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January 14, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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Trump the Pro-life President

Ever since the abomination of Roe V. Wade unleashed a holocaust of death upon America those of us who value life have prayed for a leader who could and would do what they should.  Back in 1973 when the Burger Court turned the Constitution on its head by discovering a constitutional right to kill the unborn then President Nixon didn’t even make a public statement.  Privately he said that in some instances abortion was necessary.

Since then we’ve elected several presidents who said publicly that they were pro-life: Reagan, George I, and George II.  All three took some steps to restrict federal funding for abortion and made public statements condemning abortion and boosting the pro-life cause.  All three gave taped addresses to the massive annual Right-to-life march in Washington filled with values and voters.

Of course, since the slaughter of the innocents gained the federal stamp of approval we’ve had every Democrat candidate champion the freedom to choose death.  And we’ve had two who made it to the White House: Clinton and Obama.  Once there they both proudly opened the spigot from the Treasury to the abortion mills forcing all taxpayers to pour billions into the industrial scale elimination of generations of Americans.

Then came Trump.

Unlike other politicians who tell us what we want to hear and then forget what they said until they need our votes again, President Trump works daily to fulfill his campaign pledges.  Many pro-life people worked hard to elect President Trump. That hard work has paid off for the pro-life movement and the unborn! Here are just some of the pro-life accomplishments of President Trump and his Administration.

One vital pledge he continues to make a reality is his oft repeated pledge to only appoint pro-life Justices to the Supreme Court.  So far, he’s appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  Both are constitutional originalists who believe in the sanctity of life.  In addition, President Trump nominated another 180 pro-life federal judges on the Circuit and District courts.  Thanks to the failure of President Obama to fill open seats and President Trump’s untiring efforts to do his job this is more than any other President has done at this point in his first term.

Another promise repeatedly made by other Republican presidents but only half-heartedly kept, President Trump follows through in a big way depriving the abortion industry of billions of dollars.  This is Trump’s three-pronged assault on the money the abortionists earn from their industrial scale destruction of life.  First, the Donald signed legislation permitting states to defund Planned Parenthood of Title X family planning.  Second, he issued an Executive Order giving states the option to withhold Medicaid and other federal money from organizations that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood.  And third, he also issued the Protect Life Rule which cuts Title X funding on the federal level of Planned Parenthood and the rest of the abortion industry.

Reacting to the revelations of Project Veritas’ (undercover videos concerning the sale of body parts obtained from aborted infants by Planned Parenthood) President Trump changed federal funding rules regarding research.  According to the new guidelines, federal funds can no longer support research using the body parts of children killed by abortion.

Reversing the Obama Administration’s pro-abortion policy, President Trump reinstated and expanded the “Mexico City Policy.”  The Bush-era Mexico City Policy protected approximately $500 million in spending.  The expanded Trump policy protects over $8.8 billion in federal overseas aide from funding abortion.  He also took aim at one of the premier pro-abortion organizations in the world when he stopped funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  By these vigorous steps our president ensures that our tax dollars are not funding the abortion industry overseas across all global health spending, not just family planning dollars.

Under Dr. Ben Carson the Trump Administration’s Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued a rule requiring that insurers inform their customers whether the plan they’re buying covers abortion.

President Trump created a new office in the HHS for Conscience and Religious Freedom.  Now people who under Obamacare insurance regulations are forced to participate in abortion, can have their rights explained and protected more effectively.

President Trump issued rules protecting employers from the Obamacare “HHS Mandate” that forced them to pay for abortion-inducing drugs in the health insurance plans they offer their employees.

Starting with his choice of Mike Pence as his Vice-President Mr. Trump has appointed strong pro-life advocates across his administration. Most of the others don’t make the headlines.  However, they’re making and implementing policies and practices advancing the right to life of the unborn.

President Trump continues the battle for life day-after-day.  He consistently leads the way advocating that Congress pass such bills as the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  And he fights for the full removal of federal funding from Planned Parenthood across-the-board.

And not only does President Trump battle for life in the swamp he encourages the movement as no American leader has since Ronaldus Magnus.  At his packed rallies from sea-to-shining-sea the President encourages us all by speaking in plain terms about the abortion issue, rather than other so-called leaders who use vague abstractions and veiled group-speak so as not to upset their media critics too much.  And time-after-time both the President and Vice-President attend and address pro-life events including the March for Life.  They also host meetings and receptions for pro-life leaders in the White House and other high-profile locations.

