I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kids for Christ, Oklahoma School Controversy

It’s been awhile since I have posted something on Politics, to be honest I am fed up with the protesters on Wall Street (OWS), the Debt Crisis discussions,  Obama’s Jobs bill, the GOP arguing, the housing market crash, the jobless rates/99ers, the Fast and Furious investigation and so on.  All of which I have very opinionated views, none of which I am going to share with you.  

Instead, I want to discuss something less nationally known… what is transpiring in our Educational system regarding religion.  I was scanning through the not so major national headlines when this article popped out at me, http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=359853

Basically there is an elementary school in Oklahoma that is restricting a voluntary Christian organization, Kids for Christ, from publicizing its functions even though it allows other organizations such freedom.  Zahn, from the WND, reports, “Despite the fact that the school allows various community groups – such as the Girl Scouts, the Young Rembrandts and the chamber of commerce – to distribute literature, post fliers, have tables at an annual open house event and even use the public address system for making announcements about community events, Ogilvie denied Kids for Christ access to all these forms of advertisement.” 

He goes on to state, “[A] lawsuit currently filed in U.S. District Court alleges, though Kids for Christ has already received permission to host a series of events at the school in the upcoming academic year, Ogilvie actively discouraged the group from publicizing its activities in the community – even through advertisements in local newspapers or signs posted on telephone poles – because he believed such publicity would "stir up trouble."”

I’m wondering what trouble Ogilvie is expecting to result from a children’s organization.  What is the harm in allowing this organization the freedom to advertise?  And if this is occurring in the heart of America, a place where there are Baptist churches on almost every corner, what is transpiring across our nation?   Are Christians being discriminated against? Is this just another example of our liberties being stripped away in the name of being Politically Correct?  

The Alliance Defense Fund, ADF, is assisting the Kids for Christ organization in their lawsuit against the school district.  The First Amendment clearly is in place to protect freedom of religion and speech, by giving preference to certain organizations, while discriminating against others is in defiance to our constitutional rights.   

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beautiful Feet, 100% Guaranteed!

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"” Isaiah 52:7 NIV

“And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"” Romans 10:15 NIV

Beautiful feet.  I want beautiful feet, don’t you?  

In both the old and new testaments, we are told how to have beautiful feet…we must spread the good news…which is convenient because Jesus commissioned us to go and do just that!

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19 NIV

It’s that simply.  We go, share our faith (the good news) and our feet are beautiful.  There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. 

It’s not like when we watch an infomercial on an eye cream that will decrease eye wrinkles, thereby making us beautiful.  “All” we have to do is buy it, use for a specified amount of time and we may POSSIBLY see results that may, or may not, make us look and feel more beautiful.

No, the word of God promises us that if we will go and share the good news our feet WILL BE BEAUTIFUL, that’s a 100% guaranteed promise!  

What a great advertisement!  

There is no eye cream out there with that type of warranty.  If there were, there would be miles of people lining up.  

So what if the solution to beautiful feet was an infomercial?  Would you jump at the chance to make your feet beautiful?  

I would.   

So why don’t I?  

I’m looking at my feet now (not my physical feet, but my spiritual), they don’t seem very beautiful.  In all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I really “spread the good news”, I certainly haven’t made any disciples lately.  

Oh, I share a little here and there, enough to ease my conscious.  I tell myself that I share my faith on my blog, that I invite friends who are not believers to church, that I tell people I will pray for them(and I really do pray)…but I’m not sure that is the same as “sharing the good news”.  

I think those are important things Believers are called to do, but I feel God telling me it isn’t the same. 
We have all heard the analogy of “what if a person had the cure for cancer but didn’t tell people” applied to Christians not sharing their faith with a lost and dying world.  

So why don’t we speak louder?  Why don’t we share the good news? 

Perhaps it is just me whose feet could stand to do a little more walking, a little more sharing, but I have a feeling I am not the only one with less than beautiful feet.  

How about you?  How do your feet look? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Leaders: Must Reflect, Not Project

I want to begin by saying thanks to everyone who either personally provided input into the qualities a good leader should possess or posted comments; I appreciate your participation and encouragement.  

As I stated, God has been showing me a great deal about leadership in the past few months.  After much prayer, reading and mediation, I have come to the conclusion I do not want to be a leader…it’s a tough job (at least if done correctly).  Instead I would rather be a follower that helps ease the burden of leaders, but that is a completely different post.

So as promised, I am going to tell you the top things God has placed on my heart that any leader should possess if they endeavor to be effective and productive.  

