The USA is not really known as a country that cares much for soccer. To be honest, many people here resent the fact that other countries call it Futbol. Football! We know football and that isn’t football. But, today, in the USA, we are soccer fans. It’s the world cup and we have advanced to the playoffs. I guess they call it the round of 16 over at FIFA. Anyway, if there is one thing that we can agree on here in the USA, when our team is playing on the world stage, we are fans. It doesn’t matter if it is Curling at the Winter Olympics or Gymnastics in the Summer, we are fans. Today, we are soccer fans. Look out Belgium, here we come!
Why am I writing this blog post today? I don’t know, it just came to me. Maybe this is for you, maybe it is for me. Let’s just see where it goes.
When you think about the vices that weigh most people down, you really have to place the blame on our inability to tame our flesh and rise above the primal desires that were designed into these mortal bodies we live in. Financial issues, non-medical obesity, adultery, laziness, theft, the need for the next electronic gadget; all of these things relate to an issue with controlling our fleshly desires for things, physical pleasure and comfort.
This is not just a modern day issue. Even the apostles had to deal with these issues. Look at what Jesus said to them. It was the night that Jesus would be betrayed by Judas Iscariot (sold him for some silver coinage). Jesus had took his closest disciples with him up on the hill to pray, but they fell asleep instead. Mark 14:37-38 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,”he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Bible.com) After all the miracles of healing, casting out demons, feeding the multitudes and walking on water, how could these guys fall asleep when Jesus asked them to pray?
At some point in your life you are going to have to decide that you are not going to give into the desires for things that bring no lasting benefit to you physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Sometimes you also have to decide if something that will benefit you physically is really beneficial to you in the complete sense of your personal wellness when the spiritual and emotional benefits must also be included in the calculation. The most obvious answer to which of these three things is most important relies heavily on the fact that our spiritual well-being has eternal consequences. Doing anything for momentary pleasure or short term benefit, without first thinking of the long term consequence, can have long lasting impact on ones life. Especially if those short lived pleasures are partaken of frequently.
In the book “Smart Money Smart Kids”, Rachel Ramsey states that winning with money means “learning patience, delayed gratification, and contentment” (p. 201). I would contend that these principles are important for winning in many areas of ones of life. Yet, these principles of living are not necessarily strengthened by the fact that we are advertised to almost constantly by all these electronic devices all around us. Then these advertisements put small subconscious messages in our minds that tell us that these things we see are acceptable and normal to have or do. I’m not saying these things are all bad, they are probably not. But the problem comes when you start to think that you must have these things to be content with life.
This is why we must continually be mindful of why we are doing the things we do each day. What is the real reason why you are going to buy that new iPhone? What is the real reason why you are eating that third plate full of spaghetti? What is the real reason why are are dashing on a little extra cologne today? We must make sure that our actions are being governed by something other than our own flesh. Sometimes you can’t follow your own heart or your mind alone, but you should have your heart, mind and the Spirit working together to make the bigger decisions in life.
The apostle Paul in the book of Romans says it this way; “Romans 8:7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (Bible.com) Knowing this, that the flesh is not able to submit to the law, our Lord the creator sent His son Jesus in the flesh to be a sin offering. Because Jesus, in the form of sinful flesh, was sacrificed as an offering for our sins, if we believe in Jesus he will be faithful to send His Spirit to us to help us make the right decisions in life. Our job then is to make sure the we are listening when the Spirit is guiding us.
A father’s work is never done, especially with an energetic son
“Hey dad”, he says, “let’s go out and play”, but son it’s father’s day
a day where I should relax and rest, and be told that I am the best
“But dad”, he says, “how about this”, a project that just can’t be missed
Son you know I love you so, don’t you think we should let that go
It’s father day and I’m the best, shouldn’t I just take a rest
Then there is this thought within, a little reminder of if not now then when
No, tomorrow I must mow, and Tuesday I’m not sure who is to know
If this dad is the best, then this lesson I must address
Life is too short to take a rest, when with an energetic son you have been blessed
© Johnathan Sexton and OneChristianMan.com, 2014.
