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WE ARE UNRECOGNIZABLE

If the Founding Father were to somehow see our country now days, they would not recognize it. We have strayed away so far from what they envisioned that they would not believe this is the same country. They came wanting religious freedom, and they established it here.
To the Founding Fathers religious freedom did not mean not to believe in God. All of them were Christians who believed in following the godly principles outlined in the Bible. They just did not want the state to tell them that they had to belong to The Church of England. They wanted to attend a church of their choice.
Because they wanted to attend the church of their choice, in the Constitution they included what became known as “separation between church and state.” That meant that the government could not force them to attend a specific church or to believe in a certain way. The lawyers and politicians have changed “separation between church and state” to mean that we cannot mention anything related to God in our public institutions. That is completely and totally opposed to the intent of our Founding Fathers.
Some Christians in our nation have lost their jobs and others have been taken to court because of their Judeo-Christian beliefs. It is no longer “separation between church and state,” but rather absolute discrimination toward the people who not only believe in what the Bible says, but actually believe in living it. Just because a few radicals do not believe in God the rest of us are made to suffer the consequences.
In regards to Christianity our country is not even a shadow of what it used to be. The only way that it is a shadow is because shadows are dark. In other words, we have gone from the light of God to the darkness of sin and evil. This is clearly demonstrated by our laws and by our actions.
For the last fifty years or so we have been spiraling down immorally. It all started in the late forties with “separation between church and state.”
After “separation between church and state” came abortion being permissible and legal, followed by the marriage of same-sex marriages, and then the legalized sale of marihuana. Now a political party that espouses all those mentioned causes wants our country to go by the way of Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, China and others by becoming a socialist nation. If we do we will become a third-world country just as it has happened to the others before us.
We are going nowhere fast! Is there hope for us? There is, but only if we return to the values our Founding Fathers set before us. Those values, of course, are the Judeo-Christian values. Instead of going deeper into sin and self-destruction we need to return to God. He is waiting, ready, and willing to help us, but only if we take a detour from the road of self-destruction. What we do now will determine our destiny.
http://thelivinglights.com rlsalvation@gmail.com (2/21/2019

BE CAREFUL AND SPEAK WISELY

Many people speak for the sake of speaking. I am quite sure you know some of those people. In Proverb 17:28, the Bible says: “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.” Along the same lines, Abraham Lincoln said: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” That is excellent advice.
Whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant. The fact is that on Judgment Day you will have to give account to God of every word you said, of every thought, and of every action. In Matthew 12:36-37, the Bible says: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Jesus Himself will judge us.
We should definitely refrain from using any unnecessary words. Clear, straight, and truthful communication is the best policy. We should adhere to the court ruling of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If we do that, we are in complete compliance with God’s word and with His will. Jesus Himself said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except though Me.” – John 14:6.
We should not speak prematurely on any issue. We should wait until all the facts are in. Many times what seems to be correct or the truth at first glance is wrong. We should see all the sides possible to an issue, and then weigh the pros and cons before making a decision or rendering our verdict. If new evidence comes out that sheds a different light on the issue, then we should not be afraid to change our stance.
When we hear something we should not be biased nor prejudiced. We should approach everything with an open mind. We should not judge other people’s behavior. That privilege and task belong to God. Jesus told His disciples: “ And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” – Luke 6:41-42. It is very easy to see somebody else’s mistakes and to overlook our own.
We are not supposed to gossip. When we gossip we are tearing somebody down. Gossip is just that. We do not know if it’s true or not. It could be that somebody – for personal reasons – is trying to ruin somebody else’s reputation. By spreading gossip we become part of the problem, instead of being part of the solution. We should keep our nose out of everybody else’s business, and they should keep theirs out of ours.
Slander is worse than gossip. Slander is when we try to ruin somebody else’s reputation on purpose. In other words, we know what we are saying or doing is totally wrong, but we do it to bring harm to the other person. The politicians in our country are doing exactly that. It is bringing division and tearing our country down in the eyes of the world and in our own eyes. If they keep on doing that, it will bring destruction to our society and to our country.
In essence we should not participate in speaking prematurely, using idle words, telling lies, gossiping, slandering, belittling people or defaming anybody. Instead of doing any of those things we should edify other people whenever possible. We should be helping people to reach their fullest potential. When we do that, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

