Category Archives: politics

The Lie of “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves”

An Old Saying

There is an old saying that has floated around for ages. Have you heard it? Have you quoted it like you were quoting the Bible? It goes like this…

“God helps those who help themselves.”

Oh, I understand the thinking behind this statement. We have always had too many people who would rather ask for handouts than work for anything. As a matter of fact, the Bible has a few things to say about those who refuse to work…

People who refuse to work are: 

  • Brothers to those who destroy (Proverbs 18:9)
  • Big dreamers, but don’t do anything (Proverbs 13:4)
  • Worse than unbelievers, or “infidels” (1 Timothy 5:8)

However, it is terribly UNBIBLICAL to suggest that “God only helps those who help themselves.” Ask yourself the following questions…

  • When Isaac was on the altar, who provided a sacrifice?
  • When the children of Israel were pinned between a blood-thirsty Egyptian army and the Red Sea, were they told to go ahead and try to swim first?
  • Before Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the furnace, were they expected to use some diplomacy and bow down just a little?
  • Before the aforementioned Jewish boys were thrown into the fiery furnace, were they expected to spit into the flames?
  • When Daniel was thrown into the den of lions, should he have smacked the lions around before God closed their mouths?
  • Did Jesus ask the crippled man to crawl a little first?
  • Did Jesus ask the blind man to go get an eye exam after trying a little saline solution?
  • Did Jesus ask for a plan from the hungry 5,000? Did He ask for an offering?
  • Did God ask Paul and Silas to first yank on their prison chains, then kick a little on the gates?
  • Did Jesus expect the demon-possessed man to watch his mouth, clean himself up, and get his act together?
  • Should Lazarus have made some effort on his part before Jesus raised him from the dead?

No, I didn’t think so! 

The Truth Is..

When the chains are unbreakable…When the disease is irreversible…When the money is unobtainable…When the marriage is unsavable…When the enemy is unstoppable…

When all hope is lost…

God helps those who CAN’T help themselves!

Help me, O LORD my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, That they may know that this [is] Your hand–[That] You, LORD, have done it! – Psalm 109:26-27 NKJV

In a fire? Lions ready to pounce? Bound by chains? Hungry and without hope? There is Help!

  • When I was lost, He found me!
  • When I was dead, He gave me life!
  • When I was blind, He made me see!
  • When I was an orphan, He adopted me!
  • When I was condemned, He took my place!

Thank God! He helped me when I COULDN’T help myself!

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Filed under Christianity, grace, politics, Work

Freaky Friday Rhyming News

Rhyming

It’s just another freaky Friday, I suppose.

Before I head out, I’ll tell you why I think so.

And by the way, it wasn’t my objective

To write a post with a rhyming perspective

Nevertheless, tis the way it is going to be

I can’t stop now… It’ll be OK, you’ll see.

Scouting

Who would have thought in 1910

That the boys would allow the girls an in?

For equality’s sake, because of pouts,

Boys cannot be boys, but there’s still a Girl Scouts.

Funny thing, I was talking with my daughter

After getting worried and creating some laughter.

Seems I stressed over nothing, even thought she’s eighteen

Only boys must register; girls get off clean!

Well, don’t women serve now in all the military?

“Well, yes,” said my wife, “but it’s all voluntary.”

But what about equality? What about being fair?

I was spitting into the wind – nobody cares.

I think what it’s really all about

Is that girls always win when they learn how to pout.

Young man, forget to register and you’ll forfeit student loans

But try to make it fair and all you’ll hear will be groans.

Give us what we want when we want it – TODAY!

Because what you have is what we want, now go away!

So,

Distinctives only matter when the one crying “equality”

Demands her specificity is manifested in your polity.

And when you’ve abandoned whatever makes you unique

She’ll keep her own distinctives and call you a freak.

Greening

AOC (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) D-New York

But speaking of freaky and totally spacey

Have you heard the proposal from the young AOC?

The Green New Deal, or something like that

Will never go through – It will surely fall flat.

On the other hand, what’s scary is that some take it serious

And that’s why our national future is perilous.

No more emissions, no more traveling by plane

In only ten years we’ll be riding on trains

Retrofit or rebuild every building in the land

And guarantee jobs for every woman and man.

