Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Bridge to Heaven

At Calvary
By Barbara Henderson
There is always something in your path that must be crossed to get to the other side. It could be a small creek. You could hop across that. It could be a big creek. That would require a bridge of some sort, or getting your feet wet. It could be a mighty river. You have to have a bridge or a boat to cross that. It could be an ocean. That requires a boat or an airplane. Now you can cross the English Channel by driving through a tunnel. There is a tunnel down around Mobile, Alabama too. You can either take a bridge over the water or take a tunnel under the water. I personally don't care for either one. The bridge is too high and the tunnel is well - a tunnel. Actually worse than a tunnel - it's a tunnel under water. It is really sort of creepy when you think about it.
There are some really fancy bridges across great gulfs of treacherous water. Examples are the Golden Gate Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. These bridges are certainly modern marvels and make life easier for many people. But it is true that you still have other options to cross the water if you just don't want to get on the bridge. It is nice to have options. In Washington there are roads all around Puget Sound. But there is also an extensive ferry system. You can take a ferry ride nearly anywhere. It doesn't cost that much, it is very scenic, and just basically a lot of fun. When we go to Seattle we will often drive out of the way to Bremerton just so we can ride the ferry across the sound. But if we are in a hurry, we take the freeway straight into Seattle. So there really are a lot of ways to get from one place to another place. It is nice to have choices. However, keep in mind that building the roads and bridges is expensive. Building and maintaining the ferry system is expensive. Air transport is expensive. The different ways to get to the same place make less traffic and provide variety. It is really nice.
So, here on planet earth, there are usually several ways to get from one place to another place. This is done because of need, variety, and speed. However, there is usually one best way to get from one place to another, and that is probably the way most people will take most of time. The expense of building the best way is usually pretty high. By any standards, building a bridge like the Golden Gate would be very expensive. Building an airplane or ship is expensive.
All these things are on earth. It is within the capabilities of mankind to make more than one way to reach the same destination. But the way into heaven is different. Man cannot reach heaven on his own. God has made one way to get there. To go to heaven, you must go through Jesus Christ.
The way into heaven is like a great bridge. It spans a mighty gulf that no human can span on his or her own. There is no way the gulf between perfection and imperfection can be spanned by any human being. It took more than a man to build this bridge. It took God. It took a cross at Calvary.
The cost of the bridge from earth to heaven was very great. The builder of the bridge gave His life.
The capacity of the bridge is large enough that it will never be over crowded or require maintenance. It will not need to be inspected for cracks in the foundation. One bridge to span the gulf between God and man is sufficient.
There are those who suggest it is mean spirited of God to have made only one bridge across the great gulf.
Perhaps these people have not considered the initial cost of the bridge between God and man. It was a very expensive bridge. It cost God His son. Have they considered the capacity of the bridge? It provides plenty of space for everyone who wants to cross it. There is no over crowding.
Have they considered the safety of the bridge? The foundation of the bridge is God Himself. It promises safe passage to every one who sets out to cross the bridge.
So on what grounds could anyone demand an additional way into heaven? God already paid a terrible price for one bridge. Why should He be asked to pay the price for another bridge when the first is sufficient? Calvary was, is, and ever will be enough.
At Calvary we see the mercy of God extravagantly displayed. He spared no expense - what could have been more costly than the life of His son? We see a way into heaven that has room for everyone.
One way into heaven fills the needs of all who want to enter heaven. If mankind has trouble grasping one way into heaven, it would have been cruel to confuse them further with more than one way into heaven. The confusion about how many ways there are into heaven comes from God's adversary the devil. Don't be fooled.
Have you settled your eternal destiny? Do you know for sure that on the day of your death you will be with Jesus in paradise? Have you accepted the one way into heaven made at Calvary? If not, NOW is the time to:
Acknowledge you are less than perfect. That means you are a sinner. That is all a sinner is - someone who is not perfect.
Recognize that your imperfection has separated you from God. That separation has left an empty place in your heart that can only be filled by God.
Accept the offer of Jesus Christ to enter heaven through Him.
As a believer it is your duty to study the Bible. 2 Timothy 2:15 says
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
Then open your mouth and tell the lost world about Jesus and what He did for all of us at Calvary.
Mathew 24:14 "Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
Of course the song for this article is "AT CALVARY"
My favorite line is in the last verse "Oh the mighty gulf that God did span - At Calvary"
God Bless You.
Barbara Henderson
Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.
By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.
Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Time to Enjoy Christmas

Aha! I Figured Out What Christmas is Really About
By Barbara Henderson

Time is running out. No I am not talking about the second coming of Jesus Christ. I am talking about time to get everything ready for Christmas. There is just a small amount of time left to get all the presents bought. You don’t have to get them paid for. You just have to get them bought, wrapped, and laid out under the right tree. That’s it. When purchasing your Christmas gifts, it is a good time to ‘take no thought for tomorrow’. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Don’t worry about how you are going to pay for any of that stuff you buy. Just buy it. Be generous. After all, Bethlehem’s Child was generous with us. What better way to show our appreciation for Him than to be generous to others in return.

Time is also running out for getting all those groceries for that wonderful meal you are planning. It is running out to get the ingredients for that special dish you make and take to various parties to which you are invited.

And, time is really running out to find a few special outfits that make you look ten years younger, and like you really did lose that ten pounds you planned to lose after Christmas last year.

Time is also running out to set up some sort of peace treaty between difficult family members who won’t ‘forgive and forget’ in the spirit of the season. That silly woman who won’t forgive her husband for cheating with her sister is causing the family to be separated at Christmas. Why can’t she put aside her own petty feelings and let the family get together in the spirit of Christmas? And then there is that alcoholic relative who becomes abusive when she drinks. No one can reasonably expect her to be sober at Christmas. Why won’t everyone just ignore her alcohol problem at Christmas, and let her sneak her booze in the bathroom out of sight? Sheesh! Why can’t people just get together for that one special day of the year, and set everything else aside for just a little while.

Hopefully you will find a little time to do relax and enjoy Christmas yourself. If you can pull off getting everything done on your ‘to do‘ list, then you deserve some time spent just relaxing and enjoying Christmas. Ahhh… Put your feet up, sip that hot beverage, indulge in a few snacks that are only around at Christmas, and give yourself a pat on the back. You did it. You saved Christmas…..

While you are sitting there relaxing and giving yourself a pat on the back, take a moment to think about that little fellow who was born so humbly in Bethlehem that night so long ago. What is His real significance to you and to the world? After all, you have just spent weeks preparing Him a birthday party. As you sit in your chair with you feet resting on a soft pillow, your exhausted body relaxes a little more than you had planned, and you find yourself drifting off to sleep. Oh well, you tell yourself. A little power nap won’t hurt anything. Perhaps you can have a pleasant dream. Perhaps there will be visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Zzzzzzz………….

Then, in your dream, you hear a faint small voice saying, ‘Hello! You forgot something. What about Jesus Christ? For what purpose did He come? Was it so you could celebrate one day out of the year? Or was it for something more? Like for instance……

To seek and save the lost. (Jesus – the Savior)
To be with you. (Emmanuel – God with us)
To rule the world. (King – ruler of the hearts and lives of Christians – and physical King of the world one day)
To give life. (Christ - the giver of life. Bethlehem’s Child saves us from sin and gives us everlasting life, a more abundant life, an eternal life.)
To lay down His life to make a way for individuals to be reconciled with God.

Then the voice says, ‘Are you doing something to feed Christ’s lambs, or are you spending His alleged birthday entertaining or even conforming to the goats (unsaved)? Is anyone going to be led to Calvary’s Lamb by your Christmas celebration, or are both saved and lost being led into a materialistic feeding frenzy from which they may never fully recover?’

Then, you do that icky ‘snort/snore’ noise that jerks you awake. You look all around you to see who heard you wake yourself up snoring. Then you look around to see who was talking to you. Then it occurs to you. That was your conscience talking. It was reminding you of the sermons about Christian living you have heard over the years. Your conscience was reminding of you of all the things you learned through Bible study and reading Bible commentaries like Matthew Henry over the years. And then it hits you. Something just ain’t right about your Christmas celebration.

You are awake now, and your mind begins to put two and two together. You remember that wedding last year where the bride and groom spent a full two years planning the wedding. Every single detail was micromanaged right down to napkins that matched flowers on specific tables. From the idea of creating constant photo opportunities, and dazzling guests with the wonder of it all, the wedding was a total success.

