Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Friday, December 21, 2012

Have a Mad, Mad, Mad Chrtistmas!

 

One of my favorite magazines to  read when I was growing up was MAD magazine. With its parodies of every popular movie and its comic insight into the everyday situations of life, MAD magazine made growing up a passage of life for most pubescent male teens and provided a future adult generation with memories of clean humor that wasn't predicated on the amount of cuss words one could recite or perverse sexual acts one could impersonate.

One of the funniest parts of MAD magazine was the Christmas song parodies each year. The magazine would take a popular Christmas song, rewrite the words, and make it contemporary with how we celebrate or remember the Christmas season. Believe it or not, I can still remember the words to the different songs the magazine redid and the "truth" each song illustrated. Read or sing the following songs for an insightful look at the Christmas season from a MAD magazine perspective.


  (Sung to the tune of "Deck the Halls")

Wrap your gifts with fingers agile, Fa la la...
Seal it up and mark it "fragile", Fa la la...
There's no reason to feel nervous, Fa la la, la la la...
You can trust the postal service, Fa la la...

Hear the postal worker singing, Fa la la...
As your parcel he is flinging, Fa la la...
See it crumple in the bin there, Fa la la, la la la...
Aren't you sorry you walked in there, Fa la la...

See your parcel speed to Philly, Fa la la...
Through the air to cousin Billy, Fa la la...
It will end up in Savanah, Fa la la, la la la...
Via Nome and Butte, Montana, Fa la la...


(Sung to the tune of "We Three Kings")

We three clods from Omaha are
Spending Christmas Eve in a car
Driving, drinking,
Glasses clinking,
Who needs a lousy bar?

Ohh...
Drink to Charlie. Drink to Paul
Drink to friends we can't recall
Swerving, speeding
Signs unheeding
Drink to anything at all

We three clods are feeling no pain
Drunk as skunks with booze on the brain
Senses losing
'Til we're cruising
Into a wrong way lane

Ohh...
Drink to Melvin. Drink to Fred
Drink to those two trucks ahead
Headlights flashing
Screeching, crashing
Drink till they pronounce us dead.

(Sung to the tune of "O Little Town of Bethlehem")

Oh, little Bank Americard
You bring me Christmas Cheer
Without your clout
I have no doubt
No gifts I'd give this year.
Your credit line allows me
To run up bills quite large
And when I'm through
Exhausting you
I'll use my Master Charge.

(Same tune, sung in late February)

Oh, little Bank Americard
You bring me discontent
I calculate
Your int'rest rate
Is over (twelve) percent.
Each month, your cry for payments
My letter-box bombards;
I'm one more sap
Caught in your trap
Next year I'll just send cards.

 (Sung to the tune of "Away in a Manger")
Out there on the sidewalk a Santa Claus stands,
Beside a fake chimney, a bell in his hands;
A second one's smoking a smelly cigar;
A third one is picking his teeth in a bar;

A fourth Santa's trying to pick up a blonde;
A fifth one is drunk in the gutter beyond;
A sixth one is part of a window display;
The seventh and eighth ones appear to be gay;

They're fat and they're skinny, They're short and they're tall;
And none of them look like the real one at all;
With so many Santas it's tough to keep score --
Small wonder that kids don't believe any-more.

(Sung to the tune of "Winter Wonderland")

Doorbells ring, it's the season
And you know what's the reason
Someone's out there, after their share
Sticking out their greedy little hand
First in line is the doorman
He'll complain he's a poorman
The janitor's next on some weak pretext
Sticking out his greedy little hand

Then will come the superintendents visit.
He will ring your doorbell loud and long.
You will open up and ask who is it.
He just smiles and sings a Christmas song.
Later on...you'll give cash up.
To the man..who picks the trash up.
How nice they're all here.
For one day a year.
Stick'n out their greedy little hand.


 (Sung to the tune of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town")

You better watch out
You better not try,
Trav'ling about
I'm telling you why
Sodden clods are coming to town.

They're wrecking the bars
They're starting street fights.
They're having one of
Their naughtiest nights,
Sodden clods are coming to town.

Blithe New Years's drivers, pickled
In alcoholic brine
Will gaily bounce off walls and trees
To the strains of "Auld Lang Syne",
So,
You better stay home

And drink your own rye.
You're crazy to roam
It's obvious why,
Sodden clods are coming to town.


Not to be outdone by MAD magazine, I wrote my own "parody Christmas tune" I hope you enjoy it!
 
(Sung to the tune of "O Christmas Tree")

O Callahan
O Callahan
My computer is broke, so fix it!
 O Callahan
O Callahan
My computer is broke, so fix it!

I'm trying to work on important things
  like weekly blogs or songs we sing!
O Callahan
O Callahan
My computer is broke, so fix it!

It always breaks when I'm busy
your repairman skills are shoddy
O Callahan
O Callahan
My computer is broke, so fix it!

The program is froze, I can't get out
When this stuff happens, I always shout!
O Callahan
O Callahan
My computer is broke, so fix it!

It's fun to meander down memory lane during this very special time of the year, remembering a time that seemed much simpler and innocent, or to invent new memories that will bring enjoyment in future years to those we care about. We all have these great memories of years gone by and the imprints they have left on our hearts and minds. The Bible has recorded for all of us the real story of this special season and the reason we celebrate it while numerous Christmas songs emphasize the importance of the birth of Christ.  May we remember this joyous occasion and proclaim its vital message to a world lost in darkness and the hope it inspires and spreads because it really is a mad, mad world we live in!
Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.


