Monday, December 26, 2016

Red Army Choir (Alexandrov Military Ensemble) Plane Crash

I just heard about the plane crash yesterday that was carrying the Red Army Choir.  They were going to Syria to entertain the troops (they are like our USO) and after refueling the plane crashed with no survivors, 91 people lost their lives.  On board were singers, dancers, musicians, reporters and military personnel.  It is sad that their voices have been silenced and the joy they bring to so many has been extinguished.  Such a devastating blow to their families near Christmas (I read that Jan. 7th is when Russia celebrates Christmas, but I'm not sure if some in Russia start celebrating early).  It seems like one of the singers, Roman Valutov, could not get on the plane due to an expired passport.  If this is true (can't find much about this story) then that would be a wonderful thing.

My heart goes out to anyone suffering loss.  In grief - the location, religion, beliefs, customs or leaders I don't agree with do not matter.  Grief is a universal emotion and we all feel it.  Russia I am praying for you, praying for those who have lost loved ones.  This time of year always seems to be more difficult when suffering loss.  Many of the visitors here are from Russia (2nd highest country to visit).  I hope you will join me and pray for those missing their loved ones and the entire country of Russia during this tragic time.  May God give you peace and comfort during this time.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Quote - Merry Christmas

"Christmas, children, is not a date.  It is a state of mind."

~ Mary Ellen Chase

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas.  I know this time of year is busy and stressful for most people.  It is good to take time out and focus on why we celebrate in the first place.  I know that the birth of Jesus gets lost in the chaos of shopping, long lines, short tempered people, stress, loneliness, high expectations and family issues.

I am guilty of letting stress ruin my Christmas and I'm trying to do better.  I would love to have a peaceful time and that just doesn't seem to happen.  I'm a work in progress.  What if we didn't think about Christmas just as one day and instead lived that state of mind every day.  I think we all would be more peaceful in our lives.

The birth of one boy changed the world forever.  A beautiful gift.  The perfect gift.  

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 5, 2016

Compassion International - Please Act to Help Children in India

We sponsor a child in Bolivia through Compassion International.  This is a wonderful organization that helps not only the child, but their family as well.  I highly recommend sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  It would be wonderful if every child in need around the world was sponsored.

The government of India has blocked funding for nine months that was suppose to go to the children who are in the Compassion program.  Whether you sponsor a child or not I pray you all will click on the link below and sign the letter which will go to your representative in Congress.  If you are in a country outside of the United States, please contact Compassion directly here to see if you can help.  Please pass this link along to others.  The more attention this gets the more our government will know we care and hopefully convince the government of India to change their minds.

If something doesn't change quickly then 130,000 children will no longer be able to continue to get the help they need.  There was no reason given for the change from the government, but when a country chooses to turn it's back on their own children then the devil is there to devour souls.  He does not want them to feel special or loved.  He knows that if given the chance to strike early in a child's life sometimes that is all that is needed to keep them away from God.  I have never understood when a country receives aid for children from another country why they would block the ability to help their own people.  Pride, religious differences or just indifference in general, no matter what the reason it is no excuse to let your poorest people suffer while the leaders live lavish lives.

They are blocking food, water, healthcare and education for the poorest children in their country.

Please click here to help the children in India.  Thank you

Friday, December 2, 2016

Throwing Stones Blind

There are all kinds of Christian blogs out there.  Which can be good and bad.  I have recently read some crazy blogs that just seem to bash on other Christians.  I'm not here to bash on the bashers, but I believe I can speak truth through the hate.

When we sink our teeth into someone we sure do feel knowledgeable and mighty.

I understand that there are false teachers out there and we should hold them accountable when they go off the narrow path.  With this blog I am aware I have an obligation to not misrepresent the Bible.  If I have an opinion I try to say so, but not to confuse it with scripture.  This is why I write out all the scriptures at the top so we can see what the Bible says.  The rest is what I think or quotes from others and helps me understand.  I have no intention of leading anyone away from God.  I will be held accountable by God for what I say.

When I see so much hate towards someone I always look back at the person saying it and wonder why they are thinking that.  These blogs decided to pick on one person although looking at other topics on their blog they seem to be the "Christian Judge" out there making sure that nothing slips through the cracks.  This almost always sends up red flags for me.  The hate, judgement and condemnation are so targeted as to leave no doubt how they feel.

God did not call us to judge others.  We can call out sin, hate, evil, indifference, injustice, abuse; but not people.  I believe if someone is saying things that are against God's word then that is different.  There are many examples of beliefs that run against the Bible; there is always someone who says they know when the world will end, some think there is no hell, some thing Jesus is not God's son, etc.

In my last Bible study there was a girl who said she did not believe in anything that has to do with visions or experiences that are from the spirit realm.  I think most people that say that have never experienced anything like that so they just assume that there is nothing out there like it.  I think both women would think I was a loon hearing some of the things I have seen or felt.  Everything I have seen has made me more in awe of God.  Anything I have seen is not because I'm such a religious person, it's actually because I have been just as stubborn as the Israelite's in the Bible.  I'm also a visual learner so He uses that sometimes.  I will eventually share some of that on here.

If someone is trying to follow God and live for Him and they say something that isn't etched in stone then some will vilify them.  This is sad to see.  I think the core of the issue is pride and/or jealously.  Pride can blind us and jealously can corrupt the soul.  

This example is of someone who thinks that God can only speak to you through prayer and the Bible.  He can speak through anything; dreams, situations, people, in our heads, soul, prayer, scripture and beyond.  This person said the teacher was false because they said God spoke to them.  This right there puts up a wall trying to filter people who are not up to their standards, but it also can keep God out with a lack of wisdom.  I don't always respond to blogs, but this one I did.  Here is my response:

If you are throwing stones at others then please check yourself to make sure you have no sin.  After reading this post I think that you have never had an experience with God besides prayer and reading the Bible.  Which is OK, except when you use it to dismantle someone else.  Anytime anyone says they have seen or heard something that is not "normal" then you should look if what they are saying brings glory to God.  If not then it's self, but what if you are so busy judging others that you miss what God is trying to show you through that experience?  I wonder if you think God is different that the God of the Bible?  He has not changed.  I think He may not always do those big signs, but often we are not paying attention when He does.  He has many ways to speak to use not just in prayer or through reading the Bible.  All you have to do is look at how He interacted with His people.  It's funny how people try to limit Him and put Him in this neat little box while explaining others away.  I hope you will do a heart check because when we push ourselves up we end up pushing others down.

Those who throw stones blind only end up hitting themselves.