Evangelical Apostasy Places It’s Values Over God’s Words

 

Are you a person of faith who sometimes feel despondent and anxious as events outside your control seem to put the very existence of a God into question?
Do you see fewer and fewer people in your church pews as the assault on truth and decency intensify, seemingly, in a direct assault on everything you believed?
You are not alone.

 

Almost daily we see and hear of events which frighten and terrifies us, we hear the obvious question,”Where is God, how could a God allow this to happen”? Sometimes the very events which are supposed to bring us closer to God are the events which drive us farther away from him,
The idea of trusting to our own understanding has been a non-starter from the beginning. Hence the Lod gave us his word to guide us in times when we see no way out, in times when we ask where is God in all of this.

 

We sometimes live our lives trusting on our own knowledge,, our own understanding, we make decisions on how we relate to unfolding events solely on what we know. Totally conversant of how that can be destructive to us the Lord encourages us in his holy word to have faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Where do we turn for comfort when the very body of Christ align itself with the dark forces which made you despondent in the first place?
Well the word of God acknowledged that we would find ourselves in this dilemma.
Philippians 2:12: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

Dr. David R. Reagan writing about  Apostasy in the Church said, The Bible clearly prophesies that the Church of the end times will be characterized by apostasy. Paul said that the Antichrist will not be revealed until “the apostasy comes first”(2 Thessalonians 2:3). Jesus prophesied that “many will fall away” and “most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:1012).

 

As we reported in a previous article Churches are closing rapidly, and those which have remained open are experiencing fewer people in their pews. Additionally, Christians in some parts of the world are increasingly coming under violent attack and are being killed in shocking numbers.
We look at church leaders and we see rampant hypocrisy and verbal Jiu-jitsu on their part as they try to justify and legitimize those with whom they agree while lambasting others they dislike.

Earlier this year MSNBC’s Alex Witt asked Franklin Graham, son of famed Televangelist Billy Graham and himself a Minister and head of Samaritan’s Purse” about reports of Donald Trump’s alleged infidelities and dalliance.
Anytime religion is politicized it’s in danger of extinction,”[Ravi Zacharias]

http://www.chatt-a-box.com/white-evangelicals-continue-to-distort-christ-teachings-to-justify-racism-and-hypocrisy/
He said he didn’t say it,” Graham said. “I don’t think any of those senators if he did use that language, have heard that word for the first time. I’m sure that’s a word they’ve used before, I think there’s a little hypocrisy here.”
“We have a businessman who is a president, not a politician, but a businessman,” Graham said. “We should all be grateful that he’s brought his knowledge to Washington and he’s helping to turn this economy around.”

Obama’s private sector job growth graphic.

 

So there you have it morality in high office is no longer a virtue as long as the economy is doing well. Is there any wonder that young intellectuals are not rushing to hear about God?
While we are on the subject of the economy it is instructive to do the utmost to ensure that in that narrative about economic well-being we do not lose sight of the facts.
Intellectualism/ Science and Religion were not always at odds with each other. Previously the most learned scholars were the most religious. the American National Academy of Sciences has written that “the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith”, a view officially endorsed by many religious denominations globally.

Obama’s economy.

The simple truth is that the word of God remains unchanged, the problem is with the messengers. Franklin Graham is by no means the only white so-called conservative who have tied themselves into pretzels trying to legitimize what they want you to believe.
In fact, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, and shockingly even some Black proclaimed ministers of the gospel have used the Bible and their own twisted interpretations of God’s words to bring the body of Christ into disrepute.

 

At no time in our recent history, at least not in my lifetime has politics so ensnared the evangelical movement and places the body of Christ in contravention to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
♦Proclaiming opposition to Abortions while hating children not of your skin color is not Christlike.(Not taking sides on the abortion issue)
♦Abortions may very well be sinful but to disregard everything else and vote for a party which would put judges in place who rule against the basic human and civil rights of all people is equally sinful and hypocritical.

 

♦We may not agree with the lifestyle of our neighbor but we are duty bound to love them with the agape love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”.That love which is the God kind of love, if we want to claim to be his children.
♦We cannot claim real Christian faith if we continue to dwell in the cesspool of ignorance, continuously engulfed in the toxic imbecility of the superiority of skin color, lacking the simple and fundamental understanding that there is only one human race.
♦We can in no like wise claim God when we turn our backs in oblivious disinterest at the pain and suffering of our disenfranchised and abused brothers and sisters.

 

The evangelical movement has fallen woefully short on literally all counts.
The church is actively engaged in distorting the word of God and turning away some of those who were once believers of the faith and alienating further, those on the outside looking on.
2nd. Thessalonians 2:1-3 King James Version (KJV) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

 


These Pastors Are Heretics

 

There is much to be said about the disparity between African-American and White Evangelicals and their response to Donald Trump.
Persons paying attention can prattle off a litany of these disparities between the two groups.
We understand that Franklin Graham’s views differ from that of his father the late Reverend Billy Graham, at least in public.

We also understand that Pat Robertson’s hypocrisy is astounding as it relates to Barack and Michelle Obama and Donald Trump. In instance, after instance, there is more than ample evidence that even in the supposed body of Christ Race is a significant factor.
The simple fact is that all of the disparities come down to one word “Race“.

At some point in time, the African-American community must decide whether it is being served with the voices of these heretics elevated to speak on its behalf?

At the risk of piling on, I have to ask whether or not the mainstream media is doing this nation a tremendous disservice by highlighting certain Members of the Black Clergy in the age of Trump.

Darrel Scott

The challenge for members of the African-American community is how to disassociate itself from apostates like Mark Burns and Darrel Scott. This at a time when the media continue to give these heretics a platform to speak on behalf of a system and an occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue whose values are antithetical to their values.

 

White Evangelicals Continue To Distort Christ Teachings To Justify Racism And Hypocrisy…

 

 

 

Asked by MSNBC’s  Alex Witt,  about Donald Trump’s alleged infidelities and dalliances, the head of Samaritan’s Purse and son of renowned televangelist Billy Graham, Franklyn Graham said the following.

“He said he didn’t say it,” Graham said. “I don’t think any of those senators if he did use that language, have heard that word for the first time. I’m sure that’s a word they’ve used before, I think there’s a little hypocrisy here.”
“We have a businessman who is a president, not a politician, but a businessman,” Graham said. “We should all be grateful that he’s brought his knowledge to Washington and he’s helping to turn this economy around.”