Did I mention there’ll be chargers at every hand?

And, oh, by the way, we’re now on a mission

To inform all Hispanics that they’re Native American.

(No Joke about that last part – Here’s a link)

Conclusion

You may think I’m crazy or am going to far,

But read the newspaper or hear the news in your car.

There’s literally too much to absorb. It’s all crazy!

And that’s why I believe it’s a freaky Friday.

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Filed under America, current events, politics

Displaying Masculinity With Photos

Since it is a topic of hot debate these days, I figured I would keep the boat floating in the stream a little while longer and write a little more about the subject of masculinity.

Except today I’m going to do it from a laptop in the passenger seat behind my wife while she’s driving – it’s a long trip.

And I’m going to do with with pictures – like the one I just took of my computer before I typed this sentence 🙂

By the way, as of this moment, after nearly 10 years of blogging, I’m only at 49% of my memory limit with WordPress, so I’m not worried about the amount of photos in this post.

Anyway, I was thinking about masculinity and how it’s displayed, and that’s when I decided to search back through my phone’s photos. I thought it would be interesting to post some pictures from my life and share what I though was “masculine” or “manly” about them.

Some of these photos might fit a stereotype you don’t like. Some may make you scratch your head. But if I was to tell a young boy what it means to be a man, and if I could show him through some of my own pictures, this is what I would say.

And please understand, I’m not trying to make this all about me… I’m just making observations.

A real man is one who makes a commitment to one woman for life and remains faithful, treasures her, and makes her laugh.

Real men don’t shame their mothers; they make them proud. This is me with my mother and late grandmother who died last year. It’s called honor.

A real man is humble enough to wear a tie he doesn’t like because his wife and daughters do.

Fun. A real man has fun with his kids. He makes memories for their sake, not just his. This was during the last total solar eclipse. Awesome!

 

I love my girls. I’m proud of my girls. Both this picture and the next one are of me with my girls when I escorted them to a purity ball in Hopkinsville, KY. I know what some people think about promoting purity (abstinence), but I really don’t care – I’m a dad.

Masculine men let their daughters know they are loved, no matter what. Even if they disappoint me, I will still love them. But a real man – a masculine man – will be his daughters’ hero, protector, and defender of their honor. And no joke, their lives are more precious to me than any boy who’d hurt them. Be warned, guys – and that’s not hyperbole.

On the day that this picture was taken, we dropped Katie (the one on the right) off at college. When I got back home and walked by her empty bedroom, I cried like a baby for 30 minutes. Real men can cry when there’s a reason to cry, and that was one of them.

Nearly 6 years ago I finally earned my Master’s degree. This is my wife, all three daughters, me, and Mr. Monkey (he was an honorary graduate). I’ve still got a lot of room to improve, but a real man is one who finishes what he starts; he makes a commitment and follows through. I started college in 1986…I finally got my B.A. in 2011, my M.Min. in 2013. I’m still working on my D.Min., but I’ll get there.

This is a Ford flat head V-8. I think the essence of manhood is being able to work on something, to fix things. In my opinion, every man ought to rebuild an old engine at least one time in his life.

And speaking of working on cars, every man should teach his kids how to take care of things on their own. He should teach them how to be responsible and not always have to depend on others to fix their problems. Here I am teaching Haley how to change out a windshield wiper motor on her Acura.

You can be a real man and remain calm, cool, and collected when teaching your children how to drive. A masculine man doesn’t have to lose his cool.

There are cowards and criminals who use guns. But here in America, a masculine man isn’t afraid to teach his daughters how to shoot, even a Colt .357 Magnum revolver. My girls prefer a man who likes the smell of gunpowder and has wrists at least as strong as theirs 😉 2nd Amendment all the way in this house.

 

Real men, masculine men, admit their fears, but then they do what needs to be done – like getting on a roof to tar leaking shingles.

 

I think a good sign of masculinity is being able to handle big machinery. An added sign of masculinity is being able to teach others how to handle big machinery without getting killed or killing others. This is me at the bus garage one summer while training new drivers.

