Deadline USA

I saw this movie tonight. It stars include Humphrey Bogart and Ethel Barrymore. Now that is a stunning combination. Newspaper managing editor saves the paper, catches a mobster, and saves his marriage all in a three day period. Superman had nothing on this guy.

But, this reminded me so poignantly why I was so intensely interested in journalism, and writing, and the kind of photography that told stories with one shot. I've been kicking around stories in my head but not doing anything with them. What a waste of a story. But, I'm thinking that is God telling me, "Gina, I gave you a talent for truth-telling, not fiction-telling." Sigh...

Then I remember all those stories I wrote depicting all the facets of the Fruit of the Spirit. They were parables. What an amazing God we have Who tells us things, and then sits back while we try to figure out what He is saying. Listen... do you hear Him chuckling? I'm sitting on His lap and I'm bouncing. So that's why they say that laughing is like jogging on the inside...

The Cajun 12 Days of Christmas

This came in email eons ago by Anonymous. That guy should be rich by now...

Day 1:


Dear Boudreaux, Thanks for de bird in de Pear tree. I fix it las'night with dirty rice. I doan tink de pear tree will grow wid all da heat in the summa.



Day 2:

Dear Boudreaux, You letter say you sent two turtle doves, but all I got was two scrawny pigeons. Anyway, I mixed dem with andouille an made some gumbo out of dem.



Day 3:

Dear Boudreaux, Why couldn't you a sent me Crawfish? I'm tired of eating dem darn birds. I gave two of dose prissy French chickens to Marie Trahan over at Grans Bayou an fed the third one to my dog Phideaux. Marie needed some sparring partners for her fighting rooster.



Day 4

Dear Boudreaux, Mon Dieux! I tol you no more xxxxx birds. Deez four, what you call dem "calling birds" were so noisy you could hear dem all de way to Napoleonville. I used dere necks for my crab traps, an fed de rest of dem to de gators.



Day 5

Dear Boudreaux, You finally sen' somethin useful. I like dem golden rings. I hocked dem at da pawn shop in Thibodeaux and got enuf money to fix da shaft on my shrimp boat an buy a round for da boys at de Raisin' Cane Lounge. Merci Beaucoup!



Day 6:

Dear Boudreaux, Couchon! Back to da birds, you Cajun turkey! Poor egg suckin' Phideaux is scared to death at dem six geeses. He tried to eat dems eggs and dey peck de heck out ah his snout. Dey good at eating cockroaches, though. I may stuff one of dem wit oyrster dressing on Christmas day.



Day 7:

Dear Boudreaux, I'm gonna wring your fool neck next time I see you. Thibeau, da mailman, is ready to kill ya. The merde from all dem birds is stinkin' up his mailboat. He afreerd someone will slip on dat stuff and sue him good. I let those seven swans loose to swim on de bayou and some duck hunters from Mississippi blasted dem out of de water. Talk to you tomorrow.



Day 8:

Dear Boudreaux, poor ole Thibeau, he had to make tree trips on his mailboat to deliver dem 8 maids a milkin and their cows. One of dem cows got spooked by da alligators and almost tipped over da boat. I doan like dem shiftless maids, me no. I tolt dem to get to work guttin fish and sweepinq the shack but dey say it wasn't in dair contract. Dey probably think dey too good ta skin nutrias I caught las night.



Day 9:

Dear Boudreaux, What you trying to do huh? Thibeau had to borrow The Lutcher ferry to carry dem jumpin twits you call Lords-a-Leaping across the bayou. As soon as dey gots here dey wanted a tea break with crumpets. I doan know what dat means but I says, "Well La Di Da. You get Chicory coffee or nuttin." Mon Dieu, Emile. What I'm gonna feed all dese bozos? Dey too snooty for fried nutria, and de cows done eat my turnip greens.



Day 10:

Dear Boudreaux, You got to be outs you mind! If de mailman don't kill you, I will fo sure. Today he deliver 10 half nikid floozies from Bourbon Street. Dey said dey be "Ladies Dancin" but dey doan act like ladies in front of dose Limey twits. Dey almos left after one of dem got bit by a water moccasin over by da out-house. I had to butcher 2 cows to feed toute le monde an had to get toilet paper; the Sears catalog wasn't good enuf fer dose hoity toity Lords' royal behin'



Day 11:

Dear Boudreaux, where y'at? Cheerio an pip pip. Your 11pipers piping arrives today from the House of Blues, second lining as dey got off de boat. We fixed stuffed goose and beef jambalaya and we having a fais-do-do. Da new mailman he having a good time, yeah, dancing with de floozies. Thibeau he jump off de Sunshine Bridge yesterday, screaming your name. If you get a mysterious, ticking package in de mail, doan open it.



Day 12:

Dear Boudreaux, I sorry to tell ya but I not your true love anymore, no. After da fais-do-do, I played cards all de night with Jacque, de head piper. We decide to open a restaurant and gentleman's club on de bayou. The floozies, pardon me, Ladies dancing can make $20 for a table dance, and de Lords can be waiters an valet park de boats. Since de maids doan have no more cows ta milk, I trained dem ta set my crab traps, watch my trotlines, an run my shrimping business. We will probably gross a million nex year.

Prophecies foretell Messiah

The virgin will conceive and bring forth a son and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

I love this verse, but it still makes me wonder exactly when Mary called Jesus Immanuel. Was it Immanuel Joshua? Oh, wait the Hebrew language doesn't have the "J" sound.

Can you hear her at the back door calling for him "Immanuel Yeshua Ben Joseph, get in here right now. I have need of you. No... put down that bird, tell the deer and the antelope to go home and shush those children."

I cannot help but imagine how much everyone loved Jesus and how they smiled when He was near. He grew in stature with God and with men. I have to wonder why they wouldn't listen to Him when His ministry was in full swing and He whistle-stopped in Nazareth. He only performed a few miracles for their unbelief was great.

How can you live next door to the Messiah and not see that He was different? That the hand of God was upon Him?

But, I also wonder why some people keep there blinker on long after they decided not to change lanes or to turn...

Arise and shine for the Light has come

Arise and shine for the Light has come, and the glory of YHWH has risen on you. Isaiah 60:1


That is just one of the prophecies that Jesus would be born. I so much love this verse because It says so much in so few words.

Arise: that Hebrew word is קוּם qûm koom which is a primitive root and has a great number of words that it means in various applications literally, causatively, intensively, and figuratively. It means to rise up, stand up, rouse up, stir up, uphold, enjoin, make good, abide, be clearer, confirm, decree… and on and on.

Let’s take that word decree. Isn’t it interesting that Caesar sent out a decree for census at the precise time that Mary was due to bear her baby? Isn’t it interesting that just more than 70 years after Isaiah wrote this down, Artaxerxes (a title for the king of Persia) was issued a decree for Jerusalem to be rebuilt and sent Nehemiah to do the job. Neither Caesar nor Artaxerxes Darius knew they were setting into motion events which had been prophesied centuries before in the case of Caesar and a century before in the case of Darius. God is definitely in control.

Shine: that Hebrew words is אור 'ôr ore A primitive root; to be or to make luminous (literally and metaphorically) break of day, glorious, kindle, (be, en-, give, show) light (-en, -ened), set on fire, shine.

This can be compared to Luke 1:78-79, the Dayspring, Dawn, as bright as the sun rising in the east to give light to those who walk in darkness. The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. Isaiah 9:2 and Matthew 4:16. Immanuel is the Light and it is He who shines within us.

One thing that word does not mean is to reflect light. This is the source of the light. We don’t rise up and reflect light. It is just as Jesus said, we are the light of the world because we have Jesus within us.

Glory: this Hebrew word is כּבד כּבוד kâbôd kâbôd kaw-bode', kaw-bode' properly weight; but only figuratively in a good sense, splendor or copiousness: - glorious (-ly), glory, honour (-able). The Shechinah, the Glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

What a glorious word picture. The Son is rising above the mountains, the rays of light are sparkling across the world chasing all the darkness away. The light of a single candles can banish the densest darkness of the deepest cave, and this is by far the brightest Light that mankind has ever seen if he will just see. The divine being of Christ, His miracles, His breath speaking into obedience the wildest of storms is just like the sun rising and evicting all the darkness of the world. Which is what Isaiah 60:2-3 talks about.

2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples. But Jehovah shall rise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you. 3 And nations shall walk to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning.