In my humble opinion a good leader should be one who is:

1)      Willing to do what is right instead of what is easy. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matt 7:13NIV

2)      Should not expect special privileges!!! “Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”  John 15:20 NIV

3)      Willing to sacrifice their fleshly rights, (selfishness- to get their own way, to lose control of emotions, set their own schedule, to take a day off- leaders do not get to take the day off when they don’t feel like being responsible, they are always responsible 24/7 because someone is always watching and always needing them).  “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 NIV 

4)      Willing to decrease self (I know, that is similar to number 3)-decreasing self is painful; it means swallowing pride and not retaliating when feelings get hurt.  It means giving up the right to be “ME”.  It’s not about my preferences or personality traits, it’s about glorifying God“He must become greater; I must become less.”  John 3:30 NIV 

5)      Willing to control tempter/emotions and not “speak my mind”.  People remember the times leaders mess up more than all the times they do what is right.  Leaders cannot be perfect, but they should have a willingness to endeavor to control emotions.  “Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” James 3:5 NIV  

6)      Willing to follow the rules even when no one else does. “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,” Titus 3:1 NIV  

7)      Willing to love the unlovable, a leader cannot exclude people from their group/life.  “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” Matthew 5:46 NIV

8)      Willing to compromise, make things convenient for others.  “We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.” 2 Corinthians 6:3 NIV

9)      ABOVE ALL:  Willing to daily grow spirituallyCannot take a day off from serving Christ and following Him“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV.  Because a Good Christian Leader knows that their ability and strength to lead comes not from self, but from God.  They also realize that the lust of the world is difficult to withstand therefore they need Gods help.  They also must be aware that what they may do in moderation, those who follow them will do more liberally.  

To sum it up:  I heard one speaker say that a good leader mustn’t Project their own glory but must REFLECT God’s Glory“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 KJV
So what do you think?  Is my list fairy complete?  What would you add or take away?  Please share, I love comments

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Guest Posting

Hey everyone,

Today, I was given an amazing opportunity to be a featured blogger on a really fun blog postings called, "Saturday Shout-Out" on the blog "Confessions from Boystown", you can view my featured post at  http://confessionsfromboystown.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/saturday-shout-out-wisdom-of-a-fool/#comment-360

I want to say thank you to the rockin' girl who allowed me to take part in her Shout-Outs, I had so much fun doing it and I think you all will enjoy her witty outgoing personality when you log on to check out her site, seriously, go check it out!

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ascent from Darkness: How Satan's Soldier Became God's Warrior

I just finished reading, “Ascent from Darkness:  How Satan’s Soldier Became God’s Warrior” by Michael Leehan.  When I was given the opportunity, through Booksneeze, to read this complimentary book I was unsure if should.  However, after praying, I decided to read it and I am so incredibly glad that I did!

I must admit, this is not a normal read for me.  Honestly, it took me out of my comfort zone in its directness and insight into the world of Satanism.  This book opened my eyes to the spiritual warfare taking place all around us.  What I found equally as shocking as the battle for Michaels' soul, was the fact that he lives in the heart of America.  If evil can abound in the midst of what most know as the Bible Belt, Oklahoma, then evil is everywhere.  It is right next to you and right next to me.  The only thing stopping a massive tipping of the scales towards evil is Jesus Christ.  

Michael captures the reader’s attention with his openness and honesty tempered with humility and regret.  He does not glamorize his years of sin or mask the pain he felt while struggling to overcome a lifetime of depression and repression.  The account of the events that transpired in the time leading up to Michael’s acceptance of Salvation is touching.  The struggle he endured while seeking truth, yet running from it, moves the reader beyond what mere words can describe.  

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an understanding of the depths Satan will go to deceive people.  It is a book for anyone seeking truth, a book for anyone needing to know how far Christ will go to save a lost soul!  Spiritual warfare is real and Michael’s testimony is proof that both angels and demons are all around us.

For more information on how this book has inspired me please see my post titled, "Shadows of Truth"  http://tcavey.blogspot.com/2011/10/shadows-of-truth.html

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Defines A Good Leader?

For the past few months I have been encountering the topic of leadership.  I have heard a few presentations, read a couple of books and seen various blog posts on the subject.  

Each source has provided similar yet distinct qualities of what constitutes a good leader/effective leadership.  All this has caused me to question what I believe defines a good leader.  Slowly, I have been putting together questions and answers to help me define leadership.

Before I share my thoughts with you I want to know:    

 What do you think represents a good leader?  What qualities, above others, do you think a leader needs to possess in order to effectively lead?     What defines leadership for you? 

