Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Must See Video: "If I Wanted America to Fail"

Here is a "must see" video that sums up where we are at as a nation at this point in time. This is a viral video that you need to see, so STOP what you're doing and watch this video NOW. It runs 4 min. 39 sec. but it will be time well spent.

In fact, there is so much information thrown at you in this video that you will need to watch it a 2nd or 3rd time. Then, pass it on to others and pray for our nation, for us as a people. We need a wake-up call. Maybe this video is just the beginning. I hope so.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Remembering the "Hatchet Man" (The Real Deal)

On July 9, 1974, Charles W. "Chuck" Colson spent his first night in a federal prison. He had worked hard to get there. He was known as Nixon's "Hatchet Man." He later confessed that he was "ruthless in getting things done" for Nixon, which eventually led to his conviction for obstruction of justice after the Watergate break-in. He also leaked confidential FBI files on anti-war activist Daniel Ellsberg (of the Pentagon Papers fame).

Before he went to prison to serve a 7-month sentence, he "got religion." He became a born-again Christian and was going to Bible studies before he even went to prison. While many in the media were skeptical and even mocked his "before jailhouse" conversion, I realized at the time that Colson was a man to keep my eye on because wicked criminals who belong behind bars usually wait until they are deep within the confines of the prison walls before they turn to Jesus.
Chuck Colson had what most people would consider a charmed life. He attended Brown University and George Washington University Law School. He was a captain in the U.S. Marines. He built a lucrative inside-the-beltway law firm.

While in prison, he promised fellow inmates that he would not forget them and he spent the rest of his life keeping that promise, working tirelessly to improve prison conditions and reform penal codes.  In 1976, he founded Prison Fellowship, an international evangelical Christian ministry dedicated to bringing the good news to prisoners as well as working for prison reform and the reform of prisoners.

Colson, who died this past Saturday at age 80, steadfastly practiced what he preached about prisons, prisoners and penal reform. Where criminal justice was concerned, he was the "real deal." In an age of hypocritical ministers who don't practice what they have preach, Chuck Colson spent the next forty years of his life working endless hours to enlist 10,000 volunteers to work in 1,329 prisons across America, as well as organizing 15,000 volunteers each year to purchase Christmas gifts for more than 350,000 children of prisoners. 

He created the InnerChange Freedom Initiative prisoner re-entry programs and found jobs for about 60% of all IFI parolees. He nearly single-handedly put America on a path to zero prison growth. He led the charge against states' mandatory-minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders. He helped ex-prisoners find jobs, get drug treatment and reconnect with their loved ones.

As one writer has stated, Colson was "God's good man, not Nixon's bad man. He gave his ministry most of his adult life and almost all of his money, including royalties on about two dozen books, speakers' fees, and the $1 million Templeton Prize for spiritual endeavors that he won in 1993. While maintaining his Break Point radio show, he worked endless hours raising the tens of millions of dollars a year that supported the ministry's operations.

For a couple of years I went to the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord every month to conduct Bible studies and meet with prisoners as part of Prison Fellowship. I saw firsthand the love and concern that these volunteers have for men and women who are incarcerated. I prayed with prisoners who were serving life sentences with no hope for parole but they had hope because of a new found relationship with Christ. They would tell me in almost the same words as Chuck Colson, that they were thankful to be in prison because that was what God had to do to bring them to himself. 

As would be expected, Colson's passing has brought a stream of snarky, vile, vindictive pieces suggesting that Colson's religion and ministry were nothing more than a cover-up for who he really was--a dirty trickster and his critics (judge and jury) still contend that even in ministering to prisoners, Chuck Colson was a trickster to the very end. How sad. The fact is that Colson, Nixon's "Hatchet Man" buried the hatchet long ago and realized his need for a savior who would forgive and cleanse him of his sins. Would that his enemies and the enemies of the Cross would do the same.