 Stay Holy, My Friends!


Pastor Don

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Roll Call!

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!
Psalm 100:1 KJV


On November 29, 2011, I went to visit my uncle at the Applewood Nursing Home in Woodhaven and "stumbled" into one of those "coincidental" encounters. Let me explain what happened. I picked up a hot Dunkin Donuts coffee for me and my uncle and then went to the nursing home for our weekly visit. As sometimes happens, I could not find him in one of the many resting spots he frequents. As I checked all the rooms I thought he might be in, I finally found him in the cafeteria. He was on his way out of the room in his wheelchair and greeted me as I stood in the hallway. I asked him if there was a different room we could go to to have our coffee and talk because all of our other normal meeting rooms were filled with people. I asked him if we could go back into the cafeteria to meet, but he told me that there was a "religious" service that was going to take place. I told him I did not mind attending the "religious" service in the cafeteria if he didn't mind going.

Once inside the room, I was informed that the "religious" service was a memorial service for one of the residents from the nursing home. To my surprise, the service was for a woman I had met previously while visiting my uncle in the past. The woman's name was Minnie, and I had written a blog about her entitled Minnie from West Virginie in July of 2011. In the blog I detailed my visits with her and her enjoyment of singing country gospel songs. Her favorite country gospel song was When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, and she had a remarkable story that accompanied her liking of the song. Since Minnie was handicapped and was in a wheelchair, she couldn't get around very well, but she definitely liked to sing her favorite song.

Someone had once given her an harmonica and had placed it in one of her horribly arthritic hands. She couldn't play a lick on the thing, but she sure would blow into it and make a "noise" when we got together to sing. She enjoyed playing her harmonica and singing, and she related numerous stories to me about when she was a little girl in West Virginia and how she used to attend church frequently.




I was sad and disappointed that it was Minnie who had passed away, but then again she was in her 90s and suffered from many debilitating diseases. Minnie had died the day after Thanksgiving after being in the nursing home for many years.

Minnie was a Christian and often attended the "religious" services held weekly at the nursing home. She constantly had a smile on her face even though I knew she was in terrific pain. I'll miss her warm friendly greetings at the back table whenever I visited my uncle and her glowing radiant face every time I would start singing When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.

When the service began for her, the people comprising the "religious" worship team for the service were probably as old as Minnie and almost in as poor of condition. The piano player was a woman in her 90s, but she pounded those piano keys like Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime. On guitar was a man in a wheelchair who was very good at the guitar. He had picked up music while listening to a piano player. They was accompanied by a woman in a wheelchair, playing a tambourine off beat, but with a lot of emotion and spunk. The lead singer was a much younger woman, probably in her 50s, who wrote a song especially for Minnie and who sang with a southern accent. The four of them led the rest of us in a couple of off-tune hymns, but everyone sang with gusto and in honor of Minnie. I was actually quite impressed with their playing and simple effort at honoring one of their own whom they loved dearly.


video


During this time of the holidays, it is very easy to get caught up in all the commotion of the season with shopping and the numerous preparations that have to be made for different gatherings. It is easy to overlook the simple things of life and to forget to be thankful for them. Minnie, thanks for the many wonderful memories because you are going to be sorely missed and your joyful presence never forgotten! You've fought the good fight and you've finished the race. And now you can look forward to your eternal reward. And, Minnie, I know your name is on that roll! 

Stay Holy, My Friends!


Pastor Don

Monday, December 3, 2012

Not Again Pat!

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. - Proverbs 17:28
 

Now that Black Friday is over and the Christmas season is in full swing, I was wondering how long it would be until something out the ordinary happened that would make all of us scratch our heads in utter amazement and disbelief. It didn't take long for someone to grab the seasonal spotlight to attack either Christmas, the Bible, holiday greetings, or nativity scenes erected on "public" property and gain their 15 minutes of television fame. Little did I realize that the head scratching comments would come from none other than the famous Pat Robertson of 700 Club!

Maybe you read the blog I wrote entitled Shut Up!? In that blog, I documented Pat Robertson's answer to a television viewer's question regarding Alzheimer disease. Pat was asked a question on his television program by a caller. The caller told Pat about a situation in which a friend of his had a wife who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The caller went on to state that his friend was seeing another woman all the while he was still married to his wife who had Alzheimer's and wanted to know what Pat's "advice" was in dealing with his friend and his situation. The following is an article from The Los Angeles Times about the comments:
The controversy stems from comments Robertson made recently on the "700 Club" program on Christian Broadcast Network. His comments came in response to a caller who said that a friend had begun dating other women while his wife lies seriously ill with Alzheimer's, and justifies it by saying that "his wife, as he knows her, is gone." Robertson said he agrees with the man: "What he says basically is correct. I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her." His co-host pressed Robertson about whether that violates the marriage vows. Robertson responded that Alzheimer's "is a kind of death" and added, "I certainly wouldn't put a guilt trip on you" for choosing divorce in such a scenario."



Instead of dispensing some good old fashion Biblical advice and wisdom mixed with love and compassion, Pat launched into an outrageous response that would have left even the hardest hearted humanist surprised at this "Christian" passionate response!

Well Pat may have outdone himself this time with his latest "faux pas" comments. Pat was once again asked a question on his television show, but this time in regard to the Biblical account of creation and dinosaurs. The question stated that a woman was having a hard time telling her children about dinosaurs because the Bible doesn't mention them.