FOUR WAYS OF DOING THINGS

There are four ways of doing things, and they are: The right way, the wrong way, one’s way, and God’s way. Sometimes one can combine two or three of them because they coincide, are practical, and because they may yield the best results. Other times they are done individually. It all depends on the person, the time, the place, and the situation.
Although I can come up with many different examples from different times, different experiences, different circumstances, different cultures, and different types of people, I am going to illustrate my point with our driving experiences. Most of us are familiar with automobiles in one way or another, so I am going to use that as our example.
Other than having the proper driver’s license the first step a good driver takes is to make sure he is not physically impaired to drive his vehicle. The next step is to make sure the car has been properly maintained either by him or by somebody else. Then when he drives it, he observes the rules set forth by the proper authorities. He goes beyond the stated rules by following common sense and by driving as safely as possible under the circumstances. Doing all that is driving the right way.
Driving the wrong way is just the opposite of driving the right way. In other words, one would not necessarily care if the automobile had been maintained properly or not, nor would one worry about his own physical condition, much less about the road conditions. One would only follow the established rules when it was convenient, or when there was no other way out. One’s own safety and that of others would not be a primary concern. The idea would be to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.
Driving one’s way would be to drive according to one’s way of thinking. In other words, one would make up his own rules. Those rules could be good, bad, somewhere in between, or even completely different from the norm. Many people drive like that, and many live their lives exactly like that. They are the ones who make it difficult for those of us who try to live and let live. We know we have to share the road with others, as well as sharing this world, so we just try to be patient and understanding.
The fourth group are the people who live by godly principles. Whenever possible they try to do things God’s way. When they drive, they don’t only follow the rules of the road set up by the established authority, but they are courteous, friendly and helpful. When a motorist has mechanical problems they stop and help if they can.
To be completely honest, many times God’s way is more difficult than the other three. It may make us step out of our comfort zone. Some driver may cut in front of us, and instead of cursing at him, which may come naturally to somebody else, we may pray for him. Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. In many cases it is very difficult to do.
We should definitely try to always do it God’s way. It may not make any sense to us or to those around us, but in the long run it will be the best thing to do. Doing it God’s way is not being selfish, but rather thinking of the other person’s welfare, being in harmony with our surroundings, being patient, taking action to right a wrong when possible, helping other people achieve their good goals, developing and practicing our God-given talents to help ourselves and to help others.
http://thelivinglights.com rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net (2/7/2019)

“THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA”

Our country is “The United States of America,” but the way people are acting, it should be called, “The Divided States of America.” The way we are acting is ludicrous, absurd, insane, and totally ridiculous. A country divided against itself cannot stand because eventually it will destroy itself, and unfortunately that is what we are doing rapidly to ourselves. We have seen the enemy in the mirror, and the scary part is that it happens to be us.
Jesus Himself told us: “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. and if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” When Abraham Lincoln was running for President he addressed the Republican State Convention on June 16, 1858. The title of his speech was, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He was obviously addressing the issue of some states favoring slavery, and some wanting the slaves to be free. We do not have to guess where the title of his speech came from.
It is an absolute travesty for us to say we are a democracy, and yet to have racial problems in our society. No skin, hair or eye color is better than another one. Year, make, model and motor being equal in several automobiles make them equal. One is not better or inferior than the other because it is white, brown, black, red, purple or any other color. A house that has exactly the same floor plan as another and is next to it, but it has a different color it is not inferior nor superior to the other one.
A person is not better or worse because he leans toward the Republicans, Democrats, or the Independents. Regardless of what political party we may belong to, our aim should be to work together, and to make this a better place for all of us. It is our house, It belongs to all of us. No group should be overly possessive.
When people come from other countries, other cultures or other types of governments, it is not up to us to conform to their language, religion, culture or their ways, but it is up to them to conform to ours. They should try to become Americanized as soon as possible. That does not mean they should lose their personality or their culture, but they should try to blend in as soon as possible, and much as possible. As the saying goes…“When in Rome do as the Romans do.” Of course, since most of us are immigrants, in one way or another, we should do our best to help them adjust to their new country.
Our Constitution has worked well for over two hundred years, and we should continue living according to its principles. We should not change it or discard it just because people are coming in from other countries with different ideas, or because those same people and their descendants do not want to believe in God. Our founding fathers established this nation as a Christian Republic.
Our flag represents what our country stands for. If some athletes refuse to salute our flag, that simply means they don’t believe in our American values. That being the case, they should go to a country where they agree with the values of that nation. Some of those protestors, whether they be athletes, singers or movie stars, are being paid more than a million dollars per week. They have not missed a meal in their lives and they are protesting. If anyone should be protesting it would be the homeless people.
If we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem. Let us all try to understand each other, so we can work together to make this a better place for all of us. That would be a win-win situation.
http://thelivinglights.com rlsalvation@gmail.com (1/31/2019)

 

HOW MUCH IS YOUR SOUL WORTH?

