Pain in the Pews

1 John 3:15 –

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Church Massacre on Sunday  11/5/ 17 Sutherland Springs, Texas   

Twenty-six dead and twenty-seven injured during Sunday church services.

Yet again, pain in the pews.

Another mass murder in America and Americans are still divided with deciding about how guns play a role in our lives.

The members of First Baptist gathered for Sunday worship in a small farm community in Sutherland Springs, Texas unaware of the devastation that would soon overtake them without warning. A senseless murderer entered the church and killed men, women and children.

As the news spread across America online and on cable news, I was saddened to sense that this nation has become desensitize with yet another massacre.

Last week after the Halloween terrorist that caused the death of eight people and the wounding of others, New Yorkers decided to continue with their yearly Halloween parade. Several reporting on the Halloween parade said that it was a tradition and that they weren’t going to be deterred from proceeding with this event. The reasoning also was that they were proving to the terrorists that Americans were not going to hover in fear.

And to think that here we are a week later, once again dealing with another gruesome attack by a gun-toting individual with his anger set on killing as many as was in his line of fire.

Sadly, mass murder seems to have become the norm in America.

Pain in the pews are at times self-afflicted and at other times brought upon by individuals we are familiar with or strangers lurking in the dark waiting to destroy what they believe are individuals who serve no purpose to live.

As it always goes, politicians throw out their lame expression of sorrow with the words, “my prayers and thoughts are with the…” you can pretty much fill out the remaining statement. Their action speaks louder than their own words.

Pain in the pews.

When will it ever end? And when will humankind begin to see that there is no clear resolve with killing each other when we have yet to accept that our greatest tragedy is our own sins.

When sin ends so will death.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Hijacking #MeToo

And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. Genesis 34:2

Well, after nearly two weeks of the #MeToo movement, I have to say that it has indeed garner women and men coming out with their stories of sexual harassment and rape.

A number of women who have come out with their stories about how they found themselves helpless and defenseless by being assaulted by someone they knew (and trusted) is heart wrenching.

And on the other side of the coin are a small percentage of women who decided to jump on the bandwagon and lie about being sexually assaulted just to gain sympathy and attention. These are the women who are hijacking #MeToo.

What is also troubling is a number of actresses who were aware of the behavior and sexual meanness of Harvey Weinstein but made a conscientious decision not to make his actions public.

For a number of days now the public is being flush with daily headlines of someone declaring that they had been sexually harassed and now, they want to take the opportunity to share their pain and humilation for nothing more than to relieve themselves of self-inflicted guilt.

The unfortunate thing about some of these women who want to put their harasser on blast is that their credibility is being questioned and not the person who assaulted them.

For instance, today (10/25/17) the news of former President George H.W. Bush (43) is being accused of sexual assault by an actress four years ago. The Bush spokesperson immediately sent out an apology. But after reading the article about the alleged victim the comments and sentiments are not on her side.

You see folks; this is why victims of rape and sexual harassment rarely want to report being assaulted.

One other problem is that when the victim has a witness (or more) and no one comes immediately to their defense, it places a double jeopardy on the credibility of the accuser.

By now, fans of Bill Cosby are aware of his legal woes and all the women he allegedly molested and or raped. It took a number of years for these women to come out of the shadow. These women for the most part held their peace of telling their stories and were fearful of Cosby because of the power he used to wield within the entertainment world.

Page Six TV-Bill Cosby Trying to Take Out a 30 Million Loan 

And how about the latest payout of 32 million dollars by Bill O’Reilly and the sexual misconduct that he was accused of.

Folks, we are living in a time when we have got to stop giving passes to men and women who believe they are too powerful to go against.

Maybe one day the #MeToo will be a thing of the past.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Is the NRA Greater than God?

1 Chronicles 16:11  Seek the LORD and his strength;  seek his presence continually!

Yet, once again, we witness another senseless tragedy of gun violence that has caused grief and agony for America.

On Sunday, October 1, 2017 during a night concert in Las Vegas a gunman opened fire on thousands of concert-goers, shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The shooter had one mission. To shoot and kill as many people as he could and the saddest of his mission is that he succeeded with the death of 59 (at this writing) and the injury of 527.

As soon as the news hit social media and the national airways, unbelief and horror took over. Rumors of two and three shooters were being reported. Cries and screams of help rang out as many watched from live streaming to smartphones and pc. It seemed like hours before the carnage would end. And many felt helpless throughout the country unable to be there to assist and help the victims.

