A Man's Influence  

A man's influence is immortal. Why then not strive to make its perpetuation worthwhile?   

J.C. Penney

J.C. Penney started out like so many of us do, with a small business and a willingness to put in whatever hard work was necessary to make it work. He ended up, however, as few men do, going from a one store operation in a small Wyoming town, to overseeing one of America's first billion dollar businesses. Such accomplishment would be enough to swell any man's ego, but not J.C. Penney. In fact, the more successful he became, the closer he walked with God... or perhaps more accurately, the more closely he walked with God, the more successful he became. So how did he do it? 

One of the keys to Mr. Penney's success was the recognition of the importance of a man's influence. He wasn't interested in this from a perspective of being influential in a self-aggrandizing way, rather, he was keenly aware of how important his influence was on his fellow man. He knew that if he could treat others the way he would like to be treated, if he could give an honest day's work for an honest day's pay and expect the same from others, then he would have an influence that would be worthwhile: One that would help others draw closer to God.

How about us? It's true that we may never have the influence of a J.C. Penney, but we do have our share of influence. Every day that we interact with others, whether it be our family or business associates or friends or just our chance acquaintances, we have influence. The question is, what will we do with that influence? Will we use others? Will we merely tolerate others as a necessary nuisance? Or, will we help others come a little closer to God with every touch we have on their daily existence?

The fact is that our influence will far exceed the few short years of our physical lives. Will we leave behind a legacy of selfish pursuit? Will we just "tread water" and then pass on? Or, will we leave behind a legacy that is worthy of the Master? We answer this question every day... with our influence.

Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.  

Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV

 

Are You a Man, or a Color?

“Dad, you’re my father. I’m your son. I love you. I always have and I always will. But you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man.” Sidney Poitier, from “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

My daughter goes to a small church in Oklahoma that has some of the most loving Christians you could ever find yourself privileged to meet. They reflect Jesus very well in their lives, and she is fortunate indeed to have found them. They are her family. Nearly all of them are black.

I preach at a small church in Texas that also has some of the most loving Christians you will ever meet. They, too, reflect Jesus very well in their lives and my family is fortunate indeed to have found them. They are our family. Nearly all of them have white skin.

Skin color really doesn’t come up much at either of our worship services. We are pretty much like all of you: Skin color just doesn’t matter, when you are a Christian.

Not so, in Washington D.C. Yesterday, at a hearing designed to investigate a government cover-up involving the use of the IRS as a punitive tool against political enemies, a congressman’s microphone was cut off after the hearing was over. No big deal, right? Normally, it would not have been, but you see, this congressman apparently viewed himself as a black man.

Another man, who appears to define everything in life from the lens of color – Jesse Jackson - took offense. Jesse is a black man before he is any other kind of man and no man, regardless of color, better forget it. Now he is issuing the charge of racism towards the chairman of the congressional committee who ended the hearing after the IRS witness refused to testify.

So, today, there is little talk about an IRS/Government scandal – which it is – and oodles of talk about the color of people’s skin. How far we have descended… as a once great nation!

I like Bill Cosby – I have his old shows on DVD. I like Alan Keyes – I voted for him for President. I like Dr. Thomas Sowell – I can’t get enough of this Stanford Professor’s views on economics. All three men are brilliant in their respective walks of life. They view themselves as men.They were determined to be men, so they became men worthy of the notoriety they have achieved.

I, on the other hand, do not like President Obama (Don’t misunderstand – I love him and pray for his repentance so that he can be saved – but I do not like his actions). I do not like Eric Holder or Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. They all, (at least from what I have observed of their actions and comments), appear to view themselves as black men. So they have, in my opinion, vastly underachieved in the walks of life that they have chosen.

Do you view yourself as a man or a woman… or do you view yourself from the hyphenated lens of color? Now, it’s true that we all have to live the best life before God from the position that we start with, and we all have a color on our skin that is a part of us that cannot be ignored. But, if we do not stop viewing everybody from the first thing we see – the color of their skin – we will never become the type of men and women that befit a noble nation, or a church that is worthy of the name of Jesus.

