I have had some real ups and downs in my short writing career. I tried to look at my book as a stepping stone to writing even more, and I hope that may be the case. I am very grateful to all of you who faithfully read my post. The first week I began blogging, I was shocked by the statistics from the web host weebly, but fueled mainly from social networks. Facebook has been the "biggie" attention getter to my site. Though I am grateful to God for allowing me to write "Under The Influence," I realize that many of you started following my blog because of it. I mean, if somebody wrote a book, they should have interesting blog posts, shouldn't they?
OMG, not so. I read through some of my old posts for the purpose of compiling a ebook for Kindle, and I began to wonder why people read such broken articles...lol. Some of these, er, many of these posts start with a topic and end without getting to the point. That's no big deal, and I am apoligizing somewhat, so thanks again for being faithful to read. There is a site that I would like to bring to your attention. If you notice that I post some of my blogs from Think in Today, a wordpress blog site. You may find blog posts on ant topic under the sun. Warning: IF YOU READ ONLY RELIGIOUS ARTICLES BEWARE! I would suggest that if you follow Jesus, make sure you know; what you believe, why you believe it, and why is is important.
There are so many people in search of faith that if you don't have a strong foundation in your belief, you can easily be swayed by the various philosophies regurgetated on Wordpress. But if you are looking to strengthen your faith, there are many great, unknown bloggers to read after. There are catagories tobrowse through on their reader. Topics like the Bible, Christianity, and church, are all good for your growth, and both protestant and catholic alike can find well written articles. Watch out for catagories like religion, philosophy, and even faith. At any rate, some of these are great, some are a hoot, and some are irreverently blasphemous in nature. But if you like to read short posts, and what to change up from reading yours truly all the time...check it out. I have developed readership that is global in scope, and I read many of the posts from other countries as well.
There is also other sites you can read blogs like Pinterest, Google plus, Wallbuilders, etc. All of these are good to expand your understanding of where the worldviews of various people lie, or in my day we would say, where their "head is." I have been doing less blogging, because I have written a couple of ebooks, as I stated in and earlier post. I am prayerfully working on a few more as well. They are on Kindle, at kdp.com through their lending library. "How to Pray Constantly," is the first that I put on there. It is a 22 page book on acquiring an attitude of prayer over the smallest detail of our lives. "The Best of Recovery Blogs," is the second, these were the most popular blogs I wrote regarding recovery from addictions. Don't worry, each blog was revised, and actually make a point, lol, again.
All of these sites, ebooks, etc., are all good, and fun if you like to read. The book I highly recommend is: The Bible. This book is life changing. It is called by many names, but I like to think of it as the "Manufacturers Handbook." the "Lifemap," or Love Letters to me from God. That is perfectly within the reality of what the Word is. In closing this post, here are a few morsels, that are my exact feelings toward the Book of Books:
"My Words are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh"...Prov. 4:20
"This is my comfort in my afflictions, for Your Word has given me life." Ps.119:50
"How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth." Ps.119:103
"The entrance of Your Word gives light, it gives understanding to the simple." Ps.119:130
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!
How could I keep this post short enough to read? I realize that the majority of people are not convinced the the Bible is accurate. I know that I could not throw every proof discovered over the past fifty years and prove its validity, so I won't. Here is a biblical view of selecting leaders in a way that pleases God, or displeases Him.
If you read the books of 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, in the Old Testament, you may find it most interesting how each of Israel's divided kingdom's leaders reacted to their being placed to rule over the people. You see a name, then you get the length and sum of his reign. It says something similar to this: "And Jehoash reigned over Judah 40 years, and did that which was right in the sight of the Lord," or, " Abijah ruled in Israel, and did not walk in the ways of the Lord and did wickedly"...
