Marvin Gaye penned the lyrics to this song title during a time of social unrest in this country as the 70’s began. I was a little boy learning life in a community where everyone knew everybody and everything about everybody. Never did we imagine a tragic moment where gunmen would heartlessly spill gunfire into a school classroom as children are learning. Yet today this is our reality. The question still resonates today but the need for a Savior resonates all the more.
It is shameful to see how our country is continuing to realize the devastating results of the legitimacy associated with the rights to bear arms. Everyone knows the dangers we face – adults and children alike – in this nation because of the loose regulations regarding gun control. The fact that we as a nation continue to mourn the loss of life secondary to gun violence in public establishments screams out for immediate attention of law makers and enforcers to raise up and initiate protective measures for us all.
In the meantime these lyrics are a source of comfort as the tragedy pierces our hearts:
In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He's the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
Ruth C. Jones
I am perplexed over a matter that I know is controversial among humans. Why is it that Biblical truth is not an anchor in the choice for who to follow politically? This week I have pondered this stark reality as I listen to political news broadcasts, read political new articles and listen to the talking heads a.k.a political pundits debate their views about the 2012 Presidential candidates strategies, viewpoints, dilemmas, achievements and forecasts.
The economy is a major issues that will steer the American voter’s choice on November, 6, 2012. MONEY is the central theme of any economy. How it is made and how it is spent is determined by our President and Congress. Americans who are financially comfortable have one view-point and Americans who are not financially comfortable have another view-point. The view-points are a driving factor that fuels the decision-making process of the voter. Though there are other issues of consideration in the campaigns, there is a significant emphasis on the state of affairs on economics.
My perplexity’s foundation is in the trickery that the right-wing Christian conservatives have adopted and portray in the support they garner for Mr. Romney’s campaign. There is a monumental heir of evil associated with the deception of the republican regime. Here at ConquerorShots we continue to uphold the banner of truth about God’s Word. Historically, from a Biblical perspective of the events in the Old Testament and the upcoming prophetic events, any effort that man can make to put more emphasis on the creation (atheism and agnosticism thrive from this prospective), and not the Creator, meets profound, life-changing events where God’s power prevails unequivocally. Yet man continues to follow the path of manifesting his will rather than endeavoring to keep the focus on Him who created us all. I am concerned about the nature of the Republican party’s agenda being a course for evil to attempt to prevail over a blessed nation that has shifted its focus far AWAY from the Creator.
The manner in which I hear the commentary about the state of the economics in America is a direct indicator to harness a specific wretchedness in their economic affairs and agendas. This is nothing new. The Apostle Paul had a full understanding of this human dilemma and warned us with No uncertainty.
TO ALL “Right wing Christian conservatives” PLEASE CONSIDER GOD’S WORD YOU PROFESS TO BELIEVE IN TODAY:
1 Timothy 6:8 But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. 6:9 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.
The number of “right-wing conservative Christians” who REFUSE to “HOLD ON TO TRUTH” are failing both America’s heritage and the God they claim to have personal relationship with.
The apex of my perplexity is in the “How” and “Why” of this monumental shift in belief. Have you even taken the time to consider the religious platform that Mr. Romney represents openly? I am a supporter of an American’s right to worship whomever and however they choose. Furthermore, I fully grasp the concept of the ecumenical movement worldwide. But all human beings who profess to be “members of the Body of Christ” i.e. Christians are spiritually supplied with a bond that maintains God’s truth based in His Word. IT IS UNDENIABLE! Therefore, it is crucial that you do NOT neglect the opportunity for your vote to show who AND what you TRULY BELIEVE IN!