The Magi, the kings from the east most certainly came with the help of the star which bright light showed them the way to the little town of Bethlehem. 6 A host of camels shall cover you, young camels of Midian and Ephah. All of them shall come from Sheba, they shall bear gold and incense; and they shall proclaim the praises of Jehovah. Amen. Isaiah prophesied this centuries before Joseph took Mary home to be his wife, before Caesar decided to count all the people in Judah, before the shepherds saw the angel choir shouting out praises that God’s Son had been born, before the Magi traced across the mountains and valleys to shower gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh on the divine infant.

God keeps His promises.

Originally posted at Live As If dot Org on December 13, 2009

Little Baby Feet by Gina Burgess



This is a reprint from 2006

Little, sweet baby feet. Mary will soon cover them with her hand, warming them against the night chill. She has treasured in her heart all the words spoken about her first born Son.


Things like, "The angel was so glorious, shouting out praises to God on High and the Good News! The Messiah is born! Our long awaited Savior, the Lord, is born!" And word went out publicly, through the bright streets of Bethlehem.

The star shining down on the child guided the shepherds to worship. The little feet, toes curled against the chill, wiggled in His mother's hand.

Eight day old, tiny feet with pink toes that curl in pain as the centuries-old right of covenant is performed on the Messiah. Simon lifts his old eyes, tears spilling from their corners to the Lord God Almighty, praising Him for this precious gift. Anna speaks to all who will listen about the Christ child, this most amazing gift from God.

The feet grew large enough for little sandals as they toddled, one in front of the other. Tiny hands holding on to a big Daddy finger. His first steps, those little feet on their own, dust swirling around them, making the little nose sneeze. A delighted chuckle from Daddy, and a bright grin from Mommy. Loving, watchful eyes guarded those little feet from the fire, the holes, the rocks.

One day a mighty procession fills the streets of Bethlehem. Camels dressed in finery, servants dashing from house to house questions in their expressions, the star's bright light settled over one house. Magi, wise men from the East nod and smile. They get off their beasts and carefully search the packs until fine gifts are found: Gold, frankincense and Myrrh. Reverently they enter His presence. They bow and worship Him, kissing His little feet.

The days go by and His feet grow larger, tucked underneath Him as He sits in His Father's House. The voices of many echo around. He speaks with great authority and the voices quiet. "Did you not know that I must be in My Father's House about My Father's business?"

The days go by and His feet grow larger. The heat bears down, and the slap of leather against hard ground is muted by many voices. Dust billows up and covers those following behind Him. Disciples they are called, word that loosely means dust gatherers as they follow Him. Sitting at His feet are men and women thirsting for the living water that falls from His lips; hungering for the Bread of Life. They follow Him Who promises.

The days go by and storms cease, roiling billows calm, deaf hear, blind see, sick are healed, the lame leap, lepers are cleansed, demons are routed, stories are told, His feet get tired and His bones grow weary from the press of the oppressed. The feet carried Him through desert and over mountain, through streams and over the sea. His own received Him not but those that did receive Him were given Life because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Doorway to Heaven.

One afternoon the feet are resting against cool tile. A woman enters the room, ignoring the many men apparently at supper. She settles at His feet. Her tears wash the dust from them. Her hair dries them. She kisses His feet in deep worship for she has been forgiven much. She washed His feet as the nobleman did not, her worship reverent in anointing His feet with ointment.

One day the feet stumble down the street, drenched in His blood. The feet are in agony as they trudge toward Golgotha. The nails are hammered through them into the cross. Splinters pierce the skin. Blood drips from them into the dust. The feet strain to hold Him up for one last breath and then He gives up His spirit.

Tenderly the feet are washed one last time, a hundred pounds of spices and clean cloths are wrapped around the body and He is laid to rest in a freshly hewn tomb. The stone covers the entrance and darkness engulfs the One. Days pass. Suddenly, the earth quakes.

Those dear feet touch earth once more, transformed, the same, but different, glorified, radiant feet and body. These dear feet walk down a road and the King tells from Genesis to Malachi all those things that foretold His coming, His dying, His arising in victory over sin and death. On the mountain, the last thing the disciples see are the soles of those dear, sweet feet rising to Heaven.

Oh happy day, the day I can sit at those feet that are even now on the pavement of sapphire as clear as the heavens... those feet like burnished brass having been fired in a furnace. And His voice is like the sound of many waters, refreshing waters, living water.

Happy day to kiss them in worship and adoration... To sit at them and learn from He who has all knowledge, and has all power, and has secured victory for me giving me life eternal with him. Oh happy day, O glorious feat.

Something worse than no Christmas at the White House

Isn't it pitiful? We've hardly finished our Thanksgiving leftovers and already the grumbling about Christmas has begun. The NYTimes reported that the Obamas are not giving their kids Christmas presents, apparently Barack bragged about it to People Magazine last year. Well, what would anyone expect from a family that hasn't been to church since elected, who's alleged pastor is a vocal hate-monger. This isn't a surprise, but apparently it is to everyone else especially to the NYTimes which also reported the Obamas were planning on celebrating a non-religious Christmas oh, excuse me a non-religious Xmas.

What is astounding is that for the first time since we've had presidents in the White House, there wasn't going to be a Nativity scene on the front lawn. The Pres. caved to public opinion.You just can't please everyone these days, so why try? Why not just say, "Hey, everybody, I'm not a Christian. I don't celebrate the Holiday, so there." So what? Our Christian foundation is not cracking. The rest of the building may fall down, but the foundation is still firm for the moment. Every president in the position has worshiped within his own denomination, so what if the president we've elected is an atheist? We deserve it for electing him. I can see from the polls that his favor is falling at a drastic rate, in fact no president has fallen so fast in so short a time. Gee, I wonder why?

Leaving all that to the side... We have a much more sinister problem that has sprung. That is this horrendous Risky-Sex Czar- Kevin Jennings. This guy is so dangerous for our children. His promotions of books in the classrooms and school libraries with explicit sexual encounters between children and adults is nauseating. Almost all children who are raised at least half-way healthily have a built in aversion to being mauled sexually by adults. They know it is wrong but are powerless against it because adults are bigger, stronger and have a persuasiveness with their sugar-coated threats so that they can get away with it. It is making me sick to even write this. The point is, children know it is wrong but are being taught there is nothing wrong with it.

Tape recording from a youth (14 year olds) conference at Tufts University reveal some shockers.. oh, wait, it doesn't surprise me at all. Kevin Jennings was the executive director of the gay lesbian straight education network. I didn't click on the link to the tapes and the Washington Post article was quite graphic enough. I know they were uncomfortable. When I was 14 I wanted to crawl under the table when we were studying the human body in science class. Well, maybe I was a lot more naive back then than 14 year olds are today, but this happened back in 2000. Why didn't anyone know about this back then? Where was the outrage? Why didn't parents get all upset like my parents did when I told them what Tommy did on the university stage during the Rock Opera Tommy. It was gross to me then and it is appalling now.

Our government is reaching into our bedrooms and our children in a very unsafe way. I've written my outrage in a post on the UN's new education platform on teaching kids all aspects of life. I see a scary trend here. Are we going to remain so caught up in work that we ignore what our children are being taught?

Cain and Able: brothers at war

I taped this charming offering from National Geographic channel just to see what the secular world was saying about Biblical things.

They did enlist Bible scholars from Egypt and Israel and they even threw in some Christian scholars from various universities.

With all this knowledge at the fingertips for our viewing pleasure, I am astounded at how obtuse some people are who study the Bible. I can forgive archeologists a little when they go down the wrong path, but those who claim to be expert in Biblical studies should always be cautious in interpretations. I will give them that. They were cautious.

The question was thrown up, "Why did God accept one brothers offering and reject the other one's offering?"

First explanation that was offered was that Cain really didn't know what he was doing since there had been no killing or death nor murder up to that point. [insert very loud and long groan here]

Puh-leese. Why do scholars get so close to a passage that they do not see the broad picture? Matthew Henry was excellent at drawing the big picture using related passages from all over the Bible, even using illustrations from the NT to explain parts of the OT. He is truly what I would call a Bible scholar.

Cain knew. I am quite sure that Adam and Eve had told them the story of how God killed innocent animals in order to cover their nakedness. This is how they clothed themselves. Cain knew what death was. The covering of nakedness was actually the very first sacrifice, not the one depicted of Abel and Cain. It was the physical picture of the Spiritual truth that forgiveness and remission never comes without blood, which is why Christ's sacrifice is so precious to us.

