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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Atheist Billboards Attacking Christianity

For years now American Christians have been standing by silently while being attacked verbally and sued in civil courts at every opportunity by some, not all, atheist groups who claim they are sickened by our display of anything that represents the cross of Christ. It does not matter where the cross may be, even if they learn of one displayed in the desert they want it removed. They claim such depictions of the cross are a violation of their constitutional rights and should not be displayed anywhere in the public eye.

In comparison to other nations we are a nation formed only a short time ago, but undeniably founded under the principles of God’s law and moral virtues as our Creator (Declaration of Independence). History states as a country we are and virtually always have been predominantly Christian forming this country accordingly. It is true however, that many of us have become soft in the way we live and in presenting our Christian values. But we failed until now to realize that because of this display of softness we have become apparent soft targets for those atheist groups bent on attacking and destroying what remains of Christianity in the United States of America.

Today however, the hatred of the atheist groups who attack Christianity has turned against themselves by their own hands by showing in their own billboard advertisements that we as Christians do have the right to display the cross of Christ publically under the same constitutional rights they publically display their billboards defaming not only what the cross symbolizes, but what we believe in our faith.

Jesus Christ taught us when we are struck on the cheek to turn the other cheek. He did not mean for us to seek to be struck again, but to stand peacefully but firmly in our faith. It is time to stand for our Christian beliefs. Be proud to stand for Christ.

Please pass this on that others may realize it is the same rights these atheist groups display their sentiments and symbols publically on billboards and even try to sue us by that allows us to display the cross just as freely. If you are a Christian I ask you display the cross somewhere, even on the back window of your car. Use two pieces of tape to form it if you wish to. Let others know you are not ashamed to be Christian.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Does God's Love Embrace Sinfulness?

2000 years ago Our Father in heaven gave to us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to serve as our Messiah, providing each one of us who would accept His love and guidance in every generation hence forth the means to personally reconcile and reunite with Him. The indescribable degradation against God’s will committed in mankind’s betrayal and sinfulness was so great that the only sacrifice deemed adequate to offer the Father on behalf of mankind that could overcome our sinfulness was the sacrifice of His own life purely out of love and selflessness for man; His mortal life sacrificed for man’s eternal life. Jesus sacrificed Himself by submitting Himself to the most horrid of torments, tortures, humiliations, degradations and the most agonizing of deaths man could conceive of, to be performed by the hands of the worst of mankind for the salvation of the reverent of mankind. And all any person would have to do to accept this forgiveness and salvation is to freely accept God in the love of Christ and live by the calling Jesus taught us.  

As vast numbers of Catholic and non-Catholic Christians in other countries today are being shot to death for remaining devout to their faith while attending Mass in their churches, many American Catholics are embracing their own adaptation of Catholicism. Yes, many of us who are free to worship Christ faithfully do so casually

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Who's Instigating Hatred?

A Christian organization known as the "Family Research Council" or FNC located in Washington D.C. was targeted August 15th, 2012, by a single gunman who allegedly resented their ideologies and non-acceptance of same-sex marriage because they promote the biblical principles of family and mirriage. The gunman had fifteen Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in a carry bag which also contained additional fully loaded clips or magazines to reload his gun should he get that far along in his intended shooting spree. By the grace of God, he was however, intercepted by the building manager who after being shot in the arm was still able to disarm and subdue the gunman until the police arrived. The FNC organization is a Christian non-profit group that supports family life and values and the biblical and historical definition of marriage as it has always been defined; that is as a union sealed by God between one man and one woman only throughout man's recorded history and in scripture.

Only a couple of weeks ago in a seemingly unrelated incident, 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Prison Mentor’s Reflections

(This blog is written by a Christian volunteer who has been mentoring at a Federal Women’s prison for approximately five years through the Life Connections Program, a faith based organization bringing the message of faith and hope to those anticipating release. It is the reflection at the close of a single evening.) 

This evening, as I drove home from the prison after an hour of mentoring with the light of a full moon and listening to Andrea Bocelli singing Ave Maria, I could feel God's presence all around me. I told the Lord I was tired as I usually am after an intense hour of dialogue with a prisoner.  Emotions run high.  But knowing God was with me, I told Him I had missed that feeling of closeness with Him on occasion this week, mostly due to my wandering mind; not being focused on Him and letting other things invade my space.  Prison mentoring brings me back to center.  My inmate is grateful for my presence; it gives her chance to vent, share, cry, and wish for freedom, privacy, and time alone with her Lord.  We on the outside have freedom. We are not locked up and no, we have committed no crime for sure.  All they want is to know that someone cares; someone from the outside; someone who can bring the outside inside with a message of hope and of God’s love.  We get so caught up in our own petty worries and fears that we really do not realize those who are trapped behind bars, admittedly through their own fault, but never the less still are looking from behind bars for a glimpse of freedom, while we look from the outside through the bars with freedom at our side. When the sound of the gate closes as we enter or leave, there is a large "bang". When entering the prison we are subjected to the usual security measures similar to the airports; pat downs, metal detectors and hands being stamped for our safety and God forbid, we become involved in a prison riot. We realize we cannot leave unless granted permission with an escort to take us back out of the confines of the unit.  Freedom is precious.  The slamming of the gate is a reminder of just how precious it is.  It is a sound that resonates throughout the room and one a person never forgets or gets used to.  
We all tend to get caught up in the moment but I realize every time I enter those prison gates, how grateful I am for that freedom which God has blessed me with and all of us with.  I wonder sometimes how the early martyrs felt when the gate slammed behind them.  When their freedom was extinguished because of their faith, did the sound of the gate, the dark of the dungeon, the loss of light and separation from loved ones cause them anxiety, fear, doubt and pain?  
When walking through Mamertine Prison in Rome where St. Peter was imprisoned for some months awaiting his death, I pondered all the feelings he must have had.  Interestingly enough, he converted almost all the guards who watched over him. 
I have been asked many times “how can you go to the prison?”  I could never do what you do”, they say.  Of course I remind them of Mathew’s passage in chapter 25: 35-36 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (NAB)  I continue to tell them, it is a “calling” that I cannot ignore. 
I read an article recently that said “Each year, more than 700,000 individuals are released from state and federal prison.  Another 9 million cycle through local jails.  When reentry fails, the costs—both societal and economic—are high.  Statistics indicate that more than two-thirds of state prisoners are rearrested within 3 years of their release and half are re-incarcerated.” (Taken from Reentry in Brief, a product of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council) 
I hope I can, at the very least, bring the light of God's love to those I mentor.  If I can even save one soul for Christ out of all I interact with or at the very least keep one inmate from returning to prison, I will feel some sense of accomplishment.  I do not ask for God's glory, just his love and strength to do this which gives me the confidence and courage I need to show the outside to those on the inside. To soften the "bang" of the gate a little and give hope to the hopeless, love to the loveless and the love and peace of Christ to all who desire it........ I continue to thank my Lord and Savior for this opportunity.

 JRB (A Contributor to SDM)