But, the photographs themselves seemed to tell a different story. The faces of the entire wedding party were filled with big toothy grins, but the eyes in the photographs seemed to tell a different story. They appeared pained. Some were pained at the stress of coordinating and putting it all together. Others were pained at having their photographs taken in the ridiculous get-up that was required to be worn by those unfortunate enough to actually be in the wedding. Some faces were pained at the thought of all the money that had been spent on this extravagant affair. Bridesmaids had spent far above the first estimate of the costs of being in the wedding. Groomsmen were appalled at what they had spent on renting the upgraded tuxedo. The parents of the bride were pained at the remembrance of the money spent, and that their retirement will have to be postponed at least three years in order to pay for this one day. The parents of the groom also have pained faces. Everyone knew they were paying for the honeymoon, so they sent the bride and groom on the vacation they had always dreamed of but could never afford to take themselves.

Then you remember that the wedding was only really memorable because of its utter extravagance from people you knew could not afford it. You promptly forgot about it the next day. You only remember it when you see those uncomfortable shoes you had bought to make you look two inches taller. Then you remember the badly sprained ankle you got the next time you tried to wear the shoes. But, today, you are remembering how forgettable the entire affair really was.

Then, your mind wanders somewhere else. It wanders to some memorable events in your life that were not extravagant at all. Some were even times of poverty. Ok, maybe they were just semi-poverty. Never the less, you remember having some wonderful times without putting yourself through all the hassle of doing everything that society considers necessary for certain social events.

Then, your mind does a ‘WHAT?’ ‘Did I just call Christmas a social event?!’ You begin to ask yourself if Christ Himself would feel welcome at your Christmas celebration. You begin to think about His poor mother and adoptive father who could do no better than to have their child born among the animals in a village far from home. You consider and then believe that they still experienced joy, even great joy, at the birth of their child, the King of kings.

Then you think of the Shepherds who went to see Him. They just seized the moment. They had no time for even simple preparations like even washing their hands, much less taking a bath and putting on their best clothes. They listened when the angels proclaimed good tidings of great joy to all people. They dropped everything they were doing and went to see the new born King, the Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Then, you sort of start to wonder what you are doing about Christmas yourself. Are you doing like the shepherds, dropping everything and going to see the Savior. Or are you acting like you are planning a world changing event that will be remembered for generations to come?

You sit back in your chair, just thinking. You remember a sermon you read by Charles Haden Spurgeon. The sermon was titled ‘No Room for Christ at the Inn’. In the sermon Spurgeon’s 4th point was, ‘Have you any room for Christ?’ And you wonder if you have any room for Him at all, or if you have pushed Him out of Christmas with all the things that you have to get done at Christmas.

Then, you remember Spurgeon’s 5th point as well. Spurgeon said, ‘I conclude with the remark, that if you have room for Christ, then from this day forth remember THE WORLD HAS NO ROOM FOR YOU.’

Finally, you realize that no matter what a perfect Christmas you manage to choreograph and present to family and friends, it will not make you feel at home in this world. You will still feel like you did everything possible, but that it was still not enough.

The only thing that will make any Christmas a marvelous experience is to follow the example of the shepherds. Drop everything you are doing and go to worship the King. In Him there is peace, help, joy, love, salvation, fellowship, friendship, sound advice, and everything that is good. In Christ you can be at home, in a place that has plenty of room for you.

So, you turn your priorities away from the imitation of Christmas that the world pushes on people. You just go to worship Jesus Christ. You set your heart on a place that always has room for you!


Or not.

Perhaps you just go along with the same pattern of keeping Christmas that you have been following for years. After all, you enjoy saving Christmas every year. It is nice to be considered invaluable by family and friends. After all, this world may not be your home, but you do actually have to live in it. Why not just get along?

Barbara Henderson
http://chirpyscats.com (mom has three Siberian kittens left for Christmas. If you are interested in one, then contact me. These are show quality kittens, and mom will make you a better deal than the listed price.)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Most Preachers Today are Off Course

John the Baptist versus Preachers of Today
By Barbara Henderson

What was so special about John the Baptist?

He was without jealousy – his ministry shrunk in order that the ministry of Jesus might grow.

He was humble – knowing that Jesus was the greatest

He was without compromise – he could have increased his own ministry, but he was not like the reeds of the Jordan River, bent which ever way the wind blew. He had one message – and he stuck to it. His message was repent from your sin – or do a one-eighty. Turn from your sin and go in the opposite direction of your sin.

He was able to deny himself such things as personal comforts and fancy food in order to achieve his goal which was pointing the way to Jesus. John had self control.

John was driven by truth, not outcome. He did not measure his success by numbers. We don’t know that he measured his success at all. He just told the truth without compromise.

What is so special about the preachers of today?

Do you see jealousy in them?
Do you see humility in them?
Are they willing to compromise their message according to the whims of the world?
Are they able to deny themselves anything?
Do they preach the truth or bend scripture to a message that will increase their own prestige?

Can it be that the many many (not all) of the preachers of today are only special in their ability to lie with a straight face?

Is there a solution to such charlatans in pulpits and on television today? Honestly, we can never get rid of them entirely. But there are few things that every believer can do.

First, don’t be fooled by them yourselves. That comes by knowing what the Bible actually says. When a false teacher speaks lies, you will be able to recognize them if you have applied yourself to diligent Bible study. You do have to be willing to hear what the Bible says, whether it fits into what you would like it to say at the moment.

The Bible is the standard by which a church lives. Methods to encourage church growth cannot be deemed acceptable through worldly means. For instance a full offering plate and a growing Sunday school do not necessarily mean the church is preaching the Gospel. It just means the church is growing. The question is, ‘Is the church adding true sheep that follow our Good Shepherd; OR, is the church filling itself with goats that have not chosen Jesus Christ as their leader? In repentance of sin and turning from sin, a new pattern of living will be set.

Second, be willing to open your mouth to speak out against error and outright lies coming from church leadership. Don’t go looking for a fight. Just be willing to defend the truth with scripture when error is preached.

Third, be willing to leave a worldly church and look for a church that stands entirely on the Bible. If you look for a church based on church size, location, growth, or social programs, you are asking for trouble. You must seek a church that stands entirely on the truth of the Bible, and that will not compromise regardless of how they are perceived by the world.

This leaves out a number of churches, if not most churches. It seems that every believer is called to make a decision. We must decide whether to live a life pattered after John the Baptist or the popular so called preachers of the world today.

Christians need to purpose in their hearts to:

Live without jealousy to others. If God chooses to lift up someone above us for His glory, then we must be content. If a family member, church, or business prospers above is, then jealousy is still not permissible.

Make humility a way of life. Not one of us has anything we didn’t get from God. Neither does anyone else. I think in his humility John the Baptist was also meek. In his meekness he understood that while he couldn’t really accomplish anything on his own, that he could do all things through Christ. We can understand the same things.

Don’t compromise the truth. Whether we prosper or suffer, the truth is still the truth. Our job is to speak the truth.

Be content with what you have. It doesn’t mean you won’t have more or different things on another day. But, don’t miss today’s blessings through fretting about what you don’t have today.

There is one other thing to consider. It would have been unthinkable here in the United States not that long ago, but I suppose we better consider what happened to John the Baptist. He got his head chopped off and served up on a plate. Telling the truth without compromise didn’t get him an earthly reward. It may not get us an earthly reward either.

Barbara Henderson

Monday, December 14, 2009

Do You Want a Better Christmas than Last Year?

Getting in the Zone for the Best Christmas Ever
By Barbara Henderson

In my article last week I talked about Mary and Martha.

Mary chose the good part. She went to the ‘get-to-gather’ that Jesus was hosting.
He fed those who attended His party the words of life.

Martha threw her own party, and provided her guests with food that would satisfy them briefly, but leave them hungry by the next meal time.

Now, as we go into the month of Christmas preparation, we must also determine whether we will be paying attention to the things of Christ, or the things of the world. We have a choice to make. Let us choose the good part, the one needful thing. Let us choose to draw closer to Jesus Christ. Chose, like Mary did, to get it right with God first, and let the things of the world take care of themselves. Make it a ‘Jesus first’ Christmas.

Consider these two possible paths.

First, there is the path recorded in the Old Testament when everyone did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6, and Judges 21:25.) I know it appeared to Martha that it was right to be a thoughtful, even overboard, hostess for the guests in her home. Her intent was to do good; OR, her intent was to avoid thinking about the things Jesus was talking about. It seemed right to her to put Jesus in second place, and put her job as hostess first. If you do what is right in your own eyes, then you don’t really have occasion to change anything. Doing what is right in your own eyes keeps the focus on you, your brilliant analysis of situations, and your plan for making everything work out right. It pretty much ignores the Lord and His plans.