Long have we sought someone who would lead the pro-life movement toward our goal of ending the massacre of the unborn.  I believe God does not judge societies by the sin that exist in them for the same sin lurks within all humans.  I believe instead that God judges societies by the sins which they condone.  God destroyed Judah because they sacrificed the children to the pagan god Moloch.  Today millions of American children are sacrificed on the altar of convenience, self-will, and vanity.  The blood of the innocents cry out to God.

If God does not judge us for the slaughter of the innocents it seems like He should offer an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah.  But we who fear the Lord should not refrain for praying that God’s hand move against this terrible national sin.  For though a thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand it shall not come near you.  And the truth is that our Father has told us “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Don’t despair.  Instead rejoice for we finally have a president leading the way out of the darkness of infanticide and back to the light of life.  So, keep the faith, keep the peace for we shall overcome, and why worry when you can pray.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

A New You for a New Year  January 8, 2020

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Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Are you facing a new year and thinking, “Why?”   Have you ever looked at your life and thought, “I wish I could start this all over again”?  When we come to the end of ourselves, we have the chance to find the beginning of everything else.

Every person is the center of their own universe simply because that’s the only vantage point available to anyone who has ever lived.  Usually by the time we’re old enough to know anything we’ve figured out that just because we’re the center of observable reality that reality doesn’t revolve around us.  And it doesn’t take long to realize that the cold machinery of the space-time continuum takes as little heed to us as we do to the microbes in the ground we walk over every day.

The cold impersonal avalanche of happenstance leads any thinking person to the question, “What’s it all about?”  The inscrutability of the carnival mirror maze we perceive as reality leads many to conclude there is no meaning, there is no point, and there is no reason.  All there is is what it is and that’s all that there is.  A sort of Popeye philosophy that leaves us constantly wandering about looking for the magic can of spinach that’ll make us strong enough to break through the mirrors to scan an open horizon with a clear vista.  On our own it always seems to be just around the next corner.

This is where revelation comes in.  A mouse in a maze never sees the whole picture.  It only sees the corridor it happens to be in at the time.  And though it searches and searches it always seems like someone has moved the cheese.  Only through revelation can we see enough of the puzzle to learn which piece needs to go next to which piece to make the picture whole.

Lucky for us there is a God who created all this and He wants to allow us to see behind the curtain of the physical giving us a glimpse of the spiritual, which is the essence of it all.

I’m a Christian.  By that I mean I have confessed Jesus Christ as my personal Lord, and I believe in my heart that God has raised Him from the dead.  Because of that I believe I am saved, I am born-again, and I have a free pass out of hell and into heaven.  And on a daily basis I do my best to follow Christ: loving and forgiving myself and the world around me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

This wasn’t always the case.  Until I was thirty years old I was an unapologetic reprobate, and an atheist who cursed a God I proudly declared I didn’t believe in.  Then I had a personal encounter with Christ which led me to study the Bible, which led to my confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and my unswerving belief that God has raised Him from the dead.  Through this I was born again receiving a brand-new life here and now and that afore mentioned free pass out of hell and into heaven.

I immediately transitioned from hopelessness to hopefulness, from despair to joy, from dread to expectancy.  This is such a good deal I can’t bear to keep it to myself.

My words and my testimony will not get you anything.  They can’t give you a new you.  Only God’s Spirit can do that.  We can’t think our way to God.  It’s only through His revelation that we can get beyond the example of a blind man trying to picture an elephant by touching its trunk or tail.  The only way I have found to find God is through His word.  Think about it. If God only wrote one book out of all the billions of books in the world doesn’t it seem logical that it would be the most important thing we could possibly read?  If we deny that His word is His word we close the door and throw away the key.

You might say, “Why do I need to be born again?

Here are some reasons and their biblical support

  1. Jesus Loved you enough to die for you

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  1. You cannot even please God if you’re not born again.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

  1. You will be living under God’s wrathif you’re not born again.

Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything: life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that.

  1. You’ll be under the control of the devil if you’re not born again.

In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,

  1. You will experience the second death if you’re not born again.

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire, and if anyone’s name is not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Jesus Christ is always there for us. He’ll answer us anytime we call him. He stands at the door of our heart and knocks.  Open the door today and He’ll come in.

As a new year begins, we can all begin a new life.   The mistakes of our past don’t have to be the blueprint of our future.

