THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE… SECOND TIME

THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE…SECOND TIME

 

Dear Pilgrims,

 

After years of writing this blog, I have discovered I had the Comments portion of this thing blocked…and I really didn’t know how to use it properly. It was a mystery why none of my Pilgrims have ever left a Comment…now I know. I have to leave a comment, first…so you are enabled to make a comment. I’m resending this article…and adding a short comment at the end so you can tell all the Pilgrims about “THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. Please tell us your story!

 

I have spent the better part of the last week working on a blog post concerning the racial divide in America; but I recently saw a show on ESPN that changed my mind. While alternatingly dealing with my feelings of great anger, frustration, and despair about the direction my once great country is headed, while also spending copious amounts of time editing and rewriting my manuscript: The Theophany: Son-light restored to a dark world: it is a story of how an enemy of our Nation uses superior technology: chip implants for humans, to control them. The enemy erases all knowledge about God the creator, his only Son: Jesus Christ, and history of the Bible and its profound connection with America; and, sans the technology, mirrors this change in America, my attention was diverted from this ‘dark-thinking’ to a place of joy and inspiration because the ESPN story was about a man who has been writing letters (ten thousand and counting) to people…famous and ‘Joe’ the neighbor, asking them to write and tell him about the best day of their life. This R.A.O.K (random act of kindness) sent a slim sliver of hope into my soul about our country’s future.

 

Since it is December and the month millions of American Pilgrims celebrate the birth of the savior of the world: Jesus Christ, I decided to ask my blog Pilgrims to send me their answers on my blog page.

 

Word Press tells me I have over three thousand Pilgrims registered on my blog. I don’t have a way to know if that is true or not. I’ve only have had two Pilgrims interact on my blog since I started it four years ago. I may have three thousand registers that have registered, read my blog one time, and have never read it again. This is your time to let me know if you are alive!

 

Pilgrims, this little reminisce into your past may challenge you to ‘play it forward’ and you will send letters to people seeking the answer to this question. It may become a tsunami of joy about the special Red-letter day of your life and of others, that this Christmas season there will be an easily recognizable ground-swell of celebration about life and its wonderful blessings, that Jesus Christ’s name, in all his glory, might be shouted above the din of haters in America.

 

While many Pilgrims may have a difficult time choosing which day is the ‘Best Day of Your Life, I don’t.

 

July of 1962 I was home on a thirty day furlough from the Navy: I was stationed at Pearl Harbor and I was a member of the All Navy Basketball Team stationed there. It may seem unbelievable, but it is true…after being on the ‘Rock” (island) for over a year, one gets a feeling of being ‘cooped-up’. I did! To remedy this condition, I took leave and returned home to see family and friends. Actually, a major reason was I needed to sort out my life of romance concerning another blond I had dated since high school. A majority of people who knew us were sure we’d get married…including both sets of parents.

 

The Sunday before my leave ended, I attended church with my family and an elderly lady from my church and my past: I was her paperboy when I was in high school, invited me to come see her new puppy. Her beloved dog, Dukie had died. He was a smart Pomeranian who could perform all manner of tricks. I was about to turn twenty-one; it wasn’t a high priority. I had been taught by my parents to be a man of character and integrity: this meant one did things one didn’t necessarily care to do for the sake of the Golden Rule. Four days before my leave was up, I did stop to visit with her.

 

The old woman did have a new puppy. The back-story of this Red Letter day: She had a sixteen year old grand-daughter visiting from the Des Planes, Il. (near Chicago) for two months. . She had been sharpening her arrows since she saw me at church…possibly earlier. The grand-daughter had skipped church that Sunday she extended an invitation to me. It didn’t deter her from her goal: introducing us.

 

When I knocked on her apartment door, Cupid’s arrow pierced my heart. A dazzling beautiful five-foot-four…and one-half inch blond with Milkyway Chocolate-drop eyes opened it. I knew what was happening. I was also very leery about the situation because I was positive I was looking at ‘jail-bait’. After a lot of ‘small talk’ and getting acquainted with her ‘new puppy’, Denny’s grandmother sent her grand-daughter out of the room: to the Kitchen, to fetch us a cold drink; and she made her pitch for me to take her on a ‘Coke-date’. With a mental picture of me behind bars, I agreed. We went to the public swimming pool. She looked devastatingly beautiful in her one-piece black Swim Suit. I quizzed her about her age; she lied. Funny how one can’t think logically when Cupid’s arrow has fatally wounded you. I asked her how old she was: she said she would be eighteen in a month. Her birthday is October sixteenth!

 

Last April 12th, we celebrated fifty-one years of wedded bliss! We had four dates (all the time I had left on my leave), we wrote every day until I returned on another leave and we were married on Easter weekend in 1963. I didn’t know how old she really was until her mother and I went to get a Marriage License: she was too young to sign it…her parents had to give the consent for the marriage. This was when I discovered she was born in October! She has worked diligently to celebrate two birthdays since I sent her the first gift in August, soon after I returned to Hawaii.

 

We borrowed sixty dollars for a ring from my parents (actually it came from my younger brother who was also in the Navy). I didn’t know this until five years ago. We were married in her parents’ home in front of the fireplace. Eight people attended our wedding; my parents weren’t there. We didn’t have our own transportation; her father drove us to the hotel in downtown Kansas City where we ‘honeymooned’ for three days, and then he picked us up. Humble beginnings!

 

Before returning to the States and deciding to get married, I had talked to the Admiral (who loved our team; I think he bet on us) about getting his help for my bride and me to have housing off the base when I returned to play basketball for the All Navy Team. He assured me he would help me get settled. He neglected to inform me he was retiring. The new Admiral of the base (Sharp) hated ‘jocks’ that he thought lived a ‘privileged’ life. I never returned to Pearl Harbor. I spent the next ten months on a ship (the Hector, a Repair ship) traveling around the Eastern part of the world. From the Philippines, Japan and China; our love was shared via ‘love letters’. From letters written on rolls of toilet paper (the guys loved to read them) to creative, artistic creations that passed for letters, Denise (Denny her family’s ‘pet’ name…and mine) filled my heart with love and devotion for that time of forced separation. We had four dates, were married and spent a weekend of bliss, and then were separated again for ten months, but our love was so ‘white-hot’ it never has burned low in fifty-one years.

 

In our log cabin, amidst a collection of memories that leave me feeling loved, are two very large albums, with beautiful scenes of Palm trees, a blue ocean, and Diamond Head in the background she artistically created, stuffed-to-the-gills with 565 Love-letters left for posterity. It is our legacy of love few in the entire history of mankind can match.

 

Believe it or not, in one of the albums you will find the first tickets to the Drive in theater (we double-dated with my best friend and his girlfriend (who became his wife), the first (empty) Coke cup and box of Popcorn I ever bought for my bride. She knew she had hooked me the moment we met. She kept all of those first date mementos. I didn’t know for years!

 

The births of my two sons were incredible days, but none compare to the Best Day of My Life: when I met their mother.

 

Pilgrims… please write the answer to this question and post it on my blog for all the other Pilgrims to see.

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE

THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE

 

I have spent the better part of the last week working on a blog post concerning the racial divide in America; but I recently saw a show on ESPN that changed my mind. While alternatingly dealing with my feelings of great anger, frustration, and despair about the direction my once great country is headed, while also spending copious amounts of time editing and rewriting my manuscript: The Theophany: Son-light restored to a dark world: it is a story of how an enemy of our Nation uses superior technology: chip implants for humans, to control them. The enemy erases all knowledge about God the creator, his only Son: Jesus Christ, and history of the Bible and its profound connection with America; and, sans the technology, mirrors this change in America, my attention was diverted from this ‘dark-thinking’ to a place of joy and inspiration because the ESPN story was about a man who has been writing letters (ten thousand and counting) to people…famous and ‘Joe’ the neighbor, asking them to write and tell him about the best day of their life. This R.A.O.K (random act of kindness) sent a slim sliver of hope into my soul about our country’s future.

 

Since it is December and the month millions of American Pilgrims celebrate the birth of the savior of the world: Jesus Christ, I decided to ask my blog Pilgrims to send me their answers on my blog page.

 

Word Press tells me I have over three thousand Pilgrims registered on my blog. I don’t have a way to know if that is true or not. I’ve only have had two Pilgrims interact on my blog since I started it four years ago. I may have three thousand registers that have registered, read my blog one time, and have never read it again. This is your time to let me know if you are alive!

 

Pilgrims, this little reminisce into your past may challenge you to ‘play it forward’ and you will send letters to people seeking the answer to this question. It may become a tsunami of joy about the special Red-letter day of your life and of others, that this Christmas season there will be an easily recognizable ground-swell of celebration about life and its wonderful blessings, that Jesus Christ’s name, in all his glory, might be shouted above the din of haters in America.

 

While many Pilgrims may have a difficult time choosing which day is the ‘Best Day of Your Life, I don’t.

 

July of 1962 I was home on a thirty day furlough from the Navy: I was stationed at Pearl Harbor and I was a member of the All Navy Basketball Team stationed there. It may seem unbelievable, but it is true…after being on the ‘Rock” (island) for over a year, one gets a feeling of being ‘cooped-up’. I did! To remedy this condition, I took leave and returned home to see family and friends. Actually, a major reason was I needed to sort out my life of romance concerning another blond I had dated since high school. A majority of people who knew us were sure we’d get married…including both sets of parents.

 

The Sunday before my leave ended, I attended church with my family and an elderly lady from my church and my past: I was her paperboy when I was in high school, invited me to come see her new puppy. Her beloved dog, Dukie had died. He was a smart Pomeranian who could perform all manner of tricks. I was about to turn twenty-one; it wasn’t a high priority. I had been taught by my parents to be a man of character and integrity: this meant one did things one didn’t necessarily care to do for the sake of the Golden Rule. Four days before my leave was up, I did stop to visit with her.

 

The old woman did have a new puppy. The back-story of this Red Letter day: She had a sixteen year old grand-daughter visiting from the Des Planes, Il. (near Chicago) for two months. . She had been sharpening her arrows since she saw me at church…possibly earlier. The grand-daughter had skipped church that Sunday she extended an invitation to me. It didn’t deter her from her goal: introducing us.

