Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Deep and Beautiful Secret of the Human Soul

source via Wikimedia
Driving down the highway, in the darkness of the night along the great lake Michigan I spotted across the mists of the sea the city in which I reside, lights dotting along the peninsula hanging out upon the waters.  Up in the sky, the stars were numerous, unending and unhindered by the bright lights of the city.  Out here you can see it all.  I passed by the old dam pouring thundering waters down under the bridge.  

What an amazing thing I wondered to myself, to be a human here, speeding across the night in such a technological wonder, blazing through the night in the midst of the fall of man.  What a particularly amazing state of affairs, and how thoroughly haunting to see it all playing out before me.  I could hardly believe it if I didn't experience it everyday and know little else.  The night makes it beautiful in a way, a charming stream of reality, the crusty spots hidden by the shadows, and the purity of the moment magnified by the stillness of the night. 

Again in the morning I awake because God sustains me.  In the quasi-tragedy of our times, dressed up in all manner of madness to make it seem appealing, civilization gathers and crumbles time and again.  It happens in slow motion in front of me day by day, the same city but always new.  The same buildings yet always a different and fantastic sky-scape painted across the backdrop.  

And I look at it wearily, as I jaunt about in the work vehicle, doing this and doing that.  I don't wish for something else really, I just cautiously mourn.  I mourn in the back of my mind everyday you see, with ancient yearnings that lead back to a different time.  Something of the human soul remembers it, like a perfection invisible and if consciously confronted it vanishes.  In fact it never shows itself, aside from a feeling that something is missing.  Or for those more attuned, it is the persistent suggestion that something is quite wrong with reality itself.  Reality itself is broken, not just as a reflection of the internal struggle of the individual, but as an objective reality outside the individual.  Something seems terribly wrong; no wonder so many people face depression, even more so in an advanced civilization!

It's been eluded to in writing by people like C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton.  It's that slight of infinity within the human soul.  And it cries out day and night for something greater that it remembers.  It cries day and night but finds little air.  Yet the human soul tunes to it occasionally, like twisting the dials on an FM radio, the music cuts through occasionally, half remembered, twisted, and vanishes once again.  The human soul itself can sense it's own inclination to elevated realities beyond the confines of Earth.  And so we yearn for it.  When we see beauty on the horizon, it shocks and amazes us.  But many cannot face this reality, or prefer not to.  In exchange for the glory of God, they choose petty pleasures that never truly satisfy; Though they may seem insanely tantalizing in the moment.   I woke up this morning and saw the blue sky and the gorgeous clouds floating against the skyline as I did my duties.  It amazed me once again.  Beauty affects the mind like that.  It draws us in toward the sensation that makes life worth living.

In the struggle of everyday life, in the five day work week I find myself often pulling a drag behind myself.  It's not too heavy, not like the weight of my past sins had been.  Those are gone now.  It's a lighter burden but still remains with me.  It's a sort of nuclear tint on reality, as if my life were shot in the nuclear tones of Battlestar Galactica.  This is especially powerful in autumn and deep winter.  In the far north we have not only winter, but deep winter.  Deep winter comes when winter would normally burn itself out, in January.  Yet it bleeds on from February, March and April and into May.  This is the time when temperatures are often -15 degrees.  One could say the feeling is similar within my own mind on days like today, when I can't help but feel hindered by my own monotonous life.  

We all have those moments don't we, and we wonder: What is it all about?  It's at those moments when we must cling to our calling, the thing that fastens us to what we do.  What we do is not who we are, but what we do is or ought to be what God has designed us to do.  And if we aren't doing that, we'd better start.  

Is what I'm doing of eternal consequence?  Most certainly it is.  Yet even that reality can't comfort the weariness in my soul.  

Why soul are you so weary?  Why soul are you so down?  Have you been listening to the political debate on CNN?  Were you disturbed by Lester Holt and his bias?  Were you considering your own infinite finitude or the number of hours you must wait until eternity comes?  No not so, says my soul. I've really only been living moment to moment, doing my job, praying hard, writing and trying to keep going.  I wasn't really thinking about anything.  I wasn't really worried about anything.  But the truth is, I have a touch of a cold, I'm a little tired, and I really want to go home.  