One of the most important truths in Christianity is that God loves us so much that He sought us out before we even start trying to find him.  Referring to Himself in a title reserved for the Messiah Jesus said, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  He also said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.”

Since He chose us, all we must do is choose Him and that new life starts right now.  That is the Way.  I have shared what the Bible says we must do to be saved; confess and believe.  But it isn’t about a formula.  Being a follower of Christ is much more than that.  It’s following Christ.  He said “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”  because as He also said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Christ doesn’t show us the way.  He is the Way to a new you for a new year … or any year … any time.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

2020 Hindsight Will Judge These Predictions January 6, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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My favorite America Philosopher, Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

With that truism in mind let me begin doing the heavy lifting and tough stuff of being the Historian of the Future:

As I predicted before his inauguration our President has been impeached by a Democrat dominated House and no matter what the official charges may say the charge is that they don’t like him, and Hillary was supposed to win.  In the coming year President Trump will be acquitted by the Senate and go on to win a landslide victory in November.  His coattails will sweep in a Republican Congress.  This Republican majority won’t be diverted or perverted by the likes of Paul Ryan and they’ll work diligently with President Trump to deliver the wall and other promises designed to keep America great.

Though the Democrats, the Deep State, and their Media publicists continue to try and manufacture a recession just before the election the economy will finish the year strong with the Trump Bump carrying us into a new decade.

President Trump will complete his first term as the first president since Carter to finish his first term with out taking us into a new war.

In the 2020 election President Trump will receive the highest percentage of Black and Hispanic votes of any Republican since FDR.

Unless there is a forum devised to take the process out of the hands of the highly partisan supposedly nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates President Trump will skip these opportunities for the democrats who pretend to be journalists to tip the scales in their candidate’s favor with unfair questions, characterizations, and inuendo.

The stock market will follow the impeachment show.  If it looks like the President will be removed it will fall if it looks like he will be exonerated it will rise.

Same thing with the election.  Trump winning = stock market goes up.  Trump losing = stock market goes down.

If the neo-cons and democrats manage to manufacture a war Trump can’t avoid or if they succeed in sinking the economy, all bets are off and Venezuela here we come.

China will continue to swallow Africa, stamp out freedom in Hong Kong, intimidate Taiwan, sign a major treaty with the Philippians, accelerate their defense build-up, launch more probes to the moon, and violate every trade deal they sign with the USA.

Putin will orchestrate the reunification of Russia and Belarus opening the door for him to remain in the presidency beyond the end of his second second term.

Brexit is a done deal. After which Britain will sign a new trade treaty with the USA as it rebuilds its links with Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Italy will swing back to the right.

Hungary and Poland will continue to turn away from the centralizing bureaucrats in Brussels.

The climate cult will continue to chatter away while the world spins on as usual.

Sweden’s society will buckle under the weight of EU mandated refugee resettlement.

Great Britain will face increasing calls for both Scottish independence and the unification of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

Catalonia will continue its efforts to break free of Spain.

Libya will degenerate into a full-blown civil war with outside powers fighting a proxy war for control of its oil.

Japan will begin a major re-armament campaign.

The declining purchase of Fed T-Bills by foreigners means that the Fed’s monetization of our ever-increasing debt will accelerate in 2020.

Marijuana will become legal in several more states.

The United Methodist Church will split over gay marriage and the ordination of homosexuals.

The Roman Catholic Church will be wracked by scandals at the highest levels of the Vatican.

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday and it’s all now to God.  So no matter what happens in the coming year if we hold on to Him we’ll eventually trade this transitory here for an eternity there.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

The Reason for the Reason  December 16, 2019

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Frosty the Snowman asked Rudolph the Reindeer, “Do you think Christmas is too commercialized?”  The Elf on the Shelf interjected, “Is the Pope Catholic?”  Santa put down his milk and cookies and added, “Ho, Ho, Ho.”

As loyal media mavens of 21st Century America pop culture our perceptions of the Christmas season have been shaped as much by George running down the main street of Bedford Falls and Scrooge buying the biggest goose in town as by anything in the Bible.  We spend our time driving the kids around to see the lights, decorating the tree, and shopping with precious little time left to even mention Jesus or the significance of His birth.

Seeking shelter from a crass and crude culture degenerating from indifference to outright hostility to God many of us retreat into a warm and fuzzy Currier and Ives Norman Rockwell bubble of accepted Christmas traditions based more in a Dr. Seuss Disney media than reality.  To ward off the black Friday commercialism that consumes us, we duck behind the “Jesus is the reason for the season,” mantra.  As if this alone was enough to lead us not into temptation.

