Friday, April 30, 2010

Founders' Friday: Samuel Adams

Glenn Beck, on his Fox News Program, is hosting "Founder's Friday" for the next several Fridays. His show will be featuring guests discussing the contributions that our Founding Fathers made to the founding of this great country. Glenn Beck's first Founder's Friday features Samuel Adams, the second cousin to John Adams. In conjunction with Founder's Friday, I'll be presenting information about each of the Founders that's featured on Beck's Friday evening program. Let's begin our journey with Samuel Adams.

Samuel Adams was born on September 27, 1722 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was one of 12 children born to Samuel and Mary Fifield Adams. However, only two of his siblings would survive beyond age 3. He was a second cousin to John Adams, the second president of the United States. His father was involved in local politics, even serving as a representative to the provincial assembly. Adams attended Boston Latin School and then entered Harvard College at the age of 14. He would receive his bachelor's and master's degrees from Harvard in 1740 and 1743 respectively. Adams tried numerous businesses including one he started on his own. He was never successful as a commerical businessman. He took over his father's business enterprise when his father died in 1748. At the same time, he would turn to the career he would enjoy the rest of his life which was politics.

In 1749 Adams married Elizabeth Checkley. They had six children but only two lived to adulthood which were Samuel and Hannah. Elizabeth died in 1757 soon after giving birth to a stillborn son. Adams then married Elizabeth Wells in 1764. In 1756 Samuel Adams became a Boston tax collector, a position he would hold for almost 12 years. He wasn't the most diligent in his career as a tax collector. He found that he had an aptitude for writing. Throughout his writing and involvement, he rose as a leader in Boston politics. He became involved in numerous informal political organizations that had a large control over town meetings and local politics.

After the French and Indian War was over in 1763, Great Britain turned to increased taxation to help pay for the costs that had incurred in fighting and defending the American colonies. Parliament had enacted tax measures. Three tax measures that Adams opposed were the Sugar Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765, and the Townshend Duties of 1767. He believed as the British government increased its taxes and duties, it was reducing the individual liberties of the colonists. This would lead to even greater tyranny. Adams held two key political positions that helped him in his fight against the British. He was the clerk of both the Boston town meetings and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Through these positions he was able to draft petitions, resolutions, and letters in protest. He argued that since the colonists weren't represented in Parliament, they were being taxed without their consent. Thus the rallying cry, "No taxation without representation." Adams argued that colonists should boycott English imports and support public demonstrations. However, he didn't support the use of violence against the British as a means of protest and supported the fair trial of the soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre.

In 1772, Adams was a founder of a committee of correspondence which was meant to unite Massachusetts towns against the British. He then helped expand this sytem to other colonies. In 1773, Adams was influential in fighting the Tea Act. This Act was not a tax and in fact would have resulted in lower prices on tea. This act was meant to aid the East India Company by allowing it to bypass the English import tax and sell through merchants it selected. However, Adams felt that this was just a ploy to get colonists to accept the Townshend duties that were still in place. On December 16, 1773, Adams spoke at a town meeting against the Act. That evening dozens of men dressed as Native Americans boarded three tea ships that sat in Boston Harbor and threw the tea overboard. In response to the Boston Tea Party, the British increased their restrictions on the colonists. Parliament passed the "Intolerable Acts" that not only closed the port of Boston but also limited town meetings to one per year. Adams saw this as further evidence that the British would continue to limit the colonists' liberty.

In September 1774 Samuel Adams became one of the delegates to the First continental Congress held in Philadelphia. He helped draft the Declaration of Rights. In April 1775, Adams, along with John Hancock, was a target of the British army advancing on Lexington. They escaped, however, when Paul Revere famously warned them. Beginning in May 1775, Adams was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. He helped write Massachusetts state constitution. He was part of the Massachusetts ratifying convention of the U.S. Constitution. After the American Revolutionary War, Adams served as Massachusetts state senator, lieutenant governor, and then governor. He died on October 2, 1803 in Boston.

The Gulf Coast Oil Spill

(Yahoo) (USA Today) An oil spill in the Gulf Coast that threatens to eclipse the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 spread out of control and drifted inexorably toward the Gulf Coast on Thursday as fishermen rushed to scoop up shrimp and other types of fish before the oil spill hits the shoreline. As of right now, the oil is oozing into Louisiana's wetland. On April 20 the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in 5000 feet of water. The workers were finishing a well for BP (British Petroleum) about 40 miles Southeast of the Mississippi River. BP operates and leases the oil rig. The spill was bigger and closer than imagined--five times larger than first estimated with the leading edge just three miles from the Louisiana shore. BP estimated that the oil spill was gushing out 1000 gallons a day, which conflicts with the Coast Guard and the government reports. "It is of grave concern," David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told the Associated Press. "I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling." The oil slick could become the nation's worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening hundreds of species of fish, bird, and wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters, and other marine life. The leak from the ocean floor proved to be far bigger than initially reported, contributing to a growing sense among many in Louisiana that the government failed them like they did with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Also, there was a deadly tornado in Mississippi that killed ten people last weekend. President Obama dispatched cabinet officials to deal with the crisis.

The Coast Guard revised the amount of oil spewing from a damaged wellhead at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico to 5000 barrels a day, fives times higher than earlier estimated. Cade Thomas, a fishing guide in Venice, Florida was worried his livelihood would be destroyed. He said they lied to us. They weren't proactive in dealing with the oil spill. Thomas said as soon as it blew up, they should've started wrapping it with booms. The Gulf Coast has been working with BP in trying to contain the oil spill which hasn't been very successful. The types of containment that's used are booms, dispersants, and controlled fires to burn the oil off the water's surface. The solution is to drill a $100 million relief well to plug in the leak. The problem is that it will take three months to drill it. According to USA Today, the Deepwater Horizon had a primary shut-off system that is supposed to turn off the oil in the event of a catastrophic failure. However the shutoff system apparently failed. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, was asked why the oil industry didn't have more effective safeguards in place to prevent spills such as this one. He said he didn't know why this spill happened and they're meeting with government officials in the highest levels to figure out a solution.

The spill could easily eclipse the Exxon Valdez's 11 million gallon oil spill that leaked from the grounded tanker Exxon Valdez in Alaska's Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989. Engineers so far have been unable to stem the underground gush of oil. This spill could grow much larger than the Valdez oil spill because there's much more oil underground than there was at the Valdez tanker. If it's leaking 5000 gallons of oil a day, then it could lose approximately 150,000 gallons of oil within a month if it continues at losing oil at the same rate according to the BP estimate.

This oil spill could amount to a serious crisis if not contained very quickly. It could prove to be an ecological nightmare for the wildlife and the fish in the Gulf Coast if this continues. It's also a waste of oil as well. The fishing industry could potentially be devastated if the oil continues spreading and it's not contained. Some people fish for a livelihood along the Gulf Coast. Much of our shrimp that's shipped to the local supermarkets come from the Gulf Coast. BP needs to take responsibility for this along with the federal government in trying to clean this mess up. BP is the company that operates the rig that exploded. It's not an American company. President Obama said that he's suspending any future offshore drilling until safeguards are put in place to prevent another oil spill like this from happening. However, the new leases that are to be issued for offshore drilling wouldn't be issued until 2012 anyway. BP and the Coast Guard both weren't proactive quickly enough, according to what I've read. This explosion happened ten days ago. When an oil spill like this happens, it's imperative that containment procedures are used immediately to prevent wildlife from dying as well as to try to prevent the environmental damage it could cause. I'm not a radical environmentalist but we should do everything possible to prevent pollution like this from happening. It's not good for the oceans, the wildlife, and for the economy. Deep sea fishing is part of the economy in that area.

This oil spill will give the federal government and various groups an opportunity to exploit this for their gain. The government seems to always be looking for a crisis to exploit. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stated you can't allow a good crisis go to waste. The environmentalists will use this oil spill as an excuse to make their point that offshore drilling is too hazardous for the environment. We need offshore drilling but we need to use safeguards to prevent such leaks as what happened ten days ago. We have the technology to drill and design oil wells that can be contained to where they won't pollute the environment. Our oil companies could possibly use this situation as another excuse to hike up the crude oil and gasoline prices once again. They could say they have no choice but to raise prices with the amount of oil we're losing on a daily basis. Congress will probably use this as an opportunity to pass a cap and trade bill. The government will use this crisis as a means to restrict America's energy resources. While at the same time there will be individuals and businesses making money off cap and trade. Al Gore has been on a global warming crusade for the last several years. Look how rich he's become. I was listening to Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly one time on the O'Reilly Factor last year and they were both discussing how Goldman Sachs would stand to profit from cap and trade. The government will exploit this disaster to further restrict our natural energy resources so they can enslave the American people while at the same time they will become rich off it. That's how this works. Somebody will stand to benefit financially through this whole ordeal. There are government officials, individuals, and businesses that will become rich off the backs of the American people. That's how crooked this whole thing is. The sooner this oil spill can be stopped, the better.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The History of Ellis Island

Last Friday Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law an immigration bill which would crack down on illegals being in the state. The last few decades there has been a great lack of border security in our northern and southern borders. That's why we have so many issues with drug cartels, crime waves, diseases, etc. However, there was a time in American history that anyone who desired to immigrate to America had to come through Ellis Island. What is Ellis Island? Ellis Island is in New York Harbor. It was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. It was the site of the nation's busiest immigration station from 1892 to 1954. Prior to Ellis Island the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was greatly expanded with landfill between 1892 and 1934. Ellis Island is located in Upper New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey, east of Liberty State Park and north of Liberty Island. Originally much of the west shore of Upper New York Bay consisted of large tidal flats which hosted oyster banks, a major source of food for the Lenape population who lived in the area prior to the arrival of the Dutch settlers. There were several islands which weren't completely submerged at high tide. Three of them (which were later to be known as Liberty, Black Tom and Ellis) were given the name Oyster Islands by the settlers of New Netherland, the first European colony in the Mid-Atlantic States. The oyster beds would remain a major source of food for nearly three centuries. During the Colonial period Little Oyster Island was known as Drye's, then Bucking. In the 1760's, after some pirates were hanged from one of the islands scrubby trees, it became known as Gibbet Island. It was acquired by Samuel Ellis, a colonial New Yorker, around the time of the American Revolution. In 1785 he unsuccessfully attempted to sell the island. From 1808 to 1814 it was a federal arsenal. At the end of the War of 1812, Fort Gibson was and remained a military post for nearly 80 years. then it was later selected to be a federal immigration station.