For the record Donald Trump the supposed businessman filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy a staggering six (6) times and backed up by PolitiFact.May estimates have circulated which stated that Trump had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a total of four (4) times which conflicts with Politifact’s finding of six.
Questioned, Trump told Washington Post reporters that he counted the first three bankruptcies as just one.

“Reverend, you just told me that this country has a sin problem and I know you’ve no doubt heard that the president is accused of having his lawyer pay $130,000 to a former porn star allegedly for her silence about his sexual encounter while he’s married,” Witt said. “The previous allegations as well, that access “Access Hollywood” tape, does that challenge your faith in the president?”

Does the president have a sin problem?” Witt asked. “I can promise you he is not President Perfect,” Graham shot back.
“But, sir, can you understand how there are those that are crying hypocrisy? When for example, the New York Daily Newseditorial on Thursday accuses some Christian leaders, like Gary Bauer who supports the president for being hypocrites, for saying absolutely nothing about the Stormy Daniels matter,” Witt said. “When people cry there are hypocrites there within the evangelical community, can you understand that criticism?”

Well, first of all, President Trump I don’t think has admitted to having an affair with this person and so, this is just a news story, I don’t know if it’s accurate.”
“Now did he have an affair with this woman? I have no clue, but I believe that 70 years of age, the president is a much different person today than he was four years ago, five years ago, ten years ago or whatever and we just have to give the man the benefit of the doubt,” Graham continued. “He said he didn’t do it, so okay, let’s say he didn’t do it.”
“I don’t think it’s hypocritical because he’s a flawed man, for me to try to support him and help him and pray for him,” Graham said. “I’m a flawed person. and I would hate for people to see all the baggage I have in my life, but the fact is that God has forgiven me and I’ve asked for his forgiveness, and I think the president has, too.”

 

Well, there you have it no matter what the charge is against you if you deny it you are absolved from culpability and responsibility according to the Gospel of Franklyn Graham.
About then President Barack Obama in 2012 Franklyn Graham said he believes President Barack Obama may or may not be Christian while expressing his belief that GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum’s moral stances show him to be a “man of faith.”

Many people have been aghast at the blatant hypocrisy of not just Republican Politicians but at the Evangelical movement which has ignored the divorces, accusations of infidelity and sexual abuse charges leveled against him and the confirmation of those abuse from his own mouth, on that Hollywood extra bus.
Many juxtapose his behavior and the multiplicity of horrible things which comes out of his mouth daily against the allegations of infidelity leveled against President Bill Clinton in the 90’s and they come away convinced that the white Evangelical movement is at best filled with hypocrites.

Their treatment of President Barack Obama and his family, despite the graciousness and class with which the Obama’s conducted themselves, could only be characterized as blatantly and disgustingly ignorant and racist.

However not every white Evangelical feels that Trump should be given a free pass.
Andy Crouch, executive editor of Christianity Today, an evangelical magazine founded by Billy Graham, wrote “Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord.”” “They see that some of us are so self-interested and so self-protective, that we will ally ourselves with someone who violates all that is sacred to us — in hope, almost certainly a vain hope given his mendacity and record of betrayal, that his rule will save us.

Don’t wonder about the fact that young college educated people are not following in the footsteps of their parents in adhering to Religious teachings.
When the words of those who set themselves up as anointed voices for the word of God, yet what drips from their lips are lies, racist and hypocritical dogma the educated and discerning can see straight through them.

Va. Pastor, Wife Arrested In $1,200,000 Congregation Fraud Scheme

 

A Virginia pastor, his wife and a friend of theirs are all being accused of defrauding their Alexandria congregation out of more than $1 million, Fox 5 DC reports.

According to the report, Terry Wayne Millender, who serves as pastor for Victorious Life Church in Alexandria; his wife, Brenda; and a friend, Grenetta Wells, who is also affiliated with the church, were all recently indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracy.

The trio allegedly underlined their business’s Christian mission and promised guaranteed rates of return. Some investors gave sums ranging from $40,000 to $400,000, authorities say.

However, instead of using the money for its intended mission, the Millenders and Wells allegedly conducted risky trading on the foreign-exchange currency market and also helped fund the purchase of a lavish $1.75 million residence for the Millenders and other personal expenses for the defendants.

When parishioners began to question when they would get their money back, the defendants blamed delays on the 2008 financial crisis, authorities say.

“It didn’t really come as a shock—it was more of a sigh of relief,” Eric Brown, a former church member, told Fox 5 DC. According to the news station, Brown’s family was one of those who invested in the alleged fraud scheme, although they are not a part of the federal case.

“I asked him like, ‘Hey, that’s a nice car,’” Brown told the station regarding one conversation he said he had with Terry Millender. “He said, ‘Yeah, $100,000 car. If you save up your money, God’s going to bless you.’ Come to find out now, it was actually part of our money.”

Both Terry Millender and Grenetta Wells were held without bond until another hearing set for Wednesday. Brenda Millender was released after the initial hearing. Read more @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/pastor-and-wife-found-guilty-in-defrauding-of-friends-flock-of-millions-of-dollars/2017/12/19/29ae24e4-e410-11e7-833f-155031558ff4_story.html?utm_term=.449bac1e4f7e

Black Pastors Selling Their Congregants…

 

 

 

(#1 in a series.)

I  take the liberty to write on issues I deem topical at any given time, issues which in my humble opinion affect people’s lives on a daily basis.
I do so with the sole intention of effecting change and if at all possible making this world a better place.
Having had the audacity of taking it upon myself to have an opinion on issues of the day has definitely had its highs and lows.
Nevertheless, like hammering away at sold rock each blow brings the person wielding the hammer one step closer to his desired goal.
I write because I see directions those in power take and I know they will only lead to failure and destruction, generally at the tremendous loss of blood and treasure.

Someone asked me some time ago why I write?
I told him why as I stated above, yet I felt the question was curious, does one ask a Rapper why he raps, an actor why he acts, a singer why he sings?
One does not have to be a great rapper, actor, singer, or painter to pursue his chosen passion. Does one have to give an accounting why he chooses writing as a communication vehicle over say dance-hall reggae?
Writing is no different. Many Artistes never lived to see the acclaim their work garnered and that’s okay, as long as someone’s life is enhanced by that work.

The Rev. Darrell Scott, a pastor at Cleveland Heights’ New Spirit Revival Church Ohio and Donald Trump.

