My preview of Obama’s SOTU: From our Dictator-in-Chief

This brief post, in the interest of saving you save time and trouble, is a condensed digestobama-the-dictator-1-12-2013 of what President Obama will lay out in his SOTU speech tonight. Fortunately, I’m one of the few to channel Obama’s thoughts and I know in advance what he’s going to say this evening. Here goes:

This is our guy, our President, our esteemed dictator. He will double-down on all his failed policies. Maybe it was Einstein who said that you continue to do the same thing and expect different results, you’re insane. So from the Oval Office of Insanity, expect to hear more of the same proposals that we’ve heard for the past 5 yrs. 

Obama_state-of-union2There will be the usual reference to rebuilding our infrastructure with “shovel-ready” projects (however, he’ll neglect to tell us one minor detail–that every project will need 3000 permits before work can commence.)

Along these lines, Obama will strike a conciliatory tone with Congress. He’ll do the “bait and switch” routine. I want to work with congress (so that he sounds bi-partisan) but if I can’t (and we know that he doesn’t want to) I’ll go it alone and make some unilateral decisions, otherwise known as “executive orders.” This end-run around Congress,  which is charged in the Constitution with “making the laws” is another effort on Obama’s part to ignore the checks and balances of the Constitution. One would think that our “so-called” constitutional scholar in the Oval Office would know this, but chances are, he was smoking some weed (by his own admission) when they covered that subject at Harvard law.

When he references Congress, listen for this great line from his advisor, Dan Pfeiffer: “We need to show the American people that we can get something done.” Where has he been for the past 5 yrs? In another country? Or just out playing golf? Don’t bother answering these two rhetorical questions. ObamaLyingtoAMerica_Pix

You won’t hear Obama reference his “over-used” popularism line, “Income inequality” and instead, he’ll opt for a more positive term, “opportunity.” Listen for the word “opportunity” to be used twenty or thirty times throughout his SOTU tonight. However, when Obama says “opportunity”, that’s “code” for more government spending, new government programs, more handouts, and mandating fairness by making companies hire those who are dunces and brain-dead just to give them an opportunity.

Obama_the_dictator2Obama will mention education as always, but this just be another bone thrown to the government educators and education unions. He always wants to give government teachers more money so that can continue to graduate students who can’t read, write, spell, do math, speak English, or tell time– they certainly don’t know anything about the history of our nation. But all high school grads have been inculcated in the subject of victimization, and well as the evils of the United States and capitalism. They also have a firm grasp on carbon pollution, and how evil companies like BP and Exxon are polluting this planet.

To summarize Obama’s thoughts in the State of the Union tonight: 

  • The Constitution? Who needs it when you can rule by decree? 
  • A Government of Laws? Who needs it when you can rule by decree? 
  • Separation of Powers? Who needs it when you can rule by decree? 

President Obama will emphasize his intention to use a unilateral presidential authority, and he plans to bypass Congress whenever necessary. Now who will define “necessary”? That’s the role of dictators. That’s the role of our dictator-in-chief, Barack Obama. You can rename the SOTU to the State of the Coup, since we now a Dictator running our country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In loving memory of one of God’s great gifts to the Church.

Jerry_CookOn January 11, 2014, Jerry Cook passed from this life into the presence of the Lord. It’s a great loss for us and a wonderful gain for heaven. Jerry served 52 yrs. as a pastor, author, professor, speaker, advisor, husband and grandfather.

If you haven’t a clue as to who Jerry Cook was–Please allow me a few paragraphs of introduction to this humble, mild-mannered saint whose one goal was to get Christians out of the pew and into the real world where we could make a difference for the kingdom of God.

Jerry had this unique ability, truly a gift from God, to be able to break down the complicated aspects of Christianity and bring it home in such a practical way that you could get a handle on it and go out and begin to do what Jesus had commissioned us to do. (Check out the YouTube videos of Jerry speaking on “The Church as a Force“–link at the end of this post).

Jerry Cook was the best-selling author of “Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness” which has LAFgone through numerous printings and is still a bestseller today. In “LA&F” Jerry was the first to coin the now oft heard phrase, “the church as a force.” He also coined the phrase, being “open for business.” Every day, whatever we do, wherever we work or study, we have an invisible sign that either reads “closed” or “open for business.” His contention was that God puts it in the DNA of every believer to be “open for business” 24/7.

The few times that I had dinner with Jerry and spent time in conversation, he came across as a loving father who genuinely cared about my success and growth as a pastor. He also helped me to gain perspective and get reacquainted with what God saw as really important.

Jerry_Cook2Jerry would say that it’s not how great a Sunday service you have but rather what your people are doing out in the real world the other six days of the week. For Jerry, church wasn’t a Sunday morning thing but rather all week long. He tried to open our eyes to the fact that ”church” was serving Starbucks’ coffee, repairing cars, setting up a home theatre as part of the Geek Squad, studying for a business degree, a mom homeschooling her two children, playing tackle on your high school football team, sitting in your office with a client, a pharmaceutical rep, a physical therapist helping a patient regain mobility (You get the idea). For Jerry, it was all about being “open for business” and asking “The Jesus Question.”

