Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review of "American Sniper"


Review of American Sniper:

I am a conservative patriotic American, but I have described the movie American Sniper in one word: TRASH. The subject matter is superb and the story is about a true hero! However, the movie repulsed me within thirty seconds, and that was it for the movie.

I heard more curse words in two hours than I ever heard in real life in thirty years combined! What's more the writers seem to have a limited repertoire of curse words, using three throughout the movie over and over again: Of course the "f" word, the "s: word and the gd word. The "F' word was the filler between the rounds of ammunition fired and coming just as fast! The entire plot was lost in a deluge of filth, not only with soldiers, but with wives, children and girl friends.

While this movie explored heroes on the battlefield, it portrayed Americans as vulgar and crass. No wonder the Muslims consider us devils! With the movie's emphasis on gutter talk and sexual innuendo, what else could they think?

I soon closed my eyes while it was on, thought about this movie and was ashamed! Ashamed that I was there. Ashamed that Christians were laughing at filth, and ashamed that America's morals have deteriorated so! We are no longer a nation of God it seems.

George Washington posted this order against profanity:
 "The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing, a vice hitherto little known in our American Army is growing into fashion. He hopes that the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it and that both they and the men will reflect that we can little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our army if we insult it by our impiety and folly. Added to this it is a vice so mean and low without any temptation that every man of sense and character detests and despises it."
Can you imagine Sgt. Alvin York using the "f" word, let alone the gd one?  Righteous people win wars with God's aid because they're righteous! Why do Americans expect victory when we fail to behave for the One who prospers us?

This movie, albeit patriotic in nature, is no more than another Hollywood trash movie written to their own lack of morality standards! Christians should look elsewhere for entertainment because we should not pleasure in evil. I fail to believe that our American boys serving so close to death curse that frequently with such a lack of intelligent speech! I can't believe this movie accurately represents those who fight for their country. If it does, then we're in trouble and George Washing ton saw it coming.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Recipe for Disaster OR Tasty Cakes

I love Tasty Cakes! I love them so well that I always share them. I love to give Tasty Cakes to kids so that they can enjoy them too! The cakes of some aren't so tasty. I prefer Tasty Cakes, but the recipe for Untasty Cakes is Disaster!

What is the most disastrous thing you can think of right now? Perhaps it's the loss of a child, parent or sibling; even your best friend or spouse? More than family, maybe it's your fortune for which you have worked so hard. For others it may be the loss of reputation or power. Everyone hangs onto something which loss would be the "end of the world". What most of us dread is the ultimate disaster... the death of ourselves. People dread dying. Christians dread dying, although death for a Christian is not a disaster, but is reward.

Disasters are those things which destroy what's important to us. For a Christian, death is the cessation of life. Temporal life should not be important to us, for it's promised to be replaced by eternal life... yet we all dread dying. Are we that shallow that we dread that we should be looking forward? In fact why should we look forward to eternal life?

It's called "salvation" for a reason. People turn to Christ to save themselves... from eternal torment... from hell. However, Christians have hope. It's not hope that we avoid hell. It's hope in something better than what we have here and we seek eternal life because:
Luke 14:14 (ESV) "And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.
We desire heaven so that we'll be blessed. It's a better place than it is here and when we arrive in our new home, we truly shall be blessed! Although heaven is a better place than here, and so much better than hell, people don't seem to care about where they spend their afterlife. Of all the subjects to speak on, "religion", especially Christianity, intimidates the most people extremely. There is one thing which is in the recipe for eternal death. It's not a secret ingredient, and most people have it.
Luke 12:10 (ESV) "And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."
This is what's called a "hard teaching", but it's that extra ingredient which makes the recipe for death so potent! First off, salvation is through Jesus only. There is no other way! It would seem that speaking ill of Jesus is what damns, but it's not by speaking ill of our Savior, but of the Holy Spirit! Why is that?
Luke 23:34 "Then said Jesus 'Father, forgive them. They know not what they do!'
Jesus has already asked that God forgive those who speak against him because they are ignorant people. Ignorance can be forgiven! However, the Holy Spirit was left here as our guide. He's the one who leads and directs us:
 Acts 5:32  (KJV) "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."
We are to obey the Holy Ghost! As we move around in this world, which by the way, belongs temporarily to the devil, the Holy Spirit keeps us safe, guides our spiritual life and is our aid in righteousness. He comforts us when distressed and leads us away from temptation. He "guards our hearts", so if we reject the One to whom we are to obey, that's blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and is a rejection of God here on earth... and for that people "will not be forgiven"!

Blaspheming is talking about God or his word with disrespect. It's irreverence for his doctrine. At some time, some place and some where in one's life, they must accept the doctrine of Christ, he being God. His doctrine is clear: Salvation through Jesus only and one receives the free gift by faith. If this doctrine is not followed, that's blasphemy.Non-Christians who blaspheme are damned because they were never saved in the first place, but blasphemy restores Christians who do so to a fallen state.
Hebrews 6:4 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."
This is called apostasy. It's those who "were once enlightened" and have been "made partakers of the Holy Ghost" and "fall away". It's clear that this is the unpardonable sin.  For those who have received the Holy Ghost it's to kick him out of their temple.
1 Corinthians 6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
Here's the scenario: You become saved and are filled with the Holy Ghost. Your soul within your body becomes God's temple where his Spirit resides. Inside that temple is the Holy of Holies. God sits on the mercy seat of your heart. As such, you have been enlightened. You are to obey the Holy Ghost. If you continue to obey the Holy Ghost the race is finished. You are rewarded with your heavenly home. However, if you "fall away" from your "enlightenment" and reject what's in you, then that's blasphemy! Congratulations! You have just followed the recipe for disaster!

There are various ingredients in the "Recipe to Disaster", but here is one such recipe:

  • Failure to think about the recipe. Merely throwing ingredients into the mix means untasty cakes.
  • Being apathetic about the taste of things to come. You can do without that tasty cake. The cake you have is ample and you enjoy it.
  • You may care about the tasty cake, but are careless. You don't think you deserve such good cake. You don't even try!
  • Good tasty cakes are a mystery. It has to have an ingredient of love. If the cake is made by following a good recipe, and the secret ingredient is not added, the cake falls!
  • Making tasty cakes requires sincerity. You've made many untasty cakes and son't want to make any more. You must be sincere this time, but yet you're not! You still want to use your own recipe, although with it you have always made untasty cakes.
  • You must accept the recipe for tasty cakes. Pride will ruin tasty cakes. You must turn to a good baker and use his recipe. However, you fail to do so!
  • The ingredients for a good cake is: love, charity, hope, faith and several more. You try to make tasty cakes without those ingredients and it falls flat!
  • The good baker has a gift for you. It's his recipe for tasty cakes and a baker's helper to turn to for grace, the main ingredient of tasty cakes.
  • By faith you know that the good baker and his recipe makes tasty cakes, but you have more faith in yourself. Your nemesis tells you constantly that you don't need the good baker and that your own recipe is superb! You listen to your nemesis.
  • You go ahead and make your own cake!  The Judge looks at you in pity. You walk off the platform and are never to taste of really good cake. Your recipe led to disaster!
  • Some of you go ahead and accept the recipe and the baker's helper. You make the cake as directed and it is truly tasty! You enjoy tasty cakes for awhile, but your nemesis keeps on telling you about his tastier cakes. You try one of his and really like his cake. This is what you used to eat and you look back at all the tasty cakes you had before you met the good baker. You fail to realize that the taste of the cake was all artificial and will cause cancer. It just tastes good and you don't think about the cancer.
  • You always seem to eat the artificial tasty cakes and forget the goodness of the real thing. Your good baker's helper gives up on you because you continually insult his recipe and fail to obey what it takes to make good cakes.
  • You eat the artificial cake until it destroys you. You have cancer throughout. You try to bake a few good cakes on your own, but you try using your own recipe again. You die. You destroy yourself by eating toxic recipes! Then at your death you turn toward the good baker and ask for a little more of his tasty cake. He says "Who are you? I never knew you!" Your cakes become your agony. You remember all the good cakes and all the bad! If only you had a chance to bake tasty cakes again! But, alas, the oven is overheated and tasty cakes are never good in the heat of the kitchen!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jesus in 4D

For years space has been defined by Cartesian Coordinates. Any point in the universe is described by a x,y,z axis each which has two directions; negative or positive. This translates, for instance; into up and down, back and forth and two directions of side movement. However, science has since shown that there is a fourth dimension.  Minkowski continuum is called spacetime with the forth dimension being time. However, the fourth dimension is not limited to time, but can be spatial as well!

The concept of "casting of shadows" defines the fourth dimension quite well. When a shadow is cast on a 3D object a 2D image is cast. If a shadow was cast on a 2D object in a 2D world it would have a 1D shadow. By contrast a shadow cast on a 4D object in a 4D world would have a 3D shadow!