The federal immigration station opened on January 1, 1892 and closed on November 12, 1954, with 12 million immigrants processed there by the US Bureau of Immigration. After the Immigration Act of 1924 greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies, the only immigrants to pass through the station were displaced persons or war refugees. Today over one million Americans can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived at Ellis Island. In the 35 years before Ellis Island opened, over 8 million immigrants had been processed by New York State officials at Castle Garden Immigration Depot in lower Manhattan, just across the bay. It is estimated that 10.5 million immigrants departed for points across the United States from the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal across a narrow strait. Others would have used one of the other terminals along the North River (Hudson River) at that time. The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants processed. The all-time daily high occurred on April 17, 1907 when 11,747 immigrants arrived. Writer Louis Adamic came to America from Slovenia in Southeastern Europe in 1913 and described the night he and many other immmigrants slept on bunk beds in a huge hall. Lacking a warm blanket, the young man "shivered, sleepless, all night, listening to snores" and dreams "in perhaps a dozen different languages." The facility was so large that the dining room could seat 1000 people.

Generally those immigrants who were approved spent from two to five hours at Ellis Island. Arrivals were asked 29 questions which included name, occupation, and the amount of money carried with them. Those with visible health problems or diseases were sent home or held in the island's hospital facilities for long periods of time. More than three thousand would-be immigrants died on Ellis Island while being held in the hospital facilities. Some unskilled workers were rejected because they were considered "likely to become a public charge." About 2% were denied admission to the U.S. and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, criminal background, or insanity. It's totally different compared to today. Ellis Island was sometimes known as "The Island of Tears" or "Heartbreak Island" because of those 2% who were not admitted after the long transatlantic voyage. The Kissing Post is a wooden column outside the Registry Room, where new arrivals were greeted by their relatives and friends, with tears, hugs, and kisses.

After the 1924 Immigration Act was passed Ellis Island became primarily a detention and deportation processing center. During and immediately following World War II Ellis Island was used to intern German merchant mariners and enemy aliens--American civilians or immigrants detained for fear of spying, sabotage, etc. Some 7,000 Germans, Italians, and Japanese would be detained at Ellis Island. It was also a processing center for returning sick or wounded U.S. soldiers, and a Coast Guard training base. Ellis Island still managed to process tends of thousands of immigrants a year during this time, but many fewer than hundreds of thousands a year who arrived before the war. After the war ended immigration rapidly returned to earlier levels. Notable entertainers who performed for detained aliens and for U.S. and allied servicemen at the island included Ernestine Schumann-Heink, Enrico Caruso, Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, and Lionel Hampton and his orchestra.

Before Ted Kennedy pushed for a bill that destroyed immigration barriers in 1965, America used to have a sane immigration policy. There were certain periods during U.S. history when we greatly limited U.S. immigration like during times of war for example. Also, anyone that could've brought diseases to America or could've been a spy they would've been sent back home. Until the 1965 immigration bill (The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965) was passed, America accepted only European immigrants into the country. Once immigrants came to America's shores and they were accepted, they were required to learn the English language and speak it fluently. Our elected officials were cautious in the type of immigrants they allowed to come through Ellis Island. America didn't have millions of illegal aliens back then like we do today. America enforced border security back then. In the last few decades, our politicians stopped making border security enforcement a priority and as a result we've had all kinds of illegals in this country. There are some that are in prison that have committed crimes. There have been employers who have hired them for slave wages to work in their businesses. Once again America needs to have another "Ellis Island" which will process immigrants into this country. Today Ellis Island is a museum.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No Man Knoweth the Day Nor the Hour

(Matthew 24:36-42) "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." In the realm of eschatology, which deals with prophecy concerning end times or the last days, there are differing viewpoints regarding the coming of the Lord. There are those that teach and believe according to the Bible in a pretribulational rapture, which is a rapture of the church. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 talks about the rapture when the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout and all the dead in Christ shall rise first and those of us which are alive shall be caught up together in the clouds to be with the Lord. That's the rapture of the church. Many fundamental Baptists teach and preach that. I believe that's Biblically accurate. There are some theologians that teach that there is no rapture of the church and the church will endure through the Great Tribulation. Television Evangelist Pat Robertson doesn't believe in the rapture. He teaches the church will go through the Tribulation period. He believes in Kingdom Age theology which teaches that Christian are going to present this world to Christ when he comes back and lands on the Mount of Olives. They believe that Christians will reform this world to present it to Christ. However, the Bible doesn't teach that. It says things will wax and worse. I dispute what Pat Robertson says because Luke 21:36 pray that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things. The only way you can be counted worthy to escape all the things that are coming to pass during the Great Tribulation is to be born again before the rapture. I believe that's the correct interpretation of Luke 21:36. The Bible says in II Thessalonians 2:11-12 that those that are left behind will be sent strong delusions by God that they will believe a lie. Those that have had an opportunity to hear the gospel before the rapture and didn't repent prior to the rapture will believe a lie.

The passage in Mark which says no man knoweth the day nor hour when the Son of man cometh is referring to the rapture. That's different from the Second Coming of Jesus, which Matthew 24:30 bears out. The Second Coming of Christ will take place following the Great Tribulation, which follows the rapture of the church. The Great Tribulation will be the most horrible time ever that's existed on the face of this earth. It will be to chastise Israel and to bring her back to God. The Bible says the Tribulation will last for seven years and then Jesus will come. However, no man will know when the rapture will take place. We can know the season. Jesus says in Matthew 24:32, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:" I believe that scripture is referencing the rebirth of Israel which occurred on May 15, 1948. Israel is now 62 years old in the modern era. We know the time is drawing nigh. We know the season. II Timothy tells us what the last days will be like. Daniel 12:4 says that knowledge shall be increased in the last days. We know we're on the verge of the rapture. However, we don't have the ability to predict the day nor the hour. God has designed it that way for a reason.

Throughout the centuries, there have been many predictions made concerning when Christ was going to return again. Edgar Whisenaut wrote a book entitled years ago, "88 Reasons Why Christ will Come in 88". As it turned out he was wrong. There have been some that predicted that Christ would return in 1976. That didn't happen. Others have predicted Jesus would come back in 1996, 2000, etc. There are some that's predicting that Jesus will come back in 2012. One thing's for sure: whenever there's a date predicting Christ's return you can just about guarantee that Christ won't return on that particular date. God has no intentions for any man to know the date of his soon return. Even Jesus doesn't know. It's only God the Father. His schedule is on time. He's not too early or too late. Jesus said in the Gospels that He will come back in an hour we think not. We're wasting our time establishing dates. We're to be on constant alert.

Why does God not want anybody to know the exact time of his appearing? There's a number of reasons. For one thing, if we knew the date when Christ would return, we would be spending much of our lives in carnality. We're already doing that and we don't know the date of Christ's return. How much more carnal living would God's people would be guilty of if we knew the exact date. You see, we would know exactly when we can be lackadaiscal about the things of God and we would know exactly when we would have to be serious and live for God. Just think how the work of spreading the gospel would be hindered. We wouldn't be in any rush to spread the gospel or to serve God if we knew the date. We would serve him only when the time of his appearing is at hand. That's how we are. We have a tendency to be procrastinators. God desires for us to be constantly vigilant. He wants us to have our minds on serving Him continually. He desires for us to be constantly on guard. God knows our frame. God's plan revolves around the element of surprise. We wouldn't be serving God fervently if we could predict that date of His arrival. Just take a look at the business world. Many times in a place of business whenever there's word that a corporate head is going to be visiting that place the management team and all the employees will be working to organize and prepare themselves for the visit. Why? Because when we know there's company coming to visit we tend to perform our best and be on guard. A business is a lot more stricter with following company policy whenever a corporate head is visiting than when the boss is not there. Jesus said in Matthew 24:43, "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." We become lackadaiscal when we possess the mentality Jesus won't be coming for a long time.