Second, there is the path taken by those who did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.
(1 Kings 15:5, 1 Kings 15:11, 1 Kings 22:43, 2 Kings 12:2, 2 Kings 14:3, 2 Kings 15:3, 2 Kings 16:2. 2 Kings, 18:3, 2 Kings 22:2, 2 Chronicles 20:32, 2 Chronicles, 24:2, 2 Chronicles 25:2, 2 Chronicles 25:2, 2 Chronicles 26:4, 2 Chronicles 28:1, 2 Chronicles, 29:2, 2 Chronicles 34:2.) Doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord takes the pressure off you. A particular outcome is not your main goal. Drawing closer to the Lord and pleasing Him is your goal.

In order to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord, one must know the truth regarding exactly what is right in according to the Lord. So, let’s take the time to figure out how to spot the truth, or how to divide truth from falsehoods. You do that by spending time with Jesus in the Bible.

The key to knowing the truth is first know Jesus Christ. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. (Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9)

Then, you must study His book so that you know what it says is the truth. Accept the Bible for what it is. It is the Word of God. It is without Error. It is pure truth. This is the rock on which you may stand. Remember, the same God who spoke the world into place and created everything that is created would have no problem getting His book written and preserved exactly according to His specifications. To think otherwise is to have a form of godliness, but deny the actual power of God. (2 Timothy 3:5)

Then you must take the truth you have learned and apply it to your personal actions.
You do not have to waste your time determining what is right in your eyes, or the eyes of the world. There are no extenuating circumstances that make the truth less true, or wrong behavior more acceptable. There are no circumstances that make what was true today false tomorrow.

Remember that you cannot determine truth by emotions. Any emotion can be duplicated by the devil. We have the Bible so we do not have to rely on our emotions to determine the truth. The truths found in the Bible may, and even most likely will, produce an emotional reaction. But, the emotional reaction must come after determining what the truth of the matter is.

Emotions are often used as distractions during the Christmas season. Guilt is really overused this time of year. People are made to feel guilty for not ‘getting into the spirit of the season’. That basically boils down to spending more than you can afford in money, time, and place. In following the emotionalist path any time of year, you will find yourself pulled in so many directions that you are not able to accomplish anything. You wind up satisfying no one, not even yourself.

A ‘feel good high’ can also be an emotion that is used against you. Doing things out of the ordinary that benefit others can make you feel good. Perhaps the feeling of doing good becomes the goal instead of actually doing good.

Once you know the truth, it should bring about a physical response. It should motivate you to do the things that Christ says to do. You life should become an open book of someone who is doing the things Christ says to do. Applying Bible teachings to personal actions should become the norm in your life.

In knowing the truth of God, and applying Biblical truth to personal actions, you will become a consistent and stable Christian. You will become someone on which your family and friends can rely.

A person who is consistently doing the right things (right according to Jesus Christ) is not subject to the whims of emotions. That person knows what is right, and he or she is going to do their dead level best to do what is right. They will do what is right on the days their emotions are up. They will do what is right on the days their emotions are down. They will have their eyes on the long term goal or prize. Circumstances will not cause them to question their faith or the righteousness of God.

I don’t know what Martha’s motivation was when she was serving her guests on the day Jesus visited. I do know it must have been hard for her to see all the people there, and not go into her perfect hostess mode. That is the same problem we face today. We see things that need to be done. We see our family needing our time and attention. We see all the extra things that need to be done over the Christmas season. Maybe we see extra work that will provide extra money for the gifts we want to see under the tree. Just like Martha, we look at everything from a worldly point of view. We wind up stressed to the limit. Then, when Christmas finally arrives, we try to relax and cram a month worth of joy into one day.

Martha skipped the needful thing when Jesus was in her home. She missed a great blessing.
We often skip the needful thing when Jesus is in our heart. We miss a great blessing.

Mary chose to first seek the Kingdom of God. You might even say that Mary was serving God while Martha was serving mammon. Martha may have ‘seen the need’ of serving her guests and set aside serving the Lord until she could get the job of hostess done.

If you would like to make this Christmas season the most delightful Christmas you have ever had, it only requires that you set your mind to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Practically speaking, that means giving God the first attention of the day, and continuing to consider His presence with you throughout the day. Of course, that is a great game plan for every day of the year, not just at Christmas time.

It may appear to you, just as it did to Martha, that something MUST be done immediately. You may be tempted to set aside fellowship with the Lord in order to get something important done. Don’t do it. (If you need to call 911 – then it is ok to set aside time with Jesus to get that done.)

Overall, it is a choice. In putting Christ first, you are choosing to serve God. In putting God in second place to the cares of the world, you are serving mammon.

Matthew chapter 6 tells us:

24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
As you go into the Christmas season, remember Martha. She had the King of kings sitting in her living room. She was so caught up in the cares of this world that she missed that opportunity to listen to Him speak.

Don’t feel badly about letting other things go in order to seek first the kingdom of God. ‘Things’ have a way of getting done, or it turns out they didn’t need to be done in the first place.

Something that Jerry and I enjoy beyond anything we ever imagined is time spent with our two grandsons. They spend the night once a week. We have a party every single time they are here. We let them choose the party food. They always, without fail, choose peanut butter and crackers, cheese pizza, peanut butter cups, and chips. We watch a movie or play a game. That is the same thing they eat most of the time anyway. The difference is we put the food on party plates, which is to say fancy plates we picked up at garage sales. They are happy, and we have a great time. It is an altogether wonderful time, and so simple it almost makes me feel guilty. (almost - but not quite)

Do you remember a time in your childhood when you looked forward to Christmas without a care or a worry? If you would have that joy again, start now by choosing to be like Mary. Do the one thing that is needful. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Drop that big serving spoon of catering to other people’s needs and tend to your own spiritual needs first. Your greatest need is time with Jesus. Don’t let the cares of this world rob you of that time and the joy that it brings.

Barbara Henderson

Ps. Please pray for my mom. This is her first Christmas in sixty years without my dad.
And remember to pray for family and friends.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who is Jesus? What Can He Do For Me?

What Child Is This?

The most well known and most celebrated birth occurred in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. That’s right. I am referring to Jesus Christ - the most famous baby of them all. People tend to get all misty eyed when they consider the One who was born there and placed in the manger by His mother. Many Christians know that December 25th is likely not the exact day of His birth. A time set aside to honor His birth is a good thing, even if the day isn’t exactly right.
I always think about Mary at Christmas. I know she loved her little boy as much as any mother ever loved a child, but she knew her child was more than her baby even before He was born. She knew He had no earthly father. Mary didn’t know everything about her Son and His future. I wonder what she thought of the three gifts given by wise men from the east? Gold spends like money, so there was no doubt Mary and Joseph were happy to get that. It symbolizes royalty, so the new parents were probably doubly pleased to get gold. Frankincense is a gum or resin that is used for perfume and religious ceremonies. It symbolizes the royal priesthood of Christ. That would have been a good gift as well under any circumstances. Myrrh, also a gum, is used as for embalming the dead. What did Mary and Joseph understand about that gift? (What would you think if someone gave your baby a lovely gift of embalming fluid?)
Mary and Joseph lived with Jesus and gained a better understanding of who He is as He grew from a baby to an adult. Joseph didn’t live to see Jesus grown, but Mary lived to watch her first born son grow to be a man, be followed by many, die on a cross, rise up again, and ascend to heaven. She lived to hear the promise that the same Jesus would come again. As Mary lived through all these events, she must have gained a better understanding of who her Son REALLY was.
A new Christian usually begins his or her Christian life sort or like Mary. They have a little understanding of Jesus. They know Him as the savior who is able to save to the uttermost those who call upon His name. They know He was born in Bethlehem, and they know He is their ticket to heaven. Like Mary, Christians who are willing to learn, will learn more about who Jesus is as they go through their own lives.
Exactly who is Jesus? Of course I am referring to Jesus, the Christ, who was born of a virgin, did miracles even to raising of the dead, promised salvation to all who believe, was crucified, raised Himself from the dead in three days, walked among men again, ascended to heaven, and promised to return. Who is THIS Jesus?
Matthey 1:1 tells us, ‘The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.’ Jesus Christ is a direct descendant of Abraham and David.
John 1:9-10 tells us, ‘That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and world knew him not.’ The Child of Bethlehem made the world, and He is the Light of the world. Those truly seeking ‘enlightenment’ are seeking Jesus Christ.
Matthew 3:11 says, ‘And Lo, a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.’
Jesus is the beloved Son of God. Mark 1:1 says, ‘the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’ Mary already knew this because the Holy Spirit told her so. Luke 1:35b says, the holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’
Jesus Christ is the Word. John 1:1 says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’
Jesus Christ is a minister, or I should say He is THE Minister. Mark 10:45 says For the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ I suppose you could say Jesus Christ is the Big Man with the big bucks. He alone has the means to pay the ransom of sin for many. No mortal could even pay the ransom for his or her own soul - much less the ransom for many.
Jesus Christ is our willing sacrifice. Galatians 1:4 says, ‘Who gave himself for our sins that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God and our Father.’
He is the lamb of God. John 1:29 says, ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.’
He is also the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. Revelation 17:14a says, ‘These shall make war with the Lamb - and the Lamb shall overcome them: For he is Lord of lords, and King of kings.’
Revelation 19:16 again says, ‘and he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’
Jesus is the Messiah foretold in Daniel 9:26. ‘And After threescore and two weeks shall messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.’
Bethlehem’s Child is our mediator between God and man. I Timothy 2:5 says, ‘For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.’
Not only is Jesus our mediator, He is our intercessor. Hebrews 7:25 says, ‘Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.’ First Jesus made a way for us to get to God, and then stands there and intercedes on our behalf. This is a good place to stop a minute and just say, ‘Thank you Jesus, for all You do for me.’
He is our advocate as well. He speaks in our favor.
The Child of Bethlehem is also the King of Israel. John 1:49 says, ‘Nathaniel answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.’ Israel may not have recognized Him, but Jesus is still the King.
He is the King Eternal. I Timothy 1:17 says, ‘Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever, Amen.’
The Babe who slept in a manger in Bethlehem is the Lord of the dead and the living. Romans 14:9 says, ‘For to this end Christ both died and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What the World Needs Now