After the night of horror, on Monday morning, President Trump spoke before the American people sharing his profound grief and sadness over what he declared was an act of “pure evil.” A few hours later, the president and vice president along with their wives stood on the White House lawn for a moment of silence. The flag was also lowered to half mass.

With all these killings taking place in America we need to be honest with ourselves and confront the fact that automatic weapons do not belong in the hands of civilians. And the one organization that refuses to believe that automatic weapons are not a danger is the NRA.

So here is my thought about the NRA.

Is the NRA greater than God?

One has to ask oneself, how one organization can rule over the elected body in our Congress and in the Senate to stop them from passing laws that will eliminate having people purchase automatic weapons like the one used in so many present day massacres.

Each time a crime of violence is enacted as this, the argument is used that “responsible gun owners are not killers.” Or the old saying, “Guns don’t kill people…people do.”

So, here we are again, a few years (2013) from the Newton Hook Elementary school shooting and one year (2016) from the Orlando club shooting and the question still goes without an answer.

Then again, perhaps the NRA is greater than God…especially since God isn’t a lobbyist in the White House or in the Capital.

When will the Congress and Senate stand for life and not death?

Automatic weapons are an epidemic and so is the NRA.

Our prayers for the victims and their families-may God give you comfort and one day peace. And God bless the first responders, Las Vegas police and the unsung heroes who were assisting the victims.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Lord

Not Again-A Song Dedicated to Victims of Gun Violence

 

Institutional Religion and Racism

And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.   Acts 10:28

After the latest terrorist attack in the United Kingdom, people are once again outrage over how such hate could cause human suffering and death of innocent people.

This time, we learn of one young man using his hate to kill some young people and older adults attending a concert, unaware that this enjoyable event would end in carnage.

No matter how you look at it. Institutional religion and racism has been the central cause of hate throughout the world.

Either a group of religious fanatics believe their religion is superior then another. Or a group of racists believe their race is superior then another.

Nevertheless, institutional religion and racism together has made for turbulent and divisive times throughout history and the world.

One of the biggest problems that continue to feed institutional religion and racism is that rational people refuse to accept that we are continually fueling this evil.

Regardless how one might believe that they could never be bound by religion dogma and racial hate, we lie to ourselves.

Here is what I come to find out about myself and others.

If you believe you could never be filled with such anger to kill someone because of their opposition against your religion. You are wrong.

If you believe you could never be filled with such hate to discriminate against someone because of their race. You are wrong.

You see, we who like to think we are not in any way have institutionalized tendencies are fooling ourselves.

Have you ever been with your religious group and put-down another denomination, for instance, Baptists who say Catholics are not saved. Yep, that’s institutional religious bias.

And what about when you are around people of your same race and you make comments about another race being criminals. Yes, that too is institutional racism.

When we are so busy pointing one finger at what’s wrong with the world.

Remember, four fingers are pointing back at the pointer.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Facebook Post About Racism by Virginia Farm Owner Goes Viral

NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Leah the Woman, Mother, Aunt and Stepmother

Genesis 29”16-18

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

With Mother’s Day taking place on May 14th of this year, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this post to the women who are adopting moms and step mothers, grandmothers, aunts and guardians to children who are In need of a loving parent.

One woman who comes to mind that took on the role of not only mother but also aunt and stepmother is Leah.

Leah was the first wife of Jacob but she was sadly, a rejected woman by her husband who loved and devoted his attention to Rachel. (Gen 29:31-35)

30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years. Genesis 29:30

Leah most likely wanted the same outward affection shown to her younger sister by their husband Jacob. But she was not deemed her husband’s first choice. 

The biblical account of these sisters and their husband Jacob is such a heartfelt story. It reads like a soap opera or even a scripted melodrama.

As with the stories in the Bible, all have a contextual underline warning about our sinful nature and the need to recognize God in His eternal love for mankind.

The story of Leah, Rachel and Jacob comes to a sudden twist, when Rachel dies giving birth and Leah becomes mother to her sister’s two sons, Joseph and Benjamin.

Imagine the thought of being rejected for years as Leah had been by her husband and then taking into the role of stepmother and aunt to her youngest sister’s children.

But here is the most unbelievable ending of this story.

