enough to talk to Him!
My cousin was just as nice a fellow as you could ask for, but the image he presented was of one who was not too bright. The truth is he was smarter than most of the rest of us. But what teenager pays any attention to the truth of a matter?
My cousin was inclined to stay around me when he was able. This caused me much embarrassment. I was "ashamed" of my cousin. I wasn't ashamed of him for who he was, but for what others seemed to think he was.
When we were very young adults, and we hadn't seen one another for some time, my cousin was killed as he was driving across a railroad track.
I didn't think too much of it at the time, since I was busy leading my own life as almost all youngsters are inclined to do. But many years later I went through intensive therapy. At this time I was able to get in touch with a lot of feelings (in fact, get in touch with feelings - period) that I never knew I had. One of these feelings that really took me by surprise was a very deep affection for my cousin. I don't know where it came from, I hadn't even much thought of him for all those years. But for a long period of time (and even now on occasion) I would begin to cry when I thought of him. It wasn't his tragic death that caused this feeling, but rather the fine person he was. And with this I realized I had missed out on what could have been a good friendship, if I was up to the call.
It's one thing when we look back on those times of lost opportunity; it's quite another to realize that we still continue to do the very same thing. No longer in ignorance do we follow our fear of being looked down on by others rather than follow our heart; we now do the very same thing with full knowledge of what we are doing, and the possible consequences of the same.
Yet it is happening here, now, and every day. But of course you and I do not put ourselves on the firing line where we have to face the slings and arrows of the enemy. We hide behind the safety of our doors and our fellowship of like-minded people.
We don't want people to associate us with someone they consider "beneath" them. We want to be part of the "in" crowd, even though we know we are only allowed on the outskirts of that crowd because we have something they want from us.
Yet the "In crowd," when the facts be known, is often made up of people that if we knew them as they know themselves, we would want no part of them. We certainly would not want to be like them!
Yet there we are, trying to impress those who we don't like, and following footsteps that lead to oblivion, just because we are told it is the "thing to do."
Do you count the cost for such behavior?
Talking to Jesus can be very costly. If you are caught talking to Jesus you might very well be ostracized, not only by the "in" crowd, but by your family and church as well.
Of course there are those who talk to God in your church, and speak of Him often. But are they really talking to God, or are they talking about or at God? I have heard ministers preaching to their congregation in the form of prayer, that I know was not even directed toward God. And there are those who bang a tambourine and set siege to the bars and the brothels demanding that the sinners thereat redeem their sorry souls. But this is again directed toward "Man,' not toward God.
History is full of events that are heinous even to the Worldly mind that were performed in the name of God. The Crusades, the Inquisition, and the Salem witch hunts are but a few that come to mind. These were executed by supposedly Godly people seeking to do God's service, but were obviously only satisfying their own lusts. There were no costs to be counted by those performing the "Godly" act; but a great deal of cost to the "heathen" who was being "chastised" by these "Godly" people.
Count the cost. Years from now a situation arises were you must go before the judge and give testimony. Perhaps this is a battle over the settling of a will, or some other such legal matter. In any case, someone wants to compromise you or your testimony so they can obtain what you feel is not their right to have.
"Your honor," the lawyer who is opposed to you says, "this man talks to God just as you and I talk to one another. Is this the sort of man whose testimony you want to base your judgment on?"
What do you think the outcome would be?
"You say you want to marry our daughter. And you say you....talk to God?"
Hits mean popularity and having something important others want to learn or know about. We like to think of ourselves as having many people interested in us. "I have just loads of friends. Why my email box is so full I can't respond to them all. And my phone is forever ringing with people who want to ask something of me."
Sounds impressive, does it not? Of course, if you have a computer, you have just tons of mail, and your phone won't stop ringing with people wanting to talk to you.
Spam and telephone solicitors are not selective. They will contact any one. Why even I receive an occasional call and get an email or two.
Or is it?
I do not have counters on my web sites (I have three domains). I was going to get counters, until I discovered that the counts don't mean a thing. For one reason, as I stated above, unless I record how many times I access my own website, the number would mean nothing.
Then, on top of my flooding my own mailbox, so-to-speak, there are others who make it a practice to go through just as many of my pages as possible, and as often as possible.
One of these is Google. Google sends out what they call "spiders" that crawl the entire web collecting information. I was amazed to see on a report that Google and my domain host puts out how many hits I had on my new website. I didn't even have it up and running and it looked like I had one of the most sought after sites on the web! Did I get excited? Yes, I did. And I also got suspicious. So I checked further and found that these "hits" were from Google, myself, someone who was looking for pornography and who's browser presented "Whore" from the great whore Babylon, a quote from the Bible, and there were hits from domain name stealers looking for secret information and codes.
To say the least, I was not very impressed with all those hits I had received.
On the web, some people are so desperate for attention that they will cycle their webpage. I have no doubt you've come across these. You somehow reach their page, and no matter what you do, you can't back out of it. Well, each time you try to leave, you are actually turning that meter over, indicating a new hit. And the more hits, the more "value" that web page has, and the higher up on the browser ranking it gets.
What people won't do for attention and approval.
Jesus and the Apostles are perfect examples of such behavior. On the human realm it makes no sense what they did. They gave themselves over to God for Him to make of them what He wanted them to be. This is not our nature. We want God to turn Himself over to us so we can make Him into what we want Him to be. We want to be in charge, not let another be in charge of us.
Yet God seems to not be listening to us. Jesus said we are to not only obey God, but all the other officials and lowlifes that come our way (not saying that officials are lowlifes, but representing two ends of the spectrum). We are to be obedient to all, even to giving up our shirt, and turning the other cheek to those who would wish us ill.
This is not pleasing to our ear. We want "hits," but not on the cheek.
If you've been in the church very long (Protestant I'm referring to) you have heard this message preached a thousand times, maybe more in one form or another. That is, if you bothered to listen to the message at all.
And I'm sure you've heard what I'm going to say what must seem like a thousand times, and in a thousand different ways. If you do feel that way, you're not alone. I feel the same way. This gives rise to two questions: What is it going to take for me to get my message across to you, since you have been so indoctrinated into the thinking of the established church. And the second question is: since this is about the 150th page (some "pages" being more in the order of books than pages) I've written and published for the Bible section, which means you have likely read at least a few of the others I've written - why do you bother? I mean, if you agree with what I am saying, or if you are trying to figure out what I'm talking about, or why I'm talking about it, I can understand why you would endure thus far. But if you dis agree, and consider it hogwash and heresy, which is most likely, then why?
Well, that's my question, which is far afield of the subject I am writing on.
Jesus died as a substitute. Again, this is true. Because He died, we will live. This is all true and clearly laid out in Scripture.
Jesus died and freed us - to do as we will, and be rewarded for the same, if what we "will to do" is lay down our life in total sacrifice as did Jesus and the Apostles.
Jesus died so that we may live - if we give up our life as did Jesus and the Apostles.
Jesus was the first of many Children of God. Jesus is the first, and the only to fully overcome the flesh and give complete obedience to the Father. And, of course, the Apostles where the second to the thirteenth to surrender.
But they are not to be the last to take up their cross and follow Jesus to Calvary. There have been, and there will be others to follow that "narrow road" to salvation.
Will those others, those few, include you?
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