Nuggets of wisdom

NOVEMBER 30, 2019 BY WORDS FROM ELIAH

Don’t be conditioned by your conditions. Let the Lord be the condition that dictates your conditions. In Him you are conditioned to win!

Handle everything with “love gloves.” Handle every situation with gloves of love that are gentle, soft and caring. Be loving in every situation. Don’t use harsh hands to handle life. Everyone needs to receive love so give people a loving hand.

Hate and love are enemies. They don’t get along. They don’t belong together. Let love be your best friend and hate be your enemy. When the enemy tries to get the best of you, turn to your friend and let the fruit of your friendship shines through you.

There is no such thing as being too much like Jesus. Be Jesus to everyone. Be Jesus to yourself. Be Jesus in all you do. Be Jesus in all you say. Be Jesus in your mind. Be Jesus in excess. There is no such thing as being too much like Jesus. Someone needs the Jesus in you.

Every time we fall, God is there to pick us up whether we see it or not. We don’t fall to crash and burn. We fall so we learn how to get stronger. Your fall is not a trap unless you believe it is. It is a steppingstone to your next blessing.

Be sure to have plenty of room for the Lord in your heart. Listen to the beat of the music in your heart. Listen to the songs that vibrate with the Lord’s love. Listen to the music of His love, His peace and His joy.

The Lord gave you life in abundance so you can enjoy your salvation here and now. There is abundance of spiritual blessings that you need to thank the Lord for. His abundance covers every area of your life. Do you let Him into every area of your life?

Even in the darkest night the light of the Lord shines. It might be a tiny dot on the black backdrop of adversity but it is there. Focus on the tiny light and you will see it grow and grow.

After all is said and done, God will have the final say when you stay in faith. Wait for His final word. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up. God has something to say about every situation of your life and it is always good!

The truth will set you free. The truth is that God loves you. He cares about you. He protects you. He prospers you. He educates you. He teaches you and He stretches you. Live up the freedom of God’s truth in you!

Suggested reading: John 8:32; 1 John 3:18; 3 John 1:4

https://wordsfromeliah.wordpress.com/2019/11/30/10-nuggets-of-wisdom-for-your-saturday-part-97/

Stop Turning Your Yard Into A Hellscape For Halloween

No four-year-old should watch ‘Game of Thrones,’ and no four-year-old should see a severed head. Sick Halloween decorations force people to either hide in their homes or be exposed to a celebration of evil.

Stop Turning Your Yard Into A Hellscape For Halloween

Oct 30, 2019

I walk with my children in our neighborhood frequently. One of the reasons we picked our neighborhood is walkability and nearness to community life. It’s been a big change for a country girl who grew up three-quarters of a mile from the nearest neighbor.

One of the things I’ve learned from moving into town is how little so many people think about others. Drivers will honk at 6 a.m. to get someone to come out of a house (Don’t you have a cell phone? Or get your rear out of the car and walk 20 feet to the door and knock.). People will blare music at all hours so loudly it shakes the windows of the houses they pass. They paint their porches fire engine red and their houses execrable shades of teal, let their cats defecate in other people’s sandboxes, and dump their fast food wrappers into the wind.

In other words, lots of people are rude, tasteless, and selfish. Of course, since I believe human nature is corrupt, this isn’t really a surprise, but what is a surprise is what appears to be an increase in these crudities along with a growing tendency to excuse and rationalize them.

Perhaps the most vivid illustration of this tendency is the grotesquery with which many people “decorate” their yards for Halloween. Within a few blocks of my house are yards full of severed heads, decomposing corpses, positively demonic-looking witches, goblins, and ghouls, and moldy skeletons coming out of the ground (some even shake!).

One entire nearby neighborhood decorated all of its streetlights with hanging severed heads that have blood running out of the eyes. Some people have fog machines and motion detectors that emit noises from Hell every time a mom walks by with her preschooler and baby, or kids of all ages go past on their way to school.

What is wrong with these people?

Your Warped Sense of Good and Evil Is Showing

This is neither tasteful nor fun. It’s ugly and selfish. Every person who uses public streets is not an adult who enjoys viewing things designed to provoke horror. Some people are old, some people are very young, some people have PTSD, some people have easily sickened stomachs, and people like emergency workers see horrific things on the job and need a break after-hours. Like other friends’ kids, my four-year-old has been having nightmares since Halloween season started and is unable to sleep alone or even go upstairs in the daytime due to fears of all the horrible things he’s seen on our streets. Thanks, neighbors.

