Monday, January 30, 2012

Are We the Greatest?

            Every generation has had its share of new inventions and advancements. Those that have gone before us have laid stones for us to build upon, and because of their achievements we are given the opportunity to achieve even more. Success even causes some to exalt themselves, believing that the world would be worse off without them, and that they have reached the height of knowledge. There are even those who would go so far as to say that we are the smartest generation. A verse that comes to mind is Ezekiel 28:17, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” Perhaps this is a warning for us. Just as generations before us, we have placed ourselves on a pedestal, but my fear is that just like men of old, we shall soon be knocked down and replaced with another god.

            On July 2, 1881, tragedy struck across the U.S. as President James Garfield was shot at a railroad station by the insane Charles Guiteau. In the moments that followed, some of the most horrendous acts of insanitation were committed. The doctors that examined Garfield in that station showed no hesitation as they plunged bare, unwashed fingers into the wound, inserting thousands of germs off the station floor into his back. Dr. Willard Bliss, the doctor that cared for the dying Garfield, performed other exploratory surgeries and such in search of the bullet all in the most unsanitary methods. It is a shame that five years earlier this same doctor had ignored a man named Dr. Joseph Lister and the World’s fair in New York. Lister had been a pioneer in the field of antiseptic surgery and had greatly reduced the infection rates in his hospital. Unfortunately, at the World’s Fair, many American doctors refused to believe in Lister’s methods. Due to their pride and ignorance, President Garfield and countless others, died from infection and blood poisoning. If he had been shot in the same way fifteen years later, he would have been nearly recovered within two weeks.

            Although doctors in the eighteen hundreds, such as Dr. Bliss, knew a lot about surgery and medicine, they did not know enough. Ultimately, when the time came for action they failed, because they would not believe that they were wrong. They had closed their minds to any new ideas that may be and in fact were right. Far too often this very same attitude is seen in the way scientists and doctors’ work. They decide that one way is the best and they close their minds to all others. There is so much more for us to learn just as there was so much for those doctors to learn. If we close our mind to new discoveries, because we have already reached the top we will quickly find ourselves at the bottom.

            Garfield’s life could have been saved if Dr. Bliss had headed Dr. Lister’s antiseptic advice. I can’t help but wonder how many lives today would be saved if people were willing to put their pride in a box and realize that they may be wrong. While this example is an example from the medical world, this same concept applies to everyone. When we allow our pride to get in the way, we miss out on the world of wisdom and knowledge that God has for us. We have learned a lot, much of it due to the stepping stones laid down by past generations, but we have not learned it all.

            Fifteen years after Garfield’s death he would have been fine. The doctors would have known how to find and remove the bullet in only a few hours and he would have been on his way to recovery. Fifteen years from now we will know so much more than we know now, that is, if we humble ourselves. If we continue in a state of pride and vanity with closed hearts and sealed minds, God will curse us as Ezekiel warned. We are not the greatest. No matter how much we discover and accomplish we will never know it all. Only God knows it all. He is the greatest.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Worth of a Ruby

          Rubies are one of the most valuable gems on earth. Rare and expensive, they are carefully and painstakingly sought out by miners in search of the perfect stone. But very rarely is the perfect stone found. More often than not, the ruby found, while still a beauty, has much work to be done before it will appear at a sale. Very rarely does a ruby appear without blemish, perfect and ready to be claimed.