I am also quite sure that Adam offered sacrifice in the proper way, the first fruits of the womb. This is precisely how Abel knew what to sacrifice from his own herd.

This is also why God accepted Abel's sacrifice... and why God rejected Cain's. The sacrifice was Abel's acknowledgement that he had sinned, that he needed forgiveness from God, and it was his acknowledgement of the Sovereignty of God, His perfectness.

These scholars offered up another explanation of why Cain murdered Abel. It was over the love of their sister who was married to Abel. Cain wanted her so he killed Abel so he could have her. The narrator said that this explanation made much more sense, after all, we are slaves to our passions, right? I have no doubt that each man had his own wife who literally was his sister. The gene pool was a lot more pure back then. But, I think the murder in Cain's heart was much more than lustful adultery.

Cain's offering was from his own labor. Although, nothing grows without God's blessings, this sacrifice was from the "sweat of his brow". All that sacrifice did was remind God of the Sin and the Curse because of the Sin. Cain in no way acknowledged he was a sinner and needed forgiveness. He did not follow God's example of shed blood to cover sin. He side-stepped the issue and basically told God that he did not need forgiveness or that he would follow his own way rather than the example set by God. The Almighty could not and would not accept that. He had set some rules and ordinances and Cain had disobeyed them.

I tried to watch to the bitter end, but frankly was so astounded by the blindness that I couldn't concentrate anymore on the thing.

One other thing, though. The Land of Nod was mentioned and they broached the topic that these people were not related to Cain and Abel at all. I have to remember that the Bible as inerrant and that Adam and Eve literally procreated all the people of earth is becoming less accepted these days. Scholars tend to become blinded with their knowledge rather than enlightened. They tried to tell us that Egypt had the Cain and Able story first and that Moses was just writing about things he'd heard over the campfire and at the ports, after all Moses was raised by Pharoah's daughter.

I don't see how someone can call himself a Bible scholar when he doesn't believe what he is studying. How can he see any truth if there is no Holy Spirit to explain it? These men, I think, lend great credence to that verse penned by Paul, they are "looking through a glass darkly."

Pax

Jeremiah 17:5 So says Jehovah, Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and who makes flesh his arm, and who turns aside his heart from Jehovah. 6 For he shall be like a juniper in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall live in parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, and Jehovah is his refuge. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters. It sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit.

Oh, yes... nor will it cease yielding fruit. That is what worrying will do for you. It seeps into the bones and causes aching. Then it permeates your thoughts and crowds out all rejoicing in the LORD. So what is that a recipe for? 

Worry stones, worry beads, are things that men have invented so we have something to hold on to while we worry. What a racket! It's like a passage from Isaiah where he talks about the stone images that have ears but cannot hear and eyes that cannot see, who cannot do anything for the man who prays to it. The man takes half a log and burns it in the fire while using its light to fashion an idol to set up and kneel to. Worthless effort is what worrying is, but mankind cannot see it because it occupies time.

Gasp!

Occupying time is something that Americans have whittled to a fine point. Women put on makeup while at a stop light, men hold business meeting while carpooling to work, children have somehow managed to learn to do three things at once: watch TV, do homework, chat on the phone. But, that is another rant.

We worry about the most ridiculous things, and we worry about the most horrendous things.

Worrying is a sin.

How does one not worry? Excellent question. Probably the first question is: Has God ever let me down in the past? For Christians, the correct answer would be "No." (There are some finer points to be made, but I'll have to address them later.)

God never failed Abraham or the Children of Israel even though they failed Him a time or two. In your lifetime, He has never left you stranded or alone or left without your needs being met. He may have taken away a lot of distractions, but your needs have been met while He was teaching you some life lessons.

God always gave you the benefit of His great power through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit manifests God's power on a daily basis. We humans don't seem to give it a passing glance on a daily basis.

God always answers prayer. He answers in His timing, not according to the clock, or the timetable that makes us comfortable. Remember we are here at His pleasure, not ours.

God is always in control. Sometimes the bad things that happen are truly blessings that are painful. We don't see the broad perspective. So... peace, be still and know that He is God.

Rûach

A dried up brain. That's what I have. Someone asked in my group on LinkedIn, what do you do when writer's block hits?

I blithly wrote that you pray and then sit down and write whatever enters your head. Soon the block melts and things like creativity start flowing again and you're off again. I was too hasty. It isn't that you pray, and it isn't that you just start writing whatever enters your brain. The awful thing is that when you want to write inspiring things you've got to have the breath of God. That is what Spirit, or rûach   רוּח

(roo' akh) -- say that with a gutteral breath and you are probably pretty close -- literally is.

Definition:  wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation;

Now... Look at God's name YHWH and pronounce those syllabels in one breath. Yah Wha. Breathy and windy that can express peace said very softly as with a sleepy breath. In the middle of the night when you've been awakened say something softly. Breathy, peaceful.

A violent exhalation... When frustration bubbles up and you've got nothing on your mind except to release that pressure cooker steam build-up, or you will explode. What comes out of your mouth? Is it really a word? Not likely. When you express your anger in words your mind is engaged and you are thinking of something. But, during that time when nothing comes out but a very angry growl, your teeth are clenched, your hands are clenched, every tendon in your neck is exposed, and your blood pressure spikes, and your muscles are as hard as steel (perhaps encased in a bit of flab), that expulsion of breath, that air that whooshes out of your lungs is in response to injustice. Is it justified? Is it impaired by worldly values? Nonetheless (archaic, but such a wonderful word), nonetheless this expulsion is a response to injustice. It could so very easily be a gutteral expression of rûach. When that next happens, think about it. Does it sound like the word rûach? (Right after that "violent expulsion" of air, say the first 10 words of the Lord's Prayer. It truly works!)

What about sweet nothings? Oh, please, not that the Holy Spirit is nothing, but He is so very sweet. The young man's breath on the soft cheek of his beloved. How does he love her? If it is though the Lord's love, it is an eternal kind of love that will last through thick and thin, through heartache and joy, through children and, yes, through the love of others. The more one loves, the more love abounds. If he loves through the world, ah, how short lived that is. It will die and wither and burn up one day, just as the world will face that fate when Jesus steps foot on earth again.

Figuratively the word means: life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): - air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

All of that in one little word, two symbols, that conveys a realm of emotion and physical attributes of our earthly abode, and we haven't even scratched the surface of it. But where is the Spirit in the definition? Well down the list, and it is in brackets no less... or no more. Why is that?


Then we have the Sigh. "Heigh ho" says Juliette. "Heee," says the exasperated mother at her wayward children. "Ach," says the sea captain in surprise. How does it work together? It is life! What is that Jewish word? Liechem -- To Life!  Rebtiva says in Fiddler On The Roof. It is with our very breath that we express Life. It is how we worship. Oh, yes, we can worship without speaking aloud, but how does one sing silently? How can the trumpet sound without breath? We must have it to live, and we must have it to express that Thing which defies the Devil... It is written. Jesus said it aloud. The Spirit moved and Satan was thwarted. It works.
 
Anger we discussed, but let's look a little closer. For it to be within commas, it stands alone. Rûach alone can express anger. Oh, yes. It does. Look at Revelation
 Rev 19:15 And out of His mouth goes forth a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations. And He will shepherd them with an iron rod. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of God Almighty.
 
That is a mighty expulsion of breath which will do something that no human can possibly conceive much less do. This sword that comes from His mouth will pierce even to the dividing part of the soul and spirit. (Heb 4:12)
 
Heb 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
 
Have you ever thought about that dividing of soul and spirit? Did you ever think that they could be divided? How about when the soul goes to Hell and the spirit returns to the Lord? Ecc 12:7 then the dust shall return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.
 
It is the Breaths of Life that God breathed. First the blood and then the air. How can anyone live and not recognize His handiwork and creativity? That is the mystery to me.

What are you thankful for?

A great question!

There are so many things to be thankful for that I rejoice thinking about them This time of year with family... The gorgeous weather... FINALLY, it is cooler! The beautiful fall colors, when the world gets all dressed up in the finest oranges, reds, browns and evergreens... The opportunity to do what I love and get paid for it... My Mom... My two daughters... My sister and her family... My great nephew who is soon to be a big brother... The crackling fire, and the smell of wood smoke on a frosty morning (or evening or afternoon, just about any time it's cold outside :)

I am most thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who loved me when i was unloveable, who picked me up from the muck and mire and forgave me even when I was disobedient and defiant. He is my all in all, and He lifts me up on the wings of eagles. He never gives up on me, and He thinks I am beautiful even without makeup, AMEN.