A stereographic projection of a Clifford Torus (a wire donut) would resemble a rotating wire tunnel. At times it would be seen from the outside and resemble an oscillating wire donut, and at other times, from the inside, and resemble a "worm hole". There are  several other projections in the fourth dimension, but these are some of the general ideas. There is a 4D world out there and what we see here from our viewpoint is mostly seen in 3D. We are blind to the 4th Dimension. However, it's not supernatural, but it is real!

The Four Gospels are four dimensions of Jesus! Gospels are truths about Jesus Christ. It's the story of Jesus from four dimensions! It's a 4D view of Jesus: God, Son of God, Son of Man and the Word. We can look at the first three as 3D. Jesus is Emanuel (God with us), he was born of the Holy Spirit and is the Son of God and he was born of Mary and is the Son of Man. Jesus has a 3D shadow in a 4D World and the fourth dimension is time. Coincidentally, or I should say, "God planned it!", the Book of John presents the spacetime 4D aspect of Jesus by being the only book to describe his always being with God! Let me explain:
John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."
Jesus was always. He was there "in the beginning", he "dwelt among us" and he's "everlasting":

 1 Timothy 6:14b "...until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate (Powerful Ruler), the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting."

God's name is "I AM". He is what he says he is:
Revelation 22:13 " I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."
Time is the 4th Dimension for God. Since Jesus and God are one, Jesus is timeless. Although Jesus, the Word, has been since the beginning and always will be,  time describes his existence! The Word is the fourth dimension of Jesus!

There are four gospels. Of the four three are "synoptic" and as such are 3D. They provide a general view of the whole. If one looks at the synoptic gospels the same story is viewed from three different directions, each by one person! The synoptic gospels are the first three of the four and describe a 3D view of Jesus. However, scholars believe that the Gospel of John was Johannine in origin, written by the "beloved disciple", but was the truth about Jesus from a multi-layered perspective and by several people. Within the Gospel of John are "miracle accounts" that are not in the synoptic gospels. God claims titles for himself and only in the Book Of John does Jesus claim the same:
"the bread of life"[6:35]
"the light of the world"[8:12]
"the gate of the sheep"[10:7]
"the good shepherd"[10:11]
"the resurrection and the life"[11:25]
"the way, the truth, and the life"[14:6]
"the true vine [15:1]
Hence, the Gospel of John is the fourth view of Jesus and describes the miraculous Jesus in 4D. The synoptic gospels, standing alone, gives a Cartesian view of Jesus, but the Johannine Gospel adds the 4th Dimension! Now we have the spacetime coordinates of Jesus as "The Word" and from the gospels, his mystery, being God!

Another aspect of Jesus describing him in 4D is his "shadow". All things cast shadows when light is shined. The shape and degree of shadow changes from different vantage points. Jesus is peculiar in that with him there is no shadow  and he's the same from whatever viewpoint and time era!
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jesus is the same without regard to perspective. Being light Jesus casts no shadow and those who walk in his light defy the 4th Dimension. They never walk in darkness and their life is always lighted!  Jesus, a 3D man in a 3D world cast a 2D shadow, but because he is Light, there is no shadow there. One would expect to see darkness on the ground where he walked, and in our world, there would be, but in the 4D world of the kingdom of God, Jesus casts no shadow!

I mentioned the 4D aspect of the Clifford Torus earlier. When viewed from the inside it resembled a time tunnel, what scientists call a "worm hole". In such a hole time is meaningless. A body, if able, would travel from point A to point B instantaneously! I believe that Jesus is timeless as well, and that torus describes his timelessness:
2 Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
This does not mean that one day = one thousand years! It means that with God time has no significance. If worm holes exist, and there is evidence that they do, they are of God. Time undefinable is a characteristic of the 4D aspect of Jesus!  Earlier it was recounted that Jesus was in the beginning and always will be in existence. He does that by the divine meaningless of time! The 4D spacetime nature of Christ is infinite. It's measurable only in the presence of what he created, but in the beginning what was there?
Genesis 1:3 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
Light is how time is measured. Before light was, and it came into existence by God willing it, there was darkness and God was within it, he being the only Light there was. The 4D aspect of Jesus is he was before time existed. The lack of measurable time is a 4D aspect of Jesus! That dimension is that he always was because HE IS!

It's obvious that Jesus is more than man. He's more than a 3D image in a 3D world. Although, here he casts a giant shadow, in the 4D kingdom of God, he casts no shadow since he is the Light! He shined for a time in this world and in his place another personality shines forth: the Holy Spirit. Jesus is a personality of God, being the second part of the Holy Trinity, but that's a 3D view of Jesus in a 3D world! There is another dimension of him that God granted. He was transfigured. He received God's glory! That 4D aspect of Jesus is that he received the beauty of God, being  uncomely before, he was transformed!

Jesus truly has four dimensions. The four gospels look at him four different ways, projecting a 4D image of who Jesus is. John added the miraculous power of Jesus to the 3D view from the synoptic gospels and the glorification of Jesus completed the 3D image, seen in 4D when he went to a 4D realm!

Jesus is real! He's more than 3D. He excels above what we perceive. Truly Jesus is God!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tackiness: Expecting when not deserving!

Some things are "tacky"! Those people who engage in tackiness show a lack of good-breeding. Complaining about the good fortune of others is tacky.  Believing that one deserves "things" is tacky! Taking things for granted is tacky. Expecting an "A" for effort is tacky when performance is below that! . In essence tackiness is when those in lesser social-economic classes expect the same as those who are in the higher. It's Cinderella acting the part of princess. That's tacky!
Matthew 20:8 "So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the good man of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us..."
This is the Parable of the Vineyard Workers. The master paid those who worked all day a fair wage, but those who came the last hour were given the same. The master was generous to the first and charitable to the last. It was his prerogative to be generous as he pleased. Those who worked all day weren't appreciative, getting what they agreed to get! They felt that they DESERVED the same as those who worked less received. Gifts aren't given because they are earned, but because of love! No one deserves love. Love is a bonus when one receives it!  Charity, when given by demand, is not out of love!

The workers who came first were tacky!  They DESERVED only what they worked for, but EXPECTED what the others were freely given. That shows a lack of good-breeding. Well-bred people appreciate what they earn, expect nothing for free, and are grateful when they get more when the gift is freely given by others. Expecting and demanding that others GIVE is not in the spirit of charity. It is mild form of terrorism at best. It makes "giving" unpleasant because the gift is given because of extortion!

Let's look at another example:
Mark 10:35 "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
This is interesting because when James and John were picked to follow Jesus, they were promised nothing! Jesus merely "called them" (Mark 1:20a) "and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him." (Mark 20b). Jesus didn't owe them a thing! They came of their own volition, no payment was discussed; not even salvation, but yet, as can be seen in Mark 10:35 they EXPECTED special seating when they got to "glory". In effect, they were called to be servants, but wanted to be royalty. Since Jesus came to serve, and not to be served" it was TACKY that James and John EXPECTED, even felt that they DESERVED special treatment! Rather than being "chiefest" that person "shall be servant of all"!

James and John were mere fisherman. They mended their own nets. Rather than feeling gratitude that they were selected by The Living God to be fellow servants with him, they believed that they deserved special favors! They were Cinderfellows who wanted to be Princes! That is tacky!

Many of us are tacky! As Christians we were given a free gift:
Romans 6:23b "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." 
 This verse says much! What do men DESERVE? Death! What did God GIVE us? Eternal life! Who was gracious enough to be so charitable to die that we might live? Jesus! We were the ones who sinned. We are the ones who deserved punishment. Jesus is the one who was punished for us; but somehow mankind believes that we DESERVE eternal life! That's tacky!!!! That's analogous to the heinous criminal who played charity bingo to reward himself, while expecting to be rewarded for a false act of love! That's tacky!

People deserve only what is theirs; things that they have earned! However, without blessings from God, jobs would not be available, our health isn't guaranteed nor would we be capable of performing the tasks to be paid! We not only owe God for the gift of salvation, but our very existence and livelihood! We owe God big time, but yet, in our pride, we think "I worked hard. I deserve a good life!" What's so ironic about that is that hard workers are motivated and are normally appreciative, while sluggards only imagine that they deserve!

The very ideology of socialism is the I DESERVE mentality because I AM. People, rather than appreciate having, look at what others have, and mistakenly believe that they are entitled to(or DESERVE) the same merely because they exist! They are Cinderfellows and Cinderellas who are wannabe Princes and Princes, albeit without portfolio! Perhaps if those Marxist-minded sluggards would take up their nets and fish, then they might receive the GIFT of God's blessings; and while they're mending those nets, it would do no harm to follow Jesus! To EXPECT things is TACKY when the things belong to others.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Looking for Greener Pastures

When I write it's because I want to change myself, my family to become more cohesive, or I desire a stronger church, I want others to be in God's will or I want to see more people saved! These ideas are noble, but seldom achieved! Even when I am changed, pride increases, and I'm not sure that overall  I'm any more what God wants me to be.