On the instances in which I dare to offer an opinion on issues whether its religion, race, politics or the rule of law or whatever,  I find that readers are the least interested in the issue of religion.
Yet despite this, the issue of religion touches our lives in ways we sometimes do not consider, and have larger and farther reaching consequences on our lives than any other subject.
For example, Donald Trump’s recent decision to unilaterally declare Jerusalem the capital of the  Israeli state to satisfy certain local pressures and to appease Benjamin Netanyahu will have far-reaching consequences, not just for the people living in that region but collaterally for the entire world.
Yet there is precious little if any dialogue on this far-reaching and consequential decision which Presidents of both political parties have avoided stepping into.

BIBLICAL PROPHECY SEEM TO BE COMING TO PASS EVEN AS WE MISS EVENTS WHICH BEAR OUT THOSE PROPHECIES

One does not have to be a Bible-thumping ideologue to agree that much of what is written in the Scriptures seem to be happening in front of our eyes today.  The Apostle Paul speaking to the Thessalonians (2) Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[a] had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition.

Empty pews, churches closing.

Recent events have certainly seemed to be placing the Christian Church in disrepute. Here in the United States, many are looking at the Evangelical movement with increased suspicion and trepidation.
How they ask, can a movement which purports to represent the divine God be a movement which discriminates against others on the basis of race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs etc?
They argue correctly, that Jesus taught the concept of loving all people even when we disagree with them. In fact James 4:12 teaches  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
Joel 3:12 Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations.

According to the (Pewresearch.org), Perhaps the most striking trend in American religion in recent years has been the growing percentage of adults who do not identify with a religious group. And the vast majority of these religious “nones” (78%) say they were raised as a member of a particular religion before shedding their religious identity in adulthood.
Several of the respondents in the Pew research poll think religion is too much like a business and others mention clergy sexual abuse scandals as reasons for their stance.
This is not unique to the United States, not only are Christians among young people not adhering to the faiths of their fathers, religious persecution forms a sizeable part of the reason people are shunning the faith.
According to the (guardian.com) The persecution of Christians is at a level we’ve not seen for many, many years and the main impact is the migration of Christian people. There are huge swaths of the world which are now experiencing a very sharp decline in the number of Christians.”
Forced falling away is falling away nonetheless, or is it?

Perhaps most consequential to the conversation is the fact that these are young people who were raised as members of different religious faiths, not just Christianity are now turning their backs on the faiths they previously held.
Is this the falling away of which the Bible speaks, are we there yet?
Like everyone else Christians are entitled to their political beliefs, churches of various faiths are ripe and pliant institutions to be manipulated for political purposes, evangelical congregations are no exceptions.
Let us be reasonable it takes some degree of faith to believe wholeheartedly in someone you have never seen and a thing you cannot prove.
swaying congregations, however, depends on whether you are able to convince the Pastors of those congregations about the validity of your cause, or make some offer which makes it worthwhile for him.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump (C) speaks to the media after meeting with a group of black pastors at his office in the Manhattan borough of New York November 30, 2015.

The tragedy inherent in those deals is that there is precious little in it for the congregants. The Pastors generally do well whenever they attach themselves to campaigns even if money never changes hands.
The press and exposure they receive elevate them within their communities and that generally translates into more money for them usually as they become more sought after to speak to different congregations.
It’s a kind of I wash your back you wash mine which has precious little to do with the interest of their congregations much less the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sadly for many, they are manipulated on the basis of race, come Sunday morning the churches across America are some of the most segregated places where people gather.
How could people who claim to worship the same God be unwilling to coexist as brothers and sisters, children of that same God you ask?
Despite this major discrepancy, some church leaders are willing to sell their flock for a mere photo-op, despite knowing that the cause to which they are selling them is antithetical to their very existence.

This Article is one in a series of several which will be written on this subject.
Read like and share….

 

 

Officials: Trump To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital, Direct State Department To Move U.S. Embassy

Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday and direct the State Department to begin the process to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, senior administration officials said.

The decision, which is already being cheered by the President’s supporters and the Israeli government, is expected to roil the region, with U.S. Arab allies warning Trump on Tuesday that it will undermine regional stability and stymie the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump will sign a waiver delaying the embassy move for another six months to comply with the law, as senior administration officials said it will take years for the move to be completed.

The Trump administration on Tuesday cast the move, which Trump will announce Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET, as a “recognition of reality” that Jerusalem has long been the seat of the Israeli government. Officials stressed that the decision would have no impact on the boundaries of future Israeli and Palestinian states as negotiated under a final status agreement.

Senior administration officials briefing reporters Tuesday evening rejected suggestions that the decision would hurt the peace process, but offered no arguments to suggest the move would advance the peace process or U.S. interests in the region.

Instead, the officials said keeping the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv — despite legislation calling for a move to Jerusalem — had not advanced peace in more than two decades.

“It seems clear now that the physical location of the American embassy is not material to a peace deal. It’s not an impediment to peace and it’s not a facilitator to peace,” one senior administration official said. “After having tried this for 22 years, an acknowledgment of reality seems like an important thing.”

Another senior administration official said Trump “came to the judgment that this was both the right time and the right step to take specifically with respect to his hopes that a peace can be achieved,” but offered no further specifics.

The officials said Trump would reaffirm that he is prepared to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if both sides can agree to such a deal.

Despite the announcement, a senior administration official said Tuesday Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would not change the US policy opposing Israeli construction of settlements in East Jerusalem.

Ahead of his announcement, Trump spoke Tuesday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Jordan’s King Abdullah, prompting statements from each leader’s country opposing the plan, warning that it will undermine regional stability and scuttle any hopes of peace for the foreseeable future.

Palestinian leaders have already called for three “days of rage” in protest and the State Department issued a travel warning about the West Bank and Jerusalem’s Old City.

Trump also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long lobbied for the embassy to move to Jerusalem.

The President is expected to make a public announcement Wednesday declaring his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intent to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv, diplomatic officials and a person familiar with the plans tell CNN. Trump is also expected to sign a waiver delaying the embassy move for six months, citing the logistical challenges of moving U.S. personnel.

The move is roiling U.S. allies because it bucks international norms and has the potential to destabilize the region. Recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital could upend efforts led by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to revive Mideast peace talks; could spark regional protests that might put U.S. military and diplomatic personnel at risk; and could hand a propaganda weapon to militant groups and Iran, analysts say.

Reaction was swift, with Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar criticizing the anticipated decision and urging the administration to reconsider.

The European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, used a press appearance with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to make EU displeasure clear. Any action that could undermine an eventual peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians “must absolutely be avoided,” Mogherini said.