I echo Russell T. Moore's (Dean of the Southenn Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY) parting thoughts in his eulogy to Chuck Colson in Christianity Today:
I have to believe that when Chuck Colson opened his eyes in the moments after death that he didn't hear anything about break-ins or dirty tricks or guilty consciences. I have to believe Mr. Colson heard a Galilean voice saying, "I was in prison and you visited me" (Matt. 25:36). I have to believe that he stood before his Creator with a new record, a new life transcript, one that belonged not to himself but to a Judean day-laborer who is now the ruler of the cosmos. And in that Lamb's Book of Life there are no eighteen minute gaps.
That's good news for guilty consciences, good news for recovering hatchet men and women like us.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The New Tolerance is Intellectual Cowardice

"The tolerant person occupies neutral ground, a place of complete impartiality where each person is permitted to decide for himself. No judgments allowed. No 'forcing' personal views. Each takes a neutral posture towards another's convictions.
"What the new tolerance means," D.A. Carson writes in his new book, The Intolerance of Tolerance:
"is that the government must be intolerant of those who do not accept the new definition of tolerance." In this vein, tolerance becomes an absolute good with the power to erode moral and religious distinctives. 
Greg Koukl, "Stand To Reason"
In the name of tolerance, Carson writes, the secularists assert that "they have the right to control the public sphere because they are right—completely unaware that they are trying to impose their worldview on others who disagree with it." 

As Greg Koukl writes, 
True tolerance is impossible. In the realm of ideas, one must think that someone else is wrong in order to exercise tolerance towards him, and in doing so, this brings the accusation of intolerance....Most of what passes for tolerance today is not tolerance at all, but rather intellectual cowardice. Those who hide behind the myth of neutrality are often afraid of intelligent engagement. Unwilling to be challenged by alternate points of view, they don't engage contrary opinions or even consider them. It's easier to hurl an insult--"you intolerant bigot"--than to confront the idea and either refute it or be changed by it. "Tolerance" has become intolerance. 
The Tolerance Trick

Greg Koukl gives this real-life example which sums up the contradictions of the new tolerance:
Earlier this year I spoke to a class of seniors at a Christian high school in Des Moines, Iowa. I wanted to alert them to this "tolerance trick," but I also wanted to learn how much they had already been taken in by it. I began by writing two sentences on the board. The first expressed the current understanding of tolerance:

"All views have equal merit and none should be considered better than another."
All heads nodded in agreement. Nothing controversial here. Then I wrote the second sentence:
"Jesus is the Messiah and Judaism is wrong for rejecting Him."

Immediately hands flew up. "You can't say that," a coed challenged, clearly annoyed. "That's disrespectful. How would you like it if someone said you were wrong?"

"In fact, that happens to me all the time," I pointed out, "including right now with you. But why should it bother me that someone thinks I'm wrong?"

"It's intolerant," she said, noting that the second statement violated the first statement. What she didn't see was that the first statement also violated itself.

I pointed to the first statement and asked, "Is this a view, the idea that all views have equal merit and none should be considered better than another?" They all agreed.

Then I pointed to the second statement—the "intolerant" one—and asked the same question: "Is this a view?" They studied the sentence for a moment. Slowly my point began to dawn on them. They'd been taken in by the tolerance trick.

If all views have equal merit, then the view that Christians have a better view on Jesus than the Jews have is just as true as the idea that Jews have a better view on Jesus than the Christians do. But this is hopelessly contradictory. If the first statement is what tolerance amounts to, then no one can be tolerant because "tolerance" turns out to be gibberish.

                                                  Josh McDowell on Tolerance Time:2:57

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Intolerance of Tolerance

What is the supreme virtue in today's culture? Is it excellence? Honesty? Courage? Truthfulness? 

D.A. Carson's new book
Sorry, these wonderful virtues have all been supplanted by the virtue of TOLERANCE. If you have a child in school, you already knew the answer to the question.

The "tolerance" card trumps everything else. Tolerance is demanded by our government, our schools and many employers for the following groups and subjects. 

Here is a partial list of what we are told we need to TOLERATE: 
  • LGBT (in case you don't know, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-gender). Tolerance means accepting ALL genders including cross-dressers. 
  • Islam-- Our media and educators seem to excuse the beheadings, death threats, terrorism, death to unbelievers that is part of Islam.
  • Multi-culturalism (every culture is to be respected except for the culture of white-Europeans).
  • Religious diversity. All religions are equal and should be tolerated, except for Christianity.
  • Global citizenship. It's so jingoistic to continue to believe in American exceptionalism. 
  • Tolerance for social justice including black power, total respect for Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan.
  • Tolerance for anything that liberals or Democrats do, including their media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.
  • The PLO and their demand for Israel to give up Jerusalem and the West Bank.
  • Black racism from New Black Panthers, Eric Holder, President Obama (he is in charge of Holder's Justice Dept. Any racism on the part of Holder is a direct reflection of Obama), Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton. 
  • Evolution
However, the dirty little secret is that those who espouse the value of TOLERANCE happen to be hypocrites because here is a partial list of what teachers, administrators, government leaders, employers and even the military elite will NOT tolerate. 