What the World Needs Now
By Barbara Henderson

I thought I would start this article with the ending. What the world needs now is Christians who:
• believe in the Absolute Truth revealed to us in the Bible,
• who understand that it was established by the Absolute Authority of creation, and
• who live their lives accordingly. .

An absolute truth is an unalterable fact.

Absolute truth is not relative to culture, time, personal feelings or experiences, or political and social pressure.

An absolute truth must be established by an absolute authority.

The downward spiral of society begins when mankind steps off the foundation of Absolute Truth and into the shifting sand of doing what seems right in their own eyes. This is called Relativism.

Relativism – The doctrine that no ideas or beliefs are universally true, but that all are, instead, ‘relative’ – that is, their validity depends on the circumstances in which they are applied. (dictionary.com) Relativism progresses to:

Tolerance – freedom from bigotry. (dictionary.com)
Tolerance progresses to:

Acceptance – favorable reception; approval. (dictionary.com)

Relativism creates a cesspool of self righteousness. There are no standards by which to live. The individual must observe the environment, assess the situation, and then reason out the right thing to do. The things that society considers ‘right’ today, may be wrong tomorrow. Nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to continual change. There is no anchor to which the weary can cling.

Honestly, if the Absolute Authority is rejected, then there is no one or anything that has authority to declare anything right or wrong.

Today, society clings to some of the old values that are written down for us in the Bible. It is still considered wrong to murder someone unless they are unborn, terminally ill, elderly, or feeble. Most people don’t steal unless they can do it legally. Lies are only acceptable if they are told to protect someone, or cause something good to happen at a later date. But you have to wonder why society bothers. Without the Absolute Authority to set the rules, rules really have no basis.

Relativism has many devout followers. New Agers, Wiccans, Eastern Mystics, and Collectivists (Communists, Socialists, Fascists, Nazi’s, etc.) are all Relativists. They decide what to do based on current circumstances.

The only thing that Relativists do consistently is to tolerate others. For some, such as the Collectivists, tolerance is merely temporary. I found it very interesting that the dictionary defines ‘tolerance’ as ‘an absence of bigotry’. I thought ‘tolerance’ was just putting up with something. I didn’t know it had anything to do with bigotry.

Tolerance is soon morphed into acceptance. Here again, the dictionary gave me a surprise. I thought acceptance was saying, ‘OK, this is the way things are. I am just going to have to live with it.’ Instead the dictionary says acceptance means ‘a favorable reaction – approval’.

This chain reaction is easily seen in the homosexual movement.

Those who want homosexual behavior to be acceptable must first step off the foundation of Absolute Truth. The Bible is clear that this lifestyle is not acceptable to God. They say, ‘Well, God couldn’t possibly have meant that. He must have made a mistake. Or, maybe someone made a mistake in translation some time or other.’

From this point they move in the Relativist arena. If homosexual behavior is incorrectly stated as sin in the Bible, then everything else in the Bible might be in error also. Everything must be decided on the basis of circumstances at the time.

Social and political pressure are applied to society as a whole in order to assure that personal decisions are tolerated. Homosexual behavior must be tolerated, or you are a bigot! When Christians say, homosexuality is not acceptable to God, they are called narrow minded bigots. Of course, the true Christian knows that the rules were made by God. If society has a problem, they need to take the problem to the ‘Rule Maker’. No earthly power has authority to change the rules set by God.

Then from tolerance of homosexuality, society pushes for it to be ‘accepted’. According to the dictionary, that means society is supposed to have a ‘favorable reaction’ and ‘give approval’ of the movement.

Sadly, we are living in a time like in the book of Judges when, ‘there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.’ (Judges 17:26)

As wicked as society is as a whole, it is not surprising. Many people don’t profess any form of Christianity. We cannot expect them to live in obedience to the commandments and the other instructions in the Bible. Instead of condemning the lost, Christians need to pray for them. The lost of the world need Christians to tell them about the Absolute Truth, the Absolute Authority, and the Perfect Way of salvation. Christians should also be free to make it clear that certain behavior is unacceptable.

The church today has set itself to be the watchman of society, focusing on the wrong doing of the world. In so doing, they have taken their focus off what is going wrong in the church itself.

Many churches are all too willing to step off the foundation of Absolute Truth laid by Jesus Christ ‘just a little bit’ if they see it is a means to accomplish a particular goal.

Most churches play the ‘numbers game’. They will do almost anything in order to get more people through the church doors. In an attempt to make the church ‘relevant’ to people today, radical changes are often made within the church. Music unfit for human ears is often played in churches. Of course the lyrics are changed to something that sort of sounds a little bit Christian. Preachers are careful not to offend the congregation so they accept the music.

Church leaders believe the circumstances make a little compromise acceptable. Of course it never stays at just a little compromise. Soon the church is nothing more than a social club. The church building may be filled to capacity at every service and activity, but the congregation might as well be going to a local country club or even a night club. (‘Night Club’ is a fancy word for ‘honeky-tonk’, or ‘beer joint’. They are all bad places.)

Many churches also play the money game. Church leaders will do what they deem necessary to bring in enough money to live very lavish lives. This is sometimes called the Word/Faith movement. They attract members by teaching that the Lord wants everyone to be healthy and wealthy. They teach that all you have to do is have faith. You name what you want, and then claim it. They claim they have proof that God is with them because of the numbers in their congregations. Some even teach that people are ‘little gods’. Some in these congregations may know better, but they will not speak out because they consider the circumstances. To speak out would be divisive and maybe even cause a church split. That might be ‘quenching the spirit’.

The truth is that where the scripture is compromised, the Spirit is already quenched.

Other churches set the material needs of people above the spiritual needs. They preach a social gospel, convincing members that ‘doing good’ for the poor and oppressed does more good than preaching salvation by grace. They believe that circumstances dictate such a paradigm shift in how the church operates. After all, the poor and sick of the world are helpless. The material preachers ask themselves, ‘Why not provide the poor with salvation right now – save them from their poverty. That ought to work out just fine.’

A social gospel church will affiliate themselves with associations not connected to the church. This is done in consideration of the current circumstances. Why shouldn’t’ a church work with Planned Parenthood or the World Health Organization if good can be done that way? A preacher might even say, ‘This problem (like aids in Africa) is just too big for the church!’ Such thoughts are of the inadequacy of the church to help with the problems of the world are CORRECT - IF the church has already compromised its principles and blended with worldly ideologies.

Churches whose main goal is numbers, or health and wealth, or social transformation will do whatever circumstances dictate in order to achieve their goals. Church members are expected to tolerate and accept whatever methods church leadership employs. They will also choose to ignore any part of the scripture that they consider divisive. This often means leaving out Bible prophecy. One denomination virtually leaves out the entire Old Testament.

There is also a disturbing trend toward environmentalism is the church. It has somehow become necessary to save the planet instead of saving souls.

Churches should not wander into the heathen theology of running a church based on circumstances. The church cannot reach the lost of the world when it is floundering from the inside.

Jude 1:3 says, ‘Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Our faith is worth fighting for. What the world needs now is Christians standing firmly on the solid rock of Absolute Truth established by the Absolute Authority who are willing to fight.