 

When I knocked on her apartment door, Cupid’s arrow pierced my heart. A dazzling beautiful five-foot-four…and one-half inch blond with Milkyway Chocolate-drop eyes opened it. I knew what was happening. I was also very leery about the situation because I was positive I was looking at ‘jail-bait’. After a lot of ‘small talk’ and getting acquainted with her ‘new puppy’, Denny’s grandmother sent her grand-daughter out of the room: to the Kitchen, to fetch us a cold drink; and she made her pitch for me to take her on a ‘Coke-date’. With a mental picture of me behind bars, I agreed. We went to the public swimming pool. She looked devastatingly beautiful in her one-piece black Swim Suit. I quizzed her about her age; she lied. Funny how one can’t think logically when Cupid’s arrow has fatally wounded you. I asked her how old she was: she said she would be eighteen in a month. Her birthday is October sixteenth!

 

Last April 12th, we celebrated fifty-one years of wedded bliss! We had four dates (all the time I had left on my leave), we wrote every day until I returned on another leave and we were married on Easter weekend in 1963. I didn’t know how old she really was until her mother and I went to get a Marriage License: she was too young to sign it…her parents had to give the consent for the marriage. This was when I discovered she was born in October! She has worked diligently to celebrate two birthdays since I sent her the first gift in August, soon after I returned to Hawaii.

 

We borrowed sixty dollars for a ring from my parents (actually it came from my younger brother who was also in the Navy). I didn’t know this until five years ago. We were married in her parents’ home in front of the fireplace. Eight people attended our wedding; my parents weren’t there. We didn’t have our own transportation; her father drove us to the hotel in downtown Kansas City where we ‘honeymooned’ for three days, and then he picked us up. Humble beginnings!

 

Before returning to the States and deciding to get married, I had talked to the Admiral (who loved our team; I think he bet on us) about getting his help for my bride and me to have housing off the base when I returned to play basketball for the All Navy Team. He assured me he would help me get settled. He neglected to inform me he was retiring. The new Admiral of the base (Sharp) hated ‘jocks’ that he thought lived a ‘privileged’ life. I never returned to Pearl Harbor. I spent the next ten months on a ship (the Hector, a Repair ship) traveling around the Eastern part of the world. From the Philippines, Japan and China; our love was shared via ‘love letters’. From letters written on rolls of toilet paper (the guys loved to read them) to creative, artistic creations that passed for letters, Denise (Denny her family’s ‘pet’ name…and mine) filled my heart with love and devotion for that time of forced separation. We had four dates, were married and spent a weekend of bliss, and then were separated again for ten months, but our love was so ‘white-hot’ it never has burned low in fifty-one years.

 

In our log cabin, amidst a collection of memories that leave me feeling loved, are two very large albums, with beautiful scenes of Palm trees, a blue ocean, and Diamond Head in the background she artistically created, stuffed-to-the-gills with 565 Love-letters left for posterity. It is our legacy of love few in the entire history of mankind can match.

 

Believe it or not, in one of the albums you will find the first tickets to the Drive in theater (we double-dated with my best friend and his girlfriend (who became his wife), the first (empty) Coke cup and box of Popcorn I ever bought for my bride. She knew she had hooked me the moment we met. She kept all of those first date mementos. I didn’t know for years!

 

The births of my two sons were incredible days, but none compare to the Best Day of My Life: when I met their mother.

 

Pilgrims… please write the answer to this question and post it on my blog for all the other Pilgrims to see.

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

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HOW MUCH SPIRITUAL GAS DO YOU HAVE LEFT IN YOUR TANK?

HOW MUCH SPIRITUAL GAS DO YOU HAVE LEFT IN YOUR TANK?

 

It was the first Thanksgiving after I mustered out of the Navy, moved back to Oklahoma, and went back to College at Phillips University, that Denise, my bride of three years, traveled to Kansas City to visit her parents. It was the first time we had seen them since we returned to college.

 

We traveled in ‘style’! Her parents had given us a nineteen fifty-six Red/White Chevrolet four-door wagon that was so rusted out, from the harsh winters, we were certain the frame would one day just collapse and fall to the ground as were driving. Nonetheless, it was ‘transportation; better than walking.

 

While we followed the Apostle’s advice: pray without ceasing for divine protection, we made the trip back home for Thanksgiving. We were fools for even making the trip because we didn’t have an extra…nickel, to spare for the trip. Somehow, they say God always protects drunks and fools; he worked with fools that trip. Denise’s sister and her husband had also arrived for the celebration. They had been married longer and he had a good job. As we were leaving, he asked if we needed money to make sure we got home safely. Being arrogantly and stupidly ‘too proud’ to admit our perilous monetary condition was ‘next to nothing’, we lied and said we had it covered.

 

The trip home was uneventful until I missed a turn and we ended up traveling in the wrong direction for about ten miles. Before the mistake, we had enough gas to get us home; after it, we managed to coast into Garber, Oklahoma at nearly ten P.M. on a Sunday night. The only gas station in that ‘one whistle’ town was open; but, as we approached it with joy in our hearts, the Service Station’s lights went out. The owner/manager had closed. Working on fumes, we coasted next to the pump. I saw the man with a flashlight, still inside. I ran and pounded on the door. He hollered the station was closed. He took a step out the door, and told me to come back tomorrow morning. “Please mister, I’m a student at Phillips and we’re trying to get home to our dorm. I have classes early tomorrow.” He looked me up and down, exhaled an exasperated sigh. “I’m on fumes, I have to have gas to travel the last ten miles,” I pleaded. He flashed his light to the car where Denise was sitting. “I don’t want my wife to have to sleep in the car, do you?” No. He opened the station, turned on the lights and the pumps. He came and asked me how much I wanted: “Fill it up?” He asked. I looked at him with a very sheepish look. “I only have fifty cents,” I said. “Fifty cents,” he voice started to rise; but quickly settled. He smiled at me; we then had a good laugh. “That’ll get you home,” he said with a wink. As we drove home, Denise and I laughed harder to keep from crying. We arrived with a nickel to our name.

 

We were running on fumes and a ‘Good Samaritan recognized our tank was empty.

 

 

 

 

 

In the past few years I have been blessed with a friendship of a man nearly twelve years younger. He came to our church and he and his wife and my wife and I have become more than friends; we break bread and fellowship regularly. In the past two years, he has taken an active part in our church’s Jail Ministry and is reading scripture and offering public prayers for our congregation. In the past few months, he has accepted the leadership of our homes-based Connect Group. Of the many men I have known during my many years of ministry, he is one of the few authentic Godly men. His walk does not vary from his talk.

 

I’m not privy to much that happens with our Elders, so I don’t know if they value this man’s spiritual potential as much as I do. I pray it is so.

 

Since she joined our church, a very good friend of ours recently moved into our area and has recently sought ways for her to use her spiritual gifts. Previous to the move she had served as a leader in the Divorce Care Ministry at a large church she attended. A divorced woman, still not healed, but willing to help others be less broken, she is going to lead this type of Community-wide Ministry for our church. She needs a male co-leader so there will be a ‘ying/yang’ component to meet the biblical needs for the ministry.

 

Yesterday, I called my friend and suggested he pray about being her co-leader. He has traveled a rocky road away from God; away from his marriage covenant; suffered the actual death of his ex-wife, from cancer; and back into a committed biblical relationship with Christ; plus, remarried a wonderful Godly woman, who was forced to accept a grandchild into this new marriage for six years; and things haven’t gotten better since the child has left. Through it all, they have both modeled a consistent Godliness seldom seen on earth.

 

I suggested his Spiritual Tank wasn’t nearing empty; God was filing up his tank. We would begin praying for a new servant to take his place with the Jail Ministry so he might be freed to be a leader for the Divorce Care.

 

Previous to my spiritual challenge, when we four did fellowship, we had casually talked about this ministry and our friend’s passion to see it happen was being played-out at our church. He did admit that he and his wife have discussed the possibility of his or their involvement in Divorce Care.

 

I’m an ‘old dog’ and with my Jail Ministry on Friday nights, it is all I have the ability to  handle, so I told him I’d be a ‘resource’ for the Divorce Care…if they wanted my counsel.

 

I write the previous information for the purpose of asking each Pilgrim a pertinent question: “When was the last time a fellow Christian recognized you had Spiritual Gas in your tank? Since the average Pilgrim lives a life that demonstrates you are running on fumes, and God always has a tank full at the ready, do you pretend your tank is running on empty?

 

If God is always willing to FILL-ER-UP, why are you coasting on fumes? Surely you have some spiritual goals and hard labor ahead so you can maybe get excited about finishing an important race…as you near the Finish Line. Perhaps, you can increase the volume of prayers sent on behalf of someone you have grown weary praying for to accept Christ as savior.. You might bear down and join God in defeating your inability to set aside your ‘cherished’ sins, rather than find inventive excuses for why you haven’t already done so. You have meant to seek out a particular Pilgrim to send encouragement their way; or hit them with a Spiritual challenge to accomplish things for Christ; but the fumes from your tank made you cough and blurred your ‘Possibility-vision’.

 

Perhaps, you emulated Doc Christian as he almost decided to pull into the Pit and tell his Pit-crew the race couldn’t be won: the car was too far behind to win, regarding the decision to continue to publish biblically based stories few in this world have read or probably ever will read. God has put more gas in my tank…not sure it’s ‘filled-up’; but enough to know the gauge is off empty. I plan to publish two new stories in 2015: Grandpa’s Magic Carpet and The First Christmas, and The Theophany: Son-light Restored to a Dark World. It will require a larger monetary investment than I’d like; and way too much time on the phone selling my books to librarians…that are collectively more liberal and Atheist than any educational sector in our Nation. It will require a dedicated year of my time to sell enough copies to earn a profit.

 

Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Why should you do something different but just seemingly as foolish? One reason! I intend to run out of spiritual gas on the race track. If your Spiritual gas tank needs gas, I know where you can get a ‘Fill-up’.

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

193 new Pilgrims since last post!