“Then His disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?’ But He answered and said,‘Every plant which my Heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind.’”Matthew 15:12-14, NKJV

Founders' Friday - Have We Forgotten?

"Where danger is, dear mother, there must your son be. Now is no time for any of America's children to shrink from any hazard. I will set her free or die."

Dr. Joseph Warren, the hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill

 

Whatever happened to patriotism... in America? Sometimes I fear that we live in a nation where every man and woman lives for themselves, and patriots are considered fools. Part of the reason is our modern day school system. While we have many, many fine teachers, (especially here in Happy!) most are not given the privilege of teaching the true history of America any more. There is a very real agenda among those who control our educational system to paint all of the founders as slave-owning racists who came to America to steal the land from the noble Indian.

 

Such a philosophy might serve the needs of a Socialist agenda, but it does not serve well a nation that was founded on such noble principles as was America. Today, as we watch our Constitution torn to shreds by a renegade President who really, really, really does not like our nation, and as we watch a Congress composed of men and women who just seem to be there for the power and the money, it is good to take a few moments and remember what true patriots looked like. So on Fridays, in these articles, I thought it might be nice to look at the type of history that used to be taught in schools and in homes across this land that has been so blessed by God. 

 

Do you know who Dr. Joseph Warren was? While most people have heard of the Battle of Bunker Hill, few know what it was about, and fewer still know of its heroes. Warren, the widowed father of four, wanted to make sure that his children would grow up in a free nation, He fought in the pre-Revolution's first Battle, the Battle of Lexington and Concord where his wig was literally parted by a musket ball. When his mother saw how close he had come to death, she begged her son not to risk his life again, but his reply was the quote you see above, for he was committed to helping this fledgling nation to-be win her freedom from tyranny. 

 

It was Dr. Warren who devised the famous midnight rides of William Dawes and Paul Revere to warn everyone that "the British are coming". It was after the night that the midnight riders went out that the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought. In the battle intended to destroy the young militia and stop America's Revolution before it could get off the ground, Warren and his fellow patriots held the British troops off for three assaults, giving the vast bulk of their militia time to escape to fight another day. It was in the third British assault of Bunker Hill that Warren ran out of ammunition. A British officer walked up and shot Dr. Joseph Warren in the head at point blank range and rolled him into a hole. Two days later, when the British realized that the heroes of Bunker Hill had allowed the American army to escape, Warren's body was dug up, stomped on, and then his head was removed from his corpse.

 

The British may have won the battle and revenged themselves on a few patriots that day, but they eventually lost the war - in part because of the courage of these brave men who sacrificed their lives in a cause they believed to be much more important than their individual lives. The army did escape, Samuel Adams and John Hancock were warned by Paul Revere, and they escaped to help frame and sign the Declaration of our Independence.

 

I believe that it is important for parents and grandparents to be teaching their children about the history of this great land before it is lost forever. I believe that it is important for them to know the cost of their freedom, and of the sacrifice of the lives of the courageous ones who helped win that freedom.

 

More importantly, I believe we need to be teaching our children about the Hero of Calvary. I believe that we need to be keeping the cross ever before our children so that they will never forget the price that was paid for their souls... for if they only knew of the great sacrifice that had been made for them, I am confident that it would inspire them to fight the good fight and obtain the ultimate prize that God has promised to those courageous souls who would pick up their crosses and follow Christ every day!

 

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, will award me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing."

II Timothy 4:7-8, NIV 

Knowing Who We Are Before Voting for Who We Will Be

"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."  John Quincy Adams

 

"We are not a Christian nation."  Barack Hussein Obama

 

In just a short while, I am going to vote. I am going to vote because it is my privilege to do so - both as a citizen of Heaven, and as a sojourner in America. I want you to know that I am proud of both, but knowing that my permanent citizenship is in Heaven affects every decision that I make as an American.

 

I have tried to become a better student of American history in recent years. Doing so has led me to discover some undeniable facts: First, America was set up as a Christian nation. Anyone who tells you different is either unaware of their history, is mistaken, or is lying - I make no conjectures as to which, I am just drawing a logical conclusion from the facts. You cannot read the early history of America without understanding that its founders were consciously attempting to create a government that was based on Christian principles. John Quincy Adams, who was there at the time, stated it clearly and accurately.

