“Those People” Need Christ Too

by G C Forsman

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me
Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks your

 ~ Casting Crowns

As Christians, we are doing an absolutely horrible job of sharing Christ with with world. I have thought this for some time now, and a recent post (An Open Rebuke… Er… Letter to the Western Church) by my friend Daniel M. Klem got me to thinking.

Certainly there are great people that God is using to make a difference, but what about each and every one of us who claim to be Christians?  Are we doing our part? How many people have you spoken with about Christ lately? How many Gay people have you convinced that Christians do not hate them? How many times have you crossed the racial lines to show the love of Christ? Do your actions show others that Christ really does make a difference in your life? Do your actions make others want what you have, or do they drive people further from Christ?

Paula White said, “God doesn’t focus on your current state, He speaks to you from your future! He knows your potential!” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw the potential in each other instead of everything that’s wrong with a person. Maybe if we spent less time talking about people, and more time praying for them things could change.

Make an effort to love others through Christ as they are,
and leave it up to God to transform their lives!
~ Paula White

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Zimmerman Trial: Reality?

by G C Forsman

Now that everyone has had a night to sleep on it, let us take a realistic look at the Zimmerman trial.

In recent history, there have been a few trials that have captured the country’s attention and caused division among the American people. OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, and now George Zimmerman are prime examples.

The days of news and information are long gone, Walter Cronkite must be appalled by what is happening in the media. Today’s newscasts are News Entertainment Shows, with the emphasis on entertainment. Have you stopped to think about why there is so much unrest about what happens in the courts?  Let’s take a little journey, keep an open mind, we can figure this out.

OJ Simpson was crucified by media and others.  He was tried and convicted before the trial even started.  Casey Anthony was declared the most horrible woman in history, and George Zimmerman was branded a racist.  Was their portrayal accurate, were they deserving of  the infamous notoriety? News media filled our heads with so-called facts about what happened, when in reality their comments were based on pure conjecture unclouded by actual facts.

As these trial began, we thought we knew what the outcome would be. None of the presupposed outcomes were delivered. The actual facts delivered in the courtrooms did not match the media hype.

Now let’s look a bit deeper into the Zimmerman case. This was a horrible tragedy, a young man’s life was ended before it ever got started. According to the media, Martin was an innocent youth walking home from the store.  According to Zimmerman, Martin was entirely to blame for the situation. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

The media built a story that Martin was a good boy and the victim of racism. Information that came out in other markets claimed that Martin was a troubled youth on drugs, involved in a jewelry store robbery and the break in and robbery of a local home. In actuality, it is possible that both of these played a role in this situation? Is it possible that Zimmerman had racist issues despite having white, hispanic, and black heritage? Is it possible that Martin was acting suspiciously, and possibly known in the neighborhood as a young wanna-be gangster?

The real question in the Zimmerman case is about the stand your ground law. Does a person have the right to protect themselves and use whatever force they deem necessary to provide that protection? Is it possible to see into a person’s mind to determine whether or not they believed their life was in danger? Should the law be changed or abolished?

We all need to take a step back, stop attempting to make everything about race, and look at reality. In a recent poll on television, the “news entertainment world” has deemed that racism is once again growing in our country and that division along racial lines is worse now than it has been in quite a few years. Why is that? Who or what is driving people on all sides to foster hatred for each other?

God has been being systematically removed from our society in earnest since the 1960s. Without faith, there is no hope. And without hope, people wallow in the pool of darkness that has become our society unable to see good in anything or anyone. The morality of our society is unraveling at an unprecedented pace and instead of placing the blame where it belongs (on ourselves for allowing the moral decay of our nation) we blame everyone else. We refuse to take responsibility for our actions, and seek any reason we can conjure up to point at someone else because we could not have possibly been so stupid or morally inept to have caused any of this mess ourselves. Search for God while He may be found, turn from the wickedness, and begin anew. Allow God to show you the love and peace your life should have, and allow Him to use you to show that love and peace to someone else. Love, peace, and morality will begin to grow exponentially, and our society will begin to turn around.

