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!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It’s Not Donkeys or Elephants, It’s Donkeys or Woodenheads

Watching the masses blindly pledge devotion to leaders who care nothing for them makes me sick. They are acting like idiots…or dumb donkey’s (You know the other name for donkey, don’t you?)

Thinking of the general population acting like donkeys- living it up as our economy crashes, crying for more hand outs and “fairness” as the world goes up in flames- I am reminded of a Disney movie.

We should all watch more Disney- many valuable lessons to be learned. But I digress. 

I was talking about donkeys and Disney.

Which leads me to…Woodenheaded Pinocchio.

You remember the story. 

Wooden boy. Doesn’t listen to his conscience.  Gets in with the wrong crowd.  His father almost dies trying to save him… blah, blah, blah. 

But do you remember the part about the boys turning into donkeys?

I hadn’t seen this movie in years- or even thought about it. But when I thought of all the “hee-haw’s” echoing throughout our land, I couldn’t help thinking of this movie.

I couldn’t help drawing a parallel between our society now and the wayward boys of the story- neither wants responsibility.  They want to play and have fun… and they trust evil men to secure their future. 

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

“The original take to the The Land of Toys (Pleasure Island) mixes the aspects of a morality tale with those of social critique. Boys are lured there by the promise of never having to go to school again and being able to spend their whole time having fun. Boys there play hide-and-seek, whistle, watch puppets in canvas theatres, play shuttlecock, bounce on balls, trundle hoops, and ride wooden horses. They never have to do any work or learn anything, and the graffiti on all the walls is proof of that. As a result, almost as a natural consequence, they become donkeys (in Italian culture, the donkey is symbolic of ignorance and stupidity).

When framed in the context of the late 19th century, the chapters set in the Land of Toys also serve as social commentary: abandoning school means securing oneself a future with no other chance to make a living but hard labor, and there are plenty of people (like the ruthless coachman) who will try and take advantage of that.”(Emphasis mine).

I laughed out loud when I read this (not, “ha, ha that was funny”- but, “oh the irony!”)- I mean how accurate a depiction?

Our ruthless, and often times unethical leadership, is taking advantage of a lazy, immature society. 

While our leaders hook us on welfare and other government aide, they ensure the next generation will fare no better in the educational system they control.

We are turning into a society of donkeys (and I don’t mean democrats)!

As Wikipedia points out, donkeys are ignorant and stupid!

 Is that you? Would you all yourself a donkey? 

Or are you a woodenhead? 

Are you starting to wake up and smell the donkey poop being spoon fed to you every day? Do you hear the “hee-haw’s” all around and wonder when we stopped speaking plain English- calling a spade a spade?

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being surrounded by donkeys and I don’t want to be a puppet either.  

Good thing Disney like’s happy endings. In the end, “little woodenhead” learns his lesson. He realizes his father did know best, he realizes a conscience isn’t a bad thing to have and then…he becomes a real boy! 

Let’s take a page from this story and become “real boys”.

Let’s stop being puppets on a string, carried away wherever the puppet master leads. Let’s stop being turned into ignorant donkeys.  Let’s start thinking for ourselves, start taking responsibility for our lives and stop trusting someone else to take care of our best interest!

 Disney’s great. Let’s watch more of it. Let’s apply these childhood lessons to ourselves. Think how different our world would be if people could see themselves transforming into a beast with long ears and tail! Maybe we would wake up and start listening to our consciouses. Maybe we could save the foundation our forefathers laid instead of allowing it to drown in an ocean of donkey poop.

Though woodenheaded, Pinocchio managed to smarten up. 

I wonder if we will - before we all turn into donkeys?

You can also view this post on Voice of a Patriot. Have a blessed day. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Cost of Discipleship Chapter 9

Matt 5:21-26 Sermon on the Mount Con’t

Talk about OUCH! It’s this chapter. 

Often we think we are justified in “righteous anger”…and sometimes justified in not so righteous anger… but this passage of scripture says, in no uncertain terms, that we are not ever justified

While this passage uses the term “brother” God does not limit this to mean our actual siblings nor does He mean only fellow Christians. Likewise “Neighbor” isn’t just your associates but the entire population. 

Christ died for EVERYONE, therefore it is to everyone that Christ speaks of.

“…for the follower of Jesus there can be no limit as to who is his neighbor, except as his Lord decides.” 

It’s easy to gloss over this passage and say, “Of course I will never commit murder!” but we forget this passage also speaks of anger. 