Please share. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Shadows of Truth

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20 NIV

Light and dark, honesty and deception, good and evil… do we live in those realms or within their shadows?
Shadows blur the lines between the categories of right and wrong.  We mix white with black and create various shades of gray, shades we are comfortable with, shades that help us justify whatever it is we need to excuse in order to not feel guilty.  

And it is within these shades that Satan fools many Christians into being comfortable and less effective for the Cross of Christ.  We are not even aware of all the shades we have created until we look closely at Gods word and apply it to our lives; but that harsh reality is not something any of us are comfortable doing.  

We like our pleasures; we work hard to defend them.  I know I do, there are TV shows I like to watch that I know are not pleasing to God.  There are material items I covet, things I work hard to obtain while there are people literally starving to death, and I’m not even talking in third world countries but right down the road! People are dying because of my selfishness and greed.

Satan has us all fooled, he is smart, he lives within these shadows.  If we were to know the end result of our materialism/sin, the faces of those who died because we wanted (insert want) more than we wanted to give in the offering plate (or do whatever it is God is directing), we would probably be less likely to fulfill our fleshly desires.  But Satan doesn’t do that; instead he helps us to justify our actions.  He twists the scriptures until we can rationalize anything we want that is contrary to the word of God.  

I am reading an astonishing book right now written by a Christian man who once worshiped Satan, who prayed to him the way we pray to our God, who fasted for the same reasons we do, just to a different god.  Reading his testimony is eerie, it’s frightening and it’s convicting because it is true!  

He prayed against believers the way believers pray for the lost! (Stop and think about that, right now Satan could be having someone pray against you, are you prepared?  If not, that is frightening.)
Michael Leehans words have awakened within me an increased awareness of the Spiritual Warfare we Christians are daily facing but seem so oblivious to.  

Have you ever thought there was someone out there praying against you?  I know I hadn’t ever thought anything along those lines.  Almost daily I put on my Armor of God, but little thought goes into how effective it actual is.  It has become a habit, something I say but don’t really think about.  Do you put on your Armor?  God has given us the armor for protection (if it wasn’t important He wouldn’t have ensured it was in the Bible).  

Hearing the words of Leehan have changed how I view my armor, it’s a necessity that is to be taken seriously.  Leehan says that sometimes he would feel a hedge of protection around certain Christians and he knew he couldn’t penetrate them, but more often than not, he encountered Christians who were too weak in their faith to even realize something evil was coming against them.

In fact, he would go to Churches and purposely trick the congregation, purposely distort the word of God to help deceive Christians who didn’t know the scriptures well enough to know the shadows of truth he was quoting.  

One example he gives is how Satan lead him to distort James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  He would quote only, “resist the devil and he will flee.”  He purposely left out the key part to the verse, submitting to God.  He let those unknowing Christians walk around thinking if they just resisted hard enough Satan would flee from them.  We all know (0r should know) that is not possible.  On our own we cannot escape the wiles of the devil, which “walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8b. Not nibble on, but devour.  He wants our destruction and he uses everything he can to come against us.  And he knows that Christians are comfortable within the shadows.

Have you ever heard the saying, wolf in sheep’s clothing?”  That is Satan.  He is a devious wolf, playing within the sheep’s pin, deceiving us into thinking whatever it is we are doing, or not doing, is permissible.  

Spiritual Warfare is more real than we comprehend.  I pray we all learn the Bible so that others cannot deceive us, so that we can identify the lies hidden within the shadows of truth.  I pray you put on your Armor of God and that you yourself pray!  

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."Matt 26:41 NIV

Have you ever given serious thought to Spiritual Warfare?  Do you put on your Armor or are you going to start?  Please share any insights into Spiritual Warfare you have, any shadows you have been justifying in your own life or anything else God places on your heart.

For information on putting on the Armor of God go to my post titled Armor of Godhttp://tcavey.blogspot.com/2011/08/armor-of-god.html

Ascent from Darkness:  How Satan’s Soldier Became God’s Warrior” by Michael Leehan (complimentary read through Booksneeze, review to come)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pershing, Commander of the Great War by John Perry

I love finding “Hidden Heroes” to share with you all, that’s why when I was given the opportunity to read “Pershing, Commander of the Great War” by John Perry, I jumped at the chance!  

I could go on and on about this courageous man, but you don’t have the time to read the many wonderful things this man stood for and all he did for our country. While I cannot attest to the validity of the historical facts, I can say without a doubt this book is an easy read that is well thought-out and articulated.   

John J. Pershing is a man misunderstood by many and forgotten by even more.  A man of valor, a man who understood the cost of doing what was right and not what was easy. 

