“What Are You Kneeling For?”

Many are up in arms about professional athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, and I can understand why. There is a lot of tradition and culture behind what it all stands for, so the ensuing emotional reactions are actually predictable.

However; the emotional connection to our flag and the anthem must be respected. There are many who have given up their Constitutional rights in service to our country so that you can protest the things you think need overt attention.  There are many who are not able to come home and enjoy the same rights you have because they gave everything, up to and including their life.  So, before you kneel during the anthem or try to burn our flag, think about your ability to do so.  In some countries, you would be arrested or even worse, executed.

For many, including myself it represents the country, our rights and our laws that allow Americans to be free. This also means that we may not always agree with each other; this should be considered acceptable, not relative to or restrained by any belief as non-negotiable.

So as the athletes kneel during the anthem because they feel oppressed, I am left begging these questions; Do you really understand why you are kneeling? Are you doing this because the crowd around you is doing it and now you feel pressured to do the same?  What are you doing, other than kneeling to make things better?

At this point I am left to believe that this is nothing more than a fad brought about by those who think that their way is the only way and that if they “Squeak” enough they will get their way. What I am trying to figure out is, what is it exactly are your asking for?  If you want equal rights and freedom; you already have this and in many ways, are undermining it through your less than thought out actions.

At the end of the day I say that as Americans we need to get behind something that unites us, not divides us. We are better than this and must find a way to put our differences in our pocket and move forward by changing our attitudes towards each other first.

So instead of kneeling during the National Anthem, try getting on your knees and thanking God for the blessings you do have. Maybe start with thanking Him for the air you breathe every day that allows you to speak or kneel and work your way up from there.

In conclusion, I don’t really care if you kneel during the National Anthem and as a matter of fact, I am inclined to simply ignore you because I don’t see it as being an effective way to make positive change in our country. What I do think makes a difference are those people who act upon their beliefs by working to make positive changes in their community.  From there it is simply a ripple effect that causes positive changes and attitudes in our country.

If things are broke, lets fix them together. It is our own communities that make America great; not our government. It is and always has been, We the People, so let’s get back to that.

“The Milestone”

As parents we go into the responsibility of raising children with many doubts and fears. What if I do or say something wrong that scars my child for life or maybe I disciplined them too hard; will they learn from the experience? Will I forget my own childhood and become a parent we all don’t want to be? These thoughts and many more run through our heads before they are even born; and so begins the adventure.

Before either of my children were born I had a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and knew that He was with me from a very young age. I felt that as a Christian raising my future children with the knowledge of God and a faith in Jesus Christ would help me get through the challenges a father may face when raising children. I must admit now that my wife was with my children much more than I because of my job during their younger years, but as they grew into teenagers I was able to help guide them through some of their toughest years.

Going back to the birth of my first daughter It was God who I turned to first when an emergency during her birth caused her to be placed in ICU for nine days. That first night of her birth I offered up my life to save hers if it were necessary and God chose for both of us to live and grow together. For this I will forever be grateful because she has grown into a fine young woman with a strong will and of good moral character. Above all she has also learned to know and trust in God through Jesus Christ.

My youngest daughter was born with a twinkle in her eye with her own unique spark for life. It was obvious from the moment she was born that she was going to be her own person with a free spirit who seeks out nothing but the best in people. One trait that she has is the ability to bring out the best in people. For some in her life they have been held down by either others or themselves and she has helped them become more than they thought possible. Yes, some might have not followed her as they might should have, but nonetheless she continues to be a light for others. This daughter too trusts in God through Jesus Christ and understands that through Him we have strength.

As a father who understands the world around us and the hardships we can face I learned as the girls grew older that it was my responsibility to prepare them for this world by being a good example and teaching them what I knew of it. Knowing that God must be put first, this was my first goal and although it was my goal both girls would have to choose God of their own free will and so they did. As the days, months and years go by I am able to tell by their actions and in conversations with them that they are both women of high moral character and have become someone to look up to.

Along with all the things we want for our children there is one thing that I worked the hardest on it was that my children would not be burden on society, but a positive influence on it. As with any of our children each is unique in their own way and we love them equally for it, thereby strengthening our connection with them. As adults we are already fortified in our beliefs and way of life, but for our children it is all new and now it is their turn. As they and of course we grow older we may actually disagree on things as they start to learn and form their own opinions. Some of these disagreements may simply be those times where we learn about each other, but it never means that our love for them is any less. It is actually then that we should love them more because in some ways they may actually be seeking guidance, but are unsure of how to ask for it.

This much I do know; when your daughter writes a letter thanking you as parents for being a positive influence in her life because of everything we did to help her grow, it not only melts your heart and starts the water works going, it also lets you know that as a parent you were successful. However, as the years passed by and they became a young adult the whole “Successful” thing kind of fell by the wayside as you realized that it was more important to have a strong and loving relationship with your child instead of some milestone that was met in your life.

Thank God for children and most of all for His own Son who He gave for our sake.

 

The Koifish Christian

“Everyone is an Expert”

Finding Facebook very interesting lately even though we all know most of the political or religious topics are really shared to pour gas on a fire so I will make this brief.