Not the best picture, but this is me in uniform as a chaplain for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. My definition of a real man, a real leader, a masculine man, includes being a servant. This is a voluntary role, but a needed one. Those who put their lives on the line for us need people to have their backs, too.

Masculinity is not devoid of humility and meekness. This was during a VBS when I agreed to let kids who won a contest treat me like an ice cream sundae. The cherry on the top was a literal cherry on the top.

Masculine men don’t avoid going to the doctor when they need to, but they don’t act like babies, either. Real men – masculine men – keep a “stiff upper lip” and do their best to keep others encouraged, even when they might be scared themselves.

This is me in Zimbabwe with Mr. Monkey. Real men, masculine men, aren’t too proud to get down in the dirt to put a smile on a child’s face.

Real men, masculine men, treat all of God’s creatures with respect and care. This is Nugget and me (Nugget went missing a couple of years ago and I still miss him). He always looked forward to going out on Saturdays for coffee and a treat from Hardee’s or McDonald’s.

Real men should at least try to grow a beard at least once. It’s a right that none should deny, even to non-Calvinists. But being masculine doesn’t mean you should let small woodland creatures take up residence on your face.

It takes a real man to get into a cold lake to baptize somebody. Of course, it takes a real man to be willing to be dunked in the cold water, too! But on a different note, in many places getting baptized in public can cost you everything. Therefore, this wasn’t as big a deal for me and this brother as it is for others. Good to keep things in perspective.

Katie and I recorded a video on Facebook Live. We played “Leaning On the Everlasting Arms.” I don’t know what’s exactly masculine or manly about this, but standing in a public park playing hymns takes nerve these days.

This was from Jan. 16 of this year…from when I took the stage with Katie for her final song of her senior recital. All I can say is that I must have done something right to have been asked by my daughter to step on stage during a formal recital at a university and play guitar for her. A real man doesn’t make his kids ashamed of him but earns their respect.

Masculinity demands that a man take charge and kill the bugs. The women folk shouldn’t have to. That includes carpenter bees trying to destroy the house. The face of a warrior.

Masculine men aren’t afraid to have friends, especially the kind who keep him accountable – iron sharpens iron. This is me with two of my blogger brothers, James Neff and Wally Fry. Real men. True friends.

Real masculinity will exhibit some form of competitiveness. It’s just in a man’s nature to be the warrior, the fighter, the competitor. We need fewer men who hand out participation trophies and more men who compete to win – or at least root for a team that wants to. Go Braves!

This is from when Building 429 stopped by a local Cracker Barrel and I legalistically misjudged them (I wrote a post about it). This is Katie posing with them after I admitted my sinful error and asked for their forgiveness. Real men, masculine men, aren’t afraid to admit when they’ve done wrong.

This photo was taken of me when I prayed on the steps of Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, SC, after the deadly shooting. Real men shouldn’t be afraid to pray in public, especially in places where reconciliation is desperately needed.

 

Lastly, here I am in front of the church where I am Pastor. Genuine masculinity demands that a man be bold, courageous, and unafraid to speak the truth, even when the truth is hard to hear. Jesus was our greatest example of manhood, but there was also Paul, John the Baptist, and a host of others. Their brand of masculinity is what I’m striving for.

I’m just glad I had a dad that taught me what it meant to be a man. He was a consistent, loving, meek, humble, trustworthy, honorable, hard-working, self-sacrificing, faithful husband and man of God.

That’s about all I’ve got to say. Hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures.

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Filed under Christian Living, Culture Wars, current events, Family, General Observations, Life Lessons, Marriage, Parenting, politics, Preaching, Relationships and Family, Witnessing

The Best a Man Can Get

Gillette

By now you’ve probably watched the video that Gillette put out, the one some have praised, while others (most men) have condemned for being anti-masculine.

To be honest – and I’m a very conservative kind of guy – I can see both the pros and the cons. However, I’m more than a little tired of  the way it’s taking women to define what a man should be, at least in the world’s eyes.

Evidently, man can monitor themselves; it takes a strong woman.

In case you’ve not seen it, here’s a link (I’ll just attach the response from Ben Shapiro in National Review which contains the the commercial in the story).

