Design of the Week – Crossover – Baby on Board No Smoking

October 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is part of the Crossover series of blogs. The design is called “Baby on Board – No Smoking”. It portrays a simple message to those around a pregnant mother. The blue text encircles the mother’s tummy and politely asks smokers not to smoke around the pregnant mother and baby so that the health of both can be protected. It is also a reminder of how precious life is.

It has become commonplace for our country to allow the murder of unborn children under the guise of choice. Instead of killing them, we should be protecting them because they are precious in God’s eyes. On top of that, they are the future of our country and they have rights as citizens even if they aren’t born yet. The “No Smoking” design may be a simple design, but to me it speaks volumes…

Boys or men?

October 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that the definition of what it means to be a man has changed over the last 50 years. When I was growing up, a man was someone who worked hard to support his family, taught his children right and wrong, and disciplined them when they were misbehaving. Men were those who acted with honor, integrity, and dignity. They were protectors and role models and people looked up to them. They knew about sacrifice and were willing to do without so that family, friends, and even complete strangers could be helped. They married one woman for life and, barring death, stayed with her through everything; not just for the sake of the kids, but because he loved her. While this definition of a man still fits some, it seems to be a dying breed.

In America it is common now to see single mothers trying to eke out an existence on their own, working to support their kids and hardly having the time to spend with them to nurture and guide them. While there are the strange cases where the mothers don’t want a man around to help them (which I really can’t figure out…), a large percentage of them are due to the “man” leaving the woman and children to fend for themselves. Marriages are getting to be less common then they were and divorce is rampant (many due to “irreconcilable differences”). Now, “men” go around in fancy cars, designer clothes, and spend a lot of money in an effort to “get the girl” for a few weeks or months and when the newness wears off, they’re out. Some don’t even wait that long. They act like bigger versions of their high school selves with all the drama and tension.

When did men forget what it means to be a man?

Before someone gets mad at me, I’m not saying that all men that have nice cars, designer clothes, or spend a lot of money are boys in bigger bodies. Seriously though, when did men forget what it means to be a man? When did it become “cool” to leave the woman you professed to love yesterday for the new woman you met this morning? When did it become fashionable to leave the kids that need you so that you can go “do your own thing”? When did your word become so meaningless to you that you are willing to break your vows or walk out of a marriage? I just don’t get it. Look, I know that there have always been men that have been adulterers (the Bible shows me that). And I know that there have always been men that have requested divorces from their wives (the Bible tells me that too). I don’t recall there being much talk about what is currently going on though (and it’s not just America). The stories that I hear about many of the “men” in America are appalling. It’s like they’ve never grown up or learned to take responsibility for their actions. It’s like they are still back in high school playing all the little games that the kids play. And then there are the “men” who just don’t care. Where did this all start?

I actually think that I know when and where this all started, at least in America. This all started back in the early sixties when they began removing God from our public lives. When God and the Ten Commandments were removed from the schools, a number of troubling things started happening. Teen pregnacies rose by hundreds of percentage points. Sexually transmitted diseases rose too. Promiscuity and vulgarity weren’t far behind. I wonder how many people know that back in the early days of movies there were actually laws that prohibited the blasphemy of God’s name? They also prohibited profanity and other shameful things that have become commonplace in the “entertainment” industry. Because we removed God, He removed His hand and we’re reaping the results of that. Our kids are growing up in an increasingly immoral society. They are taught (and even raised) by immoral people who came from the same system. Back when it began, there were still reminants of the decency that comes from a fear of God. Now, those things are all but gone. Sins like homosexuality, pornography, fornication, and adultery are not only condoned, they’re celebrated (If that doesn’t sound like Romans 1 then I don’t know what does)! Greed and covetousness rule the political, industrial, and individual lives of many Americans. Murder is nothing to us anymore and to see that someone died is just another “normal” day.