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed in a phone call with Trump the long-held international position that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, “and particularly those relating to the establishment of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as their capital,” France’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The administration itself braced for blowback. State Department security services were told to prepare for unrest at missions overseas and the Pentagon repositioned troops who usually protect embassies to be closer to countries where protests may break out.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the decision was the result of a “very thoughtful inter-agency process,” but people familiar with the White House deliberations portray it as being driven by Trump’s domestic political concerns.

The President is increasingly worried about losing his political base and insists that he must be seen as fulfilling campaign promises on Israel, part of an effort he’s taken in the past few weeks to galvanize conservative support, according to a person familiar with the White House deliberations.

The same source also stated that the President sees the Jerusalem issue as key to placating concerns among his core supporters that he’s going soft on his campaign positions.

Previous US presidents promised to move the embassy and then set that pledge aside due to regional concerns and Jerusalem’s contested status between Israelis and Palestinians, both of whom claim the holy city as their capital.

Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the US embassy must be moved to Jerusalem or the State Department faces the penalty of losing half its appropriated funds for the acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad. Every six months, however, presidents can sign a waiver to avoid these penalties on national security grounds.

The resistance from allies reportedly led to some debate within the White House over how to balance the move with the recognition of Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

In the meantime, the President’s personal political concerns aren’t likely to sway foreign allies that could be directly affected by any fallout from the decision.

“I haven’t heard anyone articulate a single national security interest as to why now,” said Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute. “It hasn’t been done. Everybody knows why it hasn’t been done. It’s a bad idea and it remains a bad idea.”

And while Jerusalem functions as the de facto Israeli capital, David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said an announcement will kill any chances of a peace deal.

“There is a historic justice in it, in that every president, Democratic or Republican, speaks in the Knesset,” said Makovsky, referring to the Israeli parliament. “U.S. businessmen routinely do business with Israelis in their capital. That’s been the reality since 1949, but if you say you recognize an undivided capital, you’ve pre-empted peace negotiations.”

Shibley Telhami, a professor at the University of Maryland, said an announcement would serve as propaganda fodder for extremists. “It plays into the hands of every conceivable Islamic militant group. It plays into the hands of Iran,” Telhami said, making it harder for Gulf countries that might share security goals with Israel to openly cooperate. “It makes the situation of each one of those governments tougher, let alone what it does to American troops stationed in the region.” http://ktla.com/2017/12/05/trump-to-recognize-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-direct-state-department-to-move-u-s-embassy/

Decent Christians And The Politics Of The Right

Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Oregon State University

 

How do people who think of themselves as decent Christians support politicians like Donald Trump and Roy Moore? How do they champion policies that discriminate and disadvantage and sometimes even do violence?

Part of the answer may lie in their decency itself.

Latin American theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid identified decency as a concept utilized within colonialism and patriarchy to ensure maintenance of the social order that benefited wealthy, white, male colonizers.* What was outside the approved behaviors of wealthy white men became “indecent.”

Althaus-Reid notes in Latin American culture referring to a man as decent means he is economically honest and proper in his social exchanges. A decent woman is one who doesn’t engage in sexual behavior outside monogamous heterosexual marriage. She says these decency codes control men and women’s behaviors, politically and personally, and keep dominant social, political, economic, and religious structures intact. Christianity has often participated in and reinforced these norms of decency and the oppressive institutions they sustain.

Decency assumes narrowly circumscribed standards as defined by the dominant social order. People who uphold and abide by these standards are then decent people.

If we follow Althaus-Reid’s logic about the gendering of decency, we also recognize that women and men, LGBQ and straight, cis-gender and trans/gender non-conforming people, whites and people of color are held to different standards of decency. Men are decent when they obey the law and when they conform to the carefully crafted patriarchal scripts of white, heterosexual male gender and sexual behavior. Women are decent when they avoid sexual behavior outside normative heterosexual marriage (although the sexual double bind means they still must present themselves as sexually alluring to men while maintaining their purity).Read more here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/decent-christians-and-the-politics-of-the-right_us_5a08809de4b0cc46c52e6b74

Our Duty To Eschew Pagan Worship, Idolatry And Tell The Good News Of Jesus Christ

 

If there is a God who created the Universe and all that’s in it, regardless of what we perceive him to be, and if he is omnipotent, then we must conclude he knows our hearts and what we are about to do before we do the things we do.

Daniel 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?

The Church has a duty and a responsibility to be set apart from the world, in the world but not of the world.
What that means is that the body of Christ, all of us who have accepted his yoke should have lives reflective of Jesus Christ. Our lives will never be perfect but as children of the highest God, we must strive to walk as Jesus Christ did.

Galatians 5:16-17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
The urge to have appeal in today’s world has influenced parts of the body of Christ Jesus to make decisions which are antithetical to what Jesus and the scriptures commanded us to do.
The need to be hip, not outdated, relevant, has brought things into our places of worship and into our lives which ought not to be there.
We have no authority to change the unchanging word of God to please anyone. We were not commanded to change or water down God’s word in order to have more appeal to prospective converts.
The written Word of God reveals His will and its eternal truth. Even though written by sin-corrupted man, it was authored by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20, 21). Thus attempts to find differences between God’s will and His written Word are foolish.

Not through books which seeks to explain the Bible, not through adopting things and fads, not through the process of sanitizing pagan customs and then pretending they are not the very same customs.
God knows our hearts, the Holy Spirit is in our hearts, it is that little voice which nudges us to do the right thing.
So there is really no sanitizing things we know are sinful and then pretending that we are doing them or celebrating customs we know we shouldn’t be celebrating.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. 
To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween

1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
If you know in your heart that something is wrong and not of God no amount of washing it, sanitizing it and repackaging it will make it Godly.
We have a duty to eschew pagan customs, not cleanse them then pretend they are harmless, or that we only engage in them because we want to make the children happy.
We have a duty to do the exact opposite which is to train up our children in the way they should go so that when they are old they may not depart from it.
Proverbs 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

The body of Christ is stronger when we stand out not when we stand down, the light of God shines through and reaches out to the unsaved when we are set apart from the ways of the world even though we are in the world.
I urge the Church to get back to teaching the ways of Christ, embracing humility of spirit, less emphasis on money, and a healthy teaching and explaining the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Money is important in our daily lives, I know many Christians will have the number of times money is mentioned in the Bible ready at their fingertip as a means to make their point of why so much time is spent asking for money, yet it is important that we do not give the impression that we are selling a pathway to Christ.
Christ paid it all, he died pennilessly, I am not suggesting that we should live impoverished lives. Far from it, nevertheless the church must find ways to speak less about money and more about the Gospel.
The Devil is crafty, let us not allow him to use us to bring any more of his practices into our places of worship and assembly.
Let us see the Devil for what he is and stand with the full armor of God against this onslaught. Let us not be unwitting participants toward the enhancement of Satan’s Kingdom.
Ephesians 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

A Father Not Afraid To Cry

 

Kodi absolutely loved to eat so this was taken in a restaurant.