Mormonism is NOT Christianity. Here’s why:
1. Mormons believe there are "many" Gods. Christians believe in One Triune God.http://www.triunegod.org/
2. Mormons believe Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be" (D&C 93:29). Christians believe Man is a finite being, not an eternal one. The first man Adam was created at a specific point in time (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7; 1Co 15:45-49).3. Mormons believe Christ's death on the cross (the atonement) canceled the penalty of death imposed on ALL men through Adam's sin, thereby ensuring that all men would be redeemed - resurrected and given immortality (the reuniting of spirit with body)-as a gift."If there had been no atonement, temporal death would have remained forever, and there never would have remained forever, and there never would have been a resurrection. The body would have remained forever in the grave" (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p.63)"Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked" (Ibid., p. 65) and Christians believe not everyone is blessed through Christ's crucifixion. Only those who accept His sacrifice and surrender themselves to Him (Ro 10:9) will receive the benefit of Jesus' death and resurrection, which is forgiveness of sins (Ac 10:43) and salvation (Ro 3:24). Eternal life "in Christ," and not just simply eternal existence through resurrection, is the gift offered by God to humanity (Ro 6:23). This gift is obtainable only by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10). Jesus' death serves to reconcile all believers to God (Ro 5:10). In dying, Jesus broke down the wall of separation between us and God that was present through man's disobedience to the Law (Eph 2:11-22)(http://contenderministries.org/mormonism/comparison.php)
I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you (Exodus 7:3-4).
Have you ever met someone who was just plain stubborn? You might know people within your circle of friends who insist on having their way. They are hardheaded and obstinate about what they want. A moment of reflection may cause you to feel uncomfortable at the thought (you know, personally). God calls it a heart problem. This problem of self-centeredness has existed from the beginning of time, documented in the lives of people we read about in Scripture as well as people we live with today.
Pharaoh is probably the best illustration in the Bible of a person with a hard heart. He was exposed to the truth over and over again, yet refused to respond accordingly. Notice God said, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.” God engineered…
There is too much confusion going on about President Obama’s decision to be pro gay marriage. The confusion is easily settled when we consider The First Amendment. Our President did teach this stuff at the college level.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
— The First Amendment
Largely because of this prohibition against government regulation or endorsement of religion, diverse faiths have flourished and thrived in America since the founding of the republic. Indeed, James Madison, the father of the United States Constitution, once observed that “the [religious] devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” (http://www.adl.org/issue_religious_freedom/separation_cs_primer.asp)
My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
2. My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.
3. Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.
4. Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.
Every American – black/white/red/yellow, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender,Jewish,Christian,Baptist,Methodist,7 Day Adventist, Presbyterian, Reformed, Episcopalian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., rich/poor, employed/unemployed and alive – all have one thing in common. We ALL depend on the aspects of freedom that living in this country has to offer.
Freedom is the most attractive aspect of being an American. Foreigners have died or been imprisoned as a result of attempting to enter this country because of their personal pursuit to realize the democracy of the USA as a citizen.
“The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.
Because the promotion of human rights is an important national interest, the United States seeks to:
Hold governments accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments;
Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women’s rights, children’s rights, and the protection of minorities;
Promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity;
The President’s decision is not based on religious beliefs but on the fundamental establishment of “Liberty and Justice for All” that our country stands on. Whenever we, as Americans, forget the designs of the Constitution and want to infuse our belief systems into society, we always have to contend with the First Amendment.
Hos 4:6 “My people are destroyed because they have no knowledge. You priests have refused to learn, so I will refuse to let you be priests for me. You have forgotten the law of your God, so I will forget your children.”
They are destroyed for lack of it, for the true knowledge of God is the life of the soul, true life, eternal life, as our Saviour saith, “This is life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.” John 17:3
Hosea was writing about the failure of the Hebrews to know, accept and live the life God called them to. Instead they regularly reverted from God’s way to the way of the world. The result – God allowed suffering to come to the Hebrews. The sufferings were designed to ALWAYS motivate them to turn from their wicked ways and repent and return to the plans that God had for them as a nation. The root cause of their reversion was sin.
God has offered us evidence of how He can deal with human extremism resulting in a nation or nations in which ungodliness is the norm. We need the book of Genesis to appreciate the historical elements and the overall outcome of Sodom and Gomorrah. Human beings who reverence God’s Word know that God allows people the freedom to live but always maintains His authority over us – whether we acknowledge it or not is again based in freedom. When you choose not to do it God’s way you have two authorities to answer to – His and the governments.