            Rubies are actually made of mineral corundum, the same substance which sapphires are made of. The only difference is the color. Their hardness is a 9 on the Mohs scale with only diamonds having a higher number. The gems contain aluminum oxide and chrome; chrome giving it the brilliant red color. The red color of rubies is actually what makes them so rare. While in the earth’s core, the chrome make fissures and cracks inside of the stone basically stopping the stone from becoming a large beautiful gem. Hardly ever are ruby crystals able to grow larger than 3 karats without being cracked. This makes large rubies more valuable than even diamonds.
            Rubies of lesser value can be found. They can even be made to look brighter and their color more brilliant by a heating method. Fractures in the rubies can be filled and hid with lead glass so as to make their appearance seem without blemish, but these gems will not be the high bid of the day. They will not make it to the top of the market. Only the ruby that has grown in the depths of the earth unhindered and untouched, guarded only by the hands of God, will be a first rate ruby. That ruby will not need heat to brighten its color, because the earth has heated it thoroughly; it will not need to be filled with glass because it will have grown perfectly, without spot. This ruby is one to be sought for. She will be the high bid of the sale and she will be treasured.
            So it is with a virtuous woman. She is so very rare that it will take only the most persistent, and courageous of men to find her. He will have to seek her out long and hard. He will have to search in the hardest of places. There will be women that appear to be rubies. They will try to brighten their appearance, and powder and fill their flaws, but a man that truly seeks a rare gem will have the discretion to see past their costumes. He will not be satisfied until he has at last set his eye on the prize of a genuine ruby. Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”
            But a virtuous woman is not the only thing that is better to posses than rubies. Proverbs 8:11 “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” Job 28:18 “No mention shall be made of corals, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.” Wisdom, like a ruby, is a gem to be sought. Even through pain and trial it should be sought with utmost exigency.
            A virtuous woman and wisdom; brighter and rarer than rubies, to be claimed only by those brave enough to endure the call, these shall stand as two of the greatest possessions mankind can own. Will men be courageous enough to seek wisdom and search for a virtuous woman? And will women also have the determination to find wisdom and the resolution to become that virtuous gem? Only our Creator knows. We should set out hearts on trusting Him because as He knows men’s hearts, He also knows where the greatest and purest of rubies lies.

A Powerful Prayer!!!

The prayer as delivered on January 23, 1996 by Pastor Joe Wright to the Kansas House of Representatives:
Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. Lord, we know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we've done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it moral pluralism.

We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building esteem.

We have abused power and called it political savvy.

We have coveted our neighbors' possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our fore-fathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us oh God and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Savior, Jesus Christ.


Thanks to my Government book, "Exploring Government" by: Ray Notgrass and to the website I copied it from:  :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Do Christian's Have A Roll In Politics?

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

John Adams

            These were the words of our second president, a founder of our country and a leader of our nation. Together with many others, he labored to form a more free government and give our young nation guidelines to go by. Although the men that formed our Constitution came from differing backgrounds and religious beliefs, one thing is certain; the United States was formed by religious men, meant for religious men. But today we see just the opposite happening. We see our Constitution being changed by an unmoral and nonreligious people. 

            With the sad deterioration of American’s morals, the question at hand becomes, “What are Christians supposed to do about it?” Unfortunately, most Christians don’t know the answer to this question. When election time comes around, many of them just end up choosing the “lesser of two evils,” which means still choosing an “evil.” What is even worse is that our morals have been so degraded that many acclaimed Christians do not consider Biblical morals in the ballot box at all. So what do we do? Should we simply pay, pray and obey, a philosophy followed by many of the Amish and Mennonites? Or should we step out and take a stand? According to author Rick Boyer, three of every four professing evangelical Christians do not even vote.[1]  It’s no wonder that a government created for a moral and religious people cannot stand, because the very people who still hold to those values cannot even cast their vote.

            Unfortunately, it’s a downward hill. If Christians cannot even cast their vote, then they cannot possibly help support a moral candidate, and heaven knows they couldn’t run for office themselves. The fact of the matter is, if Christians don’t do it, someone else will. And that someone else is probably going to be a candidate that goes against righteous morals. Then we get to listen to the complaints and whining of unhappy people, who didn’t have the decency to vote, but have no problem getting upset over the results.