Pat started off by "blessing" then "criticizing" Bishop Ussher and his chronological genealogical timetable that he piecemealed together from the Biblical list of the human chronologies. While Bishop Ussher's timetable gives an exact date of creation at 4004 B.C., the Bible does not give an exact date of creation. However, the Bible does give us an approximate date of creation by the adding together of the human genealogies listed in Genesis account of the Bible - and this is exactly what Bishop Ussher did. This approximation gives us a general creation date at about 4000 B.C. plus or minus some years.

The reason this 4000 B.C. date is so controversial today is that contemporary evolutionary thought demands billions of years for the ascent of man from a primordial beginning to our current evolutionary elitist standing and excludes any god from involvement in the creation and development of mankind. Because "modern" science rejects "in toto" any early date for the creation's beginning, any early date suggested is lampooned, rejected, and banished by the "experts" with all sorts of "scientific explanations" supporting their disdain of God, the Bible, or any supposed evidence for a young earth.




Pat Robertson's response was surprising. He cited "scientific tests" and "buried dinosaurs" as somehow proving that there was life before the Bible and that the world is not approximately 6000 years old. He even scolded his audience, telling them not to fight against "revealed science" because they will lose their children!

When I first heard these ludicrous comments, I thought to myself, "not again Pat!" His lack of Biblical understanding, application, and logic would disqualify him from teaching elementary classes of Sunday School at most churches. To suggest that Christians not fight against "revealed science" reveals his improper or ignorant understanding of Biblical creation and evolutionary theory and the logical, philosophical and consequential implications of each belief system. Then to suggest that Christian parents would lose their children to science if they maintain the belief in a young earth bordered on absurdity. Read the following article from the Evolution is Dead website about the age of the Grand Canyon to see if "revealed science" should be trusted in the debate of origins or the history of the earth!. 

New Volley Cast into the Grand Canyon Age Wars
Posted on November 29, 2012
Age estimates for the Grand Canyon by secular geologists differ between 100,000 years to 70 million years.  Who are you going to believe?
The latest applecart-upsetting estimate, published in Science by Rebecca. M. Flowers of the University of Colorado and K. A. Farley of Caltech, puts it at 70 million years – 12 times older than what they called the “prevailing view” of 5–6 million years (although another estimate of 17 million was proposed in 2008; see 4/10/2008, and even ages less than a million had been proposed earlier – see 11/30/2007, 7/22/2002, 5/31/2002).  Flowers and Farley based their estimate on helium content of apatite in the western Grand Canyon, an alleged proxy for temperature and exposure to air.  They recognized, though, the “puzzling array of data” that make dating difficult.
While Science Daily seemed excited to announce that Grand Canyon is “old as the dinosaurs,”  the AAS news service Science Now says the new estimate is not likely to settle the controversy: “many researchers are skeptical, noting that it’s not clear whether these findings radically change current scenarios of how and when the iconic gorge was carved.”

According to Science Now, Flowers realizes that the debate over the age of the canyon has raged for over 150 years: “If history were as simple as the popular view, the canyon’s origins wouldn’t continue to be a topic of hot debate,” she said.  Skeptics counter that the one measurement from apatite helium content “hardly closes the debate on the canyon’s age.”  There’s “a lot of evidence for a young Grand Canyon,” one said (thinking in terms of 6 million years or less).  Another critic who collected the same kind of data a couple of kilometers away and got far younger results calls the 70-million-year date “out in left field.”  The 2008 estimate of 17 million based on speleothems is also controversial.
Becky Oskin at Live Science focused on the controversy, admitting that from the rim the canyon “looks young” (still assuming a few million years).  She quoted geologist Richard Young:
It really looks like they’re onto something, but it’s hard to make sense out of it,” said Young, a professor at the State University of New York in Geneseo. “It’s really good work and it’s really interesting, so obviously there’s something we’re missing in the story. I’m sure we’re going to be talking about it forever,” he said.
Science Daily, though, echoing the U Colorado press release featuring home girl Rebecca Flowers, made the new (old) date look as good as possible.  Even so, the press release recognized the controversy, and hinted that Flowers might be partly right:

Flowers said there is significant controversy among scientists over the age and evolution of the Grand Canyon.  A variety of data suggest that the Grand Canyon had a complicated history, and the entire modern canyon may not have been carved all at the same time. Different canyon segments may have evolved separately before coalescing into what visitors see today.
Even so, there’s a huge time difference between 70 million and even 17 million years – a period during which mass extinctions and the rise of the Rocky Mountains are said to have occurred.  “I expect that our interpretation that the Grand Canyon formed some 70 million years ago is going to generate a fair amount of controversy, and I hope it will motivate more research to help solve this problem,” Flowers said, hinting that her study with Farley was almost intentionally put out as a challenge.
New Scientist went over the top in its headline, “Dinosaurs might have once gazed into the Grand Canyon.”  Then again, they might not have.  Or, they might have just a few thousand years ago, if the creationists are right.  Reporter Joanna Carver appealed to readers’ imaginations: “Picture the scene. It’s late in the Cretaceous period, 70 million years ago. A group of dinosaurs have gathered at the rim of what will become known as the Grand Canyon. They’re gawping over the edge, just as humans will in millennia to come,” she limned. “That might not be complete fantasy.”  Then again, it might.