To know Jerry Cook was to know that he was a great story-teller. We could all take a lesson from Jerry. Just like Jesus, he communicated solid biblical truth through powerful stories that held you spellbound. He communicated through some of the most poignant Jerry_Cook3and profound stories I’ve ever heard.

Jerry also had this self-deprecating, dry sense of humor. He always knew how to get a laugh from his audience, often at his own expense, which was fine with Jerry. He wasn’t out to make a name for himself. Jerry’s goal in life was to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ, and to that extent, he succeeded 110%. There are a lot of young pastors out there as well as some now middle-aged pastors who are doing a better job for the sake of the kingdom and making a great difference in this world, all because they came in contact with Jerry Cook. There are many Christians who through a conference or a book or tape series, Jerry Cook helped them to gain a better understanding of Jesus and his purpose for their lives and the church.

I leave you with some Jerry Cook-isms:

  • “Many people have a detached god. Many Christians are praying to a god out there. The invocation is a prayer to invite God here to join us. Where does he come from? When church is over, where does he go? Where does God hang out?”
  • “The more distant your view of God (the God out there), the more legalistic you’re going to be.”
  • “The resurrection of Jesus empowered no one. NO ONE. Where were Jesus’ disciples between his ascension and the Day of Pentecost? Cowering behind locked doors in fear of the Jews. The resurrection did NOTHING to change their lives.”
  • “The Jesus Question: Is there anything I can do for you? Jesus makes this outrageous statement: “I haven’t come to be served, but to serve…” What kind of god is that? We’re used to religious gods who, if you serve them well, bless you and if you don’t serve them well, they’ll punish you. And sometimes, even when you serve them well, they still get back at you, just to prove that they’re god. But this Jesus comes out and says, “I’m here to serve you.”
  • If there is not a way that Jesus Christ can reproduce his life in us, in our every day world (your world and mine), then, what in the name of heaven are we doing?

If you’d like to see and hear Jerry Cook at his absolute best, check out this message that he gave in 2004 on “The Church as a Force.”     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FHIDAa661M

  • Also, later on this week, I plan to upload at YouTube, a couple more messages by Jerry Cook, so keep checking YouTube.

What is truth?

truthThe great central planner and respected mass murdering communist, Joseph Stalin always maintained : “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”

Had the Russian people just cheerfully agreed with the “Official Truth” , some 20 million citizens might not have needed to be eliminated to achieve “Consensus”.

We live in a day when our government’s reputation for truth and veracity is soiled, as is that of our media and elected officials. We may be headed toward a day when millions of U.S. citizens are imprisoned or eliminated in order to achieve a “consensus.” I suspect that I will be one of the chosen ones selected for early elimination. While I don’t relish it, it will probably be deemed a “badge of honor.”

I’m reading a fascinating theological book by N.T. Wright, How God Became King.” He makes the case for the fact that we often ignore the teaching and truth of the four gospels which present Jesus as coming to establish his place as Israel’s King, and the King of kings. The angel Gabriel announces to Mary,

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”(Luke 1:31-33)

Jesus comes into Galilee at the start of his 3-yr ministry and announces that the kingdom of God is at hand. (Mark 1:15). We read that he went through the villages and towns proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God (Luke 8:1). For Jesus, it was all about proclaiming and establishing his rightful place as the King of the Jews and ultimately King of kings over the world and all principalities and powers.

At the end of his ministry, Jesus is standing before Pilate, who is about to condemn Jesus to be crucified. And Pilate said to him,

Pilate asking Jesus, "What is truth?"

Pilate asking Jesus, “What is truth?”

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him.       (John 18:37-38)

There is a clash between two kingdoms: the Kingdom of this world which is what we see in Washington DC, Hollywood, New York, London, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Tokyo, etc. and the Kingdom of Jesus (Almighty God).

One Kingdom is built on one lie after another, and tells us that truth is relative–“your truth”may not be “my truth.” Truth in this kingdom is whatever we want it to be for today, whatever we choose to fabricate and package as “truth.”

We even have scientists today who design models based on lies, and with full knowledge communicate the data to us as inarguable facts. We have a President who knowingly lied to us time and again about being able to keep our doctor, and our current health coverage, as well as trying to sell the lie that four Americans were killed at the embassy in Benghazi because of outrage over a Youtube video. Lies, lies and more lies.

So do you want me to release to you your "king of the Jews?"

So do you want me to release to you your “king of the Jews?”

