Good bye Mom Bury. RIP 12/5/2015
You are missed and still loved.
The people we love are a gift.
When they pass away they become a treasure.
When our treasures are in heaven we will never lose them.
Good bye Mom Bury. RIP 12/5/2015
You are missed and still loved.
The people we love are a gift.
When they pass away they become a treasure.
When our treasures are in heaven we will never lose them.
Even if He does not…
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.””
Many millions of people who believe in God believe he is a safety net of last resort. They believe God WILL save them out of all their troubles. They get injured or sick with a disease which leads to death and they believe God WILL heal them. They lose their job, car, house, family members but they have faith God will fix it. I believe God “CAN” rescue all of us from any issue in our lives but; I wonder how many Christians have the faith of those three young men who said “But even if He does not, we will keep faith with our God”?
Those three young men who believed that whatever resulted from life’s difficulties and challenges, that their God was able to save them out of them all. For them the determination of whom they should worship above everything else was firmly settled. They knew that God “Could deliver them” but, if He did not that would be OK with them because they would still be in the center of God’s will and they were content with that. Just as Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Your kingdom come. Your will be done”.
It is evident therefore that true devotion to God calms the spirit and gives us the strength to face whatever challenges and difficulties arise in our lives. It is those who are filled with pride who are still ready to say, as Nebuchadnezzar, “Who is the Lord, that I should fear his power?” Yet, when God displays his power by saving those who worship him I spirit and in truth then they say…
Daniel 3:28-29 “Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.””
And so we can see in this display of faith these three young men showed that we also should not fear whatever may befall us in this life. Even if God chooses NOT to rescue us from whatever our current circumstances are, nothing can or will separate us from his love for us.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1. Not Death (because we have been given eternal life with him in heaven).
2. Not Life (because he lives in us through the Holy Spirit while we are here on earth)
3. Not Angels (because he is in charge of the angels he created).
4. Not Principalities (The position, authority, or jurisdiction of a prince or princess; sovereignty, governments, all the powers of Darkness because God set them all up).
5. Not Things present (Creatures, diseases, illnesses, people, voyages, storms or wars).
6. Nor the Future (nothing that will become a reality like the internet).
7. Not Powers (The ability or official capacity to exercise control; authority such as some believe that demons have).
8. Not Height (No matter how far from earth you travel).
9. Not Depth (No matter how far under the ocean or earth’s crust you travel).
10. Not Any created thing (Anything Created By God or imitations created by Satan).
‘Whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord.’ Our subordination to Him is the same, and our consecration should be the same, in all varieties of condition, even in that greatest of all variations. God’s love reaches through every situation, seen or unseen from birth to death and therefore everything in between. If we hold closely to God’s love we will be led straight into eternal life.
As an ambassador for Christ I will teach the gospel message every time I get the opportunity; I will use the gospel message to proclaim that all people can become reconciled to God. I will teach the truth from the gospel in order to overcome false doctrines and beliefs. I will teach the gospel message to faithful men and women who will then teach it to others. I will pray for the sick and restore those who have sinned in a spirit of gentleness according to the gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:3-5 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.”
2 Corinthians 5:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
1 Timothy 1:3-4 “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work–which is by faith.”
Ephesians 4:11-12 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”
2 Timothy 2:2“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Galatians 6:1 “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
James 5:14-15 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.”
To be filled with the Spirit and produce spiritual fruit daily (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, etc.).
To use the gifts of the Spirit God has given me to build up the body of Christ (The Church).
To minister to the diverse and specific needs of the congregation.
To strengthen those who are weak in their faith.
To challenge the faithful to do greater service to God through the church.
To train the elect in righteousness by teaching the gospel message.
To give wisdom from God’s word to the foolish.
To teach the unlearned.
To commit the truths of the gospel to faithful men and women who will then teach others.
To rebuke the teachers of false counsel or doctrine by teaching the truth of the gospel message.
To encourage those without hope.
To restore those who have sinned in a spirit of meekness.
To offer reconciliation with God to those who are lost.
My Life Verse
Psalm 27:1, 4
“The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?”
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”
I will instill God’s values in my family members and will live my own life consistent with those values, for the purpose of modeling God’s teaching to them, to God’s people and to those in the world who do not know God.
Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
I may feel like I am nobody. I may be homeless, hungry, poor, broke, and feel alone yet I am an Ambassador for Christ. I am an ambassador for a king who is no longer respected in this nation. If my king was respected, I would also be respected.
God has a plan and a purpose for my life and my desire is to be in the center of his plan; no matter if it is for me to have everything I desire or to lose it all. God gives and God takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord my God. Every second of my life has been given to me to achieve His purpose. I have a choice to make with each of them. I can choose to waste them or I can choose to use them in the best way I can at this time in my life. How will you choose to use each moment God has placed under your care?
Symptom indicators that a Nation is about to fall
Since the beginning of time nations which have fallen often showed certain specific symptoms before they fell. Even today we can see similar symptoms in societies which have or are about to fall.