 

The finality of losing a loved one can have devastating effects on one’s psyche, mental and physical health and [even on one’s faith]. The love derived from family and friends are critical especially in the early days of losing a loved one.
That this kind of separation can be simply shrugged off is easier said than done.  Folks tell me you have to move on, they mean well, if only losing a part of you was as easy as simply [moving on though.
The ability to simply grieve without the added burden of planning and organizing a funeral is a big help so family and friends are crucial in times of bereavement.

Kodi’s friends gather in our home to pay tribute to their friend,

 

Shock, disbelief, anger, frustration, feeling victimized, are only a few of the emotions which survivors go through. I lost all four of my grandparents within the space of only a few years, I also lost other family members in recent times which pained me immensely.
I was to find out in 2014 that everything I have ever been through, two life-saving surgeries a tumultuous childhood and everything in between would be child’s play compared to the passing of my son.

A bond, not even death can breach.

Yes, I have three more, I also understand that that question comes with the greatest of love and concern that maybe just maybe I have more children to fill the void.
Only that they don’t, they can’t.
Friends tell me Job got everything he lost even his children after the Lord gave permission to the Devil to go after him.
But did Job receive everything back?
Did he get the children he lost or did he have more children?

Kodi

 

As parents, we love each of our children differently, not less, not more, differently.
And so speaking for myself as a parent I can attest to the different characteristics of all my children, how those characteristics shape my love for them and even how I counsel them to live their lives based on those individual characteristics and character traits.
One of the things I constantly hovered over Kodi about was what I perceived to be his nonchalance to things and places I perceive to be potentially dangerous.

High school graduation party with friend

He would always laugh and tell me “Dad you worry too much.” Despite my son’s  dismissal, my fatherly intuition was proven correct not because he did anything wrong but my worst fear, the fear of losing him was realized.
Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of has come unto me.

Life for me will never be the same.
Life for the rest of my family will never be the same.
Of course not, Kodi was the life of the party, “what you all gonna do when I’m gone” he would ask as he laughed, “I’m the one who holding the family together“.
We had no idea!

 

Candles for Kodi

People describe the way they feel about losing loved ones, children, even.
Somehow it does not feel that way to me. Based on their talks I’m supposed to be healing but I’m not.
It feels surreal, I feel victimized, I feel like the Universe has ganged up on me, my emotions are still as raw as the day my son left.

I have this weird feeling that “yes I know you have lost your child but I hurt more than you, I am more victimized that you are.”
I also know that is not reality but that is how I feel, that is how deeply I hurt.
My oldest son is grown and on his own now, I know Mike hurt for his brother much like I do.
Aj and John are away too, in college like Kodi were, this morning John sent me this message.

[” Hey Pop, just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking about you right now.It’s a hard day for all of us but I know that it’s especially painful for you. I don’t have any idea what you go through on a day to day basis but I admire you for continuing to be you. Thank you for being a great father and husband. I wish we could all be together today but unfortunately, we can’t. I love you so much though.Talk to you soon.

If you still wonder why I love my children so much then………..
I cried and cried and then I cried some more.

When History And Religion Collide On The Issue Of Homosexuality

 

 

 

Whatever one’s views on homosexuality we must address the singular and undeniable fact that this is an alternative lifestyle which does not enhance the continuance of life.
Nevertheless, this lifestyle has been part of human existence for thousands of years as the Bible speaks quite eloquently and unambiguously on the subject.

Over the decades, at least in my short lifetime, the issue of homosexuality has become increasingly topical and has been framed within the context of individual rights, as against morality.
As the debate of this issue rages it is hard to see how those who argue the issue from a moral perspective win this debate going forward.

It was a brilliant stroke of genius on the part of the LGBTQ community to align the movement with the everpresent and continuing debate surrounding Human Rights particularly in the United States of America.
In all of this noise, no community has been more hypocritical than the supposed body of Christ, or what is more commonly known as the faith community.
The established church has demonstrated that it is quite willing to become an Apostate in order to keep the money coming in even as it struggles to fill the pews on Sundays.

In situations like these, I always ask myself what would Jesus do . The word of God is clear, Jesus taught that in seeking to pull up the weeds we may also uproot the wheat also. Matthew 13: vs 30. “Let both grow together until the harvest. At the proper time, I will tell the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat into my barn“.

Jesus used this illustration to answer a question about how we should conduct ourselves until his return.
That is how I personally view the issue of homosexuality, if it is not of Christ then it is of the Devil. Therefore if I have the need to tell my brother or sister about the danger of Hell’s fire I am duty bound to warn about homosexuality as I would about murder, fornication, adultery, stealing, covetousness and all other sins.

Jesus commandeth us to love ye one another John 13: Vs 34. “A new commandment I give you: Love one another.As I have loved you, so also you must love one another”.
It is not up to us to dictate in the name of the lord as Christians how anyone lives, it is up to us to preach and teach morality.
Jesus would preach a sermon get in a  boat and go to the other side of the river or he would leave the people to digest what they heard while he moved on to a different town.
He never hung around to beat anyone over the head with the good news of salvation. As Christians, we must recognize that the word of God is not a tool with which we bludgeon others over the head, it is up to us to tell others of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Those who suppose to represent Christ here on earth have a duty as with any sin to preach/teach the truth of the Bible and do not become a word unto themselves.
God’s word is sacrosanct, it is unchanging and may not be explained away by man. More than anything the Apostates who continue to use Gods words to get along and fill offering plates will have much to account for on that day of reckoning.

https://youtu.be/Mg_13WJ4gDo

Whether one agrees with Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws or not is a legitimate subject of debate.
What is not up for debate is what the Bible says on the subject of Homosexuality as it does on all sins.
Jesus commanded his Apostles to go out into all the world and preach the Gospel.  In so doing all except one, was myrtered for preaching the gospel.

What passes for the Church today seem to be nothing more than apostates willing to bring the name of Jesus Christ into disrepute, Homosexual acts with little boys, adultery with parishioners wives and husbands, getting rich from poor people’s faith and a plethora of other craven and rapacious actions have caused many young people today to look at the church with disdain.

