Demagoguery…

The Ara Yevi samba school performs on a float showcasing Pope Francis during carnival in Gualeguaychu, Argentina, early Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. Members of the samba school said the Pope doesn't know they chose to honor his life at this year's celebration and look forward for him seeing their performing. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)The Ara Yevi samba school performs on a float showcasing Pope Francis during carnival in Gualeguaychu, Argentina, early Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. ⇒⇒⇒⇒⇒

 

 

Yes, this is actually a word… demagoguery and its definition is: a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.

Demagoguery is an appeal to people that plays on their emotions and prejudices rather than on their rational side. Demagoguery is a manipulative approach — often associated with dictators and sleazy politicians — that appeals to the worst nature of people.

I see this word being played out in many of the world’s political leaders as well as prominent religious leaders. Politics come in all shapes and sizes and in the end it leads to idol worship… someone…anyone taking the place of God Almighty… Creator of heaven and earth.

I hate the noise that so many leaders are constantly clamoring… that they believe to be leadership.

I desire godly leaders for my country and in my walk with Jesus. And we are given clear guidance from God’s word on what that looks like.

When Israel journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land 3000 years ago… God provided clear instruction for leaders… we find it in Exodus 18:21…  Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 

And the Apostle Paul, 2000 years ago gave instructions for how Christians should walk daily in our lives. He said in Philippians 2:3… Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 

These are the traits that this pilgrim will look for to get my vote or to get me to listen to them… and I will always keep my eyes fixed on the author and finisher of my faith…JESUS!

 

Teshubah….

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” was probably most likely quoted by George Santayana… Spanish-American philosopher, poet, and humanist who made important contributions to aesthetics, speculative philosophy, and literary criticism. I am none of those, but I completely agree with George.

There are many modern day parallels, I believe between the United States and the divided nations of Judea and Israel. Just a couple of those parallels it seems to me are: 1. Lack of insight by political leaders (Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die…Isaiah 22:13); 2. Leanings on alliances (Then: Egypt/Assyria, Now: UN/NATO). Practical politics was and is being substituted for Divine guidance and wisdom.

In days of old, God sent forth prophet’s. Men with a Godly message and vision. That message then and today is TESHUBAH.  A complete turnabout in every area of national and personal life over to God.

Some may say, “wait a minute Bryan… you’ve drank too much Fox News Kool-aid… this nation wasn’t founded on God, His principles or His word.” Well, I’m not much of a Kool-aid guy… more of a coffee man. Anyone with an open mind and a few moments of true history research, can not come to any other conclusion than that God formed this nation and His word (the Bible) were it’s cornerstone- it’s written throughout our founding documents. But, in addition to that… it was taught to our children.

The pictures today are from of “The New England Primer”, and it was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. It became the most successful educational textbook published in the 18th century America and became the foundation of most schooling before the 1790s. Nearly every child would have had a copy of it in their knapsack. I have a copy of this book… and our forefathers learned to read and write through lessons from the Bible (an example is the ABC’s shown in the picture).

So, I am reminded by the parallel of our nation to that of the divided kingdom and the words of Prophet in  Isaiah 31:1,3,6… Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD! Now the Egyptians are men and not God, And their horses are flesh and not spirit; So the LORD will stretch out His hand, And he who helps will stumble And he who is helped will fall, And all of them will come to an end together. Return to Him from whom you have deeply defected, O sons of Israel. 

I truly believe that if this nation is to survive anther 240 years, we must Teshubah… repent and turn back to God! Amen.

 

A Christians Hope…

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The times in which we find ourselves seem to be filled with evil. All around us there is the spreading of fear and terror. These are tools and instruments of that ol’ snake, the devil. Nothing more.

Two thousand years ago, as the time of our Savior Jesus’ crucifixion drew near… Jesus was speaking to the disciples prophetically that this must take place (John 14-17). It was stirring up quite a bit of anxiety and fear amongst the brothers.