Home, not being here, then, well, I must wait.  And I wait patiently knowing that my reward will be great.  Though I am wholly unable to inspect it now, I expect it later.  Life will continue I suppose and I must continue.  Life isn't easy.  It hasn't ever been easy.  But I'll continue.  I'll outlast that itch of eternity that refuses let me indulge in the daily life without considering the future and the eternal ramifications of my actions.  And better it be so. 

The dredges are out in full force, having laid their seeds seventy years ago or so.  Now the work is turning up it's terrible crop.  So to step outside the vomit fests of modern society, the flagellation, the hysterical laughter fests, the selfish self obsessed lifestyles, the constant indulgence, the decadent sex orgies, the violence, the child sacrifice, the filthy gorging of every possible pleasure to the max of utter stupefaction, to escape this and attempt by the grace of God to live a pure life; Well, that's a revolutionary act of the highest measure.  

They can't stand it you see, the celebrities, the talking heads, the upper class types; when they see someone trying to live a pure life they have to tear down that person. Like Tim Tebow, Ted Cruz, like anyone in any sort of lime light, that person enrages them.  Why?  Because everyone must, must, must be as despicable as they are.  If not, if even one stands up to say no, it is a naked indictment of their way of living.  And change is hard.  So they try with all their might to destroy anything that is good.  And the Bible said they would.  Fancy that?

Maybe I've figured it out, maybe I've come to realize that it's tough to live in a country decimated by sin.  Well it most certainly is!  We fight the good fight, but we're afraid in the cold depths of our souls, we're afraid that it's too late for a nation or a set of civilizations.  That fact chills the heart, even though this abode is only our temporary stay, we would have it be a place of liberty and justice.  Even if only for a little while.  

Every so often one comes out of the muck of the slime fests in our towns and cities, wondering if there might be something more.  There is, there really really is.  It is Jesus.  He is our King.  He is alive today, having conquered death itself.  Many trade the future kingdom for daily pleasures that never really satisfy.  

There was a documentary of a group of drug addicts in Massachusetts.  The camera man followed their lives as they went out to get their crack and came back to the room to do it.  Time and time again the cycle repeated.  One of those days the camera man watched them go through the process of finding these drugs.  And just as they sat down and began using this crack cocaine he asked them in the most honest terms: "You have your drugs, your all set, getting lit up, are you happy now?"  And one man looked over and replied grimly, "Do I look happy?"  All the men equoed his statement.  

Much the same could be asked of the young man who just plundered yet another bar girl, laying next to her planning his route of escape, one might ask him: "Are you happy now?"  Or what about the billionaire investor and entrepreneur?  He's just gathered another 1.3 billion dollars for his company.  He's ordering the new sports car, he's finishing up a night on the town, going from club to club, feeling so important, and as the evening winds down, one might ask: "Are you happy now?" 

And what about you reader, on your device, your computer, your phone... Does it satisfy you?  Are you happy now?  Or does your heart ache for something greater?  

Come to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  View the God who made the universe and crafted the human species.  Consider eternity, your life, and the future.  Consider the weight of your past.  And cry out to Jesus Christ to save you, for we are all in need of Him.  It's for you too.  It's for you.  Not only others, you.

The northern lights are said to be beautiful over northern Michigan tonight.  The beauty of the autumn season is setting in.  The schedule is busy, the election is wrapping up, and life does go on.  We consider another year ahead of us.  Though I may be sullen, melancholy on nights like these, fundamentally my life is based on hope today.  In the past my life was based fundamentally on sorrow and self destruction.  Jesus Christ reversed that system.  

Life is tough now, to try with all my might to follow the savior, and see myself often fall short.  But fundamentally the savior has set me free.  He has revealed the deep secret within my soul, the secret of Christ grafted upon my soul to repair the damage and renew me in preparation for eternity.  This is a profound truth.  