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JESUS IS DEVINE; IT’S HIS ‘FAN CLUB’ I CAN’T STAND

JESUS IS DEVINE

IT’S HIS ‘FAN CLUB’ I CAN’T STAND

 

Jesus is a different kind of ‘Rock Star’! Unfortunately, though he is God, too many of his professed ‘followers‘  treat him as if he is just another member of the Grateful Dead’s ‘fan-club’. They attend his concerts so they can ‘hang out with him’, soak up the special atmosphere, return home ‘high’, have great ‘water-cooler’ tidbits to share…and possess memories that titillate envy and one’s fancy…and disconnect until the next big concert.

 

An Atheist used to send me unsolicited e-mails and he always signed off: “Jesus is okay, it’s his fans I can’t stand.” I tried to debate him, but he chose not to engage.

 

The world continues to grow its population; the percentage of Christians continues to grow smaller. The Muslim faith is the fastest growing religion in the world! This includes America!

 

Pogo knew the fault never was in the stars; it was always in us. Are Pilgrims part of the problem or part of the solution for why America is turning dark and evil as it continues to bask in Satan’s ‘tanning booths’? Is it true, nothing matters beyond one’s appearance? If my declaration is true, what type of Jesus does the world see when it looks at a Pilgrim?

 

I’m seventy-four, and despite preaching the word for over thirty years, my biblical influence continues to diminish. Isn’t it true, as we age, the majority of Pilgrims see their circle of ‘potential’ influence grow smaller. As we mature in Christ, we choose to limit our sphere of influence: we grow more holy (sin less) and become less effective for God’s Kingdom because of the associations and environments we choose to frequent.

 

It might shock Pilgrims to learn that our search for holiness and a self-satisfied gleam of pride in our disciplined life is opposite of what Christ actually did while on earth. Pilgrims seek to eliminate blatant sinners from their inner sanctum; Jesus chose to spend most of his time amongst these types of people.

 

When Jesus called Matthew to be an Apostle, the tax collector’s life was turned upside down. Jesus’ didn’t change a whit. While many Pilgrims may think our present day I.R.S. is corrupt and can be bought for political gain; it pales in comparison to the tax collectors of Matthew’s time. Matthew was an entrepreneur ‘First-class’ as he sought out a franchise license from Mother Rome to collect taxes from its people and conquered people for Rome. The Emperor of Rome and his financial advisors told him how much they demanded the people pay in taxes. He was free to collect a tax above their demand, and it was his to keep. It was a usury tax that allowed him to extract more than Rome required; he became wealthy; he was hated by nearly all people. The only people that would associate with him were those people politically connected with his corrupt system; his employees, or other tax collectors.

 

One day, Matthew dressed for work, in his finery fit for a man of great wealth, and set about to please Rome and increase his coffers. When Jesus crossed his daily path, his life changed. Jesus, for reasons only he can know, evidently said to himself: I need a different kind of man to serve in my Kingdom. Perhaps, he thought: if I can show the people one of the most hated men amongst them can change his life because of me, the potential growth of my Kingdom will be enormous. He was right; but, Pilgrim, why?

 

Dare I say: ‘Party-time’! When you chose Christ, did you throw a party to invite all your friends, business associates, and family so you’d have the opportunity to introduce your mostly heathen people to Jesus, the savior of the world, and to allow them to hear what he had to say about salvation? Did you confess your past sins and promise to make amends…if possible, for how you mistreated people before you chose Christ to change the way you live? It’s called a Redemption Journey: all it takes is tons of forgiveness and restitution…when possible.

 

Today, in America, a Pilgrim can discover one of the most hostile environments for biblical truth about Jesus Christ, in the world…but not any more hostile that in Matthew’s day, Unlike Matthew, ‘newbie’ Christians often end up like the ‘closet-homosexuals used to be: the only way others knew about your odd choice was if you were ‘outed’. Pilgrims, in America, when one hears a sneeze, and a ‘bless you’ follows, one may get fired for evangelical proselytizing.

 

During Jesus’ entire ministry, the P.C. police and the self-righteous religious leaders accused him of choosing to spend an inordinate amount of time with society’s ‘low-life, gutter-snipes, whoremongers, drunken bums, and a multitude of indefensible sinners of every stripe. He taught the world, and all Pilgrims, a lesson: “Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor.” His parable about the ‘Lost sheep’ places his divine importance upon the one that is lost. Is it not true that the Churches in America focus on the ninety-nine?

 

If Christ gave ‘purple hearts’ out for those Pilgrims wounded in battle, how many Pilgrims would win one? George Washington, during the Revolutionary War circumvented Congress’ edict to not give any soldiers battlefield promotions, for it cost more money for each promotion, by handing out medals for meritorious service. Congress considered they were an unnecessary expense! Because the color Purple was basically reserved for Royalty: the Shellfish feces were extracted to make the color Purple; it was very time consuming and expensive; and, only the wealthy could afford to wear Purple clothing. Washington deliberately chose the color Purple for the ribbon for the medal presented to the brave warriors. As time and wars raged on, the Purple Heart was the medal awarded when was wounded in battle..

 

What would your church look like if Purple Heart/crosses with Purple ribbons were worn by Pilgrims who were wounded during an evangelical campaign or their daily endeavors to win a lost sinner? Would the color Purple be seen? If you won one for each time you suffered a wound; how many ribbons would you have earned?

 

My confession: I have won a few ribbons; but not many. Though a preacher for many years, I’m guilty of conducting my ministry life like I am my entertainment life: I continue to seek the lost amongst the saved; and I continue to watch more and more black and white movies because they are the only ones a Pilgrim can watch without feeling ‘dirty’.

 

I suppose my interaction with lost sinners exposes me more than some people: I conduct a Friday night jail ministry, so my captive audience, volunteers all…hear me bring the bible to life and I do my best to make Jesus the center of our meetings purpose.

 

Do inquiring minds, full-blown Atheists, Agnostics, and a plethora of self-proclaimed religions that champion a savior; but, not a sacrificial lamb, have a legitimate beef as they declare “Jesus is okay; it’s his Fan Club’  I can’t stand?

 

If we choose to be a ‘Fan’ and not a discipled follower; if all our battle wounds are during ‘Combat Training; never on the battle field; if we isolate our lives into comfy Sunday School classes, Wednesday Night Bible Studies, Worship on Sundays…and throw in a couple of Fellowship Dinners each year, but in the game of Lost Sheep, we never holler: “Send me in Coach.”; but, sit on the end of the bench, how do we honor our King?

 

As each community in America seeks legal methods to dim or douse the spiritual light that is left shining in our country, when will Pilgrims rally the troops and charge into the battle with Satan and his forces risking all that somehow, someway, someplace, sometime, another Lost Sheep will be found? I think the unbelievers consider most Pilgrims Fans of Jesus. They investigate our choices about a biblical life verses their heathen one; they see little difference: in our political, sexual, worldly pleasure, parenting, and religious choices; and they conclude a majority of Pilgrims aren’t different.

 

If Pilgrims can’t understand that we are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience (I stole this from an e-mail…no author claimed it), then all is lost. It certainly sums up we Pilgrims obvious dilemma about the choice of being a ‘fan or a ‘follower’ of Christ, doesn’t it?

 

In conclusion, since Pilgrims are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience, how can one recognize the ‘fan from the ‘follower’? Might I suggest we notice the ‘fan’ goes to the party…and goes home; the ‘follower’ goes to the party, stays after the party is over, and is part of the ‘clean-up’ crew. It’s a great place to find ‘lost sheep’.

 

Doc Christian,

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

P.S.

 

If a Pilgrim chooses not remain a member of my blog; just delete the notice. Don’t send a loaded e-mail that is evil in its aim; I know how to handle your computer chicanery. I will pray for God and the Holy Spirit to vex my enemies and show them their sin.

 

Please pray for my ear surgery recovery. They didn’t find any new growth. I won’t need another operation. Praise the Lord! Thank you Jesus!

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THE DASH

THE – DASH

 

The phone rang and the preacher was summoned to the funeral home. There he met a man he didn’t know, but he was familiar with his family name, for it was well known in the community. As the preacher met the man, there were tears running down this stranger’s cheeks.

 

“Preacher, I know your church needs money…I’ve seen the construction work that is on-going, and I’m ready to write you a sizeable check: 50,000 dollars, if you will do my brother’s funeral…and during the service, publically tell the world that you considered him a ‘Saint’.”

 

The preacher looked shocked at his request, for his brother had lived an exceedingly sinful life. He and his brother had reputations as reprobates of the worst kind. Swallowing hard, he reluctantly agreed to do the service as directed so his church might be debt free. The preacher had one stipulation: the fee had to be paid prior to the service.

 

Word leaked about the bargain the preacher had made, and the place was packed to the gills: they had come to see how a ‘man of the cloth’ could possibly conduct a service and say good things about this bad man.

 

The brother and his family sat on the front row and the preacher cleared his throat, looked down at the brother, and began his sermon. His message was about how a good tree couldn’t bear bad fruit and a bad tree couldn’t bear good fruit. As the message continued, the brother who had paid a fee for his dead brother’s eulogy, started coughing and winking up at the preacher: sending his signals. “Now, in conclusion,” the preacher said, as he looked directly at the dead man’s brother, “Everyone knows how sinful this man was. He cheated on every business deal. He was on trial for fraud, embezzlement, and bribery of judicial officials, He was immoral and he had a bevy of mistresses hidden away for his pleasure. Any person in attendance would be hard-pressed to find one who would say a good word about his integrity and character…”

 

The man jumped to his feet; and he pointed his finger at the preacher. “But next to his brother,” he pointed to him, “He was a ‘Saint’…”  The preacher ended his sermon and he received a standing O.

 

As a young teenager, I recall solemnly walking amongst the white crosses that dot the landscape of Arlington Cemetery. I recall attending numerous graveside services, and performing many during my years of ministry. All of the stone markers were of different styles, shapes, materials, and value; but, all shared one thing in common: following the deceased person’s name was the date of birth and date of death. Invariably, there was a DASH between the dates of birth and death.

 

My wife recently attended a monthly Ladies Luncheon that is held at our church, and she raved about the devotion a woman presented. ”It was about a dash,” she told me. “The importance of the dash is about a person’s life; call the church and get the poem.”