Gina Burgess





Obama's first 9 months. Not a shocker that it's gotten worse!

Remember this?

If you even half way watch the news, you will recognize every one of these below which came to me via email from a friend in Texas. What is not on the list are these:

Appointed Czars that are advisors who have direct access to him with no point/counterpoint who, for the most part, are militant liberals with diverse socialist and facist agendas in their backgrounds.

Antagonized the Press Pool (because of the White House ban of Fox News) to the point that the entire pool refused to attend a WH press conference. I never thought I'd see that.

I am wondering if your Congressmen know just how you feel about these things? Anyone who believes that just one voice can never make a difference, should remember just a few...

Hitler
Martin Luther
Mother Theresa
Stalin
Lenin
Marx
Freud
Darwin
Buddy Holly
Elvis

Thank goodness, One voice rises above them all. Jesus. It doesn't matter how good or bad a message is, one voice can make a huge difference because there is one thing that lies within every one of these voices (and I'm sure you can think of many more): Passion. When you believe something passionately, then your voice gains a vibrance and resonance all its own and can shake the world. One voice added to many and you've got a movement much like a fully loaded freight train which once it is traveling 60 mph, it is extremely hard to stop.


Obama 's First Nine Months' Accomplishments:

1. Offended the Queen of England
2. Bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia
3. Praised the Marxist Daniel Ortega.
4. Kissed Socialist Hugo Chavez on the cheek.
5. Endorsed the Socialist Evo Morales of Bolivia 
6. Sided with Hugo Chavez and Communist Fidel Castro against Honduras' Constitution, Congress and Supreme Court.
7. Announced we would meet with Iranians with no pre-conditions while they're
building their nuclear weapons.
8. Gave away billions to AIG also without pre-conditions.
9. Expanded the bailouts.
10. Insulted everyone who has ever loved a Special Olympian.

11. Doubled our national debt.

12. Announced the termination of our new missile defense system the day after North Korea launched an ICBM.

13. Released information on U.S. Intelligence gathering despite urgings of his own CIA director and the prior four CIA directors.

14. Accepted without comment that five of his cabinet members cheated on their taxes and two other nominees withdrew after they couldn't take the heat.

15. Appointed a Home land Security Chief who identified military veterans and abortion opponents as "dangers to the nation."

16. Ordered that the word "terrorism" no longer be used and instead refers to such acts as "man made disasters."

17. Circled the globe to publicly apologize for America 's world leadership.

18. Told the Mexican president that the violence in their country was because of us.

19. Politicized the census by moving it into the White House from the Department of Commerce.

20. Appointed as Attorney General the man who orchestrated the forced removal and expulsion to Cuba of a 9-year-old whose mother died trying to bring him to freedom in the United States .

21. Salutes as heroes three Navy SEALS who took down three terrorists who threatened one American life and the next day announces members of the Bush administration may stand trial for "torturing" three 9/11 terrorists by pouring water up their noses.

22. Authorized low altitude photo shoot of Air Force One over New York City that frightened thousands of New Yorkers.

23. Sent his National Defense Advisor to Europe to assure them that the US will no longer treat Israel in a special manner and they might be on their own with the Muslims.

24. Praised Jimmy Carter's trip to Gaza where he sided with terrorist Hamas against Israel

25. Nationalized General Motors and Chrysler while turning shareholder control over to the unions and freezing out retired investors who owned their bonds. Committed unlimited taxpayer billions in the process.

26. Backed a huge energy tax in the House that will make American industry even less competitive while costing homeowners thousands per year.

27. Announced nationalized health care "reform" that will strip seniors of some Medicare benefits, cut pay of physicians, increase taxes by billions, and eventually put many if not most on rationed care with government bureaucrats deciding who gets care and who doesn't.

28. Floated the idea of military veterans being responsible for their own health care to save money for the country they sacrificed for and served.

29.Announced that the war in Afghanistan was "the war of necessity," then met with the general Obama appointed to be in charge of that theater only once in the first 70 days and dithered and delayed in following the general's recommendation for increased troops while American soldiers and civilians were dying there (yet had the time to flit around the globe making apologies for the US, going to plays and playing golf, and getting involved in very minor matters..Bloomberg: Daschle says, "Health care reform will not be pain free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them," while former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm says seniors have "a duty to die."

Then there is Clinton and an Obama advisor who said. "We're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive...so we're going to let you die."

If this does not sufficiently raise your ire, just remember that the President, Senators and Congressmen have their own special gold plated health care plan which is guaranteed the remainder of their lives and they will not subject to any new law passed by them. Please use the power of the Internet to get this message out. Talk it up at the grassroots level. We have elections coming up in one year and one month where we can reverse the dangerous direction of the Obama administration and its allies..

Wait by Russell Kelfer

For about twenty years I've had this poem never knowing who wrote it. This person sure has a nifty grasp on so many things. I ran across this again and found out it is by Russell Kelfer. Please enjoy it with me and raise up a prayer of thanksgiving for Mr. Kelfer.

WAIT
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly,patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait".
"Wait? You say, wait! " my indignant reply.
"Lord, Ineed answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or haveyou not heard?
By Faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign, or even a 'no' to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry: I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait.
"So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut and grumbled to God,
"So, I'm waiting.... for what?" He seemed, then, to kneel,
and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want~~But, you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save.... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.
You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."
Yes, your dreamsf or your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!
So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still,"WAIT."
Author Unknown

Abel's Blood

For those of you who do not know, the church I used to belong to allowed a huge injustice by accepting a wrong done to our pastor. It seems as if I shall never get over this. The grief is unbearable because my pastor has done absolutely nothing Biblically wrong to warrant this forcing of his resignation.

The 5 people that are The Boss of this church piled up a bunch of half truths and out right fabrications to make a "case" against this lovely man of God.

I know beyond any doubt that when Christian disobey God, when they listen to Satan's whispers and begin to do Satan's work for him, that God will not stand for it. His is the vengence and the judgement. Judgement is coming to that church unless repentance comes first.

This feels like divorce only much worse because it involves so much cruelty towards God through His man, the Shepard charged with God's flock. The fact that a few have blinded the many is nothing new in this Spiritual war. But, it doesn't make it taste any better.

One thing that has helped me to get through this is Abel's blood.

To me, Abel's blood calling out to God reminds me that being a believer in God does not protect us from earthly harm... in fact, it brings it ever to the forefront and is a constant risk.

The world hates Jesus. Just as Cain hated Abel and struck him down because Cain saw the promise of Jesus in his brother and hated that all the more. The injustice of that cries out for God's vengeance. The fact that God did not immediately strike down Cain exemplifies God's forbearance and how He is even now with unbelievers, and even more so with believers.

God allows the natural human course (as coarse as that can get) to show believers several things...

1. His justice is mightier and better than anything we can think up for revenge.

2. Abel's righteous blood was spilled. When injustices exist, they scream to be put right. That is something that God gives us, this sense of balance to make things right and to correct injustices. That's the conscience, the fibers of the heart, that God has written His law upon.

3. It does not take Man pointing his finger at an injustice for God to notice that it has happened. He sees it immediately upon the happening of it... Just because God seemingly does nothing about it right away does not mean that Justice will not prevail... it just means that God is longsuffering and sees a much larger picture.

God gave me a verse for comfort...

I have called you my servant, have chosen you
And not cast you off: fear nothing, for I am with you;
be not afraid, for I am your God. I strengthen you,
I help you, I support you with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:9b-10

Because He walked with bare feet, He knows the pain of my blisters.
Because He had no pillow, He knows the crick in my neck.

Because He knew hunger, He knows my craving for sweets.
Because He held a baby, He knows my love for my children.
Because He built a chair, He knows why I must sit down.
Because He stilled the sea, He knows the storms in my heart.
Because He wept, He knows my terrible grief.
Because He knows my grief, my tears roll down His fingers and my trembling chin is lifted by His palm. His eyes so full of love spread healing balm throughout my being and
Because He loves me, I am at rest.
Because He died for me, I can enter the throne room of God. Gina Burgess

Fixen to...

Fixen to…
I was lounging on the beach on a mini-vacation several years ago, minding my own business. I was with several female friends and this little trip was a Mother’s Day present to all of us from our husbands. They were going to take care of the toddlers all weekend long while we got to rest, relax and recoup from Mommy Things. Theirs is a different story than this one.

