12 Jan

What Contagion Are You Spreading?

I am a firm believer in the germ theory, which hypothesizes that some diseases are caused by microorganisms that, although are way too small to be seen with the naked eye, invade the body and cause big problems.  Of course, while this theory was once highly controversial, it’s accepted as absolute fact now because of indisputable scientific proof backing it.  We’ve all become well versed in germ names like Ebola, Influenza, and Streptococcal.  These germs and others get into a body, multiply to the point they cause a disease, and then hope to get passed on to somebody new.  That’s why it’s so important for us to keep our hands washed and be careful whom we are around.  Otherwise, the disease-causing germs might spread until there’s an epidemic.

Ebola Virus

Maybe you’ve never thought about it this way, but there are some spiritual germs we should be wary of as well.  There are too many to list, but some of the most pernicious are grumbling, negativity, and resentment.  These three are nasty little attitudes that get into our spirit and wreak havoc.  They will multiply in a person until the person becomes spiritually diseased, and then they become very contagious.  When it spills over in a family or in a church, it can make life absolutely miserable for everybody.  Of course, the devil loves it, but it grieves the Spirit.

Are you infected with grumbling, negativity, or resentment?  Maybe these questions will help you decide.  Are you quick to point out a grievance or complain about a shortfall?  Do you look at others with a critical eye, ignoring the good things they are doing and focus on their weaknesses?  Are you often found in a gripe session with others about how things are going?  Do you tend to paint things in the worst-case scenario?  Do you resent having to do the things you do—even the things you voluntarily do—and feel like nobody notices or cares?

I could go on and on, but that should be enough to begin to help you diagnose the presence of grumbling, negativity, or resentment in your life.  If you think you are infected, get on your knees as quickly as possible in repentance and prayer to God.  Ask the Lord to help you put off the sins of grumbling, negativity, and resentment and put on the right attitudes of optimism, hope, and joy.  Make war through spiritual means against these spiritual germs so that you will become known for optimism, hope, and joy.  The good news is that just like their harmful counterparts, optimism, hope, and joy are contagious too.  May you help start of an epidemic that builds up and encourages the body!

08 Jan

Don’t Ever Stop Clapping for the LGBTQ Community

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian author and critic of Soviet totalitarianism.  He had great reason to be a detractor given his years of imprisonment in Soviet gulags and forced work camps after being charged with writing anti-Soviet propaganda during Stalin’s reign.  Later in life, Solzhenitsyn captured what it was like to live in those times in a book called The Gulag Archipelago.  Those were very dangerous days when anybody at any time could be arrested and sentenced or murdered for basically nothing.  Here’s one haunting story from his book :

A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). The small hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin. However, who would dare be the first to stop? The secretary of the District Party Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on—six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly—but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . . Then after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”

What haunting words!  “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”  Arrested simply for being the first to stop applauding.  What insanity!

Yet, in that story, I see a reflection of America in 2015.  We now find ourselves in an increasingly oppressive situation being foisted upon us by the sexual radicals in our midst.  No one can deny that the homosexual movement in America has been gaining power.  They have organized and fought very hard to bring about social tolerance for the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Questioning lifestyle.  They have been very successful.

However, it’s becoming clear that tolerance is not their end game.  The sexual radicals, it seems, will not stop until society celebrates their lifestyle.  Toleration is not enough.  We must say, they seem to be telling us, that what they are doing is good and righteous.  We must smile approvingly and march with them because those who are not with them are against them.  We must stand and clap for the LGBTQ community and never stop.  Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding the LGBTQ community!

Case in point is the recent termination of Altanta’s Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran.  This exemplary African American man had served the fire department with honor for nearly four decades.  Being a firefighter had been his dream since the age of 5, and he had worked his way up the ranks until he was hired as the Fire Chief of Atlanta in 2008.  He served there until 2009 when he joined President Obama’s office as U.S. Fire Administrator.  He did a fine job in that post as well, but in 2010, he returned to Atlanta where he was unanimously given his fire chief job back.

Everything was great until the homosexual movement got wind in 2014 that Chief Cochran had dared to state in a book he had written that homosexuality is immoral.  The entire book wasn’t against homosexuality.  Not even a full page out the 160-page book covered the topic of homosexuality.  In fact, his references to homosexuality might cover a half page.  But, it was way more than enough to put the Homosexual NKVD into action.

What exactly did he say?  In one spot, Cochram stated, “Uncleanness – whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”  In another section, he wrote, “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex, and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body – temple and dishonor God.”  Cochran didn’t refuse to put out a fire at a homosexual’s home.  He didn’t terminate a gay fireman because of his gayness.  He didn’t stand in a staff meeting and berate the lesbians in Atlanta.  In fact, the mayor’s investigation found no evidence of discrimination from Cochran toward any member of the LGBTQ community or an LGBTQ member of Atlanta Fire and Rescue.  He, in essence, merely stopped clapping for them.

And the Homosexual NKVD were watching.  They always do, especially over public officials.  They quickly sprung into action, demanding that the chief be terminated.  Nothing else would satisfy them.  They demand tolerance for themselves but refuse to extend it to anybody else.  Anything less than celebration and approval must be punished.  They mayor promptly put the chief on a 30-day suspension WITHOUT pay and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training.  I’m sure the mayor would have preferred a gulag, but the budget is just too tight here lately for that sort of facility.  A reeducation class would have to suffice.  At the end of those 30 days when Cochran was supposed to return to work, the mayor announced the chief’s termination.  According to the mayor, to simply believe that somebody is acting immorally is to discriminate against them.  The Ministry of the New Morality has spoken.

The revolution is almost complete.  If you know what’s good for you, comrade, you’ll keep on clapping.  Don’t ever be the first to stop!  Welcome to the new homosexual totalitarianism!

01 Dec

Jesus Is the Answer – Hope

 

Advent - Jesus Is the Answer

This week we begin our season of Advent, which is the Christian season of preparation for Christmas. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “visit.” In the Advent season, we keep in mind both “advents,” both “visits” of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the second yet to come.

Our theme this year is “Jesus Is the Answer.” This week we focus on Read More

26 Aug

What I Wish I Knew When I Went to College

Maxwell-Mini-Storage-Graduate-Blog

All across America, freshmen are heading to college campuses and class for the first time.  They be getting their matriculation on!  They are bright-eyed, nervous, and excited about all they’re going to experience and learn during the years ahead.  That’s how I was back in 1998.  I was so eager for someone to fill my head with knowledge, but looking back, I really wish I knew then what I know now.  Here’s what my 34-year-old self would tell my 18-year-old self.
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20 Aug

Wednesday Is for Worship: Behold the Lamb (Communion Song)

Wednesday-Is-for-Worship

This is Wednesday, but it’s also the day that we have scheduled at our church to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  Our church has two campuses, and one of the ways we try to promote unity is to worship together on Wednesday nights, and about every four months, the gathered campuses celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  Tonight is that night for us.  So, today’s song is a Lord’s Supper song, “Behold the Lamb (Communion Song).”

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