If you are preaching or attempting to preach Christianity to someone, be sure you have done your homework first. This is not in response to anyone in particular, but lately with the new federal law legalizing gay marriage all of a sudden all the preachers of love have come out of the closet and some of the comments I have read make me seriously doubt that they even own a bible or even read one in the last ten years.

First of all understand that the love Jesus Christ is talking about has nothing to do with wallowing in our sin and making others do the same with an absurd notion of what God wants for the world.  We are here for one thing and that is to serve God and to do everything to His glory.

God is selfish as He tells us in the bible so I am a bit perplexed by the idea that we somehow forgot that.  His word is given for us to follow, not make it up as we go along.

With this being said I am no way condoning mistreating someone based upon the struggles they have with sin.  Sin is sin whether it is homosexuality, stealing, murder, lying, etc…  We all have sin we deal with and none of us are better than any other as we are all born into it; only through Jesus Christ can we shed that sin and have hope for an eternal life.

I personally may not agree with homosexuality based on my beliefs, but I will not treat that person any differently than I do anyone else; unless you give me reason to give an apologia for my faith and then I will stay on my side and you can stay on yours with no ill will.  The love I would offer would be through Jesus Christ and His saving Grace, not of my own as I have nothing without Jesus Christ.

For those who are lost, have your eyes opened and from that light you see the open arms of Jesus Christ waiting for your return.  Repent and claim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  The message has not changed for 2000 years and it is with good reason that it has not; God has not changed – we have.

Praise and serve God with all your heart and all your mind; in this you will find your burdens removed.

“A Story of Two Bobs”

This is one story about two men named “Bob”.  In my life I have had the privilege of knowing two men who unknowingly have impacted my life like no other.  The first “Bob” I will introduce is Bob Nordeen; he was a member in the church I attended in Oklahoma and we used to visit door to door witnessing to anyone who would listen to the Gospel of Jesus or others who were Christian, but just wanted to fellowship.  Bob was a retired Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army, a Vietnam Veteran and Korean War Veteran/P.O.W.

On every trip we took each week through the Lawton neighborhoods, he would always surprise me by his patience and tender heart.  He taught me how to not only try to understand people, but to take time to understand myself.  The more time I spent with him the more I realized that life will not always be what you think it should be and when we find ourselves facing tough times we must always maintain our faith in Jesus Christ, giving God the glory regardless of our circumstance.

Bob Nordeen went to be with our Lord before we left Oklahoma and it was both a sad day and a happy day because I knew how much he wanted to be with Jesus.  Sad, because I would no longer see his smile or listen to his wisdom.  I still miss him greatly to this day, but I am comforted to know that he is doing God’s work getting his instructions directly from God and joyfully getting them done.

The next “Bob” I will introduce you to is the man I now call “Dad”.  As he is married to my mother I guess you could say that I have to, but I use it more out of respect than because of marriage.  Technically he would be my Stepfather, but I consider that irrelevant.  Bob Larson is the most giving man I have ever met.  He will do anything for anyone at a moments notice if he is able and by this example I have learned that sometimes giving will hurt, but it is nothing permanent so just do it.

Bob is always concerned for others and is not afraid to let it be known whether by his words or actions.  The other thing I admire about him is his ability to share his feelings about his family and it is obvious that these feelings run very deep.  He is also found to be gentle yet strong, wise yet cheerful and patient yet passionate.

Not only is Bob a friend, he is a Dad to my wife, a wonderful husband to my mother, along with being a loving and kind grandfather to my daughters.  So again I will say that in my life there have been two men named “Bob” who have brought such a positive example into my life, which now greatly influences me.  Both are and should be the men that other men model their lives after.

I thank and praise God for these men who have given me the example to follow.  My prayer is to set the same example they did while still walking with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“To Be PC Or Not To Be PC?”

Can’t believe I turned to Shakespeare for this one, but when tough topics come up we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. In the news all we hear about is being politically correct. What does that mean anyway? Of course the answers some learned in their secular college course somewhere will come out, but to be honest, I think this is what got us into the mess we are in now.

My intent is not to pinpoint a college for a fault, but what I am referring to is the idea that political correctness was taken to levels unseen by everyone. Now, we are stuck with it regardless of how far it has come and I have an idea that many of those who raised banners for it are now stuck eating “Crow”, but in order to save face are unwilling to upset the status quo they find themselves in. Why? Because quite frankly it could mean losing jobs, friends and their livelihood.

It seems to me in my simple mind that if I am being honest, it is a better quality than lying to myself and everyone around me about my feelings and what I consider to be right or wrong. If I give up my beliefs and betray my feelings I have just handed who I am over to someone else; something I refuse to do regardless of the consequences. Anyway, I am not mine to give away as I belong to God.

For those who are struggling with choices they know they must make to save themselves; make the choice you know your heart is telling you.  God has put His Law on your heart and by this you will know that the choice you make is the right one. Do not let sin cloud your heart and repent.  Let God in so that you can honestly and clearly examine yourself; remember God have given you grace through Jesus Christ – He is your gift so honor and cherish it.

