• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The First 100 Days And National Security

Gary Bauer lists some of President Obama’s actions related to national security:

1. Apologizing for America in Europe and Latin America.

2. Bowing before the Muslim king of Saudi Arabia.

3. Pledging to base America’s foreign policy toward Iran on “mutual respect” in a video to the Iranian people and Iran’s Holocaust-denying dictator.

4. Returning the bust of Winston Churchill given to George Bush after 9/11 by our British allies.

5. Giving British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the leader of America’s most loyal ally, a box of DVDs that don’t work in British DVD players.

6. Ordering Guantanamo Bay closed without any idea of where to send the terrorist suspects held there.

7. Suggesting that some of those terrorists now at GITMO may kill again, but may also be released onto U.S. soil and set up with welfare benefits.

8. Caving to communist Cuba by relaxing travel restrictions and remittances for Cuban Americans before any Cuban political prisoners have been released.

9. Shaking hands with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

10. Sitting silently though a 50-minute anti-American diatribe by Nicaragua’s communist president, Daniel Ortega.

11. Releasing Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the suspected of masterminding the 2000 suicide bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

12. Releasing classified CIA memos outlining our interrogation techniques.

13. Telling our CIA agents not to be discouraged when he acknowledges their “mistakes.”

14. Declaring a new openness to “truth commissions” and prosecuting intelligence officials involved in enhanced interrogations of terrorists.

15. Proposing to send a $900 million foreign aid package to Palestinians in Gaza.

16. Asking Congress to relax the law so that some of that money could go to the terrorist organization Hamas.

17. Calling for the U.S. to eliminate its nuclear weapons.

18. Telling Russian President Demitri Medvedev that America’s commitment to missile defense is negotiable.

19. Dropping the term “enemy combatants” for GITMO detainees.

20. Dropping the term “terrorism” for “man-made disaster.”

21. Dropping the term “Global War on Terror” for “overseas contingency operations.”

22. Giving his first interview as president to the Arab language network Al-Arabiya.

23. Telling the Muslim world that his “job” was to communicate “that the Americans are not your enemy,” when it’s Muslim extremists who have declared war on us.

24. Proposing that military veterans use private insurance for the cost of a service-related injury before they would be eligible for coverage through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Contentment With What You Have

Quoting John Flavel:

“If God has given you but a small portion of the world, yet if you are godly He has promised never to forsake you (Heb. 13:5). Providence has ordered that condition for you which is really best for your eternal good. If you had more of the world than you have, your heads and hearts might not be able to manage it to your advantage.”

As Islamic Terrorists Watch

Palestinian militants from the Popular Resistance Committee pose with their weapons while watching the televised speech of US President Barack Obama at a training base in Gaza City, Thursday, June 4, 2009.


Elementary Thoughts: Attitude – Part 6

principalI know one father who not only believes in the power of words to influence his son’s future, but also uses photography to provide him with a vision for his future. When it became apparent to him that his fourteen year old son was very interested in becoming an architect, he arranged for his son to meet the architect of a new skyscraper going up in our city. While visiting the site of the almost completed structure, the father took a picture of his son and the architect as they were standing in front of the building (with hard hats on, of course) viewing the plans. This photograph became a large poster on the wall of his son’s bed room. His son was not only given a positive vision of his future, but he was encouraged by his father’s demonstrated belief in his potential. As parents, we must carefully determine the seeds we wish to plant. The choice is ours to make.

Once the soil is prepared and the seeds are planted, the crop (by the Grace of God) will begin to grow. During this time, the young plants need constant care by the farmer. They also need constant protection from parasites, insects, and bad weather. Our children are a precious gift from God. They are fragile and impressionable during their early years of growth. Like the young plants in the farmer’s garden, they need consistent and loving attention if they are to live up to their potential. If the young plants are left to themselves, they will be choked by weeds or eaten by insects. If left unprotected, they may survive, but they will be poor specimens of what they could have been.