This is why you should treat dates from geologists with a huge serving of laughing gas.  The colossal extremes of their estimates for this most famous earth feature clearly shows that they do not know what they are talking about.  They are the blind men and the elephant, looking at a tail and calling the elephant a rope, or looking at the tusk and calling the elephant a spear.  These same geologists consistently ignore evidence for a very recent, catastrophic carving of the canyon.
There are two separate dating problems with Grand Canyon: the date the sediments were laid down, and the date the canyon was carved.  Creation geologists have given ample evidence why the canyon and its sediments are far younger than secular estimates.  Examples include the vast extent of strata, their flatness, the lack of fault lines extending part way up, entire epochs missing between strata with no sign of erosion, soft-sediment deformation extending through multiple sequences, and more (see 6/24/2009 commentary).  Why are these evidences completely ignored in the dating game?  Answer: they give young age that that supports a catastrophic global flood.  Geologists shudder to give aid and comfort to creationists.
Even if you are not ready to entertain a drastic reduction in the age of the earth, it’s enough for now to recognize from these articles that secular geologists are clueless about the age of the Grand Canyon.  Actually, they have clues, but are clueless about reading them.  Why trust what they conclude, when one of them said he’s sure they’ll be talking about this forever?  Do they deserve that kind of job security?



Pat, this is only one small example of science being wrong about the Bible, dinosaurs, the age of the earth, the flood of Noah, and a host of other Biblical stories where "science" claims to correct the false facts about Biblical history. Numerous examples could be cited to prove my point, but time and space do not allow for all the examples that could be provided.  It is because of answers like the above that we are losing our kids to the so-called scientific, humanistic, and atheistic worldviews. Giving our children a "revealed" Biblical worldview along with reasonable explanations from the scriptures will keep our children from falling prey to the deceptions of evolutionary science and the so-called infallible proclamations of evolutionary scientist. Equipping our children with a proper Biblical worldview will keep them from worshiping at the false shrine of evolutionary science and humanism and turn our culture - as well as our children - back toward the sure certainty of God's Holy Word.

Stay Holy, My Friends!


Pastor Don

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Aint Nobody Got Time for That!




A picture is worth a thousand words. Anyone who has seen a photo of Bob Cassady in a suit from the 80s would know what I'm talking about. This old saying was obviously true prior to the golden age of movies and videos where now multiple pictures bring an act or story to life. With the advent of motion pictures and video, today visual scenes can leave us grasping for words to adequately or accurately describe what we just witnessed on film. Watch the following video from a "Black Friday" store sale and see for yourself if you can find the correct words to describe the scene or the people involved!




I must admit I was left speechless after watching the above video taken by a security camera in a department store on "Black Friday."  As people pushed, shoved, yelled obscenities, kicked, and grabbed others' presents or trampled on those who fell on the floor, I could only wonder where are we headed as a nation. Imagine for a moment if we were struck by a disaster that made Hurricane Sandy pale in comparison. What would be the reaction of most people? Sadly, recent headlines tell us that the homes that were destroyed or damaged by Sandy were being looted over Thanksgiving Day.  Black Friday has turned into Free For All Friday.

Look sat some of the other headlines from the Drudge Report last weekend:
  •  Customers Run Over in Parking Lot
  •  Man Bitten in Walmart
  •  Men Steal Boy's Bag Outside Bed Bath and Beyond
  •  Woman Busted for Throwing Merchandise
  •  Rampage
  •  Thousands Storm Victoria Secret
  •  Gang Fight at Black Friday Sale




Whatever happened to the days of old where people stood in lines quietly, patiently, and well-mannered, waiting for businesses to open their doors to the public for business to greet everyone with a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday? Nowadays, people don't take time for that. It's get through the door regardless of who gets stepped on or hurt and get those deals that will never come back. Forget all sense of decency, decorum, and compassion. Forget about any sense of fair play or sportsmanship. Forget about wishing anybody any Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday salutations! Have we as a nation forgotten what this season is all about?




As followers of Christ, may we celebrate this wonderful advent season as a time of reflection on God's precious gift to all mankind in His son Jesus Christ. May we follow God's example by giving gifts to others as tokens of our love for them and our desire to see them blessed. May we truly adhere to the scriptural admonition that says,"it is more blessed to give than to receive."

As the world continues to debase and secularize this memorial season and incredible historical event, may we as children of God illustrate to the world, through our humility and good will, what this season really is all about. May we be witness to the grace and mercy of our Lord in a world bent on getting what they want no matter who gets hurt or in their way. May we also keep Jesus as the real reason for celebrating the season. Let's all make time for that.




Stay Holy, My friends!

 

 Pastor Don

Friday, November 16, 2012

Give Us Barabbas!

Life is a competition between polar opposites: strong versus weak, big versus small, smart versus unintelligent, rich versus poor, Godzilla versus Tokyo! With the reelection of President Obama on November 6th, 2012, another demarcation line between two polar opposites was recognized by the discerning and God-fearing, but was completely ignored by the current majority of Americans. That line is the fine line between the life and death of a free and prosperous society.




As America continues to move away from its Christian heritage, calling, and pedigree - along with the blessings associated with them - it moves at breakneck speed toward socialism, totalitarianism, and death. It has become clearer and clearer to many Christians that the majority of Americans - and many so-called Christians - are making uniformed and very dangerous choices for our nation's future. These choices are similar to the one made by the mob of Jews who were given the choice between "their King" or a "counterfeit." The mob before Pilate was "persuaded by the chief priest and elders" to demand the release of Barabbas! This historic and symbolic choice was a choice between a failed revolutionary and murderer or the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. One of the imprisoned men was going to be released back into Jewish society - along with the example he modeled - to walk and work freely among the people. The mob foolishly chose the revolutionary and murderer as they cried out, "Give us Barabbas!"