Sin is at the root of this issue of Gay marriage. The President was not elected to handle the affairs of the heart. His role as the Leader of this great nation is to uphold the law and lead this country in such a way that our freedom is protected, our democracy is paramount and our futures are secure as human beings. To do this “The President is the administrative head of the executive branch of the Government, which includes numerous agencies, both temporary and permanent, as well as the 15 executive (Cabinet-level) departments.”(http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/agencies/a/presbrief.htm)
Religious leaders, including myself, all have a major job to do as well. We, as Christians, are to uphold the truth of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelations. Jesus said in John 8:32 “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The freedom He describes is different from the freedom established in the Constitution. The government can not provide for the freedom of my spirit – only God can and does handle this area in ALL of us. Therefore, preachers, teachers, ministers, evangelists and lay-people are ALL responsible for upholding the truth as it relates to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Romans 6 meticulously defines the issue of sin. Furthermore, a thorough study of Romans 1-8 is recommended if one wants to lay a firm foundation of truth relative to God and sin today. In society we want to rationalize sin by way of moral guidelines. This methodology is flawed only in respects to a Biblical perspective. Morals then are the antithesis to what God deems as the problem humanity has always encountered since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. They are the world’s attempt to harness and manage the soul sickness he/she is destined to experience. Rationalization and justification are the means by which moral morphology continues. The law of the land is designed to handle the matters that result from one’s tarnished moral fiber.
When we try to marry the two we fail miserably. President Obama exercised his authority over the affairs of the USA by establishing his position on a moral matter that plagues our country. We as Americans are aware of his decision. It is irrelevant to support his decision from a personal and/or religious standpoint. He is clearly looking out for how human beings can have a better quality of life as they engage in same sex behaviors. However, what is relevant is to let the President be the President and let God be God. What a wonderful world this would be if everybody got on the same page about this.
The US Open, September, 1998 had my complete attention as a fan of the legendary Pete Sampras. Unfortunately, due to injury, Pete lost the final. The following year he would arouse the support of his fan base as he rose to victory at Wimbledon against Andre Agassi. My enthusiasm for tennis grew even greater as we watched the thrilling competition between these 2 American champions. It was so good that we looked forward to another duel between them in the 1999 US open. To me they were the reason for loving the sport.
Pistol Pete did realize the opportunity to win yet another Grand Slam title, making it to the final but was unexpectedly forced to drop out of the tournament due to a significant back injury. A physical setback that I am all too familiar with myself. His exit from the ’99 Open yielded a shift in my focus as a fan of the Americans. Women’s tennis infiltrated my life as I watched Serena Williams begin construction on a historical career as athlete, champion and conqueror.
She beat her sister Venus at age 17 and became the first Williams sister to win a Grand Slam single‘s title. All eyes remained on Venus as she too would excel to historical greatness in her own right. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Venus at Charleston and NYC later on in life. But unfortunately, I have not been able to see Serena play live yet. However, what I have had the blessing to realize, as a result of consistently following her career, is a heralding athletic example that personifies a conqueror lifestyle.
From ’99-’04 I sat in front of my TV and watched every tournament she played in, and there were many victories. The infamous cat suit at the US open was just one of the highlights of her invincibility. Everything about her was appealing to me – her look, her body, her game and her life. It was good to gain access into her budding life outside of the tennis world through various exposure outlets. But her career would eventually realize the strains of maturity as she had to learn to contend with injuries, game losses, family tragedy, personal heartache and failure.
We counted her all but gone as the start of the tennis season began in 2007 down under. When she took her place in the Rod Laver arena again it was a bitter-sweet showing. As a fan I was happy to see her back where she belonged for our viewership and the value of her entertainment would again be realized. Yet her blatant lack of physical training presented a Serena that was not the norm. Honestly, I, along with countless others, remained pessimistic about any real opportunity for her game to prevail. BUT IT DID! Against all the odds and the opposition of new players and old foes, Serena emerged as a CONQUEROR of the sport of women’s tennis to win the Australian Open for a 3rd time in her continuing career. She was not done.