The basic building block of all societies is the family. Anything that affects the family in a negative way ultimately affects the entire nation. Within the family the young are taught to respect authority and their place within society. They learn the importance of controlling their emotions, setting goals to better themselves and help the family as well as respecting their elders because they will want to be respected when they themselves become older. Husbands and wives worked together as the fathers teach their sons and the mothers teach their daughters the everyday lessons in life.
Rome at one time had an educational system that emphasized developing character, morality, patriotism and social values in young lives. As time went on the values of the government changed and so did the system of education which displayed the governments decline in moral values. The government shifted the emphasis in education almost exclusively to academics, with no moral or ethical absolutes defining right and wrong. This is a root cause of the decline of any society.
1. Decline in moral values and education.
It is strong values and morals that holds a society together. Without them the entire system of government cannot be maintained or its laws enforced. With the acceptance of divorce comes the crumbling of the family unit as lack of moral character leads to divorce which undermines the basic building block of society. In Rome the government even started to sponsor orgies and love feasts. Homosexuality and bestiality were openly practiced and as the government accepted these practices so did the people. In America today judges accountable to no one have helped undermine the religious freedoms that were once the centerpiece of our society. Laws that once protected children and families are either no longer enforced or are overturned in the courts of law by judges who act without oversight or fear of condemnation. The supreme court in America has recently decided that the traditional definition of marriage being between one man and one woman (which societies around the world have held for thousands of years) now includes homosexual relationships. The change in gender definitions and roles has produced a change in family values away from traditional ones where the family comes first to the current status of “I” come first. With the changes in gender roles have come altered responsibility structures and the values attached to the concept of the mother as the ‘homemaker’ have changed to asking the questions “Who is in charge here?” and “What role am I preparing to take on and how do I learn it”.
2. Political Corruption
A second symptom of the decline of any society is political corruption. The rich desire to get richer as they keep the poor man down and under firm control. The Romans never had a good system in place for choosing a new emperor. Eventually the Praetorian Guard gained complete authority to choose the new emperor, who rewarded the guard who then became more influential, perpetuating the cycle. Those who disagreed with the Praetorian Guard’s choice would simply assassinate the person and the cycle would repeat itself. A minority of the people gained the power to control the government and make policy. People became discouraged and lost faith in their government officials. The efficient government of Rome dissolved into chaos and eventually disintegrated as greed took hold on the hearts of government leaders and officials. America’s politicians have discovered one of the keys to reelection is to advocate more spending and government programs for the poor. Elected officials no longer seek office for the good of “We the People” and indeed are no longer part of “We the People” but instead seek reelection to further their lucrative careers and schemes. Currently more than 10% of the citizens of our nation work for one part or another of our municipal, state or federal government. With unemployment running currently at 25% that leaves about 65% of the workers in America pulling the entire load of the nation.
A third symptom of the decline of any society is unemployment. farms were run on animal or slave labor rather than individual families of farmers. Wealthy men bought up farms cheaply and ran them to produce higher profits for lower costs. A farmer who had to pay workmen could not produce goods for less than the wealthy slave owner. Farmers sold or lost their farms and moved into the cities looking for low wage work. This not only undermined the family values farmers had formerly instilled in their children but also filled cities with the burden of unemployed hungry people; which lead to the next symptom of a declining society. 4. Inflation.
In order to feed the unemployed masses, larger amounts of taxes had to be imposed. This undermines the economic vitality and stability of a nation as the government goes into a cycle of deficit spending. The government tries to provide daily bread to the masses as well as entertainment to take their minds off their troubles. The belief in self-determination and self-reliance was replaced with an attitude of expecting something from the government for nothing. Increased taxes drives up prices on all goods. The government decides to adjust the monetary system by producing more coins (or paper money) but of a lesser value of metal or with less metal backed value. This makes the coins (or paper money) themselves less valuable which drives the merchants to once again raise prices to get more value for their goods. Eventually people stop using money to purchase goods and return to a barter system which leaves all currency frozen in the system as it is not being circulated. Salaries star being paid in food and clothing and taxes are paid in vegetables and items produced by individuals. Even our government in the United States has not managed to balance a budget in nearly thirty years. Beneath the annual budget lies a debt of unmanageable proportions. The CBO estimates that the interest payments on our debt alone will take up 36% of the budget in 2030, 58 percent in 2040 and 85 percent in 2050. Much of this trouble stems from Political corruption. History shows as a warning that a government that becomes insolvent will be overthrown by the disenfranchised and disillusioned masses. The polarization of classes between the rich and the working class (haves and have nots) is increasing and that pressure could lead to a revolution as it did in Russia in the early 1900’s.
5. Devaluing human life.
With slave labor and unemployment, life becomes cheap. Grossly burdensome regulations (made up by corrupt government agencies that operate without oversight) and higher taxes make trade and manufacturing unprofitable. Husbands seek pleasures outside the home in illicit relations with women prostitutes (or with men) and women are left rearing the children on their own as single mothers. The role of women at home and with children loses its value and status. Women become neglected and devalued in their roles as wives and mothers. Soon they revolted to gain access to material wealth and also freedom for sex outside marriage.
