Monday, August 29, 2011

Can I get some help in here?

Wow, August is almost gone. Just a couple more days and hopefully the cooler weather that usually arrives in September will be here, except for my faithful readers "down under" who are about to enjoy the heat that we've been perspiring under! I'm back at it again after a few days rest, and part of that was to go see a movie that came out a few weeks ago. It is simply called, "The Help" and stars Sissy Spacek (in a role that I would not have thought of for her) and Cicely Tyson (Always a great actress), among a cast of many others who shine in the movie.
If you haven't heard of it, I'll give you a quick synopsis. Back in the 1960's in "the south," here in the US there was a big "to-do" about slavery and blacks and how they were treated. (I know, slavery was abolished in 1865, but if you were black and lived in the south back then, it never really ended in how you were treated, hired, paid or many other things). Well, this one girl, "Skeeter" (Emma Stone-now i'm a fan of hers) decides she wants to be a writer and she gets a job at a local newspaper in Jackson Mississippi answering the "cleaning column." She wants to do more with her writing, and she turns to a maid that she trusts to help her with the comments and suggestions. While talking about cleaning, she tells her she wants to interview her to see what it is like "from her side." The maid, Aibileen (Viola Davis-another powerful actress) agrees and the stories are told, laughed about, cried over. A lot of things about the injustice in the treatment of blacks are pointed out and well presented, while the snobbishness and foolishness of the actions of many whites, especially the "hoity-toity" ones are depicted fairly acurately as well. (yes, I use the terms black and white. I do not accept "African American" for a title unless they hold dual citizenship. Blacks are Americans if they are of a legal citizenship status. Whites are Americans if they are of a legal citizenship status. They are not German Americans, Polish Americans, French Americans, British Americans unless they hold a dual citizenship status. They are just Americans. Therefore I use skin color to denote the difference, although many shades of a dark color are included, and many pink ones too!)
Anyway, I digress.
When the movie was over, the lights came up in the auditorium and people began to file out. I hate the "rush and brush" of the initial surge so my wife and I sat in our seats for the time being. It kept coming to my attention that everyone who was leaving was white. White, White, White. Finally, as the crowd was thinning, a black couple emerged from the upper levels and descended down the stairs. Then back to White, White, White. Then White-Black, a new sign of our age that is growing in more intensity every day.
I began to wonder and marvel at this. Here is a movie depicting the troubles of the black people in a time that was very boisterous and upending in our history, and there were no blacks in the auditorium to speak of. A piece of history was being presented from about 50 years ago and they were not there to do several things: Point out their mistreatment, teach their children/grandchildren what it was like growing up in the days where a black person couldn't even touch a white person in many cases.
So now my question is: Has the black population of America become complacent? There were tons of them at the studios (this theater has 16 showings of different movies). So it was not a lack of blacks present to be the problem.
I look around me everyday and I see many couples where the guy is black, the girl is white. Few times are the roles reversed. Kinda seems like it is now a thing of, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" going on here. In some ways it is good, in some it is bad.
But I do worry about history repeating its self. You say there are laws that could prevent it from happening. Yes, there are laws in place. But the heart of man can never really be controlled, except by God. There are still the "White Supremacist" groups in existence today, just as there are the "Black Supremacist" groups (you know who you are, though the covers your lie behind are transparent) still marching along also. But will we ever keep the terrible racial things from the 1900's from happening again if we don't remember what we did back then? Shouldn't we show our young people what it was like to be so unfairly mistreated?
There were even some of the "hoity toity's" in the movie who threw around the name of Christian in their speech and in their way of dealing with the black "help" that worked for them. Truthfully, it made me sick. The name "Christian" gets attached to too many SCREWBALLS who can only ruin the chance for the gospel of Jesus Christ to ever be taught to others. If I didn't know who Jesus was, and after reading and watching the news of some Christian ?!? congregations and their actions, and the actions of ministers and priests, I wouldn't want anything to do with Jesus or God or any other lunatic that attached himself to that name.
I guess I just wonder why all of the blacks that have preached injustice for so long (although it seems Sharpton and Jackson sure have been quite for some time now) and yet they are not there to show the ones who were born too late what they should be glad that they don't have to face now.
I don't often give movie endorsements. Well, actually, this is my first, and may be my only. But go see the movie "The Help" or rent it when it becomes availaible for "on demand" or overnight rental. Grandparents, sit the kids down. Show them how it feels to be beaten for your skin color. Accused because of your skin color. Make sure they understand how the blacks felt.
The same thing is in danger of happening now since 9/11. We see someone from the Middle East and they are automatically a terrorist, or a muslim (which for all intensive purposes is a style of government, not a religion) intent to destroy Christians. If we're not careful, we could wind up back in the 60's again, just Americans vs. Muslims instead of Black vs. White.
Educate your children now. Show them the harmful effects of racism. Let us not go down that road again. Blacks and Whites do seem to have gotten past many of the racial issues, and are now even living together/marrying each other. While I am not saying that going this far is needed (no cumin needed in this diet), we do not need to go down a bloody road that is still strewn with many awful memories.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 NIV