  

We are told in the Bible that Barabbas was a notorious (famous, well known, popular) prisoner (Matthew 27:16) who had been imprisoned for rebellion and murder (Luke 23:19). He was scheduled to be executed, but was released when the Jews of Jerusalem were given a choice between him and Jesus. The Jews demanded Barabbas be released instead of Jesus at the feast of Passover, according to the Biblical accounts, and Barabbas went free while Jesus went to the cross. How significant to note that the "mob" will almost always reject Jesus and everything that he stands for and demand the release of a "Barabbas."

What does Barabbas stand for? Barabbas' name gives us insight into what the people back then were really demanding for themselves. The name Barabbas means "son of the father." This name, along with the Biblical description of his character, points us to the fact that God was not his father, but that he was a descendant of his real father Satan (John 8:44). And being a son of his father the Devil, he acted like his father - rebelling and murdering - during his lifetime. Some historical authors believe that Barabbas was later involved in leading and organizing the rebellion against Rome in 70 A.D., which led to Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans. On the other hand, all sons of God who are called by His name should be identified by their observance to God's holy word and devotion to Jesus (I John 3:7-10).

Also, according to early Greek text of the New Testament, Barabbas' full name was Jesus Barabbas. Later, scholars dropped the first name from the scriptures because of the possible confusion between the real Jesus and the false Jesus. The Biblical narrative sets the two Jesus-es in contrast to one another. Their lives, characters, and philosophies stand in stark contrast to each other and the possible blessings or consequence associated with each man. When the majority of this nation's people cry out and side with a Jesus Barabbas (all non-Christian worldviews) whose entire agenda is anti-Christian to the core and reject the remaining standard of God's law for their lives, we have figuratively demanded the release of a "Barabbas" back into our culture and our lives - accompanied by the horrific consequences of our demands.




When a "Barabbas" reenters our communities at our invitation, he brings with him his rebellious and murderous tendencies. He has not changed his character and has no intention of changing it. His history and influence will once again be allowed to move undetected and unhindered in our midst spreading destruction in his wake. The unfortunate part about his destructive work is that people will foolishly think that "Barabbas" will not affect them or their children. His destructive work all around us will not be noticed until it is too late. His work and influence will spread like gangrene (2 Timothy 2:17). When a society rejects God's Son as "King" and his word as "authoritative" for their entire lives, society slowly begins to crumple under the foundation of sand and soon reaps the consequences of a released "Barabbas."

In last week's Presidential election, the people once again cried out and let their voices be heard. The cry of "give us Barabbas" drowned out the cry for life, justice, truth, and numerous other Biblical principles associated with a free, healthy, fair, and prosperous society. Rejected by this mob are the remaining law and Lordship of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, in our nation. As the "Barabbas spirit" has the chains taken off its bloody wrists and is released, the work of rebellion and murder will grow and continue unabated and at the nation's expense. Abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, fetal stem cell experimentation, homosexuality, sexual perversion, and a host of other evils will be unleashed with demonic fury and championed by "Barabbas" sympathizers in the crowd while all remnants of Christ's remaining law will be mocked, striped, flogged, crucified, and buried by "public opinion." 

"What shall I do with this man named Jesus?" Pilate rhetorically asked the crowd? "Crucify him!" they demanded. "But he is your king!" Pilate pointed out. "We have no king but Caesar!" the crowd hypocritically replied. Barabbas was demanded and released, but we as Christians should not grow fainthearted and discouraged. Instead may we be resolute as we faithfully continue pressing into Christ in all parts of life. May we take the battle to the enemy in all spheres and stand boldly, proudly, and steadfastly for Christ and his law.  Barabbas may have been demanded by the crowd and released to them, but just wait and see what happens when the church truly rises up and is released in the power of the Holy Spirit.



Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.

At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
On then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
Brothers lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.

 Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

What the saints established that I hold for true.
What the saints believed, that I believe too.
Long as earth endureth, men the faith will hold,
Kingdoms, nations, empires, in destruction rolled.

 Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
We have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.

 Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud and honor unto Christ the King,
This through countless ages men and angels sing.

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before...

Stay Holy, My Friends!



Pastor Don

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jesus 4 President?




With our national election just over a week away, most of us have already decided who we are going to vote for in the 2012 Presidential Election. The lines have been drawn in the proverbial sand as the two national political party platforms have been debated, revised, and promoted. This upcoming election will determine which of the two platforms will be advanced as law over the course of the next four years. A short glance at the two party's platforms would indicated even to the most casual observer that each party has a "vision" for the future of America, radically different from the other party's platform. For example, one party recognizes an unborn baby's life in the womb as sacred and in need of protection while the other party recognizes a woman's right to terminate a baby's life in the womb as a "personal choice" that only the mother should make. One party holds to the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman while the other party redefines marriage and what or who constitutes "marriage." As one examines the platforms of these two parties, it becomes clearly evident that they are diametrically opposed to each other on almost EVERY point!  

For those people who have not made up their minds about whom they are going to vote for at this late junction of the game, I have to wonder what criteria they use to make their decision. Do these people have moral compasses that regulate their sense of right and wrong or do they substitute subjective feelings for objective truth or some community standard in making these very important decisions? Do they consult the Bible for direction for their votes or do they use their "feelings" to cast their votes? It is this group of undecided voters that both parties try to pander to and influence by appealing to a wide host of interests that might tip their votes in the party's favor.