            What Christians need to realize is that just because we are headed downhill does not mean that we cannot turn around and start heading back up. Yes, it is going to be a much harder trek, but that did not seem to frighten our founding fathers. They gave their very lives creating and protecting the freedoms that we have. What we need to do is start standing up for what is right and not choosing the less evil, but rather choosing candidates that have morals. Of course, for some of us, the words “independent” or “third-party” make us squirm, but if enough Christians started standing up for what is right, politicians might catch on, in fact some of them have already. 

            Matthew 5:13-16 says, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” This is a Christians roll in politics; to shine in a dark world, whether that means running for public office, helping and supporting Godly men or voting. We cannot be passive and let our nation fall into shambles. We must protect our freedoms and our Constitution. So to answer the question, "Do Christians have a roll in politics?" the answer is, "YES!" The only question remaining is, "Will Christians have the courage to take a stand in politics?"

[1] Rick Boyer, “It’s Not Too Late For America”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Good Quote

"I was born yesterday, I shall die tomorrow and I must not spend today in telling what I have done, but in doing what I may for Him who has done all for me."

Andrew Reed - author of the hymn, "Holy Ghost, with Light Divine.
I read this in the book, "Presidential Praise."
Living a life of service to Christ is an everyday thing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Have you ever suffered? I mean really suffered? Suffering is a touchy thing. We like to feel strong, in control and on top, but when everything is stripped away and all that remains is a weak and vulnerable person our feelings no longer hold us up. Every Christian is called to suffer. If you have never been through suffering, know that it will come. Job suffered, David suffered, Paul suffered. Everyone that seeks to serve the Lord Jesus Christ will have to walk through the shadow of death and sit in the presence of their enemies.

You know honestly, I feel sorry for those to whom suffering is merely something others go through. Those that have everything handed their way and live in self seeking misery. Their lives are so empty, so fruitless and void.
Suffering brings us closer to our Lord. It helps us to comfort those who morn and lift up those who are weary. How can you comfort when you have never grieved? How can you lift up when you have never been brought down? How can we be like Christ if we have never partaken in His pain?

I see suffering all around. I see mothers losing children, children losing parents, people starving, people imprisoned for Christ, people that just need someone who will open their eyes and take five seconds to care. What is wrong with us!? Why do we walk around blindly so often?! Maybe it's because there are those of us who are unwilling to suffer. Let me tell you something, if you want your eyes to be opened to those suffering around you, ask God to let you suffer for His sake. Once you have had to suffer for Christ you will suddenly see all the things you never saw. The man behind bars will no longer be just a picture, he will be a brother. The writings of a grieving widower will no longer just be words, they will become tears on your cheek. The woman who has lost her children will no longer just be another thing on the prayer list, but a sister that you spend hours on your knees for.

We must ask God to open our eyes! We must beg Him to clear the hazy fog! There are so many people that need our love and care and yet it is so easy to think only of ourselves. When you have suffered or are in the midst of suffering you see the world in a whole new light. Look around and you will find that it is often the people who have suffered the most who give the most. Do you know why? Because they are the ones who have spent hours on their knees crying out to God for help! They are the ones whose hearts have been broken to pieces. They are the ones with wounds that may eventually heal, but will turn to scars that will never go away. And when you are scarred, you see more clearly others with scars.
Jesus has scars. I can see them, but there are those who cannot only see them, but they can feel them because Christ found them worthy enough to share in His suffering. They are the ones who have received the greatest gift of all.

Do you want to truly know Christ? Then suffer for His sake, and open your eyes to your brothers and sisters and those who are not saved. Open your eyes to their pain and do something about it. I have not had to suffer for Christ like some of my brothers and sisters have and are suffering now. But I pray that someday He will count me worthy to share in His sufferings that I may know Him deeper still.

Just some thoughts I wrote down last night as I prayed for some brothers and sisters in Christ.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Missionary

From a very young age my parents have instilled in me a heart for missions. I remember reading missionary books with my mom and standing next to my dad as we talked to missionaries at church.