Paula Deen: What is the Truth?

by G C Forsman

It seems nearly everyone is talking about Paula Deen.  A good friend encouraged me to read both a summary of charges against her, and Ms. Deen’s Deposition. After that, we had a healthy discussion on the topic.  I thought you might be interested in what I found.

Here is a summary of charges:

Paula Deen, while planning her brother’s wedding in 2007, was asked what look the wedding should have. She replied, “I want a true southern plantation-style wedding.” When asked what type of uniforms the servers should wear, Paula stated, “well what I would really like is a bunch of little n*ggers to wear long-sleeve white shirts, black shorts and black bow ties, you know in the Shirley Temple days, they used to tap dance around;

Black staff had to use the back entrance to enter and leave restaurant;

Black staff could only use one bathroom;

Black staff couldn’t work the front of the restaurants;

Brother Bubba stated his wishes: “ I wish I could put all those n*ggers in the kitchen on a boat to Africa”;

Bubba asked a black driver and security guard “don’t you wish you could rub all the black off you and be like me? You just look dirty; I bet you wish you could.” ;

Bubba on President Obama: they should send him to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, so he could n*gger-rig it;

Bubba shook a black employee and said” F your civil rights…you work for me and my sister Paula Deen;

The manager of the Lady & Sons restaurant threatened to fire all the ‘Monkeys’ in the kitchen. When Paula found out…she slapped him on the wrist and suggested that the employee visit her mansion so he felt special and could be massaged.

And you can read Paula’s deposition here.

I found it interesting that the woman who brought the charges is white. I, as many others, assumed it was a woman of color, and a disgruntled employee. This manager employee (from Bubba’s restaurant) claims to have witnessed the abuse for years, thinking that one of the employees directly involved would say something.  But then she realized that these employees were enduring the abuse in order to feed their families.  Finally reaching her limit, she blew the whistle.

Between the charges, and the deposition, it seems Ms. Deen was interested in duplicating an experience she had at a restaurant (where middle aged black servers were used, dressed in black pants, white dinner jackets, and bow ties) for her brother’s wedding. The rest of the charges are alleged against her brother and a restaurant manager in her employ.  I was surprised to discover (via the EEOC) that an employer can treat their employees as horrible as they want, as long as they treat everyone the same.

Let’s be realistic. Although it should not be, we all know there are many people out there who use racial and other slurs. I do not think there are many people who can honestly say that they have never said something stupid in their lives. If someone wants to discontinue supporting Paula, they are well within their rights to do so. Everyone, on both sides of the issue, is being terribly sensitive. Free speech gives us the right to say any dumb thing we want. The question is “Should a person’s life (white, black, gay or whatever) be destroyed because of something stupid they said?” If that’s the case, I think most of us would be in ruins. As individuals, we can stop buying products from people if we don’t like them, but the PC police shouldn’t ruin a person’s life.

The other question is “Did Paula Deen know of the alleged incidents and ignore them, or was she unaware?” It does seem that Ms. Deen trusted her brother much more than she should have. If employees, and a consulting company, thought Bubba was the problem at the restaurant, and the restaurant was losing money, why didn’t she do something?  I understand wanting to trust and support your sibling, but would not it help him more if the problems could be resolved and the restaurant began to turn a profit?

Everyone is responsible for their words and actions.  Does not Ms. Deen have the responsibility to know what is going on in her restaurants, and take appropriate actions?  Do we believe that she knew and did nothing?  Is it possible that she really did not know because of her busy schedule? Is the politically correct movement out of control? So where does that leave us? It seems apparent that Bubba has issues. Is Paula deserving of all the destruction coming her way? Should people be crucified over words spoken? Many would contend that Paula knew and did nothing. There are also those who believe her apology was not sincere. How much responsibility does the media have in this situation? Was Paula standing by her brother, or covering for him? Being from Georgia, should Paula been more sensitive to the racial issue? Did Paula both know about and perpetuate the environment of racist hostility and sexual harassment?

I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I believe there is good in everyone. Since this is a civil suit, it seems that it is Paula’s word against the word of her accuser.

Wealth is measured in many ways. Did Paula allow money to become her measure of wealth and forget to store her treasures up in Heaven? One thing is certain, this will play out in the public eye. It is my sincere hope, however this plays out, that everyone will learn something about loving their neighbors.