The fact that our nation has thrown out its morals is the reason that we no longer see men being men. Now our many of the “men” in this nation are monsters, animals (which is what they’ve been taught through the evolutionary indoctrination they get from public school – so much for public schools being religion free…), or effeminate. They have become nothing like the men who used to be here. And the saddest part of all of this is the fact that more often than not, these same “men” are in the church! Some of them are actually leading “churches”. The church is full of men who let their sexual desires run rampant with no concern for themselves, the women, or God. It is full of boys in mens’ bodies who think they know what it means to be a man and are really nothing but a shadow of what they could (and should) be. It is filling up with “men” who love other “men”, “men” who have denied the way that God has defined them and chosen to let their depraved minds lead them down a path of sin. Marriages are torn apart by “men” who spend more time looking at pornography than they do with their wives trying to build their marriage up. Is it any wonder that our country is like it is when the “men” of the church are playing the roles they should be? I think that it’s somewhat amusing that there are many inside and outside the church who talk about what it means to be a man and each of them have their own definition. Oftentimes, these definitions contradict one another, but who cares right? I mean, as long as my definition of a man fits me and appeals to me, what else is there? What these “men” don’t realize is that it’s not their definition of what a man is that counts. The atheists, evolutionists, and secular humanists can talk all they want about how man is just a glorified monkey, but that definition isn’t true. Other’s talk about how a “man” is the one with the biggest house, the newest car, and the most money/toys; but that’s not the true definition of a man either. See, in our post-modern world, we’ve been taught that we can define everything however we see fit. If we don’t like something, we can redefine it. We see this is everything from public schools to the presidency. But that’s not how things work.

If something already has a definition, then that is how it is defined, whether I like it or not. A square is defined as a geometric shape with four sides that are all the same length. If I see a shape that has five sides then it’s not a square. If I see another that has four sides of differing lengths then that’s not a square either. The only things that are truly squares are those things that fit the definition of a square, regardless of how hard or how many times we try to redefine what a square is. The same is true for men. While we can try as hard as we want to define what a man is so that it suits us, if it doesn’t fit the true definition of a man, it’s not one. The true definition of a man is found nowhere else but in scripture. The Bible tells us exactly what a man is and what it’s not. If the “men” in our country don’t fit that definition then they aren’t men. Period. They can talk all they want, they can whine about it and how it’s not fair, but that doesn’t change the definition of a man. God has defined what man is and that’s that.

So what is a man? Here are some scriptures that will help make the definition of a man clear:

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-7)

-Man is made in the image of God. This means that we are like Him in many ways. It also means that while we are in His image, we are not exactly like Him. Unlike what many of the prosperity preachers seem to think, we are not “little gods” or “god’s with a little ‘g'”. We cannot create anything from nothing. We can’t “speak things into existence” or command wind and waves like God can. We can be relational. We can communicate and even create.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” (Gen. 9:6)

-Here we see that God values the life of man. If God values the lives of men (and women and children), then a true man will too. They will protect the innocent and the defenseless.

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. (Deut. 8:3)

-Regardless of what some “scientists” and other mockers of God say, every person on the planet owes their very life to God. A true man knows this and respects God.

 Every man is to give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you. (Deut 16:17)

-A true man is generous. He gives as much as he is able to help those in need because he wants to. He doesn’t have to be forced to give or guilted into giving. He doesn’t hoard the things that he has because he knows that God has given them to him and can just as easily take them away (Job 1:21).

Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1)

-A true man will not give an ear to the wicked. He will keep himself from their schemes and the calamity that comes with them. He will not live his life in a way that will keep sinful man from coming to repentance. While he will be truthful and call things as they are, he will not mock or scoff like so many boys do. A true man meditates on the Law of God and keeps it in front of him day and night that he may not sin against the Lord.

What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! (Psalm 8:4-5)

-A true man recognizes his place and does not see himself any higher than he should. While confident, a true man is humble enough to see his shortcomings and admit them.

A man will not be established in wickedness, but the root of the righteous will not be moved. (Proverbs 12:3)

-A real man does not depend on wicked deeds or schemes to build his life. Instead, he does those things that are right in God’s eyes, knowing that it is these things that will keep him strong in the toughest trials and worst storms.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. (Proverbs 13:22)

-A true man thinks of his wife, children, and family before himself. He endeavors to leave his children better off than he was. He doesn’t do this just with material things because he knows that those things are fleeting. He leads his family in the way of the Lord, teaching them the things of God so that they spend their lives glorifying Him.