Another important reason why I believe the Lord has designed it for nobody to know the time of his appearing is so God's children will be constantly on guard. We're most likely to be on guard when we expect Christ to come at any moment. If we knew the exact date of his appearing, we would let off our guard and be loose in our living. Christ wants us to be constantly on guard. We have a tendency to not be on guard when we think he isn't coming back soon. We become more sober minded when we believe that Jesus is coming back. We recognize time is drawing short and we don't have time to invest in foolishness. Life is about serving Christ when we believe he could come before the day is over with. Another important reason why it's imperative for us to not know the exact date of the Lord's coming is so we will be fervent in our carrying out the gospel. Suppose we knew that Christ wouldn't return for his bride until February 22, 2020. If we as God's children knew we had ten years before he would return, we wouldn't be spreading the gospel. We would wait until the time until Jesus was about ready to appear. Everything that's been accomplished for the sake of the gospel has been due in part to the urgency every believer has had inside of him that we may not have tomorrow to carry forth the gospel. The reason why the early church and the apostles were so dynamic in their preaching and spreading the gospel was because they had the sense of urgency that Jesus could come at any moment. Peter, James, John, and Paul all believed Jesus would come back in their lifetime. They didn't expect Jesus' appearance would be delayed for 2000 years. They were expecting Jesus back in their lifetime. That's why they were so fervent in their spread of the gospel. They believed that if they didn't accomplish the job today there wouldn't be tomorrow. In today's generation we're almost the opposite. We believe we have forever to carry out the gospel to the world. That wasn't the mentality of our early church Fathers. You read the writings of the Apostle Paul and you know he was expecting Christ at any moment. He was looking for Christ's appearing before he died. That's why the gospel spread unto the ends of the earth. There was that sense of urgency. That urgency wouldn't be there if the apostles could predict the date of Christ's appearing. Christians today take for granted that Christ's coming back soon. That's why we're so slothful about the things of God. We wouldn't be that way if the sense of urgency burned in our hearts like it did those in the early church.

Jesus said as it was in the days of the Noe, so shall it be when the Son of man appears. During the days of Noah thye were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. (Matthew 24:38). Jesus is soon ready to make his appearance. We don't know the day nor the hour, but the time is revealing to us it won't be long.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Franklin Graham Disinvited to Speak at the Pentagon

(Baptist Press) Backlash over evangelist Franklin Graham speaking at the Pentagon as part of the National Day of Prayer has prompted the U.S. Army to rescind an invitation it extended to the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, is being criticized for comments he had made in the past expressing his belief that Islam is a dangerous religion. Graham is this year's honorary Day of Prayer Task Force chairman this year. Mickey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates April 19 "demanding" that the Pentagon choose a more inclusive speaker for the event. According to Reuters, the Army said it didn't invite Graham to speak at the event organized through the Pentagon chaplain's office. The invitation was extended to the task force, which in turn asked Graham to speak. "Once the Army leadership became aware that Reverend Graham was speaking at this event, we immediately recognized it as problematic," Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman said. "The bottom line here is that his presence would be inappropriate. His past statements are not consistent with the multi-faith emphasis and inclusiveness of this event." What a turnaround our country has made in the last several years! I guarantee you if a Muslim cleric was asked to speak at the event, the media and the Army generals wouldn't have a problem with it. We've went down the road the wrong way!

In a statement released April 22, Graham regrets that the Army felt it was necessary to rescind the invitation to the task force . He expressed strong support for the U.S. military and said he would continue to pray for the troops. Graham has a son that's on his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan. During an appearance on Fox News the same day, Graham, president of the International Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse, reiterated the concern for Muslim people worldwide. "I love Muslim people and I want Muslims everywhere to know what I know, that God loves us, that he sent his son Jesus Christ into this world to take our sins and he died for our sins and rose from the grave and that Christ can come into their heart and change them and they can have the hope of eternal life, salvation," Graham said on Fox. " I want them to know they don't have to die in a car bomb. They don't have to die in some kind of holy war to be accepted by God, but its through faith in Jesus Christ and Christ alone." The statements that Franklin Graham made about Islam was that it was a cruel religion which treated their women harshly as well as that Muslim extremists believe in strapping bombs upon themselves. Instead, our government as well as the media refuse to acknowledge that's the true nature of radical Muslim extremists. There's no freedom in these Muslim-dominated countries in the Middle East. They treat women very horridly. It's suicidal for the U.S. government to embrace the Muslims. The Muslim extremists hate Israel and hate America. America is considered the Great Satan in the Muslim world.

America was built on Judeo-Christian principles. Our founding forefathers, who were the Puritans and Pilgrims, built and dedicated this country to God. Throughout the early course of America's history, there have been great revivals that have swept our land such as the First and Second Great Awakening, the Cane Ridge Revival, and even a revival in New York under Charles Finney in the nineteenth century. God has greatly blessed America over the 233 years she's been in existence. Since the 1960's with the U.S. Supreme Court decisions on voluntary prayer and Bible reading, our contry has went on a downhill slide. Vice has become virtue in our country. Sin has become a virtue in pagan America. There was a time that homosexuals were considered queers. They weren't classified as "gay". The term "gay" originally meant a person was happy. It was a state of being. Today we've identified that term with the homosexual lifestyle. Over the last two decades, the homosexual mafia has been trying to gain special rights in America such as gay marriage. That's an abomination. Also there was a time when it was considered shameful for a couple to walk down the aisle having engaged in sexual relations. Now there are many couples that have engaged in sexual relations prior to walking down the wedding aisle, and they're not ashamed about it. At one time it was more commonplace for a young mother to stay home and raise her family. A mother that stays home to raise her children while her husband works to provide for the family is becoming a thing of the past. Our homes and our country are falling apart. Instead of the Bible being upheld and the God of the Bible being exalted, secular humanism has become the new religion in America. America's religion is all about satisfying me, myself, and nobody else. Our nation is being overrun by illegal aliens and we face nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran. We better wake up! God is getting ready to judge this nation harshly!

It's a shame when our government and our military are so concerned about being politically correct. There was a time when it would've been honorable to have Billy or Franklin Graham speak before the Pentagon. However, Franklin Graham has crossed the threshold of political incorrectness. He's attacked the Muslim religion. Shame on him! It's a shame those in the highest echelons of our government along with the military brass are catering to Muslims. Graham is exactly right about the Muslim religion. He knows because he's traveled the world. Also, his son is in the military in Afghanistan. So Graham knows what he's talking about. Our country is signing its death knell by embracing Islam in America. Who would've ever thought that a minister like Franklin Graham would be disinvited to speak at the Pentagon because of his opposition to Islam? Not in America anyway! However, that's how far down the path our nation has traveled. I'm afraid we're almost at the point of no return if not already.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Arizona Goveror Jan Brewer Signs Immigration Bill into Law

(Fox) Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a controversial immigration bill that seeks to crack down on illegal immigration. The sweeping measure will make it a crime under state law to reside in the country illegally. It will also require local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they are in the country illegally. The law will take affect 90 days after the current legislative session ends. Before signing the bill, Brewer called the measure "another step forward in protecting the state of Arizona." She said the bill represents another tool for Arizona to use as they work to solve a crisis that they didn't create and the federal government has refused to fix--the crisis caused by illegal immigration. She was right on the money. The last several administrations for 30+ years have allowed illegal immigrants to come through our porous borders and haven't done anything about the gangs and drug wars that's taken place across the United States and Mexico's border.

President Obama called the bill "misguided" and said it could violate people's civil rights. How? If you're not a legal U.S. citizen, then you don't possess rights as an American. Obama stated he's instructed the Justice Department to check the legality of it. The bill's Republican sponsor, State Representative Russell Pearce of Mesa, said Obama and other critics of the bill were against law enforcement, our citizens, and the rule of law. Civil rights activists said the bill would lead to racial profiling and deter Hispanics from reporting crimes. Gov. Brewer stated she wouldn't tolerate racial profiling. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the State Capitol complex today calling on Brewer to veto the immigration legislation. Protesters have been camping around Arizona since Monday when the bill passed the state legislature.

It's amazing how the liberal media and our liberal politicians try to paint this issue like it's a civil rights issue. Whose civil rights are they talking about? How about the civil rights of the rancher that was murdered by an illegal alien? What right do our politicians have in granting rights to illegals regardless of their race or nationality? It's not a racial issue. It's a borders and citizenship issue. The last two presidential administrations have wrecked our borders and President Obama is following along the same pathway. It's about the rule of law. The law that Jan Brewer passed mirrors the federal immigration laws that our elected elite refuse to enforce. Our elected elite are traitors for refusing to close our borders except at certain checkpoints. What needs to happen is there needs to be a triple-tiered fence built except at certain checkpoints to stem the flow of illegals in our country. We must do so in order to preserve our country. A country is defined by its borders and its culture. Some of the U.S.'s larger cities resemble Mexico City due to our borders not being secured. There are all kinds of gang violence in our country which happened as a result of a lack of proper enforcement of our borders. This must be stop or else the United States will no longer be the country as we know it.

I won't take the time in this blogpost but in a future blogpost I will cover the racial profiling issue in regards to illegal immigration. That subject needs to be covered. I believe racial profiling needs to be used when it's necessary. I don't believe it should be abused. It should be used when there's probable cause in trying to identify illegal aliens that are committing crimes in the U.S. I will also write out my own prescription for immigration reform, which you hear so many politicians making reference to. I applaud Jan Brewer for her courageous decision to sign this bill.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Maintaining a Proper Perspective on the Environment

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. The origins to Earth Day began on April 22, 1970. Former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WISC) was the Senator who was instrumental in establishing this day. He desired to bring attention to environmental issues in this country. The oil slick in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 motivated him to bring awareness to environmental issues. One of the things that's so frustrating when it comes to the issue of the environment is it's so difficult to hold an intelligent environmental discussion. The reason why it's so difficult to have an intelligent environmental discussion with fundamentalist Christians and Americans that consider themselves moderate to conservative is because of much of the false propaganda by the Left. We've had people like Al Gore propagating his "global warming" theories across America and the world for the last several years. There's dispute within the scientific community on whether or not man-made global warming is real. With the cold winters we've had the last couple of years, it has cast dispute on whether or not man is the cause of global warming. Recently they've changed the terminology on us and now call it "climate change" instead of global warming.