Joshua and Jesus

There has been a lot of response to the Gillette commercial – most of it, at least from men, is negative.

But what bothers me about the commercial is the whole premise that masculinity is toxic. The APA (American Psychological Association) even recently released their opinion that “traditional masculinity” is harmful to boys.

Well, when it comes to masculinity, I prefer to get my guidelines from the Bible, and a few particular verses immediately come to mind.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men [be brave, courageous], be strong. Let all your things be done with charity [love]. – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising [disregarding] the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2 KJV

“etc., etc., etc….”

Long before the #metoo movement there were men, real men, who treated women with respect (as God designed), watched out for his fellow man (and woman), protected, provided, and prayed.

Maybe if we could go back to taking our cues from godly men and fathers instead of Hollywood actors, recording industry playboys, thuggish professional athletes, and pajama-wearing couch warmers we’d raise a new generation of leaders instead of abusers and whiners.

If we could be more like Jesus, that’s the best a man can get. 

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Filed under America, community, Culture Wars, current events, politics

“What Can I Do to Help Stop [Christophobia]?”

A funny thing happened while I was doing research…

In preparation for an upcoming post, I came across some information on Planned Parenthood’s website. What I found was a list of things one could do to in order to “help stop homophobia.”

That got me to thinking… What if we took out the words homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia and replaced them with other terms, such as Christophobia, Christian, and religious?

What is Christophobia? Well, why don’t we go ahead and practice a little word replacement in Planned Parenthood’s definition of the term homophobia?

“The [Christophobia] definition is the fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are [Christians]…”

See how that worked? Pretty simple.

Is Christophobia a real thing? I think so, but you can decide. Below are the re-worded suggestions from Planned Parenthood’s website. I think they speak for themselves.


What can I do to help stop [Christophobia]?

No one has the right to discriminate against or bully another person, or to hurt them emotionally or physically. There are several things you can do to help stop [Christophobia]:

  • Don’t ever use negative or offensive language to describe [Christian] people.
  • Be careful of how even casual language — such as saying “that’s so [Christian]”— can hurt others.
  • Don’t believe stereotypes about [Christian] people or make assumptions about them.
  • Be a vocal supporter of the [Christian] community, regardless of your own sexual orientation and identity. This is called being an ally.
  • Let the [Christian] people in your life know that you’re a friend and ally.
  • Educate yourself on [Christian] issues.
  • Respect [Christian] people’s decisions about when and where to come out.
  • Join your school’s [Christian] Alliance, or start one at your school. [Lifeway] can help with that.
  • Remember that being [Christian] is just one part of a person’s complex identity and life.
  • Show as much interest in your [Christian] friends’ or family members’ partners as you would show in [your own] partner.
  • If you feel safe doing so, speak up when other people are being [Christophobic], such as making offensive jokes, using negative language, or bullying or harassing someone because of their [religious] orientation or identity.

Interesting, don’t you think?

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Filed under Christianity, current events, General Observations, politics

Seven+ Predictions for the Next Two Years (10/18-10/20)

Now that the Democrats have won back control of the House of Representatives, I will go ahead and make a few predictions about what will happen over the next two years.

If you are a Democrat, I’m pretty sure this list will look very similar to the “to do list” already held in place on your refrigerator door with “Keep Abortion Legal!” and Che Guevara magnets.

1) Democrats will demand investigations on everything Donald Trump has done or ever will do.

2) Democrats will obstruct anything the Republicans try to do or try not to do.

3) Democrats will make up stuff in order to keep investigations going.

4) The country will continue to be divided and become even more polarized based on the continual anti-Trump messaging fueled by Democrat accusations and pushed by the media. There will be no “working together” on anything.

5) Democrats will accuse Republicans of partisan obstructionism and complain constantly of hateful rhetoric.