In the end, Jacob had requested that Leah be buried with him in the family cave. (Gen 49:31)

What God shows us in the life of Leah is that He is ever-present to hear the cries and prayers of the forsaken. Just as our Lord and Savior Jesus was forsaken…His sacrifice saved the world.

Leah the woman, mother, aunt and stepmother-May the Lord bless you on Mother’s Day.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Artificial Intelligence Is Here

2 Timothy 3:1-5
     But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal,  having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness,  betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God,  having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.   

Guess what folks…Artificial Intelligence is here!

Okay, I get it. A majority of people probably might have an interest to be the most intelligent and knowledgeable person on earth.

Some even may want to be smarter than God.

The thought of out thinking God has however been on the mind of mankind from the beginning of time…or should I say, was on the mind of man, and that is where we lost.

Right now in the headlines there is news about Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Perhaps, John Q. Public doesn’t give a crap about Artificial Intelligence. But we ought too.

Artificial Intelligence is now a part of our daily lives and some don’t even know it.

I am pretty sure you are aware of the smart phone. But behind that useful little piece of metal, plastic and glass are codes that pretty much dictate the, who, what, why and when, and how of our lives.

Data is continually being stored about who we are and what our likes, dislikes, associations and lifestyle is all about. We have put every little secret into our smart phone and eventually, our smart phone will be smarter than we are.

I don’t have to be convinced any longer that we are living in the present of Artificial Intelligence and there is no turning back.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Mankind has always had a desire to be smarter than God.

We tend not to give God credit for much these days. Even the Bible has become obsolete to people who believe their intelligence can create them a happy life, successful career and for some, attain power and wealth in the world.

Right now, laborers in certain parts of this country have high expectations of seeing their old manufacturing jobs reemerge. They are betting against hope that all is well.

Well, it is not. Not only are general laborers in for a rude awakening.

But anyone who is under the belief that traditional jobs will always exist.

A number of years ago a business professor stated that within a period of twenty-years, America would be a “service” driven nation. In his words, most of the jobs that basically needed physical dexterity would have to give way to automation. He was right. Here we are today depending on Artificial Intelligence to make us happy, comfortable and wise.

Artificial Intelligence is here and is only expanding…my advice to you is to learn as much as you can early on and don’t brush this warning aside.

Eventually, those who believe Artificial Intelligence will be able to save them, will lose.

And at the end.

God will get the glory.

For your reading pleasure. Here are a few current news articles to read concerning Artificial Intelligence and what we can expect in the future. Click on and enjoy your weekend.

Yours In Christ

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Road to AI

Just the Facts

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32

We are living in a rumor and social media bubble of deception every day. Unless we use our God-given brain to stop and question what is thrown in our way as to what is factual and what is not. We tend to follow along with the crowd.

One of my favorite police shows when I was growing up was Dragnet. The star of the show, Jack Webb played the detective, Joe Friday had a deadpan expression and appeared to be unfriendly and unapproachable. Yet, when it came to finding out the truth, he was a determine detective out to prove he was above reproach.

Whenever Webb and his partner would interview a victim or assailant, he would advise them in a low-key way by telling them, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

Yet, for many years, Webb has been contributed to using the handle, “Just the facts…” But unfortunately, just like any long going unfounded urban legend, he never spoke those three words.

The truth of the matter is that we have become complicit in being complacent.

One thing we all need to be cautious about is turning our minds over to people, organizations or authorities that don’t have our best interest at hand.

There is too much happening every day for people to surrender unto a false narrative, whether from technology, science or the government.

Just the facts are a nice catchphrase.

But, if we really want to know the truth, we need to look in the Bible. If anyone knows about truth. It is Jesus.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

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Shame In the Headlines

Matthew 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Earlier this week local, regional and national news kept the Tom Brady shirt-gate going on as if this football jersey was the alleged Shroud of Turin.

The state of Texas even had the Texas Rangers on the case. Enter also, the FBI.

Now, the 5 times all-star, Super Bowl winner’s jersey was found and the alleged thief is in hiding.

The newscasters were ecstatic and declaring that this worn and sweaty football jersey was worth close to a million dollars. It also turned out that another of Brady’s jerseys was also found in the possession of the alleged thief.

With this entire clamor over a stolen football jersey and it making headlines, I could not help to shake my head in disgust because there is more dire human news taking place in the world and a football jersey should never be one of them.