“Anger is always a direct attack on the brother’s life, for it refuses to let him live and aims at his destruction. Jesus will not accept the common distinction between righteous indignation and unjustifiable anger. The disciple must be entirely innocent of anger, because anger is an offense against both God and his neighbor.  Every idle word which we think so little of betrays our lack of respect for our neighbor, and shows that we place ourselves on a pinnacle above him and value our own lives higher than his.”  

But there is something even worse than our anger.

Intentional insults.

 Bonhoeffer interprets the Bible as saying when we slander our brother, “We are passing judgment on him and that is murder.”
When we act in this manner: in anger and/or insulting those Christ died for, we are hurting our fellowship with Christ.

When we have anger, resentment, hatred, unforgiveness, or unrepentance in our hearts we cannot fully engage in relationship with Christ for we are hurting those He loves. Our prayers, worship and even our service are not done in the right spirit and are not pleasing to God. 

“For the Christian, worship cannot be divorced from the service of the brethren…If we despise our brother our worship is unreal, and it forfeits every divine promise. When we come before God with hearts full of contempt and unreconciled with our neighbors, we are, both individually and as a congregation, worshipping an idol.” 

That’s pretty harsh- worshiping an Idol? Really? 

But yes, when we place our emotions above those of our fellow man we are worshiping the idol of SELF. It says, what I feel and think matters more than what God says about ALL HIS CREATION. We are placing ourselves as judge and taking Christ off his throne!

But sometimes we are the ones wronged. Why should we have to make things right? Shouldn’t the other (especially if they are Christian) come to us to seek forgiveness?

You can’t control what others do. You are, however, responsible to God for what YOU DO. 

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if they wronged you. Try to make peace. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NIV

“This is a hard way, but it is the way Jesus requires if we are to follow him.  It is a way which brings much personal humiliation and insult, but it is indeed the way to him, our crucified Brother [Christ], and therefore a way of grace abounding.” 

In this passage we are warned to make peace before we go before the judgment seat.
As long as we have breath, there is an opportunity to try and right any wrongs. 

“The humanity of the Son of God grants us the gift of a brother. May the disciple of Jesus think upon this grace aright!  To serve our brother, to please him, to allow him his due and to let him live, is the way of self-denial, the way of the cross. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  That is the love of the Crucified. Only in the cross of Christ do we find the fulfillment of the law.” 

When I read this chapter I jotted down these things thoughts regarding myself and others.
I must lie down: 

My Rights
My Emotions
My Pride
My Hurt
My Betrayal
My Anger
My Justice

What do you need to lie down?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: Run, River Currents- Based on a True Story

We all have a past.

Some good, some not so good.

When you encounter a hostile or angry person, do you ever wonder about their past?

When you interact with someone who is different from you, do you ever wonder what led them to be who they are?

When you hear someone mention being hurt, do you think to yourself, “They should get over it”?
In the book Run, River Currents by Ginger Marcinkowski, we see how a painful past can be hard to escape.

This book is based on the true story of her childhood. It’s a story full of so much pain I repeatedly had to stop reading, pray and regroup before continuing. 

I’m not sure if this book is harder to read if someone has been touched by physical and/or sexual abuse or if you haven’t.

Regardless, this book is shocking in its descriptions, raw in its emotions and bittersweet in its redemption.

As I read, I found myself thinking of people I know who have been through similar experiences. It helped me to understand them better. It also made me ache for their pain and pray for their continued healing. 

While this is not a “feel good” book, it is one that should be read. The evil that exists in this world cannot be ignored. We cannot look the other way and bury our heads in the sand. 

Evil such as this must be addressed and prayed for. 

In this account, we see how Christians can make a difference if they are consistent in love, prayers and invitations to church as these actions helped bring this broken and hurt woman to the only place she could find release- the cross of Christ.

We cannot pray for someone once and think our “job” is done. Those who have survived such atrocities need more from the Body of Christ. They need an active love that does not end. 

I encourage you to read this story. It will break your heart until you get to the end and realize there is always hope.  It is my prayer this book will help you empathize with others, or if you have suffered through a similar experience, you find release from the pain holding you captive.

If my heart breaks reading this, I can’t imagine how much more God’s must ache for His precious children. 

We are His hands and feet. We must protect those who cannot protect themselves. But how can we do that if we ignore the pain in front of us?

Ginger is a brave woman to open herself up and share her story. Please honor her and pass this along to anyone who needs it. 

So many have endured this type of life. So many need the healing power only our Savior can give. And so many will only listen to someone as courageous as Ginger. She inspires hope to those who hurt.