From these books, and adding 1 and 2 Samuel, their writings showed how this powerful little nation rose to power under a godly king, in David the shepherd giant killer, that loved God with everything, and how Israel prospered under his reign, to kings that took Israel's prominence to the dirt. These evil leaders ignored God completely, and served foreign gods, eventually tearing the people out of the land, and taken away to bondage in Babylon, as they were before in Egypt. The land was their's forever, given to Abraham, and inherited by them, but God said that He would remove them from this promised piece of ground if they were disobedient and disregarded Him.
I am sure there were people then, as there is today, that say things like, why is God so unjust? What have we done to offend Him, that we have lost our freedoms, and our prosperity? I don't want to serve a God like that, in fact, I don't even believe in Him!" Does that sound familiar? It should because this is the state of mind we are in today. We have listened to those who have no belief in God, and follow the god called science, only believing in things that have physical proof. Yet these "brilliant" people are, at least many are, fully in agreement with science without evidence, and follow Darwinian evolution as an explanation for man's existence. They wholly follow anything that disregards God, and put these unproven "facts" in our textbooks, teaching our children false teachings of man. The result is we have a society that elects leaders that follow the theories they were taught as fact, or walk in the ways of the scientist, forgetting God, and do "wickedly" in His sight. How do they do wicked things?
It isn't just the science, but every branch of education, every governmental program or department, all scream out the Constitutional "separation of church and state," which does not appear in our Constitution, but they have successfully written this law in the minds of the citizen's, and have had any reminders of God removed from government and public places, setting up new idols of man's achievement, eliminating the memory of our humble beginnings of how the originators honored the Almighty as head of this land. And the fall began when the doctrines of man took precedence over the truth of the Bible, teaching theories. Prayer invoking God's blessing and provision was removed from public education, and instead of having hundreds and thousands of school children asking blessings, we have near anarchy in many inner city schools, being are located in war and drug zones, and little children having to go through metal detectors to be taught to believe in man, and not God any longer. What did you say, I didn't hear that. Did you say we have gone from the top ten in education worldwide to twenty-sixth? No child left behind?
All of this does eventually come together. Israel's repetitive obstinence, continued to place leaders as kings, that did as we are doing, and ignoring God and His ways, and they eventually were no more. Those leaders put the prophets of God to death, elected false prophets that spoke in their favor, and evil kings crushed any resistence to the new, false prophets doctrines, erasing every thought of the law, and the history of those who had done the same. As the king goes, so goes the nation. Every kingdom that has ruled, and placed man as the center, has fallen, or is falling.
The difference a leader makes in biblcal history is staggering. When the good king, that directed the people into God's ways ruled, the nation prospered and the people taught their young from birth to follow God. Of course, this is just a fairy tale to the ones who say the Bible is not reliable truth. The evidence of these truths are on the pages of history, yet we are like those evil kings and listen to the words of false prophets and leaders, and look where we are today. Before kingdoms have fallen in history, two things happen. The first is moral decline, second is economical collapse. Are we there? More importantly, can we stop the fall?
As I said in paragraph one, there is more to say, so I will try to finish this tomorrow. There are many scriptures that I feel are pertinent to this post, but I want to keep this as short s possible, to keep your attention, so I will add them in part 2. The election is nearing, but so is Christ's return. All over this world people are hungering for peace and prosperity as in the former times, at least in the free nations. People under oppressed governments, and communistic rule, want to see freedom's origin. I understand that we ahve an enemy determined to wipe out these hopes. Come back for part two tomorrow, and I will attempt to wrap this up, and give the people who read my posts in those places some hope from a biblical perspective, and we who think we are free as well.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Don't you just love conversations about politics? I like the discussions where each participant shares their solutions on how to fix every crises we face by electing the right candidates. I also get to show my lack of understanding on certain topics, or ignorance from not following the race. The worldviews we carry are often comprised from what others have said or from people we admire. I get irritated when I hear someone in the conversation say they are not going to vote because they do not know who they should vote for. There are also people that like the heat of argument that do not vote. If you don't vote, don't complain, nor run down politicians. You are no better than they.