 

In Elementary school our recess time was often consumed by some form of ‘racing’. Boys raced to see who was the fastest; sometimes, even a girl or two would compete. The Hundred Yard Dash is what we called it; I doubt it was a hundred yards. The DASH signified something happened quickly; or the DASH signified there was a great urgency: Abraham rescued Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; Moses led the nation of Israel out of bondage from Egypt; Jonah fled from God as he refused to accept the mission to evangelize Nineveh; the shepherds rushed to Bethlehem to see baby Jesus; King Herod ordered the death of all male children three years old and younger; Peter fled from the High Priest’s courtyard as he betrayed Jesus…three times; Paul rushed to Damascus to imprison and kill Christians; and Jesus’s journey to the top of Golgotha are some of this world’s most significant DASHES.

 

Do you agree, Jesus’ death is the only historical event where a man’s death became more important than his life? Because he is the Savior of the world, what he did, after his death became infinitely more important than when he was alive. No created human being can claim that! Though born of a virgin via the Holy Spirit, as incredible as his life and ministry was, none of that would have spell bound history if he hadn’t defeated death. If his resurrection from the dead and ascension to Heaven hadn’t happened, mankind would have just been left with a beginning and an end. But, because Jesus did live beyond a physical death, the DASH of a human’s life, perhaps, has purpose that often only God can know; but, part of man’s quest to discover his purpose can be found only in the DASH. If that is true, does this behoove all Pilgrims to heed God’s angelic trumpet to fill the DASH with every radical act of kindness for others in the name of Jesus Christ?

 

As Isiah tells us, all Pilgrims are clothed in smelly, filthy rags: we look like the ‘street-winos’ with their brown paper bags with a bottle of hooch in it, and because Jesus reached beyond the DASH, he sees us in a Divine Tuxedo fit for a Heavenly Ball hosted by the Creator.

 

While Jesus transcends the DASH; man only has the DASH to demonstrate his gratitude for being created for fellowship with God. If this is the Divine premise, what are Pilgrims doing with the DASH?

 

Your neighbors, do they know your DASH is all about Jesus? Do your children know why the DASH is important in your home? While skanky women wear tee shirts that proclaim: ”I’m not wearing any panties”…do you wear tees that speak volumes about Jesus and his righteousness? When ball-caps are worn in public to support a team or a cause, does your give a ‘shout-out’ to the world that Jesus is Lord? In the work-place, do people know your DASH is far different than the majority? When friends and casual acquaintances seek counsel, do they seek your DASH because your purpose and goals offer better outcomes?

 

I want to share some of the poem: THE DASH, so you will get the flavor. It is written by Linda Ellis.

 

I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on a tombstone

from the beginning to the end.

 

 

He noted that first came the date of birth

and spoke the following date with tears,

but he said what mattered most of all

was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents how all the time

that they spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved them

know what that little line is worth.

 

… So, think about this long and hard.

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

that can still be rearranged.

 

The poem contains other spiritual challenges for any Pilgrim; but, it ends:

 

So, when your eulogy is being read,

with your life’s actions to rehash…

would you be proud of the things they say

about how you spent your dash?

 

My mother was an ‘old fashioned’ cook: if people asked about the recipe for the food she brought to our church’s Fellowship Dinners, “I add a pinch of this and a DASH of that…and somehow it turns our right,” she’d tell them.

 

As I ponder my DASH, I know Momma was a weekly volunteer at our hometown: El Reno, Oklahoma hospital handing out magazines and visiting patients…when she was ninety-three. I’m convinced her ‘pinch’ was the ‘Salt’ Jesus said all Pilgrims must be if we are to help win the world for Christ; and the DASH was doing good for mankind.

 

Would that all my Pilgrims might emulate this DASH!

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

Way to go Pilgrims! 300 new Pilgrims have registered since my last blog article

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THIS IS YOUR LIFE

THIS IS YOUR LIFE

 

(THIS IS CATHARTIC)

 

As I continue to preach messages from the book of Acts, and I’m nearly finished with the book, for my Jail Ministry; I became intrigued by Paul’s journey to Rome…where he was imprisoned before executed. Earlier in the book, Rome’s representative, King Agrippa (last king of the Herodian rulers and his wife, Bernice, whom he had an incestuous relationship with, had traveled to Caesarea to pay their respects to Porcius Festus who had succeeded King Felix. Festus seeks Agrippa’s counsel concerning the final disposition of Paul. After he meets Paul and Paul boldly witnesses to the King about his need to seek salvation in Jesus Christ: he refused the opportunity, he remarks that Paul, in his court of judgment, would have been set free from all the false charges the Judiazers had brought against him if he hadn’t claimed a ‘privilege’ all Roman citizens were entitled to: he rejected Festus’ court and made an appeal to be sent to Rome for final judication.

 

Paul’s enemies were so fierce and determined to see him dead, the Roman Centurion, Julius, spirited him away in the middle of the night under heavy armed guards. They end up taking him to Rome via a sailing vessel.

 

The ship’s journey began in idyllic conditions; it ended in a state of great peril and near loss of life.

 

As I read and researched Acts twenty-seven and eight, it reminded me of one of my favorite early T.V. shows: THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Ralph Edwards was the M.C of the show as each week some famous personality’s life’s story was told. People from out of their past visited the show as the life story unfolded. This was the formula: THE JOURNEY; THE STORM; THE SHIPWRECK’; and THE OUTCOME.

 

I was nearly awestruck when I realized this formula mirrored that of Paul’s last journey to Rome told in the book of Acts. As I spent time conjugating about this find, I soon realized this formula fit nearly all people, especially inmates.

 

I can assure all that when I was ten or sixteen, I never fathomed my journey would end with me being a preacher for half my life. I did intend to play baseball in the major leagues: didn’t happen. I never intended to get a college degree: earned two or play college basketball; and at age thirty-five, I never intended to become an ordained minister. How in all that is holy did these unexpected outcomes happen? Proverbs tells us that man plans and God controls.

 

I want each Pilgrim to spend time this week thinking about your outcomes; and see how God has let you chase your own sinful folly; but, how He has intervened to use your worthless clay to fashion a vessel of beauty…in his His eyes.

 

Our passage in Acts reveals this story. Unlike most of us, Paul had his nose to the grindstone: he was busy preaching about Jesus Christ: crucified, resurrected, and glorified for his listeners sins. For his efforts, the Judiazers put out a ‘contract’ on his life. Because of this evil scheme, he used the legal system he had at that time to escape from being murdered by the Judiazers: he appealed to the judicial system in Rome: he was a Roman citizen, which was his ‘birth-right’ and his venue was changed so he might get an opportunity for a ‘fair trial’. This was Paul’s plan; God’s plan was different: so Paul might witness before the ‘high and mighty’ rulers in Rome about his only Son, Jesus Christ’s work on the cross so salvation might be offered to any who would have the wisdom to accept this gift of grace.

 

Scripture describes Paul’s journey, its beginning, in the accompaniment of Julius, a Roman Centurion and a select group of soldiers under his command, as idyllic. The water for sailing was considered ideal for a wooden vessel to navigate to its destination. Because it was late in the ‘sailing-season’: too close to Winter and bad  stormy waters, Paul suggested the Captain not sail after the Fast (Yom Kippur) but the owner and Captain chose to sail to Phoenix and then spend the winter in that harbor.

 

The ship’s cargo: commodities many customers eagerly awaited and needed for their clients, and pressured by the merchants to ignore Paul’s advice…and his many years of earning a living as a Fisherman, the ship set sail for Rome. Paul was happy to be sailing…even as a prisoner; but, he knew the trip wasn’t going to be easy or end well: the Holy Spirit had prompted him.

 

Pilgrim’s how many times in our lives have we set out on a journey and for some reason we just didn’t feel right about its purpose and potential outcome? Perhaps, it was a date that ended with you in the ‘backseat’… before you married, you ignored his or her desire to micro-manage you; the flash of anger for little reason; friends and families warnings about a fiancé’s integrity and character; marrying and being unequally yoked; allowing the ‘heathen’ to draw you away from a commitment to Christ, accepting a job or rejecting it; financial decisions you regret; covering for and enabling children, family, and friends from consequences for sin to avoid embarrassment. Shall I go on? Do you think the Holy Spirit was prompting?

 

Scripture says folly is bound up in the heart of a child; I think that should include all Pilgrims!

 

I have been on the Pacific Ocean in the China Sea when the water looked like shining glass in the moonlight. There are few things more serene and beautiful in all the universe; I have also been on angry seas where one was frightened nearly to death and you cried out for land and safe harbor: I was part of a Navy flotilla out of the China sea and we were forced to leave safe harbor and run out into the storm because we couldn’t take the chance the ships would survive being harbored as the hurricane swept across land. We spent three days in that fury.

 

Paul tells of his experience and it is more horrifying! He was on an old wooden vessel dependent on canvas sails to navigate. Paul and the ship’s crew spent fourteen days in the eye of the same storm; and unable to navigate. What a storm it must have been! I recently saw the movie: The Perfect storm. It culminates with a wall of water a hundred feet high drowning all in its path. I’ll never see it again: I had nightmares. Before they could find safe harbor, all on the ship threw all that was once deemed precious overboard to lighten the vessel’s load in hopes they might be able to live through the storm.

 

Pilgrims… would that we all have a ‘second’ chance to rid our lives of that which, in hindsight, wasn’t valuable. In fact, it was useless and it caused our lives to end up in a large ‘shipwreck’ like Paul experienced.

 

Some of the ship’s sailors sought to save their lives and they plotted to lower the Life Boats. Paul warned the Centurion all must remain on board if they were to weather the storm or all would die. He believed Paul and he had the ropes that secured the boats cut so they’d be dashed into the angry sea. How might Pilgrims get there head-around this act? If the Captain of the Titanic had ordered the Life boats to be dropped into the sea, none of the passengers would have survived.

 

Our large Repair ship: Hector, took forty-five degree rolls in my storm; my younger brother’s ship: a Tin-can (Destroyer) was part of our flotilla: he and his crew were strapped into their bunks. Before Paul’s ship crew reached safety, his ship was blown apart and they used planks of the wooden ship to help navigate to safe harbor.