I don't buy into the propaganda of global warming. Some of the statements the Left use to promote their global warming theories is to blame man-made global warming on Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and even the volcanic eruption in Iceland. The name of the volcano is Eyjafjallojokull. With the volcanic eruption taking place President Obama wasn't even able to attend the funeral of the Polish president. Air travel was disrputed due to the Icelandic volcanic eruption. I'm just wondering, considering all the ash and plume that spews from the volcano into the sky, couldn't that have an affect on climate conditions? I would think so. I read where the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Pintaubo in the Phillippines and Mt. Saint Helens in Washington state affected climate conditions. It would make more sense to insinuate volcanic eruptions could affect climate change than vice versa. The Left has to make the assertion man-made global warming caused the volcanic eruption so they could press for a socialist agenda to control mankind. There are some incidents such as volcanic eruptions that are beyond man's control. I do believe in climate change, but I believe it is cyclical. We've had hot weather even before the age of Industrialization. Hot weather is a natural part of the summer season. There was a time back in the 1970's when scientists were saying that we were entering an age of global cooling. It revolves back and forth. We have four different seasons each year. During the summer we have hot weather and during the winter we have cold weather. There are seasons when the weather is less than normal, but that's due sometimes to natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions.

As much as I'm opposed to all the propaganda of global warming or climate change, it doesn't give us an excuse to totally ignore the environment. Most of the time we hear two extremes about ecology. The Bible says we aren't to worship the creature, but it didn't give us permisson to pollute the environment. God gave man dominion over the earth. However, common sense should dictate we have a responsibility to be good stewards of this earth. Not for the sake of this world, but of our neighbors as well as future posterity. It's not right to pollute our rivers and our land. We aren't to be careless with the environment. For example, I'm a believer we should drill for oil, but caution needs to be exercised to ensure there aren't major oil spills. A major oil spill is unhealthy for the environment. It's not good for the wildlife, for sea animals, for the oceans, and not even for the economy. There are some fishermen that make a livelihood out of fishing along the Gulf Coast. There should be safeguards in place when drilling for oil. Otherwise, a major oil spill could be an ecological disaster. Also, there's nothing wrong with chopping down trees when needed. However, we shouldn't chop down trees for the sake of chopping them down. When we chop down trees, we should replenish them. Trees are good for the atmosphere. Concerning the issue of strip mining there needs to be caution used when that's done.

I'm not a radical environmentalist nor am I a member of the Sierra Club. However, it's important to recognize that we have a responsibility to be good stewards and take reasonable care of the environment. I don't believe we should worship the land, but we should take care of it and beautify it. When Lyndon Johnson was president, his wife, First Lady, Lady Bird Johson, pushed to beautify the landscapes with flowers. Congress passed a law required medians in the road to be beautified. That was a good measure. We should plant flowers and trees to beautify the earth. We should take proper care of the land and use it as needed. It's a good testimony for Christians to take reasonable care of the environment. We should treat God's creation with respect. I don't promote the philosphy of pantheism or the belief that nature is in everything. Humans are assigned a different value in comparison to animals or plants. Human beings are of a higher value than plants or animals. But that doesn't give us the excuse to abuse the planet. Another thing to remember is there are other people that inhabit the planet. We all have a responsibility to exercise common courtesy and observe environmental measures to make this world a better place for everyone that's presently living as well as for the future posterity.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More and More Frustrated Voters are Registering Independent

(USA Today) There's an article in yesterday's USA Today newspaper which says that the nation's fastest growing political party is "none of the above". They are registering as "unaffiliated" rather than signing up with two of the major political parties in the nation. As we're nearing the 2010 midterm elections and the Tea Party movement takes shape, the American people are at a point they no longer desire to affiliate themselves with either party. The reason is because neither party represents the interests of the average American. Today both parties tend to cater to minorities, the homosexuals, corporate America, or special interest groups. The welfare of the nation as a whole seems to be irrelevant to our lawmakers in Washington today. The number of independent voters has grown faster in the last two years than Democrats and Republicans in at least 14 of the 28 states and the District of Columbia that register voters by party, according to a USA TODAY review.

The rise of independents goes back two decades, but many states are seeing bigger boosts now. For the first time since Gallup started asking in 1992, both major parties are viewed unfavorably by most Americans. Nearly four in 10 voters call themselves independents according to Gallup. Several states have seen dramatic shifts in the past two years, according to voter registration data. North Carolina has seen an 18% jump in unaffiliated voters, 8% among Democrats and no increase with Republicans. In New Hampshire, independents are up to 16%, Democrats 2%, and Republicans are flat. The people who choose to be unaffiliated tend to voter for the person, regardless of party affiliation. Also, Nevada's unaffiliated and independent registrations are up 13%, Democrats 8%, and the GOP lost 2%.

More and more voters are deciding to register independent due to frustration with the political scene in Washington. It didn't start with Barack Obama's election to the presidency in 2008. Voters have been frustrated with the political scene in Washington for at least two decades. We've seen both Democrats and Republicans at different times in charge of Congress and the Presidency. Both parties are worthless on the national scene. Democrats are socialist and they're trying to hurriedly pass a socialist agenda which includes healthcare, cap and trade, amnesty for illegal aliens, and the list continues. They're trying to accomplish that feat before November in case something happens if the Republicans regain power. On the other hand, we've seen Republicans in charge where the federal deficit continually kept growing and the size of government grew. Under the Bush administration, the deficit soared out of sight, there was a new department called Homeland Security created, and a new prescription drug coverage was included in Medicare. On the national level, there's not much substantive difference between either major party. The Republicans aren't trying to reduce spending nor reduce the size of government. They're just going along with the Democrats while our nation is being transformed into a socialist country.

I've been saying that Republicans better wake up and recognize why they lost the last two elections. Glenn Beck was on target when he made the statement at the CPAC Convention that the Republicans "don't get it." Whether or not you like Glenn Beck, he was on target when he made that statement. Why aren't Republicans demanding that if we remain in Iraq and Afghanistan there must be a commitment to win that war? Why aren't they doing that? There are Republicans in line waiting to pass an amnesty bill for illegal aliens. We have Republicans such as Lindsey Graham who's trying to act "Democrat lite", trying to pass amnesty for illegal aliens. He voted for Sonia Sotomayor, who's a liberal Supreme Court justice that President Obama appointed last year. With Republicans like Lindsey Graham, who needs Democrats? The mainstream voters wants elected officials to be patriotic and concerned about the interest of our country at large. The three values that are essential for each of the candidates that run for office are God, the country, and the Constitution. It should be about what's best for America. Instead, both parties are trying to push a global agenda upon America which in return will result in America's loss of sovereignty. We must vote out the majority of incumbents from both parties in the primaries and the November general election.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Do not Succumb to Peer Pressure

Whenever a child reaches the age of adolescence, they are going to experience peer pressure in school. Whenever we hear the term "peer pressure" we think of adolescents in high school which are dealing with issues pertaining to drugs, alcohol, teen sex, rock music, etc. Most of the time we limit it to high school or college age students. However, peer pressure isn't necessarily limited to high school or college age students. Many adults face preer pressure as well on a daily basis whether it be on the job, a social event, or in politics. Anybody that pays attention to politics will have to admit politicians in Washington, D.C. face peer pressure on a consistent basis. Back in March, Congress passed a major healthcare overhaul bill. However, it didn't pass easily. Some of those votes came through bribery. Some of it came as a result of peer pressure. There are Democrats on Capitol Hill that felt pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to pass that bill. However, peer pressure isn't just limited to the Democratic Party. The Republicans make decisions based on peer pressure as well. There are those elected officials that desire to feel accepted and liked among their colleagues in Capitol Hill so they'll vote on certain measures to feel accepted and to be a part of the inner circle. However, regardless of the age group, peer pressure is something everyone faces on a daily basis. It's an issue that we must deal with everyday. We must make the decision to either go with the flow or stand up for truth.

What is peer pressure? Peer pressure is social pressure to perform, mimic, act out, or conform to people your age, status, or educational level, etc. Whenver I think of peer pressure, I think of Daniel and the three Hebrew children. In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar had made a golden image and everyone in Babylon was to bow down and worship the image when the sackbut, dulcimer, and other instruments played. However, there were certain Jews whose names were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that were determined that they weren't going to bow down unto the golden image. They stood up and were faithful to the Lord. They were threatened by King Nebuchadnezzar and he said they would be cast in the fiery furnace if they refuse to bow down and worship the image. They refused to do so. They told King Nebuchadnezzar that their God was able to deliver them and if He chose not to they still weren't going to bow down and worship the image. It's evident from what they told Nebuchadnezzar that they had purposed in their heart they weren't going to follow the crowd and worship the golden image. They weren't going to "blend in" and flow with the crowd. As a result, Nebuchadnezzar had heated the furnace seven times hotter. The three Hebrew children were cast into the furnace. The fire was so exceeding hot that it slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. While they were in the furnace there was a fourth man with them in the furnace and the fourth man walking was like the Son of God (vs. 25). There was not a burn, no clothes or hair singed, nor the smell of fire on them. God had protected them in the furnace. It made a believer out of Nebuchadnezzar. He said "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God (vs. 28). Their stand for the Lord made a believer out of Nebuchadnezzar. Their obedience and faithfulness to God proved to Nebuchadnezzar and all those in Babylon that the God they served was real. As a result of not succumbing to peer pressure, they found favor with the king and they were promoted in the province of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar even made a decree that anyone speaking anything amiss about the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill. The three Hebrew children found favor with the king and those around them.