I get disheartened when even I fail to become more Christlike. How can I expect change in my family, church and others if I can't change for the positive myself? It's discouraging when paragraph after paragraph nothing changes! Imagine how the preacher feels!

Preachers are called to tell others about Jesus. However, he's not a historian. Telling others about Jesus has a noble purpose! It's so that people can be saved! That seldom happens for various reasons, chief among them is that those who need to hear the preaching aren't there to hear it. Preachers get tired of "preaching to the choir". It's discouraging for them!

The preacher's mission is to take ravenous wolves and change them into sheep. He's merely the shepherd who watches over them while God does the transformation. The preacher grooms them and tells them about greener pastures, but it's God who provides the greener pastures. Wolves just won't come and sit there with the shepherd. They prefer chasing in the wild and eating sheep! Sinners are just like the wolves.

After a time the shepherd's flock gets smaller. Some stray off and some die. The lambs born into the flock see the wolf cubs chasing tale and want to join the fun. Lambs drift off into wolf land and are eaten alive. Many become lambs in wolves clothing, so to speak!

Before the shepherd retires, the flock is all, but gone. He still tells them of greener pastures, but the pasture where they now graze is satisfying. They have more grass than they desire and do little to share it with those gone astray. They know that wolves don't eat grass, so why bother? The shepherd gets discouraged!

Preachers are the shepherd. The church is just as the flock and the world the wolves. The children of Christians are the lambs who are gone astray or are eaten by wolves, some wearing sheep's clothing, but oftentimes the lambs just want to be wolves too! The preacher gets discouraged!

A discouraged preacher can't be ineffective. The devil uses discouragement to his advantage. A shepherd who's worried that his shepherd skills are ineffective is self-absorbed. How can he persuade others when there is little joy for him. His vocation is his life and the job is empty. Few sheep go to the water and many sheep move on to sweeter streams.

Megapastures, not only offer greener grass and sweeter streams, but they have attendants with fife and drum. Rather than harmony in psalms they have worldly tunes and drumbeats to drive the lambs. The flock has moved to greener pastures where magnifying The Great Shepherd loses out to pampering the flock. The shepherd with the diminished old flock feels more dejected!

Now think on God! He populated this earth so that his creation would commune with him, love him and honor him! That's why we're here! Immediately, his first two lambs ran off with the wolf (in serpent's clothing, no less). Adam and Eve wanted a megapasture with greener grass and more pleasure, although the pasture they already had was the greenest of all! Think how God felt!

Consider God now. Nothing has changed. Oh, it's gotten worse with time. Most of his lambs have become real wolves. Most people eat the flesh and mostly from rotting animals. Not physically rotten, but a rotten stench coming from within. A odorous ketosis from the empty soul. God gets discouraged. He went into this knowing in advance that he would be rejected. However, he valued even the few who would love and honor him! It was worth it! God loves us all in spite of the wild canine desires that we have.

How much does God love us? Think of the value of the Lamb. He was the most prime Lamb without blemish. The firstborn and God's pride and joy! God voluntarily allowed that Lamb to be sacrificed in our place, although we're the evil lambs, even wolves! After the sacrifice, most still reject the Good Shepherd in favor of megapleasure. Satan runs that pasture and although the grass is bare, people flock there because that's where the pleasure lies. They don't worry about the withering grass and the oncoming drought. The grass will become stubble and burn up, but lost lambs still eat at the contaminated stream because it has deception flowing in it.

God too is discouraged. He has he right to be! Even his mature sheep are eating tainted grass. There is a gate to a permanent pasture right there in front of all the sheep. The wolves can take it too! They can't see the gate because it's narrow. Few will take it because there are requirements to enter through the gate. That ravenous appetite for the flesh must be quenched by the Spirit of love. All the wolves and lost sheep must allow themselves to be tamed and submit to the Great Shepherd. They are to become the sacrifice it takes to enter in. Few take it. God is discouraged, but is elated when even one sheep enters in!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sensitivity Vs. Insensitivity

There is a war going on out there and sometimes it's also within! Of course most Christians fail to believe in demons, although Jesus did! 
Luke 4:4 "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil.... 3a And the devil said unto him... 4a And Jesus answered him...5a And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain... 6a And the devil said unto him...8a And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan... 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season."
Here we have Jesus speaking (and battling) with the devil who most Christians give no credibility. Jesus spoke with the devil and the devil spoke back! The devil is real, he has many names among them Prince, Satan and Lucifer; and the angel who masquerades as of light. He's not the man in the red suit with the pitchfork and horns. That's of course Satan's caricature that others make of him so that he would not be a serious personality! Rather look at who Satan really is:
 Job 1:6 "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them."
Jude 1:6 "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
Satan is an angel. One who rebelled against God before we ever were!  He's beautiful, sings and can be quite pleasing if it's to his advantage. We're not dealing with a tricky red devil, but a brilliant deceptive angel. Jesus stood up to him, but without Jesus, it's guaranteed, you can't, and if Jesus is ignored even for a spell, it's at your own peril!

The things of the world are divided into two realms. They are "good" and "evil". It is black and white. Shades of gray are part of the deception of the devil. "Good" are the things of God because he, and only he, is "good". Evil is the wiles of the devil. It's unrighteousness to make you fall! From where is it a person falls? It's mankind who falls, falls from communion with God. When men submit to evil, they set themselves apart from God and are subject to defeat. God offers armor, but if we step out into the battlefield without putting on the full armor of God. we become vulnerable!

If we truly believe, we are aware that there is a war going on and as such, we're not to support the enemy, flagrantly or carelessly.
Matthew 12:30a "He that is not with me is against me..."
This is pretty clear! We all are with God or against him. There is no middle ground. Salvation, those having a born-again experience, are as God said, "with me". Those who reject salvation as God said "is against me". There is no middle ground, yet there are activities, behaviors, beliefs, and emotions, among other things, that reflect whose side we're really on!

God is all "good". He has a desire not to be in the presence of evil:
 Habuckkuck 1:13a "Thou (God) art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity..."
A better rendering of this in continuity with scripture is that "God cannot overlook iniquity." (my words). If it's in his presence, it's anathema to him! However, in the kingdom of God there is no evil! To be righteous is to endeavor to be sinless. Often we will fail, but God knows our desires. If we approach sinful acts rather than flee from them, it's shows no desire to do God's will! Here's how Christians are to perform:
 James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
This is the strategy for using the full armor of God! Christians submit themselves to do God's will. Christians reject things which are evil, and armed in that manner, the devil will flee from you. In order to submit and resist, it's necessary to know what to do and not do, and what to believe or not believe and what emotions are Godly and what are of the flesh! A Christian must be sensitive to the will of God in order to submit to him, and sensitive to the pleasures offered by the devil in order to have the devil flee.

Those who are non-sensitive to the will of God are insensitive. They become calloused from not doing God's will and acclimating themselves to the guilt proffered by the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 13:15a "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed..."
People who engage in "benign" (sic) sin become acclimated to sin. Sin ceases to bother them because it's part of their milieu.  In short their "heart" becomes calloused from rejection of God's Holy Spirit. Satan is patient. He starts small and before a sinner knows it... bingo... you're his and aren't even aware of it!

Satan is a smart prince. He deceives his and also God's subjects, just a little at a time, until there is little difference between those who belong to God's Kingdom and the Fleshly Kingdom. One of Satan's tactics is to throw in some "good" to make his "evil" palatable to Christians:
Mark 13:22 "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect (Christians)."
There are those who will say "This is Good!" What is being sold is fake wares. Just a little "Jesus", liberty, patriotism, family, "goodness" and other positive things, to make one accept the trash that goes with it! "It's free, I'll take the package and ignore the trash!" you think, but you ARE DECEIVED. Only Jesus has the power to defeat Satan and you are no match. Look at my sensitivity scale:

Some things are easy to be sensitive to and others are not! Even what's "salvation" is on Satan's deception list. Most believe that salvation must be earned by being good. Satan smiles at you believing his lies!

"Rejecting God" is easy too! Atheists easily accept themselves as an alternative to God. However, some "Christians" reject God by making him what he's not, or having other things more important than him. Most people are "prideful", seek self-gratification and reject God by worshiping the "Self" all the while saying that they believe in God!

My scale is for demonstration purposes only. It's merely a reflection of activities and beliefs and the order is not perfect by any means. It's shown to amplify those activities, emotions and behaviors, sort of what I called "benign" sins. However, that is merely how people see the sins. No sin is benign to God! That's important!

When we are at play, at work, mingling with family and friends and many so-called "benign" activities, there are things which are of God because God is the author of daily activities. Shamefully, the devil uses our daily activities for his own agenda. He tries, and does, sneak things in whatever we do to callous our hearts by ceasing to feel guilty with these so-called minor sins!