Before finding recovery from alcoholism and drug use, I would tend bar when I had free time. There is a rule in most bars that you do not allow discussions on politics and religion. These two topics are fight inducing for drunkards. Of course, the rule was always broken, giving the nature of excessive drinkers abilities to gradually become brilliant the more we drank. Those little disagreements seem to always get out of hand. It is no different in the workplace, or coffee shop, or even in the church vestibule. People get fired up over these topics, and I'm convinced it is from arrogance that we often take a position. Being right is all that matters, winning the argument shows we are right...doesn't it?
What about prayer when deciding who you will vote for? Voting may be personal, the smarter people, in my estimation, never say who they vote for. But even the silent should prayerfully consider the candidate they choose. The candidate may be a good politician, say all of the right things, back all of the right programs, but is the candidate right for the job? God knows. God knows what this country will face in the next four years, the running hopeful, does not have a clue. We have no idea ourselves, so seeking divine direction should be priority for the follower of Christ.
I can speak from experience, and from historical events, that the president- elect inherits the legacy of the former president, both good and bad. Jimmy Carter was and is a good man, a good governor in Georgia, but was not a good president. Carter inherited some bad times from Gerald Ford, who inherited bad times from Richard Nixon. There were many obstacles Ford faced, and he was the brunt on many jokes and one-liners on sitcoms. That aside, he wasn't a good president. Ronald Reagan entered the picture and in my lifetime was the most loved...and hated president I can recall. The union workers despised him, the businesses, the evangelicals, loved him, and the foreign nations either admired him, or feared him. He was a no-nonsense leader when it came to America's foes. The Ayatollah of Iran, graciously set free the hostages during the inauguration of Reagan. He knew that Reagan would be all over him...the moment he sat at the oval office desk. The little fellow running that country today would be silent if Reagan was in today, in fact, he would probably be sending Israel gifts, like olive branches, if Reagan was president today.
Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II, are all of recent memory, so you should know most of the details, I will not bore you with the memories, though there is volumes in these leaders that many do not know about. Barack Obama, our current president, needs to be looked at, talked about, discussed, dissected, and considered once again. I have been flooded over the past four years with emails about his illegitimate birth certificate, his intention to make America Muslim in faith, and his wife's extravagance in assistants and vacations. Enough. Everyone that sent me these emails, I have a question for you: How many times in the past four years did you pray for Obama? ...or pray about him?
I have to admit my prayers for the man have been fewer than they should have been, to my dismay. I do not agree with ninety percent of what Obama stands for. I did not vote for him in the previous election, mainly because of our differences in values and morals. I do question why he thinks the way he does in spite of historical proof that socialism is a complete failure that ruins nations, and gives angry, evil people leadership without conscience, science without responsibility, and wealth without work. When awards go to those who have not worked to earn position and rank, anarchy will follow. Ask the Soviet Union, the East Germans, the Czechs, etc.
Furthermore, he had no record that could make anyone think he would make a great leader. His now historical apathy as a senator showed he stood for nothing. Or that may have been the design, never show your hand, right? He does give a nice speech. So did Adolph Hitler...not to compare. It is just that we like the flash, we love the sizzle, and bite into charisma instead of character. I can say that I actually have a hard time finding that ten percent I agree with him on. Yet, he is the president.
Romney, is an enigma. No one thinks he has a shot at winning this election, at least in Southern Ohio. The north of our state is, and always has been for democrat candidates. I do not like the way the media bias has done everything possible to skirt the issues and focus on the evengelicals insistence that Mormonism is a cult, and their refusal to accept Romney as a viable opponent. I think he is a good man, and I understand the far rights desire to have a Christian like Paul the apostle leading the nation, but so far in our history, that has not happened. Romney is wealthy, so are the Obamas. The choice should not be based on his beliefs, at least you know what he truly is. Neither should race be an issue, but for some it is. The issue for all of us should be, which of these, as well as those others running for office, will be best for this country, and lead us toward a UNITED States again. Then the bar rooms, and the lunchrooms will fight about other things again.