There is NO TOLERANCE for:  
  • Christians (especially evangelicals. Often lovingly referred to by the media as the "religious right")
  • While we're at it, let's also include Jesus, who is cool as long as you don't believe he is "the way, the truth and the life." In that case, we don't care for your Jesus!
  • Conservative views and leaders. Do a Google search to see how tolerant university students are towards George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity. Many  university students and faculty who espouse the value of tolerance would NOT tolerate the speech of any conservative. They will shout them down or picket to keep them from even being speaking on any college or university campus. 
  • Fox News
  • Any discussion of race or criticism on black behavior or attitudes. This is always seen as racist. 
  • Israel
  • Patriotism 
  • Creationism or belief that God created everything.
  • Discipline or corporal punishment. No tolerance for disciplining special-needs children who can disrupt classes daily and sometimes terrorize other children.
  • Criticism of Global Warming as phony science.
  • Franklin Graham (because he believes that Islam is an evil religion that seeks to dominate the world).
  • Pro-life agenda
  • Rush Limbaugh. I mention his name again because you can test the tolerance or the political views of an audience by mentioning his name, or that of Sarah Palin. Just by  referencing Rush or Palin, you will invoke the wrath of many supposedly "tolerant" loving liberals and progressives. 
  • Anti-gay agenda. No criticism of LGBT allowed. You will be threatened and shut down if you persist in pointing out that this is radcial agenda that is being forced down the throats of every American, especially our school children.
In my next post, I'll offer up a few more thoughts on tolerance as a value and its destructive influence on  every aspect of our culture.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Welcome to the New Normal: Obamaville

Barack Obama on January 25th in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (at Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing Co.) said this:  
If you're willing to put in the work, the idea is that you should be able to raise a family and own a home, not go bankrupt because you got sick, 'cause you've got some health insurance that helps you deal with those difficult times; that you can send your kids to college; that you can put some money away for retirement. That's all most people want. Folks don't have unrealistic ambitions. They do believe that, if they work hard, they should be able to achieve that small measure of an American dream. 

This is Obama's downsizing of the American Dream. He's describing his own serfs. President Obama believes that if you work hard and become successful, you should be punished with higher taxes. 

Notice that President Obama said, "Folks don't have unrealistic ambitions..." What is an unrealistic ambition?  Does the President get to decide if YOUR ambitions or mine are "unrealistic"? If you want to own your own company and have 3 or 4 limos, is that unrealistic? If you want a home that is larger than 1200 sq. ft, is that unrealistic? Who gave Obama the right to decide what is realistic or unrealistic in terms of your ambitions? 

In Obama's America, he was able to rise above the unrealistic expectations of some to become President of the United States. But now he is telling Americans to "downsize" their expectations or dreams. Maybe you won't ever own your own home; maybe you won't ever have a sizable retirement plan because you now live in Obamaville. We have a President who wants to punish that who rise above his "statist" expectations. 

Obama wants you to believe there is a decline in most American's lifestyles because of capitalism--because of its own structural failures and inabilities. He wants you to believe five dollar gasoline is what you get with an economy where everybody's out there fending for themselves. You're paying five dollars for gas because of those filthy, greedy oil companies, not because he rejects the Keystone Pipeline and all other drilling including Anwar in Alaska.

Welcome to the New Normal Obamaville:
  • Where a record 87,897,000 Americans are no longer in the labor force. 
  • Where if we really count all those who are no longer employed and can't find a job, we have an unemployment rate of 19.1%
  • Where gasoline prices have gone up from $1.87 when Obama took office to over $5.00 gallon, but according to the LA Times, it's no big deal. Americans are accepting these prices and driving less, becoming more efficient, combining errands.
  • Where in 2006-2007, 90% if all college graduates found jobs, but now in Obamaville, only 56% do.
  • Where 1 in 4 homeowners are currently "underwater" owing more on their homes than they are worth.
You've lived too well for too long as an American.

If you have read either of Obama's 2 books, you know that he is trying to level the playing field and put us on equal footing with the rest of the world. It's not fair to the other peoples in the world who have not lived as well as we have because we have stolen what they have.