Work is noble. It's by God's design that we are to work! However, if we work to the extent that we neglect God, family and friends, then we have been deceived. Those who live for promotions and monetary gain are pulled away from God a little at a time until God has no significance in their lives! Satan smiles.

Our entertainment is the most pervasive! Sin is spread throughout entertainment and Christians believe we can ignore the evil so that we can pleasure in the "good" portion. However, we must remember that the devil uses some "good" to seduce even believers! The entertainment industry makes no attempt to hide Satan's wares! They are blatant in presenting Satan's agenda and Christians still sign up for the duration, all the while thinking, "I can pick and choose on what I focus!" You have been deceived and Satan smiles!

I remember when television was in its early stages. Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, as well as Ozzie and Harriet, slept in twin beds so that not even a hint of impropriety was involved! Gradually, couples moved to single beds. Then unmarried people slept together. Next came passionate kissing, then sex under the covers. Now movies have what appears to be actual sex and Christians are still there tuned in for the next episode. They have become calloused and their heart's have grown hard as Satan did his own type of  massage on our hearts.

Christians believe they are now enlightened and can battle Satan just as Jesus did! Unawares to them, their communion with God is already in trouble, and in short time, many will fail to consider God at all! As an example, when I go ahead and shirk what the Spirit tells me to do or not to do, and do it my way anyhow, my prayer and praise life cannot be effective because I am out of God's will! To know that, a Christian must be sensitive to what is being done, felt or thought! If I do "benign" things with evilness a portion, then the evil which is not possible to ignore, effects my Christian walk. I can't pray for others effectively when it's me that needs prayer!

Some are insensitive! Bad things occurring with the "good" goes unnoticed! Insensitive Christians are already in trouble because that are not submitting to the will of God and are not resisting evil. They are like the proverbial woman running from the villain: they trip and fall, only to have the villain overtake and kill them!

Those who think of themselves as sophisticated and enlightened from the dangers of trash, are the most susceptible to become part of the trash!

Christians today have shallow standards for "benign" activities. They will steal pencils and paper as they work without thinking anything about it. They skip church to watch ballgames and think nothing about it! They don't take the effort to tell their friend who is dying about Jesus and think nothing about it! They will watch a tawdry movie and think nothing about it!

Yes, Christians set standards. Read some: "If a movie has more than four or five curse words, I won't watch it! If a television show shows full-frontal nudity I won't watch it. If that Cosmopolitan feature touts abortion, I'll skip that part!" You get the idea: Christians are not using God's standards. They're creating their own and the devil is their adviser! Satan smiles at those "standards" for they are his, not God's!

Think on these things! Be sensitive to God's will and respect God. Have some Christian principles. Don't pay those by watching their produce when their produce is rotten. You wouldn't buy trash at the grocery store, but look at you at the movies and in front of the television! Get out of the "trash" business and into the "serving God" vocation.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why call that Good?

I've heard the description so much the last few days that American Sniper is "so good". I beg to differ, not using my standards nor the world's, but Gods:
Matthew 19:17 And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God:
"Goodness" is reserved for God! Sure we use the expression to describe mundane things all the time, but "goodness" is a characteristic of God, and too many people too often apply evil things as "good". Is it so strange that in English "God" and "Good" are distinguished by only one letter "o"? It's as if it was meant to be! I suppose that the "o" could mean "ordinary" because if we take the "ordinary" out of "Good", it leaves "God"! Since the ordinary is the mundane, perhaps the "ordinary" should be taken from the "good" and "good" be used for extraordinary things, meaning God.

"American Sniper is a "good" movie" they say. It may have been "done well", have exact acting, represent life to a tee, be patriotic, honor fallen men or praise America's prowess is protecting us, but the movie was not "good"! It used evil to entertain. Filthy words, cursing, sexual performances and the like are not "good". They are evil! Those watching American Sniper were not watching a "good" movie. It was evil they were watching! Even the glorification of killing is something we should not watch for pleasure.  It too is evil!

God does not honor the proud. It's the meek who shall inherit the earth. Rather than magnifying our soldiers for fighting our battles and winning, but crediting God for the grace in protecting a people once his! How do we repay God? We honor his support by using filthy language and cursing? God cannot be honored by evil and evil men aren't great! They can do great things, but greatness is much more than killing for our nation. Greatness is crediting God for what each of us are enabled to do!

Throughout the Old Testament, and an example are the fallen walls of Jericho, God either used few men or no men to destroy the enemies. At Jericho the men walked around the city and God destroyed the barrier walls and the enemies. It is God that did "good" and people were no more than distracting witnesses! At other times God did use mere men, and David is an example, but it wasn't David who killed Goliath, it was God. Goliath was killed by faith in God! In the movie American Sniper, there was no evidence in faith in God, but fearful men putting fear aside in support of their nation. That's noble, but "goodness" goes beyond heroic performances!

The question "What would Jesus do?" (WWJD) provides an answer for me every time... if I only listen to God  rather than others. "Should I sit in a movie such as that?' What would Jesus do? The answer is obvious: Christ is Christlike and filthy lucre is not righteous. Jesus would not and could not be entertained by filth, yet here we Christians, sit there and listen to Gatling-gun-like filth, and then go to church and praise God! How ironic! We honor God by being righteous not unrighteous:
Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
Matthew 13:43a Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Being pleasured by the things of the world is NOT "thirsting after righteousness"! It is setting aside "what's right and pure" for a time so that we can enjoy being served from the platter of Satan. It's the devil and his angels who present "f this" and "sh that" and "gd it". Sitting in Satan's slime is not righteousness and while we're sitting in the slime Satan smiles. We are set apart, but we're sanctified in evil.

Do we go "directly to jail" as the jailbird in Monopoly does? God metes out punishment, not me thankfully, and God is merciful. He knows that mankind is prone to fall for deception! We always did and we always will! However, "the righteous shine forth as the sun". Those who faithfully follow and obey God will get some type of extra "crown" in heaven. I assure you, that crown will be worth so much more than a two-hour movie and that's what we do in trade to miss that crown!
1 Corinthians 6:9a "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived..."
I find myself sitting in a movie house! A pastor from a local church enjoins me on-screen "enjoy the movie as he smiles and goes in himself". I am there and ready to watch! I had seen many previews and read reviews. None had forewarned me of what I was about to see! Within 30 seconds I was astounded at the enormity of filth it was too late to undo. Rather than leaving and set an example. I failed! I stayed so as not to offend others, although I was offending God! I had just been "deceived", but scripture tells me "be not deceived!". Who deceived me? You guessed it... the evil one! I listened to him rather than the other tug I felt. The tug of the Spirit to leave the place. I disobeyed. Perhaps I don't deserve a crown!

Discernment is being led by scripture, obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit and doing what's "good". Listening to filthy trash is not discerning and by ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit, it was Evil to whom I obeyed.

I was deceived and that shall be for me to always watch.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Realism in Movies

Realism in movies is the Academy's quest. Realism is not synonymous with entertainment! The elite of the "Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences" reward their own for the best portrayal in different categories. The realism of which I write is the degree to which the script and acting match real world events. By that standard the Oscar winners would be the ones who actually DO on camera what those in reality DID!

Realism then is more than acting. It's copying. It's showing that the writers are of the same mindset as the subjects and the actors are just as evil, good,  funny, sad, talkative, sexual or vile as were the actual people they are portraying. Hollywood is obsessed with showing man at his worst. Those the most vile are what Hollywood suggests that the American public wishes to see! Where do they get that idea? The public votes for trash!

"How so?" you may query. When tickets are purchased for "R" rated movies, the buyer votes for more "R" ratings. By design, "R" movies are those which are distasteful to some or prohibited to the young. It's an attempt for the industry to self-govern itself so as to not twist the minds of youngsters and to forewarn those of us who are prurient, that what we might see is objectionable. Although forewarned that our moral principles are on the line, millions of Christians still trek to the theater to see Hollywood trash!

The movie American Sniper has been hyped all over the Internet and the news as the ultimate in conservative patriotic entertainment. I fell for that lie! Although, I don't denigrate the brave men who fought to save American lives, including my own, I do condemn Hollywood for it's over-attempting to portray the psyche of the American soldier.

I have watched many Hollywood movies portraying American soldiers in various wars. The actors did excellent jobs portraying those heroes, but the portrayal was one that accentuated their heroism. I'm sure that in WWI that many soldiers cursed and used filthy language. However, the movie Sergeant York, represented the soldiers of that war honorably and very accurately, although the movie never focused on the negative aspects of the soldiers. Not only was it informative and entertaining, it was not offensive for those of us who can still be offended! Viewers get the point of war and heroism without exploring the devil within the soldiers. What's more, it appears that morality has changed over the years and fewer heroes lead exemplary lives!

