Friday, September 13, 2013

Your Problem Isn't Really Your Real Problem!

The Problem isn’t Really the Problem
Barbara Henderson

Sissy and Bubba were neighbors growing up.  With names like Sissy and Bubba they were automatically drawn to each other.  They helped each other beat up other kids who liked to make fun of their names.  They got along well right from the start.  They got married young and never looked back.  They had their share of troubles, joys, blessings, and even a few things that seemed like a curse.  Through everything Sissy and Bubba did love each other, but they also faced problems in the relationship.  If God hadn’t pulled them through they would have probably wound up in divorce court.  It was especially hard the years they had the sets of twins.  The second year of their marriage the twin boys were born.  Bubba Junior and Bubba Ray were definitely a handful.  Two years later Little Sissy and Missy were born.  Their six additional children were born one at a time like clockwork every two year.  These children were named after other family members like Uncle Jeremiah, Aunt Dorcas, Cousin Tuti-Fruitie, and so on.  On their twenty-fifth anniversary they looked at their children and thanked God for a good life. 

BUT, they were noticing some problems in their marriage. Bubba was tired.  Working to support a wife and ten kids was definitely a full time job.  Money was tight and Bubba just wasn’t convinced that Sissy was managing the money quite as well as she could.  He was definitely too busy to take over the bill paying and money management, but he was happy to point out areas where he thought Sissy was not performing to his expectation.  Retirement was a long way off, but he thought there should be at least a tiny retirement account set up.  He hadn’t had a new truck in over fifteen years, and he was not fond of that fifteen passenger van Sissy drove everywhere.  He wanted a better job, but he had turned down jobs that were potentially better because they would cut into his family time.  He felt like life was passing him by and that somehow Sissy was somehow responsible for their lack of wealth.  She was also probably responsible for the fact that they were living their lives stuck in a rut.  Of course he loved her, but the burden of what wasn’t going right in their lives was definitely on her shoulders.

Sissy was also tired.  She had given up the idea of being a ‘super mom’ when Bubba Junior and Bubba Ray were two weeks old.  When Little Sissy and Missy were born two years later she had really wished for money to afford a full time housekeeper and cook.  She loved caring for her children, but all that cooking and cleaning was exhausting.  By the time baby number ten was born Sissy was pretty much worn to a frazzle.  She never did get the cook or the housekeeper.  Her wardrobe was always outdated because she seemed to stay the same size.  She couldn’t afford to buy new clothes when old clothes were still in good shape, at least not when she was responsible for clothing ten children.  True, hand-me-downs helped with the kids clothes, but kids did need some things brand new.  But Sissy rose to the occasion.  She homeschooled her children, consistently taught them to be responsible for certain things, managed to run the household on a schedule so that meals were on time and clean clothes were available.  She also cut their hair, learned to sew like a professional, and took up gardening and canning.  She budgeted to make sure all the bills were paid and basic needs were met.  But she was really starting to wonder if Bubba was really doing his part.  Could he have brought home a better salary if he had tried harder?  Did he have to have the new clothes so often even if he did work in an office? 

And college was coming up.  Bubba felt like Sissy should have been planning for how to send their kids to college from the day the Bubba Jr. and Bubba Ray were born.  And there wasn’t one single college fund set up, much less ten.  Sissy knew college was coming up and she was at her wits end worrying about it. 

The stress was causing Bubba to blame Sissy.  Pointed remarks were likely to come up in any conversation.  It was definitely Sissy’s fault, and Bubba couldn’t help letting her know about it.  Their kids were not going to get higher educations; they would never be high wage earners; and Sissy was just going to have to bear the burden of guilt, because Bubba knew he had personally done everything humanly possible.  Bubba kept praying and he kept looking at Sissy to see how she was going to pull a rabbit out of the hat on this one!

The stress was also causing Sissy a lot of concern.  She knew her kids were bright. They all loved to learn.  They were definitely college material, but how was she going to get them to college?  She knew it was going to take money, and they just didn’t have any.  And whose fault was that?  Bubba’s!  Sissy earned a little extra money selling items on ebay, but that was just enough to provide a few extras.  And honestly she had never really missed most of the things she and Bubba had given up by having so many kids.  She loved her family.  She kept praying and she kept looking at Bubba to see how he was going to pay for college. 

Then one day Sissy was praying her usual prayer.  It went something like this, ‘Oh Lord!  Thank you for helping me.  Forgive Bubba for being such a lousy provider that our kids can’t go to college unless you intervene.  I know you have given him ways to make more money and he just didn’t follow through.  NOW my kids are going to suffer for his mistakes.  Help Bubba earn more money so the kids can go to college or technical school  - which ever they prefer.