In Daniel 1 you read about the reign of King Jehoiakim, king of Judah, you read about Daniel, and the three Hebrew children that had found favor with the king and those eunuchs around them. Vs. 4 says they were children who had no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge. They weren't hillbillies. They were educated. However, they weren't going to compromise and back down from serving the Lord. God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. Vs. 8 says Daniel had purposed in his heart to not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank. He requested to the prince of the eunuchs that he not defile himself. Vs. 12 says, "Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink. So the prince of the eunuchs consented and for ten days they ate pulse and drank water. God blessed them for their faithfulness. (V. 15) "And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat." God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom. The Lord showed that they could make it on pulse and water. These lessons prove that God will reward faithfulness. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah found favor with the king and the king inquired of them in all matters of wisdom and understanding. If they had compromised and succumbed to peer pressure, the king and the prince of the eunuchs would've had no use for them. Why should Daniel and the three Hebrew children be respected if they were going to cave in and defile themselves with the portion of the king's meat? Those four stood out amongst everyone. God rewarded them with favor and promotion.

We live in a society that teaches compromising and fitting in. Christians all the time face situations where they're asked to compromise their stands in a number of areas. Christian women that dress modestly face peer pressure to dress immodestly in the work force. Sometimes Christian people will be pressured to attend a social event related to work where they serve alcohol. Christian young people face peer pressure to listen to a certain kind of music that is ungodly whether it be rock or modern day country music. There are all types of pressures that Christians face on a daily basis. The world will test us to see if we believe what we say we believe when it comes to the Bible. Sometimes there are single Christian people working and there will be co-workers that will try to match make them with somebody that would be out of God's will for their lives. There have been a number of Christians that have compromised over the years in some of their stands. There are saved people today that have caved in and no longer stand on some of the convictions they once had. They no longer command the respect and favor they once had from the world. Those Christians that succumb to peer pressure will be ineffective in their testimony before the world.

If Christians expect to be an effective witness to the lost world, they must be real and they must be consistent on the principles they stand upon. They cannot cave in and succumb to peer pressure and expect to be favored and honored. Daniel and the three Hebrew children were favored and honored because they were consistent in their Christian walk. When they were put to the test, they didn't cave in. The three Hebrew children's lives were threatened by King Nebuchadnezzar. They were cast into the fiery furnace. They didn't know for sure whether they would physically survive. They trusted that God was able to deliver them from the furnace. However, regardless whether God allowed them to escape alive or not, they weren't going to bow down to the golden image. They proved their God was real by not bowing down to peer pressure. That's the kind of Christians God desires us to be. You don't find much of that in modern-day Christianity. I guarantee you if we don't stand to the test, we won't receive favor nor approval from God. There have been Christians that have stood the test and as a result there have been those without Christ that have asked those Christians to pray for them. Why? Because they proved their God was real and that God was worth living for. If they caved in to peer pressure, the world wouldn't have turned to them when their own world was in trouble. The world will never come to us when they have trouble if they don't see us on a daily basis walking the talk. Daniel and the three Hebrew children proved that God will reward faithfulness when put to the test. They all proved that compromise wasn't worth it. Don't succumb to peer pressure. It won't be worth it in the long run. Those that claimed to be your friends will ignore you if you cave in to peer pressure. The world needs to see Christians that are real. When we compromise and succumb to peer pressure, we're in essence saying that living for Jesus isn't worth it. A Christian never will be able to prove to the world that Christ is real if we compromise. I appreciate the examples God gives us with Daniel and the three Hebrew children in the book of Daniel.

Monday, April 12, 2010

God, Forgive Me When I Whine

By Og Mandino (Recited by George Younce of the Cathedrals)
Today, upon a bus,
I saw a girl with golden hair.
I envied her, she seemed so gay,
And I wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and used a crutch.
But as she passed, she gave a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs, the world is mine.
I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, It'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
"You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two legs, the world is mine.
Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He seemed not to know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have two ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I'd know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

Are Tea Parties Good or Bad for America?

When we hear of tea parties we automatically think of the Boston Tea Party of 1773 when the colonists in Massachusetts protested against Parliament's tea tax. The reasoning behind this momentous event was that the colonists were being levied taxes without representation. There was no representative from the New England states representing them in Parliament. Today's tea parties are something totally different. We do have representation in Congress from a technical standpoint, but our lawmakers are not looking out for the interests of the American people. We the people do elect our House and Senate members, but their loyalty isn't to their constituents. Their loyalty is toward those interest groups that donate to their campaign. Those that do get elected to Congress donate their time gearing up for their next election as well as pay off favors toward their donors. The United States is becoming an oligarchy. It's the rule of the elite. Take a look at the troubled mortgage industry that Congress bailed out in 2008. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, AIG, etc. contribute to the political coffers of our politicians. Wall Street owns our politicians. Our politicians are at the bidding of the wealthy elites who contribute to their campaigns. It's a travesty!

This morning I was listening to a local radio program while heading to work. The host was mentioning about tea parties and he was posing the question are tea parties good or bad for America? That's the focus of this blog. The recent tea party movement began in February 2009 due to the disgust at the TARP bailouts by Washington, D.C. Then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson created a TARP fund to bail out those mortgage firms that were in trouble. Billions of dollars were squandered through that process. Some of those firms that received the bailout money paid their CEO's high bonuses. There was a lot of fraud and corruption taking place when Congress eagerly used taxpayer dollars to bail out these troubled firms. The tea party also protested against the stimulus bill that President Obama signed last February. The tea party starting holding rallies across the nation last year. They held rallies on April 15, July 14, and September 12, to name a few. This past year in February former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin addressed the Tea Party Convention. The tea party has gained considerable momentum since President Obama took office. The tea party is comprised of a group of Americans who are disgusted with the lack of accountability Washington has toward the American people. Many tea party members are former Republicans or disgruntled Republicans. The origins of this tea party movement isn't because Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. The tea party formed due to many concerned citizens' disgust on how Washington was running the nation the last 10 years. It doesn't make any difference whether it's Democrat or Republican, Bush or Obama. The government the last several years has continually grown in size. The deficit is outrageous.

Many tea party members showed their disgust towards Congress passing the recent healthcare bill in March. Some members of Congress have received threats such as Rep. Bart Stupak and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They quickly want to point the blame at the tea party members. Last year Speaker Pelosi made some derogatory comments about the party. The tea party is a threat to both the Democrats and Republicans. However, under the First Amendment, the tea partiers have the right to assemble, protest, and petition for a redress of grievances to Congress. The tea party has the First Amendment right to free speech, which is what they're exercising. There's an effort being made by some Republicans such as former House Majority Leader Dick Army to amalgamate the tea party members into the Republican party. The mainline Republicans want to amalgamate the tea party members in order to render the movement ineffective. They are considered a threat to the Establishment in Washington that's why you hear many liberals calling them racist, ignorant, Nazis, and the list continues. The liberal media and liberal politicians are doing everything in their power to marginalize this movement. However, the best thing that's happened to America politically in the last two years is the conception and growing momentum of the tea party movement.

World Net Daily Founder Joseph Farah said that one of the best things that's happened as a result of the election of Barack Obama is that Americans are being awakened and conservatives are being energized once again. He said that's something that wouldn't have happened had John McCain won the presidency. Farah is right on the money. Some conservatives would've been further lulled to sleep if McCain had won. Also, McCain would have further hurt the conservative cause because he like Bush, isn't a conservative on a number of fronts. Republican politicians know the key issue that most of their base is concerned about: abortion. Some voters won't think anything about their candidate's voting record as long as they vote pro-life. That's been the problem. Bush sneaked a lot of things through because he knew what he had to do to appease his base. The Republican party takes their base for granted and they know what they have to do to win support of their base. Conservative voters need to wake up and recognize there are more issues than abortion alone. Abortion is the most fundamental issue there is when it comes to life. However, I am tired of Republicans giving lip service to abortion and then dragging our country down in other ways. If a Republican claims to be a conservative, his record and actions need to be consistent. In everything he does, he should be pro-American in all his policies. Everything should be about the best interests of the United States--not Wall Street, not Mexico, not Saudi Arabia, or the petroleum industry. Nothing should take precedence over God, the Constitution and country. When those that are elected have those three things in the right perspective, then they will be a positive force in America. Most of our politicians today will sell out our country in a heartbeat.

It's been said that movements are only temporary. They don't last for long. Is the tea party movement just a current fad or is it here to stay? The tea party movement needs to be independent of both political parties. The movement needs to consist of an assortment of mainstream America. The movement should represent the interests of average Americans as a whole. It should represent the best interests of the nation as a whole. As of right now, they are on the right path. Our politicians are fearing them because they are forcing accountability on them which they don't desire. That's the way it needs to be. If the tea party ever becomes absorbed by the Republicans, then the movement will eventually fade away. The tea party will become useless if they allow the Republican establishment to gain control of the movement. The Republicans don't want to be challenged. They desire the status quo. The Republicans are in it together with the Democrats in propping up the New World Order. The tea party movement is a threat to the growth of big government, deficit spending, and many other issues as well. That's why it's crucial they remain above the fray. They need to challenge our politicians in Washington either they abide by the principles they campaigned on or they will be voted out of office very quickly.