I love this version of a verse that is so well known.

John 3:16-18

The Message (MSG)

 16-18"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

Let us all return to this way of thinking, learn from our mistakes, and vow to never repeat them again.
Thank you for your faithful readership, and please return on Wednesday for the next segment in Upside Down Christianity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I've half a mind ...

Have you ever had someone use the title of this blog to emphasize something that they are considering doing?
Well, i have. And lately it has been aimed at my computer. Yesterday I was not feeling particularly well and when I booted my computer that morning, it was giving me "Disk Error" messages, saying something about consistency. After several tries, I was able to get it up and running. But at first, the thought that was running through my head was "I've half a mind to throw this thing out the window."
Then I had a revelation. If I do that, it will finally be finished. I will have to go and purchase another one (who can live without their computer nowadays?) and that would be an unwelcome expense right now. So for now, my 6 year old XP running Dell laptop is still puttering (and sometimes putering) on.
Okay, I'm glad I have half a mind. The half I didn't have didn't get a chance to override the half I do have into making such a mistake.
I've heard it said that we only use 10% of our possible brain power in our everyday living. So I guess I'm either at 5% (half of 10) or I'm 5 times the average at 50%. SUPERMAN! lol  Well, not really.
What I do know is that the 10% that we supposedly use is part of the other 90% which together make up something that our God gave us. A brain. And a brain that knows right from wrong.
Our minds really are about half and half. One half knows what we should do, one half knows what we shouldn't do. It is our choice as to which side of our brain that we follow. Evil and good exist in the world. No matter your beliefs, you have to admit that. Just look at the bombings/killings of innocent people worldwide, yet the rush of relief sent from many nations to a continent gripped in famine.
So my question to you today is: Which "half a mind" are you going to let control you today? Is it the one that flips a bird to the driver who will cut you off in traffic? Or is it the one who waits another minute, holding the door for someone who is disabled and will have a hard time getting it open once they get to the building?
Don't let what can destroy you control you. No matter what your beliefs are, let this be the start of a new day where you make a change for the better. I know, we're all human, and we're all going to screw up. But God forgives, and we can move on.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go shut the window before I do change half of my mind!
Thank you for stopping by and have a blessed day.!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Have you ever wondered?!?

  1.  Who was the first person, to look at a cow’s udder and think………..I gonna squeeze those things hanging down and Drink it?
  2. Or the first person he looked at a Chicken and said……………..The first thing that falls out of its rear end  I am going to eat?
  3. Why does the FAA call the incident were two airplanes pass to close in flight…………" A Near Miss"?
  4. Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?
  5. Why  do some fast food Restaurants have a sign hanging on the drive thru Menu that reads………….Picture Menus Available for the Reading impaired ?
  6. If pro is the opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?
  7. What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  8. Why do Women wear a pair of panties and only one bra?
  9. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
  10. Why is it that when you transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?
  11. Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
  12. If you’re in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
  13. If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan?
  14. Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?…………What State Borders Hawaii
  15. Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Was Chicken Little Little?