That sliver of eternity cries out for that great physician to be grafted to the soul.  Yet even after being reborn in Christ, still that sense of eternity cries out, where my soul aches to be with God in a perfect state of existence, yet my mission insists that I remain, to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the world, into the web, into collision with young people like myself who just don't know, because no one seems to know how to tell them.  I can tell them, uniquely so.  So I will.  And I'll go on lamenting the present, and joyfully expecting the future transposition of myself into the direct presence of God almighty, with you hopefully, for all eternity.  Amen. 


CC 2.0, source
Related Posts:
  1. Journey of the Christian through the Forest called Earth
  2. What is the matrix?
  3. Living in the Suburban Sprawl (Mountains beyond Mountains)
  4. Ancient Doorways in the Brickhouse: Fields of Green in your Dreams
  5. Depression & Meaninglessness: Where is God in the depths of sorrow?
  6. The Awe of Dreams & the Surreal
  7. Big Picture: The Solution to all the Problems of Earth
  8. What is the meaning of Life?
  9. You Oh Lord are my Strength: The Manifold Provision of God
  10. Daybreak: Examining the Problem of Pain

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Healing from Past Struggles


Today we’ll address the topic of healing. In the fallen world in which we live there are many times when we experience things that harm us. We have to go through hard times. Each of I’m sure could list off traumatic experiences that we’ve been through. Whether we’re soldiers in combat, or children who went through abuse, or those who struggle with addictions, or those afflicted with the blackest depression, we all have scars along the journey of life.

I’ve been through a lot in my life. And I’d like to share a bit more of my story, as I have in the past, and then transition into 3 ways of healing. 


From birth on, it's been a struggle. Just after I was born, I would experience terrible stomach pains. When I began to learn to talk I developed a stutter, and had to work through that. In school I got bullied a great deal and spent a lot of time as an outcast. When I was 16 I saw my parents go through an ugly, protracted divorce. When I was 17 I was expelled from my high school and shunned by my former friends. When I was 18 I experienced being locked in a mental hospital. When I was 20 I became a serious drug addict. That same year I experienced serving jail time for the first time, for marijuana charges. I struggled with alcoholism and addiction for years after. I fought severe depression and anxiety on a daily basis. When I was 21 I became addicted to cigarettes. When I was 23 I was sexually assaulted by a close friend. For years I was estranged from my family. I’ve had serious health problems. When I was 25 I was hospitalized in intensive care for a drug overdose.  I almost died in ICU that night. At age 26 I experienced rock bottom, the blackest dark depression. On and on the list goes.

But, this is key: I’m not a victim. I’m not a victim. I’m an overcomer. I’m a redeemed, born again, son of the most high God. Because Jesus came to save sinners, I need never be a victim, and the moment I let myself believe that I’m a victim, I’m no longer able to heal. Life is messy. And sometimes terrible things happen. But I have to keep fighting. We all do.

During those years of my struggles, I had dreams. I would dream of walking along a beautiful green path in the forest, along a trail. I would walk through these gorgeous green forests. Sometimes it would be at night. Sometimes I would be afraid, other times I would be filled with wonder and joy. I dreamt very often of the road.  It was a respite for me, in my dreams. I didn't know it then, but that trail was the road that would eventually lead me to encounter the living Jesus Christ.

I dreamt many times of walking along this path, in search of the truth. I dreamt one night of ascending this beautiful autumn path, light cutting through the trees, leaves falling, silver birch trees along the road that drifted left and right criss-crossing up a hill. In another dream I saw a beautiful golden meadow, in which I sat down, finally discovering peace.

Yet in the real world my life had become a fading darkness. But reflected in my dreams was a future brighter than I could imagine. In the shuttering cold winds of that dark life, under uncertain skies, in the valley of cold winters, searching for something greater, dying in addiction, in sorrow, finally the twilight broke, the clouds parted, and the light of Christ shined down upon me.

Jesus changes everything. The ultimate source of healing is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the doorway, God the Father is the architect & guide of the plan, and the Spirit is the indwelling healing presence.

Jesus Christ does the mighty work within us. But it isn’t finished there. We still need to heal and grow. There is work to be done.