The song for this article is ‘I Know Whom I Have Believed’. http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/i/k/ikwihb.htm (lyrics at end of article – this is a great song)

I chose this song because I personally know whom I have believed. I would like others to have an opportunity to believe on Jesus Christ as well. Christians standing on the Absolute Truth of Jesus Christ cannot silence the false teachers, but they can expose their errors. Christians can earnestly contend for the faith.

Thank you for reading my article. God Bless you.
Barbara Henderson

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know Whom I have believ├Ęd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.

Monday, November 23, 2009

When Counting your Blessings Be Thankful for Hope

Thankful for Hope
By Barbara Henderson

As we approach the day set aside to give thanks to our God, the Christian has far more for which to be thankful than those who do not know Jesus Christ. Most Christians can say they are thankful for their salvation, their families, their freedoms, and whatever material possessions they may have. Christians can also be thankful for the love of God, a love that is immeasurable and eternal. In His immeasurable love, God has given us more. God has given us hope.

For the Christian, ‘hope’ is not a feeling. Hope itself may produce a feeling that things are going to turn out right, or that we will get something specific, or be able to accomplish some specific task. But hope in itself is not a feeling. Hope for the Christian, is, at least in part, fore-knowledge of events or actions that are going to eventually come to pass. Hope is the encourager, pushing the Christian to leave behind the thoughts and actions of their old life, and go forward into a closer and purer walk with Jesus Christ. Hope is the catalyst that spurs the Christian to forward actions. Thank God for hope.

Here is what the Bible says about hope.

Hope of immortality is confirmed in scripture.
‘And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.’ Acts 24:15

Hope of heavenly rewards
‘For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;‘ Colossians 1:3

Hope of the second coming
‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;’ Titus 2:13

Hope that anchors the soul
‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;’ Hebrews 6:18

Hope based in the resurrection of Jesus Christ
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,’
1 Peter 1:3

Hope that abides forever
‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity’
1 Corinthians 13:13

Hope that inspires the believer to clean living
‘And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.’
1 John 3:3

Now, where does one gain hope such as this? Where else can a hope that endures through emotional highs and lows be found?

Hope is gained through scripture
‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’ Romans 15:4

If you have already become a Christian, this life changing hope is available to you. You will find it through hiding the words of God in your heart. The more of God’s words and teachings you know, the more hopeful you will become. It really is that simple.

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your savior, then this hope is NOT available to you.
The Bible tells us, ‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ 1 Corinthians 2:14

The hope available to Christians is clearly not available to the ‘natural man’, which is to say unbelievers.

Seeing that we Christians have such hope through Jesus Christ, should we not pray to be able to direct those without hope to the Giver of Hope? The hope that is in us should make us bold to proclaim salvation to the lost, that they might have hope also.

Hope that makes believers bold
‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:’ 1 Peter 3:15

We Christians have hope not based on the world system, which is made up of government, economics, mystery religions, and the society these things produce. Our hope is not of this world. It cannot be crushed or defeated by events occurring in the earthly realm. Our hearts may be broken, but hope in God and His promises will abide.

The hope of the Christian is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His abilities to make good on the promises He has made to us in scripture. (Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.) Hope based on performance by any human being is risky. The thing is, even when someone has the best of intentions in fulfilling a promise, circumstances beyond their control may prevent it. But hope in God is sure. In Psalm 42:5 says, ‘Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why are thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God” for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.’

Do you find that your hope is faded or even fainted? Maybe I should ask if occasionally it seems your hope has ‘passed out entirely’? It happens to Christians. Their hope seems gone. The problem often lies in taking our eyes off our source of hope, which is God Almighty. We begin to hope in things of the world. We hope a political election will change things, or a new medicine, or a new boss at work, or more education, or less education, whatever the case may be. What really changes things is hope in God. Let your soul hope in God.

Sometimes to continue to hope is hard or close to impossible. Consider Psalm 119:81 which says, ‘My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.’

This poor psalmist said his soul was fainting for the salvation or deliverance he was seeking: but, he refused to see hope as a feeling. Instead he hoped in or relied upon the sure word of God. His hope in God defended him against Satan’s attack. When we despair to see the deliverance of God, we are to go back and encourage ourselves through scripture to continue to hope in God. When the chips are really down, you don’t need the emotionalism of worldly hope to help you get through whatever is going on in your life. You need the hope in God that is greater than ‘how you feel’ at the moment. Thank God He is greater than our feelings.

This is my ‘Thanksgiving Prayer’ for you.

‘Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.’ Romans 15:13

The song for this article is ‘My Hope is Built’. This is a song of encouragement for those, who like the psalmist, are fainting in the flesh, but continue to hope it God.

Barbara Henderson

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Attitude of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – It Ain’t That Easy!
By Barbara Henderson

Well, here we are again. Thanksgiving is coming. Then it will be Christmas. Then we will start a new year. We will hope for a new year filled with joy and good things. In fact, we hope for a joyful holiday season. I know, the term ‘holiday season’ is now thought to be offensive, as it puts Christ out of the season. However, when I was growing up, the phrase ‘holiday season’ was meant to include the three holidays beginning with Thanksgiving and ending with New Years. Christmas was practically a ‘holiday season’ all by itself. Each particular holiday was an occasion to celebrate God’s love and mercy. The culture of that time pre-supposed that Jesus Christ was the reason for all three days of celebration.

Last week’s article covered the tendency of some people to spoil everyone’s holiday season by reliving past grief to the point that it seems the holiday season is spent in mourning. The article encouraged people to consider their grief well prior to the onset of the holiday season, and mourn as they feel the need; but, with God’s help, set aside their grief for the holiday season, beginning with thanksgiving. The Bible itself tells us there is a time to mourn. So, I am not saying that grief should be ignored, but that at some point, grief should not control your seasons of joy.

The spirit of thankfulness is a tremendous gift from God. It is the beginning of change for the better. It is the beginning of a new and better way of living. But, thanksgiving is also hard work. It leads the thankful heart into an unknown future. To be truly thankful, requires that one launch out into the wilderness without really knowing where they are going, or what they will actually be doing. I think that is why people hang on to grief. Grief is a known element. Everyone knows how to grieve and mourn. You just bawl your eyes out, or keep a pained look on your face while you go about your daily life. You focus on the past, another known element, and shield your eyes from an unknown future.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, requires courage. Here’s why.

First, thanksgiving acknowledges your own inability to achieve or gain anything without help from God. Thanksgiving tells you that the things you have were not gained by your own hard work and perseverance. If you had gotten things on your own, then why the need to give thanks in the first place? Thanksgiving is a tool by which a believer may rid his or her self of pride. Thanksgiving leads to humility.

Somewhere in between thanksgiving and humility is repentance. As you begin to give God the credit for all your blessings, you become aware of more blessings that you have taken for granite in your life. You have a glimmer of understanding of how blessed and favored you are with God. Humility begins to grow in your life. From the extreme advantage point of a humble heart, you begin to see how pride has crept into your life. You begin to feel the weight of burdens you are carrying that you don’t have to carry. At some point, you begin to repent of thought patterns and a life style that thanks yourself for all your hard work and success. You become sorry for your sins. You come to an understanding that the measure of success or failure is not what is visible to the eye. It is not in the measure of what you have or don’t have. This requires a paradigm shift in one’s thinking.

This attitude adjustment, this change in your way of thinking, is not easy. In fact, it is so hard that many and even most people turn back. They set their shoulder to the plow and start out with their eye on the prize at the end of the row. But then, all the changes that thanksgiving brings become frightening. They would rather go back to the known elements of an unthankful life.

For those who persevere in developing an attitude of thanksgiving and praise, there is a tremendous reward. That reward is meekness of spirit. Meekness is the most powerful tool a Christian can have. Here is an exert from an article that I wrote on meekness some time ago.
‘Meekness - Meekness is reliance on God instead of yourself.
A mighty man of God was Moses; yet Moses was meekest of all men. Now how can that be? Simple. Moses, a former prince of Egypt, came to understand that through God working in him, he could accomplish more than all the mighty armies of Egypt. That is the meekness that we should seek. It leads us to understand that 'I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me'. (Philippians 4:13)
So, meekness does not mean 'I am a door mat. Come stomp on me!' It means that you have begun to understand that your success in any endeavor is not based on YOUR own abilities. Remember that Moses had plenty of natural abilities and talents. Yet, he set those aside in favor of reliance on the Lord.
Moses did spend 40 years in the wilderness caring for sheep between the time he rejected the power of Egypt and chose instead to be counted with the people of God. Like Moses, we may grasp the concept of meekness, but be slow to be able to fully implement meekness as a way of life. That means we should all get started working on fully relying on God instead of ourselves right away.
Right now, are you on the path to meekness; or, are you still trying to do all things through your own ability, wealth, or authority? Or have you set these things aside and chosen to rely on the ability, wealth, and authority of God Almighty?
No matter how great your personal talents and power, the arm of flesh will eventually fail you. If you were even greater than Alexander the Great, you would still eventually meet his fate. You would die, and your kingdom and possessions would be given to another mortal.
The inheritance God has for the meek is eternal. Reliance on God instead of your self is the path to success.’ (end quoted article)
This is just a simple explanation of the benefits of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a process, not a holiday. Thanksgiving brings changes. Some of the changes will be hard. You can bet that some of the changes will be very hard. They will be so hard, than many will turn back from thanksgiving, and go back to living on their own. These people may be saved, but the joy of their salvation will be overshadowed with the cares of the world. Meekness will elude them all their lives. No matter what their earthly success may be, it will pale in comparison to what it could have been through meekness.