Syrian Christians: ‘Why Is America at War with Us’

Syrian Christians are asking why the United States supports extremists who want to turn Syria into an Islamic state.

That testimony came during a congressional hearing on Syria’s religious minorities Tuesday.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who chairs the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, called on President Barack Obama to defend the rights of Syrian Christians.

In an opening statement at Tuesday’s hearing, Smith said statistics show “that Christians are even more fearful for their lives and safety than other segments of the Syrian population.”

Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, testified that Islamic insurgents are targeting Christians for “ethno-religious cleansing.”

Christian Solidarity International CEO Dr. John Eibner, who also testified at the hearing, said displaced Christians are asking him, “Why is the U.S. at war against us?”

Eibner told the panel he recently returned from a trip to Syria where he met with “many resilient and courageous Syrians, mainly displaced Christians and church workers.”

“Victims recounted to me the religious cleansing of Christian neighborhoods in Homs and Qusair by armed jihadists who threatened them with death if they did not leave their homes,” he said.

“A Christian woman told me that before she fled Homs, she had seen the beheading in broad daylight of an Alawite girl who was pulled off a public minibus by armed jihadist,” he said.

Eibner said the United States should work with Russia to negotiate a peace rather than help Sunni Muslims turn the country into an Islamic state.

Retrieved from http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2013/June/Syrian-Christians-Why-Is-America-at-War-with-Us/

To God be the Glory

By G C Forsman

Delight yourself in the Lord,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

(Psalm 37:4, ESV)

I have said before that we should be sharing what Jesus did for us with others, and tonight I want to do just that.

This week has been amazing and miraculous. But before I get to that, allow me to give you the back story.

I used to joke that it would be nice to work on the weekend, and have the week off.  Then God gave me just such a job.  I worked 54 hours straight starting at 3:00 pm on Friday, and ending 9:00 pm Sunday.  While working in this position, I was afforded the opportunity to teach a Bible Study every Sunday.  During one Bible Study, I was asked a question and I answered with the word of God (Leviticus 18:22). For standing on the word of God, I was rewarded by being fired from my job.

It is my understanding that when you get fired you cannot collect unemployment, and thought surely the company would protest paying me.  Somehow God removed all obstacles and unemployment payments began after the normal one week delay.  Almost immediately I found a part-time job that allowed me to continue to cover my financial responsibilities.  As I began my job search, I interviewed for a great position only 5 miles from my home. I was notified that I have been selected for this position.

So… God gave me a good job that I used to joke about having.  I stood on his word and was persecuted for doing so.  God responded by providing all of my needs, and then delivered even a better job closer to home.  He is truly amazing!!  I give God all the glory.  I know He protected my family and I, and that He rewarded me for standing on His word.

I know there are those who would disagree with God’s word, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

It is important to know God’s word… It is more important to know God. It is a relationship, not a religion.

Obama Administration ‘Strongly’ Opposes Religious Freedom in the Military

By Gina Meeks

Retrieved from  http://www.charismanews.com/us/39871-obama-administration-strongly-opposes-religious-freedom-in-the-military

In a statement of administration policy from the executive office of the president released Tuesday, the Obama administration stated that it opposes a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would protect the religious freedom of men and women in the armed forces.

In a section titled “Expansion and Implementation of Protection of Rights of Conscience of Members of the Armed Forces and Chaplains of Such Members,” thestatement says, “The administration strongly objects to section 530, which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, ‘actions and speech’ reflecting the ‘conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs of the member.’

“By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units,” it continues, “this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”

Alliance Defending Freedom Litigation Counsel Kellie Fiedorek says this position is unconstitutional.

“Service members shouldn’t be denied the very constitutional liberties they have volunteered to defend,” she comments. “It is clear that the Obama administration opposes constitutional religious freedom for service men and women, and this is the latest example of this administration’s hostility toward religious service members.

“Antagonism toward people of faith—namely Christians—in the military is real, and it is disappointing that the president is unwilling to support laws that protect and defend the basic liberty of religious freedom.”