It's not fair. And President Obama is the one who gets to define "fairness." 

Welcome to the New Normal: Obamaville.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Real Hunger Games

The movie,"Hunger Games" has been no. 1 at the box office for three weeks now. Suzanne Collins created a work of fiction but this post is about the real hunger games going on in North Korea, and there are uncanny similarities. 

North Korea is isolated and hungry, bankrupt and belligerent. It is also armed with nuclear weapons. Between 150,000 and 200,000 people are being held in its political prison camps, which have existed twice as long as Stalin's Soviet gulags and twelve times as long as the Nazi concentration camps. Very few born and raised in these camps have escaped. But Shin Dong-hyuk did.
Author Blaine Harden

In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-hyuk and through the lens of Shin's life unlocks the secrets of the world's most repressive totalitarian state. 

Shin was born inside Camp 14, a camp that holds political prisoners and it is a `no exit' camp; all of the sentences are life. Those in the camps have no rights and in many respects have already had a death sentence passed on them.

Melanie Kirkpatrick in her excellent Wall Street Journal review of Escape from Camp 14 writes: 
"Prisons in North Korea are known for starvation-level rations, backbreaking work and brutal treatment. But unlike most prisoners, who, if they survive, at least have the possibility of release, everyone at Camp 14 is serving a life sentence. The camp ranks as a "total control zone," where prisoners are deemed "irredeemable."
 For children at Camp 14, schooling consisted mainly of memorizing the camp's 10 rules. Rule No. 3: "Anyone who steals or conceals foodstuffs will be shot immediately." When Mr. Shin was in the first grade, his teacher discovered five kernels of corn in a classmate's pocket. The girl was required to kneel down in front of the class. Mr. Shin and his classmates watched as their teacher beat her to death. She was 6 years old.
Shin Dong-hyuk
At 14, he was forced to witness two other executions: those of his mother and brother. They had been arrested for violating Rule No. 1: "Do not try to escape." His mother was hanged, and his brother was shot. The only emotion Mr. Shin felt was anger. He blamed them for his interrogation and torture after their arrests. Guards bound his hands and feet, hoisted him into the air by means of a hook pierced into his abdomen and dangled him over an open fire. 
His escape from Camp 14—in 2005, when he was 22—came about because of a chance encounter with a new inmate, a man who had held a high-ranking government position. The two men shared a desperation to get out of the camp, whatever the risk, and plotted to reach China, a country Mr. Shin had never heard of but one where his friend had relatives.
His friend, though, was killed during their escape over the electric fence that surrounded the camp; Mr. Shin crawled over his corpse to freedom. Thanks to luck as well as to skills he had honed at Camp 14—stealing, lying and fighting—he managed to travel to the border and cross into China by himself. In that country, he was helped by ethnic Koreans, local Christians and, eventually, a South Korean journalist who escorted him to the South Korean consulate in Shanghai.
Shin Dong-hyuk
I have yet to read this book, but it's on my list of must reads. We have so much to be thankful for, and this book is a reminder that there are more important things going on in this world than worrying about the possibility that your Oreos might contain transfats or arguing about whether-or-not McDonald's meals are healthy. In North Korea, they dream of meat and they die fighting over a few kernels of corn.

I am told that if you watch Google Maps and see the night images of North Korea, it looks like a black hole--it's so dark because they can't make enough electricity.
One person reviewing the book writes: "The worst day you've ever had, will likely pale in comparison to a normal day in the life of this guy."
If you believe in the power of prayer, please join me in praying for Shin Dong-hyuk. Pray that Christians in So. Korea will reach out to him and help him to know the love of God. Pray that Shin would get to know the good news that he was created in the image of God and that God would bring him emotional healing as well as restoration to wholeness, that he would truly experience the "shalom" peace that Our God offers.

Also, join me in praying for the North Korean people, especially those in the prisons. Pray that the God of Mercy and Comfort would make himself known to them in dreams and visions. Pray that our Omnipotent God who is our Deliverer--that He would deliver these people from darkness and despair. Pray that the stronghold of this evil regime would be broken by the power of El-Shaddai, the Almighty God.
I'm confident that as you wait on the Lord in prayer, He will give you wisdom and insight as to what and how you should pray for the people of North Korea. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Why Americans Distrust the Media

When Americans first heard the story of the death of Trayvon Martin, we were told that George Zimmerman, a “white-Hispanic.” What is a "white-Hispanic"? That term has rarely been used before now. But the NY Times and the rest of the media chose that term so as to turn this tragic shooting into a racial matter. It wouldn't play as well if it were just a Hispanic who killed a young black teen. I suppose we should now start classifying President Obama as the first white-African president. 