Entertainment does not have to be "real" in every sense to be a good movie! I don't need to see actual sex to get the point. I don't need to see actual killings to get the message, actors don't need to use real drugs to impart drug usage and actors don't need to incessantly talk filthy to get the idea that soldiers can indeed be filthy! In movies past, without actually saying, seeing and doing; the movie-goer got the message, and was entertained at the same time. Only those who enjoy filth would get enjoyment out of watching filth, and from a psychological standpoint, people become what they take in. Viewers can become acclimated to what they watch and be morally reduced to what they see and hear!

Much is said about "filth" in Holy Scripture, but the following verse says it well:
2 Corinthians 7:1 "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Filth is in the eyes of the beholder, but in the eyes of God the difference between filth and holiness is black and white. "Filth" are those things that influence the mind to dwell on things not holy. It's the priorities and mores of the world. It's the dregs of unclean minds and the actions of perverse bodies. It's ingesting the things of the flesh into the temple of the Holy Spirit. It's blaring garbage at the mind while trying to communicate with God. It's an action of rebellion to our Creator and disrespect for who he is! Christians know filth when it's there, because Christians are a "new creation". The Holy Spirit tells us "That's not for us!"

I've worked around trash-talkers all my life. They say every nasty word which can come to the human mind. I avoid their trash talk and filthy jokes. However, I hear some. When I pray, I hear those voices and their filthy lucre. I cannot communicate with God because of Satanic induced thoughts. Before I pray to God and for others, I must first pray for me! "Lord, take these damning thoughts from my mind!" Only after the Lord purges evil thoughts and filthiness from my mind, can I pray to him.

Some claim that they can separate the filth they are seeing and hearing and enjoy entertainment. Psychology disputes that, but more importantly, God does too! We are the flee from sin, according to James. Why? We are influenced by what we see, hear, and do. There should be no question on the part of the Christian what's right and what's not! We are to be guided by the Holy Spirit and if the Spirit fails to guide us away from sin, our relationship with the Spirit has been foiled by Satan.

As for American Sniper, I was ashamed that I was there. "F" and "sh" words were spewed as fast as the bullets from their machine guns. Occasionally, for variety, the writers threw in a "gd". Wow! How entertaining! (sic).  I had not heard that much filth and cursing in thirty years of my life... combined, and in only 120 minutes! After 30 seconds I was ready to get up and leave, but another implored me to remain so as to not cause others we were with to leave.

I sat there for two hours trying to not listen to what I was hearing and with my eyes closed. I tried to think on God's will and put the filth out of my mind. I failed! Every "F" word exploded in my brain and lingered there, interfering with my silent prayers and thoughts for my blog. Satan smiled. He smiled because Christ's disciple was listening to his filth. I prayed for forgiveness in being caught in this situation. I made a commitment: this will not happen again. I was miserable because I displeased my Savior. "What would Jesus do?" He wouldn't be there to start with!

My "movie review" was one word for American Sniper: TRASH! That's all that's needed. There is no redeeming Christian value in it at all! Things are either right or wrong and the devil continually shoved his garbage into ears and eyes and now people are full of the devil's trash. It will stay there until prayed out! I'm still praying mine out, trying to allow the Spirit to clean up his tabernacle again.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Marriage, Divorce and Adultery

Marriage. What is it?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: (Traditional definition) "The state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law."
In my words this is "being as one in an exclusive male/female committed complementary  existence recognized by divine authority".

"Recognized by law" is too general. Marriage can exist where there is no law and without the consent of law. In time even "common law" relationships become legal. Therefore, the ultimate law in which marriage must be recognized is God's Law, especially since it's an institution ordained by him!
Matthew 19:6 "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
The institution of marriage is authorized by God. It's what he joined together that becomes one.

This raises some questions? Does God recognize secular marriages with no religious vows? Are two non-Christians married in the eyes of God? If the marriage vows were just part of a meaningless ritual, is the marriage recognized in God's eyes. Only he knows the answers to these questions!

The woman at the well had had five husbands, but the one with which she now lived was not her husband. What made five husbands, but not the one? It could not have been merely a sexual relationship because it's reasonable to assume that she was intimate with all six! Jesus made a difference here between marriage and adultery:
John 4:16 "Jesus said to her, 'Go, call your husband, and come here.' 17 The woman answered him, 'I have no husband.'  Jesus said to her, 'You are right in saying, 'I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 
Jesus acknowledged by his statement that divorce is recognized. He used past tense. "You have had five husbands." That means she no longer has five husbands, and he expounds upon that saying "You are right in saying "I have no husband', hence Jesus recognized that the woman is not now married although the "one you now have" isn't her husband. That's present tense! If this was a man, then since he has no present wives, he would be eligible to be a bishop or deacon because he would not have multiple wives!

What made the difference in Jesus' eyes as to whether this woman was married before, but not now?  This is covered quite well by Lion Tracks: Marriage and Betrothal in Biblical Times:
The parents, or a confidential friend, of the bridegroom chose the bride (Genesis 24; 21:21; 38:6). The parents' consent was asked first, then that of the bride (Genesis 24:58). The presents (dowry) to the bride and/or her parents are called "mohar", those to the relatives "mattan." The dowry could take the form of service (Genesis 29; 1 Samuel 18:25). Between betrothal (engagement) and marriage all communication between the couple was carried on through "the friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:29). They were considered to be married to a degree, so that being unfaithful was punishable by death (Deuteronomy 22:23-24) — as it was for any marital unfaithfulness. If the bridegroom did not want to go through with the marriage, he could divorce her ("put her away") by a bill of divorcement (Deuteronomy 24:1; Matthew 1:19). No formal religious ceremony attended the wedding; but a blessing was pronounced, and a "covenant of God" entered into (Ezekiel 16:8; Malachi 2:14; Proverbs 2:17; Genesis 24:60; Ruth 4:11-12). The essential and distinguishing part of the ceremony was the taking of the bride from her father's house to that of the bridegroom or his father.
In short to become married involved consent, commitment to faithfulness, engagement, a dowery,  a time of waiting, blessing by the family and God, and a covenant with God entered into, culminating with a separation from the parents and the joining together of the two. Most modern marriages are not undertaken with this degree of commitment and ritual! The woman at the well may very well have done these things, formulating "real 'marriages in contrast to the adultery or fornication of the latter. As such, the woman was an adulterer!

Let's say that in haste a couple goes to Las Vegas and is married by a government official without  religious ceremony nor vows. Are they married or fornicators? It would appear that in the eyes of our Lord, they were fornicators! They are married by law, but remember, marriage for a Christian is symbolic of our relationship with Jesus. Without the vows and commitment, the religious symbolism just isn't there. God did not join them together; lust did!

Suppose that a couple has a church marriage, but the vows were said without commitment. Did God join them in marriage, or are they on their own again? Again, it's "whatever God joined together"!

Consider the following: One of the two or both parties have been joined together before by God in Holy Matrimony. They divorce. They are no longer married and have no spouse. God recognizes divorce, albeit it's undesirable. Because they were married in God's eyes, they commit adultery. It's sin, but it is not the unpardonable sin! However, what if they had been in a mere civil marriage. After they marry in a religious ceremony, is this their first and only marriage? God did not join them together to start with, but in the second relationship he did. Which "marriage" counts and are they both marriages?

I have no definitive answers, but the question of adultery, divorce and marriage are complicated. Sure, we know modern standards of legal marriage, but we all know they have long ago deviated from God's definition of marriage! In fact during the 17th Century few people were legally married (joined by banns). Were they civil fornicators even though they were married in God's eyes?

People, including myself, who had never been divorced are condemning judges of those who are legally divorced, but for some reason "separation" is honorable. I was the worst critic of divorce until it happened to me! I still do not believe in divorce, but "living together under the law" does not a marriage make. It's a legal agreement to have uncontested sex with financial obligations. Marriage is a sincere commitment to the mate and to God. Then God honors the couple's bequest and ordains the  marriage. As such, it represents Christ marriage to the Church and our marriage to him. When God joins a marriage together, it is sacrosanct!

"Living together" is not "whatever God joins together". Civil marriages are not "whatever God joins together" and meaningless rituals with apathetic vows are not "whatever God joins together"!

We need to be careful how harshly we judge. Divorce, adultery, fornication and other sexual sins have the same punishment unless the sinners repent. Fornication is as wrong as is legal divorce, but I believe that Christian divorce is a "greater sin" than civil divorce. The difference being that in one God "joined together" and in the other, man did!

Is it best and desirable that civil marriages continue? Of course, but it's not the same as "whatever God joined together"! Civil marriages can grow into Godly marriages. However, a sincere religious ceremony with vows need to be appended to change civil marriages into one ordained by God.