There are a few weeks to go before the big day. Try to read up on these candidates, as well as all who are running for the various offices, and your local issues. Be prayerful, ask God to direct your decision. Pray for the president, prayer changes things, and people too. My thinking is obvious, I am convinced someone hs to step-up to the plate that knows that we have two choices, to either restore the unity and re-emphasize the reality of moral values importance in history, or continue to disregard those proven truths and go the way of the fallen empires, giving ourselves to humanistic belief that we, not God, is the center of all things.
God bless and keep you all.
It is that very special time of year! No, not Christmas, it is voting season. In less than two months, we will re-elect Mr Obama, or bring in Mr Romney for the next four years. Four years seems like an eternity when you are young, but as you get older four years seems like four months. That may be a good thing if your pick loses, but for all of us, it is bad. The reason is, is we get to hear the constant harang of political commercials and rhetoric that does not cease to amaze me. How do we as Americans not threatened the makers of these ads with prison time...or capital punishment is beyond me. Of course, capital punishment to advertisers is making them watch their own commercials 24/7 365, for however long their sentence may be.
Here is a question for you. Did those you cast your ballot for, fulfill your expectations? Did they do as they said they would? If not, think about that Senator, Representative, Mayor, President, etc., that you placed your faith in, he is going to tell you that he needs 2 more years, or four more, to finish the job he/she started. I don't buy a minute of their moment of wasted air-time that they spend a fortune on. We have, in the part few decades, watched as our nation breaks right down the middle. We are divided.
" ...Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them; 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, every city or house divided against itself will not stand." Mt.12:25
I realize that many people do not take the religious view of life as their worldview, and have more of an eclectic way of seeing things. so Christ's words here are meaningless. The quote here is the understanding people had in those days, and we are more educated and have progressed since the time of Christ, His words don't apply to our time. Except for the fact that before His time, these words applied, during His time they applied, and up to about a minute ago, they still do. The worldviews of the American people are as far apart as they could be, or ever will be. When G.W. Bush was president, no self-respecting liberal could even think of agreeing with him. During B. Obama's reign, the conservatives have buried their heads in the sand...not to ignore him, but in fear of national judgment they expect God to pour out on us.
My thoughts are that having two sides is dangerous, and on every level of our government we are two- dimensional. I know we have ultra conservative and people who belong to conspiracy believing groups. And I am aware that the far left have similar groups that have the conspiracy beliefs. I also believe their are times when "we the people" are conspired against by our leaders, for various reasons. But the point is not just the two dimensional way media portrays this government, but that problem to me is how the people themselves vote along the same lines traditionally, and fall headlong for anything one of their parties candidates say. "Our family has always been Republican," is the line of thinking so many have in our day. I think that is absurd.
You hear that the dems are for the working man, right? Tell me how that is. The working man pays taxes. Tax money goes for things that a normal person disagrees with. The money it takes to run this massive government is insane! We have a budget that, is volumns thick, and nobody understands. And I guess the dems had nothing to do with it. The rich are evil. The poor are lazy. The middle-class is the heart of this land. What middle class? These are the thoughts of the voters flamed by the media through films, newscasts, variety talk shows, and even sitcoms. The reps and dems know they have to play up to the expectations, and say what the people want to hear to get elected, then do what they want to do. EPA, FCC, FDA, and many other programs, though well-intentioned, mainly waste our money, and both parties point the finger at the other as to who originated them.
Now it is going to be easy to vote with my help, isn't it. I would not tell anyone how to vote, but to think about your motivation for voting as you do. It isn't easy to see the other side's view regarding any matter. I will never agree with legislation in matters of morals and values. I will never, with God's help, judge either side for how they vote. All of the politics aside, we all should remove the media's input from our decision making. I do not mean one should not read a paper, or watch a newscast. I do feel that an article in a paper that gets my attention should be seconded by the political hopeful's history as a person, and a politician. Though I hope never to be judgmental or hate someone for who they vote for, I think when any nation places moral values second in importance for the people of their land, like all other kingdoms, they fail, miserably.