Recently, I noticed political signs in homeowner's yards or in front of area churches, promoting Jesus for President. To be honest with you, I didn't even know he was interested in running for President or much less that he was on the ballot. I thought he was already King of kings and Lord of lords and rules over all the earth from his throne on high. Silly me! You could imagine my embarrassment that as a pastor I did not even know that he wanted to be President of the United States! I figured that I must get to the bottom of this very important issue because I didn't know where my head was at concerning Jesus running for President.




My first place of inquiry concerning "Jesus for President" was on the Internet and was an organization that was recruiting "Christian voters" to vote neither for President Obama nor for Governor Romney. Their suggestion was that neither candidate was worthy of a vote and that Christians should just write in the name "Jesus" as a sign of protest against both political parties and their candidates.The site claimed that it had almost 1.5 million Christian people who were pledging to follow their instructions. It is amazing that so many "Christians" apparently would accept and be willing to follow such nonsense. It was a telltale sign to me that the American church is in dire spiritual shape. These people must know that no man is perfect and that a wasted vote is a vote for the implantation of an anti-Christian worldview and law system with horrendous national consequences. Granted both candidates are not Christian, but policies and laws that they will try to enact are either Biblical or humanistic. One party's platform is much more Biblical than the other party's platform.




The second site I examined concerning Jesus for President was a group advocating that Christians start living like Jesus and give away the majority of their money and property, renounce all violence and corporate profits, and pledge to live like hermits or monks so that the rest of the world will see our true Christ-like spiritual nature. This in turn will "really" inspire the rest of the world to seek and accept Jesus so that they could continue to be in the same miserable living conditions that all of us believers would be in. I couldn't help think that the rest of the world is already poor and miserable, but that hasn't brought them to Christ. Just maybe they are looking for the real Savior who can raise them and their culture out of material and spiritual poverty that they find themselves already submerged in!

Upon reading the rest of the reasons this website advanced for their cause, it was abundantly clear to me that this group was some front group for those "social justice" and "liberal gospel" types! -- Can't we just all get along together and work for universal harmony?

With two strikes already against me, I was feeling like Miguel Cabrera in the batter's box with two strikes and no balls - what would the next pitch be?

 


Finally, the third site I visited was using Jesus 4 President as a slick and clever church recruiting and marketing ploy. The site featured a video with three pastors questioning what would Jesus do if he were President of the United States. None of the pastors on the video indicated who people should vote for or the candidate positions on the different platforms. Instead they took a neutral position and left it to the individual to make up their own minds as to whom they should vote for. The pastors wanted to examine what Jesus would be like if he were the President and how he would run the country. I don't know if they would actually teach participants at the service about the incredibly important issues facing the country today, how those issues impact our nation and culture, and how each candidate intends to address those issues if elected, but I guess speculating about what Jesus might do is more important than getting direction from Him as to what we should do. It always strikes me as troublesome that men who claim to be pastors and radically in love with Jesus cannot bring themselves to take a public and Biblical stand against political parties who continually undermine or reinterpret every Christian doctrine and practice to advance their particular political agenda.

Please note the following excerpt taken from one of the websites. The main page Jesus4president.com states, "Politics have their place. The Bible actually says that when good men and women lead a nation, that nation will prosper. So we’re not saying, ‘Don’t Vote.’ Vote! We want you to vote and we’re not trying to tell you which way you should vote.  We’re just saying that we need something better than a President."




I think we can all agree that we need something better than the current administration, but the truth of the matter is that it is what it is. We have the opportunity to vote in a man who will lead this country in the near future and this choice does matter - it matters greatly! And if the choice matters greatly, then the "church" should be telling its members which man should receive their vote! There is a tremendous difference between the two men currently running for office and their views on life and how this country should be run. Their views will either impede this nation's decline or accelerate its speedy course to destruction.

If pastors and their churches would rather employ a middle of the road view and don't-make-any-waves philosophy on such crucial matters as taxpayer funding of abortion, the governmental funding of Planned Parenthood, the taxpayer funding of human embryonic stem cell research, enacting a ban on human cloning, giving parents a choice in their children's education, defending the state constitutional amendment preserving natural marriage, the appointment of conservative judges to the bench, the ending of military social engineering, the end of governmental control of healthcare or the protection of religious liberties, then a vote for Mitt Romney is NOT your choice! But let's quit playing silly games when it comes to making such important and life-altering decisions! The church is called to be prophetic in its mission and to declare to the church at large - as well as the world - God's will in all matters.





Man is definitely not saved by or through a particular political party holding office, but our freedoms, liberty, rights, and justice are ALL defined, established, and maintained by these parties and the laws they would impose on the rest of us. Whoever defines, controls, and establishes the law of the land determines the context and limits to these important and very relevant Biblical concepts.

And, Jesus, I suppose some of your church will continue to use your name for foolish and laughable ends. Some will twist the true message of the Gospel for the advancement of harmful spiritual-social-political ends. Others will use your name as a clever marketing tool to build their local church and reputations, but may your true church honor and revere your holy name that is exalted high above all names - including that of President! 


Stay Holy, My Friends!






Pastor Don

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Walking Dead!



This week, the long anticipated return of one of my favorite shows began its fall schedule. The Walking Dead aired amidst wild speculations and arguments as to what this season will ultimately bring to the fans of the show. I don't know what it is with the current fascination with zombies and vampires, but the craze has swept through our culture and shows no sign of slowing down.

Back in the day, movies such as Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and The Last Man on Earth became cult movie classics and brought a new genre of horror to the big screen. These movies pioneered a fascination with "the living dead" and, in my humble opinion, have also been responsible for helping to spawn the counterculture of "Goth"!