6) The next election cycle will

  • See even more left-wing celebrities like Katy Perry and Madonna going nude to draw out the youth vote,  but the last 27 Reagan Democrats will call in their last favors and keep Hillary Clinton clothed;
  • The race card will be used more often than Visa and Master Card combined;
  • Civility will be thrown out the window like a piece of chewed gum;
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will record a remix of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” and sing, “All You Need Is Socialism”;
  • More celebrities who unfortunately lied to us the first time will once again promise to leave the country if Trump gets re-elected;
  • Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi will finally remove their outer shells and reveal that they are actually alien lizard people intent on the destruction of humanity, but MSNBC and Rolling Stone will blame Trump for Pelosi and Waters’ inability to “come out” before then. Trump’s “Space Force” initiative will then be condemned as xenophobic and blamed for inciting intergalactic incivility.  The new #MeTooLizard movement will justify the aliens’ apocalyptic plans as a natural response to Trump’s attempts to “drain the swamp.” The Geico Gecko will then identify as a lizard, get fang implants, and be invited to a week of guest spots on Jimmy Kimmel.

7) We will be 2 years closer to the destruction of a once-great nation.

Think I’m wrong?

Share if you agree.

 

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Filed under Aliens, America, current events, Humor, politics

I’m a “5-Issue” Voter

Today is election day in America.

Today is the day we Americans – the ones who care – take advantage of a blood-bought privilege to determine who will represent us in the governance of our nation, from local races all the way to Washington, D.C.

Now, it’s only a “mid-term” election, but it’s still very, very important. That is why I will head to the polls with as much gravitas as I would should this be an election to determine the President of the United States.

Some people will vote solely along political party lines. Others will vote based on “who’s best for the job.” They are the ones who claim to put person over party,”principle over politics.”

But let’s be honest, folks: this election (as was the last one) is far more complicated than simple either/or choices. No one is perfect, so it’s not always easy to say there’s one candidate that’s clearly better than another. And, to be fair, depending on where you live and who’s in charge, party affiliation isn’t always a black-and-white issue.

However, there are some issues that help guide how I will vote in each election. Some folk like to think of themselves as “single-issue voters.” I, on the other hand, am more like a “5-issue voter.” Therefore, I thought I would share them with you this morning, just in case you are looking for any last-minute advice.

5 Deciding Issues

1 The First Amendment. Without a doubt, the Constitution is always under attack. One reason is because so many are woefully ignorant of what’s in the Constitution – most have never even read it! But when it comes to whom I vote for, I will NOT vote for someone who threatens to dismantle my right to free speech and my right to worship. To be specific, I will oppose a candidate who wants to enact legislation meant to silence the pulpit, chill open discussion of ideas, or restrict Christians from participation in the public square.

2. Right to Life/Life of the Unborn. Let me be very clear, I will not vote for any man or woman who condones abortion on demand. Granted, the choice might get complicated if both candidates believe the same on this issue, but differently on others, but as a general rule, if there is any other choice, I will not vote for a person – or a Party – that supports and condones the willful and unnecessary destruction of innocent human life in the womb.

3. The Second Amendment. This is America, not Europe or Australia. I will not vote for someone who wants to take away my right to bear arms. George Washington said: “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” For a more amplified defense of this position, I would refer you to an essay by Walter E. Williams of George Mason University (the source of the above Washington quote) entitled “Constitutional ignorance.

4. Originalist Judges. It is tragic that so much power is now placed in the courts. Yet, knowing the way things have been going as of late, it’s probably not going to change any time soon. Therefore, it is more important than ever for an informed voter to cast his vote for a candidate who will support the selection and nomination of judges who will not seek to write law but enforce it. It is also important that the candidate support the selection and nomination of judges who do not try to imagine what the Founders were thinking, but what they wrote. It is not the responsibility of the judge to change law based on his or her opinion of it; it’s the job of the branch that writes the law in the first place – Congress.

5. Freedom. Believe it or not, most people are clueless as to what a genuine “right” is. That is why we have seen laws like the Affordable Care Act passed. Because many claimed healthcare to be a natural human right, Americans were forced to give up actual rights in order to keep from being fined. Any “right” that imposes a “duty” on another is not a true human right because it cannot be enjoyed simultaneously by both individuals. For a great explanation of what is a legitimate human “right,” I would encourage you to read the following piece by Professor Charles W. Baird: “#10 – ‘I Have a Right!'”

So there you have it. These are the issues that help guide how I will vote in each election. I hope they help.

Now, go vote!

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Filed under Abortion, America, community, current events, politics, voting