Subsequently, Serena’s career would again experience a higher intensity of extreme setbacks, designed to alter the foundation of her monumental career. A verbal outburst would define a devastating loss on the all too familiar Arthur Ashe Stadium, where she vanquished her opponents 3 times prior. Sorrowfully we watched Serena explode in a display of anger that I understood. The issues – personal and professional were obviously affecting her standing example of grace under pressure. Growing pains have a way of manifesting outwardly to where onlookers – supporters and haters alike – clearly offer insights that destructively miss the mark. Yet those of us who have the gifts of empathy and compassion know that the best response you can offer to someone who is not handling the effects of growing pains well is to encourage them in the faith and pray for God’s continued grace and mercy to prevail.
The shift would continue with more physical injuries, some grave . Yet Ms. Williams maintains her pursuit to take part in the sport, which her dad introduced her to as a child, against all odds. I read an article in People magazine while I was at my doctor’s office. Serena made it clear her determination to walk back on a Grand Slam court again, even after surviving a PE and all the medical therapy associated with recovery. Shortly afterwards, Serena Williams, garbed in signature Wimbledon white attire gracing the freshly cut grass on Centre Court, would again experience all the emotional joy she came to know along her career. Yet this time her response yielded the infamous “tears of joy” that I identified to as I desperately desired a “win” in my life again. My personal anticipation received a boost while watching her once again show me what victory looks like publicly.
It’s a difficult task to perform and achieve what many have said is “the impossible” as they know of your struggles. Courage becomes a crucial reality. I know of many personal struggles life has acquainted me with during my lifetime where so many friends, family and loved ones counted me out. But God’s grace shows up in so many wonderful experiences and the blessings continue as I see examples displaying how His power prevails. Serena’s continued success is a beacon of light in my life and I hope so many others are getting the same lessons.
Every time Serena steps on a court to play another tennis match it is inspiring to the most troubled soul who is watching. As an athlete and champion, Serena offers every one of her millions of viewers confirmation of just how possible the impossible is. I have taken the opportunity to label her as a conqueror when I can, not because of her spiritual choices – I do not know how they work for her – but as I continue to write, teach, preach and represent Romans 8:37 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” I continue to see how this declarative statement made by the Apostle Paul materializes through the example of an athlete in the career of Ms. Serena Williams.
Thank you Lord for giving us the realm of athletics, specifically individual head to head sports like tennis, to prove what your Son did at Calvary for all who would by faith believe.
I know a man who taught me a valuable life-lesson that is based in hope. At the time he shared this with me I was 27 and clueless. I had my own idea of how life was supposed to be and I was working hard to realize my dreams. I was living well but I was always caught up in some type of chaos I was creating due to my inability to find the joy in the journey. My friend must have realized this and shared this lesson with me.
He had been a mail carrier for the USPS for decades. It brought financial security and marital stability along with a lifestyle that was envied by his family. He described his experience as what he thought were “the best years of his life.” His circumstances changed when he became ill. He lost his job and all of the financial security. He became unemployable and homeless. He found himself alone, needy and hopeless. After a major hospitalization caused by his apparent demise brought about by his “seemingly hopeless case of mind and body,” he heard, through a series of interactions with people who survived the same problem that was killing him, there is a solution. He stayed the course of a particular treatment plan wherein he found a constant presence of hope within. His life gradually began to change for the better. He became employable again but he dealt with serious blemishes in his history that deterred many potential employers from hiring him. Frustration ensued but willingness prevailed. A training program with the regional transit authority yielded him favorable results and he once again had work. He found unspeakable joy day after day as he struggled to establish himself again. He gained a new life that was exponentially better than “the best years of his life.” His joy still remains to this day as he is living better than ever in the second half of his life.