On the beach this fellow from the North sat down close to our group. One of the girls politely asked, “I’m fixen to go to the room, does anyone need anything?”

This fellow sits up and says in a stilted sort of way, “Pardon me, could you please explain what ‘fixin’ to’ means? I have heard that since I’ve been down here on vacation and I do not know what it means.”

Obviously, this fellow was from the far reaches of the North to have never heard this before. After all, people from the North are saying “fer” instead of “for”. They’ve been doing this for a long time. Just watch any PBS show or Today Show. Good Morning America doesn’t count because Robin Roberts is from the South. She speaks beautifully, but there are those minor slips on occasion.

Any Southerner knows what “Fixen To” means, but can it be explained? “I’m fixen to get ready.” “I’m fixen to go to the store.”

It is the warning bell, and the announcement of A Happening. The mind and heart are set on a course of immediate action. Northerners insist upon putting an apostrophe behind the n because they view the word as ‘fixing’, which does not make any sense. I believe that is their point. We must prove them wrong with clear, logical, and precise reasoning.

Fixin’ is an ingredient for a dish and is always used in the plural form, such as hamburgers and all the fixins. It is also a trimming or accompaniment or side dish such as Easter Dinner with all the fixins. Fixing is repairing. Fixing is arrangement, “fixing her hair.” Fixing is to make rigid or put in place permanently. Fixing a game is to arrange a particular outcome. Fixing is also a navigation term. Fixing a situation can mean to smooth it over. Fixing also means to deactivate a cat’s or dog’s baby-making mechanism. However, none of those is what fixen means.

“Fixen to” is a state of being. It is that precise moment or second in time which is the point just before an action is to take place. It is the jumping off point for any Southerner. We have done everything, or almost everything, necessary up to the point of action, but have not committed to the action. We are almost at the decision point of no return. We are poised for the dive. The bell has not sounded. The gun has not been shot. We could still step down from the post and not dive... if, say, something more interesting to do comes along.

My kids were fond of announcing, “I’m fixen to clean my room.” This was to make me think they were being productive children, when in fact, they were finding things to do with their toys instead of putting them away.

The declaration of fixen to do something is what a Southerner does aloud to another person or other persons. We do not say to ourselves, “Okay, I’m fixin to get in bed.” That is ludicrous. Who would announce to the inner being you are about to do something? No, the point is that you have set your mind on a course of action and are seeking something from another. This is what William Penn meant when he said he was fixen to establish a colony. It is what Chaucer meant when he penned the phrase, “Hyr eyen she fixethe on him.”

What that “something” is that you are seeking is always indicated by the words that follow the thing you are about to do. “I’m fixen to go to work, set my lunch out, please.” Or, “I’m fixen to go to the post office, do you have your letter ready?”

Fixen is the Middle English way of spelling this word which has the meaning of setting one’s mind upon something, such as a course of action. It was a verb used regularly in all the best colonial families in all the East Coast colonies. Alas, it is now known as an Americanism which is “chiefly Southern”. Since it is, “chiefly Southern”, then I propose it should be spelled correctly—fixen—in the dictionary.

As for “fer” and “alright” and “changing up”, that is a different rant altogether.

Cancer in the body

There is a soreness like a tooth which has rotted to the bone in my soul. I have felt this twice before. It is called Spiritual Warfare. If you have not experienced it then you are still too young in Christ for it, or perhaps things may not be completely aligned within God’s will in your life. I don’t want to sound harsh, but it is a bald fact. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy all things godly. He is ever at work, and never tires.

Satan loves to wiggle into a church body to cause havoc and unrest. He plants cancerous cells within the church, and a healthy, praying church will slough off those cells. But, when a church has no knee imprints in the carpet… when a church doesn’t bother with anything other than corporate prayer… when a church has prayer meeting and the only thing that goes on is Bible Study… when a church has a prayer list a mile long, but few praises… when a church has a history and reputation of ousting their pastors with little provocation… when a church has leadership that reigns instead of Jesus reigning, there is Trouble with a capital T in Church City.

Spiritual warfare holds many guises. Sometimes it appears as a tiny crack, sometimes it resembles the Christian Slicer/Dicer. Sometimes it is just Satan planting seeds of doubt, innuendo, half-truths, twisted facts, all delivered with a reasonable voice but absent the ring of truth and fairness.

Sin in churches can get a great foothold through leadership that believes itself above biblical instruction and above the church. What would be the motivation for this kind of sin? Pride. Prestige. A love of drama lends very well to this… desiring to be the center of attention… desiring to appear as the church’s protector and savior. What does that sound like to you?

To me, it smacks of Satan. I have witnessed this and it is horrific and tragic. When men decide to “do God’s will” but have no Biblical support, then Trouble with a capital T in Church City comes and stays awhile. What can possibly cut the cancer out? What can one person do?

Pray. That’s a lot. But, first one must pray with the rightness of heart, a good attitude. Praying in anger never does anyone any good, albeit righteous anger. The problem with that is the brain is so focused on the wrong, that the real reason it all happened is foreshadowed.

Trusting that God is ever in control is the second thing. No one can do anything without Jesus is in it. One must consider that the cancer is deeper and covers more territory (much like an iceberg) than appears on the surface. You have one or two who stirs up the doubt and the self-righteous indignation, then one or two more take up the banner, then another one jumps in with supposed allegations or even suppositions about an event without all the facts. But, those are just the symptoms of cancer.

Where did it begin? Which heart were the seeds of discontent sown? Which mind watered those seeds and nurtured them until fully grown? We don’t see into the hearts of men, but God does.

God has taken all of this into consideration long before America was even born, before Adam’s first child squalled in his mommy’s arms. And He prepared for it. He alone knows what must be done to cut the cancer out so the body of Christ can be fully functional. He may have plans to bring the body to its knees, or to remove the one or two cancerous organs so the body can once again be healthy.

Only God knows which scalpel to used, which catheter to use, which sponge and suction hose to use. Only He can direct the feet of those who bend to His will. The others whose necks are too stiff will wait in the wilderness and never cross over into Beulah Land. That was God’s solution for the Israelites. He wrote letters to the Seven Churches and those letters are alive today. Which church is yours? It is one of them.

If while reading this, God has brought to mind some cancerous cells in your own church body. Pray. Pray as if your life depended upon it. Because, it does. There are churches who have lost their lives because they allowed cancer to grow and consume them. Their love grew cold. They turned from their first love. But there is hope, as long as there is breath there is hope.

For me, I had to make a hugely difficult decision. Should I leave the body that I had grown to love so deeply and so much? Should I hope that one day, someone would pay attention to what I know to be full truth?

The question circles around and around... "With so many saying the same thing, how can it not be true?"

How indeed? Look how many were wrong about Jesus and how many held their tongues because the "authority" was stronger, better entrenched, had greater forces and had the full power of Satan at their backs.

After my own investigation I found that I cannot trust the leadership of this church. I cannot trust what they say, because so much of what they said was lies, twisted facts, innuendos and derogatory implications designed to malign the integrity of a man of God. I chose to leave.

I know this will affect me the rest of my life. It is so much like divorce that I am still reeling from the bruising blows dealt more than a week ago. No sleep. No concentration. Praying, praying and more praying. Why God? How can this happen to a church that claims to be yours and seeking Your will. How incredibly sad. What great judgement will come if no repentance happens.

Health Care comments...

The more I hear, the more I become afraid that America is being pillaged, soon to be raped by the Demorats in power.

The very idea that our Lawmakers are not reading the bills they are voting on is refuted by my Senator in the video below. I am terrified that the voice of reason will never come back. The wave of socialism is becoming a tsunami and that is the most frightening of all.

I don't know if it is true or not, but the example is excellent: there is a story going around the internet concerning a professor who flunked an entire class because he put them all on Obama's Socialism Grade Scale. He took the highest grade and the lowest grade, averaged them and then gave the whole class the averaged grade. The first test everyone made a C, all those who had not studied were happy for their C, all those who had studied hard were very unhappy. The next test, those who had studied, didn't. What was the use? Their grade would be lower than they deserved, so why put forth the effort? Those who hadn't studied, didn't. They had gotten a grade they didn't deserve, so why put forth any effort? Eventually, at the end of the semester, all the students had an F as the final grade. No one was happy.

Senator Wicker has some things to say about the "new" health care reform...