 

If God hadn’t of been in the midst of this great storm, the ship’s cargo and the ship’s crew would have drown in the angry waters. If common sense and wise counsel had been heeded, none would have been traumatized or the ship wouldn’t have been lost.

 

Pilgrims…how about you? When your ‘Great Storms’ arrived, what ‘shipwreck’ did you experience because you ignored the wise counsel of God’s holy bible? Did you choose the wrong person to marry because you married for the wrong reason: not to build a Godly marriage? Did you lose a business because you partnered with people who didn’t share your biblical vison? Did outcomes happen that seemed to be not your fault; and you chose to seek succor and nourishment from the world rather than God? Jesus himself told us that in this world we would experience storms; he also told us to ‘take heart’: he has overcome the world.

 

What is the lesson from this story we need to learn? All our lives are going to experience adversities of every ilk and kin. Some Pilgrims storms and  will be worse than others. We may cause the majority; other’\s may bring them into our lives; but we get the choice whether we allow them to cause a ‘shipwreck’. Our storms may cause our lives to blow-up; we get the choice whether we will do all that is necessary to find safe-harbor

 

When Paul finally reached ‘safe-harbor’, though he was poisoned by a deadly Viper snake, God protected him; and his ability to not show the ill effects of the bite made the local natives think he was a god. His outcome brought special treatment for him and the entire ship’s crew.

 

When the ‘sting’ from you storms and your shipwreck happened, did others see the power of Christ in you? Did you find your salvation in a bottle or in the company of others who love the Lord despite their ‘shipwrecked’ lives? Did you allow God to heal your broken dreams and outcomes; or are you still angry at God? Have come to terms with some profound truths: forgiveness isn’t for others… it’s for you. If you don’t forgive the poison will kill you: spiritually for sure. Suffering the bite of a Viper (Satan’s schemes) and showing he can’t kill your will to be a ‘Child of God’ will give you closure for what caused your ‘shipwreck’. Life is only for the living! While it is a tradition with the Jews dealing with death: ‘mourners’ are hired to be at the ‘Wailing Wall’ to signify a person’s grief about the loss of a loved one, I’m sure God doesn’t want any Pilgrim to wear ‘sackcloth and ashes’.

 

 

Praise God none of my Pilgrims will face Paul’s outcome from his JOURNEY (a trip to Rome and the Executioner), THE STORM (fourteen days in the hurricane), THE SHIPWRECK (using parts of the blown apart ship to navigate to safety), and his OUTCOME (More prison time in Rome; but an opportunity to witness about Christ to sinners); but, we can all learn valuable biblical lessons from his LIFE’S STORY.

 

Earlier in Paul’s ministry he had endured many storms as a witness for Christ. I’m sure when he made his appeal to Rome he never dreamed his greatest storm was yet to be seen. He didn’t know his decisions that would save his and the ship’s crew would make him a hero in other’s eyes.

 

Pilgrims…are you a ‘Hero of the faith’ in others eyes? Will you use the ‘shipwreck’ of your life to inspire others to tell people about how you weathered the seemingly unending storms and your ‘shipwreck’ and demonstrate how you are now better equipped to serve as a warrior in God’s kingdom?

 

What is keeping you from this spiritual achievement? Might you be like a recent guest at our bed and breakfast? The woman told us that it took her twelve years to finally allow God to help her find closure about her failed marriage. When it happened, God brought love and a Godly man into her life: she and her new husband (a Godly man and church leader) were celebrating their love at our place: Raven’s Nest. What have you failed to find closure for that God is waiting on you (to seal the deal) so he can better equip you for his kingdom’s work?

 

Paul’s life story was blown off course; yet, he survived and thrived! Might we trust Christ to heal us? Perhaps, our problem is we have lost the value in the truth of the lyrics of a song I love: “You don’t have to walk on water; you just have to walk on land.”

 

One more profound truth:  if you will just let go and let God handle it.

HE WILL CHANGE THE OUTCOME.

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/-wp-login.phh

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

Way to go Pilgrims! 300 new registered Pilgrims since last posted article.

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YOUR FAREWELL

YOUR FAREWELL

 

 

I don’t know for sure, but I have a hunch the majority of my Pilgrims are middle-age and above because most of my articles focus upon life past fifty. This new article isn’t an exception.

 

The genesis of this article’s biblical challenge is found in the book of Acts 20:13ff. Paul is reaching the end of his life and before he will travel to Rome, he needs to return to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost one more time. He isn’t able to travel to Asia, so he sends for the Elders from the church in Ephesus to meet him to have his farewell. My opinion, his farewell is loaded with items for any Christian’s ‘Bucket List’.

 

As any one knows who has stayed at our Bed and Breakfast or paid us a visit or just driven down past the ‘Dead End’ sign where our log cabin resides, it is a steep hill one must climb if one walks it. My wife, Denise, and I walk it twice daily; after riding our stationary bikes for thirty minutes. She has lost eighty pounds since last November walking that hill! He calls it the “D’ hill: it doesn’t stand for Denise.

 

Recently, as we were huffing and puffing up the hill; actually we were gliding down it, she asked me a profound question: Why do old people think about death and how it will ‘play out’? I knew I had spent too much time doing this; I didn’t know she had. While none of us know how long we will live…unless we decide to name the date: Robin Williams hung himself last week, only God knows when our life’s calendar reads ‘Zero’. What I know for sure is that when one reaches seventy-plus, you are looking at ten to fifteen years for most people before you face your Maker; so you spend time contemplating how the Greek Tragedy: known as your life, will end. In Denise and my case, the challenge for us will be how we will stand to live without the love of one another after one of us is dead.

 

I want to encourage my Pilgrims to spend time talking about the ‘end stage’ of your life and marriage. Rather than cause you and your spouse to feel awkward it will free you up when you talk about what each one will do if they are left behind first. I found it comforting to know how my wife planned to ‘live-on’ if she is left alone. We agreed that ‘life is only for the living’, so we didn’t try to add any ‘death-bed’ promises about love and relationships after one of his dead. She indicated she wouldn’t remarry; I said I probably would. Her choice is far different than mine. At this stage in our married life, her choice, because of health issues, may not be possible; mine would be. We talked about our Wills. We discussed the question that must be answered: is a Will designed to reward blood or behavior? Which should be the most important? Will your Will demonstrate you died a Steward in God’s Kingdom? If your blood kin are Heathens, should this change the Will’s outcome?

 

As a preacher for over thirty years, I have conducted funerals where the parlor or church was packed with people; I have also had them where all could fit into a Broom Closet. I have had family behave orderly: not fight over the money until the dirt was thrown; and not so orderly: arguments about money during the “layout’; or arrive drunk.

 

While I have written poignantly (tried to anyway) in my novels about the beauty and comfort one gets from a visitation to the grave site of a loved one at the cemetery, effectively I think, I don’t personally put much stock it this behavior. Scripture teaches me that my Soul lives; all else dies and is useless. My wife chooses to be buried by her mother; I choose to be cremated after my body is donated to science. I want my ashes spread on a green golf course…not in a Sand trap.

 

I can’t know for sure, but I’m confident that the Apostle Paul discovered what I have about life: It is a mystery none can solve, and it behooves us to seek the ‘End pieces’ so we can enjoy it at much as possible as it unfolds before our very eyes.

 

I’m like Paul as I’ve moved around so much I don’t have a ‘Root system’ where one builds up a reservoir of friends and family who will attend my funeral. My dearest friends from boyhood are dead. Perhaps, the majority of my attendees, if they wore the proper dress that allowed me to easily identify them, they would be wearing an Orange Jumpsuit: Wayne County Jail garb, as they were regular attendees at my Friday night ministry worship services.

 

Now, if my Pilgrims will peak around the corner of this passage of scripture, perhaps, we can all learn some vitally important things about how we can prep our farewell.

 

Have you started writing your Eulogy? My opinion, I consider the following Paul’s essentials:

 

One day you will die! Paul seems to have a premonition about how long he is going to live: it ends in a Roman prison. Do you have such a premonition? I don’t.

 

In his old age, he encourages men of God to seek to know Jesus more intimately. He desires to live his life so none can ever doubt his fealty to his risen Lord. He beckons the Elders to come and meet with him so he can test their spiritual mettle and stoke their boldness as they lead the church and its people to serve Christ more fully. He implores them to prepare to stand fast about the doctrine of Christ he has taught them when he was in their midst. He warns them that soon ‘compromisers’ will arrive and do their best to tear down the church’s biblical foundation and build with a new foundation made by human hands; rather than divine creative force.

 

He wants them to demonstrate a passion for the lost and to be alert for the devil’s schemes wrought by his workers.

 

I recall a few years ago the hurried visit to my home in Oklahoma when I discovered my best boyhood friend was dying and I was concerned he would die outside of Christ. I couldn’t bear the thought of living an eternity in Heaven in the Presence of Christ and he not be at my side. In the past I had witnessed to him about his need for Christ, and we had had our differences about my perception considering he was a sinner and lost and on his way to Hell; and I didn’t know how he might receive me.

 

Though our initial meeting was awkward at first: his wife had contacted me and she chose not to tell him I was coming; and other buddies of his had prepared the ground before I arrived… he told me he had been reading the bible a friend of his had given him on a visit to the Hospice; and before he died later that week, he accepted Christ.

 

Another high school buddy suffered a stroke and half of his body was paralyzed. I made two trips to visit him to witness to him about Christ. His atheist daughter did all she could to keep me from him. He died two years later without confessing Christ as Lord. He was buried in the church his family helped build with generous donations.

 

At the end of the passage, Paul declares it is more blessed to give than receive. His farewell was tied up in a pretty spiritual ribbon and he gave all he had: him to the Elders.

 

Pilgrim, what will your farewell look like? Will other Christians fall upon your neck and kiss you and cry over your absence? Will you leave this earth with things left undone? Paul knew he had a spiritual destiny with the Roman Empire; if calculated by human evaluation, he was quite positive it wouldn’t end well for him. Because he considered any sacrifice for Christ a privilege to honor his King, he gladly traveled to Rome.