A good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. (Matt. 12:35)

-A true man knows that his heart is the source of evil things like murder, adultery, theft, fornication and other sins (Mark 7:21). He understand that his heart must be changed by God so that it will bring forth the good treasure that he and those around him need.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;  as it is written, “The just man shall live by faith”. (Rom. 1:17) 

-A true man does not live by his intelligence alone. He knows that this is foolishness because his heart and mind can deceive him. Becasue of this, he lives by faith, not in himself, but in the truth as revealed to Him in the scriptures of the Bible. This faith is not blind, but is the 20/20 vision that he needs to see through the veil of lies the world weaves.

Blessed is the man who’s sin the Lord will not take into account. (Rom. 4:8)

-A true man knows that he is forgiven. He knows that no work that he has done has merited him the free gift of salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). He understands, through the cross, the manifold grace and mercy of God that has been directed toward a sinner like him.

When I was child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; but when I became a man, I did away with childish things. (1 Cor. 13:11)

-A true man knows that maturity is one of his hallmarks. He doesn’t think like a child. He thinks like a mature adult. He doesn’t use the reason that he used to because he’s grown up and gained knowledge and wisdom. He has respect for God and for others and because of this, he does away with childish speech, thinking, and reasoning.

Do not be deceived,  God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (Gal. 6:7)

-A true man is not deceived. He is honest about himself and others. He knows that his actions have effects not only in his life, but in the lives of those that he loves. He knows that his actions can hurt others and therefore strives to live like God calls him to live so that he blesses those around him.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

-A true man understands that although he strives to live holy before God, trials come to test him and glorify God. He understands that others actions and choices can affect his life and takes everything that happens to him in light of the scriptures so that he can walk in righteousness.

While these scriptures are no exhaustive, they are an indication that the definition of a man does not come from anatomy alone. According to God’s definition, the definition of a man has nothing to do with the money that he makes or any other material thing. Instead, a man by God’s definition is so much more. The definition that the scriptures give for a man is not something that will be easy to live up to. It is something that will cause a man to choose difficult things and make him look at himself in the purest light. But a true man will make those choices becasue he loves God, loves his family, and loves the lost.

If our nation is to become a place that we desire our children to grow up in, then it will need men to act like men. The church needs the same thing. It is time for the “men” in church to grow up and stop playing. It is time for them to act like men as defined in scripture so that their children will grow up to do the same.

If you think that this is ust about men, you’re wrong. This is about women too. Women need to be women. They don’t need to try and fill the roles that men do. They have their own roles to fill and can find many graces and blessings in doing so. It won’t be until men are men and women are women (inside and outside the church) that things will truly change.

Play the man (or woman)!

Newslinks 10/17/09

October 17, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Health Bill Would Make It Harder to Deduct Medical Expenses, but That Won’t Affect Middle Class, Democrat Claims
– A Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee claims that a provision of the Senate health-reform bill will not make it more difficult for middle-class Americans to deduct medical expenses on their tax returns. But Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says that is because “most Americans” don’t itemize their income tax deductions.

Pro-Life Democrats May Block Health Bill If Pelosi Won’t Allow Vote on Abortion Funding Ban
– Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, told that Democrats who oppose government funding of abortion will try to block the health care reform bill from coming to a vote on the House floor unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi allows a floor vote on an amendment that would explicitly prohibit abortion funding. “There are many of us Democrats in the House who are philosophically, legally, and morally opposed to public funding for abortions,” Stupak told in a statement.

Scientists Rebut Claim That Man Causes Climate Change
– A small group of determined scientists gathered in a Senate office building Friday to present evidence backing their claim that climate change is caused by nature, not man, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but the hope for a greener planet. Continue Reading Newslinks 10/17/09…

Design of the Week – Freedom to Preach

October 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is something that is dear to me. The design is called Free to Preach. It shows the American flag with embers at the end of it. Next to the flag is part of the first amendment to the Constitution. This amendment provides for both freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Sadly, both of these freedoms are under attack today. The freedom of religion is grounded in the history of the United States. When the first settlers came to this land, it was because they desired to worship the God of the Bible they way they felt the scriptures told them to and not how the state told them to.