High Holidays approaching

I had the opportunity to attend a Rosh Hashanah celebration years ago. The one thing that made me want to leap from my chair, raise my hands as high as Heaven to be grasped by my Beloved Jesus was hearing the Shofar blow. How wonderfully exciting that was. It is so thrilling that it raises goose bumps and you must latch onto your chair to stay seated. There is nothing like it!

You can hear it for yourself here. But, nothing compares to what it is like to be in a room full of people and this sound comes from behind you.

I received this missive from my friends at Chosen People. I thought you might like to see.

Jesus is the Jewel of the High Holidays...

Shalom!
Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this note. The fall is a time of new beginnings, and our ministries across the globe are gearing up for a new season of outreach. Not only are our workers busy on campuses where we will have the opportunity to reach tens of thousands of Jewish students, but our worldwide staff members are also preparing for the High Holiday season.

We will host dozens of Messianic High Holiday services in our congregations, centers and branches. We need your prayers, as we expect many Jewish people who are not yet followers of Jesus to attend these services.

When I think about the High Holidays, I often think of a diamond ring, which consists of both a setting and a jewel. The diamond by itself might be stunning, but it becomes all the more magnificent once it is placed in a setting crafted by a master
jeweler. The festivals of Israel outlined in Leviticus 23 provide us with the
perfect setting for Yeshua (Jesus), who is the shining jewel. Reading the book
of Hebrews and appreciating the sacrifice of Jesus our Messiah is much easier
when you understand something about the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). On that day once a year, the priest was to take the blood of the appointed sacrifices and sprinkle it on the Mercy Seat inside the Holy of Holies for the forgiveness of Israel’s sins (Leviticus 16).

These sacrifices never took away the guilt and shame of our sin – they were merely preparatory – the setting for the jewel. When Jesus died for our sins, He died once and for all, and you and I can rest in the knowledge that our sins are forgiven.
One meaningful verse during the High Holidays is Romans 5:8, where Paul writes,
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. As an observant Jew, the apostle Paul understood the magnificence of this statement.

No longer do we need the sacrifices of bulls and goats. Our salvation does not depend upon our efforts (which were always doomed to failure). Instead, God sent his only Son to pave the way to heaven through His sacrifice. A number of our staff members who are bringing the message of Yeshua to His own people – are furthering their training at our Charles Feinberg Center for Messianic Jewish Studies. One of our goals is to help these current and future leaders graduate from their studies without debt, so that they can go immediately to the mission field and share the glorious message of Jesus our Redeemer with our Jewish people.

This month, you can be of tremendous help! Victor and Julia B. are Israelis studying at the Feinberg Center and are completely dependent upon us in the United States for their financial support. They led a congregation in Jerusalem for more than 15 years but never had the opportunity to be theologically trained. Once Victor completes his studies, they will return to Israel and hope to plant a new congregation in Jerusalem. Your generous support can enable Victor and Julia and their two young sons – and other families like them – to continue studying and ministering in New York City.

There is so much more to learn about the High Holidays, and we have some wonderful information on our website – visit www.chosenpeople.com/highholidays
to learn more. If you would like to attend one of our High Holiday services –
and hopefully bring a Jewish friend who does not yet know the Messiah – please
call us at 212-223-2252 to find out if there is a service near you.

Thanks so much for sharing our vision for the future of Jewish ministry.
Your brother
in the Messiah,
Mitch Glaser

Comment on a FOX news report

~~~~~~~~~
Please note I have purposely misspelled some words in this post so as not to attract unwanted interest from certain sources.
~~~~~~~~~

The FOX News report is here

The title of this post will lead you to a U.N. report on teaching sexuality to children from age 5-18. It looks very good and has some most excellent points. It talks about bullying and other things that are needful for age appropriate education. I posted the article in the CASA LinkedIn forum. I never expected to get lambasted for declaring that teaching 5 year olds what masterbation is child abuse. It is as defined by the State of Mississippi. Although I am told it is not in other states. I don't have the time to check all that out, though.

If you'll look at your state's child abuse code, you might be surprised at what you find as defined child abuse.

In the state of Mississippi we find:
"(2) For purposes of this section, any material is sexually oriented if the material contains representations or descriptions, actual or simulated, of masturbation, sodomy, excretory functions, lewd exhibition of the genitals or female breasts, sadomasochistic abuse (for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification), homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or the breast or breasts of a female for the purpose of sexual stimulation, gratification or perversion. "

What the report intimates, but does not come right out and say is that many of the concepts and values must be taught across the age groups (page 28). The article includes concerns of critics who have seen the curriculum. Those are who point the finger at teaching what masterbation is to 5 year old. And it is their concern that the concepts taught may not be age approriate as the U.N. proposes.

On page 48 in the same module for 5-8 year olds, the units to be taught are a progression... "It is natural to explore our bodies, bodies feel good when touched, touching oneself is called masterbation." These are objectives for 5-8 year olds which, in my opinion, is highly inappropriate for that age. By teaching this, educators are stepping over the line of appropriate subject matter in sex educaton.

The program actually does intend to teach sexuality values, again page 28: "The overarching topics under which learning objectives have been defi ned are organized around six key concepts:
1. Relationships
2. Values, attitudes and skills
3. Culture, society and law
4. Human development
5. Sexual behaviour
6. Sexual and reproductive health"

And on page 34 for ages 9-12: Key Ideas: • Values regarding gender, relationships, intimacy, love, sexuality and reproduction influence personal behaviour and decision-making • Cultural values affect male and female gender role expectations and equality

Admittedly, the values section for ages 15-18 provides for the key insight that parents teach their values to their children and can respect that their children may form different values.

It also teaches ages 5-8 that people have the right to make their own decisions. While this is true, it could be misconstrued from a child's viewpoint because children should obey parents and submit to their decisions in a healthy way, not from an abusive standpoint. But, that is a side point to the discussion.

I do not say that children should be "kept ignorant or taught to be ashamed of their bodies". Gracious! I do believe there is a time and place for sex education and it should be biologically and scientifically addressed along with all the information about STDs and other things that people face when they become sexually active. The stats listed in this report show that the education of teens did not change behavior for the majority of respondents. That is a tell which should not be overlooked.

Because it has so much good, we should just ignore the little bit of bad? "Oh, because this is good and that is good, let's forget about this bad part." I can't wrap my brain around this: that the U.N. thinks we need to teach 5 year olds what masterbation is?

It is insidious how the world encroaches upon the innocent today. Teaching masterbation to children is sexual abuse. No matter how much candy is wrapped around it, it is sexual abuse. No one is calling sexual abuse what it really is. Because it is wrapped up in scientific jargon, it is candy-coated, then it must be okay for teachers to teach it.

Why does masterbation have to be included in this program? It is wrong that these things are already being taught in schools without parents' permission. And if parents get upset about their children being taught sex education, then they are harangued and ridiculed. (This has been reported in more than one community.)

Age appropriate or not: 25% of the children will be past it, 50% will be about on target, and 25% will be behind so it isn't right for all children anyway. The focus of the article is that masterbation is included in this curriculum proposal. Teaching that to children is sexual abuse.

I do know that some parents probably are needing some help with sex education of their children... But learning where babies come from and what body parts are is a far cry from teaching about masterbation.

CASA in Jackson County



In class last night, I found out that all this training and all this material I've been teaching is not just words on paper or images on PowerPoint. We invited CASA from Jackson County to come visit and talk to us about real life as a CASA volunteer.


They told us about real world cases, real incidents, and real problems they have faced and how they've adapted and overcome. No time or space to go into that right now, but each one gave God all the glory. Now how can anyone or any program go wrong when that happens?


What a sweet, persistent, powerful, wonderful group of people. Frances is the director and she is on the ball when it comes to utilizing voluteers' skills where they'll do the most good. It is amazing how much they've done in such a short amount of time. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm only one person and I can only do what I can do... it's up to God to do the rest.

Maybe I should think about letting God go first, eh? Let Him do all the hard stuff and I follow with a tuck here and a nip there.


Well, I'm off to read another manual. It is astounding how much studying I must do, thank goodness I love to learn and God has given me a talent for reading/retention. Otherwise, I'd be drowning.


Life is speeding along

I have been so busy these past weeks, I've forgotten to breathe.

Yesterday, I met with our county supervisors and asked for some funding for CASA. We got the funding and they are going to provide office space for us. I find that so wonderful, I can hardly sit still.