So it came as no surprise that many of those who walk about the marketplace in long robes would continue to deceive the people as they did while Jesus walked the earth. Luke 20: Vs 46-47. Beware of the scribes. They like to walk around in long robes, and they love the greetings in the marketplaces, the chief seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 47They defraud widows of their houses, and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will receive greater condemnation.”

 

THE LIARS AND APOSTATES WHO WOULD LEAD THE FLOCK ASTRAY

Archbishop of the WI says Bible does not support anti-sodomy laws !!!

At a forum organized by local and international interest groups, at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Mona Saint Andrew Jamaica. Keynote speaker Rev Dr John Holder, archbishop of the West Indies, argued that the Bible does not support sodomy laws, which are relics of British colonisation, and that the text cannot be used for “homo bashing”, as all the references to homosexuality in the Bible “are sparse” and were used in specific contexts. “It is not there in Leviticus, in Romans, even in Timothy… The text cannot be twisted in that way,” he said, arguing that if it is accepted that context determines interpretation, then the context in which the few scriptures that refer to homosexuality were used, cannot be ignored.

Bishop Holder

 

Dr. Holder further maintained that the strong anti-gay sentiments that still exist in the Caribbean have more to do with culture than morality. He stressed that strongly rooted in the Caribbean psyche is the importance of procreation. “The reluctance of the former colonies to abandon sodomy laws may more be a cultural thing rather than a legal one, or even a moral one or religious one,” he said.(jamaicaobserver.com)

What Bishop Holder did in one fell swoop was to supplant the scripture with his learned view, effectively making himself not God-like but a God, in whose words doctrinal principles are authenticated and validated.

By seeking to nullify whats actually written in the Bible creating his own doctrine instead, Dr. Holder completely ignores or rather may be ignorant of other characteristics which drive the intense abhorrence of homosexuality in Jamaica and indeed the broader Caribbean.

There is much information within the public space which suggests that the anger with which Jamaicans view Homosexual behavior may have much more to do with history rather than religion in many cases.

The practice referred to as Buck-Breaking is well known as a means by which white plantation owners raped enslaved males who showed signs of unwillingness to bow to their will.
The issue of brutal rapes visited upon enslaved females is well documented, not so the viciousness of the brutish and demonic cruelty and degradation of homosexual sodomizing of many of our forefathers.

Even if somehow the goodly clergyman could stretch the realms of credibility and convince us that the Bible is not to be believed and  even as he professes to be a preacher of the good word  it is impossible that he would convince us that we should accept that lifestyle based on its history of violence and degradation of our people.

 

The issue of homosexuality may very well be viewed from the perspective of human rights and as such, no one should ever attempt to dictate what someone else does in their own homes.

Nevertheless it is important to understand that even though one have a right to do what he or she wants, does not make it moral in the sight of God or acceptable to others.

We all have to share this planet, we should learn to live together regardless of our differences, racial, religious, sexual or otherwise.

Attempting to change the written word of God is a underhanded way of going about it. Those who call themselves preachers of the Gospel does tremendous harm to the body of Christ when they chose to elevate themselves above his word.
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18–19.)

 

Even In Our Greatest Suffering God Is !

We tearfully and prayerfully offer Gods comforting words to the suffering people of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands, Texas and Florida who may feel abandoned at times like these.

Know that our God will never leave nor forsake you.
Know also that it is in these, the greatest moments of your tribulation that his mercy and Grace is exemplified and manifested.
We continue to pray God’s hand of Providence to supply the comfort and calm of his holy spirit in this your hour of uncertainty.
Do not be afraid when you see these things, understand that your redemption is near.
God bless you.

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Pastor Pushed Out Of Church After Anti-racism Speech At VMAs

A pastor who denounced white supremacy in a moving speech at MTV’s Video Music Awards last month has been forced out of his church because of his comments.

Reverend Robert Lee IV delivered a poignant address that took aim at the ideology of his ancestor, Civil War general and Confederate icon Robert E Lee, during the awards show.

“We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate,” he said.

“As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin.

“Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on.”

Rev Lee was widely praised for the speech, which was hailed as one of the highlights of the event.

However, it’s now clear some aspects of the latter part of his address were not in keeping with the Bethany United Church of Christ’s beliefs.

In that portion of the speech, Rev Lee commended Black Lives Matter and the Women’s March, holding them up as examples of effective racial justice work – a suggestion that riled some within the North Carolina church.

“A faction of church members were concerned about my speech,” he wrote in a blog post.

“I want to stress that there were many in the congregation who supported my right to free speech, yet were uncomfortable with the attention the church was receiving.

“The church’s reaction was deeply hurtful to me.”

Rev Lee said he “reluctantly offered [his] resignation” after the church expressed concern about his remarks, but says he wants to continue fighting “oppression in any form”.

“I want to especially challenge white Christians in America to take seriously the deadly legacy of slavery in our country and commit ourselves to follow Jesus into a time of deep reflection, repentance, and reconciliation,” he wrote.

Rev Lee’s original comments came soon after a high-profile white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

People Like Joel Osteen Are A Big Reason Why Americans Are Dumping Religion

Houston megachurch pastor was reluctant to help Harvey victims — after all, that’s not where the money is.

On Monday, millionaire pastor Joel Osteen taught more Americans via his actions than he’ll ever do in a sermon. At least initially, Osteen refused to open the doors of his Houston megachurch to people displaced by Tropical Storm Harvey. Even though he eventually reversed himself and defended his conduct in evasive media interviews, Osteen’s message was clear: Don’t count on religious leaders to do what’s right.

That message is one that many have been hearing for quite some time, as American Protestantism has moved from focusing on humble public service to greed and naked political ambition. Some, like Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, manage to pursue both simultaneously. In 2013, he finished construction on a $130 million church campus in Dallas, a project which he claimed was about glorifying God, instead of mammon.

“In these tough economic times, we wanted to use our gifts to build a church that provides spiritual growth and healing while seeking to reflect the splendor and majesty of God,” he said at the time. A year earlier, he had claimed that then-president Barack Obama was “paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”

Jeffress made those comments during the 2012 election campaign, in the context of his support of that year’s Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. Just four years prior, the Baptist minister had claimed that Romney’s Mormon faith was a “cult” whose members were going to hell. In a 2016 move that surprised no one, Jeffress was one of Donald Trump’s earliest endorsers.

Osteen is different from some of his evangelical colleagues in that he has generally shied away from political involvement. Despite having called Trump “a friend of our ministry” and “a good man,” he has not endorsed political candidates. What Osteen has endorsed, however, is what many critics have called the “prosperity gospel,” the idea that God not only wants to bless believers spiritually but wants to bless them financially as well.