Since I was a very little girl I have always wanted to be a missionary. I was the five year old that said, "When I grow up, I am going to be a missionary to South Korea."
Then when my family was adopting, I became the eleven year old that said, "I'm planning on being a missionary, perhaps to Liberia."
Then I got a little older and wiser and became the fourteen year old that boldly said, "I want to go North Korea and share the gospel." I still vividly remember my mom trying to explain that I wouldn't be a missionary in North Korea, I would most likely be a martyr in North Korea.  :-) (Not that she was trying to discourage me, she just wanted me to understand what I was talking about.)

Through the years my heart has changed in the area of missions. It's easy to lose sight of a six year old vision, but whenever I begin to forget the Lord brings it back. Yesterday, on New Years Eve, we watched some old family videos of when my parents went to Liberia to pick up my siblings. I still remember how absolutely excited and jittery I was on the way to the airport when my parents and new siblings came back. I felt like a four year old on Christmas morning, except magnified. Unfortunately, as it is in life, the "honeymoon" died away and reality hit home that my new siblings were totally different from me. In the first couple years many ugly truths were brought out of the dark that our family wasn't prepared for. In the course of the last six years we have had to go through HHS investigations, countless social worker visits and meetings, police searches and visits, days of overwhelming stress and anxiety, and many other nightmarish moments that we were shocked at. There were many times that I felt angry or upset, our family wondered at times if we had truly heard God's call to adopt. These experiences changed my view of many aspects of life. Spiritual warfare has a whole new meaning to me. It's easy to be skeptical about demonic effects on people when you have never beheld it.

But last night as we watched those videos from Africa, something very strong stirred in my heart. When I saw the groups of tiny little children, that I now know were active in many wicked and evil actions, my heart ached. I cried as I watched those little hands reaching out, and their little voices yelling out, "I love you Mom! I love you Dad!"
What if those children had been raised by parents who loved and cared for them? What if from their birth, prayers had been lifted up against the family curses that bound them? What if they were truly taught about Christ and the Bible? What if they had all that I have been given?

I haven't thought about missions much in the last year. Oh, I gave it a thought every now and then when I heard about someone going on a missions trip or missionaries came to church, but other than that I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. But watching that video stirred in me emotions that I can hardly describe because if those children had been raised in Godly Christian families, their lives wouldn't have been destroyed by sick perversion to the point that they no longer know how to live.

Adopting my three siblings from Africa was the hardest thing my family ever did. My parents have gone through so much. But I wouldn't reverse what God has done. Yes, we have suffered many things that may seem unfair to a lost world, but I can clearly see that it was all indeed part of God's plan. My adopted siblings childhoods were stolen from them and though they may not know how to truly move forward, they now have a chance too. In Liberia there is 80% unemployment. One of my adopted sisters now has a full time job and my brother had a full time job all summer. My other adopted sister is learning some new skills so that she can start her own business. They are being taught about Christ and being given a Godly education. They have everything that they need including food. They didn't have that in Liberia.

Yes, we have struggled.
Yes, there are times it seems unfair.
Yes, there are strongholds that seem like solid concrete.

But am I thankful God has allowed all this to happen?

I do not glory in the evil we have gone through, but rather I glory in the fact that my family has been given the chance to do some of the toughest mission work there is together as a family. My adopted siblings have many things in their pasts that they have had to deal with. Their whole lives in Liberia were about running and surviving, but even if our family is just a bridge helping them get across a deep cavern to a better life, it will still be worth it.
I've become a tougher, harder person through these experiences; I know it and yet my heart still melts when I see those old videos. When I see people that need the Lord so very much my heart weeps. I have no idea what the future holds. I may never become a "missionary," but God has given me a work to do here in my family and for now I am content. I cannot change people, only God can, but I certainly can be a willing vessel for His service.

If someday God calls me elsewhere, I'll be there, but for now, I'm working here and that's exactly where He wants me.