I like the tea party because they are about restoring the government to the vision that our Founding Fathers idealized. They believe in small and limited government. The tea party also supports fiscal restraint as well. For the last 70+ years our government has increasingly grown in size and power with new entitlement programs being added such as social security, Medicare, many Great Society programs, and the list continues. President Obama along with today's Democrats are transforming America into a socialist country. They've already succeeded with taking over General Motors, Chrysler, and 1/6 of the nation's healthcare system. The tea partiers will be heard loud and clear this year. We have an upcoming election in November. It's crucial that most of the incumbents in Washington be voted out this year. If our nation is to have an inkling of a chance, we must vote out the incumbent. We need to vote for candidates that support God, the Constitution, and our country.

Is the tea party good or bad for America? It's been a very positive thing for America. However, the tea party must remain indepedent if they are to be effective in waking up America. Many establishment Republicans don't want the tea partiers to be a third party movement. If the Republican Party under George W. Bush and the Republicans in charge of Congress didn't betray the voter's trust in them, then there wouldn't be a tea party movement. The tea partiers are disgusted with both Democrats and Republicans. Both parties have failed America. There's not much substantive difference between the two parties. That's why the tea party was formed. They are needed to bring accountability back to the Republicans and force them to abide by the principles they campaigned on. The day of no accountability must be over with. It's the Republicans' fault as well as the Democrats for the mess this nation is in. We can't trust either party. They're both working together to destroy the sovereignty of our country. Neither party cares about its constituents. That's why the tea party movement is growing.

If the tea party members ever become amalgamated into the Republican party, then they'll die out. They need to hold the Republicans' feet to the fire. I'm thankful for them and I hope they can further persuade the public to apply more pressure on the government as we draw closer to the November election. Those voters that are registered Republican need to vote in the primary as well. The primary is just as important as the general election. Many Americans have been awakened to the fact since Obama's election how serious the crisis is in America. America can no longer afford to sleep. The tea party movement is not some third party movement. They're a group of people who are concerned citizens and want to restore the nation back to the vision the Founding Fathers had for us.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Abel Offered Unto God a More Excellent Sacrifice than Cain

Whenever you take a view of the progression of sin from the time of Adam's disobedience unto God in the Garden of Eden to Adam's firstborn son murdering his brother, it didn't take long for sin to progress into something deadly. Who would've thought when Adam's disobedience plunged the world into the state of sin that it wouldn't go no further than his firstborn son that he would become the world's first murderer. I heard once what one generation does in moderation the next generation will do in excess. The only thing Adam did was partake of the forbidden fruit that God told him not to partake. Then Adam produced the first generation murderer in his family. I've heard the song entitled, "Sin Will Take You Farther", which means sin will take you down a road that you're not willing to travel. Sin will take you into the muck and the mire. Sin will take you so far that you are enslaved by it. Let's use the drunkard for an example. Many people that become drunkards don't decide when taking their first drink they will become drunkards. It's through a progression of time that after that first drink they must continually drink to satisfy that longing inside of them. The Bible says the eye of man is never satisfied. Sin continually progressed on this earth to the point that all the thoughts of man were on evil continually. As a result, God destroyed the world with a flood.

Hebrews 11:4 says, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." God has always had one plan when it came to salvation. God had only one formula for the atonement of sin. It had to be through the shedding of blood. When you read about Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit they became ashamed of their nakedness. Their eyes were opened and they saw they were naked. (Genesis 3:10) As a result of their sin, there had to be an animal sacrifice for God to make coats of skins to clothe them. Before they went into sin, they had no need to be ashamed of their nakedness. However, due to their sin, they had to be clothed. Therefore, animals had to be sacrificed from that time forward. Animal sacrifices took the form of a spotless lamb, which was a type of which was a shadow of Christ coming to this world. I would venture to say that both Adam and Eve taught Cain and Abel that a blood sacrifice was needed when it came to atonement for sins. The sacrificing of animals took place since the Fall of man, which was before the Dispensation of the Law.

In Genesis 4:3-12 you read about the account of Cain and Abel both offering a sacrifice unto the Lord. Abel was a keeper of sheep. Cain was a tiller of the ground. Genesis 4:4-5 says, "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Able and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell." God had respect for Abel's offering but he didn't Cain's. Why? Years ago I heard someone comment on those verses and he said he believed the reason why God didn't accept Cain's offering was because of his spirit or attitude when he presented his offering unto the Lord. However, you don't read about Cain's countenance falling until after it said God didn't respect Cain's offering. The problem was that Cain's offering was unacceptable. His offering was inappropriate. He offered the fruit of the field unto the Lord which is considered the works of man. Abel, on the other hand, presented unto the Lord the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. Abel's offering was the acceptable sacrifice. However, you read in verse 6 and 7 when God asked Cain why he was wroth that if he will do well, he shall be accepted. God said if he (Cain) didn't do well, sin lieth at the door. And if he did well, he would rule over Abel. As the story goes, Cain became jealous of Abel. He refused to offer the appropriate sacrifice that God required of him. So Cain rose up against Abel and slew him. God asked Cain where was his brother. God said, "The voice of they brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10). Instead of repenting unto God and offering the only sacrifice acceptable unto God, Cain decided to kill his brother. As a result, he was banished from his parents and became a fugitive and vagabond. He dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

The fruit of the ground that Cain offered represents the works of man. He was offering his own sacrifice unto the Lord. However, God isn't pleased with man's works. If you come to God, you must come His way. Cain and Abel both were taught that the only sufficient offering was a blood sacrifice from a lamb. The only method God will accept when a transgression has been committed is a blood sacrifice. When one reads about the Passover in the book of Exodus, he says that when blood is sprinkled over the doorpost, He will pass over them. It's only the shedding of blood that pleases God. When you read the Old Testament, the priests would offer animal sacrifices unto that brazen altar to atone for the sins of the Israelis. It had to be a perfect spotless, lamb. It couldn't possess any defection. The only way sin could be covered was through the shedding of blood. In the New Testament Jesus shed his blood on Calvary once and for all for all the sins of mankind. There's no way man could ever come to God unless it's through the shed blood of Jesus. The Israelites couldn't be forgiven of their sins unless a sacrifice was made on their behalf. In the Dispensation of Grace, all we have to do in order to be saved is to repent of our sins and trust in the shed blood of Jesus that was sacrificed upon Calvary's cross. Today, we no longer have to offer animals for blood sacrifice. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for time and eternity. It's a better sacrifice. The book of Hebrews bears that out. Hebrews 10 mentions how the Old Covenant wasn't sufficient to remove sins but Christ's blood cleanses away our sins. When the priests offered sacrifices upon the altar, all it could do was cover sins. It could never remove sins. Man could never be justified under the Old Covenant. However, under the New Covenant, we are justified because Jesus' blood removes our sins. It is as if we never sinned. The blood of Jesus has power. The blood of bulls and goats couldn't take away sins (Hebrews 10:4).

From reading Genesis 4 I believe we can come to the conclusion Cain was a stubborn, rebellious man. Cain knew what was the appropriate sacrifice. Instead of coming to God through a sacrificial offering, he offered to God the works from his hands. That's man's way in trying to come to God. It's inappropriate. Man either comes to God through the avenue that's offered by Calvary or you don't come to God at all. Organized religion today does the same thing Cain does. They teach another gospel. They teach and preach that man doesn't have to go through Christ to be saved and to enter into Heaven. Organized religion such as the Catholic church, for example teaches man could perform good works to find favor with God. That's what Cain tried to do. God won't accept man's works. That's why Jesus laid down his life on Calvary. The debt of sin could never be paid unless a perfect, spotless lamb lay down his life for mankind. That's what Jesus did. He paid the debt that he didn't owe. I owed a debt I couldn't pay. Jesus paid my debt on Calvary. Organized religion tries to bypass the cross. You can't do that. If you bypass the cross, you'll never know what eternal life is. People that trust in works or anything other than Christ's shed blood, they will spend eternity in hell. If man could be saved another way besides or in addition to what Jesus did on Calvary, then what would have been the purpose of Christ's death? It would've been worthless! It would've been in vain. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians that if anybody preaches any other gospel than what's been already been preached to them, let them be accursed. (Galatians 1:9) Paul said that twice. Accursed means to be in damnation. It means that false teacher or prophet will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. There's all kinds of false doctrine being propagated in mainline denominations today. Any doctrine that deviates from the doctrine of salvation is damnable heresy. Man cannot be saved unless he realizes he's a sinner, repents of his sins, and trusts in the shed blood of Jesus on Calvary to save him. Anything else is heresy. Only the shedding of blood satisfies God. God's never been satisfied through man's works. Sin is so horrible and black to a Holy God that nothing man could do in himself could atone for that sin. The Bible says that man's righteousness is as filthy rags. Only the blood of Jesus can atone for sins. God's never changed his mind about sin and has never changed his method when it comes to the forgiveness of sins.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Michael Steele Tells Republicans in New Orleans, "I've Made Mistakes"

(Fox) Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who has come under fire for his lavish spending, told GOP activists Saturday that he has taken responsibility for his "mistakes" is now ready to "move on." In a speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, he alluded to the controversy sparked by his committee paying a nearly $2000 dollar bill at a sex-themed nightclub in Los Angeles that led to at least one state party chairman calling for his resignation. "Now I'll be the first to admit I've made mistakes and it's been incumbent on me to take responsibility, shoulder the burden, make necessary changes, and move on. We've all had to do that from time to time," he said drawing applause. "But the one mistake we cannot make is to lose this November," he added. The outspoken and flamboyant Steele has been a lightning rod for criticism since taking the job last year. The criticism escalated after recent revelations of Steele spending thousands of dollars on private jets and the Republican National Committee picking up the tab which amounted to $1946 in which a group of young Republicans ran at risque Los Angeles Voyeur nightclub on January 3.