Lakewood church

“We just feel like this is God’s blessings,” he said during a 2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey. “You know, we’re big givers, we live what we preach, we’ve given millions of dollars. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a nice place to live and being blessed.”

To his credit, Osteen does not draw a salary from his Lakewood Church nor does he directly ask his fans for money, unlike many other ostensibly religious organizations. Last year, a Canadian religious group called Gospel for Asia was accused of absconding with more than $90 million in donations. Nonetheless, Osteen’s followers have certainly ponied up bigly. His organization reportedly has an annual budget of more than $70 million, and the church facility he originally declined to open up to flood refugees was previously the home arena of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

Osteen’s views on wealth and his ostentatious style (he lives in a $10.5 million mansion and is estimated to be worth about $40 million) are a pronounced departure from traditional Christian teachings about “the love of money” being the root of all evil, how difficult it is for a rich person to live a life worthy of God and how the materially disadvantaged are regarded more favorably by the divine.

Osteen’s theological indifference seems to be reflected not just in his initial refusal to follow Jesus Christ’s directive to care for “the least of these my brethren” but also in his apparent lack of preaching interest in Christ himself.

In the Google Play version of Osteen’s latest self-help offering, “Think Better, Live Better,” a search turns up 599 matches for “God” but only 45 matches for “Jesus” or “Christ.”

A search through Osteen’s Twitter feed reveals that he almost  never mentions Jesus to his digital flock. Generally speaking, he only mentions the name of his alleged savior around Easter, never around Christmas. In fact, within the past three years, he has mentioned “Jesus” or “Christ” only 14 times amid hundreds of tweets. (By contrast, Rev. Billy Graham has mentioned “Jesus” and “Christ” dozens of times this year alone.) http://www.salon.com/2017/08/30/religious-leaders-like-joel-osteen-are-a-big-reason-why-americans-are-dumping-religion/

So That No One Could Buy Or Sell Unless He Had The Mark …..

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Revelation 13:16-18 

V(16 )And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark — the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18Here is a call for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and that number is six hundred sixty-six.…(Berean Study Bible)>

In the din of everyday life it is easy to miss God’s voice. Those who trust in him and believe his words are sacrosanct must do their very best to go to their private places, or quite spaces, even when totally strapped to the hamster-wheel of life’s daily grind.

God speaks to us as long long as we are willing to listen.  He is able to do that in tiny moments of his choosing because he is God Almighty.
I can lay no claim to being an obedient listener who waits for him to speak through his Holy Spirit to my heart , yet in his grace and mercy, in his infinite wisdom and awesome kindness he sometimes chooses the least qualified , the least likely , the least worthy through whom to communicate his word.

Telling of his grace and goodness cannot always come from an esteemed pulpit, but from wherever we are , reaching the people we can reach, in whatever way we can. So that his Kingdom may be glorified. I am one of those unqualified, unworthy, unlikely servants.
That must have been the way Jonah felt when he decided to ignore the Lords call to travel to  Nineveh to warn the people of God’s imminent wrath which was to come.
Jonah in his limited wisdom and human flesh had no use for the Ninevites,  he believed they were utterly deserving of whatever God was about to visit on them. In his eyes they were wicked people who deserved every bit of what was to come.

It’s such a beautiful ,  wonderful thing to be comforted in the knowledge that God does not harbor the thoughts we harbor, does not hate the way we hate.  In fact the only thing he hates is the sin in us . Even though we sin he forgives us while still holding us in his loving arms.
Though undeserving we still benefit from his unconditional love, his unending forgiveness.

REVELATION…..

So this morning before going to work I was taking a shower as I always do each day, and out of nowhere his voice spoke to my heart “you like to write, how about writing something for me”?
How about telling those with whom you interact that my words are true today as they were yesterday, as they will be for evermore”?

“Wow” !
The Book of Revelation Chapter 13 Verses 16-18 was revealed to me.
I found it stunning that God would want me to write about that to the maybe four people who would potentially be interested in anything I have to say.  Usually my wife and maybe two of my friends.

According to fortune.com, for the first time ever, shoppers are going to the web for most of their purchases.

An annual survey by analytics firm comScore (SCOR, -0.97%) and UPS(UPS, +0.20%) found that consumers are now buying more things online than in stores. The survey, now in its fifth year, polled more than 5,000 consumers who make at least two online purchases in a three-month period. According to results, shoppers now make 51% of their purchases online, compared to 48% in 2015 and 47% in 2014.

According to the website Forbes.com,  Amazon ruined the Holidays for retailers.
As the owner of a small electronic business I know all too well what that feels like. Before this mad rush to shop online, I understood the mad rush toward the large box-stores during the holiday season.
As Black Friday images emerged showing throngs of people lining up for deals in sub-zero temperatures, companies like Amazon has made it much easier to purchase online insulating shoppers from the madness.

Amazon is now asking the Government to approve drone licencing which would essentially allow the mega retailer to deliver same day to it’s customers.
If approved this will certainly deal a death knell to many mega stores, not to mention small mom and pop establishments which are just barely hanging on for survival.

According to CNNmoney.com ,In a sign of how dramatically the retail shopping landscape is changing, Macy’s is closing 100 of its stores nationwide. Macy’s (M) announced the closures Thursday. They represent about 15% of all Macy’s department stores. The iconic retailer did not disclose the locations of stores, but said most of them will be shut down in early 2017.

For instance, Walmart (WMT)announced plans in January to shut down 269 stores this year and just this week, inked a $3.3 billion deal to acquire Amazon rival Jet.com.  Sports Authority, once the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, is shutting all 450 of its stores after filing for bankruptcy. Other traditional retailers such as Target(TGT), JC Penney (JCP), Kmart, Sears (SHLD) and Kohl’s(KSS) have also pulled the plug on hundreds of stores in recent months. It’s a grim picture for retail store workers — there have been around 44,000 retail layoffs announced so far this year alone, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas data. Walmart’s closures alone impacted 16,000 workers. Macy’s closures come amid a sixth-straight quarterly decline in sales. However, sales fell less than feared and the company said it’s “encouraged” by recent sales trends. Wall Street applauded the dramatic store closures, sending the stock surging 17%, its best day since 2008.

Last night I needed to purchase a laptop bag for my wife, so after work I drove to K-Mart, they usually have stuff like that right?
Wrong, the store seemed like they were on the verge of closing down.
I drove across the street to Radio Shack, they are smaller , with stores generally the size of my small business . They did not look much better than K-Mart , just smaller more organized but of course they did not have any either.
So I went a few miles up the road in another direction to Staples , only to see total darkness where Staples once stood, it had closed.