For those of you who do not know what a zombie is, a little course in zombieology 101 is in order. A zombie is a person, or sometimes an animal, who has died and - by some weird means - has come back to "life." Depending on the type, zombies can be reanimated by radiation, meteorite dust, voodoo, or - if you belong to the Democratic party - a Joe Biden speech!  When this person comes back to life, he is not alive in the same sense that you or I are alive. You can't reason with zombies or get them to change their minds. You can't take one home as a pet or play with one out in the yard. They are brain dead and have one goal - destroy and eat the "real" living! The whole reason for their existence is summed up in that existential commitment.  
 

Since there is no legitimate way to reason with or convince zombies that what they are trying to do is wrong, excessive means must be taken to destroy these creatures and render society safe from their continual savaging and preying upon the healthy and innocent living. In order for society to get back to "normal living," these demonic creatures must be exterminated and eliminated forever! Those who are zombie experts - like Mark Hogan - know that this can only be accomplished by a bullet or sharp blow to or decapitation of their head. The head is the key to dealing with and destroying these "dead alive." No body shot will render them ineffective or put an end to their miserable and horrifying existence! 


Now, this may come as a shocking surprise to some, but many of our churches are filled with "zombies"! Yes, the walking dead are among us in our churches as well as in our society. These "zombies" appear to be alive, but are really dead with no life of God flowing through their bodies. Their brains are dead and are incapable of thinking God's thoughts or contributing to the "normal living" of church life. They destroy or infect the healthy church through seductive and false teachings or through personal and contaminated contact. Look at what the Apostle John delivers to the church of Sardis in the book of Revelation:

To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Or what the Apostle Jude says in his epistle:

These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead.

Jesus himself confronted "zombies" in his earthly ministry and told them:

Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

In the trailer for the latest The Walking Dead episode, one of the still-alive characters uttered these inspiring words - "We're going out there and taking back what's ours!" They had a city and lives that were torn apart and taken by the appearance of zombies in their town and they finally had enough of it. With determination and commitment to exterminate these creatures, they were willing to place their lives on the line for each other and their families. They also realized that by doing this they were placing themselves in harm's way and possibly laying down their own lives so that others could live free from zombie threats.

In like manner, there are Zombies in the church and world who are making life a living hell for everyone! These zombies are people who are totally unaware of true spiritual matters and try to set the "spiritual" direction for all others. Whether it is Islam, Humanism, or some other "dead" religious or political belief or ideology, these teachings and ideas infect the healthy and quickly destroy their spiritual and natural health. Though these people are alive naturally, they are dead spiritually. And just like the zombies on television or in the movies, they are brain dead concerning the things of God and exist only to feed themselves and destroy those around them. Reasoning with them is fruitless unless they have been "made alive" by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Contact with them can infect the "healthy" with their dreaded condition. Notice the stipulations for someone in the Old Testament who had contact with a "dead" person and the effect it had on them and the process they had to go through to get "clean"!
   
Those who touch the dead body of any human being shall be unclean seven daysThey shall purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean; but if they do not purify themselves on the third day and on the seventh day, they will not become clean. All who touch a corpse, the body of a human being who has died, and do not purify themselves, defile the tabernacle of the Lord; such persons shall be cut off from Israel. 

Failure to "cleanse" oneself from contact with a "dead" person resulted in the "clean" person becoming "dead," and they had to be cut off - permanently removed - from the congregation in order to keep "death" from progressing. May we ever be cognoscente of the "walking dead" around us and the deadly disease that they carry and transmit. It is only through having a strong Biblical worldview and trust in God that we can combat these zombies and take back what has been stolen and destroyed by them. By equipping ourselves with the "sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God," we can destroy and overcome all thoughts and speculations that exalt themselves above the name of God and His Holy Word.


Stay Holy, My Friends,




Pastor Don


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Quiver Full!


Psalm 127
Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.



Last Sunday, the leadership of Downriver Christian Community Church was proud to announce to the congregation the setting into the office of deacon five men whose lives have exemplified the word "servant." Recognized and ordained for their commitment and devoted service to Jesus as well as to Downriver Christian Community Church were Fred and Esther Ramsey, Ed and Jenny Lindlbauer, Bobby and Michelle Ramirez, Donovan and Cathy Rowe, and Steve and Allison Shank. These men, along with their faithful wives, have served DCCC over the past years with hearts fully devoted to the care, oversight, and service of the DCCC saints and have sacrificed of their time, talents, and tithes to ensure that the local church remains healthy and evangelistic. Having been selected to take upon themselves the administration and oversight of various functions within DCCC, they have displayed through trials and testings those outstanding qualities that are described in 1 Timothy:

Deacons also must be worthy of respect. They must be honest and true. They must not drink too much wine. They must not try to get money by cheating people. They must hold on to the deep truths of the faith. Even their own minds tell them to do that. First they must be tested. Then let them serve as deacons if there is nothing against them. In the same way, their wives must be worthy of respect. They must not say things that harm others. In anything they do, they must not go too far. They must be worthy of trust in everything. A deacon must be faithful to his wife. He must manage his children and family well. Those who have served well earn the full respect of others. They also become more sure of their faith in Christ Jesus.

Haven proven themselves as good stewards over the ministries and people they oversee, these spiritual sons and their wives are definitely a heritage from the Lord and a quiver full of arrows necessary for spiritual combat and kingdom advancement. We consider ourselves blessed and fortunate to have these men and their wives as part of the leadership team at Downriver Christian Community Church and look forward to their important generational impact for the name and the cause of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May God watch over the house you labor to build and the section of the city he has set you over to keep watch of. Be faithful and diligent to your trust. And now- let's get back to work!      