Children, also, cannot be left to themselves. When they are, the weeds of life spring up to choke and stunt their growth. The parasites that prey upon the youth of our society are quick to recognize and devour the future of any child who is left unprotected. Parents were designed by God to be the primary care takers of their children. When, because of aberrations in the appropriate priorities among adults in our modern families, parents fail to give this care, the child suffers. Too often, modern parents can be counted among the weeds and insects in their own children’s lives.

It would be difficult to imagine a farmer becoming so angry and frustrated with his crop that he began to mistreat and abuse the plants in his care. If something was preventing his crop from maturing appropriately or if the plants were being harmed in some way, he would direct all his energy and attention toward resolving the problem. The energy and attention of modern parents is so consumed by their efforts to attain material status that they fail to devote the amount of attention which effective parenting requires for success. When circumstances force them to momentarily divert their efforts from their preoccupation with self to their children, they seem to become disoriented. The frustration and stress of interruption distorts their perspective of the event and they sometimes react out of all proportion to the real circumstances. The resulting anger often leads to abuse. (Continued Monday)

How Many Days Of The Year Do You Work For The Government?

slavesCitizens Against Government Waste released its 2009 Congressional Pig Book Tuesday [April 14], just in time to remind taxpayers that while the number of unconstitutional earmarks in the 2009 budget declined to 10,160 from 11,610 in 2008, the dollar amount for those earmarks increased from $17.2 billion to $19.6 billion. And the Tax Foundation estimates that Tax Freedom Day, that calendar date upon which Americans will have earned enough to pay for all federal, state and local taxes, occurred on 13 April this year — meaning citizens must work 103 days to pay for the cost of government. In 2008, that day was 21 April. On the other hand, if government operated on a balanced budget, the additional taxes would require that Americans work exclusively to fund the government until 29 May.

A Modern Culture Responds To Paul

PaulAngus posted an interesting spoof on SacredSandwich.com about how well received Paul’s letter to the Galatians might be if it were first published by Christianity Today in our present culture. Please remember that the letters to the editor, published below, are a spoof of how modern Christians might respond to this publication.


Dear Christianity Today:

How arrogant of Mr. Apostle to think he has the right to judge these people and label them accursed. Isn’t that God’s job? Regardless of this circumcision issue, these Galatians believe in Jesus just as much as he does, and it is very Pharisaical to condemn them just because they differ on such a secondary issue. Personally, I don’t want a sharp instrument anywhere near my zipper, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge how someone else follows Christ. Can’t we just focus on our common commitment to Christ and furthering His kingdom, instead of tearing down fellow believers over petty doctrinal matters?

Ed Bilgeway; Tonganoxie, KS

Dear CT:

I’ve seen other dubious articles by Paul Apostle in the past, and frankly I’m surprised you felt that his recurrent criticisms of the Church deserved to be printed in your magazine. Mr. Apostle for many years now has had a penchant for thinking he has a right to “mark” certain Christian teachers who don’t agree with his biblical position. Certainly I commend him for desiring to stay faithful to God’s word, but I think he errs in being so dogmatic about his views to the point where he feels free to openly attack his brethren. His attitude makes it difficult to fully unify the Church, and gives credence to the opposition’s view that Christians are judgmental, arrogant people who never show God’s love.

Ken Groener; San Diego, CA

Dear Christianity Today:

The fact that Paul Apostle brags about his public run-in with Peter Cephas, a well-respected leader and brother in Christ, exposes Mr. Apostle for the divisive figure that he has become in the Church today. His diatribe against the Galatian church is just more of the same misguided focus on an antiquated reliance on doctrine instead of love and tolerance. Just look how his hypercritical attitude has cast aspersions on homosexual believers and women elders! The real problem within the Church today is not the lack of doctrinal devotion, as Apostle seems to believe, but in our inability to be transformed by our individual journeys in the Spirit. Evidently, Apostle has failed to detach himself from his legalistic background as a Pharisee, and is unable to let go and experience the genuine love for Christ that is coming from the Galatians who strive to worship God in their own special way.

William Zenby; Richmond, VA

Continue reading. . . .

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