Jesus’ kingdom is different from the kingdoms of this world based in Washington DC and elsewhere because His kingdom is established in truth and uses truth as a weapon against all the lies of the enemy. When Pilate asked “What is truth?”–it was rhetorical because he really wasn’t seeking an answer. If he had, he would have known that the embodiment of truth was standing before him. Jesus proclaimed to all the powers of the world, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6).

John 8:31

John 8:31

When we speak the truth and bear witness to the truth, we shine a light into the dark corners of this world where God’s mercy, justice, love, forgiveness and grace are sorely needed. The evil empires of this world (including the United States) can’t cope with this. They make their own truth which is nothing but sordid lies and distortions and leaves people in bondage, despair, poverty and victims of injustice.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be on the side of truth. I want to be enlisted in God’s kingdom which he is establishing here on earth. Remember the prayer we pray (the Lord’s prayer) “…Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s my prayer. Lord use me to help further your kingdom. Help me to speak truth even when it is inconvenient and could result in being singled out as a rebel or trouble-maker. Help me to speak truth in a world that full of lies and deception. Let your kingdom come and your will be done in my life and in the life of everyone reading this today!

My new reality show addiction: Ultimate Survivor Alaska!!

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ultimate_survival4

I have a new TV “reality” show that I’m addicted to, “Ultimate Survival Alaska” on the National Geographic Channel on Sunday evenings at 9pm (EST). I’m also watching the first season on Hulu which features eight intrepid, independent Alaskan men who each bring different skill sets to the table. They are forced to brave the Alaskan wilderness without tents, with no cellphones or GPS systems or other modern convenience on a 10-leg trek where they will be cold, wet, and hungry, and facing the real possibility of serious injury or even death. These guys don’t have any stunt men to take over the difficult stuff like jumping across bottomless crevasse or crossing a fast-moving river where the water is just above freezing. Each leg covers some of the most brutal and rugged terrain in Alaska with no roads, no motels or restaurants. The only food is what you catch, the only fire is the one you make, the only protection from the wind and rain is the shelter you build. These eight men are in a head-to-head battle for perseverance. They have just 72 hours to complete each leg of the journey.

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These 8 men have suffered instances of hypothermia, nasty falls, and numerous encounters with bears for sixty days. One of te scariest moments comes when Marty’s son, Matt, is paddling alone in a kayak on a 40-mi stretch of Prince William Sound and suddenly disappears. Marty and his companion Tyler head for shore to build a fire, sending up a cloud of smoke as well as firing several rounds from a gun and still no sign of Matt. The next day, almost 24 hours since their last sight of Matt, they find his two water bottles hanging on a small ice glacier, but no sign of Matt. This is a scary moment. Has Matt’s kayak tipped over? It’s at this point that Tyler has to talk Marty down to reality assuring him that their best bet is to get to their extraction zone and if Matt is not there, they can then organize a search party. 

As a father, Marty fears the worst, yet hopes that his son is ok. After almost three days since they last sighting of Matt, Marty and Tyler are rounding a bend  of rock, to their extraction zone (the LZ) where they will be picked up by a boat. Marty’s heart is pounding and he says, “I pray Matt’s there. I pray Matt’s there.”

Tyrell & Dallas Seavers, Marty Rainey

Tyrell & Dallas Seavers, Marty Rainey

And sure enough, they spot Matt waving to them from the boat which has been sent to pick them up on this leg of the journey. Marty, who says he’s not a hugger, gives his son the biggest bear hug, and says such a huge load has been lifted off his shoulders, knowing that his son is safe and sound.

I’m watching Marty as he’s anxious, worried and fearful over what might might have happened to his son. I’m almost screaming at him to pray. Pray Marty. Pray and ask God to protect your son and show you where he is. But prayer doesn’t enter the picture at all on any of these episodes. Sad to say, I’m afraid that these manly men are self-sufficient and have no real knowledge of the One who created all the beauty and majesty that they encounter in Alaska, not to mention the One who gives them their own breath of life and sustains them daily and answers prayers and cries for help.

There are numerous instances where I would think that they would be calling out to Jesus for help, direction, safety, protection, etc. but that never happens. There are moments when I would think that they would be thanking and praising the Lord for getting them through difficult circumstances, but they always seem to chalk it up to “good luck” or their own skills and ingenuity. These men love the creation, but they are clueless concerning the Creator Himself.

ultimate_survivalI’m not being critical of these guys. I like all eight of them and they’re special men, manly men, a rare breed in this day and age. If the U.S. ever suffered a cataclysmic disaster or attack left us without electricity, gas, no food, etc., these are the kind of men I’d want to link up with because they know how to live off the land. In the truest sense of the word, they are “survivors.”

However, my prayer is that they might come to know the Lord who loves them and died for them so that they could experience more than just the beauty of Alaska, and have even greater purpose in their lives–that they might live their lives for the glory of Almighty God, the One who created them and all the awesome splendor of Alaska.

Watch Ultimate Survivor Alaska on Hulu.

Also, Sunday nights at 9pm (ET) on National Geographic Channel.