Perseverance in thanksgiving is somewhat like Peter walking on water. When he kept his focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, he stayed above the water. When he looked at the water, he began to sink into the sea. If a Christian gazes on the things of earth such as material wealth, hurt feelings, genuine grief, or bitter disappointments, they are going to be overwhelmed by these things and fall back into grief and things of the past. Their only option for help in their distress is to keep their eyes fixed on the Lord. And, I will be the first to admit that it really ‘ain’t that easy’. In fact, it is well night impossible sometimes. Thankfully, nothing is impossible with God. (Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23, mark 10:27, Mark 14:26, Luke 18:27 )
So, there you have it. The question is, are you one of the few who will be willing to set a course of thankfulness in your daily life? Or, will you be one who finds the road of thanksgiving to hard and difficult?
Barbara Henderson
Grief versus Thanksgiving
By Barbara Henderson

Here we are approaching Thanksgiving, so you may wonder why I am writing about grief. It is because grief seems to dominate the Thanksgiving and Christmas season for many people. People spend times that are supposed to be filled with joy ‘grieving over joys departed’.
( Line from ‘Tell it to Jesus’ http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/t/e/tellitto.htm I cannot recommend this song highly enough. It proclaims a real solution to a real problem. Tell it to Jesus – as loudly and as long as it takes.)

Spending times set aside as times of joy grieving is a recipe for disaster. Everyone needs a time that they set aside their grief and focus on the daily benefits that God is giving them continually, as well as specific blessings and gifts that are given at different times. Salvation is a gift that is given once, but it has daily benefits. It is like a child born into a practicing Christian family. It was a blessing to the child to be born into that family. It is a continual blessing to the child to be raised in a Christian environment by Christian parents.

In Nehemiah 8 we are told of the people of Israel who had returned to Jerusalem and were listening as the word of God was read to them. They understood the word of God and the law. The people wept when they understood how they had failed God. Then Nehemiah and Ezra and all the Levites that taught the people said,
‘This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’ (Nehemiah 8:8-10)

The people were sorry for their sins. But, it was a holy day, and they were told not to mourn or weep. They were instructed to have a good day themselves, and send good things to those who had nothing. They were given the formula to do this. They were to rely on the Lord. The joy of the Lord was their strength.

Now, here we are facing a holiday season that should be filled with Joy in our salvation, eternal security, eternal destiny, eternal companion, eternal guide, and all the good things that God has promised to us. No earthly grief or burden can nullify these blessings. By God’s strength we can rejoice in our present circumstances.

Now, I do not want to make light of any grief that anyone might be going through today. It is real, and it hurts to the point of mental anguish. When dealing with grief or loss, whether it be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or just the loss of a treasured possession or position in life, we need to see and consider the example of Job. ‘In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.’ Job 1:22

When dealing with grief, people often waste time blaming God and being angry at Him. This separates them from the balm of healing that only God can give. If you were sick you would go the physician who could help you and heal you. You would not blame the physician that you were sick in the first place. That is what happens with Christians who do not take their grief to the Lord. They begin to blame God Himself for letting grief come to them in the first place. This separates them from the healing power of God.

Second, we need to understand that there is indeed a time to mourn. Ecclesiastes 3 says,
1. ‘To every thing there is a season, and time to every purpose under the heaven:
2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and time to dance;
We definitely are allowed a time to mourn and grieve.

God does not expect us to set aside our grief and mourning on our own.
Psalm 147:3 says, ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
God wants us to take our grief to Him so He can heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds.

So, according to the Bible, we have a time to weep, and a time to mourn. But that season is not eternal. Praise God, the season of mourning and weeping is not eternal. That season will turn, just as summer turns to fall and fall to winter and winter to spring.

My personal experience is that mourning and weeping over a loss tends to come and go a little. The season of initial grief and loss is always the worst. Then it comes again, but not quite as bad, and so on. When grief overwhelms you, just through it, but don’t let it become your way of life. After my sister died I had a few ‘melt downs’ at the oddest times. Just a few minutes before she died I was talking to her on the phone about the coming Easter weekend, and what I was going to get at that the grocery store before going to mom’s house. Less than an hour later we got the call that she had died. I suppose it was because we had been talking about me going to the grocery store, but after she died I was pretty prone to have an overwhelming sense of loss in the grocery store. That resulted in a bucket full of tears, and me just leaving the store without getting through the check out line. Now, I know that is sort of nutty, but that is what happened. Now, almost fifteen years later, I can go the grocery store anytime, and only cry at how expensive things are.

If you have a recent or long past sorrow, I think the time to consider it carefully is now, before we actually get to the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. If you still have tears, cry them. If you feel like your heart needs to mourn, then go ahead. But, at the same time, begin to ask God to help you set aside your sorrow, trouble, grief, uncertainties, and any other distraction so you can go through to a time of thanksgiving and joy because of God’s eternal goodness. You need that time as much as you need a time to grieve. You need the time to laugh and dance as much as you need the time of grief.

We have heard about the stages of grief. I think they are real; but, going through grief and turmoil does not give them the right to control how you live the rest of your life. God has clearly stated that while the elements of sorrow and grief have a time in your life, so do the times of laughing and dancing. (I think dancing is a time of praising the Lord joyfully)

Anyway, the first stage of preparing for the holiday season ahead (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day) is to go over any grief you have sitting in your heart. If it takes tears to let the grief go, then cry. But make it clear to your heart that the time of grief will give way to a time of joy and thanksgiving. The joy of the Lord and His blessings will enable you to be joyful and thankful in trying circumstances.

I want to put a disclaimer here. Three years ago this month my dear preacher friend Evan New died unexpectedly of a heart attack. That left his family and friends in the first stages of grief. Of course they were not able to have what is traditionally considered a joyful holiday season. I can tell you that in the middle of an ocean of tears they were thankful that Evan was in heaven. That was obviously the consuming thought of their holiday season that year. Without the joy of the gift of God’s salvation, they might have all lost their minds. Now, this will be the fourth Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day without him. Their lives have gone on. Of course they still miss him, but grief and loss are not the controlling force in their entire lives. They don’t wait for the holiday season to approach so they can mourn over his death.

The point is that if the Lord allows a great grief to come to you during the holiday season, then it is time for you to mourn! However, that is only in the beginning. As time goes by, you do not want to turn seasons of rejoicing into perpetual seasons of grieving.

Now, a few weeks before our holiday season begins, is a good time to pour out your grief and sorrow to the Lord. Ask Him to comfort you, bear your sorrow, and strengthen you with His joy that you would have the strength to enjoy the blessings of God.

A thought on a good way to set aside your grief in favor of joy and thanksgiving is given to us in Nehemiah in a verse already quoted in this article. The people were told to send portions to those for whom nothing had been prepared. Consider those who have are in need of food as well as those who are need of hearing the Gospel. Food for the hungry in your churches food baskets and Bibles for the lost through an organization like the Gideon’s is a good way to help yourself.

In Nehemiah we are to eat the fat and drink the sweet. When we hear these words we think of the good things we eat and drink at festive dinners. The word of God is also what we should think of. Just as the meat is most tender by the fat on a big t-bone steak, the fat of God’s word is where we read of His tender love for us and find strength to go forward in rejoicing. Drinking the sweet is more than a tall glass of ice tea. It is also drinking in the good things of God that are explained to us in the Bible. N short, ‘eat’ the words in the Bible. In preparing for the coming holiday season, it is good to begin a Bible study on any subject that interests you, or any specific Bible Book that you like to read. You will find compassion for your sorrow. You will find healing for the scars left by your loss, whatever it may be. You will find strength to go forward with joy.