What’s your story? 

Does God want you to share it? If so, are you sharing it? 

You can visit Gingers website here or her blog here. She also has a Facebook page.
You can purchase her book on Amazon here. You can also find it on Goodreads and Barns and Noble.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Cost of Discipleship Chapter 8

Matt 5:17-20 Sermon on the Mount Continued

In previous chapters Jesus told His followers the law should not come between Him and them- They follow HIM above the law (Luke 9:57 ). 

Therefore the disciples are tempted to divorce God from His laws. They believed the NEW has come and the OLD has been done away with. However, it is not the law that is done away with- it is the old covenant. 

“For Christians, therefore, the law is not a “better law” than that of the Pharisees, but one and the same; every letter of it…must remain in force and be observed….but there is a “better righteousness” which is expected of Christians.” 

Jesus came to fulfill the law and he did that. 

He is now the bridge between the disciple and the law. 

He is the difference between the Pharisees/scribes and the Disciples. Both follow the law but only one has a relationship with the Savior who fulfilled every letter of that law.

“It was the error of Israel to put the law in God’s place, to make the law their God and their God a law.”

We can take good things (like the law) and make them into Idols, taking God out of them. That is what the Jews did, the Pharisees. The Disciples were told not to do that. 

Regarding the law, Bonhoeffer says: “God is its giver and its Lord, and only in personal communion with God is the law fulfilled. There is no fulfillment of the law apart from communion with God, and no communion with God apart from fulfillment of the law. To forget the first condition was the mistake of the Jews, and to forget the second the temptation of the disciples.” 

Bonhoeffer goes on to say, “It is Jesus himself who comes between the disciples and the law, not the law which comes between Jesus and the disciples. They find their way to the law through the cross of Christ.” 

Just because Jesus fulfilled the law does not mean the disciples are free to ignore the law- after all we are saved by grace- but we are to follow them as He did.

Therefore we have a “better righteousness”. One that exceeds that of the scribes. 

“He is the righteousness of the disciples. By calling them he  has admitted them to partnership with himself, and made them partakes of his righteousness in its fullness.” 

Our salvation is a gift. We cannot earn it. 

Christ calls, we follow HIM. And He followed the law. Therefore we too must follow the law, all the while having confidence that when we fail, we have a high priest who has fulfilled that which we never can. His perfect blood is the bridge between God and the law. 

We cannot divorce the two. 

“Only the doer of the law can remain in communion with Jesus….It is not enough to teach the law of Christ, it must be done, otherwise it is no better than the old law.” 


1.       Do you see Christians divorce God from the Law? Picking and choosing which laws to follow and which to toss aside as unnecessary and OLD? (Which to rationalize)
2.       Does this chapter help you understand how to bridge the gap between fulfilling the laws and the grace we have in following Christ?
3.       What are your thoughts and/or concerns with following the law but not becoming like the scribes?
4.       Are we (the church) in danger of being like Israel and replacing fellowship with God for the idol of following the laws?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Do You Describe God?

If you had to describe God in one word, what would it be? (If you’re long winded, like me, take a few words to describe your God to the world)

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Tim 1:17 NIV

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Cost of Discipleship Chapter 7

Matt 5:13-16 Salt and Light

Jesus is speaking to the same audience as last week with the Beatitudes.

Here, Jesus calls us salt. 

What is salt?

It’s a preservative… but it also has cleansing properties.

How does that apply to us? How are we salt?

“…salt, the most indispensable necessity of life. The disciples… are the highest good, the supreme value which the earth possesses, for without them it cannot live. They are the salt that sustains the earth.” 

It’s ironic, the very thing the world needs the most, they reject. Like an Asthma patient rejecting oxygen. 

“In casting out the disciples the earth is destroying its very life. And yet…it is for the sake of the outcasts that the earth is allowed to continue.” 

Bonhoeffer points out that Jesus didn’t call himself salt. He called his followers salt. 

“Ye are salt.”

Did you catch that? 

We ARE salt.

 Not, “we have salt to offer the world” or “we will become salt”. 

We ARE salt. 

It doesn’t matter if we want the responsibility that comes with being salt.
We ARE salt! 

We preserve and we cleanse.

It’s part of the package deal of accepting Christ as Savior and Lord. You sign up to follow Him, and you’re automatically salt.

But what happens when we lose the very essence of what makes us salt? How can we preserve the world if we no longer retain the qualities of salt? 

Ever eat bland food?