Right now, one of the most horrific tragedies of the making of mankind is that which is happening in South Sudan. A civil war has been going on and the results of this war has brought famine among six million people.

Is Tom Brady responsible for the shirt-gate headlines? No he is not. He is merely a victim of a crime and some news executives are only looking at how they can boost their ratings and increase their earnings.

Shame in the headlines has more to do with the lack of empathy from some news organizations.

America’s mainstream news over the past several years has become nothing more than the dumbing down of Americans.

We have to look within ourselves to determine where our priorities lie when it comes to what we are doing to bring on this detachment from human suffering.

Is a stolen, used and sweaty jersey worn by a wealthy football player more newsworthy than people dying?

To me that is a resounding no. Life is more precious than material things and sports.

Of course, everyone will not agree with me on this matter and that is fine.

But, while the shirt-gate has come to a conclusion the people starving in South Sudan has not ended.

Finally, let us continue to pray for the people in London and to the families who lost loved ones and the injured in yet another senseless terrorist attack.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Today Is A Day Without A Woman

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:18

Today, we are recognizing  A Day Without A Woman and International Women’s Day.

No matter where you may stand on this particular day, for or against it, we have got to give credit to God for showing Adam that he needed a help meet.

When I awoke this morning, I didn’t put too much emphasis on this day because it was just, so I was thinking, just another day. My plans were pretty much already set for the “things I have to do” and the “class I plan to attend,” later today.

But, when I turned on my laptop and went to check my email and view the national headlines, there it was. The headlines, A Day Without A Woman rallies will be taking place across America.

This year, so far, has indeed become an exciting time for women who never thought to protest and spearhead groups of vibrant women of all ages, ethnicities and races, to make their voices be heard with their elected officials.

There is a spirit of like-mindedness and unity that is putting some of the most unlikely of women, together. And that is a good thing.

Although, it would be great to see all women taking the day off, it cannot happen for those women who are taking care of their families, working to maintain their household and those women who are making a difference in the lives of those in need of their help (doctors, nurses, missionaries, volunteers, etc).

And although a number of women cannot be out in the streets rallying for a particular cause, today, A Day Without A Woman is still making an impact for our young girls.

Sure, A Day Without A Woman might have seen far-fetch when it was first presented.

But it can’t be ignore…nor should it be.

Regardless of how many women show-up or don’t show-up to their jobs.

A Day Without A Woman is affecting this world and thank God it’s for the good of mankind.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Woman. I am.

We Are All Refugees

Leviticus 19 33 ‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. 34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

A little boy asked his mother why the man standing next to them was calling them nasty names.

The mother pretended not to hear the boy.

Yet, the little boy was very insistent on wanting to know why this stranger was calling them names and making despicable gestures with his finger.

As I watched as this scene played out. I slowly approached the woman and her son and asked if I could be of any help to them.

The woman shook her head and grabbed her son’s hand and walked away.

When I turned to face this ignorant man who was about ready to follow the woman and her son, I stepped in front of him.

“Just what is your problem, sir? Why are you harassing that woman and her child?” I asked in a soft, non-threatening voice.

“She’s a terrorist! And you need to mind your own damn business!” retorted this man to me in a loud voice.

Right away, people nearby heard this man’s reply to me.

“Miss, is this man bothering you?” a gentleman asked across from me.

“He’s crazy” another woman yelled over to us. “He’s always bothering people.”

“Why don’t all of you kiss my…” the man shouted and then rushed out of the store.

A few moments later, the mother and her son showed back up.

“Thank you Miss,” the mother said to me in a heavy accent. “I don’t want any trouble. I just want peace.”

I looked at the woman and reached out to hug her. But she backed away.

“No. Not necessary,” the woman told me. “I know you care. Thank you.”

The woman and her young son exited the store where there was a gentleman waiting near a white van filled with people. As the van slowly drove out of the parking lot, it was evident, she was probably a newly place refugee from a war-torn nation.

Now, imagine how you would feel if America found itself at war and our land was devastated and our way of life was turn upside down. Could anyone of us grapple with the truth that this is a real possibility?

War, disaster and death can happen at any time and in any nation.

That’s why I am dumbfounded that some Americans have taken to outward hate and intolerance without first thinking, “yet but for the grace of God, go I.”

One thing we all need to keep in our thoughts…we are all refugees.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (Official Lyric Video)