I do have one more thing to say. Holidays are not magical times. They are just days that have a different routine. Do not expect something paranormal to happen that transforms the next year into some supernatural fantasy world where trouble and sorrow do not come. Set a realistic expectation on exactly what is going to happen this holiday season. People are still going to be people with a sin nature. The grumpy person will likely still be grumpy. The martyr in the family will still be the martyr. The bossy controlling person will still be trying to micromanage everything. But, YOU can be different. You can follow the example of the King David the Psalmist in Psalm 71:16 when he says, ‘I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of they righteousness, even of thine only.’

Honestly, times of rejoicing and thankfulness are gifts God gives to Christians that resemble furloughs from the burdens and cares of life that drag them down to sorrow and grief. It is silly not to take advantage of such wonderful gifts. Most of all, God deserves our undivided attention for seasons of rejoicing. And, something to keep in mind is that thanksgiving often precedes additional blessings.

Now, watch for my article next week on the Pilgrims, and what the grief they had to set aside before they could properly thank God for His goodness to them.

Barbara Henderson

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Your Part in Bringing World Peace

A Real and Lasting Peace in Our Time

‘Give peace a chance’ is the rallying cry of some who ‘really want peace’, and are ‘really willing to give peace a chance’, and think they know exactly what it will take to bring about peace. Now, if everyone else would just do exactly what they say to do, the world would be suddenly and eternally at peace.
They are overlooking the starting point for a true and lasting peace. The starting point for world peace is in the heart of the individual. Mankind in general is at war with the God of creation. The individual is specifically at war with God. A real and lasting peace begins in the heart of every individual. It begins with the individual making peace with God.
How is this done?
Acknowledge there is a conflict. The sin nature separates man from God. God is perfect and righteous; and we are not. God is the One who has the power and authority to fix all the problems facing the world, the earth, the cosmos, and the conflicts and problems in the lives of every individual. So, the question is, ‘Why doesn’t He? Why doesn’t God fix things?’
Something is standing in the way. Something specific has to be done before God moves on behalf of the individual. Mankind has no power to fix its own sin nature. The individual does have power to take THAT problem to God. World peace and peace in your heart must begin with facing the real problem. YOU are separated from God by your sins.
A tactic of ‘problem solvers’ who are faced with unsolvable problems is to change the people’s perception of the problem. We see this all the time. For instance, it is said that the conflict in the Middle East is caused by Israel taking land that is not theirs. That is not true. The problem is that the Islamic peoples hate the followers of the God of the Bible. The end result of that ‘sleight of hand’ is no peace for anyone. Such tactics might work part of the time with people, but it works none of the time with God. He knows the real problem. He has the real solution. He has offered His solution to you for free.
If you personally want a true and lasting peace, then you must surrender to God.
Unconditional surrender to God is required. This is not a negotiated peace. It really is an unconditional surrender. You must go to God on His terms. You cannot go to God and say, ‘Well, I am a good person; now let’s be friends.’ The path to God is through Jesus Christ the Son. There is no other way. Always consider that making one way into heaven was a very expensive endeavor for God. It is outrageous to ask that He make other ways into heaven, especially when the way provided is completely adequate for all who are willing to take advantage of the gift of eternal life.
In unconditional surrender, the repentant sinner goes to God as an immigrant; not as a settler.
An immigrant goes to a new land with the goal of assimilating into the population of the new land. They prepare for their journey. They learn the language of their new home. They learn the customs of their new home. They don’t give up their individuality; but they fully leave behind the old land and the things of that land that are unacceptable in the new land. Immigrants truly want a better country. That is why they are leaving their old lives behind them.
Settlers, on the other hand, go to a new land intending to change the new land into their own image. They want the people of the new land to become like them; to speak their language and learn their customs. They intend to give up nothing, only to take what the new land can give them.
Heaven has no settlers. If heaven could be changed to be like the land from which the people come, what would be the point of heaven? A true child of God is an immigrant. Their heart has rejected the things of this earth. They seek a better country. They are ready to change things and behaviors in their own lives to be more like the King of Heaven.
So, lets go over this one more time.
Acknowledge that sin separates mankind from God. The individual (you and I) go to God the Father of our own free will through Jesus Christ the Son.
You surrender to God. It is an unconditional surrender. God has no negotiated surrenders.
You go to God as an immigrant, one willing to change your own life to fit into the rules and laws of your chosen country.
Then what? You are a citizen of heaven, but you still live on earth. How are you supposed to live here temporarily, until you go to heaven to live eternally? Your salvation is secure, but the outcome of your life is still teetering between living like an immigrant headed for a better country, and someone bogged down in the cares and disappointments of this world.
I think one of the most important things that can give you a bright future or bitter failure is the direction of your vision.
If you look backward, you are in trouble.
If you look forward, you are on the right track.
Remember Lot’s wife. She was told not to look back. I believe this meant not to look back with longing as well as not look back at all with her eyes. She didn’t have to actually turn her head around to ‘look back with longing’. She wasn’t even well out of the city until she looked back in sorrow over the things she was leaving behind. She had left her home. It was probably somewhat lavish and ultra fancy. It might have been a palace. All her ‘stuff’ was still in the house, and it was being destroyed as she fled the city. Her friends and many loved ones were there. Her wealth was there. All these material things were there, but her way of life was also there. She turned into a pillar of salt, and is probably still standing right there in the same boring spot.
What I see Christians doing is not really looking back at a sinful life with longing. It is looking back at a part of their life that was different.
They look back to a period of time when they lived in a place they loved.
They look at a time when loved ones were in good health.
They look at a time when they had a job they loved.
They look at a time when they had a car they loved.
They look at a time when they had a church they loved and in which they were active. They look at a time they were considered wise and helpful.
They look at a time when they were so certain they were doing the exact will of God.
They look at a time when they were the ones doing the helping instead of the one in need of help.
All these things may have been good in their time; but those times are past. It does no good to look back with longing as though one would return to them if it was within their power to do so.
The Apostle Paul says to run with patience the race that is set before us. No one runs backward on the race track and expects to win a prize.
Yet, some Christians have made a habit of continually looking backward instead of forward. They mourn all the day long over ‘joys departed’. Looking backward is at least one way that a ‘root of bitterness that will rise up in the way and defile many’. (Heb.12:15)
Looking backwards definitely is a stumbling block in the way of a true and lasting peace between the individual believer and the God of their salvation. This is a very sad but very true statement: Bitterness in your soul and your life WILL hurt (defile) those around you. It will hurt the ones you love the most.
Looking back at your past with longing is not the same thing as looking back with thankfulness, fondness, and laughter. The Bible records the mighty works of God. We are told to remember them and teach them to our children. The children of Israel remember the Passover of Egypt to this very day, but does anyone believe they want to go back and do it all over again?
People are often selective in their memories, or unrealistic. They want to go back and live over the good things, but they forget the sorrow and hard times that were present at the same time as the joyful things. Life is hard. Once you get a day finished, it is finished. Don’t live like you were in a cartoon with your eyes glued to something behind you.
Luke 9:62 says, ‘And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’ I have a cherished photograph (somewhere in storage) of my granddad with his shoulder to the plow attempting to get a furrow across a rocky field in Arkansas. (If I knew where the box containing the photo is, I would scan it and have Ray publish it with this issue). There is no question from the photograph that granddad could not take his eyes of the goal, or he would fail. Every furrow in that field was an accomplishment. While the photograph is just of granddad, a plow, one mule, and rocky field, the photograph loudly says, ‘determination’, and ‘focus’. Grandad definitely was not wasting any time looking at the furrows he had already plowed. He wasn’t mourning over the ones that might have been a bit crooked. He wasn’t rejoicing over the furrows that were incredibly straight and deep. He was looking ahead. He was racing to get that field plowed and planted in time to get a good harvest.
In plowing the field, granddad was also focused on caring for his family. He was focused on doing what was right. In our daily grind, we cannot forget our responsibilities, but we will do a much better job at everything we do IF maintaining peace with our God is the main focus of everything.
Now, as a Christian, that kind of focus and determination needs to be applied daily to your own life. You will not bring about a real and lasting world peace through your actions. However, you WILL bring about a true and lasting peace between yourself and the God who created you. The more people who are at peace with God, the more of God’s blessings will fall on the whole earth. God’s spirit will not always strive with man (Genesis 6:3) World peace will come, but it will come when God says it will come. In the mean time, do what you can to personally make a difference. Make peace with God yourself. Live a life that encourages those around you to also seek peace with God.
It is peace with God that will strengthen you to do the tasks that are set before you, to live a life that you find satisfying, and to have joy now and in eternity.