Many critics of divorce have themselves had numerous sexual relationships. That doesn't stop them from judging others harshly. They use a different standard for others than they do themselves. It's reasonable and desirable to judge fairly, but harsh judgment may cause judgment to come on oneself! Judge... beware! I learned my lesson. It can happen to me and it can happen to you because we're mere weak humans and we err with sin! God is graceful indeed!

Sensational News Affecting Everyone

Online posts and advertisements start with sensational headlines: "Blind man drives a car over the cliff!". However, upon going to the body of the sensational news, one finds that after a man flipped his car into a ditch, he was temporarily blinded by a head bump! The headlines are not a lie, but mislead to draw interest! This method of propaganda is called "sensationalism"! Today, I confess, I did that!

However, what I present is sensational news! My headline: "You can live forever!" The body of the text "You can live forever!" The sensational news matches the sensational headlines. That doesn't happen very often.
John 3:16 (ESV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
This is sensational news! The only thing "awkward" about this news is that it's been around for awhile, many people have heard it, but never seriously considered it. What will truly be "awkward" is when most face God and never "believed" in him. Talk about awkward! Let's see how awkward this will be:
 Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"
Here's the scenario: You die as all men will. This is the first time that you have experienced death. Before you died your belief is that you've been "good": giving to charity, being fair, paying taxes, attending church, etc. However, without faith in God your works are as rags!  It seems your faith has been in your own perceived "goodness". This is pride! That's the same disease Adam had when he died spiritually.

When your mind ceases to function you're dead. Your heart may stop shortly before your mind dies. You panic! This is it. Suddenly you realize that there is no hope for you. You're dead! Before your mind dies, you think: "Maybe there is a heaven!" A spark of hope yet lives!

After you die your soul departs your body and you go to a place in hell to await judgment. This place is in hell, but you're body was left behind. In turns to dust from which you came. You suffer torment and isolation. You suffer as you've never suffered before, but you think "Perhaps God will judge me justly and see that I was good!"

Jesus sounds the trumpet and your body and soul are reunited. You are alive again, but it's a living death. Agony is a daily routine. You stand before God to plead your case. He's sits on the Great White Throne and you speak on bent knee "Lord, I deserve heaven. I did good! Please save me from your wrath!"

"What's your name?" God asks. Mr. John Doe (your name here). God looks through the Book of Life. He looks at you while your head is facing the ground in shame. Tears stream hard as God says "Your name is not  in the book for 'I never knew you; depart from me, you worker of lawlessness'!"  "Your faith could have saved you, but you were never born-again. I'm sorry that you never truly believed in my Son!"

In amazement you scream as a demon screams "My name must be there! I've been good!" Alas, it's not in the book and God chooses to not remember your works. God calls his angels and they lift you by your arms. Your real arms! They take you to a fiery sulfur pit and in there you see Satan just as the angels heave you into the pit! Banshee screams accompany your fall. As you tumble toward the Lake of Fire, your life flashes before your eyes, just as it will for eternity time and time again! "If only... if only..." you keep thinking!

Satan normally smiles at you, but he's in agony too! The author of evil pleasure offers no pleasure now. In your hear you despise your flaming colleague; the one for whom you formerly lived. You remember all the pleasures you had... all the fun in life... and all the sin which damned you. Here with you in hell is your god and now you hate him! He hates you as he always did, and all your "friends" who're here hate you too! You relive all your wrongs time and time again and hate everyone who ever mislead you! You can curse now! Nobody cares about you any more! You're damned forever and so is everyone else around you. Only if...
Matthew 25:46 (ESV) "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
"These" in this verse are those who failed to love others through Jesus. They who even did good, but had not the love of Jesus (and only Jesus) within them! You see, you had a choice: eternal punishment or eternal life! You unwisely chose eternal punishment. That's your mistake!

However, the "sensational news"; no capitalize that "SENSATIONAL NEWS" is that you can live forever! All your friends can too! It has to be now. After your death it's too late! The deed you do is so simple:
 Romans 10:13 (ESV) "For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Jesus) will be saved.'”
The SENSATIONAL NEWS is that that includes you and it's available right now! "You can live forever!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Obama's Legacy: the Reason for His Defiance!

Letter-to-Editor, Bowling Green Daily News:

Frankly, I miss Dr. Hulsey's wisdom, but ask the reader to bear with me on the subject of the President's State of the Union Speech. Pundits question the purpose of such defiant behavior, but it's clear to me: it's all about legacy!

I have a hammer handed down for generations. It belonged to George Washington. This sharp hatchet hewed the finest wood and its user could not tell a lie. It was an instrument of truth.

At one time the body of it broke and my ancestors replaced the handle. Any handle would not do, so one was provided by Abraham Lincoln. My Washington hammer now has wood from Abraham Lincoln. Later on the blade dulled so much that the head needed replaced. Baruck Obama provided the steel for the blade. I still have Washington's hammer, but it has the wood handle of Abraham Lincoln and the steel blade of Baruck Obama, albeit the blade has very little sharpness, being tempered by Marx.

Analogous to that is Jeffersonian Democracy which was Republican in nature. At one time it belonged to those who desired liberty and limited government. It's handle was changed numerous times and it's blade dulled so often that the Democrat (sic) Party is no longer democratic. It too has been tempered by Marx.

The Republican Party has changed as well. It was also Jeffersonian,  but Abraham Lincoln made a new handle cut from hardened wood. The wood of this handle wasn't of the same grain as the Constitution, but for the "good of society" Abraham wielded a swift blow to gain freedom for many as the powers of the different branches of government  were dulled in favor of a strong presidency. The Republican party still has the same blade, but the handle is different. However, the blade is dulling quickly!

Mr. Obama has quoted Abraham Lincoln numerous times, comparing himself to the one whom many consider to be the best president. However, students of history know that Lincoln abused the power of the presidency at the behest of Radical Republicans, some of whom supplied the wood for Lincoln's handle. With the new handle the Federal Government chops all the wood while the states beg for a little of what was theirs. Marx smiles as the owner's of the wood beg for what is theirs!

Obama understands the legacy of Lincoln. He knows that people despised the policies at the time, but now rate him one of the best presidents!  Lincoln changed the handle on the Democrat Party, the Republican Party and the nation. The Constitution was chopped to bits with a powerful president  (Lincoln) wielding a sharp hatchet with new wood. The hammer changed drastically with Lincoln, but he is idolized. Obama sees the same idolization in his destiny. He desires a Lincolnesque legacy.  That won't happen! Lincoln became a legend, not because of his presidency, but because of his martyrdom.

Mr. Obama... quit pretending you're Abraham Lincoln!


As I look into a mirror my image looks back. He's not me, but the opposite image. For one thing he's left handed and I'm right, but my reflection is much more than meets the eye! One of us is real and the other an image, looking so real, but hard as glass. Sometimes I hurt inside and sometimes laugh. My reflection can only smile and hurt in response to me. My tears are wet, his are a simulation. My reflection at times is truly hard and distorted. My reflection is different than what I wish to be!

When I look at me, my reflection tells me that "I am" because the glass manifests myself to me. It seems to agree somewhat with what I can see directly, so I accept my reflection as a valid representation of what I am! Perhaps the image thinks that I am a  more perfect reflection of  him. He glares at me from behind that glassy facade'. He reflects; I absorb. I beam, but he can never capture that!

I am the sun. He is the moon. As such I am light and he is only reflecting. My dark side is illuminated. His is hidden. As I turn around I can see the backside of my image. It's not flattering. From our viewpoint man can never see the backside of the moon. It's in darkness, fearing that if he exposes himself, the darkness and roughness thereon will be revealed.

I was born in darkness. I was born a "moon", but reborn a "sun". The light makes the difference. Light enlightens.
Genesis 1:3 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
We think of the cosmic light when God let it be. It's more than that! God's light emanates forth throughout existence, and as moons we can only reflect that light. There is still hidden darkness in us all, and although our backsides are hidden from view, God sees it from behind. Our reflection looks good when it's seen, but the reflection, being brighter than darkness, conceals the evil within us all. When God said "let there be light" he was enlightening the world. Darkness is evil and light is God. He wanted his moons to share his illumination.

With the light of God mankind changed:
 Genesis 1:5 "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night."
Before I was "Night" and now I am "Day". What made the difference in what the eye can see and that is God exposed me to himself. I was in the darkroom, awaiting a likeness, and God took me and made me into his image. In darkness I was exposed to God's light and I became real. The reflection of God's light took that dark image of me, reflected on a plate and created me in his own image. Divine photography created me. Since God's light exposed the darkness in me and created an enlightened person, a little part of God resides on me.

God's grace rested on my surface. A little of his light revealed me such that his realm is ready to gleam. That surface light is what keeps the all from total destruction. The darkness inside is depraved, but grace is what shines on my surface. Grace is there awaiting development. Grace is what's seen as the darkroom door is suddenly thrown open. God shines through the door and a dull image of what I can be lies there awaiting. God knocks at the door. No one answers, but grace is the light which infiltrates through the slightest crack revealing me inside the darkness ready to be developed. If only I open the door so that His Light can shine fully upon me and expose me for what I am; helpless to enlighten myself!