What do you add to it to make it taste better?


Salt can be added as a seasoning to anything. 

However, nothing can be added to salt to make it better.

Once it loses its flavor, nothing can save it. 

It must be thrown out. 

Time to get knew salt.

“That is the judgment which always hangs over the disciple community, whose mission is to save the world, but which, if it ceases to live up to that mission, is itself irretrievable lost.  The call of Jesus Christ means either that we are the salt of the earth, or else we are annihilated; either we follow the call or we are crushed beneath it. There is no question of a second chance.” 

That’s a tough pill to swallow.

But maybe it wouldn’t be if our churches didn’t water down the word of God so often…ouch!


Jesus says, “Ye are the light.”
Not, “we have to become the light”. 

We ARE the light. 

Not, “we have the light” (such as our preaching).

The light IS US!

Here, Jesus calls Himself light and His followers light.

Light shines. It’s what it does. 

We ARE light.

We don’t have to do anything to shine except follow the call of Christ.

He makes us the light. Because of Him we shine!

However, lights can be hidden.

 “A community of Jesus which seeks to hide itself has ceased to follow him.” 

We have a choice. 

We can decide to cover our lights.

Why would we do that?

Political correctness.
Cheap Grace.

Matt 5:16 tells us we are to let our lights shine so the world may see our works- NOT so they can see US.

Again, Jesus admonishes us to deny our own righteousness. 

We get no credit or glory for the works we do.

To God, all the glory belongs.

After all, it is HIS light IN us that’s shining through.

And how can it shine except by works? (Look back to the Beatitudes to see how our lights shine)

We are not saved by works.

However, works highlight the cross. They shine on Calvary, showing others why we are different. 

When we take the glory, desire the spotlight and say “look at me” we are not shining the light of the cross but the light of the world. The true light of God is hidden.  The world knows fake lights- it’s full of them. 

We must check our motives and then, our lights will shine and bring glory to God.

 “Jesus does not say that men will see God; they will see the good works and glorify God for them…It is by seeing the cross and the community beneath it that men come to believe in God.” 

1.        What are your thoughts on being salt? Do you think Bonhoeffer is wrong in saying either we are salt or we are annihilated?
2.       We’ve all seen churches water down the word of God. How do you think that is affecting the overall saltiness of our community?
3.       How is the health of your own salt and light? Are you pointing others to the cross or confusing them with odd flavors and dull lighting?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Time Off

I had the next chapter of "The Cost of Discipleship" to share with you, but God impressed it upon my heart to get things other than blogging accomplished this week. So sorry for the delay.

Life is busy. We all get behind from time to time, and for me that time is right now.

So I'm taking the week off blogging to get some things accomplished (hopefully).
Sorry I won't be participating in your wonderful blogs. I will miss reading them and interacting with you all. I will be back next Monday to continue our Bonhoeffer sereies.

Since I'm not sharing my usually LONG post with you today, I wanted to leave you with this article that will blow you away!

Knowledge is power.

Please read this and learn a few of these things to be able to educate your friends. Also, please share this article with others.

Our media doesn't always tell the full story (as in, it rarely tells it).

I have a few friends that don't like our current administration, however the media is doing a swell job of destroying Romney so they are going to "stick with the devil they know".

Please share this info, perhaps it will help educate people and change their minds. This article is simple facts about our economy since 2008.

Here's a sample of the info you will read:

  •   According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities permanently shut down in the United States every single day during 2010.

Another article you can read highlights just a few of these facts instead of all 70. You can read it here (by the way, it redirects you to the above article). 
Here is a sample of what it says: 

Thank you and God bless.

"But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:48 NIV

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood." Ezekiel 3:17-18NIV

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The American Christian…What does that even mean?

I had the privilege of guest posting yesterday for Jon at Stretched while he’s on a Missions Trip. Please head over and read my post on the challenges I faced as a freshman in college. I look forward to hearing if you’ve had a similar experience.

If you’re visiting here from Stretched, welcome! Please take a look around, would love you joining in on conversations.  I also offer a monthly Newsletter.

The American Christian…What does that even mean? 

Ponder This… 

Being American doesn’t make me a different type of Christian.
But being a Christian should make me a different type of an American.

I ask that you read this and then spend time in prayer. 

Ask God to reveal what responsibilities He requires of YOU, as a Christian, living in America. 

With the help of Christ, ask yourself:  As a Christian, what are you doing to serve this country? What could you do to help this nation know God more? What does being a Christian and an American mean to you?