Sep 29, 2012

Your Steps are Ordered by God

When I feel like my life is spiriling in a direction that I can't control, I remember this song by Fred Hammond.

Your Steps are Ordered
By Fred Hammond

Every step of a righteous man

Is ordered by God


Though you may not know his mind

He will reveal it all in time

Just know till then

Your steps are ordered by God

When it feels like the mountains to high

And your tired of the climb

When it feels like my patience is frustrated with time

I depend on the spirit

To gently remind

When my faith is challenged

And my vision is obscured

When I'm hanging on by a thread

And my footings unsure

I hear in the spirit

One word to help me endure

And it says ordered

Ordered, Ordered, Ordered

Before the world was framed

Ordered, Ordered, Ordered

Before the whole world was framed

Ordered, Ordered, Ordered

Through the fire

Through the flood

When life takes you through winding turns

Ordered, Ordered, Ordered

Sep 5, 2012

Gossip: The Unrighteous STD

People who listen to rumors have promiscuous ears: They'll Hear Anything

People who entertain rumors have promiscuous minds: They'll Believe Anything

People who spread rumors have promiscuous tongues: They'll Say EVERYTHING

Gossip: The Unrighteous STD

Gossiping is the worst Sinfully Transmitted Disease (STD) you can ever have, spread, or receive. Yet it's spreading like wild fire, running rampant, and is affecting your entire family! Yes even your children can contract the promiscuous disease of the Gossip! No one is safe from the danger of gossip, rumors, and slander! But you can prevent yourself and your loved ones from ever having to suffer from the results of GOSSIP!

What is Gossip?

The Hebrew word translated “gossip” in the Old Testament is defined as “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger.” A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about people and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it. Gossip is distinguished from sharing information in two ways:

1. Intent. Gossipers often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad and exalting themselves as some kind of repositories of knowledge.

2. The type of information shared. Gossipers speak of the faults and failings of others, or reveal potentially embarrassing or shameful details regarding the lives of others without their knowledge or approval. Even if they mean no harm, it is still gossip. [ref. The Quest Bible]

How do you know if you've contracted the Gossip disease?

The symptoms of a Gossiper include:

1. Itching Ears:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

2. Difficulty paying attention:
A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.(Pr. 17:4)

3. You have problems keeping your mouth shut:
You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. (Ps. 50:19 NIV)

4. You can’t keep a secret:
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret (Pr. 11:13 NIV)

5. People avoid you:
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much (Pr. 20:19 NIV)

What happens if you do not treat or get rid of the Gossip disease?

Gossiping has disastrous results if it is not properly removed from the body, mind, heart, spirit, and most of all, the mouth.

Proverbs 18:7–8

7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.

Gossipers are listed among the sinful, unrighteous, unclean, and put themselves in danger of receiving the wrath of God.

Romans 1:28-32

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

How do you avoid contracting or spreading Gossip?

Proverbs 21:23 NIV

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

We must be careful with what we say and refrain from the sinful act of gossiping. We should avoid speaking unless it is necessary and appropriate for us to speak, especially when it is of others. When we speak of our brothers and sisters, we should be vigilant to only speak positively about them or not at all. As the saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it all.”

26 States Cut Education Budgets

26 States Cut Their Education Budgets For This School Year

By Travis Waldron on Sep 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm

States have made deep cuts to their education budgets in the years since the Great Recession, and as their budgets remained crunched by lower levels of tax revenues, more than half are spending less on education this school year than they did last year, a new analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found. Overall, 26 states will spend less per pupil in fiscal year 2013 than they spent in 2012, while 35 are still spending less than they did before the recession.

As the following chart from CBPP shows, Alaska, Alabama, and Washington are leading the way in education cuts, reducing funding by at least $200 per student:

Education spending isn’t back to its pre-recession levels in nine additional states, including Florida, which is boosting per pupil funding by $273 this year. Over the previous four years, however, Florida cut per pupil spending by $569. Seventeen states, according to CBPP, have cut their education budgets by at least 10 percent over the last five years.

These cuts actually helped make the economic downturn worse, as they forced states and localities to layoff teachers and other education-sector workers. Since 2009, more than 200,000 teaching jobs have vanished.

But the cuts also have damaging effects on America’s education system as a whole. Cutting education budgets forces school districts to scale back services and programs. The cuts, as CBPP notes, can undermine education reform efforts, and since they are often disproportionately targeted at low-income school districts, education cuts can also exacerbate the education gap that already exists between low- and high-income students.

Fellow Christians: America was Not Founded By Christians

Despite popular opinion, the United States was not founded upon Christian principles, rather it was founded on the principles of Deism and the rejection of theocracies (government controlled by religious leaders). Most of the "Founding Fathers" were Deists meaning they believed in the existence of God, but did not believe in a structure of organized religion, the power of prayer; the life, death, burial, and ressurection of Jesus Christ; that the Bible was divinely inspired; or miracles. Deism is talked about thoroughly in the book 'The Age of Reason' by Thomas Paine who is also called the Father of the American Revolution.
Thomas Jefferson, who was the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence, was a deist.  When He wrote the D.O.I., Jefferson was sure not to include any references to any religious dogma; He wrote about the "wall of separation between the church and state"; Jefferson did not believe in the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ, but was fond of the Bible's teachings about morality. He cut and pasted from the New Testament scriptures dealing with morals and but left anything and everything else that dealt with miracles and the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ.
So I wrote this to say, as Christians, we have to understand where our help comes from. It doesn't come from a Republican... it doesn't come from a Democrat. In fact, it doesn't come from anything in politics! Your help comes from the Lord! The Lord who MADE Heaven and Earth!

Don't get drawn into these political arguments believing that being on a certain side is more "holier" than the other. The fact is, when the American government was set up, they denied Jesus Christ as the Messiah. And the way the political process and economy has been established in the USA, has and will always deny Jesus Christ as long as it is identified as Capitalist Democracy.
Yes, we should be involved with the political process. Yes, we should be aware of social issues in our own communities and the world around us. Yes, we should fight against injustice by using the political system and discourse. Because we are citizens of this nation. But we must remember our first allegience is to God in Jesus Christ and the commandment that we love one another as He loved us.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35(NIV)
So be informed of the issues on the ballot (local, state, federal); start dissecting these campaign ads;  get to know the people who are running; because everyone that proclaims to believe in God... is not a Christian. And you will know if they are a Christian not by the issues they support  or do not support, but by the people they have encountered and touched.