According to the dictionary a soul is the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being often regarded as immortal, where the emotional and intellectual nature of a person or animal is located. In essence, we can compare the soul to being the machinery and hard drive that runs the body. The body is just the housing.

The body, as we all know, gets old and dies. There is no escaping from that. The soul, however, lives forever. Fortunately for some of us, and unfortunately for others, there are only two places where the soul will spend eternity. One place is heaven with the Lord Jesus, and the other one is the lake of fire with the devil. Our soul which is the real us, gets to choose where it wants to spend eternity.

The people who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior or Redeemer will spend eternity with Him. The reason is simple; Jesus paid for their sins by dying on the cross and shedding His blood for them. They will enter heaven as if they had never sinned. The ones who never receive Jesus in their lives are still carrying their sins, and will spend eternity paying for them in the lake of fire. It has nothing to do with what religion they belong to, or how nice they may be. Sin is sin and it has to be paid for.

Your most priceless possession is not your bank account, your house, your car nor anything else. It is without question your soul. By the same token, salvation is also priceless. No amount of money can pay for salvation. That is why Father God gave His most priceless possession for your soul. He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. That’s right! He shed His blood and died on the cross, so you could spend eternity with Him. That is how much your soul is worth to God. How much is it worth to you?

Adam and Eve sold their soul for a fruit. We really do not know what that fruit was, but it was a fruit. It could have been a fig, an apple, an apricot or any other fruit. In Genesis 3:6, the Bible says: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” Their souls were not worth too much to them. For that reason God expelled them out of the garden of Eden.

Judas Iscariot did not value his soul. He sold it for thirty pieces of silver. In Matthew 26:14-15, the Bible says: “ Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.” Unless I am terribly mistaken, which I doubt, Judas is in hell.

We have seen two cases where people lost their souls for very little. Abraham, on the other hand, would not sell his for anything. God asked him for the life of his son Isaac, and Abraham obeyed. Genesis 22:9-11 states it this way: “Then they came to a place of which God had told him (Abraham). And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he (Abraham) said, “Here I am.” And He (the Angel) said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

How much is your soul worth to you? Are you going to sell it for drugs, liquor, sex or other so-called worldly pleasures? Only you know! If you want to make sure you will spend eternity rejoicing with God, and not suffering in the lake of fire, all you have to do is receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You see, although salvation is priceless, and no amount of money could ever pay for it, God makes it free to you. His Son Jesus Christ already paid the full price with something that money cannot buy – His blood and His life. All you have to do is accept it. Read the following prayer, and when you, more or less, understand it, pray it to God aloud in all sincerity and humility. He will hear you, forgive you, and make you His child.

“Father God, I repent of all my sins. Please forgive me, as I believe and confess that Jesus is Your Son, that He suffered, bled, died and resurrected on the third day to pay for my sins. I ask Him to be my Lord and Savior, and for the Holy Spirit to live in me, so He can guide me and protect me. Thank You Father! Amen.”

http://thelivinglights.com

AGE GRACEFULLY

We are living in an age where people do not believe in absolutes. However that does not change the fact that they have existed, are existing now, and will always exist. One absolute is that all of us are going to die. There is no getting around it. Sooner or later that day will come to each and every one of us. That includes you and me!

Not necessarily all of them ,but most American women want to age gracefully. That is why in 2013 they spent more than 426 billion dollars on creams, makeup and so on. It has been reported that every American woman spends more than fifteen thousand dollars on beauty products during her lifetime. That does not include what the men spend on lotions, creams and so on.

In the year 2016 the American people spent more than sixteen billion dollars on cosmetic surgery. That amount does include men and women, because there are quite a few men who are going through plastic cosmetic surgery. Of course, that number is rising annually, and there seems to be no ceiling in sight.

15% of the American population has a gym membership, spending more than $600 annually per capita, and a total of nineteen billion dollars per year. Those same people and a few others also spend about thirty-three billion dollars on sports equipment. All that money is spent trying to exercise to lose weight, have more muscle, better health, and to look better. In many, many cases when that exercise equipment is used correctly and regularly it does help a person be healthier, look better, and live longer.

Although many people are doing many things to age gracefully physically, and that does help their physical health, appearance, and state of mind, but it is much more important to age gracefully mentally, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. The latter four will give a person more confidence, satisfaction, joy and happiness.

