Monthly Archives: June 2016

Find Freedom in Jesus

“Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” – Matthew 12:22

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Isn’t it remarkable?

Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute. Jesus freed him from his imprisonment to demons and darkness.

Jesus can free us, too.

In many ways, we all live inside our own prisons. Some prisons may be of our own making, through sin, addictions, and wrong decisions.

Every bad choice we’ve made locks us up in some form of prison. It can be relational, emotional, financial or something else. As a result, we may experience loss of freedom and despair.

The difference between freedom and confinement is found in our answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?”

The Pharisees claimed Jesus was a charlatan or doing the work of the devil. Others realized that He is the Son of God.

Our answer and response to that question – Who is Jesus? – is the most important decision we will ever make.

Jesus came to set us free.

Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18).

With his sacrifice, Jesus declared us “Not guilty!” and opened our jail cells.

Will we accept the freedom that Jesus offers and walk through those open doors into his open arms? Or will we remain imprisoned by our sins, our addictions and our wrong behaviors?

God has given us freedom to choose. Let us choose wisely.

[Background photo courtesy Sundown First Baptist Church.]

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Helping Those in Need

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8 (NIV)

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Our Father in heaven wants us to be righteous, compassionate, and humble people. These are characteristics which Jesus and the apostles implored Christians to pursue and attain.

We see all around us people who are in need, destitute, lost, or broken.

Jesus is the ultimate solution in every area of life. As followers and disciples of Christ, we have our part to play.

God’s desire is that we “act justly,” that we promote justice in our lives, our local communities, and our other spheres of influence.

He desires that we “love mercy,” extending compassion and forgiveness to others.

And He desires that we “walk humbly,” knowing we are all equal at the foot of the cross.

We cannot do justice from a distance. We must be engaged, involved in the lives of those around us. That means being part of the community. No man is an island.

Our Father desires that we compassionately stand with those in need: the oppressed, the marginalized, and the invisible.

How? We can be engaged in our communities in a variety of ways, including financially, in prayer, or through volunteer service.

From the least to the greatest, God has blessed us all in various ways. What will we do with our God-given resources? Will we pursue the passing pleasures of this world or look toward the eternal salvation of others? Will we be caught up in our own cares and concerns or look to those in need? Will we put God’s will first or seek our own?

In helping others through promoting justice, extending compassion, and exercising humility, we are sowing seeds for the kingdom of God. We become involved in something greater than ourselves.

Remember, we will reap what we sow.

In Allah’s Name

Islamic terrorists shout “Allahu Akbar” as they slaughter and kill innocents, and apologists for these jihadists claim it has nothing to do with Islam.

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“Allahu Akbar,” translated “God is the greatest,” is better rendered “Allah is the greatest.” It is, of course, Allah to whom the phrase refers.

Jihadists crying out, “Allahu Akbar,” are proclaiming the supremacy of Allah, not of some generic or non-Islamic god. Allah, and Allah alone, is the recipient of their fealty and worship.

But apologists for jihadists are pleased to translate “Allahu” as God and not Allah. Why? It serves at least two purposes. First, it obscures the identification of the worshiped (Allah) and the worshipers (Muslims). This enables apologists and sympathizers to perpetuate their myth of Islam as a religion of peace.

Second, it suggests a moral equivalence between Islam and other religions, each with its own god or gods. Therefore, apologists for Islam can immediately pivot to attacking non-Muslims and besmirching other religions, principally Christianity.

That fact that religion-based terrorism is almost exclusively committed by Muslims in the name of Allah can, therefore, be disguised and denied. By translating “Allahu” as God and not Allah, all religions can be denied. This is particularly appealing to secularists and atheists.

Apologists for jihad refuse to acknowledge even the existence of Islamic terrorism and they contend that jihad is peaceful, contrary to history (more than a millennia), reality (global violent jihad is daily in the news), and the self-identity of the jihadists themselves (who proudly proclaim to be doing Allah’s will).