There was a famous story years ago with a small chicken running around hollering "The sky is falling, the sky is falling" when she believed her world was literally crashing around her. (just because something fell on her head.) Well, turns out she was wrong. The sky didn't fall. At least not yet.
So she runs around and her friends enquire as to what is going on. She tells them, and they believe her. Finally, they run into a fox, who convinces the group that he can help them in their destination, only to have the sky really fall on the fox.
When that happened, they just went home. Decided that there was nothing else to do. Never mind that more of the sky could have fallen.
I worry that our economy is going to be just like this if our actions do not change. And I worry about the spiritual and economic state of our union if people do not change their ways.
Something fell on chicken little (US). It is called 'the sky.' (debt ceiling) So chicken little starts running around telling everyone that we were about to be crushed (unable to pay the US bills). So the US runs around telling everyone that the sky is falling. Nothing is done to find out why or how it can be actually prevented, other than 'raising the ceiling.' (the sky) Everyone runs around exclaiming what is happening, but no one knows where they are going. (politicians blaming politicians.) Nothing is being done. The fox steps in (Obama?, Boehner? As Yet Unknown?) and tells the people that they can get them to the destination, yet they secretly try to lure them into where harm can be done. The sky really does fall, the fox is crushed (many people have speculated as to the fall of the US) and everyone goes home, defeated.
Look at today's economic scenario. Europe is in terrible shape with some nations being on the verge of bankruptcy. The US is basically in the same shape. What is it that drives every nation? Money. Currency.
What if one man stepped up to the plate, showed the world how to pull itself together, if only they would follow his path?
Sound familiar? The anti-christ. People wonder when they read or hear about the anti-christ how someone could take control of the world. Well, this certainly lends a way for it to happen.
And if you are a bible believer, you recognize that this would be a sign of the "end times."
Christians, I'm not saying the world is about to end. I'm not forecasting that Jesus will come back in the next day or two (although He could and can if He wants to!) I am saying that we need to be vigilent in our work for Him. I know you're worried about paying your bills, or your government check coming on time. I understand that. But Our God will supply our needs according to His riches in glory as the bible has promised. We need to be focused on the salvation of so many people that we care deeply about.
What if you're wrong Reverend Moreland? What if this is like the Great Depression and we come out of it?
Well, Hallelujah I Say!!! I look forward to better times. But either way, I'm going to be serious about winning people to the Lord, and for winning back the ones whom the church has run off from their grounds.
That way, He will be able to say to me one day, "Well done my good and faithful servant."
Thanks and have a blessed day.

If you've never read the story, here it is:

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Worth What?!?

Yesterday I watched the show that I had seen advertised many times, but I had never watched it. It stars Cedric the Entertainer, who is not one of my favorite comedians, as I find his humor a little dry. But my wife had control of the remote, so I sat on the couch and observed this show.
Now the main theme of this show is to discover if you know how much something is worth. Then you have to guess how much is the price, or if it is lesser or greater in value than another object, or if it belongs to someone famous.
I especially couldn't believe that a pair of dirty underwear that pop singer Madonna had worn at some time would be worth almost 2 grand. A tissue that another star had blown her nose in was worth hundreds.
It got me to thinking. We put such a high value on such ridiculous things, and yet one of the lowest valued items in many homes today is the bible. For many people there is no value to it, except to sit on a shelf somewhere collecting dust. If it is fortunate, it may get taken down on Sundays to visit church, or if it is really lucky, it gets to sit on the coffee table in case the preacher comes by.
Why is it that something so precious as God's word, and so priceless as the instructions that are contained therein are not valued anymore? The US has turned from being a nation built on God and His principles. We are making into law things that God calls an abomination.
Wake up America! Either we do love God or we don't. We cannot be both ways. Either we will get back to having a country that is founded on Him, or we had better be prepared to face His wrath.
Look around you. See the turmoil in the markets! The crime that is now prevalent everywhere, even in small towns. Godlessness creates this, fosters this and will eventually be our downfall if we're not careful.
Christians, step up! Start to tell the people in charge that it has to get back to the bible before we collapse completely. I just pray that it is not too late for us to turn around and become a God fearing nation once again!
May God bless you and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Want Everything! Well ... Almost!

I am a huge Barbara Streisand fan (yes, crooked long nose and all!). I have a lot of her music and I have seen all of her movies. The one movie that I love the most is the remake of a 1954 movie called "A Star Is Born." In the film she stars as a singer in a bar with a couple of backup singers and Kris Kristofferson is a singer on top of the world singing to millions around the world. They meet one night and began a romance while watching his career spiral downward in an out of control manner, all the while pushing hers upward to new heights.
During the movie she sings a song called "Everything." In the lyrics she lists what all she would like to do in her life. And for the most part, she isn't talking about material things. She is talking about things that she wants to accomplish, one being a "cure for the traffic jams." (Amen sister, if you've ever been down I-85 at Pelham Road about 4pm, you'd understand how wonderful that would be!)
My question to you is ... Do you want Everything? Our minds always go to the materialistic side of that equation. Or do you even "want" anymore?
Our country is going through some terrible times right now. There is so much uncertainty about the financial state of our economy. Stock market is having terrible losses, the price of gold which has been steadily climbing lost ground even. People are worried about whether they will be able to continue their style of life that they currently enjoy.
For them I say think on the words of the song that I mentioned above:

I want to learn what life is for
I don't want much, I just want more
Ask what I want and I will sing
I want everything (everything)
I'd cure the cold and the traffic jam
If there were floods, I'd give a darn (edited)
I'd never sleep, I'd only sing
Let me do everything (everything)
I'd like to plan a city, play the cello
Play at Monte Carlo, play Othello
Move into the White House, paint it yellow
Speak Portuguese and Deutch
And if it's not too much
I'd like to have the perfect twin
And who'd go out as I come in
I've got to grab the big brass ring
So I'll have everything (everything)
I'm like o child who's set free
At the fun fair
Every ride invites me and it's unfair
Saying that I only get my one share
Doesn't seem just
I could live as I must
If they'd give me the time to turn the tide
Give me the truth if once I lied
Give me the man Who's gonna bringMore of everything
Then I'll have everything
Notice the line above that is in bold. "Give me the man who's gonna bring, more of everything." We already have "the man" among us. God came to earth to live as a man. He brought us more than we could have imagined. We have so many books in the bible in the Old Testament, yet look at how much knowledge we can glean from just the 4 gospels that cover the life of Jesus. God gave us dominion over all of the world in the book of Genesis when man was first created. It is us who have given it back. It is us who have decided we can't, when we can. They say we use 10 percent of our brain's capacity. Start to use what God gave you. Start to want everything that God has in store for us. But you have to believe in God, love God, live for God so that you will receive what God has for you. Then we can have everything!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Weeds Are Coming! The Weeds Are Coming!!

oh wait, they are already here!