By being psychologically well-balanced you will be able to make wise and correct decisions. Your happiness will not depend on how strong you are physically, how young you may look, how good looking you may be, how beautiful your face and body may be, or even on how much money you may have. Instead your happiness will come by knowing who you are, what you stand for, and who God is in your life.

Because of your past, it may be that you may not be well-balanced psychologically. If that is your case, work on it. It is never too late. If you transform your mind (Romans 12:2), and decide to leave the past in the past, and to start a new, you will succeed. Take every negative thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) immediately. Remember that today is the first day of the rest of your life. You can have a fresh start.

Hopefully you are emotionally stable, but if, for whatever reason, you are not, then start working on it immediately. Yes, you can do it. Do not let your emotions run you. As with everything thing else, the first step is to realize you have a problem. Once you admit it, then come up with some solutions. The next step is to discard the solutions that are not viable. They may not be viable for many reasons; too expensive, it takes too long, you don’t have the resources, it’s too far from you, you cannot miss work, and so on. Choose the best solution that is viable to you.

Do not confuse being religious with being spiritual. Being religious means believing in what a certain religion believes. It could be totally wrong, and many of the religions are. Many so-called religious people worship animals, the sun, other people who lived a long time ago, or even the devil. Spiritual people, on the other hand, worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and have an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus, who is God in the flesh, said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.” – John 14:6.

You can age gracefully by maturing physically, mentally, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. That does not mean you are to neglect your physical health and appearance, but do not give them more importance than to the attributes mentioned in the previous statement.

In your legacy do not be known as a grumpy old lady or a cranky old man. Have people remember you as a loving person who always had nice, positive, and kind words for everyone – a person who was always kindly referred to as, “Grandma or Grandpa.”

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net (1/17/19)

PULLING SOMEONES LEG-ILLUSTRATION

WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK?

There are many reasons why people do not succeed, and why they stay stuck in a rut. People use many excuses, but also offer many good reasons as to why they have not succeeded. Many of those excuses and reasons are valid, while others are not. The chances are you have your own reasons as to why you are not where you should be.

Success, of course, has a different meaning for every person, and that is the way it should be.

Success for a professional runner could be running ten miles in a given amount of time. Success to an elderly person, who has been ill, might be walking six blocks. Success to a corporate business could be earning twenty million dollars in any given year, while to a mom and pop business it could be ending the year with a sixty-thousand–dollar profit.

Due to various reasons you might be a victim of circumstances. You may be a tribal person living in a remote area with very little or no technology, and no matter how hard you try you cannot escape the consequences of living in that environment. Unfortunately there are billions of people trapped living in jungles, under communism, or under a dictatorship. Success is next to impossible for many of those human beings.

Lack of education or expertise could be holding you back from achieving your goal. If that is the case, either go back to school, or find a way to gain the expertise needed. In order to succeed in any career, business or endeavor you have to know what you are doing. That only comes through education, research and experience. Somehow, somewhere, sometime you have to pay your dues. In other words, you have to learn the trade whatever it is.

Your friends or your own family may be holding you back. In most cases they mean well, but they discourage you because they think the job is too big for you. You know yourself better than anybody else. If you think you can do it, and are not afraid to put in long hours and to make sacrifices, go for it. Nothing and no one can stop you, but you yourself.

If low self-esteem is holding you back, you have to have more confidence in yourself. Read books on self-improvement, read the Bible, and talk to people who will encourage you and give you the correct advice. Move away from negative people. They will give you many reasons why you cannot succeed. Nevertheless all you need is a strong desire to succeed, and an attitude of “I am not going to quit no matter how long it takes, and how difficult it might be.” Determination will give you success if you go for it.

Afraid of failure may be holding you back. The people who have made it big in sports, as inventors, in the movie business, in the corporate world or in other fields have had many setbacks. What separated them from the ones who did not make it is that they never thought about quitting. The word “quit” was never in their repertoire and it should not be in yours. Make this saying your motto: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Maybe your past is holding you back. You may be saying, “This article is fine and dandy, but I’ve never succeeded before.” That is because you have been thinking in a negative manner. You have to transform your mind, and your way of thinking (Romans 12:2). Find out what really motivates you, what you really want, learn all you can about what you are going to undertake, take a positive approach, don’t listen to naysayers, be willing to see it through, give it all you’ve got, and you will succeed.

http://thelivinglights.com  rlsalvation@gmail.com  rlsalvation@sbcglobal.net (1/10/19)

 

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