Stay Holy, My Friends!

 

Pastor Don 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Watch! Listen! Learn! Act!

Every once in a blue moon, I find a YouTube video that leaves such an indelible impression on my spirit that I have to share it with the Downriver family via my blog! The following video is from a Bishop named E.W. Jackson from Virginia who takes the modern U.S. "black" church and its leadership and members to task for its undying devotion to the Democratic Party. Bishop Jackson - who will NEVER be confused with or identified along side of the Reverend Jessie Jackson - challenges black Christians in the United States to throw off the shackles of the Democratic Party and to be loosed from their God-hating, family-destroying, homosexual-supporting and slave-imposing social mentality along with a long host of other anti-God policies.

And like a true man of God, he calls a spade a spade and makes no bones about it. Bishop Jackson is a voice crying out in the political and spiritual wilderness calling people back to their right place before God. A place where His word and Son are upheld and honored by holy living and proper doctrine. Let the chips fall where they may because a line has been drawn and a serious challenge has been thrown down.

Stay holy, my brother, and continue to fight the good fight of faith because the tide is turning! Like Moses praying with his hands upheld, the battle is slowly turning and sacred ground is being reclaimed. The enemies of God are in retreat and are being routed by the Most High. Hold your ground and pray on! Now, if only the "white liberal" church would watch, listen, learn, and act, then we could all truly embrace one another and sing with all our heart - free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are all free at last! Preach on brother, preach on!





Stay Holy, My Brother!



Pastor Don

Go To Jail, Go Directly To Jail!

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the all-time popular game of Monopoly. Remember how fun it was to "take" everyone's money and buy their properties at pennies on the dollar when they were close to being out of money?  Or how about buying and placing home and hotels on Baltic Avenue or one of the other "worthless" pieces of property you bought when the game began? The good old days of board games and the countless fun hours we spent actually doing something with others...instead of sitting behind a computer all day, texting on our phones, or playing with our iPads or Kindles!




One of the most frustrating things about playing Monopoly was losing turns and money if sent to jail! While others were racing around the board buying property and collecting money, you languished in jail until you threw doubles with the dice on one of your next three turns. There was an exception to the rule with a Get Out of Jail Free card. Do something wrong - don't worry about going directly to jail - you have a get out of jail "card" in hand.


Just recently, I was stunned when I saw a current headline on one of the popular website news pages. The title of the article was "Dozens of Americans Jailed for Praying in front of the White House." I could not believe it. People actually were just praying in front of the White House when they were arrested? At first, I thought it must have been an unruly Muslim mob "praying" for the head of a movie maker who had offended the prophet Mohammad or left-wing "Christians" "praying" and protesting some "righteous" cause like U.S. disarmament or showing their continued support for "pro-choice" lawmakers and judges. Usually these types of "prayer meetings" get out of hand.


 

However, I was surprised and wrong about this prayer meeting. These people just were kneeling, holding signs and praying quietly for the protection of our religious freedom. They were not even threatening anyone or screaming inaudible religious slogans. The hubris, audacity, and self-righteousness of this group in trying to act more respectful and civilized than all the other groups that protest! Who did they think they were by the way? Who would even want to stand up - or kneel in their case - for religious freedom when everybody "knows" it is guaranteed by the first amendment in the Bill of Rights!



These six people peacefully protested the Obama administration’s mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-producing drugs by kneeling in prayer in front of the White House, and they quickly were arrested and whisked away by U.S. Park police, according to World Net Daily. Watch the accompanying video to see the "resistance" and "disturbances" that they engaged in while protesting. I think the accompanying sound was purposely deleted because of the obscene language being used by the protesters. I think I could read the lips of one of the protesters telling a police officer God bless you!


With the advent of the presidential election upon us and the continual imposition of a secular worldview on our culture and children, we must be like the men of Issachar who understood the perilous times they lived in and knew what course of action they should take. Undaunted by what lay in front of them, they trusted God, the rightness of their cause, and the commitment of their brothers to overcome every obstacle that impeded their path toward godly change. Walking by faith and not by sight, we are called to fight the good fight of faith with the strength that God provides and subdue the unrighteous and immoral thinking and behavior that now dominates our country's collective mindset. There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end is destruction. Unless God's people live out what they believe passionately and sincerely - and not cower under threats, fines, imprisonments and even death - we will have forfeited our callings and duty and face a bleak future run by cruel and contemptible men.

Let us not leave to our children a country void of common sense, religious rights or a Godly inheritance, but let us pray unceasingly and fight for God's justice, freedom, and liberty for all. If, however, that horrible time does come - like the game of Monopoly - there will be those who control the all the money, property, and rules while the rest of us languish in jail for crimes against their "just" society. And trust me on this one, when and if that should happen, there will be no get out of jail card in that game!

   



I hear the train a coming
it's rolling round the bend
and I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when,
I'm stuck in Folsom prison, and time keeps dragging on
but that train keeps a rolling on down to San Antone

When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,
always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns.
But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die
now every time I hear that whistle I hang my head and cry..

I bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
they're probably drinking coffee and smoking big cigars.
Well I know I had it coming, I know I can't be free
but those people keep a moving
and that's what tortures me...

Well if they'd free me from this prison,
if that railroad train was mine
I bet I'd move it just a little further down the line
far from Folsom Prison-is where I long to stay
and I'd let that lonesome whistle blow my blues away

Stay Holy, My Friends!


Pastor Don