Rand Paul’s Message To Evangelicals: “There is a war on Christianity”

By David Brody

Retrieved from:  http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/archive/2013/06/13/rand-pauls-message-to-evangelicals-there-is-a-war-on.aspx?cpid=EU_CBNNEWSPM_2013_164

Senator Rand Paul, who is seriously considering running for President of the United States, told a conservative Christian audience today that, “There is a war on Christianity” being waged by “liberal elites’ and “worldwide as well.

Read his remarks below, delivered at today’s Faith and Freedom Coalition luncheon in DC. The organization’s big “Road to Majority” event starts today and runs through Saturday. Jeb Bush, sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and many others are speaking in the next couple days.

Rand Paul has been actively courting the conservative Christian community for months. He took a trip to Israel which was organized by influential evangelical organizer David Lane and has been speaking to Christian audiences in key GOP Primary states. He will speak to hundreds of Iowa pastors next month in Des Moines. The Brody File also knows of plenty of private events he has done within the Christian community.

Rand Paul has quite a bit going for him if he makes a run. His libertarian views give him distinct crossover appeal but, in addition as a committed pro-life believer in Jesus Christ he can court evangelicals in a a way that doesn’t look like pandering. Plus, he’s super smart which not only gives the Tea Party more credibility as a movement but allows Paul to get a serious look from the shark-infested waters filled with mainstream media members. He should NOT be underestimated.

Senator Rand Paul’s Remarks below:

Last year in Pakistan, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for being a girl and for wanting to go to school.

If you haven’t seen the YouTube videow of Malala being interviewed on national television, speaking out for theeducation of girls, watch and you will be amazed at her poise and grace.

Malala never met the great Urdu poet Parveen Shakir, who grew up in Pakistan when women could become highly educated and even Prime Minister.
This line from one of Shakir’s poems reminds me of Malala:

“They insist upon evaluating the firefly in daylight. The children of our age, have grown clever.”

Why would anyone want to kill this innocent young girl? Because Malala, in her young life, insisted on exposing the firefly to daylight.

Her “crime,” as seen by the Taliban, is to believe in enlightenment, to believe that out of the darkness a flicker of tolerance can glow and grow to overcome ignorance.

Americans are seen by Pakistanis as infidels and invaders. We will not in a thousand years bring enlightenment to Pakistan, only Pakistan can do that.

When Pakistan begins to police Pakistan better, when girls who long for nothing but freedom and education are embraced — rather than gunned down by murderous thugs — then will progress finally be made.

My heart breaks for Malala and her family. It breaks for all those who suffer under violent oppression in the name of religion. It breaks for those who cannot grow up to be poets and teachers, but mostly it breaks for those who cannot speak without being gunned down by extremists.

I can only hope that the violence done to her will motivate those who believe in both Islam and peace and tolerance to stand unanimously and proclaim this violence does not represent them. That the Taliban does not represent them. That gunning down children in cold blood does not please their God.

The violence and intolerance against girls is also directed toward Christians. It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.

It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death for blasphemy against Islam, countries that put to death Muslims who convert to Christianity, and countries who imprison anyone who marries outside their religion.

There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.

And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.

You are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened with death for their beliefs.

In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian, sits on death row. Her crime, according to her, is that she dared to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim co-worker.

According to her co-workers, she insulted the Prophet. In our country, we refer to such quibbling as gossip. In Pakistan, if you are a Christian, it can land you on death row.

Recently, in Pakistan, a 12-year-old with Downs syndrome was imprisoned and charged with a death penalty crime for burning the Koran.

After weeks she was released after a local Imam was accused of actually sprinkling pages from an Arabic book into a fire near the little girl.

Dr. Shakil Afridi is not a Christian but his imprisonment by Pakistan is nonetheless an injustice. He was tortured and held without charge for nearly a year.

He was shackled with his hands behind his back for months and he was finally imprisoned, likely for the rest of his life for the crime of helping America get Bin Laden.

How do your leaders respond? 90 % of them voted against my bill that would have put restrictions on this aid.

My bill said that Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan would get no more foreign aid from the US taxpayer unless they turned over the assassins that killed our ambassador, pledged and verified that they CAN and WILL protect our embassies, and in the case of Pakistan they must release Dr. Afridi.