They should not be forced to hide in their homes for eight weeks while all the demented people desecrate the streets. They deserve the common courtesy of their neighbors taking into consideration their needs, sensibilities, and desires.

People who enjoy objectively sick and horrible things should not be the measure by which we decide what to hang in public spaces. If you like something bad, you are the problem.

Some people might object that evil is a part of life and it’s brave to face it rather than trying to Precious Moments the world. I do certainly tell my children about evil, at what I think are age-appropriate times and contexts. But these decorations force such information well before small children could possibly be ready, and at a time and context of an outsider’s choosing instead of mine. It thus puts teaching children judiciously about evil at a disadvantage.

Further, none of these decorations is a sober assessment of evil, a depiction of combating it, or any other such proper treatment, as are many of the world’s cultural remembrances of the dead and the ultimate triumph over death at the end of the world, like Dia de los Muertos. These yard hellscapes are instead a celebration of, a reveling in, evil. (Sometimes the Day of the Dead trends that way too, but that is not its original or proper purpose.) That is, quite simply, wrong. Only fools make light of evil. Hell isn’t a joke.

It’s impossible not to see this delight in evil as encouraged by the entertainment people consume. It’s no secret that Western entertainment has become increasingly pornified, both in sex and violence. Like frogs in the boiling pot, people who regularly consume this get used to it, and it warps their sense of what is good, beautiful, and true. It corrupts their judgment. To hide their self-hardening, they pretend that the sensitive and less-corrupt people are the problem (“Prudes!” “You’re no fun!”), instead of them.

Safe Spaces and Public Spaces Are Both for Children

When I floated a trial balloon of this opinion on Twitter, plenty of people agreed, but others attacked me as a bad parent whose children are crybabies I’m putting in a “safe space.” Folks, four-year-olds do need a safe space. Would you let them watch “Game of Thrones”? If you would, you’re the bad parent. No four-year-old should watch “Game of Thrones,” and no four-year-old should see a severed head.

The problem with college safe spaces is that they infantilize adults. On the contrary, good parents and a good society rightly protect small children temporarily to help them grow long-term. If you can’t see a distinction between a preschooler and college student’s needs and expected maturity level, I can’t help you.

Some Twitter people pretended it was somehow a contradiction of the libertarian “do whatever you want” ethos to suggest that people restrain themselves in any manner. Even if one were a libertarian — I no longer am — the mantra, in full, is “Do whatever you want so long as you don’t harm other people.” Under that paradigm there is plenty of room for being considerate of other people.

What we do in public, which includes how we dress ourselves and our yards, ought to be different from what we do in private. I don’t poop on the sidewalk, and you shouldn’t either.

The public includes everyone, which means a huge diversity in sensibilities and preferences. Acting more restrained and tasteful in public exhibits respect for others. The public square is where we should put our best selves forward out of love, not unleash our ids and demand that everyone else put up with it or lose their ability to enjoy public goods.

That’s plain selfishness, and it deserves rebuke. We restrain people who ruin public spaces through littering, vandalism, and drunkenness, because their behavior undermines the common good. The rudest person shouldn’t win, the rudest person should be taught how to treat others properly or lose his social privileges. The best behavior should be celebrated, and the worst not ignored, but condemned.

Deliberate Disregard of Others Hurts Self-Government

I don’t think “big government” should decide how people decorate, although I do support the self-determination of local communities to put boundaries around such matters with buy-in from residents, as exhibited in zoning laws, neighborhood associations, and housing covenants. But it’s not as if our only choices for action are between either “government mandate” and “individual free for all.”

The more they push boundaries and disregard their fellow citizens, the more undisciplined people enable bigger government.

That’s not the way America was designed, because then it would have been like Europe, as Alexis de Tocqueville explained in great detail, with a great bureaucratic government meddling in every single aspect of life. It was designed with a small, constricted government whose limits depend on the people’s ability to govern — i.e. control — themselves.

A government that allows great freedom absolutely requires citizens who use that freedom responsibly. The more they push boundaries and disregard their fellow citizens, the more uncivilized and undisciplined people enable bigger government. So it is not at all an accident that as our nation has grown more lax in privately policing social mores that our government has also expanded immensely.

I don’t think we are on the verge of a giant social movement to have bureaucrats approving yard decoration schemes, and I don’t want one. But, with positively no apologies to the Philistines, I do think that this lack of courtesy, civility, and restraint in Halloween decorations is emblematic of a destructive and seemingly accelerating cultural Philistinism.