Bubba was also praying, Oh LORD!  Thank you for helping me. Forgive Sissy for mismanaging our money so badly that our kids are going to be cheated out of college.  Help me to forgive her too.  I hate being mad at her about this, and I know you want me to forgive her.  Maybe she just isn’t too bright and can’t help herself.  At least make her wake up and do better with the money I provide.. 

THEN the guardian angel assigned to Sissy and Bubba had a conniption fit and he prayed, ‘Oh Lord!   Has there ever been two such bling lunk-heads in all of time?  Can’t they see the real problem is failure to trust you!....

Now – step out of Bubba and Sissy’s life for a few minutes and take a look at your own life.  Make a mental list of the top five problems you are facing. Money is probably involved in at least two of your top five difficulties.  Hurt feelings are probably involved in the other three. 

For the sake of argument let’s agree that your problems are VERY real, and that you have legitimate concerns in every one.  To get to the top of your list these problems have probably been with you a long time; you have prayed for solutions consistently, and you have done your best to work through the difficulties.  What is wrong?  Why hasn’t God moved on your behalf and settled these issues.  Why are you still struggling to gain a down payment on a house?  Why hasn’t that difficult person moved into another state or at least another county?  Why do you have a car that is falling apart along with a marriage that is falling apart?  Why did Bubba get the new four-wheeler for Christmas and you only got a cheap pair of hiking boots?  Wah! Wah! Wah!

Seriously, I am not taking your troubles lightly.  I know life is filled with painful situations that seem to last forever.  A Biblical example of people who suffered through horrific trials is the children of Israel who were serving as slaves in Egypt when Moses came to set them free.  Well, that sounded good didn’t it?  Ah…. Freedom.  Let the rejoicing begin.  Of course you know the story.  The freedom didn’t exactly begin as expected. Through the ten plagues on Egypt God showed His rule over the false gods worshipped in Egypt.  What a mess.  I mean it must be hard dealing with people who worship frogs, crocodiles, and rivers to say the least.  It would have been like dealing with crazy people.  And you know that while the Jews came out untouched in every plague there was still a lot of stress involved.  It would have been stressful to watch the Egyptians suffer even if they weren’t personally suffering.  I’m sure some of them were gloating, but even that would have been stressful.  Can you imagine the stress the people felt standing at the edge of the Red Sea and watching Pharaoh’s army approaching?

The Lord parted the Red Sea and the Children of Israel went across on dry land. 

The people were seeing the problem of Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea.  It was a very real problem, and they were facing what appeared to be certain annihilation.  But that wasn’t the REAL problem.  The real problem was unbelief.  They didn’t believe God.  At least they didn’t believe Him enough to stop them from worrying about escaping the chariots and horses approaching at a rapid pace.

Today, we Christians also see the problems we face with vivid clarity.  We pray.  We ask God for help.  We know that hears our prayers, but we keep on seeing the problem more than we see the infinite power, resources, and love of God Almighty.  THAT is our real problem.  We let our problems blind us to the help God has for us.  And that can cause us to lose out on blessings.   An example of this in the Bible is also in found in the people who made the Exodus from Egypt.  God delivered them from ten plagues.  He made a away across the sea.  He took them to the border of the promised land in just a few short days.  Twelve spies were sent into the land to check it out and return with a report. Two came back proclaiming the land to be a land that truly was flowing with milk and honey.  They knew the land would be theirs because God had promised and God had shown repeatedly that He was able to keep His promises.  They were delighted.  Ten came back crying that the land was crawling with giants and there was no way they would possess that land.  Then the Lord’s patience ran out.  He didn’t kill them outright.  He let them live the rest of their lives wandering in the wilderness.  During that time He fed them manna and didn’t let their clothes wear out, but they were still tent people without a land to call their own.  And they could have had it all!  But they saw the problem of the inhabitants of the land instead of the solution of God’s help.  That is where most people stand today.  The problems we face are ever before us.  This keeps us from trusting God to help us, and that is our real problem!

God help us to believe Him and trust Him to help us. 

 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Colorado Recall Election - important to every American

Colorado Recall Election
Barbara Henderson

Shock of shocks, in a recall election Colorado managed to boot out two liberal trolls who went directly against the citizens of Colorado in passing ridiculous, useless, and repressive gun restrictions.

Basically, Colorado was fighting a battle for the entire freedom loving citizens of the United States.  Money was poured into the state by the Democrats (aka – the party of ‘make everyone poor’) specifically.  Michael Bloomberg personally sent in $350,000. 