Violent jihad has always been a part of Islam, prescribed by its holy texts. Its adherents, those who accept the original interpretation of those texts, truly believe they are doing Allah’s (not God’s) will.

When terrorists behead, blow-up, and butcher innocents, we should take them at their word as they give credit to Allah. Words mean things. Twisting words to mean something else does not change reality.

Author Ann Coulter recently addressed the Orwellian nature of this redefinition and misrepresentation of words. In a Facebook posting, she noted:

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Jihad-deniers treat all of those expressions as equally benign. One is not. One can be a harbinger of death and destruction. (Usual caveat: Not all Muslims are terrorists and many Muslims oppose jihadism.)

“Allahu Akbar” has an historical significance in being used during various periods of Islamic conquest. It has a contemporary significance in being used, daily, by jihadists as they commit acts of terrorism. That singular expression tells the story. Jihadists commit these acts because of their Islamic faith and their devotion to the commands of Allah.

What are those commands? Here are a few (graphic from Internet):

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Denying the obvious only enables these cruel zealots to continue their war on civilization in pursuit of their version of Paradise, a worldwide caliphate.

All those who love liberty and deplore the barbarism of these jihadists should demand the truth from our government, our media, and all those who are in a position of influence and power.

To defeat the enemy, we must defeat their ideology. To defeat their ideology, we must recognize it, refute it, and destroy it. Denying their intentions and motivations enables their actions to continue undeterred.

Indeed, our silence – the jettisoning of reality down the memory hole – and our refusal to fight for victory emboldens our enemies. They are eager to destroy us even as the Left pretends that they are our friends.

Update: Andrew McCarthy explains how the Orlando massacre (and other Islamist attacks) could have been prevented. Here’s but one paragraph:

“It should have been possible to see Omar Mateen coming. He was a first-generation American citizen, born in this country to immigrant parents from Afghanistan and raised in a troubled household – one in which the father is a visible and ardent supporter of the Taliban, the fundamentalist jihadist group that ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s, harbored al-Qaeda as it plotted and executed the 9/11 attacks, and to this day wages war against American troops as it fights to retake the country.”

RIP Christina and Gun Control

The tragic murder of 22-year-old Christina Grimme by a deranged gunman shocked the music industry.

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Christina was my personal favorite during season six of The Voice. She was a gifted, talented, energetic, enthusiastic, and very likeable performer and artist. Christina will surely be missed.

Some people grieving her loss – and some gun control opportunistsimmediately pushed for an expansion of various gun control measures – as if those measures would have prevented this murder or as if the control of the insane is irrelevant. Banning guns will not stop violence.

One grieving fan championed increased gun control while bemoaning even modest restrictions on abortion. He claimed gun control laws should be more stringent than laws limiting abortion (e.g., parental notification, waiting periods, ultrasound – all deemed too onerous by him).

Actually, gun control laws, regulations, processing, etc. are already significantly greater than current guidelines and restrictions on abortion. In most liberal-dominated institutions, the media, the entertainment industry, and the educational system (from kindergarten classes to universities), abortion is promoted while constitutional rights to own weapons are challenged.

In some states and localities, it can take years for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights (even when in fear for their lives) while abortion-on-demand for young teenage girls remains far too prevalent.

Moreover, every abortion kills an innocent life while guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens preserve lives and protect the innocent.

Gun control laws – often enacted based on emotion and not reason or facts – do not work. Controlling criminals and the insane does work.

As we mourn the passing of Christina Grimme, let us not exploit her tragic death at the expense of personal liberty for the sake of a statist agenda.

Let us, instead, remember Christina’s positive spirit of love. In Colorblind, Christina wrote:

Kiss the future ’cause it’s so bright

There’s no mountain that we can’t climb

But it won’t happen over night

You know, it’s not impossible

Love is patient, love will wait

Love is something we create