For those around you who claim there is no God or God’s Law does not apply or other absurd claims; they too know that God exists.  If they truly thought that God did not exist they would not fight so hard to prove otherwise. For those who would challenge you in this our foundation comes from the book of Romans 1: 18 – 25. Although you may come from a biblical world view it is simple. Do not let anyone be the judge over God and His word, but remember that our example is Christ and it is with Christian love we approach the lost; not free love as they might have you believe.

As Christians we are constantly told that we have to prove that God exists so I will simply reverse the table and use the same weighted balance; prove that He doesn’t.  Theory and hypothesis do not count as fact or truth. Remember that the Laws of Nature are used by science which also agrees with Laws of Logic, so just because I believe in something that cannot be considered tangible does not mean that I am the only one in the room that uses faith as my foundation.

Praise and Glory to God as He continues to use those who know Him and those who claim otherwise – All for His Glory!

“A Morning With God and Good Coffee”

Each morning as many Americans get up out of bed and head out to the kitchen, one of the first things that they reach for are the ingredients used in making one of the most popular morning beverages found in this country and many others; Coffee.

For many of us we cannot even think remotely close to straight until the first cup of coffee has been consumed. With some of the fumbling around witnessed by many a spouse or significant other, we could probably come up with some pretty funny episodes for a comedic stage-play.

Next after the coffee might be some sort of breakfast, whatever the makeup or even none at all.  Whatever the order, Coffee is used to start the day off. I believe there are also some studies out there that prove the fact that most people on the highway going to work are compared to being “buzzed” from alcohol because of their morning fogginess even after drinking coffee. Fact-check anyone?

Now that many of you are shaking your head north and south I want to take this to the next level.  Should we be starting our day with God first, before the Coffee?  By now some of you have caught on to the fact that I have been capitalizing the word Coffee.  Why?  Because we capitalize the name of God.  Has coffee become our god rather that the God we all know and serve?  Believe me when I say that I am right there with you.  My body’s first actions or muscle memories are to go straight to the coffee pot so I must also ask the same questions of myself and I am.

So as a Christian living today what tells us that God should come before my morning coffee? Now it might easy to turn to the Ten Commandments and recite the First Commandment, but there are some verses in Matthew that make it pretty clear where God and coffee are prioritized for Christians.  Matthew 22: 36 – 40 “36. ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ 37. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. 38. This is the first and great commandment. 39. And the second is like it; ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. 40. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (NKJV).

My challenge to any of the followers of this blog is to first pray and worship God in the morning before our morning coffee. I would even offer that our morning coffee will taste much better after recognizing God in our lives first and it will also put our soul, mind, and body in a state ready to go through our day glorifying God.  The by-product of that being joy.

Tomorrow in my coffee I will be adding a heaping spoonful of joy because a good cup of coffee does not contain sugar, creamers or any other worldly additive; it takes God first to make it great.

“Question of the Day”

The question of the day is certainly a Christian one, but I am not sure if I can answer the specific question, but I can offer the perspective of a Christian voter if that helps.  Today we are pressed by the question given to Scott Walker concerning Obama’s religious preference of that as a Christian and former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about the POTUS and his love of America.

Being in the same position as Mr. Walker I find myself in a little bit of a quandary.  Since I do not have first hand access to the President I am not able to give an answer to the question, but I do have a perspective to share concerning Mr. Walker’s answer to the press.

As a Christian of course I would love to know the true answer to the question posed to Mr. Walker, but I think I am more concerned with his response to reporters when asked.  His answer seemed more like an attempt at skirting around what was really being asked.  I think what was really being asked is; “if you don’t know, then why aren’t you asking the same question or at least making an attempt to find out?”

When it regards the leader of a nation I am certainly hoping that this prospect can understand the question posed and that even though it might seem direct, it actually implies something greater than himself and that most people would understand that Mr. Walker may not have the answer, so just say that you don’t know and please don’t try to hide behind political answers when the questions are posed; just be honest.

For the former mayor of New York I would offer that a little more digging might be required to get the real answer to the idea of whether President Obama loves America.  From my perspective (seat) I would first like to focus on how the POTUS views America.  Does he see it the same way I do?  More than likely not, so then we have to look at his own history of being a citizen.  Now this subject in itself is a contentious one, but for this discussion I am avoiding it.

The focus of the view could be broken down into “My Home, My Land, My Country” or “My Stepping Stone”.  I think it would be quite easy to distribute many people into either choice, but now how do we think the POTUS sees it?  My personal opinion is that he sees it as “My Stepping Stone”.  The reason I say this is due to how he makes decisions from how I see them.  Looking into his past is a key here since America served as a stepping stone to get him where he is now and with that he has become very Socialist in his politics and his directions concerning government programs.

No, I do not agree with President Obama on many things and did not vote for him, but I would ask that we be fair in our observations and judgements when it comes to evaluating who he is as a person.  We all love our country for various reasons and because of the rights we are given under the Constitution we can verbalize our ideas of how that is all put together.  As a Christian I will always turn to God for answers, but sometimes the answers are plain and sometimes simple, but the most obvious is love which for some reason can also be the hardest.