Overwhelmingly, I was voted down. Is it any wonder that Congress has a 10% approval rating? In Egypt, in Pakistan, they burn our flag—I say not one penny more to countries that burn the American flag!

Even when we’ve tried through good intentions to make the world a better place our actions have often backfired.

During the Iraq War, over a quarter-million Iraqi Christians fled Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator but his government was secular and therefore relatively safe for Christians. Christians, however, feared the Shiite government that we helped put in place after Saddam, and they fled in droves.

Where did these Christians go? They headed mostly for Syria, joining the over one million Syrians who have lived as Christians since the time of Christ.

Now, the senate is attempting to arm the rebel forces in syria, many of whom are al quaeda or affiliates.   they do so out of a miguided attempt to stop the violence in syria.

Instead their actions will bring more violence and more persecution of Christians, who have long been protected in Syria.

Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.

Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run—persecuted or under fire—and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.

While they burn the American flag and the mobs chant Death to America, more of your money is sent to these haters of Christianity.

Even if all the atrocities to Christians were not occurring in these countries, we simply don’t have the money to engage in this foolishness. We must borrow the money from China to send it to Pakistan.

While American soldiers spent a decade fighting to liberate Iraq and while American taxpayers have sent roughly $470 million each year in aid, Christians in Iraq are the subjects of what Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors, describes as “religicide.”

Before the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Mosul, a city in Iraq, was home to some 75,000 Christians, but now the number has dropped to around 25,000.

Christian homes are set on fire, bombs are being placed in their cars and Christian families are receiving letters threatening them to leave Iraq or be kidnapped or killed.

American soldiers have also risked their lives for the sake of these countries liberation. Our young men and women have fought for a noble cause but the law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving one.

These countries are not our true allies and no amount of money will make them so. They are not allies of Israel and I fear one day our money and military arms that we have paid for will be used against Israel.

This fight has made me unpopular in Washington but I am willing to risk unpopularity with politicians to do what I am convinced is right.

The new leader of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, he stood by when a radical cleric said a prayer for the destruction of Israel and her supporters in his presence.

Actually, it is worse, he did not just stand by, he was seen to mouth the word “Amen” as the cleric said these words of hatred.

How does your government respond?

The bipartisan consensus in Washington vows to increase Egypt’s funding. The President is currently requesting a billion dollar increase in aid to Egypt.

This is an outrage! It is amazing that so many in Washington fail to see who the real enemies are. We should immediately stop sending F-16’s and tanks to Egypt!

It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.

When Pope John Paul II spoke about a “culture of death,” he talked about “a war of the powerful against the weak.”

As Christians, we know we must always stand with the most defenseless. I believe that no civilization can long endure that does not respect life from those not yet born to life’s last breath.

I am the sponsor of a life are conception act in the senate, and I will stand up for unborn children as long as I am privileged to be in office.

These days Christians are often unified in our defense of the not yet born but I exhort you to remember the 19-year-olds who are sent into battle.

War is not a game or a sport and any politician who speaks of pre-emptive war with gleeful bravado should not be leading any nation.

As we sit here, our brave troops risk their lives, serving our country with faithfulness and honor. They endure harsh conditions, loneliness and great danger. I pray for their safe return each day and I pray for an end to the war.

I can recall no utterance of Jesus in favor of war or any acts of aggression. In fact, his message to his disciples was one of non-resistance. I do not believe that means that we don’t defend ourselves.

I believe individuals and countries can and should defend themselves. But I simply can’t imagine Jesus at the head of any army of soldiers and I think as Christians we need to be wary of the doctrine of pre-emptive war.

We must and should stand with our fellow Christians in the Middle East and around the world—but that does not necessarily mean war and it certainly does not mean arming sides in every conflict.

Jesus, himself, reminds us of this in the Sermon on the Mount, when he proclaims, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Today, we have a culture that accepts the wanton disposal of millions of innocent children, and sends aid to countries that persecute Christians. . . . . I, for one, will not rest until this injustice ends.

As Christians, we understand that the right to life, and freedom of religion, pre-exist all government. These rights are not granted to man by other men, these rights are granted to us by our Creator.

God, help us in these troubling times to make wise decisions, to make moral decisions, and to listen to the voice of God that lives and breathes and resides in us all. Amen.