 

I recently read an e-mail: The Back Nine Holes. The gist of it is that we enter into the winter of  life unprepared for our farewell…because it arrives unbelievably quick. When I graduated from high school, the average person/s lifespan was less than seventy: 1958! Today, it is eighty and longer! The writer focused upon the winter of our life and what we had become: old…and what one should do with the time left: embrace old age, but live as if you are young in the midst of dying. It was filled with wit and wisdom and it urged the reader to focus upon not what you had GATHERED, RATHER WHAT YOU HAVE SCATTERED.

 

Doc Christian would like to challenge the Pilgrims to focus upon a biblical principle: every created being potentially is always on THE BACK NINE HOLES. Children die in hospitals every day; children die of starvation on the ‘street’ every day; teenagers die drunk or high every day; young fathers and mothers die and leave children behind every day because Tomorrow is promised to no one. Heaven is promised to all who believe in Jesus Christ!

 

.    Your Farewell, what will its legacy be?  Will it be fraught with the disposition of your worldly goods…often to family heathens or filled with what you can spiritually give away?

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

 

 

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JESUS VISITS FERGUSON

JESUS VISITS FERGUSON

 

I had a ‘near-death’ experience the other night. No, it didn’t travel to Heaven and when I woke up I enthralled the world with the details of my trip (I know Heaven is for real! Not because a boy told me; because God’s holy writ did) Pilgrims, I can’t (neither can anyone else) tell you that the story the little boy told didn’t happen, for scripture records numerous occasions when Jesus and the Apostles had encounters with the Spirit World. Other than the Holy Spirit himself, seldom were they ‘good’ ones. Jesus told the Parable about the Rich man and Lazarus in Heaven. He said that a person in Hell or Heaven couldn’t cross the ‘Great Divide’ between those two places. In the Old Testament, God warned the Jewish Nation to stay away from allowing their bodies to be marked with ink; and, to keep away from any type of sorcery…including Mediums: Fortune Tellers, Palm Readers, the entire spirit world for they were evil.

 

With these instructions in mind, I do know that God created the Universe and he is in control! Remember, Control doesn’t automatically mean Causation; therefore, If God chooses to have a boy visit Heaven and return home to share this ‘Good-news’, he can. Personally, I remain skeptical, but no Earthling can deny its possibility.

 

I ate too much Lasagna and it took a Prevacid to bring me back to life. While in agony from my gluttony, and my old ‘pea sized’ brain flickering off and on, I pondered the lessons Pilgrims might learn if Jesus paid a surprise visit to Ferguson, Mo.

 

I think I had a Visitation…of some kind. It went like this.

 

Jesus, with his brown skin and wearing ‘Skinny Jeans’’ and a tee shirt: God is not Dead   imprinted on it, and wearing Jordan’s Nike Green florescent  tennis shoes, walked amongst the throng of people milling about in Ferguson. Some people smiled at him; others razed him; a few spit at him as they remarked: “We don’t need no God around here.” Other men with beards and long hair, and tattoos covering their black skin, said, “Leave the dude alone.”

 

He observed the people carrying signs: No Justice, no Peace…and a plethora of other signs that indicated violence was imminent if the white police officer: Darren Wilson, wasn’t found guilty and punished…immediately, for shooting a ‘innocent’ unarmed black boy in broad-daylight in the middle of the street as he was trying to peacefully surrender.

 

Since Jesus knows a thing or two about one being innocent of a crime and being denied justice, he spent the first three days in Ferguson incognito. After watching the ‘peaceful’ legal protest turn into total mayhem and anarchy fueled by evil doers that didn’t live in Ferguson that had an agenda that didn’t include any type of peace, he donned his toga and sandals and began to make his presence known.

 

There must be some ‘Cowboy’ in Jesus because it didn’t take him long to carry out a plan: cut off the head of the snake. He showed up at the Governor’s manse. Jesus: “Mr. Nixon, didn’t you take an oath to serve all the people of Mo?” He became a nervous twit. “I, I did. Jesus:” If so, why did you stick your oar into this racial hornet’s nest by declaring Ferguson will get its peace and justice for the White police officer will get a quick and swift trial and justice will be served…before you nor anyone knows all the facts surrounding this racial mess? Jesus asked.

“Another observation before I leave, Do you know why there aren’t a few more black officers serving the predominately black city of Ferguson?  Governor, “I know, but, I don’t think it would do any good to try and convince the black leaders of Ferguson to speak out about the tiny pool of potential candidates Ferguson has to choose from because a large portion of the citizens of this community can’t qualify for the job. Their criminal records, lack of education, and tattooed bodies eliminate most ‘want-a-bee candidates. The “Uncle Tom’ syndrome still hinders the black boy from stepping on the ladder to success.” Jesus, “If the people of Ferguson knew this truth, would it change things? Remember Governor, “Speak the truth in love; the truth shall set you free.”

 

Jesus leaves Ferguson and has a quick encounter with the President of the United States…on hole number nine at the swank private golf club in Martha’s Vineyard.  Jesus, “ President Obama, I saw your ‘touching’ moment providing support for that Brown family. Son, I thought you did a pretty good job. I’m curious, you failed to mention the Wilson family; was that an oversight or intentional? I mean Michael being black and Darren being white,” he added. Silence, “I know Michael was the town’s ‘Altar boy’…wait… didn’t he commit a crime stealing items from that Convenience Store and roughing up the clerk who confronted him a few minutes before the altercation that cost him his life? Of course I know, but there was video proof, right? So his parents telling the world their son was a ‘good boy’ really wasn’t the whole truth, right? Do you agree with me that before this whole legal thing is finished…and probably justice isn’t going to be served very well, the world will get to know a lot about Michael that his parents and the leaders of Ferguson won’t want the media to know; and perhaps, the media will learn things about Darren they won’t want to report because it will highlight the side they aren’t rooting for? President Obama, “I suppose I should have asked for all of America’s citizens to remember the suffering the Wilson family is also enduring.”

 

Mr. President, why did you send your Attorney General into that unholy mess?” President: “I, I…” Jesus…: Jesus:  “Do you think any political gain is worth stirring the racial divide?”  President Obama, “I just wanted to make sure Civil Rights aren’t being violated.” Jesus, “You don’t trust the legal system in Mo? Heaving a deep sigh, President: “It’s complicated…Jesus.” Jesus, “If everyone is concerned about legal justice, how about those looters who have nearly destroyed Ferguson?”

 

Jesus returns to Ferguson and has an encounter with the Ferguson legal system and its leaders as they are in conference. Jesus:  “Mr. Mayor and Mr. Chief of Police, why have you gone days now and you haven’t provided the media and the citizens of Ferguson the facts of the case that your investigation has uncovered to date? If you know facts of truth about how this whole tragic thing happened and you haven’t shared them, why not? People have always shot the messenger; but it doesn’t change the necessity for you all to divulge the truth about this case. Did the officer shoot the man without provocation? Was he in the act of keeling and surrendering with his hands up? Why didn’t the officer use his Taser gun? What is contained in the report officer Wilson turned in?” Stunned silence greets his remarks and questions. Mayor: “We are still gathering the information.” Jesus, “Looters have destroyed your town and you are still gathering data; wouldn’t it be wise to provide the information you have? Perhaps, if this were known, the decent citizens of Ferguson might move to quell the lawless evil doers. The family has called for this, but those who aren’t interested in peace are the enemies of all in Ferguson.” The Mayor, “What you have said is wise; but now we have another crisis: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will arrive today.”  Jesus chuckles. “I see what you mean.

 

Jesus’ encounter with Jesse Jackson: Jesse, frankly, I’m a bit surprised to see you here in Ferguson. I knew you were in the President’s ‘Political-doghouse…well, you did say some…shall we say ‘less that flattering things about Obama and his lack of political savvy or business acumen; all were truthful statements, but in politics and war, ‘all spoils go to the victor…don’t they’? I see your ‘buddy’ Al is arriving in Ferguson, also. Jesse: “Don’t call him my buddy; he helped put me in the doghouse.” Jesus, “Evidently , it’s ‘kiss and make-up time’…you and Al coming to rescue Ferguson, right? By the way, what are you and Al rescuing Ferguson from? Are you going to beat your ‘bully pulpit’ and demand that those hooligan thugs be jailed for inflaming the racial divide and leaving this poor town in shreds? Do you and Al plan to hold a revival to preach the ‘Good News’ about ME and eternity for all who will accept my grace? From the shenanigans I witnessed, it seems a proper thing to do, don’t you:?  Remember my servant’s Paul’s words: “Speak the truth in love.” Son, your track record could use a bunch of that, right? Swords into plowshares; swords into plowshares…seems to be a biblical plan…right?

 

Jesus encounter with Al Sharpton just after his fiery speech framed by his ‘No Justice, no peace’ rally the black raciest who don’t want justice or peace, raved about.

 

Jesus: Al! Son you slayed them tonight, didn’t you. Boy, you gave them just what they wanted to hear, right? You’re getting to look a bit ‘long-in-the-tooth; but you still have that ‘fire in the belly’, don’t you? Son, I’m a bit confused and perplexed, not to mention a mite peeved, for I listened to your speech and I’m quite sure you didn’t mention MY name once in all that pontificating…did I miss something? Come to think about it; I can’t recall where you have preached when you made ME the focus, rather than some political agenda. How much are these people paying you to tell them what they want to hear? “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE,” what does that really mean? What will it really look like to you and your people? My father said there was just Jew or Gentile, you’re not a Jew…so what ‘your people’ are you referring to? If the evidence shows the officer feared for his life, will you help the good citizens of Ferguson burn the place down? Al, son, I know you spend a lot of time flitting around coming to the rescue to your poor people who are living in a land where a black man can’t find success or justice: i.e. Like that little Twanny girl who you lied about and should have spent time in someone’s hoosegow Don’t forget that group of white college boys that you and that dishonest prosecuting attorney tried and convicted in the news media, and then it was discovered you had lied again about events you knew to be not true. Some bigots in this country have said the only reason why you aren’t in jail today is because you are amongst the ‘Teflon’ people. Do you know what they mean?