In England, the church and the crown were closely tied together and often oppressed the common people. When the Constitution was ratified, a few states only did so with the condition that the Constitution would be amended with certain rights spelled out. The fact that freedom of religion is one of them speaks volumes on the focus of our founders. The founders were not out to “separate church and state” like so many today seem to think. They were out to keep the government from telling them how they could or couldn’t worship. Unfortunately, any time someone mentions freedom of religion, the “separation of church and state” invariably comes up, even though it’s not in the Constitution. The phrase is in a response by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. The Baptists were concerned that the proposed amendment would allow the federal government to impose whatever rules and regulations they desired onto the beliefs of the people. Jefferson assured the Baptists that the amendment would insure that the freedom to worship God would not be hindered by the federal government. Sadly, the very thing the Baptists were worried about has come to pass. The federal government now controls much of what is said and done by Christians. In today’s time, you can promote any religion at all, except Christianity. Muslims can teach their doctrines in schools, Hindus are promoting yoga in kindergarten classes, and Atheists can teach evolution without fear of reprimand; but if you are a Christian and you try to promote Jesus Christ, you are attacked from every side. Bible clubs have a hard time getting recognition or allowance to exist, biblical evidence for the origins of the universe aren’t allowed to even be discussed (even a purely scientific critique of evolution is not allowed – what are they afraid of if their “theory” is so watertight?), and the moral laws of God cannot be promoted (even though they are exactly what our country needs and the only thing that will help our nation stop it slide into complete darkness).

Why is it that this only happens to Christianity? Why is it that the majority of Christians are fighting an uphill battle to regain the freedom that all other religions so readily enjoy? The answer is actually quite simple. While people have no problem talking about Buddha, Allah, Brahma or any number of other false “gods”, they are simply afraid of Jesus Christ. Of course they won’t admit it. To do so would admit that He’s real while the others are not. But their refusal to admit that they are scared of Jesus doesn’t make it any less true. Why do you think that the atheistic scientists on every level fight so vehemently to keep creation out of schools? Because they know that if their so-called “theory” comes up against the truth, they won’t stand a chance. And when their “theory” disintegrates into the fairy tale that it is, they will be faced with the truth that God exists and that they are accountable for all of their sins. Why do Muslims so violently attack Christians for the smallest of imagined offenses? It’s because they know that if they don’t continuously fight against the truth with blind rage and anger, they will have to stop and think about that truth and they don’t want to do that. If they did, they would be forced to admit that they have been chasing a lie their entire lives and they are too proud to do that. Why do homosexuals mock Christians and speak out against them so much? They have to. If they didn’t attack Christians so relentlessly, they would have to admit that their entire lifestyle was an abomination to God. They would no longer be able to live in the sinful lifestyle they have created for themselves. And they love that sin more than they love anything else. So they attack the representatives of the God that they can’t ignore in hopes that their barbed words and injurous actions will placate their guilt ridden consciences. And on and on it goes. The Hindus, the Buddhists, the post-moderns, the Mormans, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the secular humanists, and the false converts all join in with the others to attack Christianity. They do so because they can’t hurt the God they hate. Instead, they hurt His children.

The grace of God has told us through scripture that those who truly belong to Christ will be hated by everyone else. Those who speak the truth about sin, hell, and judgment will be mocked, attacked, and even killed for what they believe in. This is somewhat reassuring to those who are being persecuted for their faith (how small are the numbers in America?) and it should be a source of concern to those who claim to belong to Christ and are not persecuted at all…In America we are still Free to Preach…for now…are you preaching?

Joe Wilson and the church

October 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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A few weeks ago, Republican Senator Joe Wilson made the news when he shouted “You Lie!” during a speech given by the President to Congress. The news media was all over this and, because they are pretty much a liberal bunch that blindly follows the current administration, made a lot of noise about what Senator Wilson did. To them, it was an “outrage” that anyone would do that to the President of the United States. Of course they forgot how the Democrats treated George W. Bush while he was in office, calling him a “liar” and other derogatory terms without respect for his office or remorse after they did it. I can’t say that I’m surprised that this is how they looked at it, but that’s not what I want to talk about. Continue Reading Joe Wilson and the church…

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