I have spent the better part of the morning reading what news I could find about it, and then reading the comments posted after the articles.  Liberals are furious. As usual they are calling people who don’t agree with them vile names.  To me the most insulting name they call conservatives is ‘ignorant’.  Actually, conservatives are educated to the point that they understand that solutions are made using plans that actually work.  ‘Feel good’ solutions don’t do anything except make silly people feel good for few minutes.

And that is where this gun control legislation came from.  In the wake of horrendous violence, these silly people wanted to ‘do something’.  When they have this uncontrollable urge to ‘do something’, their goal becomes simply doing something.  That’s it.  They don’t have the right mind to understand that they left off the last word of the phrase.  It is supposed to be ‘doing something constructive’.  Gun control has been proven repeatedly to be ineffective at stopping violence.  It is also been proven effective in increasing violence by criminals against law abiding citizens unable to protect themselves. 

However, gun control is not the real issue in the Colorado recalls.  Simple CONTROL is the issue. There is a necessity that government set some limits on some things in order for a society to function.  No one is disputing that.  But these limits, these boundaries are supposed to be set with actual goals and solutions in mind.  They are not supposed to be set to give people the ‘feeling of having done something’.  They are supposed to actually do something constructive.

Overall I am very happy with the outcome of the recall election.  I hope conservatives in general take this win and go forward to more wins.  If we conservatives had effective leadership they would make use of the power of the angry citizen.  Conservatives have been given a small but real advantage at this point.  Conservatives around the country are waiting and watching to see what happens next.  It is time to pursue the advantage just as if a general had won a small battle in an actual war.  The enemy has been soundly defeated in this one place at this one time.  The Republicans and the TEA Party should not fail to pursue the advantage in this matter.  Now is the time to ‘do something constructive’ instead of just ‘doing something’.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Until a Perfect World Comes Again - watch out for Gnosticism

A Long Time Ago When the Earth was Green…..
Barbara Henderson

A long time ago when the earth was green and perfect, it was a beautiful planet with a beautiful garden inhabited by two beautiful people.  The likes of the beautiful people who lived in that garden have not been seen before or since that era of peace and tranquility.  They had no worries, no cares, no enemies, no work schedule, no taxes, and not one single care about tomorrow.  So…. they invented something to worry about.  They worried that God was not fair, that He was telling them lies, and that He didn’t have their best interests at heart.  They were getting their false information from a very cunning creature  who was telling them all about the lies of God and the wonderful life they would have if they turned from God and believed him instead.  Instead of telling the snake to shut his lying face and get out of the garden, they listened to him.  Instead of discussing it with God, and at least getting His side of the debate, they continued to listen to the snake.  Eventually, the couple knew they were going to have to choose a side. The man was basically a coward. He sent his wife to the last discussion with the serpent.  God had made him the woman from one of his ribs.  So if God was telling the truth and she died when she ate the forbidden fruit he was pretty sure God would just make him another wife from another rib. He had plenty of ribs to spare.   That way he would have the same number of ribs on both sides anyway.  It was a win win situation from Adam’s view point.  He would either be a god, or he would get a new wife.

Silly Eve listened to the snake call God a liar and never batted an eye.  She probably said something like, ‘Oh REALLY! Now I get it.  God is holding us back!  Thanks for the update Mr. Serpent.  By the way – when did you learn to talk?’

Now, Eve and Adam had met God in person! They had the truth from His own mouth, and yet they fell for the devil’s lies.  We are no better than they are.  Unlike Adam and Eve we do have Gods written word.  It is called the Bible.  The Bible in its original manuscript(s) is totally without error.  You can be sure that God has preserved His word for us today.  There are manuscripts from ages past that are mirror images of the Bible passages of today.  Don’t doubt it.  God, who spoke the world into existence and created everything that exists certainly is able to write and keep a book exactly as He wants it to be.  And blessing upon blessing, that Book is available to us today.  All we have to do is read the book and believe God.  People are critical of Eve for falling for Satan’s lie (you can be a god) because she knew God Almighty personally.  Yet people today – who have God’s written word – are always trying to twist or interpret God’s word to suit their own desires or social/political agenda.  Don’t be guilty of such folly.  The consequences are dire and unspeakably dreadful.  There are versions of the Bible that have not been translated with the goal of preserving God’s word exactly as written.  Rather they want to make it say something that matches a personal, political, or social agenda or belief.  You must know enough about what the Bible actually says to be able to spot evil translations and error easily.  The next paragraph may seem like I am switching subjects, but please give me a little leeway here..