 

Confessing one’s sins is part of being a child of God’s; repentance is more than just seeking forgiveness; it’s seeking the opportunity to redress the consequences of sin. Al, son, did you write those college boys’ mommas and apologize for your part of a legal fraud that was designed to whip up hate and divisiveness between white and black people for nothing more than political gain, when you falsely accused those college boys of sexual rape and it nearly ruined their lives? True, those white boys were committing sin and they certainly ignored Paul’s warnings about ‘fleeing in the face of sexual temptation; but their sins were between them and me…not so Al Sharpton could increase his popularity with people who don’t desire to solve the racial divide conflict

 

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Al, son, perhaps you missed that history lesson in your Divinity studies about the mission of the church and the responsibility of preachers: if your goal is to become a ‘big man’ on campus…in the Preaching realm, so to speak, shouldn’t your focus be upon changing hearts? Do you recall studying about the Great Awaking? Perhaps, you and Jesse and other cronies of the cloth can just put up a very large tent in downtown Ferguson and begin preaching about how MY work on the cross paved the way for all of mankind to live forever. Use the scripture from Romans about no longer conforming to the pattern of this world, but being transformed by the renewing of one’s mind: from worldly to Heavenly. Don’t you think the people in Ferguson deserve to hear the Good News MY Father has provided? Al, my message to you is the same one I gave to the woman caught in adultery: “Go and sin no more”.

 

Al, son, preach the word! Preach it in season and out of season. You might want to cogitate on Solomon’s words: “The proud and arrogant man-“Mocker” is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.” Proverbs 21:24 Son, why do you choose to fish in a small pond? Ferguson has had few deaths at the hands of police; yet, you’re here. Why not fish in a Big pond: the city of Chicago has had 5000 deaths last year; few at the hands of a white police officer. Ninety percent have come from a black male. Now, Al, son, that seems to be a ‘ripe’ field for you to plant seeds about MY salvation, don’t you agree? I’d not like to think you are another Simon: when he saw the miracles my servants Peter and John did, he wanted to PAY to get that type of Holy Spirit power so he could make money, fool the people, and proclaim he possessed GREAT POWER (Acts 8:18ff)  Al, what are your motives? How many lost souls are you going to save while you are in Ferguson?

 

Al, son, you are aware of my parable about the sheep and the goats, right. Matthew 25:33-46

 

Jesus’ encounter with Michael Brown: “Michael by boy, I understand you have become a Social Media darling now! It’s not everyone that gets to have his life on video to prove to the world he is a thief, bully, and a defiant man who doesn’t think conventional laws of safety for all citizens of Ferguson applies to him. Walking down the middle of the street…what’s that all about? Your momma told the world you were a ‘good boy’ who never meant to harm anyone. I know, she didn’t know about that video; but, she has known you could be a star in one for some time, hasn’t she? Perhaps, she failed to listen to her momma’s warnings about a mother’s great fear: “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” Proverbs 19:18 Solomon was focused upon a Spiritual death; but, in your case, it was an actual physical one, also. Does she have any worries about the Toxicology-report that will surly become part of the Public Domain when the trial comes up?

 

Michael, can you believe the consequences sin often brings? Whew! All of your town’s people having their lives disrupted; Ferguson will never be the same. Maybe that’s a good thing, you think? Will people of Ferguson ever know the real truth about your death?”

 

Jesus’ encounter with Darren Wilson: “Darren, my son, why didn’t you use a Taser gun? Five, six shots into that huge frame might have killed the man; but in hindsight, wouldn’t it have  been better than a number of bullets into one man’s body; he must have scared the Hell out of you, huh…no pun intended. Son, when you and your nearly all white police force were out and about each day providing protection for the citizens of Ferguson, didn’t it ever occur to you that it would have been wise and very helpful if your ‘backup’ buddy mirrored the racial makeup of a majority of Ferguson’s citizens? What kind of political leadership does Ferguson have that can’t understand how odd that looked, felt, and led to undesirable outcomes. When you had the opportunity, why didn’t you speak up and inquire about this lack of using good ole Common Sense to help the law officers provide necessary protection for Ferguson? Sure, it might have meant some white men and women lost their jobs to add black officers, but it would have saved the town from becoming an international racial scene where all of its social/racial warts were exposed to the world. Just think! It would have kept Jesse and Al from turning your town into a political football that is guaranteed to raise much more confusion than clarity and visceral animosity between the black and white races will be part of its lasting effects.

 

 

When the legal system finally starts grinding, don’t you know your fellow officers are probably going to have to don the ‘Riot-gear’ again because you won’t be able to get an ‘impartial jury’ in Ferguson, and it will be necessary to move the trial to another venue? I suppose Al and his gang can move his operational site, but it won’t have the same potential political cachet for him, so I’ doubt he will follow the trail to the new place. It would be great if he did and set up a large tent and held a revival during the time of the trial. I’m not sure anyone will be completely satisfied with the final verdict. The law, man’s sins, and his search for justice often end that way.”

 

Jesus’ encounter with the citizens of Ferguson: “My fellow Americans and good folk of Ferguson, what has your sense of failed justice wrought? One’s empathy and sympathy for the parents and loved ones of Michael Brown can easily be understood; but, have you praised God for living in the freest Nation in the world that possesses the highest percentage of possibilities the American Jurisprudence system will find a just and legal conclusion for an apparent horrendous crime, before you allowed evil doers to infiltrate your population and perpetuate too much of a national perception of black people carrying out a ruse about caring about justice for Michael so they might loot, burn, and steal property others have shed blood, sweat, and tears to accumulate while providing services and goods that the good folk of Ferguson need and desire? ‘

Why didn’t you seek the help of the police and warn them about these hooligans that came to do irreparable harm to Ferguson? Surely few can say they didn’t know these types of miscreants had arrived at Ferguson’s door? The police knew; but, they were powerless to act without your help. Less than a couple of hundred criminals destroyed the good name and town of Ferguson. Of the thousands of peaceful protesters, why didn’t you join with the police and help them keep criminals from harming the town? How many of those merchants were your neighbors? How many do you suppose will stay in Ferguson after Al and his gang leaves Ferguson? Do you think it will be honorable of Ferguson people to expect the rest of the citizens of the United States to pick up the tab for the destruction and mayhem left in Jesse and Al’s wake?

 

Question: If Ferguson is nearly two-thirds black American voters, how is it possible for the civic government to be operated by so few white Americans? Do you suppose it is because the black American voters of Ferguson failed to get to the voting venues? If they did vote, perhaps, the Attorney General should be conducting a different type of investigation? If the law system is as corrupt as you say it is, then, use the power you possess: win at the ballot box and change Ferguson into a town where all citizens of every race, color or creed can expect to find justice…or to see criminals suffer severe punishment so that decent folk can walk the streets without fear.

 

Stop listening to men like Al Sharpton! From everything I can observe, he has never spent more than a few minutes preaching God’s basic principles about family and parental duty: …”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your foreheads. Write them on your doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9

 

Good people of Ferguson, ask yourselves is Al’s goal Peace and love? Does he preach MY truths?

 

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt has lost its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matthew 5:13

 

Don’t forget, he should be more concerned with teaching his listeners this truth:

 

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and PRAISE YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.” Matthew 5:14-16

 

I suggest you be wise and test the purpose and mettle of anyone who might come to Ferguson to offer JUSTICE AND PEACE that isn’t draped in your legal system. If any preacher (Reverend) spends more time trying to gain political advantage than saving the lost sinners of Ferguson, pay him no mind.

 

It might be true that Ferguson’s police aren’t fit to govern. It might be true the people of Ferguson aren’t treated with respect all LAW ABIDING citizens should expect to receive…regardless of color; but, as flawed as this system might be, the alternative…LAWLESSNESS isn’t punished…which leads to anarchy (like the criminal that looted and burned your city) will leave all terrorized and far worse off.

 

A lingering question all in Ferguson needs to answer: If Michael Brown had been walking down the middle of the street taunting you and refusing to move so you could pass because you had just received an emergency call that your child had been taken to the hospital, would you have confronted him (he was a big dude)? He had just robbed a ‘mom and pop’ store and physically threatened the clerk/manager. Would you have been overjoyed if a police officer came to your rescue so you could pass by and get to the hospital? Would you have warned him several times and then hit him with your car as you moved him out of your way?

 

A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.” Proverbs 10:1

 

 

 

Doc Christian surmises: by his actions, Michael Brown was not wise; he certainly was foolish. He was not innocent; he was a law-breaker. He died needlessly. By his reckless choice (confronting the law), he changed Darren Wilson’s life! JUSTICE AND PEACE aren’t words one can bandy around and add SOCIAL GOSPEL to define them. Those ‘loaded’ words can’t be filled outside the framework of the biblical truth: Jesus provides peace…it passes mankind’s understanding. Justice is a commodity of one’s perception of what he is owed. As sin flawed people, Jesus made it possible for none of us to receive justice (by anyone’s perceptions) as he nailed our sins and our punishment to the cross.

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcomany.com/blog/wp-login.php

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

 

 

 

 

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IS IT CULTURAL OR BIBLICAL?

IS IT CULTURAL OR BIBLICAL?

 

Pilgrims, recently I have had the opportunity to discuss the topic about how America has changed concerning the parenting of children with adult men, including my sons, and I have been profoundly disappointed by the results.

 

Perhaps, many of the Pilgrims will imitate a majority of Jesus’ followers when he talked about the requirements of being a ‘disciple’ (reference: John 6: 44-66), and they found it too hard to accept; and they fell away from the grace of God and from the security of eternity in Heaven with the Lord of the universe, and surrender their Pilgrim’s badge when they read my newest article for my blog.

 

It is my opinion that the Biblical Principles found in God’s holy word have been assigned a place where  believers think they have the liberty to choose or reject God’s instructions because they consider it a ‘Cultural’ rather than a biblical truth.

 

Parenting with ‘Time-out’ rules verses biblical rules: cultural or biblical? I’m certainly not an expert defining every nuance of Time-out; but I can easily spot children who have been reared with this parenting system. Can you?