I was at Salvation Army men's camp last weekend.  At men’s camp I recall the speaker pastor Rod Williams sharing about Jesus moving mountains in our lives. After the Saturday morning session the camp staff asked if some of the men would help move some dirt. There was a giant pile of dirt by the kitchen entrance, and about twenty guys grabbed shovels, and started filling wheelbarrows. I recall as I stood shoveling the dirt into the wheelbarrows, that sometimes if you want God to move a mountain, you better grab a shovel.

So let’s look at three ways to gain healing from past struggles and traumas in our lives.

The foundation of these three approaches must be laid in prayer, and Bible study. We should be praying at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Preferably 3 times a day, like Daniel did. We should also be attending a regular Bible study, and be regularly studying the scriptures in our personal time as well. Those two practices are the foundation, but sometimes we must go deeper.

One of the best ways to experience healing is through study and writing things down.  God has given us wisdom through His word and through the natural world, yet we may also find wisdom in areas like science, psychology, and philosophy. (Note: We can also be deceived by false ideology in many areas, so we must always be aware of the presuppositions of the fields we study.)

The first book I really studied on healing through Christ was called “The Bondage Breaker” by Neil T. Anderson. It was an excellent book on how to challenge the lies of Satan with the truth of God’s word. Another powerful workbook I went through was called the "Freedom from Depression workbook" by Frank Minirth. It helped change a lot of my perspectives about the world. I could list off a lot of extremely helpful books, I'm a voracious reader, but the three most powerful were: "Healing for Damaged Emotions" by David Seamands, "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" by Bill Wilson, and "Love is a Choice" by Robert Hemfelt.


When we go through hard times sometimes we don’t really heal afterward and things build up within as anxiety or depression. When we write things down and learn about the inner workings of our mind, those traumas get cleared out, making way for the light of God’s presence.

I’m convinced many of us don’t experience the fullness of God’s presence because we have too much wreckage from our pasts built up within. But when we clear out those past struggles, we make room for the Spirit of God to fully consume us.

One of the most tried and true methods of experiencing healing from past struggles is by writing down an inventory. This approach was first pioneered in the 12 step program of action founded in recovery groups in the 1930s, but has since become a prominent healing technique. All one need do is write out a timeline of their lives, emphasizing important events, from birth to present. Then working from the timeline, write down in journal format with the deepest honesty exactly what happened. Once having this inventory completed, the writer takes it to a trusted friend, colleague or pastor and “confesses” it to them. And through this, healing is found.

Or as it says in James 5:16 “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Pray about it, maybe God is leading you to write out some of your past traumas to gain healing. If you'd like a more detailed inventory guide Google search "fourth step inventory guide."  You'll find quite a few documents that you can print out to guide your inventory process.
 

Secondly, make sure you have a good network of support. That is always key. And its usually one of the hardest things for those with past traumas to do. When you’ve been through hard times it tends to make you feel different from others. It makes reaching out and connecting with people a very hard thing to do. In fact for me it seemed near impossible. But I managed to reconnect with my family over time. And I began to develop friendships. I found older people in the church and in my recover community who I could look up to as mentors. That is a powerful thing, to have friends and mentors who speak into our lives. We have to have people we can share anything with. Otherwise it stays locked inside of us. A lost art is that of young men finding older, wiser men, who can they learn and grow from.  Trust me on this, seek out a good mentor.  Learn from him, or her.

Thirdly, if we want healing we have to look to groups where we can heal with others. One of the best options for this sort of healing is found at a program called Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery is a place to come with your hurts, habits, and hangups. It’s a great program. Other programs are also available for those with alcohol, drug, or gambling problems like AA, NA, and GA.  The healing is found in these programs through blunt, honest, real discussions. 

When I work with the teens at my church, I always try to engage them in deep, real conversations. I try to get them to express their deepest thoughts, and share the struggles they go through. You’d be amazed how these blunt, real conversations can help shine the light of healing.

For those with more minor problems, a good Christian counselor can be very helpful too. 

So those are the three best ways I've found to address the issue of healing from past struggles. And we all have those struggles.

In closing, there is something very important to remember about healing. I learned it in the past when I worked at a homeless shelter in Wausau. I remember one night I went to sleep, upset, because I couldn’t seem to reach those I felt needed my help. I fell asleep and dreamt that I was chasing this boy. I was trying to stop him, to help him. And every time I would run fast enough to reach this boy, he would jump through a portal, a wormhole into a different dimension. So I’d jump through the wormhole, and follow him, then when I was just about to reach him again, he’d jump through another wormhole and escape.