Repeatedly, he took the higher road when dealing with those of different cultures and ethnicities instead of the broader road his contemporaries traveled. Such as when he dealt with the Native American’s in New Mexico and the Moro’s in the Philippines, he treated them with respect, taking his time to get to know them and understand their cultures instead of bullying them to subject to his authority.  

He took pride in commanding an all black cavalry despite the taunting jeers from his colleagues who called him “Nigger Jack”.  He was humble when given praise, declining the opportunity to be considered for the Medal of Honor.  He was courageous in defying the French and British governments who relentlessly pressured him to send his troops into battle before they were ready.  And he methodically scrutinized the smallest details in order to have a fully operational and optimally functioning military unit.  Combining his education, intellect and past military experiences, he brought warfare out of civil war era and into a new century full of modernized weaponry and military tactics.  He implemented the first encounter in America’s history that combined areas of infantry, artillery and air support in WWI.

He was a devoted father, husband and friend and while few knew this side of him, the ones who did spoke very highly of him.  He was able to keep his professional life separate from his private, something few of us are able to do.  He took pride in his work as well as his leisure and embraced every opportunity to the fullest. 
Yet for all of this, he is barely remembered.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn about this man.  I plan on reading more about him in the future.   I recommend this book to anyone looking to learn about one of America’s forgotten heroes.  Pershing was a man among men and one we can all learn from today.  Anyone looking for a leader worth learning from should read about this courageous commander and man!    

 I thank BookSneeze and the publisher for allowing me to preview this book by providing me with a complimentary copy.  

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com. I was not required to write a positive review, only an honest opinion after reading, which is what I have done.  This disclosure is in alignment with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Soros: Education

After surviving WWII Soros moved to London and attended the (LSE) London School of Economics.  A school founded by the Fabian Society.   

At LSE Soros studied philosophy and was mentored by atheist philosopher Karl Popper who taught Open Society. The Open Society philosophy guided Soros as he began conquering the business world through hedge funds, investing and marketing, (in 1984 Soros organized Open Society Institute) .  For more information on Karl Popper one can go to http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/8018,   .  

In 1956 Soros moved to New York City and worked on Wall Street where he learned to combine Open Society philosophy with the markets and earn his billions.  This is where it starts to get interesting…

For a sneak peak of what is to come in future posts, you can read this article that highlights some of Soros’ own words and philosophies,http://www.theblaze.com/stories/in-his-own-words-an-examination-of-some-of-soros-socioeconomic-philosophies/ 


FABIAN SOCIETY:  A movement to bring about democratic socialism via gradual reform instead of through revolutionary effort…for more information please Google George Bernard Shaw… there are many things written about this famous socialist playwright who won a Nobel Prize for Literature.  He has been portrayed by both liberals and conservatives in various lights.  To help clarify his character below is a link to a video clip of him speaking, (typed below for clarity) regarding the value of human life.  Here is just a snippet of this interview:

George Bernard Shaw, I don’t want to punish anybody, but there are an extraordinary number of people who I might want to kill…I think it would be a good thing to make everybody come before a properly appointed board just as he might come before the income tax commissioner and say every 5 years or every 7 years…just put them there and say , ‘Sir or madam will you be kind enough to justify your existence…if you’re not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little bit more then clearly we cannot use the big organization of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive. Because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to yourself.’



Monday, October 10, 2011

What Are You Harvesting?

Seeds.  In the Bible there are numerous stories about them, but I wonder how much time any of us gives to thinking about what seeds we are sowing.  Do we even realize that every day, with everything we say and do, we are planting seeds?  

I know I am rarely conscious of it, but a story I recently heard reminded me that even the smallest of gestures can make a huge impact.  This story is about a missionary.  

This missionary was in need of paper work to be approved in order for the electricity to be turned on in their facility.  The problem was that this paper work could not be “found”.  

However, God was in control.  A man who walked by remembered this missionary and her son from years before.  As a little boy, her son had shared his precious candy and this small act of generosity made a lasting impression.  Now, as a grown man, he was in a position to return the favor and he facilitated the electricity being turned on that day for this missionary.   

Isn’t it amazing how one act of kindness reaped a harvest years later?  

We may not realize the little ways we treat others can have a lasting impression, but they do.  I pray the next time you are tempted to be irritated or the next time you are given an opportunity to share, you remember this story and plant seeds.  

You may not ever know when that seed goes to harvest, but God does and he is faithful to increase the harvest when we are faithful to sow the seeds. 

“Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Matt 9:37 NIV

Do you have any examples of seeds you have planted and seen harvested?  Please share.