 

A parent that uses biblical truths will teach their children to have a healthy ‘fear’ of their Creator. The word ‘fear’ is grounded in Respect, awe, and reverence…because he made them. Biblical children will possess this quality for the same reason: father and mother, with God’s creative wonder, made them.

 

Biblical parents will know that their public fealty for Jesus commands them to live scripture rather than allow godless philosophy to comprise God’s instructions.

 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These Commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9

 

Why did God require this education? “Folly Is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15 God expects his Pilgrims to use various types of punishment, including spanking, to ensure the child doesn’t end up bringing shame and disgrace to his parents: “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to itself disgraces his mother.” Proverbs 29:15

 

When the child is reared, isn’t it all about ‘image’? What do Pilgrim parents visualize the ‘end product’ should look like? “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

 

 

Pilgrims, where did the origins of ‘Time-out’ Behavioral Psychology come from? Arthur Staats is an Atheist (his own words) who established an early Psychology, Behavioral ‘Think-tank’ manned by well-known Atheisst. From a university base: Berkley to Hawaii, these scholars (I laugh) changed parenting from a biblical to an Atheist system. It was championed by the Feminist and promoted by Atheist media and America’s educators.

 

God instructs parents to spank the kid’s butt when inappropriate behavior and choices are made; Atheist instruct parents to remove the child from the environment until it decides to demonstrate desired behavior God instructs the parents to bring about a solution with swift punishment: teach the child right from wrong. Time-out parenting confuses the child because the punishment varies based upon the parents’ moods and personal needs. God indicates every child’s heart is bound up with ‘foolishness. Time-out’ parents try to reason with a three year old!

 

God isn’t interested in Biblical parents being their child’s friend…until they are grown and out of the house. Time-out Atheist agenda parents consider being the child’s friend the highest goal in a parent child relationship…while they are rearing their children.

 

God expects a referential relationship with mankind that begins with respect of a Holy God. Time-out removes any referential relationship between a parent and a child because the parent wants to be ‘liked’ rather than respected; God forbid…feared, honored, and respected.

 

God’s parenting model removes the Chinese-water-torture treatment! Time-out parents live under its unceasing model. End result? Child removes any parenting barriers they aren’t comfortable with: i.e. s. respect for elders; call them by first name. Time-out parents encourage this inappropriate familiarity by their children. Children learn to conduct behavior and communication that demonstrates they believe they are equal in status to parents and adults: they openly correct them and choose to do as they please rather than what they are told to do. They soon learn that their defiance adds pressure on parents; doesn’t hold immediate consequences. Child operates without a filter! Since they are very uneducated about the world: are stupid about common sense things, but consider them equal to parents and other adults, they often tell truthful things that embarrass all, and it harms relationships for parents. Often this parenting flaw is hidden until child enters school.

 

Time-out parents seldom model the biblical mandate found in Deuteronomy, and a child grows up with a confused, flawed sense of ‘self-worth’ verses merit for obedience. Spoiled, defiant brats are often the end-result!

 

If a man pampers his servant (child) from youth, he will bring grief in the end.” Proverbs 29:21

 

From a biblical perspective, who is to be blamed? Church leadership must wear the mantle of this unfortunate outcome. God’s leaders have allowed an Atheist agenda to compromise God’s biblical model for parenting by remaining silent under the ‘Self-esteem’ culture that has changed his Kingdom in America. Pulpits have been silent about God’s book of wisdom: Proverbs regarding biblical parenting. Church leadership has been held captive by an Atheist Feminist agenda bent on destroying the biblical family by refusing to teach and preach biblical roles and principles necessary for a Godly marriage and Godly parenting.

 

This great failure is explained as a ‘Cultural’ rather than a biblical mandate. What God thought was necessary for parents a hundred years ago isn’t necessary today. We have been enlightened and evolved since those draconian days and methods used by parents to rear children the modern generation declares. If God’s church on earth understands this is godless parenting and extremely harmful to children, one would seldom know…it remains muted in the war against a biblical family.

 

“Discipline your son (daughter), for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” Proverbs 19:18

 

“Stern discipline awaits him (her) who leaves the path; he who hates correction will die.” Proverbs 15:10

 

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with a rod, he will not die. Punish him with a rod and save his soul from death.”

 

Doc Christian isn’t advocating brutality! God is asking Pilgrim parents to decide what they desire as an eventual outcome for their child: are you more concerned about your child’s earthly well-being than his/her spiritual outcome? Time-out parenting isn’t concerned about your child’s eternal resting place; they don’t believe it exists.

 

Isn’t it true: everything that isn’t biblical is cultural? An Atheist culture hates a biblical one. If one doubts this wisdom, take a gander at Hollywood.

 

If you have chosen to be a ‘Time-out’ parent, perhaps, you now recognize this isn’t part of God’s plan for children; how do you correct it? You start with the second most important Proverb…next to the wisdom to fear a holy God so you might have wisdom…”Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

 

I suggest you start with simple but profound baby-steps: Let your children, family, and friends, in and out of church, know if it contradicts biblical principles, you have stopped listening to the world’s wisdom All who urge you to compromise these principles, you politely let them know you are intentionally different when it comes to training your children to become useful, in love with Jesus, adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember Doc Christian’s sage advice: parenting is a life sentence without any chance for parole. Rearing children with biblical principles and they reject its profound wisdom is one thing; never using biblical principles and they end up in Hell is quite another thing.

 

If people quiz you about this change, tell them you have decided to become a Joshua!

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

 

280 new Pilgrims since last article

 

 

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HOW TO CELEBRATE A BIRTHDAY

HOW TO CELEBRATE A BIRTHDAY

 

It seems old Rip Van Winkle and I have slept a looooong time and when finally awake, discover time has passed. His time was twenty years; mine is seventy-four. It seems as if it were just yesterday I was wearing my Letterman’s Jacket flying down the steps of my high school’s entrance hurrying so I wouldn’t be late for Basketball practice. It seems I just closed my eyes for a short nap and I’m a year older today.

 

It has been a number of years since I was anxiously waiting to celebrate my birthday. It has been many years since I was put into a ‘holding-pattern’: Jack Benny’s 39 and holding club; and I haven’t reached that stage in my life where I want the world to know how old I am; like I did as a kid.

 

I recall fondly many ‘special’ birthday occasions our family celebrated my birthday. It was wonderful for all in my family to treat me extra special; my siblings even teased me more on that day, and I received the honor of cutting the cake, taking the piece I wanted. To have an extra scoop of homemade ice cream in my dish; and to get inexpensive presents from my sisters and brother, and one special gift from my parents finished off the celebration in high-fashion.

 

This past few generations of parents have ruined a kid’s celebration of a birthday because they have been foolish enough to buy-into the ‘fairness’: all get a prize so feelings won’t be hurt’ malarkey. Too often, the celebration requires parents to spend money they don’t have to show the world they know how to celebrate a birthday. It is a ‘nice’ occasion; not an earth-shattering event.

 

I think when a Pilgrim reaches a certain age: seventies, every birthday changes the image we see in the mirror; and we can’t deny we also see the shadow of the ‘Grim Reaper’. If our eyesight is that bad, our body sends its discomforting messages, in Neon.

 

Pilgrims, If we could take the focus off of us for a moment, and place it on our spiritual walk with Christ, as we celebrate our individual birthdays, If he invited us to his Birthday Party, what spiritual present might we each bring to Him that would please him and allow Him to have a great birthday celebration?

 

“I’d bring him a gift of Peace for the whole world,” isn’t that the consistent answer all people give, even Miss America? “I’d bring Him a gift of joy and excitement,” you might say. The only problem with this type of thinking is that he doesn’t need any of this; he embodies it and is the source for it. My suggestions:

 

Wrap your surliness and your churlish ways in a present and give them over to him so he can ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with joy and gratitude. Stick out your tongue, that little piece of flesh that brings so much venom, putridfication, and hurtful things into other peoples’ lives as you find pleasure in spreading evil as you nonchalantly absolve you of its consequences, cut it off and wrap it in some aluminum foil so nothing seeps out and tie a colored ribbon on it, and present it as a gift to the Lord so He can give a sigh of relief knowing you can’t do any more spiritual harm in his Kingdom; and He will grow a New type of tongue for you that speaks only the Fruit of the Spirit. Investigate the depth of your reverence and awe about his divinity and the measurement of your fear and trembling concerning how you cavalierly approach a Holy God with your messed-up sinful life; and come to his celebration after your garment (Robe of Righteousness) has been washed, ironed, and made spiritually presentable for such a Heavenly occasion; and, He will feel doubly blessed because a Pilgrim cares nearly as much about His respect as he does about his love for you. In your mind, after you have created and fashioned the biblical altar you use each time you profess your sins and seek His forgiveness, decorate it with festive colors that festoon the heavens…be they night or day, and present your gift to him for it will signify you know he is the master of the Universe; and he thought you were divinely special, for he created you. Bring a simple gift for his celebration that begins and ends each day with a song of praise; humming is even acceptable because His name on your lips will ensure he knows your thoughts haven’t strayed far from him.

 

A thought to remember: Pilgrims only celebrate a birthday once a year; Jesus gives birth to a new creature in a second…if each time this happens, we celebrate his ‘Birthdate’ all Pilgrims can celebrate Jesus’ birthday every day of our lives. I know, I  know… this may be a bit of convoluted figuring, but, you have to give me an A for trying.

 

My plans for celebrating my seventy-fourth birthday include fellowship with family and friends, if the weather allows, golf with my son and my brother, and a fellowship meal at home of friends from our church.

 

Each year that passes it forces me to contemplate the nature and purpose of my blog. If my writing carries a biblical influence upon my Pilgrims lives; whether it pleases or displeases, whether it infuriates and honks-off; whether is galls and chafes how you conduct your walk with scripture and Jesus; whether you are a closet ‘naysayer’ or an avowed public one, if my writing produces a modicum of thought provoking tweaking of how you align your biblical life with actual scripture, and it forces you to become more honest and walk with greater integrity amongst a people lost and going to Hell, then I have accomplished my purpose for the blog. If these things are true for you, then help me enlarge this Godly influence: make a concerted effort to recruit other Pilgrims who will recruit other Pilgrims. You can’t give me a better Birthday gift!

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

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