When I woke up that next day and shared my dream with a coworker it helped me realize something: A person caught up in the sorrow of trauma, addiction, and depression can’t be helped unless they want to be helped. The human mind has nearly an infinite capacity for self deception. See, every time I tried to explain to an alcoholic about what the issue was and how to deal with it, he would flee my reasoning, he would escape from my facts, into a new thought that protected him from the truth. I saw this again and again. I couldn't corner them with the truth, they'd always sneak out a back door. 

The point is this: We aren’t going to really heal unless we get totally honest with ourselves. We have to share what is really going on. We have to stop lying to ourselves, and tell the truth. The truth will set us free. If we let it. 


"Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked."
-John 5:1-9 NIV


What was the first thing Jesus asked the crippled man? The first question Jesus asked him was: “Do you want to get to well?” And that is the first question Jesus asked me when I cried out to him, and he became my savior. "Do you want to be free from drugs and alcohol?" And I said yes, I’m willing to finally get real about this problem.

I need that today too. With every issue and sin that crops up in my life. Because there are always more things to work on. So I have to say to Jesus time and again, yes Lord, now I’m ready and willing that you should have all of me. I want to get well.

The cool thing about our savior Jesus Christ is that he takes people like you and me, and heals us over time, and then compels us to go out and help those with the struggles we have gone through. As someone who has recovered from addiction issues, I can relate to and reach those with the same problems in a way others simply can not. So let me challenge you, if you’d been through some stuff, think about how God can use that to bless others who are hurting. 





Resources for Healing:
The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Frank Minirth
Free to Be God’s Child Workbook by Patricia Johnson-Laster
The Anger Workbook by Les Carter
The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson
Beating Burnout by Minirth and Meier
Everyman’s Battle: The Path to Sexual Integrity by Stephen Arterburn
CelebrateRecovery.com
Aa.org / NA.org
www.aacc.net/resources/find-a-counselor/
Healing the Child Within by Charles Whitfield
The Lies We Believe by Chris Thurman
Boundaries by Henry Cloud
Victory over the Darkness by Neil T. Anderson
Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
The Worry Workbook by Les Carter
Self-Esteem, Gift from God by Ruth Ward

Related Posts:
  1. Christianity in the Public Square
  2. Expert Testimony: the Demise of Evolution, Complexity in DNA
  3. Expert Testimony: Intelligent Design, Archaeology, and Historicity
  4. The Great American Culture War: Religious Liberty, Gay Rights, Naturalism and the Christian Faith
  5. What is the matrix?
  6. Logic, History, Statistics, & Astronomy: Interdisciplinary approaches to the Truth Claims of Christianity
  7. Does man need God in Western Civilization
  8. Real Christianity: Clothing, Buildings, Money, & Extravagance
  9. Seven Objections to the Bible and Seven Reasonable Responses
  10. 10 Answers to Common Questions Raised by Skeptics

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How to be an Effective Heritage Action Sentinel on Social Media

Statue of the "Minute Man" via Wikimedia CC 2.0
The Heritage Action Sentinel program is a stroke of genius in the realm of political change.  Few organizations truly realize the potential in assembling cohesive grassroots movements.  Many organizations simply fund raise and throw money at problems, but the real lasting change is found in individual activism and the spreading of information through new media.

Even if you aren't affiliated with Heritage Action's Sentinel program, keep reading, and learn how to engage in effective political activity on social media.  It's fun, it's effective, and it's a great service to your country.  

Sentinel.
1. a person or thing that watches or stands as if watching.
2. a soldier stationed as a guard to challenge all comers and prevent a surprise attack

Many fail to understand the potential in online political activity.  The knee jerk reaction of the older generation is to laugh off the internet as a region of trolls, jokes, and foolishness.  That might've effectively described the state of the internet 10-12 years ago.  Today it is a much different place.  The internet is slowly but surely pushing aside television.  The internet and talk radio have grown as regions where the flowering of conservative thought have developed into growing principled movements.  