As God knocked, the door opened just a crack. Light from somewhere revealed me in my darkness. From where did light come?
Psalm 118:27 "God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light..."
I saw the light emanating from without. It was absorbed by my flesh and a dim light was reflected. I am because I AM revealed me. I am ready for the Light who entered. The Light revealed Truth and my flesh absorbed it some. Shall I be satisfied with the dimness that I am, or desire full illumination? We all must decide, but wise men, inspired by the dim essence, seek to get the way of Truth. His light beacons. Shall we allow Light to enter or snuff out the source and return to darkness. Chances are few although Light is ever burning. Light must be absorbed or else it turns it's rays elsewhere.
Isaiah 60:19b "...the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory."
The Light of the Lord burns forever. The sun shall be extinguished and the moon not there to reflect, but God's Light will forever burn. That Light is for me. The moon is buried in a sea of water and a sun arises from the wet grave. It's not the sun we see that burns anew, but the Son who belongs to the Light. The new Light within me now burns bright. I belong to the Son and glory shines forth. I'm glorified because eternal Light is now within me and the pale absorption is concealed by the high luminosity of Shekinah Light.
Ephesians 1:18a "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling...."
Glory shining forth from me, reflecting the Light of God, shines forth from my soul. With understanding the darkness within is quenched by God's brilliance and I am enlightened. The bulb shines! I understand! The Light filling me shines forth in hope. Oh, what joy it is when darkness and despair are obliterated by Light and hope. Hope shined forth on the earth two-thousand years ago and yet remains. Hope fills the vacancy within my cup which was before only filled with darkness. It shines forth so that the world can see my glory.

Darkness offers resistance. It loves to show itself, but it's hardly seen when the Light burns within. Sometimes darkness, like the moon, is hidden from full view, out shined by the Son, until this evil world blacks out some of the light and the darkness of our moon can be seen. Unlike the moon we can return to darkness if we hide behind the world. The sun doesn't force the moon to reflect light, but the world either eclipses Light or allows Light to fully shine! God administers the orbits and rotations. He allows Satan to un-shine in darkness so that we can show our love by rejecting the eclipses. Reprobate is when the moon is in total eclipse with no hope of shining again. Grace is knowing that although the moon is in darkness for a spell, without a doubt, the Son still shines on us forever!

God looks at us, but he looks also at our reflection. We are to reflect ourselves to others, but part of the reflection is the Light which shines from us. We are to mimic Light. We are to let Light shine forth in us.
Ephesians 5:1  (ESV) "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Our reflection is when we "be imitators of God"! With the same Light as God, we should be a true reflection of God. Love should be reflected back at God and onto others! That''s our sacrifice. We are to reflect the image of God. We obey his commandments so that our reflection is pure, without distortion and as real as the original within the confines of the impurities already within the glass of life.

Reflect on that! Are we a reflection of God? We are to be. When God said "let there be light" it was more than what the eye can see, but what The Light revealed to mankind! Have you ever reflected on what light it was of which God was speaking? He cared little about whether man was blind in a dark world, but that we could see Truth. The light he "let" was himself; so much more than the sun which warms and brightens the day. It's the Light of the Son who was the object of "let there be light", and since that time mankind has been a poor reflection, but God is merciful. His Light yet shines!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Aliens Here on Earth! I've Seen Them!

The craze is aliens. People want to believe that we're not alone. The government spends billions of dollars, looking for even a sign of life elsewhere in the Cosmos, and guess what? Aliens have never been discovered and there has never been one sign of alien life! People still believe in alien life although there is no evidence of it at all! Those people have faith!
Hebrews 11  (ESV) "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
We see here that faith entails two things: 1) That there is something beyond this life and that it will be eternal, and 2) a strong conviction that eternal life is out there beyond our senses.

Those who have faith in the existence of alien life forms believe that other life is out there somewhere in the Cosmos and although there is no evidence of it, they believe it! In other words, as with science and belief systems, belief in alien life is a religion, albeit a religion of most scientists and the government. Their belief in alien lifeforms is validated by the amount of money spent to find it, and thus, denigrate God! Man's quest in looking at the sky is the same as it was at Babel. It's to discredit God!

I too believe in alien life forms! Are you surprised? However, I take no initiative to discredit God, but to credit! Whereas, there is no tangible evidence that extraterrestrial life is out there, there is evidence that alien life form is right here in front of our face! True alien life are those who are the "walking dead". I use that expression to describe those destined for eternal death and are now merely in the "life phase" of death.

What do I mean by that? Once people are born they immediately begin to die. In fact part of their physical body dies continually!
"If cells are no longer needed, they commit suicide by activating an intracellular death program. This process is therefore called programmed cell death, although it is more commonly called apoptosis . (Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition)
Through apoptosis the balanced human community of cells commit genocide... against themselves. As people get older cells die. We can see the aging process. We can see our hair and nails grow and die. We can see the skin peel from our bodies. We are contantly in the process of dying. Aging doesn't lie. It foreshadows death!

I'm not part of the "walking dead". True, just as everyone else, I'm slowly dying a physical death. However, the culmination of death for me is life! Because I merely have faith in Jesus, at death his gift to me is to be like him! He defeated death and there will be no death in heaven!
Isaiah 25:8 (ESV)  "He (God) will swallow up death forever..."
Therefore, since I will die once, but not twice, as most people do (The Second Death) I'm a "peculiar person". My "peculiarity" is that I am not an alien, but most people out there are!
1 Peter 2:9 (KJV) "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people..."
My peculiarity, and yours, if you have been "born again" is that you become a non-alien life form! You are invulnerable, a super being if you like that!. Unlike aliens who are of this world, you will live forever and never suffer a "second death". Given that, you are not in the process of dying as all those "in the flesh" are, but are a citizen of another world, real, but invisible for the present, and as such, you are citizens here being part of the kingdom of God!  God's citizens who will never die!
Ephesians 2:18 (ESV) "For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone..."
Our citizenship in another world through Jesus Christ means that we are no longer alien to the kingdom of God, and are peculiar in this world. Our citizenship changes when we become new creations.
 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Aliens then, walk the earth right now. It is those who could be citizens of the invisible, but real, kingdom of God, but are alienated from God!  People who reject Jesus reject his creating anew. Changing that alien life-form into an incorruptible creature.
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Yes, our bodies die a temporary death because we share a common origin to aliens living here on this earth, but at the sound of the trumpet when the dead arises, we become alive again, and we shall never face the second death. Because we are citizens of God's kingdom, that is our gift, but the aliens who fail to enter God's kingdom will die and then suffer eternal death. What is that? Eternal death is not only continuing the process of dying that the living do now, but for eternity, the second death means continually dying in pain and isolation! The second death is still the "walking dead", but with constant  pain and isolation!  Those aliens who die the second time never complete the process of dying. They die for eternity! Aliens forever die and die a tormented death!

Are you an alien here on earth? If you are and do not change, the process of dying will never cease. Eternal life is for the peculiar people. The few who are not aliens! Become a citizen before it's too late! It takes a commitment: Save me Jesus from my alien life!

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

The Japanese "Three Wise Monkeys" are "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".  Although this quote comes from those far removed from Christianity, they are excellent principles! Evil is always bad, but what is evil?
Genesis 6:5-7 (ESV)  "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Evil then is wickedness, but we've gotten no closer. Evil and wickedness are only synonyms. Evil people do wicked things.  There was innocence, though, before mankind knew what evil is:
 Genesis 12:16b “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat..."
Before evil existed there was innocence for guilt is associated with wrong. There was no knowledge of what was good nor evil. We're gaining some ground. Evil is lack of innocence!  Innocence is lack of knowledge of evil. Adam, who knew no evil did no evil!  Perhaps Adam was a monkey after all (sic): He  ""saw no evil, heard no evil, spoke no evil and did no evil", (except one major time)! No, he was not a monkey, but at least monkey's were and always are innocent!

Adam wasn't entirely "innocent" before he fell into sin. He knew one thing for sure. "It's bad, Adam, if you eat of the fruit of that tree!" Before Adam could ever be accused of doing evil, he had to have a limited knowledge of what evil is. With that said, there were two trees in the garden: the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Adam and Eve could freely eat of the latter, but not the former. However, they stood under the wrong tree and ate of the wrong fruit! Because they did wrong one time, they were guilty of all the evil known to mankind today. There was only one law and that law was broken!

What evil did Adam and Eve come to know they did? What was the action or behavior which condemned them? Was it because they ate a fruit good to eat, because they were deceived or because they had their priorities wrong? None of the above! The evil mankind did to earn death was "failure to love God"! Mankind sinned and what is sin? It's setting themselves apart from God. Evil is failure to love (and by that honoring God), and sin is doing and thinking things that are not God's will for us!