The latest issues in Iraq are happening for many reasons, I’ll list just a few. First, a weak Iraqi government and fearful spirit in their military personnel. Second, a weak U.S. leader whose foreign policy is to let whatever terror group take over what they can. Then, there is that whole Bible prophecy thing.
The obvious reason, in plain site of the world, is that the Iraqi military has not stood up and held back what is yet another radical Islamist terror group taking over a middle-eastern country. This is a bit different though in that our U.S. government (CIA, etc.) is not secretly backing this takeover like in the other countries that have recently undergone regime changes. No, this takeover is really just another replay of an age-old battle that has been happening over and over for a few centuries in the region. This battle is between different Muslim groups who claim rights over the country, and one of these groups happens to be very strict and is known to be very evil in terms of how they treat women.
Our government leadership in the U.S. has known that this was happening for several months now, and has chosen to drag their feet on a response and worry about poll numbers and how a response may or may not lead to votes in the mid-term elections in November. I know that putting boots on the ground in Iraq again is not an easy decision. That may not be the approach we should take, but we should at least provide the support that is requested from the Iraqi government. Unless for some reason our leadership wants that country split into three regions for some reason (Kurds, Sunni, and Shi’ite). This may not be a bad idea if your only goal is stability, but the Shi’ite group should not be allowed to continue their horrible treatment of women and overly cruel practices of punishment and religious intolerance.
Now, the real reason behind this is that it is part of a bigger plan. A part of Bible prophecy. I know, we hear this every time something happens in the middle-east. Somehow some religious personality is going to link anything they see to the end times. Well, if the shoe fits!
So, here is a little short breakdown of what to watch for. If you see these signs over the next few months/year, you’ll know what is up. You should know that Bible scholars are not all in agreement on the literal nature of some of these prophecies because you could very easily see where Babylon could actually refer to the current day economic center of the world (maybe New York).
1. Zechariah 5:5-11 talks about wickedness being taken to Shinar (Iraq or Babylonia) and oddly enough the chapter uses a woman to symbolize the wickedness. I don’t know why. I know a woman is used as a symbol in prophecy a few times, but I don’t think they all tie together. It also mentions a cover made of lead over the basket. This may mean nothing, but you could note that bullets contain lead and so do bombs.
2. The Iraq wars in the 1990s and 2000s were bad. However, the Bible prophecy talks of great numbers of casualties that would take place in that region in the end times. This makes one think that there would need to be some weapon of mass destruction used against a major population center in the country (Jeremiah 51:29). Might that come from Iran or terrorists? I’m not sure. Israel will also get involved somehow.
3. According to which scholar you read, insert WW3 here. (not necessarily Armageddon, but an attack on Israel where God intervenes)
4. After this great loss of life and desolation, a leader will stand up and will convince this region and the those around it to sign a 7 year peace arrangement. Somehow Israel and its foes will be talked into having peace together and they will sign a peace initiative of some kind. (Daniel 9:27) This may also include Russia and Iran (Gog and Magog maybe) as they are surely part of the WW3 scenario above.
5. Babylon (current day Hillah, south of Baghdad), will be rebuilt and will become the center of trade for the region. Some scholars differ and say that this may be any new city built that is set up as the economic and religious center of the world. Also, a new Temple will be built in Jerusalem (which will of course anger many Muslims).
6. About 3.5 years into the new Peace time (7 year covenant) the anti-Christ will desecrate the new Temple, which is obviously a bad idea because that is going to bring the wrath of God. (2 Thes. 2:3-4)
So, when does the rapture and the tribulation period take place? There is a lot of debate on those. Let’s just make sure we are all ready for the rapture when it happens.
We had a couple of visitors in the backyard yesterday evening. The hens were a little curious but not too worried. I sat and watched these young rabbits eat a few minutes. They were eating whole clovers, grass, and a few weeds growing within my patio area. Which brought on an idea. I wonder how many rabbits I would need to keep my lawn mowed.