The internet is a powerful forum for the discussion of ideas.  In particular, social media has grown into a place where ideas can be shared.  In that fold of ideas is politics and political causes.  

So your a burgeoning young (or older) political activist.  How can you engage your neighbors via the internet and social media?  

First of all you should create a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and a Google+ account.  There are many other options for social media accounts, but these are the largest.  Once you've created these accounts, you need to build them up.  

On Facebook.com that means adding friends, creating your profile, and posting good content.  The maximum friend count is currently 5,000.  Add people you know, and "like" pages like The Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action, the American Family Association, the Family Research Center, the Media Research Center, The Federalist, Conservative Review, Alliance Defending Freedom, Marriage Conservation, The Resurgent, and many other pages.  When you see good political posts from these pages, reshare them on your timeline.  

On Twitter.com you'll want to create your account, build your profile so it looks nice, and then begin to "follow" others.  I usually go through and follow right up to the maximum of 5,000. In turn about 1,000-2,000 of these accounts will follow you back.  Then when you "tweet" they'll see those tweets on their accounts.  It's good to follow people in your area first, then follow political accounts around the web as well.  You can "retweet" content from any of the afor mentioned political organizations, or create your own tweets.  The trick for Twitter is that every tweet must be under 140 characters long.  You can tweet links, images, or even videos.  One of the tricks of twitter is to use #hashtags.  Some popular sentinel and conservative hashtags include: #conservatives #evangelicals #teaparty #heritageaction #heritage #ccot #tcot #faith #GOP #republican #libertarian #nohearingsnovotes #dontdraftourdaughters.  There are many others as well.  Pay attention to hashtags used by Heritage Action and other sentinels.  One of the best ways to make sure your impacting your political leaders is tweeting @ someone.  Say if I want to tell my congressmen that I want him to support the First Amendment Defense Act #FADA I would tweet "@RepSeanDuffy Please support the 1st amend def act #FADA."  When I tweet the message in such a way, it will show up on Sean Duffy's twitter timeline.  

On Google+ you can create a profile either through your gmail account or by creating a Google+ profile account.  I don't interact too much on Google+ but you can follow up to 5,000 people and they can add you back.  I tend to just repost content from Youtube, Facebook, and other pages onto Google+.  I have a decent following on there, but I don't interact too much.  But feel free to explore Google+ and generate activity on there.  We need trail blazers in the conservative movement to engage in new areas.

Additional social media sites include: Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit.com, VK, Flickr, Vine, Meetup, Ask.fm, Classmates, Sound Cloud, and many others.  

Explore, establish new outposts of conservatism, and build into new regions. One of the best things you can do is be creative and imaginative.  Use your own ideas and try out new things.  Engage on new platforms and engage in new ways.  We need innovation, and it's up to you to find new ways to reach people not just in the United States but across the world.  

Another effective way of reaching people on the internet is through blogging.  I started the blog your reading now in early 2013.  I had written for several newspapers and magazines.  I'd been published a few times on Yahoo! News and other websites.  But I was largely an unknown.  I used blogger.com to start my blog and three years later I'd reached nearly a quarter million people in fifty+ countries.  If your a good writer or you just love writing definitely consider starting a blog with a free platform like blogger.com or wordpress.com.  It's a lot of fun, and you can potentially reach millions.  

Side Note: Blogging doesn't have to be just writing articles.  Many of the most viewed blogs are video blogs hosted on Youtube.com. If you have a good computer that can edit video, consider starting a video blog.  Video is definitely the latest trend in the internet, whether on social media or on Youtube, more people are viewing videos on the web than ever before.  Another option for blogging is creating a podcast.  You can host your content on sites like Sound Cloud or Itunes.  Do you have a gift for the spoken word?  Start a podcast!

If your feeling ambitious you can create several blogs.  I have seven blogs that I routinely aggregate content to and write for.  It's fun and effective.  You can do the same with Facebook accounts.  I personally have three Facebook accounts that I share content on, plus five Facebook pages.  In addition, I have built a Twitter presence of thirty-six accounts that I share content to everyday via a free program called Tweetdeck.com.  Of course it took me the last four years to build up that kind of presence on the internet and social media.  But it all starts with a few clicks, and eventually years later your building on your progress and making decent waves on the web.  Start small and think big over the long term.