The RNC fired a staffer it blamed for the outing said and said the bill would be reimbursed by a donor who had attended. Steele also accepted the resignation this week of his chief of staff and allowed one of his senior advisers to leave in an attempt to reassure GOP donors upset about his leadership. Tom Fetzer, head of the North Carolina Republican Party, called on Steele to step down. Amen! He said the resignation is the only way to end scrutiny of the Republican national party over its lavish spending.

Michael Steele definitely needs to step down as RNC chairman. He's part of the problem. I wholeheartedly believe he was nominated to the RNC post for racial reasons. Barack Obama had just won the election in November 2008 and I believe the Republican Party felt nominating a black to the chairmanship of the national Republican Party would give the voters the impression that the Republicans are inclusive when it comes to race. It was for public relations reasons. However, Steele is a stand-for-nothing who is just part of the ride. The Republican Party under the leadership of former President Bush and the Republicans who controlled the Congress just a few years ago had betrayed the principles the Republican Party claimed they upheld. That's why voters voted for a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president. The Republicans need to clean house and remove all the establishment Republicans from all leadership posts. I not only mean in Congress but even in the national committee. The only thing they care about is just going along with the Democrats or winning elections. They aren't about principle! They don't care! They're bought off by special interests just as the Democrats are. The Republicans are lavish in their spending just like the Democrats. Both parties are competing with one another on who can receive the largest share of the pie.

The voters who are registered Republican need to voter out many incumbent Republicans in the primaries. We need new Republican blood who will support the ideals of God, the country, and the Constitution. The Republicans who now hold office have been compromised. They won't stand up against Obama's radical socialism. We need to elect Republicans who will not rely on special interests to prop up their campaigns. We need statesmen who won't be bought off. Michael Steele is a joke. Michael Steele and his ilk are part of the problem. They don't seem to have any idea what the problem is. Glenn Beck was exactly right when he made the statement at CPAC, "The Republicans don't get it." The Republican Party needs to apologize to its base for betraying them and abandoning the principles they claimed they upheld several years ago. If the Republicans don't start paying attention to their base one again, then any victories they may win this November will be short lived.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Steps Down

(Reuters) Senior Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the oldest and longest serving members of the U.S. Supreme Court, announced in a letter to President Obama that he's stepping down as a Supreme Court Justice. Stevens, just eleven days shy of turning 90, served on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1975. He was appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford. Stevens succeeded William O. Douglas, who served on the Supreme Court for 36 years. Stevens was considered a liberal stalwart on the court. In his earlier years, it was said he was more moderate in his rulings. For example, sometimes he ruled differently on affirmative action issues and the death penalty. Ever since William Rehnquist was elevated to the position of Chief Justice in 1986, Stevens has sided with the liberal wing of the court consistently. Stevens served under Chief Justices Warren Berger, William Rehnquist, and John Roberts. In 1994, when Harry Blackmun retired from the Supreme Court, Stevens became the senior associate justice. As a result of that position, the associate justice next in line in regards to seniority can step in when the Chief Justice is sick or unavailable. Between the death of William Rehnquist and the inauguration of John Roberts as the new Chief Justice, Stevens stepped into the role as Chief Justice. Prior to being appointed to the highest court in 1975, Stevens was once a lawyer and was appointed to a lower federal court by Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Some of the liberal positions that Justice Stevens upheld were abortion and gay rights, his support for affirmative action laws, gun restrictions, and he ruled in favor of allowing lawsuits against the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.

Upon receiving the announcement of Steven's resignation, President Obama proised to name a successor quickly setting the stage for a partisan election-year Senate confirmation battle. Last year President Obama had his first opportunity to appoint Sonia Sotomayor as the associate justice on the Supreme Court. She was largely voted on party lines for the most part, 68-31. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that they will hear from the Republicans in the confirmation process. McConnell stated there needs to be a justice chosen that can practice judicial restraint and not be an activist.

An administration official stated than the President is considering 10 possible nominees. President Obama paid tribute to Justice Steven's tenure on the Court. He said his nominee, like Stevens, must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. "I will seek someone in the coming weeks with similar qualities--an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a fierce dedication to the rule of law, and a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people." Some of the possible nominees President Obama is considering are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, U.S. Appeals Court Judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland. Diane Wood is considered to have the most experience when it comes to her position. She is considered a top expert on international competition law.

Considering the fact that Stevens has sided consistently with the liberal wing of the Court, President Obama's choice for justice shouldn't disturb the balance of the Court. The Court presently has four liberals, four conservatives, and one moderate. The moderate is Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy is considered the swing vote. If Kennedy or a conservative justice such as Antonin Scalia were to decide to resign from the Court, then in all likelihood, the balance of the court would change simply because Obama is a left-wing president and he isn't going to nominate a conservative to replace a conservative. Left-wing progressives rely on the Court to pass their agenda. Any nominee Obama would appoint would naturally be a left-winger. However, that's the result of electing a far-left President. The old adage says, "To whom the victor goes the spoils."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

President Obama Signs Treaty with Mededevev

(Fox) President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday signed a peace treaty to shrink their nation's nuclear arsenals, the biggest pact between the "former" Cold War foes in a generation. The signing took place at Prague, in the Czech Republic. The treaty commits both nations to slash the number of strategic nuclear warheads by one-third and more than halve the number of missiles, submarines, and bombers carrying them.

In a lavish chamber within the Czech capital's presidential castle complex, the two presidents placed their names to history. Consequently, it's not history that's in the best interest of the United States or the Western Hemisphere. The treaty must now be ratified by Russia's parliament and by the U.S. Senate, where the White House lobbying effort is under way. President Obama will be trying to woo Senate Republicans in promoting this treaty. "Today is an important milestone for nuclear security and nonproliferation, and for U.S.-Russia relations." Medvedev hailed the signing as a historic event that would launch a new chapter of "cooperation" between the two countries. The new treaty will shrink the limit of nuclear warheads to 1550 per country over seven years. That still allows for mutual destruction several times over, according to the news report. It's supposedly intended to send a strong signal that Russia and the U.S.--which between them own more than 90% of the world's nuclear weapons--are serious about disarmament. Obama said the treaty sets a foundation for further cuts in nuclear arms. Obama pledged more conversation with Medvedev about missile defense, which was a source of strain between the two countries since Bush backed a nuclear missile defense system early in his presidency. However, President Obama made the decision last fall to scrap the long-range missile defense system that Bush had proposed. Whatever missile defense system Obama supports won't be as effective as the original defense system that Bush backed several years ago.

Many historians will say this is a historic precedence when it comes to nuclear arms reduction. However, this tends to be one-sided. Why doesn't President Obama bring Iran and North Korea to the table and force them to sign a treaty where they can't have a massive buildup of nuclear arms. Who knows how many nuclear weapons that Iran and North Korea presently have built. Russia was our Cold War enemy just short of two decades ago. How can we trust that Russia will abide by it's promise to reduce nuclear warheads? Why in a time when our world is in an upheaval with Islamic terrorism and the threat of Iran and North Korea to launch nuclear warheads are we negotiating a treaty to reduce our nuclear arsenal stockpile? It doensn't make sense. Never before in the history of mankind has these rogue countries had the ability to decimate our world as today. Today's not the time to negotiate treaties reducing nuclear arms. We need to beef up our forces to withstand the onslaught of Islamic terrorism and rogue countries such as Iran and North Korea. Reducing our nuclear stockpile at a time like this will weaken the U.S. if North Korea decides to launch a missile on the shores of the U.S. or anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. This signing of the treaty gives the green light to the world to strike at us. The goal is to promote the policy of nuclear disarmament. The world knows the U.S. will keep its word about reducing the number of nuclear missiles. I can't trust Russia, because Russia has been our enemy before. I'm not certain Russia has changed for the better. There's still comunism in Russia.

Thursday evening I was listening to the Alan Colmes show on radio. Colmes is a talk-show host who once was co-host of "Hannity and Colmes" on Fox News. Colmes is a self-avowed liberal. He was criticizing Republicans such as Sarah Palin who derided Obama's efforts to reduce our nuclear capacity. Colmes was saying they need to recall the attempted negotiations Reagan made with Mikhail Gorbachev. Colmes was repeatedly making reference to former President Ronald Reagan's attempt with Mikhail Gorbachev to negotiate a treaty such as in Iceland, for example to reduce the number of nuclear warheads. My response to Colmes is this: I believe Ronald Reagan was the best president elected in my lifetime. However President Reagan wasn't perfect. I don't place him on a pedastal. I am a supporter of the Constitution and conservative principles. Conservative principles take place over any man. Many Republicans and even talk-show hosts such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have placed Reagan on a pedastal and they'll even go as far ask the question, "What would Reagan do?" Reagan is an iconic figure to today's conservative Republicans. However, Reagan made mistakes throughout his presidency. Posing the question, "What would Reagan do?" in a broad sense is foolish because not all of Reagan's policies were correct. One example was when the U.S. Marines were killed in Lebanon in 1983. Reagan ordered the soldiers to leave the area. I didn't agree with that because I believe there should've been retaliation against those terrorists that attacked our soldiers. Another bad policy example was when Reagan signed the amnesty bill in 1986. It didn't solve the problem with illegal immigration. Reagan didn't close our borders, either. I believe Reagan's attempts to negotiate with Gorbachev in reducing our nuclear arsenal was also wrong. Truth is truth regardless which man is in office. Just because Reagan supported it as president doesn't make it right. Principles should be held to a higher standard than any mortal man.