I Inquired from staff at a large store next door which is kinda like a dollar store filled with chachkies,  “what happened to  Staples” ? They told me they moved to where Office Depot once was before they closed down.
So I got back into my car and drove the few miles down Route 9  south.  The store was there like she said, but stocked surprisingly sparsely.
I was the only customer except a lady getting some copies made.
I found a few laptop cases and grabbed one for Cheryl, I was through driving.

A friend who owns a petrol station laments to me that he is paying humongous sums of money to the Banks through their merchant services divisions which handles credit card processing.
This I understood well, more and more people are opting for the fast convenience of credit/debit card use over cash, my customers being no exception.
He tells me the bulk of his customers who stop for gas uses a debit or credit card. His establishment also houses a convenient store as well, thats where his profits come from as there are really not much margins on gasoline sales.
However he went on to say that even if the customers are not filling up their tanks but are getting a cup of coffee, they still plunk down a debit/credit card.
Turning them away is not an option .

http://www.kenraggio.com/KRPN-EBorders.htm

To the young Generation X’ers this is cool, clutter-free way of doing business, a cashless society.
But a cashless society has it’s downsides.
For instance the Banks are getting exponentially richer as they cut into the meager profits of retailers who have no choice but to accept credit card and debit cards.
This forces more and more small business to close as they are unable to turn a profit.(And the rich shall be richer and the poor poorer)
Credit/debit cards get lost they are prone to being compromised. Hackers are able to hack into large holding servers stealing millions of credit/debit card information which renders owners penniless and at further risk.

So with people literally looking to shop online which drastically reduces competition for large corporations, and the legal tender already proven vulnerable and easily compromised whats next?
V(16 )And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark — the name of the beast or the number of its name.

The human specie will do precious little  to halt it’s own march toward it’s ultimate conclusion. In fact humanity is gleefully rushing to it’s destiny, unwittingly ,fulfilling Biblical Prophecy in the process.
Even so, Isaiah 55:11New King James Version (NKJV)11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Please read , leave a comment and definitely share.

Black Mississippi Church Burned And Vandalized With ‘Vote Trump’

A black church in Mississippi was burned and vandalized with pro-Donald Trumpgraffiti late Tuesday.  Authorities responded to the fire at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, Tuesday night. Delta Daily News reports that the majority of the damage was to the main sanctuary and there were no reported injuries. Someone had spray-painted the words “Vote Trump” along the side of the building. A woman at the nearby Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church told The Huffington Post that Hopewell is a historically black church. She said the community is in shock over what happened.

Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the incident “a heinous, hateful and cowardly act” in a press conference Wednesday, adding that it was “an attack on the black church and the black community.” “This happened in the ‘50s and the ‘60s,” he said. “This should not happen in 2016.” Police Chief Delando Wilson said police are interviewing witnesses and talking to “a person of interest,” although there are no suspects yet. The FBI told The Clarion-Ledger, a Mississippi newspaper, that it is aware of the situation and is investigating to “determine if any civil rights crimes were committed.” There is already a GoFundMe page raising money to repair the church. GoFundMe told HuffPost it is working with the organizer of the page and will only release the funds to the church directly.

ROGELIO V. SOLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Greenvile Fire Chief Ruben Brown said firefighters found flames and smoke coming from the sanctuary just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.

ROGELIO V. SOLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bishop Clarence Green is the pastor at the 200-member Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi. See more @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mississippi-church-burned-vandalized-trump_us_5819ef95e4b01f610e393372

Marriage And Communication: How Do I Know?

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Evol Graham
Marriage should be considered not an institution but rather a state of being.  Relationships, hopefully intimate, tend to have the most challenges as they are managed from the outcomes and events of the world rather than the collaborated efforts of the pairing.  This pairing, by today’s standards, means that there is balanced and open communication to deal with issues from family, economics, and well-being.  But what happens when those challenges overwhelm and collaboration and communication becomes static?
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General solutions tell us that couples therapy is the start to help to reignite trust in a relationship.  Trusting a partner is the work in relationships.  The opinions that partners have comes from those experiences that have shaped and mature each individual.  As issues arise and a solution must be arrived at; trust in each other’s thoughts and actions have to be respected in order to come to a resolution.  Here is where the work comes in.  Resolutions need a goal set for it to be completed. Knowing what milestones need to be completed and focusing on them is what most people do not have or lose sight of while in the process of the plan.  Recently, a plan which may have been in the works seems to be slowing or is becoming increasingly harder to start.  Instead of committing to the plan and working toward that 1st goal, we failed to focus and fell back into a place of panic.   Panic leads to fear, then a disconnection, and finally no communication.  It is not so much the one that hurts but the many.    Does it mean one gives in to the easy and remains separate in thinking and action?  Would the  right path be that of the fearful just allowing issues to destroy or the tired to give in to separation in growth but what of the hopeful?  Hopeful?

Psalm 121, 5-6.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

There is nothing “complex” about God’s plan for marriage.
There is nothing “complex” about God’s plan for marriage.

Marriage is a bond on the surface by a record, but what of those fundamentals that we hold dear in religion.  We look at each other as individuals sorting this perilous adventure of life day by day and then seeing how to navigate to the next.  There is the question. Is it to be left to God’s will as to a position or circumstance or is a belief the aid for the day and then the choice is our own?  Knowing that we have steps is understood, do we know what those steps are or go with the proverbial flow?  The former means we should write down goals, set our milestones and adjust. The latter has goals but God has our steps already defined so allow the instances to lead one.  There is a 3rd scenario a combination of the two.  The balance and discipline to commit is the challenge and follow thru the process.  We woke to face the day, God’s blessing has anointed our steps.

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Write it down.  What are our goals?  When are the milestones? Who are the stakeholders?  What are our the contingencies?  It is a belief that visualization is the best way to record a plan. Graphically or a wordy plan can help with that focus that is needed to complete tasks.  Many businesses, institutions, and plans rely on the written word to implement plans to make the participant reach whatever the goal is.  Then partnership in a marriage can do the same, as both partners, need to commit to the focus.

Looking at the science and the religious aspects, it is evident that with every moment, decisions are more complex and need a thoughtfulness to make it worthwhile and sustainable. Simple and quick is based on a feeling and not in rational discovery to a resolve.  Openness to change is a culmination of patience and understanding of partners in a relationship. A willingness to try and fail together, rather than fall into one’s fear and close off the connection.