Joy Pullmann (@JoyPullmann) is executive editor of The Federalist, mother of five children, and author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids.” She identifies as native American and gender natural. Her latest ebook is a list of more than 200 recommended classic books for children ages 3-7 and their parents.
Photo Image by Don White from Pixabay

An Open Letter to Pastors and Christians …Stand or Fall

 

July 3, 2018

 

A paraphrase that is often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville—a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s, helps to open this letter: “I looked throughout America to find where her greatness originated. I looked for it in her harbors and on her shorelines, in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and in her gold mines and vast world commerce, but it was not there.”

“It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Over the last few decades, Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God’s Word in several areas, and the blatant murdering of millions of babies. This is an indictment against America and the pulpit is partially responsible – our silence speaks volumes.

The pulpit regulates the spiritual condition of God’s people which affects the nation. A lukewarm, sex-saturated culture (and church) simply reflects the lack of conviction in the pulpit as well as the pew.

Sadly, many pastors are exchanging truth for passivity, boldness for cowardliness, and conviction for comfort…they are not aflame with righteousness. We aim to be motivational speakers rather than preachers of righteousness.

Pastors (and Christian leaders alike) must take responsibility for the spiritual health of today’s church, and the nation. We don’t need more marketing plans, demographic studies, or giving campaigns; we need men filled with the Spirit of God.

Pastors, we are not just cheerleaders, we are game changers. We are called to stir and to convict so that change takes place. Granted, there are many wonderful pastors and churches—I appreciate their ministry, but, as a whole, the church has drifted off course. They have lost the compass of truth. Here are four ways to re-set the compass.

1. Return to the prayer closet. Without prayer, “the church becomes a graveyard, not an embattled army. Praise and prayer are stifled; worship is dead. The preacher and the preaching encourage sin, not holiness…preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer, the preacher creates death, and not life” (E.M. Bounds).

When God brings change, prayer has been the catalyst. Martin Luther prayed and the church was reformed. John Knox prayed and Scotland was revived. John Wesley prayed and America was restored. George Whitefield prayed and nations were changed. D.L. Moody prayed and America fell to her knees. Amy Carmichael prayed and India received the gospel. And so it goes…when you pray, you move the hand of God.

The dry, dead lethargic condition of the church simply reflects an impotent prayer life. While 5-minute devotionals and prayers are good, they aren’t going to cut it in these dire times. We need powerful times of prayer, devotion, and worship. “Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying on her feet because she is not living on her knees” (Al Whittinghill).

Sermons should not come from pop-psychology and the latest fad; they must come from the prayer closet where God prepares the messenger before we prepare the message. It takes broken men to break men. Unplug the tv, turn off Facebook, and get back into the Word of God, prayer, and worship.

2. Return to a separated life. If a pastor fills his mind with the world all week and expects the Spirit of God to speak boldly through him from the pulpit, he will be gravely mistaken. “The sermon cannot rise in its life-giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher” (E.M. Bounds). Who he is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit.

3. Worship must be a priority. A pastor who does not worship is not prepared to preach. Many sing “about” God but they have never truly experienced Him—head knowledge without heart knowledge. Styles of worship range from the old, beloved hymns to contemporary. All worship should be God-centered, Christ exalted, and doctrinally sound.

Worship allows us to shift our focus and praise toward God. Whether you prefer hymnals and organs or contemporary bands, is really not the issue. The issue is: are you truly worshipping God in “spirit and in truth”? He is the Creator of heaven and earth. He is not a cosmic force, universal love, or a doting grandfather; He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We must worship Him. He created, redeemed, and saved us. As one of the countless hymns declares so well, “O’ The Blood: washes me; shed for me…what a sacrifice that saved my life, yes the blood, it is my victory!”

4. Preach the difficult truths – they set people free. The church cannot neglect, water-down, or avoid preaching sin, repentance, or the fear of the Lord in the hope of not offending or securing an audience. Difficult truths often offend, and rightly so, sin put Christ on the cross. The goal of preaching is faithfulness to God, not crowd appeal. The church, as a whole, may have forgotten the fear of the Lord, but it doesn’t follow that we should.

Let it not be said of us today: And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord because pastors failed to be preachers of righteousness. The burden of responsibility rests squarely upon our shoulders. It’s our choice—stand, or fall!

But there is hope: “Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you…” (Zechariah 1:3). That’s a life changing promise – return to Him and He will return to you.

 

Original here