Children are then easily seen as burdens rather than valuable members of the family unit and infanticide and abortions becomes every day occurrences. In Greece and Rome children were often sold into slavery and prostitution. Often many people decided to have childless homes. The decline in the birthrate produces an older population that has less ability to defend itself and less will to do so; making the nation more vulnerable to its enemies without and other social problems within the nation. In Greece and Rome many children as young as 6 were left on the streets to fend for themselves. Men and women compete fiercely for equal wages and leadership of the home. The breakdown of the family unit produces anarchy.
6. Public health
With the decline in employment the unemployed have little to do so they drink more which then generates other troubles within society. Continuous interactions at crowded public entertainment events leads to the ability for diseases to be more easily spread. Those who are forced out of their homes live on the street as homeless poor with little or no health care have their immune systems weakened and they become more easily compromised.
7. Military spending and authority
Another key symptom of the decline of society is increased Military Spending (which is paid for by increased taxes). The Military is over extended, undermanned and under paid. This situation leads to low morale and undisciplined behavior. Normally soldiers are used to guard the borders against enemies (which is a constant drain for government spending) but in a society in decline they are used to patrol the cities against the growing violence of the poor. In America our defense establishment has traded military readiness for social experimentation by feminizing our military (increasing the number of woman in life threatening jobs and turning a blind eye on homosexual behavior).
8. Decline of religion
The last symptom of the decline of a society is the decline in religion. Grecians used to hold up the stoic man as an example to follow. Romans used to pick a god to serve and then follow their direction for life. The religions of Rome, which eventually encouraged and empowered the people to live a life of excess, contributed to the empire’s death.
Today the hypocrisy of religious leaders has turned many away from any organized religion or church. Many people have stopped believing in anything greater than themselves. America no longer enjoys cultural consensus on God, religion, and what constitutes right and wrong as it did before the 1950’s. Many may still go through the motions of being a part of a religious organization but their religion is empty and does not change their behavior. They give lip service to their religious beliefs but their actions remain contrary to their professed beliefs. The religious beliefs of the majority in society become shallow, lifeless and without true meaning. People seek direction in life; spiritual purpose that is greater than themselves, but do not find it in the religion of their forefathers. Parental authority becomes diminished and ethical and moral principles disappear, affecting the economy and government as the people lose their faith. Material values begin to dominate thought, and the people begin to exalt their own role as an individual. The entire nation becomes morally bankrupt and will fall apart. The demise of the traditional family and the shunning of religion have combined to create a culture of children who are morally retarded; those who fit in nowhere except in a gang culture. This has led to elevated numbers of violent crimes in cities across America and an increase is prison populations. Studied have concluded that the majority of criminals in our prisons come from broken homes.
I look at the 8 symptoms of a society in decline and I see how far America has traveled down the same path as Greece and Rome. We are closer today to collapse than ever before and it seems to me some of our political leaders are pushing the nation nearer the edge. The people of America also seem to not care what direction we are going and they do not see the edge of the cliff we are all headed towards. Only 58.2 % of all eligible voters in America actually participated in the 2012 elections. That means that more than 144 million Americans that could vote chose not to.
Americans today want to have the best of everything while not having to pay for it. They want to work less for more money and play more while spending less time at work. Americans want to obtain better health insurance by forcing employers to pay for it rather than themselves. They want to receive their full social security when they retire without having to increase how much they pay into it now. Americans want to reduce their tax burden without reducing the services they receive.
We are now paying more in municipal, county, state and federal taxes than any generation of Americans before us. Our consumer economy taxes us on our gasoline, property, licenses, purchases, pets, luxury items, entertainment and an endless list of other items in our government’s efforts to support their programs by taxation rather than trying to reduce their spending.
Inflation and taxation have combined with our desire to maintain an unrealistic standard of living by driving more Americans to live on credit. The majority of people in America are simply surviving paycheck to paycheck. This is due in part because of fiscal irresponsibility by trying to live beyond their means and partly because of their spiritual and moral bankruptcy which has left them without a code of ethics that tells them living this way is not only wrong but will actually hurt them more later in life.
Indeed! In America today we have mindless “reality” television programs driven by deception and with athletes and movie stars endorsing and participating in them. These people who practice gratuitous sex and display their elicit lifestyles for all to see are void of self-control, judgment and character. The media and the movie makers in Hollywood all promote materialism, sexual freedom and covetousness as goals to achieve.
Unbelief in God is becoming more popular among the masses. Parental authority continues to erode and could disappear in the next 25 to 50 years as the “State” takes control of how children are raised. Ethical and moral principles which affect our government and our entire economy have shifted towards greed and selfishness. It is these internal weaknesses that are fragmenting our society. Selfishness and greed will lead to smaller groups of people working for their own goals and these individual group loyalties will fragment the society into uncontrollable and ungovernable political situations. All these symptoms will combine to eventually lead to the collapse and the downfall of America as a superpower.