This is a rant,to some, and a word of advice to others, and I think before this election, I would like to take more of your time with this topic. And the next time I am going meddle.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Recovery from addictions can be difficult for some, easy for others. Once the compulsions to whatver the addiction is goes away, then the one with the problem is able to relax little by little until they seldom remember their cravings. This is a great feeling, and should make the sufferer see how that they had been driven to near insanity from the pain they had endured. But too often it doesn't. When the pain subsides, the committee holding sessions in your head adjourns, the recovering addict or alcoholic tends to relax, entering the danger zone.
Getting clean and sober is accompanied with an important stipulation, staying clean and sober. Too many people come to recovery meetings and make a snap judgment about AA, NA, and especially Celebrate Recovery. I say that because so many people attending CR are believers that fear everyone will know that have an issue, and judge them not as perfect any longer. In AA/NA, many come because everyone already knows they have a problem. In all of these helpful programs, many come and go without ever getting help. They think, now that I have been clean and sober for a while, there is no need to continue those meetings. They never grasp the true concept of real life-changing recovery...the spiritual side.
This is from page 568 of AA's Big Book:
"We find that no one need have a difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty, and open mindedness ar essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable."
True and truer words were never spoken in this book. Some give up on recovery meetings because they do not like the spiritual side of the simple 12-step programs. Others do not like the spirituality of the program because they were not raised to believe that way. In that particular case, I say you need to look into changing the way you were raised, it obviously did you no good. I see that these true spoken words really can keep you sober as the statement indicates, for honesty and willingness can get you far in any endeavor. The problem is that without a direct relationship with God, most people tend to not be honest, willing, and are definitely closed minded, including religious people...especially religious people.
Walking away without giving these programs a chance helping you get better is foolish when you know millions have been helped. That knee-jerk reaction can land you in a morgue. I know that not everyone that reads my blogs have issues like this, but they have loved ones who do. These loved ones leave meetings and tell you anything to make you happy, and you take the hook, line, and sinker with one gulp.
Investigate, give these programs a chance to work for you. You were in trouble, you asked God for help, He saw to it that you made it to recovery meetings, but you, or your loved one didn't like the way something went, and back they go for another round of self-destruction. Check out these programs if you are the one with the addiction, or if it is your friend or family member. If you and I refuse to at least get to these God-sent programs, we will die as we are right now. We may think we will change one of these days, a lie from that devil speaking into our ears, or from an over-inflated ego, but the change will not come "one of these days."
Page 568 ends with this quote:
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance- that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer
I will end with this. You cannot say to God on the day of Judgment that you didn't like CR/AA/NA, and since you did not know, you went head on and threw your life away, self serving all the way. The believer cannot stand before the judgment seat of Christ and complain about their reward not being big enough and they didn't know they could actually serve in CR at their church. Why? Because I just told you about it! Now get in, get out, or get run over.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
Today I totally expose myself to the skeptic, admitting my total faith in the Holy Bible being the Word of God, the Creator. Yes, I know that men wrote the books, yes I am aware it has been copied and passed from generation to generation. I have heard every argument that has been offered, at least in English, and many have been toppled by archaelogical finds, others still hang around waiting for their turn to fall, and they will. Skeptics have no questions about the validity of old writings from philosophers from ancient Greece or any other nation, but when it comes to the Bible, the fight is on.
I believe every word in the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It proves itself to the believer who follows its truths with answers regarding every challenge in life. The grieving can find comfort, the searcher can find direction, the spiritually hungry can find real meat, it does not matter what the question may be, or the problem that is encountered, the answers are within its covers. Argue all you want about its reliability, but argue from your knowledge not some "historian" who poses to have the answers to why it is not true. Don't allow someone else to form your opinion. If you say your a Christian but are not sure of the reliability of scripture, you should really find out how completely wonderfully accurate it is.