Looking backward will get your field plowed in incoherent circles.
Bitterness will be the crop you harvest.
You will feed your family bitterness instead of the sweet Word of God.
You will forfeit thanksgiving.
In forfeiting thanksgiving, you forfeit glimpses of a bright future.
Bitterness stifles repentance.
Bitterness smothers humility and meekness.
In looking backwards you pretty much turn into a pillar of salt, and wind up stuck in the mire as long as you live, OR as long as you continue to look back.
If you find yourself stuck in bitterness and have a crick in your neck from looking backward, then I have advice for you. Get a pry bar and turn your head toward the tree that cures bitterness. You will find help at the cross. There is an old song that says ‘Kneel at the cross, Christ will meet you there’. Hebrews 4:16 says, ‘Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’
THEN, there is another problem that stands in the way of peace between you and God. That is your side vision. King David was probably using a little of that ‘side vision’ when he saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof top. He wasn’t looking backward, but he wasn’t looking forward either. His lapse of focus caused him terrible grief. It caused grief to those around him. It came back to cause him more grief later in his life.
Today Christians may not fall into the sin of David and Bathsheba, although that is not uncommon even among the brethren. More commonly, they look at what other people have in general and find themselves distracted by jealousy. They may see the new home someone else has and begin a quest to gain a home of their own that is equal or even superior to someone else’s home. It may be a car. It may be a vacation or vacation home. It may be career advancement. It may be the figure or hairstyle of a Hollywood celebrity. It may be the acclaim or fame of someone that the Christian suddenly desires for himself. Their focus changes from ‘peace with God’ and ‘pleasing God’ to ‘I gotta get me one of them myself’. Now honestly, what do you need with that bigger house, vacation home, fancy car, or career advancement? There is nothing wrong with any of these things in themselves. The sin comes in when the desire to have them is causing your head to swivel away from keeping God as your first focus.
An additional difficulty is that peace with God, once achieved, is a bit hard to maintain. It isn’t impossible, but it is something that should always be considered. Even Paul the Apostle was vigilant lest he become a castaway after having preached the gospel. (1Corinthians 9:27) If Paul took care to remain faithful and diligent then we should follow his example and do the same thing.
The song for this article is ‘Come Thou Fount’. The line that says ‘prone to wonder, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love,’ describes most of us – most likely even all of us. Practicing Christians really love our God. We want to please Him; but, we can be distracted. Be vigilant. Stay focused on the future and the prize.

Come Thou Fount 

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/o/comethou.htm (This is a very long version of ‘Come Thou Fount’. I don’t remember half the verses, but they all sound good today. It is a shame that songs are often shortened in order to fit in the hymnal. Then they are shortened even more to fit into the song service. The most notable ‘shrinking song’ is ‘Amazing Grace’. It has at least three verses that are not in most hymnals. It sort of leaves out the middle of the story. If you want to see all the verses go to http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/a/m/a/amazing_grace.htm )

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Putting the Republican Party on Notice

Putting the Republican Party on Notice
Return to Conservative Values – Or Fade into History
By Barbara Henderson

Are you, the conservative people, sick of and even terrified by the Marxist policies being pushed through congress by the liberal Democrats? Do you, like millions of Americans, have no idea of how those hideous creatures even got to Washington in the first place? Do you wonder what it will take to stop them? Well, I have a few suggestions.

First, identify reason the liberals got there in the first place. Republicans keep ‘playing to the middle’. They want to be seen as good old boys and girls willing to get along with everyone. They don’t care if they are seen as good old boys and girls without any character or principles. They just want to be liked. Public opinion means more to them than right or wrong. SO – they run middle of the road candidates – RINO’s – Republican’s in name only. The results have obviously been disastrous!

Take a look at the last presidential election. Hillary Clinton was the darling of the Democrats. She had waited years for her turn, and her time had come. Or, so it seemed. To defeat her, the Republicans needed a candidate that was a true conservative. The people wanted a choice. Instead we got John McCain as a candidate. If you put John and Hillary’s voting record up on a scoreboard, what differences would you have seen on taxes, spending, and support of a traditional family? Both candidates couldn’t distance themselves far enough and fast enough from anything resembling Christianity. You had two peas in the same liberal pod.

Well, the democrats were smart enough to seize the day. They dropped Hillary like last week’s lettuce. They put in someone much farther to the left. And he was elected, to the sorrow and possible downfall of my country. He and his detestable czar/henchmen are currently working to dismantle the constitution, control every cent of money in the nation, and silence everyone who opposes their Marxist agenda.

That is where we stand today. And, the fault is at least partly with the Republican Party itself! They have taken conservatives for granite. They have acted like the conservatives have no place to go except the Republican party. They have even acted like committed conservatives are a fringe element and really an embarrassment to the Republican Party. Honestly, you can blame Republicans for the mess in Washington DC based on their failure to be true to conservative values.

To change the trend of namby pamby Republican leadership groveling at the altar of the ‘middle of the road’ is going to take determination on the part of true conservatives. In order to effectively change the party, committed conservatives must first get the attention of the Republican leadership. This is going to take courage. To date, we have been ignored for years, and even treated as though we were the nutty relative that must be kept hidden in the attic.

So, how can we get the attention of the Republican leadership?
I think it will take third party candidates. (I told you it was going to take courage.)

Right now, the common thought is that a vote spent on a third party candidate is a wasted vote. Baloney.

Every vote spent on a third party candidate is a message to the Republican leadership.
It clearly says,
‘We, the voters with true conservative values, are not interested in just keeping Republicans in power. If elected Republicans vote like democrats, what is the point anyway? Now, LISTEN TO US. We are through voting for someone just because the Republican Party throws him or her out there and labels them as a Republican. AND – don’t talk to us about the consequences of putting liberals in office. The consequences are the same whether the elected official calls himself a Republican or a Democrat. If the Republican Party wants to count on the votes of committed conservatives, then you better start running true conservative candidates.’

You may be thinking, ‘Barbara, the elections are over. The Republicans gained two Republican governors.’ To that I would say, ‘Yes, you are totally correct. However, midterm elections are just one year away.
• Republicans need to get ready for those elections by turning from their foolish ideas of ‘getting along with the democrats’.
• Republicans are not supposed to get along with Liberal Democrats. They are supposed to oppose them! True conservative ideology has nothing in common with true liberal ideology. There is no common ground!
• Republicans are supposed to have core values that are diametrically opposed to the core values of the liberals.
• Republicans are supposed to hold the line! They are supposed to filibuster evil legislation that raise taxes and erode freedom. Take it to the public. Shout loud and long. Embarrass the liberals at every turn. Don’t attack them personally – just show the folly and deceit of their policies.

Every Republican needs to take stock of his or her core values. If they are actually liberals – then stop lying about it and switch parties. A Republican who votes with the Democrats should be subject to party sanctions – and targeted to be voted out of office. Name one important issue that warranted parties working toward a common goal. You may be able to name some things that are of concern to both liberals and democrats, but core value differences will set two diametrically opposite courses of action to solve the problems.

This is war! It is being fought in the halls of the house and senate. Many of the elected Republicans are so afraid of losing their office, or being labeled as ‘unable to work in a bi-partisan manner’, that they sacrifice all conservative principles. Why on earth would true conservatives vote to keep such power hungry attention seekers in office? Why wouldn’t they vote for a third party candidate that clearly articulates conservative values and solemnly promises to do the best job possible to be a voice for the conservatives.

This is what the Republican Party needs to get through their tinsel covered heads. WE ARE SICK OF YOUR ACTIONS. You claim to be for us, but you are really for yourself. If that means you have to crawl in bed with the liberals, then you have no problem with it. You make us sick!

AND, Republicans can no longer count on the vote of committed conservatives. We would rather vote for a third party candidate or a even a write in candidate than continue to vote for the liberal Republicans you keep running for office.

In the end, I think one of two things will happen.

First, and hopefully, the Republican Party will finally get the message. Just as they fought for the ‘Independent’ vote, they now have to fight for the true conservative vote. They cannot take our votes for granite anymore. Instead of going for the ‘independents’, Republicans should just work to get all the true conservatives to vote. Many have left off voting simply because their gag reflex won’t let them vote for the RINO candidates. (for you liberals reading this – that means the so-called Republican candidates make true conservatives vomit – so they just don’t vote at all)

OR – Second – a third party representing true conservatives will eventually come up. I know, a third party system has a lot of problems. However, the Republicans currently are a group without authority, core values, or a vision for anything other than just how to stay in power. They are really just a useless appendage of the liberal/socialists currently in office. I believe the Republicans could be the ones to fade away, while what begins as a conservative third party movement, actually becomes the leader in a two party system.

Republican Party Leaders – it is up to you.
Either listen to true conservatives, and run true conservative candidates,
true and committed conservatives will find a party who will!

Barbara Henderson