One thing I try to tell sentinels is that we need to work as a team.  And I don't mean that in terms of just helping out other sentinels.  I mean we have to think of ourselves as ambassadors of Constitutional conservative principles and Judaeo-Christian thought.  And we can't be selfish about it.  I don't just share content from Heritage Action and the Heritage Foundation.  I consider myself an activist for dozens of organizations, charities, and outlets.  I routinely post content, petitions, media, articles, and other content from Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, The Center for Medical Progress, MRC.org, the ACLJ, School Choice, Article V Convention of States, The Federalist, The Daily Wire, the Ben Shapiro Show, The Blaze radio, the Mark Levin Show, AFA.net, The Family Research Institute, Focus on the Family, The Resurgent, Conservative Review, Reasonable Faith, Cross Examined, RZIM, The Rebel Media, Louder with Crowder, Life News, Christian Post, The Stream, Paul Joseph Watson, Reason Magazine, Prager University, The Libertarian Republic, the Hoover Institute, Campus Reform, The Reagan Library, National Review, Breitbart.com, and of course the Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action. These organizations are all important parts of the foundation of our national identity in our ideological battle against the secular progressives.  One thing that all of these organizations lack is dedicated political activists willing to support them, protect them, and spread their powerful content across the interwebs.  We can be the force that supports and unifies these organizations into a grassroots movement that reclaim our nation from the corruption of the socialist leftists.  

Being a Heritage Action Sentinel is much like being a minuteman.  We work day and night in our communities to light the brush fires of liberty in the hearts of men and women.  We spread the truth via social media and blogs to those who have heard nothing but the lies set forth by the entrenched television media.  We are alert at any moment to step up and meet dangers to our nation from ideological fruit baskets like the progressive left who seek to change and redefine everything in our society to fit their twisted, corrupt agenda of redistribution of wealth, enforced equality, and supplanting of the core foundations of our Constitution.  

Take on the challenge of standing up for your nation.  Begin to educate yourself on the key issues of our day.  Build a social media presence.  It is very effective in the spreading of ideas.  Any activist ought to know that politics is the last effect of ideas that are spread in the culture.  If we can spread constitutionalism, conservatism, limited government, free markets, personal responsibility, Christian faith, and unalienable rights in the realm of ideas our work in the political realm will be fait accompli.  So get to work sentinel, build your social media presence, stay active on the Sentinel Hub, sign petitions, write emails to your Congressional leaders, start campaigns, and spread the core ideals that made our country great.  God be with you.

Minute Man Statue, via Wikimedia Images CC 2.0
P.S. Feel free to add my accounts on social media and share the content I aggregate.  Here are links to my accounts:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dead Churches, Visions of Glory, and Apologetics Blogs


The older generation, oi vey, they just don't get it do they?  They act like we're on some sort of pleasure cruise to heaven.  I really can't understand it myself.  These churches will be dead in ten, twenty, thirty, or fourty years.  Many are dead today.  Why?  There is no effort to reach out.  There is little effort to reach the young, millennials.  It's really quite concerning to me.  It's of the gravest concern.

There was a dream that William Booth had.  He was standing on a platform with many others.  And the platform stood atop a raging sea.  The people on the platform were working out, holding potlucks, playing music instruments, conducting business transactions, and other activities.  In the water were hundreds of people floating in the murky waters, on the raging sea, dying.  Only a few on the edges were tossing out life preservers to those in the water.  And he was astonished, desperately concerned for those in the waters, and disturbed by the indifference of those on the platform who seemed to pay no concern to the ones in the water.

Ellen White the founder of the SDA church had a dream of working with others picking berries from ripe bushes.  And she saw that only a few were gathering from the ripe bushes.  While the rest did many other things, stood around talking, ate fine meals with one another, and paid no attention.  She rushed to the bushes picking from them, noticing many fell over-ripe from the branches.  And she was astonished. 