The policy that the U.S. should have in regards to weapons is the policy of deterrence. We should beef up our forces and remain the strongest country in this world. We should place this world, any dictator, and any terrorist group on notice that we have the weapons to bring them down. If they attempt to strike at the U.S., then the U.S. will bring that country to toast. That's how it should be done. We need to rebuild our nuclear capacity. We need to place a long-range nuclear missile defense shield in Poland to deter any long-range missiles that may be launched from Iran. Russia doesn't like that because Russia does business with Iran. President Reagan even practiced deterrence early in his presidency. He was right about that. America's policy should be peace through strength. We as a country should rebuild our military capacity and become the strongest nation in the world. We also should promote peace if possible. We shouldn't fire a nuclear missile at any country unless all efforts at diplomacy have failed and America's national interests are at stake. However, the world needs to fear the U.S. and know it can't launch a missile at us and not pay a price for us. The signing today tells the world that we're vulnerable and if they were to strike at us today, they won't need to fear the consequences.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Reasons Why We Celebrate Easter

Happy Easter to everyone! Today along with the Christmas season is one of the most-attended days of church in America. Millions of people who normally don't darken the door to a church will attend annually on Easter Sunday. It's become a sad ritual in America. I'm thankful for those that do make the effort to attend church on Easter Sunday. However, many of those same people won't attend church hardly any other time of the year. That's tragic. Another thing that's tragic is there are pagan elements incorporated into the celebration of Easter. Many churches will host annual Easter egg hunts during Easter. The pagan elements of Easter bunnies and eggs are part of the celebration. The eggs represent the gods of fertility in the spring. I know of a preacher that stated several years ago that eggs belong in the skillet--not on trees! There are many people in America that celebrate Easter in different ways. Many Catholics celebrate Easter with Jesus still hanging on the cross. They will celebrate a perverted type of communion which is called the Eucharist which believes that when the church attendees partake of the wafer and the wine in the cup, that literally becomes the body and blood of our Lord Jesus. I'm thankful that the Jesus we serve no longer hangs on a cross nor is in a tomb anymore. He is risen and live forevermore! When we partake of holy communion or the Lord's Supper, we remember the sacrifice Jesus paid on Calvary. Jesus said that when we partake of the cup and the wafer, we do it in remembrance of Him.

There are many traditions that Americans celebrate in regards to Easter. This post will be written in context of those of us that are born again and believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I'm speaking of the various reasons why we celebrate Easter Sunday. We celebrate Easter in recognition of a Christ that died for us on Calvary, was buried for three days, and then arose from the grave and is sitting on the right hand of the throne. those of us that celebrate the resurrection are looking for Christ's soon return in this world.

There are a number of reasons why we celebrate Easter on this particular day. I'm going to list a few reasons why we as Christians celebrate Easter. I could list several, but I'll name just a few. First of all, we celebrate Easter because of His Birth. Christ came to this world and was found lying in a manger. Even though the birth of Christ is reserved for Christmas, without the birth there would be no death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There must be a birth before there can be a death. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." Thank God that he was willing to send his son to die for the sins of mankind. The Bible says that it was preordained before the foundations were laid that Jesus would be the lamb to die for the sins of mankind. Adam's partaking of the fruit in the Garden of Eden was no surprise to God. God knew that man would sin. God already had provided a perfect, spotless, lamb to die for the sins of mankind. All of the sacrifices that took place in the Old Testament were a forerunner of the Christ that was to come to this world. Thank God! Another reason we can celebrate Easter is because Jesus was obedient unto death. Jesus was God incarnate--both God and man. However, Jesus never one time sinned in this world. We read in Matthew 4 how Satan had tempted Jesus in the wilderness. However, Jesus didn't succumb to the Devil's temptations. Had He sinned at anytime while on earth, he wouldn't have been able to offer himself on Calvary's cross. He had to be that perfect, spotless lamb to become an atonement for mankind's sins. Even at the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was praying and sweat as great as the drops of blood were falling to the ground, Jesus was obedient and partook of that bitter cup. Even though he prayed to the Father in Matthew 26:39 and said if it be God's will to let that cup pass from him, he didn't flinch from the purpose on why He was sent to this world.

We also celebrate Easter because Jesus died on the cross for the sins of mankind. Hebrews 2:9 declares that Jesus tasted death for the sins of mankind. Jesus had not known what sin tasted like. He always had perfect communion with the Father. He lived in the splendor of glory prior to coming to this world as a lowly man. He never knew sin. He never knew what it was like to never have fellowship with the Godhead. However, for the first time, Jesus had to taste death for mankind. Whenever we watch movies that portray Jesus dying on the cross, we always see the human suffering, torture, and agony that he endured on the cross. There's no question that he received the most brutal beating anyone could bear. However, many times we only see the physical aspects that he went through when dying on the cross. Nobody can deny the physical pain Jesus experienced was excruciating. The greatest pain Jesus experienced was when the sins of mankind was heaped upon Jesus. Jesus became sin for mankind. All of mankind's filthy sins were heaped upon Jesus. All the sins from lying to the most horrible sins ever imagined was thrust upon Jesus. However, Jesus experienced rejection from the Father when he died on the cross? Why? Because God can't stand to look upon sin. As a result, God turned his back on his son. Matthew 27:46 records Jesus saying, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" It was due to the fact God the Father couldn't bear to look at sin. Jesus had to experience the rejection from the Father in order for mankind to be saved from sin. There had to be a spotless lamb that would become sin for man. That's what Jesus was on Calvary's cross. He died a vicarious death in substitution for all of mankind.

I was reading a blogpost about Good Friday. The Friday before Easter is known as Good Friday. Some places of business are off to celebrate that day. For those of us that place a high premium on Biblical accuracy, if you calculate the days properly, there's no way that Jesus could've died on Friday. He was in the grave for three days and three nights. Friday until Sunday doesn't equal three days and three nights. The probable time of Christ's death has to be on Wednesday. The time from Wednesday until Sunday equals three days and three nights. We celebrate Easter on Sunday because that's the day Jesus arose from the grave. Sunday is also called the Lord's Day. Church is held on Sunday because of the example set before us in the Bible and about coming to the House of God and worshipping the Lord on the Lord's Day. The apostles did that in the book of Acts. Sunday is a special day set aside to worship the Lord. That doesn't mean church services can't be held throughout the week, but Sunday is a special day set aside to attend church and to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.

We also celebrate Easter because of the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of Christ is what separates Christianity from all other religions. All the world's gods have died but never was resurrected from the grave. Buddha, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, Taze Russell, or any other religious leaders never arose from the grave when they died. However, Jesus arose from the grave. Luke 24 bears that out. Jesus arose from the grave, ascended into Heaven, and defeated hell and the grave. The resurrection is a pivotal element in what Jesus did on Calvary. For without the resurrection, Jesus death would've been in vain. Jesus' blood would never have cleansed mankind from his sins, if he still remained in the grave. I Corinthians 15:55-56 says, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." Because of the resurrection of Christ, death, hell, and the grave were defeated. There would've been no salvation for mankind if Jesus didn't arise from the grave. Everything Jesus would've done on Calvary would've been in vain without the resurrection. Victory was declared over sin when Jesus defeated death. Jesus has the power to forgive sins and defeat the forces of hell today.

Lastly, we can celebrate Easter because of the hope that lies within us. We are looking forward to the day when Jesus shall return for his saints. I Corinthians 15:51-54 mentions about the resurrection of the body. It mentions that when the rapture takes place, there will be some saints that are still alive. When the rapture takes place, The corruptible will put on incorruption, and the mortal shall put on immortality. We will one day have a glorified body. As of right now, those that have been redeemed have a redeemed soul but a corruptible body. When God takes his children out of this world, we will have a glorified body. We won't have to wrestle with our flesh as we do currently. Both body and soul will be incorruptible. Right now, those that are born again have an incorruptible soul but a corruptible body. I Thessalonians 4:16-18 mentions of the coming rapture of the church. For seven years God will pour his judgment upon this world. Then after seven years He will return with his bride and establish an earthly kingdom during the Millennial Reign for a thousand years and those that are His will rule and reign with Him.

We have so much to be thankful for. Not only am I thankful for what Jesus did on Calvary's cross, but the Lord's coming back and we'll live in eternal bliss one of these days. All the trials of life will be ended and we'll be praising him for eternity. The most important gift that God gave us was his son. The most important gift is the gift of salvation. Today is the day for the sinner nearest hell to repent of his sins and accept Jesus as saviour and Lord. Jesus is risen and alive forevermore. Jesus death, burial, and resurrection should be celebrated all 365 days a year, 52 weeks a year. It shouldn't just be observed during the Easter season. We should remember what Jesus did for us on Calvary everyday. The greatest thing a sinner can do is to accept Jesus as Lord and saviour and live for him. You'll never regret giving your heart and life to Jesus.