 

Barack Hussein Obama also stated clearly and accurately his vision for America: "We are not a Christian nation." He has a lot a cheer leaders in positions of power - from judges in the highest human courts to college professors to the mainstream media. While not all judges, professors, or reporters, agree with his vision of an apostate America, far too many do... and it is killing our nation!

 

The question for you and me is what will we do about it?

 

I intend to vote.

 

Furthermore, since my citizenship is in Heaven, I intend to vote for the same things that the founders - most of whom also believed that their citizenship was in Heaven -stood for: Christian principles! And I want you to know that I also intend to vote against the things that the secular humanists hold near and dear: a civil government without Christ.

 

I pray that you will find out who you are, and then join me in an attempt to restore the vision that made America great from the very beginning.

 

We are a Christian nation! It's time we started voting that way again!

 

"Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. Come back to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God - I say this to your shame." I Corinthians 15:33-34

 

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34

 

"Our citizenship is in Heaven." Philippians 3:20

 

Independence Day

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. from the Declaration of Independence

236 years ago today, 56 men pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to securing independence from tyranny. And the peoples ofthis nation that were destined to enjoy the liberty that these 56 helped secure? Did they have any responsibilities? Yes, the 56 said. They had the duty to do the same.

Today we Americans will go to parades, we will have barbecues, we will watch baseball, we will shoot off fireworks. A very small percentage willpause to reflect on the cost of this freedom that we enjoy. Fewer still will contemplate the fact that we are a nation that is being overtaken by tyrants. Even fewer  will stop to consider, even for a moment, that they may be dooming their posterity to a revolution of their own.

We live in a nation of theorists and politicians. The theorists theorize that we can enjoy sexual immorality with no harm to our morals. They theorize that we can enjoy drunkenness with no harm to our character. That we can teach our children that we were created by a random "big boom" instead of a loving Great God.   

The politicians pass laws that allow people to kill babies, then pass child welfare laws as if they cared. They have no time for the National Day of Prayer, but spend hours in the White house praying with Muslims on their special day. They suggest the need for a national police force at least as big as our existing military. They pass laws that were not written by congress, say they have to pass them to know what's in them and then, when we do find out, tell us to shut up and mind our own business. They issue decrees that they will only enforce those laws that they deem fit...

Now they have passed a law that will force every tax payer to help fund abortion, and they call this law "health care".

This is not a very cheerful 4th of July article, but it is patriotic. It is a warning to those who had no problem of running up trillions of debt for their children to pay. It is a warning for those who are leaving their grandchildren a nation that is on the brink of moral collapse, because we kicked the God of Heaven out of our schools and public squares, and exchanged Him for the prince of darkness. It is nothing less than a warning to those who are still patriots to consider this: We may be dooming our posterity to a future Declaration of Independence... and the awful war that it may precipitate.

More than anything else, this is a call for Christians to start acting like Christians. It is a call to repentance and to prayer. It is a call to not only stand for the right, but to do the right. This nation has been a great nation because we were a godly nation. You may not agree with this -that's your privilege. But, for those who do believe - not only in the self-evident truths of the 56 - but in the God of Heaven who created this world, I beg you to consider this: He did not put you here to live a life of luxury and leave the bill for your children. He did not give you a free nation, only to pass one along that is ruled by tyrants. And, more than anything else, He did not give up His only begotten Son, only to have you ignore His teachings and then have the audacity to proclaim His grace.

 

We have been given much. Let's leave our children a nation worth living in. It will mean waking up and paying attention to what is going on. It will mean voting for righteous men and women, rather than deceivers who would promise you something for nothing. It will mean some pain... and some sacrifice... and a total love for God and Christ. And, it will require nothing less than the pledging of your life, your fortunes and your sacred honor - hopefully not in battle, but in living for Jesus.

America is great because America is good. And, should she ever cease to be good, she will cease to be great.  Alexis de Tocqueville

If you hold to my teaching, you really are my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free - Jesus