Mr., Mrs., Sir and Mam

R-E-S-P-E-C-T! The word demands attention. Cartoons spoof it. Anarchists hate it. People have written songs about it. Even the Bible talks about it:

Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17).

Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:7)

When it comes to the teachings of the Bible and Christianity, showing respect has more to do with being the rule than it has to do with being the Golden Rule. Showing respect is important because showing respect says something even when it says nothing!

Judges expect respect with the word honor. The President is Mr. President. Superiors in the military regularly hear Sir and Mam. The same principle applies to teachers, police officers, bosses and even those who are elder in age. These are all things that are expected respected situations. We understand this…or at least we should.

Children are taught about these things because they need to learn to have and to show respect. A failure to teach children about the importance of respect will eventually lead to a disrespectful attitude that leads to an unrespectable life that displays a lack of self-respect. It’s amazing how big a difference a little respect can make in the life of child.

Along the same lines, Christians are reminded about this for the same reasons. As adults, there are times when we want to show respect only to those who show respect toward us. But our calling as God’s people goes beyond that limitation. God desires that we show respect to others out of respect for Him. Even if they don’t respect us or Him! It’s not so much whether or not we’re able to say “I don’t get no respect” but whether or not we’re able to say we show respect to others because we respect God.

So for these reasons alone I’m going to give a “respectable” effort and try to do better when it comes to showing more respect. How about you? EA

Now when Michael, one of the chief angels, was fighting against the Evil One for the body of Moses, fearing to make use of violent words against him, he only said, May the Lord be your judge.” (Jude 9 – BBE)

The Blame Game

We’ve all played it before. If you grew up with a sibling you probably played it a lot.

Sometimes we “won,” sometimes we “lost” – but at no time did any excuse or reason we gave change the responsibility.

Taking credit when things go right is easy; taking credit when things go wrong takes maturity.

There are times when an honest admission of guilt is enough to take care of the consequences. There are times when a denial of guilt worsens the consequences.

The fear of consequences can compel a person to take his or her shot at playing the blame game, but spiritually speaking, we will all lose the blame game every time.

God is looking for people to admit the wrong before we can be right with Him. EA

for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

“…“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”” (James 4:6)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Freedom Rings And The Death Bell Tolls

Men and women in this country for the last couple of centuries have sacrificed a lot for this nation (a large number giving all) to continue to provide the freedoms and blessings we have as American citizens. The efforts, love and convictions of these leaders, soldiers and citizens have helped shape and form our country into the bastion of liberty that many in the world today desperately want to live in. Taking these facts into consideration, I sadly believe this country has forgotten where an essential element of victory comes from – God!

In Acts 17:26 the Bible reads, “And (God) hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” The blessings of a nation comes not from the will of man alone, but from the nation’s willingness to recognize and praise God for who He is, and for what He has given them (Acts 17:27). Through the providence of God and the ultimate sacrifice of others, the bells of freedom ring for the ears of some, while the death bells toll for the life of others.

On the contrary, our nation is starting to hear the death bell toll louder and louder under the guise of “ringing freedom.” Many today advocate “freedoms” that are tearing our country apart thread by thread and condemning us. According to some, the Constitution gives a woman the “right” to end the life of her child while “it” is still inside of her. Let her give birth and then kill “it” and she will be charged with murder. According to some, the Constitution gives a person the “right” to look at pornography on the Internet at a public library where children are present, but let them ride down the road viewing the same garbage on a TV screen where the public can see it, and they can be charged with a crime. In some people’s minds the Constitution can make a “Civil Right” trump a moral wrong. The common decency cannot be so common, nor so decent due to liberty???

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial contains the following engraving: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

We are sorely misunderstanding what liberty frees us from and what it frees us for today! If we confuse having liberty with taking liberties then we do so to our own peril! The Bible and history itself shows us that nations with a rotten core will collapse from the inside. If our country insists on ignoring God Almighty, He’ll ring a bell alright, but it won’t be freedoms’!  EA

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

Be Careful Little Ears…

Music has never been more portable than it is today. Hundreds, even thousands of songs can be carried along in devices the size of a pack of gum and even smaller. Unfortunately, all of the songs that can be carried along for the ride aren’t songs that are worth the bits, bytes and gigs that they chew up.

Now no one can deny that decency and high moral standards aren’t exactly the two biggest priorities the music industry worries about. They sow whatever reaps the money. But naming that tune is a must for any parent today who cares about the standards that are presented to his or her child.

All Christians in general, whatever the age,  must be careful with what we allow to be repeated over and over in our ears no matter how good the beat sounds, but Christian parents with children who carry around personal jukeboxes in their pocket must pay special attention to what the little ears are listening to with those buds. Because in an age when we listen to music that can be kept on the down-low by simply choosing the songs by private download over the Internet, a parent must take the initiative and be proactive when it comes to being aware of what the music “artist” is painting in our child’s mind.

Believe it or not, in May of 1965 the FBI investigated the lyrics of “Louie, Louie” after suspicions arose concerning possible “dirty lyrics.” Do you know why the FBI labs investigated the song? Because parents complained! That’s amazing when you think about the lyrics that today’s songs contain and how so many parents buy their children songs with lyrics that “could make a sailor blush” without thinking twice. The key phrase there is without thinking.

At the end of the day we must be willing to ask ourselves, “What kind of seeds are we allowing the iPod, iPhone and the MP3 to plant in the little ears of our offspring?” Because letting it go in one ear and out the other doesn’t mean our responsibilities are going away. That’s why as parents we must be prepared to listen to our children, but we must also be prepared to listen to what our children listen to!  EA

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)