The narrative was written by the media before the facts were even known. This was a manufactured controversy from the very beginning. Consider the following:
Race pimps, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, to the rescue

  • Media, Hollyweird and Dems rush to judge a man before he is charged with a crime, much less given a fair trial.
  • Lying Media show a 13 year old Treyvon, when the victim? was age 17, 6' 3" and already had a criminal record.
  • (Added note) On 4/9/12, I caught CNN interviewing George Zimmerman's lawyer. The CNN news anchor made a point of saying that George Zimmerman was 5'9" and weighed about 165 lbs. Then she said, Treyvon Martin was taller and may have weighed more. How much taller? How much more did he weigh? How come you have the numbers on George Zimmerman, but not for Treyvon Martin? Is it because you don't won't your viewing audience to know that Treyvon was 6'3" and weighed considerably more?
  • New Black Panthers Call for Vigilante Justice in Trayvon Martin Case, offering a $10,000 bounty for George Zimmerman. Where is the outrage and investigation from the President and the Justice Department? If the KKK had done something similar, putting a bounty for the capture of a black man, do you think the President or Eric Holder would sit back and say nothing? No way, they along with the media would make this front-page headlines. But when a black racist group does the same thing, it's met with a wink and a nod from the White House and the liberal media.
  • Obama is using the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin as a political diversion from his failures as president. He even said Trayvon looks like the son he never had. This is shameless exploitation and most disgusting. Now we learn the police have a report from the night of the shooting that says Martin jumped on Zimmerman. 
  • Trayvon Martin was on a suspension from school when he was tragically shot last February 26th. His school, Dr. Micheal M. Krop Senoir High School has not given any details. His family has also evaded the issue. Why isn't the media interested in getting the reason why Trayvon was suspended from school? What are they hiding? It has been suggested by Trayvon's brother that he was suspended for assaulting a school bus driver.
  • Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the two "race pimps" are exploiting this whole affair and trying turn this into a racially-motivated hate crime. Why would they do this? Because their entire livelihood is furthered by stirring up racial tensions. At no time has the press reported that George Zimmerman tutored black children on weekends for the past several years.
  • NBC News has fired a producer for editing a recording of George Zimmerman's call to police the night he shot. NBC originally doctored the audio to make Zimmerman sound like a racist.
  • ABC News has admitted to doctoring a police video.
This is the same media that rushed to judgment and condemned the Duke Lacrosse players as guilty before the facts were even known. Mike Pressler, coach of the lacrosse team received threatening emails and hate calls. The politically-correct Duke administration forced him to resign. On the same day, the Duke president, Richard Brodhead (a real piece of work if ever there was one--he'd throw his own mother under the bus to save his skin) suspended the lacrosse team for the remainder of the season. Fox News was the only news outlet on record as revealing all the facts concerning this case while the remainder of the media hid some of the salient facts.

This is the same Al Sharpton who came to the defense of Tawana Brawley, a 15-yr old from Wappangers Falls, NY who in 1987 accused six white men of raping her. All of this was inflamed by Al Sharpton who suddenly appeared on the scene as her defender. A grand jury investigation concluded that Tawana Brawley made up this story.

After reading this, you may conclude that I think George Zimmerman is innocent. Well, you'd be wrong. I don't think either Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin are innocent. What I would like is for the media to give us all the facts instead of once again, rushing to judgment and turning this into a racial incident when it wasn't. 

Jared Loughner,  registered Democrat
This is the same media that rushes to judgment time and time again. When Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot outside a Tucson supermarket, the media immediately tried to tell us that the shooter, Jared Loughner, had been influenced by the hate speech coming from talk radio and Rush Limbaugh. Turns out that Jared Loughner NEVER listened to talk radio and he was a Democrat. It turns out that lack of civility had nothing to do with the shooting of Gabby Giffords, but we were told by our President, by the Democrats, and the media that it was because of a lack of civility that led to her shooting. The LEFT and the drive-by media attempted to use this shooting to SILENCE talk radio and Rush Limbaugh.