Wow, this has been a hot dry summer. I don't know why, but here in Easley SC it seems like every time any rain comes to the area this year, it either: (1) Falls apart before it gets to us (2) Goes around us or (3) Falls apart before it gets to us, Gets below us, Re-forms and takes off again moving away from us.
60% chance of rain Sunday. Dark clouds on the horizon. Thunder booming all around us. Not one drop of rain. Temps flirting with 100, makes for a hot and dry day.
What does this have to do with anything about Christianity? Just wait, it's coming!
I love gardening. Especially flowers. They are all over my front and back yard and deck. So I have been watering them most mornings, yet the heat has been so bad, the flowers are still often droopy from the heat by afternoon. I feel so sorry for them that I want to gather them all up and take them inside where we have central a/c.
But the WEEDS are really getting on my nerves. While I'm steadily trying to keep the flowers alive, the weeds are THRIVING! They are sprouting everywhere in my beds. I put down a fabric underneath the mulch and plants, and now they have found a way to poke thru them. EGADS. So today I had to spend quite some time pulling them. It looks like a bomb was dropped from high above and plants lie scattered around. While pulling weeds, a thought hit me. This is just like church.
Churches have weeds. YES, weeds. They are the ones who are always seeming to prosper in position, while causing a bunch of consternation to everyone. You know, the person who gabs about everyone, never truly likes anyone, yet is trying to be better than everyone. They tend to run people off. They will hurt your feelings, either indirectly or directly, and they won't care. They take over committees and run them with their own agenda, choking off the ideas of anyone who doesn't agree with them. defines a weed as:
'any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted.'
Any undesirable (why do you let people whom everyone knows is not good for the betterment of your congregation run your church) or troublesome (do you really want troublemakers/problem creators in your church?)  plant (reckon Satan has placed them there, either known or unbeknownst to them?), especially (wow, that is a word that has strong meaning) one that grows profusely (read what i said earlier about the takeover) where it is not wanted.
How does it happen?
I blame pastors and congregations alike. People are too worried about being too politically correct for one thing. They don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. It is too hard to get people to church nowadays (and after reading so far, you wonder why????) and they do not want to lose membership/attendance so that they can boast of how big they are.
Pastors! Preach the word. Create a congregation that is strong in the word. Not a congregation that shows up, listens to you carry on for a while, then goes home, never fully understanding why they were there in the first place. You need to show people why they should even be there in the first place. Get their attention back to what matters. That is what Upside Down Christianity is all about. Shake out the bad, the poorly rooted, and put your church (WHICH IS GOD'S HOUSE) back in order.
(don't know how to do it, contact me, I'll come help!)
"Well, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings," is what I hear. Bologna. I'm not saying go and be mean. But confront them. Gather your elders (although a lot of the time a good bit of them are the problem!!!!!) or people who you can trust and will back you. Go to them. Explain to them what they are doing and why it is hurting the ministry of the church. Then give them a choice. Quit doing whatever or you will call them out and ask for their resignation. (notice I did not say throw them out of the church, they still need the word of God!!!!!!!)
"But that will leave me with so few people to work with. The problem children are the only ones who will do anything."
Then get to preaching. And teaching. And PRAY! Ask the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts that they will want to SERVE God, not just Attend Church! (read the earlier blogs (May 2011) on how to have a successful church)
THE WEEDS ARE GOING TO CHOKE YOUR CHURCH!! Then when all you will have is a church with a bad name and a bad reputation (the church I grew up in became known as a problem church because a family ran it, and no one would even come to be an interim, let alone a pastor) and you have no one to preach to eventually (the weeds aren't going to listen, and you will soon realize the spiritual level of the church is dead.)
Once the weeds are all pulled, then the church can begin to grow. It will take your church some time to regroup and start a true growth, (it took my former church almost 2 years), but it will happen, and you, your congregation and your community will be better for it.
NOTE: Are you a member of a congregation where you see this happening all around you? Go to your pastor, tell him what you see, agree to be a part of the solution. But if he refuses to see the problem, then you need to decide what other course needs to be done (change churches/new pastor/etc). DO NOT just sit there and say, "Oh well, I tried but there is nothing I can do about it." THERE IS! And you just may be the one that God will use to do it! END NOTE
Zephaniah 2:9
Therefore, as surely as I live,” declares the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, “surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah— a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. The remnant of my people will plunder them; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.” NIV 1984v
Matthew 13:
 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
   27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
   28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
   “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
   29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
(the above further explained by Jesus later on in the chapter)
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
   40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Now, I ask you, do you want the weeds to take over your church? Do you want to have to let them grow until Jesus has to weed them out for you?
Take care of God's house now. If you see a weed, pluck it before it can grow. Preach the word so that people will know and recognize a weed when they see one.
Stop the weeds before they can start. Let your "wheat" be able to help you keep the "weeds" in check. Then you can have a successful ministry and your church will truly prosper.
May God bless you in the days to come!

Monday, August 1, 2011

God Ain't Never Had a Grandchild


John 1:12-13
12      But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name;
13      Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

I helped with Vacation Bible School last night at my church here in Easley. I had the boys from 1st to 5th grade. Now, these guys still have a lot of energy, and they can be a bit much to keep up with. (ever tried running after 7 kids who are over 40 years younger than you?)
One of the kids was the pastors son. The lesson is very basic, and I could tell probably boring to him. He is very bright, and astute in his learning of the bible. SO it set me to thinking.
How many of us have ever gotten something because of our family heritage? Maybe you got into a better school because it was your parent’s alma mater. Maybe you got a job because a parent was in a position of influence in your community. Maybe you’re working hard in your career so that your family name can be kept in a higher regards. In our world that we live in, it is possible to get ahead because of our family, especially our parents.

But let me tell you about a time when it isn’t going to help you to have a politician for a dad, a Sunday school teacher for a mom, or a preacher for a close relative.

There is going to be a man at a desk, with a very large book in front of Him, and in that book are going to be a bunch of names. Your loved ones who have passed on before you may or may not be in that book. One by one people are going to step up to the desk, and then He will look in the book to see if He has their name anywhere in the list. If He finds it, He will say “well done my good and faithful servant, you may enter into Heaven”. If He doesn’t find it, He will tell you “Depart from me, for I never knew you”. No ones name will be listed in a sub category under someone else’s name. Each name will have to stand there by itself.
This He I’m talking about is Jesus, and He has the final word. You can’t ask Him to look under anyone’s name, or explain who you are kin to. He won’t accept it. As a matter of a fact, there is no excuse that He will accept.

That is why it says in verse 13 that you must be born of God, not flesh or blood, like your kinfolk. So today I am asking you, are you born of God? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior, and asked him into your heart? I pray that you have. If not, contact me and let me talk more with you about it.
God bless and Have a Great Day!