Let's compare now! Meriam-Webster Dictionary says that evil is "causing harm or injury to someone". While that certainly is evil  because it's God's will that we not harm, that definition falls far short of scriptural intent. Biblically speaking "Evil is failure to love God." Evil are intentional acts, but also things people fail to do, whether intentional or by accident. Yes, there are accidental sins!

Failing to love and revere God is what Adam and Eve did when they stood under the wrong tree. In standing there by the serpent, they chose sides: evil over good; Satan over God. They intentionally chose to disregard God, not because they disliked God, but they failed to show that they loved him by doing the one wrong thing God told them not to do! (They had another God before him). Our forebears chose evil over righteousness. They are antonyms. Evil is doing those things which are not "right" and "rightness" is whatever God deems. His command is that we love him and others!

The Three Wise Monkeys who were said to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" did things right! They "looked only on God, listened only to God and spoke only Godly things", according to the definition because God is love!
1 John 4:16b (ESV) "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
This complements what EVIL IS NOT and accentuates what LOVE IS!  It's not brotherly love nor erotic love, though. It's Godly love! We are not to be confused. Evil people can love and do, but evil people can't love the same way God does, and hence, abide not in love (of God and Godly things).

The Three Wise Monkeys "only saw love, only heard loving words and spoke only out of love"!  If we see only love, hear only loving things and speak only out of love, we then do only loving things! Our heart is the processor of the eyes, ears and tongue, but also controls the flesh. If our hearts are right, then we "do no evil"! That's how we demonstrate our love for God...
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments!" (John 14:15).
Evil is "not loving God" and that's done by "not keeping (his) commandments".  Are God's Commandments important then? They are standards we are to meet to demonstrate our love for God! Not doing those commandments IS evil because by failing to obey, we fail to love!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reading My Heart

When I was a teenager I voluntarily went to church every week on my own. I went because I wanted to be there! Most of my best friends went to church and being part of the church was "cool" in those times. However, in spite of my wanting to be in church and believing in Jesus, I had yet to accept him!

In politics during the campaign of 1884 there was a group nicknamed "Mugwumps". They were Republicans who supported Democrat Grover Cleveland for president. They were said to have their "mug" on one side of the fence and their "wump" on the other. They were folks who favored the Republican Party, but were enticed by the Democrat candidate. They wanted the advantages of one party, but the delight of another. They were on the political scene for many years, gradually becoming Bull Mooses or independents.

During my teen years from a Christian perspective, I too was a "Mugwump". I believed in the party of Christianity, but was enticed by the pleasures offered by the Prince of the Air. What I wanted is both ways at once: I wan't the security of salvation and the pleasure of the flesh. My soul was on one side of he fence, but my heart on the other! Being a Christian "Mugwump" is dangerous. With too much of the world Mugwumps can become Bull Mooses and as such stand stubbornly and staunchly in the wrong perspective. As "Mugwumps" fence sitters, people can become independent of God and his will. It's a dangerous fence on which to sit! "Mugwumps" are "double-minded"!
James 1:8 (ESV) "He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
A double-minded man tries to serve two masters. Their belief system is made up of two opposing ideas. Orwell called double-mindedness "doublethink", accepting two conflicting beliefs, both as correct. Christian Mugwumps believe that they can be saved by God, but yet enjoy the pleasures of the devil! People who think that way, according to James who was inspired by God:
 James 1:6-8 (ESV) "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
In order to be double-minded a Christian must have doubts about one or both beliefs, or about God and Satan. Will God truly punish for sin? Does Satan even exist? Mugwumps, or the double-minded, are not firmly established on any ground except for self-idolization and immediate gratification. For myself I sought the peace offered by God, but yet the pleasures of the flesh! I was truly a Mugwump, and to be honest, most people never outgrow that! Satan always tugs at our weaknesses to keep Christians unstable. Unstable people will more likely fall than grounded people!

This Mugwump sat near the front at church and participated. My heart was sensitive to the reproof of the preacher because I was often guilty of all he charged. No., Brother Ralph didn't call me by name, but for me, it was me to whom he preached! Every sermon hit this Mugwump squarely in the mug. Surely Brother Ralph had a private investigator who followed me around and reported on all my sins! How else, would Brother Ralph's Mugwump suit fit me so well?

When I became an adult, and after losing my instability, thanks to God and his minister, Brother Ralph, I queried my old childhood nemesis: "Bro, Ralph, how did you know about my secret sins. Did you hire an investigator?". Brother Ralph just smiled and said "No, Larry. I didn't have an investigator and wasn't preaching just to you. Everybody, if they dared, could apply my sermons to themselves!"  (or words to that effect).

 "Free at last! Free at last!" I no longer had an investigator following me around... or did I? One of the assignments of the Holy Ghost is to convict of sin!
John 14:26 (ESV) "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."
The Holy Ghost is our "checker". As we're tempted, he is there to remind us what Jesus stands for! He's the one who warns us of guilt and it's unpleasantness, and if we sin, ensures that we feel guilt. Guilt is a good thing!  It's from God and is his tool to put Christians squarely on God's side of the fence! The Holy Ghost is anti-Mugwump.  He puts principle into our faith. By that I mean, we do God's will, not our own, if we listen, and as such Mugwumps are shot down from their perch atop that fence!

I thought that the preacher was having me followed (just kidding)! However, I did believe, as a teen, that preachers had special powers. I thought that the preacher could see right through me and my facade'. As Poe's Tell-Tale Heart,  my preacher could hear that beat-beat-beat as the guilt caused my heart to pump ever so loudly! Surely, not only he, but all the saints could hear my tell-tale heart! My heart gave me away and the preacher knew my heart.

As I matured, I did learn one thing: my preacher did have special super-human powers. I had made him a Superman of a type, and I was right. Brother Ralph had super-powers, but they weren't of him, but God! Brother Ralph was at God's disposal and preached what God inspired him.  He not only preached about God's love, mercy and salvation, but about sin and hell as well! The Holy Ghost was his "investigator" who told him men's secrets, including mine. He preached what the Spirit told him to preach because that's what people needed to hear! Brother Ralph, led by the Holy Ghos,t knew this Mugwump's heart and shattered the fence on which I sat. Both my mug and my wump fell off onto the side of God!

Monday, January 19, 2015

More on a Critical Spirit

Our only commandment, to love, cannot be accomplished with a critical spirit.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
Some people are born negative. That's their personality! One person who I know is nicknamed "Grumpy". With a moniker like that, it can readily be assumed that Grumpy has a critical spirit! Those are the people who criticize any comment. They read into the most benign comments an attack, and immediately go into defense mode. They endeavor to protect their own right to judge others. Furthermore, the opinion of others is seldom honored!

Some people are so critical, that if they are complimented with, let's say, "You are dressed sharp today!", they would respond with "You didn't like how I was dressed yesterday?" People who are critical of others are often insecure in their own milieu.  They may feel less intelligent, less successful, less attractive, less athletic, or less whatever. The way to defend their deficiencies is to minimize others! Minimizing others is "corrupting talk". It's meant to hurt and in essence, taken to extremes, destroy; if not relationships, but love. And that's why we are not to have corrupting talk. It demonstrates a lack of love!

The talk that comes our of our mouths is "only such as is good for building up.! In the above example Grumpy should have responded "Thank you! I love this hairstyle and dress. I'm glad you do too!" With this type of response, not only does the person graciously accept a compliment, but puts value on the words of others! Rather than implying "You jerk!", a statement which builds up, that  implies "I value your opinion" or praise. Thank you for noticing!" That is a comeback which "gives grace to those who hear."

Some statements are mere observations and are neither a compliment nor an attack. "The sky looks gray." is an example. The critical person, never condescending into agreement, may reply "It is not!". The negative connotation is an attitude which creates a battleground of attitudes. Perhaps the responder should either remain silent if he or she disagrees, or merely reinforces the conversation! After all, it's just small talk! Why created dissension when people are merely trying to include? That's the critical dragon rearing its ugly head to breath sulfur and acridity into a relationship! Satan smiles.
Matthew 7:12 (ESV) The Golden Rule  “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
We all have feelings and we all prefer the avoidance of conflict (except for belligerent bullies). Most of us want to be treated with respect and in a non-contentious manner. We are to treat others with the same respect and love which we enjoy for ourselves! For a Christian, that's not an option. It is "the Law and the Prophets"! God commands us to build others up and not to have a critical spirit.

The highest hurdle for loving relationships are critical spirits. Satan smiles at Christian's total disregard for God's will. He delights that critical people mimic corrupting behavior. We should try being pleasant in our relationships. In short, people need to chill out! We are all in this life together and together we must be. Why don't we just try to make the journey as easy as possible for all, including ourselves? Critical people aren't happy people because God is the author of happiness, and a critical spirit is not of God!