One of our board members resigned recently citing the reason that we are not walking with God on this project. Every day I God provides huge amounts of evidence that He is so into this project to protect the children of our county.

God says that it is an abomination to shed innocent blood. Abortion comes to mind, and yet what about those defenseless children who are victims of abuse and neglect everyday? I am reminded of Isaiah 58 whenever I think about the work that we are doing in Pearl River County. To lift the burdens of the oppressed, and to unlock the fetters of those who are unjustly imprisoned. It is a huge responsibility and I am greatly humbled when ever God leans over and tips the scales in our favor providing yet another miracle in proof of His work here.

I am off now to talk to the dept of human services. I am told that they do not want CASA in PRC. We'll see. I have bathed this in prayer and expect God to have walked the path trampling down all the weeds and stumbling blocks between our organizations because they will certainly work so well together.

How to break a sinful habit

I have talked about this many times before. For some reason, God has compelled me to discuss it again. I had a friend that I have completely lost touch with. I met him through the internet and we had some lively discussions. I found myself praying for him and knew that God had laid him upon my heart to intercede for. Then quite suddenly, he posted a most terrific "how to" list at Studylight.org.

His list was directed toward breaking the habit of pornography, but it can be applied to any sinful habit a Christian finds himself or herself sucked into and can's seem to break. It works! I had a terrible habit of smoking, and was also a slave to alcohol, and I also had another terrible habit which I am not brave enough to reveal here. Be that as it may, God and I broke the habits. We tackled them one at a time. It was the hardest thing I have every done in my entire life.

When we tackled the first habit (smoking), after four days of cold turkey, I fell to my knees begging God to help me, to keep me safe, to guard my feelings and my thoughts because the more I thought about smoking the more I wanted to, the more I wanted to, the more I was compelled to go buy some cigarettes. The more I was compelled, the weaker was my will and I knew I was doomed to another failure if I didn't through myself onto God's lap begging for Him to take control. Ah HA! I thought. That is it. He must have complete control and that is where I have failed in the past. The more I desired to be free of this slavery I was bound to, the tighter its hold became.

Even if you are not caught in the web of addictive behavior, you may have a loved one that is. Sometimes, all it takes is the empathetic listener to help the addicted one to see the Light.

Gary told me that he had culled this list from many different websites and books that he combed in inpatient duress to leave behind him the slavery to pornography. I will offer this in several posts because it is too vast to comprehend in one sitting.

Please read whatever has you, or someone you love, enslaved into the blank.

How to break a sinful addiction
The Addiction In the natural, the addiction to __________ is very difficult to break. Here are some reasons.

1. It is the misuse of a natural God given desire and is often excused as just being "natural". This is because the worldly things are fleshly things. Guess which pair of glasses the world looks through?

2. The initial stimuli is difficult to avoid.

3. When one looks at the ___________ the video or magazine figures don't look back with disgust. (When one goes to a bar, you put yourself in the path of temptation if your weakness happens to be alcohol addiction. When you watch movies that have bad language, you are filling your mind with the very thing you wish to break from. Get the picture?)

4. It is often accepted as being the norm for men. ("Men will be men"). (And kids will be kids, and women will be women... it is no excuse.)

5. It is often connected with sexual gratification. (Either by self gratification or with a partner). All forms of sin are connected to self gratification, selfishness, and lack of self control. Our weaknesses are well know to Satan, make no mistake, and he uses those weaknesses for greatest effect.

6. It carries often unseen guilt with it that also has to be dealt with.

7. The wife or girlfriend through not understanding the nature of the addiction may bring stimuli into the presence of the man who is addicted. (magazines, videos, even lingerie catalogues). (May ask to go places, do things, or events that will stimulate the desire to give in to the addiction.)

8. It is usually mixed with other strong addictions such as drug, alcohol addictions, rock and rap music, and sometimes occult involvement.

9. Quite often there is a generational factor involve. (The son of an addict become an addict).

10. Most often, evil spirits are also associated with this addiction.
--------------------------------------
Warning This addiction can lead to more aggressive and violent acts such as rape, incest, child sexual abuse, sodomy, masochism, and sadism. Christians are not immune, just because they are Christian.
-------------------------------------

Steps in Overcoming the addiction
1. First, the individual must come to acknowledge that the addiction exists. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

2. He must recognize that what he is doing is wrong. He may hate other sins but justify this one. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (I John 2:16). "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate" (Proverbs 8:13).

3. He must not blame others. "If my wife was just more affectionate." "If women were not so seductive." Adam blamed Eve blamed the serpent. Instead, the one who is addicted must begin to take responsibility to make corrections. Job said, "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1).

4. He must learn the fear of the LORD. Fear of the LORD is a conscious knowledge that God disciplines his children and there will be a consequence for his sin. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6).

5. He must learn to flee temptation. "Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away" (Proverbs 4:15). "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body" (I Corinthian 6:1 . "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (II Timothy 2:22). Self deception may enter in where one thinks he can play with fire without getting burned. "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27-28) .

6. He must recognize that "will power" is not the answer. At a weak moment, he "will" give in. "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:1 . In contrast, for the Believer, he has access to the will of God and power of God. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). He must yield his will to God's will and be obedient by the power of God. See: "Training The Flesh".

7. He must engraft the Word of God concerning sexual purity. "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). To engraft means to memorize and meditate upon it until it becomes a reality in one's life. Pr 6:23-24 "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman" (Proverbs 6:23-24).

8. He must destroy any pornography in his possession. "Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places" (Numbers 33:52). Remember pornography is a substitute for truth. See: Addictive Disorders.

9. He must break any generational curse that may be associated with the addiction. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13). See the book, "How To Destroy The Evil Tree". Furthermore, since evil spirits are most often involved, deliverance is likely to be needed. See: The Open Door.

10. He must understand and recognize that his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (For the Believer) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

11. He must learn to submit himself to God and resist the devil. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). One must understand that it not just what NOT to do, but also what TO do. Furthermore, the authority to stand must come from submission to the authority of God and those under His authority.

12. He must make himself accountable to a spiritual authority (pastor, elder, or church leader). "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" (Hebrew 13:17). When someone has to face regular questioning about his tendency toward the addiction, it may make him think twice before pursuing it.

Go to: http://freeinchrist.truepath.com/1st.htm#begin Many are overwhelmed and feel like they may never be free.

THERE IS HOPE! A baby does not begin walking in a week; the baby has progressive stages of growth. At first the baby struggles to lift its head. Next, it struggles to just sit up. With persistence, the baby begins to crawl. Then it will make some attempts to stand (amusing at times). Finally, it can stand by holding something. Soon the child is running around on its own! In the same way - he can take progressive steps to freedom!

Realize you're not perfect; don't beat yourself up if you fail. Yet don't use this as a license to binge. Focus on one day at a time.

Is it just me?

I have been having problems with security on my computer. It seems to be too secure. I can't copy/paste something from another website to blog about it. The "accelerator" doesn't accelerate. THEN...

I'm sitting in church Sunday with worship on my mind. Bro. Kriss is preaching on the 10 commandments and we got to "You shall not steal".

You know, I really thought I was an honest person until Sunday's sermon.

Yes. I have taken pens and notepads and calendars from work to use at home. Oh, not like slipping a handful into my pocket, or anything like that. I just stick it behind my ear or in my notepad and think nothing about returning it to work. I've taken calendars for organization. I've used work internet for writing blog enteries.

There are so many ways we rationalize and justify the things we do that maybe aren't entirely wrong but are still on the shady side of right. Okay, so I did put in a huge amount of overtime with no comp time or salary upgrade. That still doesn't make it right, does it?

Just when you get to thinking you've got a handle on living Christ-like, along comes God and pretty much slaps you on the wrist to say: "You aren't there, yet. Keep working. Keep striving. You are still under construction."

That, my siblings, is very humbling. It isn't painful, but crow doesn't taste so good no matter how well it's served.

Keeping Secrets: National Security

There is an AP article written by Pamela Hess which is full of thinly veiled indignation about what she calls “unprecedented surveillance program” by executive order signed by Pres. George W. in 2001. Let us recall that it was after the 9/11 disaster, and just before we found out about the al quiada plan to fly crop dusters into buildings.