As I reflect on this life-lesson I am blessed today to realize that I now understand the value of his story that never abandoned my memory and I have used it to generate hope in my own hopelessness. God is always present. His realized presence provides an unlimited source of hope to carry us through life situations with a constant spirit of joy that positively affects our lives and the lives of others. As long as we are willing to show-up for life each day, we can live through any circumstance that materializes victoriously. This is a virtuous reality based in an Conqueror lifestyle. THE JOY IS IN THE JOURNEY!
by Alta Payne on Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 7:35am
I remember years ago I went to the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference and throughout that week I attended a series of seminars that educated me on how to be an effective leader. One of the seminars that I attended was called “Breaking Through Your Fears”. The speaker gave a presentation.When he finished he asked us to do something a little strange. The instruction was to pair up with one someone next to us and prepare to learn how to break through a wooden board. I remember thinking “I signed up for seminar not a Martial Arts Class.This cat must be out of his mind!”
Most of us were intimidated by the task at hand. We felt that it would take great strength to break through a solid wooden board. All kinds of questions and doubts arose in our minds. I remember whispering to my partner, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it!” “What will I do if I break a finger or fracture my hand?”
We really didn’t have a choice in the matter. The entire group was required to at least try. The instructor spent the first few minutes teaching us the proper technique for hitting the board. Once we got that down pat, it was time to give it a shot. My partner went first. I held the board and she broke right through it on the first try. The first time I hit the board it didn’t break. The instructor was standing there, and he said, “That’s o.k.Try again, but this time I want you to look through the board”. He said, “Don’t look at it, look through it and visualize your hand going through it.” What he told me sounded a little weird. I was still a teenager and I lacked maturity and wisdom in this area.
Nevertheless, I listened to what he said and I hit the board a second time. I broke that board in pieces. But I didn’t realize until later in life that what the instructor taught me that day was a very valuable lesson. I learned not to focus on an obstacle. In order to get through the obstacle I have to excercise faith to “Look Through It, to Get Through It.”
You have to see yourself on the other side of it. He also taught me that it’s not always about strength, but it’s about vision. When you run out of Strength, it’s Vision that keeps your hopes and dreams alive. The vision is a result of faith. Even though everything around you may look dim, it is faith in God that will allow you to see a ray of hope. Fear is only an obstacle. Faith is how breakthroughs begin.
I watch my television shows and there are constant advertisements to make you want to shop for something – clothes, shoes, jewelry, toys, electronics and even food. It’s everywhere. This time of year has become so severely commercialized that we as a nation have lost touch with its current financial structure. Devastation presides throughout the Eastern seaboard. Citizens are hungry, cold, destitute and overwhelmed with loss. The nation is in unprecedented debt, homelessness and poverty are at record highs, unemployment is ravaging the homes of Americans who are splitting up for various reasons – drugs/violence/pursuit of individual career opportunities/crime/suicide – and it goes on and on. Yet, Madison Avenue is doing a great work at pushing product. People are shopping in droves.
Not all people. There are many people that are not able to even begin to understand how they are going to make it through the day. Whether their dilemma is of a socioeconomic origin or not, what is a fact in this great nation is this: people are loosing everyday during this holiday season. How do you appeal to them during this huge commercial event that is sweeping our nation? Do you just ignore the fact that they exist? Do you count your blessings, focus on your “haves” and forget about the “have nots”? Or, do you do anything and everything that you can to make a difference within the lives of this large sect of Americans. I pray that you are in agreement with the latter.
Isa 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
Isa 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
Psalms 24:1 The LORD owns the earth and all it contains,
the world and all who live in it.
The essence of reality in these scriptures is that EVERYTHING you can put your hands on or get your hands on is HIS. Working a good job, managing a thriving business or incurring a comfortable lifestyle is possible because of Him. Too many people get that twisted.
Humans put stock in the idea that you have gains because of who you are. You’ve been deceived. You are who you are ONLY BECAUSE OF THE GRACE OF GOD. What makes you any different than the man that is confined to a wheelchair/the woman that is addicted to drugs and living on the streets/the child who is homeless, hungry and alone? GOD’S GRACE. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from the Father above.”(James 1.17)
If you want to experience maximum gains that are ETERNAL it begins with a decision.
Mar 8:34 Following Jesus
Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
Mar 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it.
Mar 8:36 For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?
Mar 8:37 What can a person give in exchange for his life?
Mar 8:38 For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Conquerors make a difference in the lives’ of others any way that they can. Loss is gain.