As He was speaking these things… He also included in John 14: 18, 27… I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

Jesus knew that difficult times lay ahead of the disciples of yesteryear and today, so He gave us encouraging words to remind us that we have not been abandoned. That’s good news in a world that feels abandoned to evil.

Today’s photograph is of an olive tree taken on the Mt. of Olives in 2014… some of these trees were around when Jesus walked this mountain the first time. Here is where He will return. For we are told by the prophet Zechariah in the 14th chapter, the 4th verse, concerning the Messiah’s 2nd return to earth… In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

When He returns, it won’t be as a Suffering Servant, but rather as the Righteous Ruler of creation and He will put an end to the fear and terror that sinful humanity spreads like a disease.

So, take heart, fellow pilgrim… Jesus is coming! What should we as disciples of Jesus be doing as we look for His return? I remind you of the words of our Hero, Jesus… Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… The counter to fear and terror is to love!

T.M.B.N.

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Today, I am suffering from TMBN… Too Much Bad News. Evil upon evil being reported from Orlando, Fl. and around the world… it weighs heavy upon one’s soul.

However, since the Garden of Eden there has always been news of evil being carried out in the world.

The picture in today’s post is of the ramp built by the Romans to massacre Jews on top of Mt. Masada.  After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Romans turned their attention to stamping out the last of the rebels holding out at the fortresse that Herod had built a century before. This was the last remaining site occupied by the Jewish rebels.

Led by Roman general Flavius Silva, the Legion X Fretensis—a veteran military unit—began the siege operation against the rebels in 72 or 73 A.D.

The most conspicuous surviving evidence of the Roman siege of Masada is the great assault ramp on the western slope of the cliff. The Romans constructed this ramp using Jewish labor, so that the Jews above would not fire down upon the construction. Josephus the historian, tells us that an ironclad siege tower housing a battering ram was hoisted up the ramp and placed into position to strike against the rebels’ casemate wall.

Rather than battle the Romans and face capture and imprisonment, the Jews chose to commit suicide and die as free men. Evil upon evil.

As I struggle with TMBW today, I choose to focus on the Good News of Jesus that the Apostle Paul wrote to us in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4… Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures… 

We live in a fallen , evil, sinful world. Bad news will continue to dominate the headlines. Good News will never lead the broadcast. However I want you to know, there is Good News… and that is Jesus. He didn’t murder others…no, rather, He died for you… to forgive your sins that separate you from our heavenly Father… to all those who believe.

T.T.G.N. (Trust The Good News!)

Commissioning

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I served in the United States Navy as a Surface Warrior for twenty years. My first command afloat was the USS Luce (DDG-38). I was apart of her crew from 1982-1985. Her keel was laid in 1957 and she was commissioned in 1962. She was an old, steam-powered warhorse, and I was proud to have served aboard her. I learned how to be a sailor serving on that ship.

Until she was commissioned in 1962, she had been only cold, lifeless steel laying in Massachusetts. But, on May 20, 1962… she was brought to life. That life was brought into her by the sailors who served in her until her de-commissioning on April 1, 1991. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week she was manned for nearly thirty years. It was the sailors who brought her to life and kept her living all that time.

In Matthew 28:18-20 we read … And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Jesus commissioned the church 2000 years ago. I’ve worshipped in Church buildings, Houses, Barns and Elementary Schools. It was not the buildings that made the Church great. No… it was the people of God, filled with the Spirit of Christ that brought all those places alive. I learned how to be a Christian by being in the Church.

The Church is still in commission today by the power of Jesus and will not be “de-commissioned” so to speak until we are called up to meet Him in the air. So, let’s be about making disciples by sharing the love, hope, and salvation that only Jesus provided though His death, burial and resurrection to those who believe.

We need to invite the world not into dead, cold buildings… but into a living, breathing Church which is on fire to share the Good News of Jesus!