Some years ago I saw a young woman on a TV new show complaining that she was being unfairly treated by cuts to her welfare money.  She had two or three children, had never been married, and received no support from the children’s father(s).  She was getting monthly government checks that covered day care for her children, tuition to college/vocational school, an apartment, health insurance, and spending money for groceries, clothes, and other things as well.  She said it was unfair to cut her money because her children should not suffer for her mistakes.  I have news for her - children ALWAYS suffer for the mistakes of the parents.  The children of Adam and Eve have suffered for their mistakes since the big mistake.  Most people can recall some personal suffering caused by the mistakes of their own parents.  And, as hard as it is to admit, our own children have suffered from some mistakes we have made.  There is no way around it.  People aren’t perfect.  Nobody gets perfect parents.  Nobody makes a perfect parent.  And parents don’t get perfect kids.  It is an imperfect situation. 

The point is that nobody is perfect.  No generation gets perfect parents or perfect kids. That is why it is so important to constantly hold fast to the truth.  And to hold fast to the truth we must know exactly what the absolute unchanging truth is according to Jesus Christ.  The spoiler – the devil – is always there fighting just as hard to deceive as those who love the truth are fighting to teach the truth to others.  Every individual of every generation needs to be on constant guard against the wiles of the devil!  The core of the devil’s lies is the same lie. ‘You can be a god’.  He has a lot of supporting lies, but that is the main lie.  He attacks from every angle.  One word for the lies Satan has woven into everything is called ‘Gnosticism’.
Gnosticism is:
Blending of mystical teachings with scripture.  This is like stirring sewage in with your scrambled eggs.  It may still look like scrambled eggs but it certainly wouldn’t be something you wanted to actually eat.  By the way – ‘esoteric’ claims to have secret or hidden knowledge.  It isn’t available to everyone.  That adds some mysticism to Gnosticism.  It is true that some Bible teachings are harder to understand than other, but it is all there for anyone who wants to study it.  There isn’t anything that is saved for only some people.
Wrapped up in Christian terminology.  Gnosticism just loves to use Christian terminologyInescapable in society until the end of time. 
Even present before the church – as in the Garden of Eden – promising Eve godhood through works (just eat the fruit – that’s all it takes)
‘Shape shifting’ – Just when you think you have the lie quarantined in one falsehood, Satan jumps tracks and starts twisting some other part of God’s word.  He leaves enough truth to make it hard to separate truth from falsehood unless you are very well aware of what God actually has to say in the Bible.
The constant thread in Gnosticism is to blast scripture and undermine it at every turn – but it is often wrapped up in twisted Biblical terminology.  If it attacks scripture, then Gnosticism is in there somewhere
Is a philosophy – a viewpoint that tries to mesh the God of the Bible with human ideas and values
This may sound like something that occurred in 100AD but Neo-Gnosticism is infiltrating the church today
Mystical.  It takes something simple and makes it complicated.  Gnosticism says the word of God is mystical instead of straight forward – so it needs a mystical interpretation.
Emotionalism trumps scripture – so why even bother to know scripture?  It’s all about how you ‘feel’.
Revelation beyond scripture – or revelation that ‘clarifies’ scripture.  Anyone can claim to be a prophet and there is no one with authority to deny the authenticity of their prophecies.  Forget the Old Testament that said if they make any prophecies that fail to come to pass then they should be put to death.  That policy would take care of all the Charismatic prophets in one fell swoop!
Human Reason - Attempts to reconcile what seems right or how things should be according to mankind to what IS right according to God and how things really are.
From Gnosticism comes apostasy
A Gnostic might be confused and believe that the truths of God can be mingled with the philosophy of this world and still be accepted by God
But in apostasy – people actually understand that there is no way to mix the things of God with the things of the world – and still have anything to do with God. I suppose Cain would be an apostate. First, he knew the truth of God, but obviously did not accept it. Second, he tried to mix his own ideology or philosophy with the things of God. Well, that didn’t work. God refused Cain’s offering. So Cain, instead of repenting of his own Gnostic philosophy, became an apostate. He knew the truth – and he rejected it. He chose his own way over the way of God.
The best way to stymie or thwart Gnosticism is to know sound doctrine.  And the best thing an imperfect parent can do for an imperfect (though positively loved and adored) child is to personally learn Bible Doctrine and make teaching your child sound doctrine a priority as well. Then when you hear Gnostic ideas speak up and say you cannot mix the things of God with the things of the world.
Gnostic and apostate theology is taught in seminaries, Sunday schools, and straight from the pulpit. So, stay alert. A well known quote says, ‘the price of freedom is eternal vigilance’.  Even more important the price of pure Bible doctrine acceptable to God is also eternal vigilance.

And – don’t grow weary in well doing – for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.  A new heaven and a new earth filled with righteousness is coming. 

Galatians 6:9  ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’
2 Thessalonians 3:13 ‘But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.’
2 Peter 3:13 ‘Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’

Barbara Henderson

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