Firstly, it absolutely is precedented. Anyone who pays careful attention to the “doings” of the National Security Agency knows that any communication which is off United States ground involving non-U.S. citizens is captured and available for taking, storing, analyzing, and reporting to F.B.I. and C.I.A. and the other Spy Alphabet Soup (military and etc.). What is not so well known, is that if the communication (land lines, faxes, emails, cell phones, VoIP or other electronic device) is by a U.S. citizen, then the name of that person(s) may not be kept in file for more than a year. Nor, can it be revealed to the F.B.I. or the C.I.A or other Alphabet unless criminal activity is evidenced.

The only piece of the intelligence-gathering operation acknowledged by the Bush
White House was the wiretapping-without-warrants effort. The administration
acknowledged in 2005 that it had allowed the National Security Agency to
intercept international communications that passed through U.S. cables without
seeking court orders.

They don’t have to seek a court order. It has already been approved by Congress. It is what the N.S.A. does every day.

Although the report documents Bush administration policies, its fallout could be
a problem for the Obama administration if it inherited any or all of the
still-classified operations.


Give me a flipping break!

The N.S.A. was given authority by Congress back in 2000 to revamp its technology and in 2001 to gather both domestic and foreign intelligence because of the danger of terrorism.

What most of the lawmakers don’t realize is that this absolutely 50,000 ton elephant is too big to analyze. I won't even go into how huge the capability of our NSA's electronic surveillance. However, it is along the lines of the entire contents of the Library of Congress on an hourlyl basis. BUT... All the communications which deal with Aunt Mattie and her two dozen cats, Junior’s school grades and all the other mundane daily activities of the average American Citizen are filtered out before the communication is even recorded. The watchwords, which are varied and number in the thousands (because of all the different foreign languages in the world and all the different technologies) are what causes the click to begin recording. After an initial analysis, the recording may or may not be stored for a year or forever depending upon the context, if persons are named, if one of the conversants is a U.S. Citizen or is a legal, green card holding immigrant. Yes, green-carders are treated as U.S. citizens.

Another interesting fact is that if are trying to purchase uranium in rather large amounts, or if you are trying to purchase a missile from Russia while living in Iran even though a U.S. citizen, then that is probably cause and you'll be monitored. If you bandy about terms like C802 or use bombing and federal within a few minutes of each other, then you'll be monitored and your mode of communication will be flagged. Now why does that make me feel safer?

So, my advice to all of Congress and to other regular, law abiding citizens is: Don’t panic and unwad your underwear. If you are not a criminal, if you don’t have anything to hide, then you have nothing to fear because your conversations are not interesting enough to be monitored much less be recorded. Your privacy is intact and will remain so.

If we had had this back in 1993 when Timothy McVey had the terrorist idea to bomb the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, then 168 lives would never have been lost.

If you need confirmation of all this, there are several books written about our National Security and you can purchase them from Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble or other bookstores.

Rubber rooms for teachers

Unions had their place and did great things for the American worker, but I think now is the time for the pendulum to swing the other way for a bit.

New York City has about 700 teachers who are sitting on their duffs... not teaching, not doing anything creative for children. They have been accused of everthing from sexual offenses to a child having a hat on and singing in the classroom. I think the system has gone overboard.

What has happened to our work ethics? We are so fearful of being politically correct, so controlled by union contracts that the huge corporations' products and teaching of our children is no longer the main point/attraction but a sideline. These teachers are collecting their $70,000 a year paychecks and painting watercolors, writing novels, staring at walls. There is something hugely wrong with this picture.

Here is what is wrong with the picture (emphasis is mine):
Once their hearings are over, they are either sent back to the classroom or fired. But because their cases are heard by 23 arbitrators who work only five days a month, stints of two or three years in a rubber room are common, and some teachers have been there for five or six (YEARS).

I'm thinking, can't the school system do something about this? Here's an idea. Tell the union that their arbitrators must work five days a WEEK not a month just like the rest of us working slobs have to work. I guess that is too novel, though.

I look at the state of the union and I realize the waste is more than the piled up garbage in America. Why didn't congress give every American a check for $1 million? It would have been a WHOLE lot cheaper and would have stimulated the economy in an astronomical way. Oh, guess that wouldn't have worked, though, because all the little businesses would have lost all their little workers. However, I do believe it would have worked a lot better than the bail out. All you have to do is look at each lottery winner over the past umpteen years to know that within a year or two, the poor would be poor again and the rich would have made a lot more. But, hey, the car people would still have their jobs and the mortgage companies would still be in business. I can assure you, I would have put my $ 1 million to a LOT better use than AIG did, or Chrysler, or any other bailout receipient. Hind sight and all that!

If God Should Speak

Another treasure I found in old files on my computer. This particular piece is all over the web, but I've tracked down who the author is. You can find the original at:

If God Should Speak

Joyce Faye Russell
New Labor Forum
No. 9 (Fall - Winter, 2001), pp. 146-148
"Our Father which art in heaven....."
---Yes?

Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.
---But you called me.

Called you? I didn't call you. I'm praying. "Our Father which art in heaven....."
---There you did it again.

Did What?
---Called me. You said, "Our Father which art in heaven." Here I am.....What's on your mind?

But I didn't mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord's Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like getting a duty done.
---All right. Go on.

"Hallowed be thy name....."
---Hold it. What do you mean by that?

By what?
---By "hallowed be thy name"?

It means.....it means.....Good grief, I don't know what it means. How should I know? It's just a part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?
---It means honored, holy, wonderful.

Hey, that makes sense. I never thought about what "hallowed" meant before. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
--Do you really mean that?

Sure, why not?
---What are you doing about it?

Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.
---Have I got control of you?

Well, I go to church.
---That isn't what I asked you. What about your bad temper? You've really got a problem there, you know. And then there's the way you spend your money---all on yourself. And what about the kind of books you read?

Stop picking on me! I'm just as good as some of the rest of those people at the church.
---Excuse me. I thought you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.

Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.
---So could I.

I haven't thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free
---Good. Now we're getting somewhere. We'll work together, you and I. Some victories can truly be won. I'm proud of you.

Look, Lord, I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. "Give us this day, our daily bread."
---You need to cut out the bread. You're overweight as it is.

Hey, wait a minute! What is this, "Criticize me day"? Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.

---Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know. That's what I'm trying to get across to you. You called me, and here I am. It's too late to stop now. Keep praying, I'm interested in the next part of your prayer.....(pause). Well, go on.

I'm scared to.
---Scared? Of what?

I know what you'll say.
---Try me and see.

"Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us."
---What about Ann?

See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She never paid back the debt she owes me. I've sworn to get even with her!
---But your prayer? What about your prayer?

I didn't mean it.
---Well, at least you're honest. But it's not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside, is it?

No. But I'll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbor. She'll wish she had never moved into this neighborhood.
---You won't feel any better. You'll feel worse. Revenge isn't sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But I can change all that.

You can? How?
---Forgive Ann. Then I'll forgive you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann's problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.

Oh, you're right. You always are. And more than I want to revenge Ann, I want to be right with you. Ann, I want to be right with you.....(pause).....(sigh). All right. All right. I forgive her. Help her to find the right road in life, Lord. She's bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to others has to be out of it. Someway, somehow, show her the right way.
---There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?

Hmmmmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great!

You know, I don't think I'll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won't be so tired from now on because I'm not getting enough rest. ---You're not through with your prayer. Go on.

Oh, all right. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
---Good! Good! I'll do that. Just don't put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.

What do you mean by that?

---Don't turn on the TV when you know the laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up. Also, about the time you spend coffeeing with your friends, if you can't influence the conversation to positive things, perhaps you should re-think the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbors and friends shouldn't be your standard for "keeping up". And please don't use me for an escape hatch.

I don't understand the last part.
---Sure you do. You've done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get into trouble and then you come running to me, "Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I'll never do it again." You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?

Yes and I'm ashamed, Lord. I really am.
---Which bargain are you remembering?

Well, there was the night that Bill was gone and the children and I were home alone. The wind was blowing so hard I thought the roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember praying, "Oh God, if you spare us, I'll never skip my devotions again."
---I protected you, but you didn't keep your promise, did you?

I'm sorry, Lord, I really am. Up until now I thought that if I just prayed the Lord's Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn't expect anything to happen like it did.
---Go ahead and finish your prayer.

"For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever."
Amen
---Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?

No, but I'd like to know. I want now to please you. I can see what a mess I've made of my life. and I can see how great it would be to really be one of your followers.
---You just answered the question.

I did?
---Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like You truly love me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there is no telling what we can do together.

Lord, let's see what we can make of me, O.K.?
---Yes, let's see.....