I want you to check out this link, www.livingontheedge.org and listen to Chip Ingram's message on "Why I Believe the Bible," and listen to his stance on the Bible. He is very easy to listen to, and when you hear his message, you will have a new outlook on the ancient documents we regard as God's Word. He also has notes you can use for reference, so if you have a printer, copy them.
As I listened to Chip's two short twenty minute messages, I thought about the stats regarding "Christians" view of the Bible. So many of us never even pick up the Book and read it. We look to the ministers in our churches to give us the truth about God and His ways. Or we remember stories from our youth, little scriptures and stories of Bible patriarchs. As adults, we seldom or rarely give the Bible a look. Furthermore, we had Sunday school, most churches do not today, so who teaches our children if we do not? Do you think your own children should know?
The Bible is more than a history book, it is more than fairy tales, and it is worth more than all of earth's treasures. The Bible lives and breathes, instructs, guides, and the best news of all is, it takes you to the Source of all things, to Jesus, the living Word. I cannot explain to the greatest of atheist my personal experience or understanding, it is a matter of faith unseen to the eye, which God gives to every person a measure of. That measure of faith can be placed in man's wisdom or God's. I do not have to try to tell everyone, or convince them of the truth, I can tell them about Christ Jesus and let them decide. But I cannot tell them about Him, the Bible, or how to find either if I do not know myself. I can only give what I have. What do you have?
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.
The book of Hebrews in the New Testament has a passage that puts into perspective what Christ truly accomplished when He came and gave His life's blood for all, and then rose from the dead. This may be considered a little extreme to the masses in other beliefs, and this is exclusive to Christianity in that the Creator God, would send a part of Himself, His only begotten to die for His creation, man, so that He could fellowship with man once again. That is how much God loved mankind. He even loves man enough to give Him the choice of serving Him, or rejecting Him.
This passage in Hebrews refers to the completed work of Christ. He came to earth, born of a virgin, so no one could say He was born in sin. He grew up like every man does, and faced every temptation like every man, so no one can say that He does not understand the temptation to sin. And in His perfect purity, without sin, without fault, He willingly paid for all of man's sins. He took our place entirely, and when He rose, He ascended into the heavens and set down at the right hand of God where He makes intercession for all who follow Him. Here, at last the passage:
"Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. LET US THEREFORE COME BOLDLY to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Heb.6: 14-16
Jesus restored us, who follow Him into the fellowship with God that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden before their fall. We can now talk to God everyday, all day, throughout our lives without Him saying, "you cannot come in here," because we have the rights as sons daughters. We can ask Him for help, or for any need we have, or just hang around and talk to Him. Prayer is an act of faith, prayer changes things, prayer affects nations, prayer keeps people with addictions clean and sober, and we can open and close doors spiritually with prayer.
Many of us have the problem of entering into prayer. What do I say, how can I remember to pray, does God really listen, does He really answer? All of these questions are questions evryone has in regard to prayer. The place we go find the answers to these type of questions is the Bible. I have put together a new ebook called, "How to Pray Constantly," that may help a person that has a hard time with prayer. The book springs from my own struggle praying, even though I understand the concept of Biblical praying, there are many unseen attacks from behind enemy lines that interfere with my time with God. Take a look at www.amazon.com/author/skeithbarnes if you're struggling, this will help.
I am more and more convinced that the times we live in now may well be the last days. So many of our friends and neighbors have addictions, and with constant bad news on the economic front, the job markets being down, the nation is in spiritual denial, and now worship science as God, running off every sign of Jesus from government property telling Him that He is not welcome there. So we watch education of our youth flushed down the drain of humanistic idealism, placing man on the throne as creator. The violence, the immorality, even wars and catastrophic storm systems sound the warnings of the end of days. We must pray! When we do pray, we need to pray with purpose and have faith for answers.
Give thought to this need we have to petition God for our confused nation, and the global problems. If you have children, elderly parents, and you are weighed down financially and spiritually, you need to be a person who prays daily for all of these needs. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.