When it comes to a lack of civility, talk to the number one target, Sarah Palin,  who has been called every vile, despicable name under the sun; yet you'll never hear the President or the media rush to her defense.

If there is any moral to this rant, it's this: Don't be so quick to believe everything you read or hear. Don't rush to judgment. Examine your template. Those with a liberal template are quick to blame Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Talk Radio, Conservatives. Those with a conservative template are quick to blame Pres. Obama, Eric Holder, CNN, the Democrats, the Media, the Liberal Press--And according to past history cited in this post, those who are conservative right-wingers are usually seeking the truth and the facts rather than a race riot or a good ol' fashioned lynching of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Geo. W. Bush, Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Easter "Show & Tell" on what worship sounds like....

What does worship sound like? Jesus says, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45).

As we approach Resurrection Sunday, it's all about worship. What do you think the disciples did when they saw their resurrected Lord? They worshiped Him. You have to get to KNOW Him to really worship Him. Today's final post in this series is my "show and tell." Here is a guy who really knows Jesus and really knows how to worship Him.

Dr. S.M Lockridge was a Baptist minister who pastored in San Diego, CA. I first heard him on the Don Imus radio show. The soundtrack of this video below has been played several times on Imus' radio and TV show. That in itself is unbelievable in this day of political-correctness!

Watch this video and tell me if you think this guy really knows Jesus. Of course he does. Have a blessed Easter and spend some time getting to know Him so you can worship Him. BTW, if you are reading this from an email, the video may not show up, so you will need to go to my blogsite to view this really awesome video.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Essence of Following Jesus is this.....

Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach, CA.
I was talking with a friend about church recently. He and I had been on staff at the same church (only at different times). Both of us are a bit worn-out with the church scene--and don't take this the wrong way because I KNOW there are AWESOME churches out there. Really, I do. Often, I think back to some of the churches that Renee and I started in So. California as well as NH, where we engaged in loving God and loving one another. We had real life-transforming fellowship.

I am also reminded of my time spent at Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach where my wife and I experienced healthy, vibrant Christianity. It made me want to spend my life serving as a Pastor because I saw what a functional (as opposed to dysfunctional) church really looked like. It was and still is an amazing community of people under the leadership of Zac Nazarian that has made an impact on the South Bay in Los Angeles as well as around the world!

But it's hard to find a church like a Hope Chapel in Paducah, Kentucky. Churches here are mostly Baptist and often worship is nothing more than 3 hymns with announcements sandwiched in the middle somewhere.

So my friend told me that he had boiled the essence of Christianity down to the answer Jesus gave to a lawyer who was trying to justify himself:
Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV)
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Jesus boils all of Christianity down to 2 simple requirements:
1. Love God which includes worshiping the Lord with our words and actions (from the heart).
2. Love your neighbor which includes fellowship, servant evangelism, loving those who are strangers in our midst, etc. (Acts 2:42, 46). How much real fellowship do we have on a Sunday morning? IMHO, real fellowship happens around a meal that is shared together as we see Our Lord doing so often in the New Testament. Hospitality was part of the Jewish life (Romans 12:13)
As far as loving God, I believe that first and foremost, we are to be worshipers. In the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray which was basically giving them them the order for what should be included in our prayers, he starts off with "Our Father in heaven, Holy is Your Name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Today, I leave you with this: If we want to worship the Lord, we have to KNOW the Lord. The sad truth is that too many Christians know very little about Yeshua, the Messiah, Our Lord, the King of kings. The only names that most Christians know for Jesus is Savior or Lord. But as Jesus tells us in John 17:3,  
3 Now this is eternal life: that they may KNOW you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
How well do you KNOW the One True God? When it comes to worshiping the Lord, what names do you call Him? For example, in Hebrews 1:2-4, here are the 7 titles given to Jesus. Meditate on these titles and incorporate them into your worship. I don't know as much about the Lord as I should--but my desire is to get to know Him better and to know the names and titles that have been given to Him. I'm convinced that those who are truly saved will spend time "getting to KNOW HIM." Here in just 3 verses of Hebrews 1, we are told that Jesus is:
1) heir of all things
2) creator
3) reflection of God's glory
4) exact representation of the Father (stamped with God's nature)
5) sustainer of all things by His Word
6) redeemer: cleansed us from our sins
7) superior to the angels in rank and rule
I'll continue this with one last post on worship this Thursday....stay tuned and have a great week!