K.P. Yohannan, before his fall from grace, had a vision of a great harvest.  And there were no workers in the great wheat fields.  He tried to cross into the field, but a river was blocking his path.  Then a bridge appeared before him and he crossed it.  And he was astonished.  

Does anyone care?  Are we concerned for those around us dying everyday?  Are we fighting to reach the lost with the gospel?  It's important to look to the future.  And it ain't looking good.  Yet there is reason for great hope as well.  

The church is divided.  There seem to be great variations regarding level of engagement.  Sold out on one end, barely interested on the other.  Many at various points in between.  One could say much the same for political engagement.  It's the true believers that change the world.  It's the genuine Christians who change the world.

I think many churches have missed young people, especially those between 18 and 35.

When someone feels that something has been missed, by the media, by the church, or by the political world, the natural response is to try and raise awareness. Through the internet we have that ability. 

There are hundreds of Christian apologetics blogs that cropped up over the past 10 years, because the church simply doesn't talk about apologetics enough. And young people are enthusiastic about it. 

In politics, anti-establishment movements, socialist Bernie Sanders, conservative Ted Cruz gained grassroots support through social media, everyday people trying to close the gap of the mainstream media and news. I try to do the same through social media, to compensate the lack of coverage of key issues in popular media.

In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. -Ecclesiastes 8:14b

 I was wondering to myself.. why do I feel so upset in this world? Well, I figured it out. God put a scripture before me about Lot in Sodom & Gomorrah. From 2nd Peter 2:7-8 "that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard." 

 It is downright tormenting to witness those around us, dressed the way they are, living the way they are, alcohol, drugs, selfishness, pornography, pre-marital sex, Christianity openly mocked in the media, the television, the rated R movies full of violence and sex, it's a constant bombardment everyday, and everyday more news comes in of shooting, corruption, and hostility toward religious freedom. It's a difficult thing to be a Christian in a nation that has turned from God. It really is tough.

Yet I continue to believe we have great reasons to be hopeful.  People are beginning to wake up.  The internet has provided a solid foundation for grassroots to Christianity to take off.  We get to bypass the megachurches, the money takers on television, and talk straight with one another, from small churches all over the country.  It's a great opportunity.  It's creating a movement, an awakening of knowledge and wisdom within evangelicalism.  We're connecting with one another, and reconnecting with our theological past.  We're sharing quotes, books, ideas, and theology all over the place on social media.  It's really awesome.  

Bottom line is, if we see division, corruption, false converts, and true believers mixed together in the church, then we're seeing exactly what the Bible tells us.  Jesus taught in his parables that God the Father is allowing the wheat and the weeds to grow together.  The wheat are the true believers, the weeds the false converts.  We shouldn't be surprised by these divisions.  We shouldn't be surprised when it seems like half the congregation is disengaged and the other half is on fire.  That is normal.  In fact in Paul's letters in the NT we see time and again that the churches then dealt with the most severe problems.  Many of those churches dealt with issues like sexual immorality, false doctrine, divisions, and lack of oneness.  In addition, in Revelation when Jesus Christ speaks to the seven ancient churches he points out serious concerns within all of them.  So we shouldn't be surprised.  

We shouldn't be surprised.  But we should be active.  We have to be careful to not drift away from the truth.  We have to be grounded in the truth, over the long term.  Are we part of Spirit filled churches?  Are we carrying the message into our community?  

I've learned that if I'm the only one carrying the message into the community, so be it.  Then I'll do it alone!  If I'm one of many, then all the better.  Either way, keep carrying the message.  And fight the sins that entangle us.  We aren't on a pleasure cruise to heaven, we're on a battleship fighting to keep the souls of man out of hell.


Related Posts:
  1. Take a Stand Like Daniel: Being a counter-culture warrior
  2. Sermon: Purity of the Heart & Holiness
  3. The Divine Mysteries of Jesus Christ
  4. Sermon: Fighting the Good Fight of the Faith
  5. The Great Pillars of Society: Morality & Religion
  6. The War on Principles & the Hope in our Worldview
  7. Take a Stand on Key Issues: Addiction, Abortion
  8. Politics & God
  9. Comprehending the Truth about America
  10. Be a Powerhouse Christian Battleship