As we hide behind our little Jesus catch phrase with the pious feelings, even this fleeting mention of the Name of Jesus inspires, and we should ask ourselves how often this spiritual sleight of hand gives us an opportunity to share the reality of Christmas.  Or has it merely become the Christian version of the oft repeated insincerely asked “Hi, how are you?” catch phrase of Xmas?  Is it time we admit this verbal deflection is more about making us feel like we’re doing something to combat the conquest of Christmas by the grasping spirit of conspicuous consumption by making a dent in the cacophony of crass commercialism?

The enemy can’t defeat God.  He cannot overcome God’s plan and he can’t snatch us out of God’s hand.  Just as in the garden when he confused Eve and led her down the primrose path to perdition, the enemy’s power is based on deception.  Afflicted with spiritual ADD most of us careen from one shiny object to the next while falling for fads, trooping after trends and hypnotized by the next new thing.  The accuser of mankind has never missed a church service, and his favorite disguise after an angel of light is the puffed-up rituals, ceremonies, and displays of the sideshow religion he pedals in place of the simple gospel.

Peddled by hucksters who prey upon the potatoes who grow so comfortably on our couches, the glitzy glamour and heartwarming familiarity of cultural Christmas might have more spirituality than a Grinch stealing presents but not nearly as much as Linus sharing biblical truth.

So, the next time we use our “Jesus is the reason for the season” shield to deflect the hooey and hype seeking to drown the most miraculous birth in History let’s prayerfully project the reason more than the season.  Just in case we’ve missed it here’s the reason for the reason:

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

He Touched Me December 9, 2019

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God’s immediate immensity overwhelms me.  He’s present everywhere and yet He’s present to me.  There are more planets, and stars, and galaxies than we have a number to describe.  God created them all.  He upholds them by the power of His word.  And yet He touched me.  He touched me and now I’m no longer the same.

The God shaped hole in my life ached for Him even when I denied Him.  Stumbling like a blind man in a world filled with light I couldn’t see what was around me and I couldn’t see where I was going.  Landing in a ditch I thought the fetid water was clear and the over grown wilderness of weeds was a garden.  Then He touched me and oh what joy filled my soul.

Raising me up from my graveyard of sin He gave me a new life, gave me my soulmate as a wife, and allowed me to work in His garden.  And since I’ve met this blessed savior, since he’s cleansed and made me whole I’ll never cease to praise him I’ll shout it while eternity rolls, “He touched me, Oh He touched me, and oh the joy that floods my soul! Something happened and now I know He touched me and made me whole.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Is Thanksgiving All About Receiving? November 27, 2019

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In millions of homes throughout America families and friends join to together to celebrate a cherished holiday, Thanksgiving.  In countless homes people go through various types of rituals and traditions including taking time to share what they’re thankful for.  If we listen to those often hastily prepared statements we’ll find the vast majority of them refer to what’s been received.

“I’m thankful for my family.”  “I’m thankful for health.”  “I’m thankful for peace, prosperity, safety, security, a home, a car, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, etc.”

It’s good to give thanks for all we’ve receive.  It’s even better to give thanks for the Giver and to recognize that it’s all a gift.

The greatest gift of all is Jesus.  God gave Him to us as our Savior.  It’s through His stripes we’re healed.  It’s through Him making Himself poor that we became rich.  And it’s through the indwelling Spirit of God that we have access into the wisdom of the ages.  And that wisdom teaches us that it’s better to give than receive.

So this Thanksgiving as we share what we’re thankful for perhaps we should be thankful for all the opportunities we have to give.  The Word of God tells us plainly, “If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.”  In another place it says, “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way.”

All around us a world in need of God stumbles through the inky void of uncertainty not knowing why bad things happen to good people, why the evil seem to triumph over the good, or where they’re going when they die.  And we have the answer.  His name is Jesus.

So how do we share what isn’t just good news but the best news ever with the lost and broken around us?

It isn’t by trying to shove a Bible down their throat.  It isn’t by beating them up with doctrines they don’t know repeated in religious speak.  It isn’t by trying to scare them to death with stories of what will happen when they die.  When we use these time-tested mistakes while trying to share the most beautiful truth in the world, that Jesus came to bring us life, our success rate is perfectly expressed by my favorite band, Casting Crowns, “Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see.  The world is on their way to You, but they’re tripping over me.”

It’s not about who we are it’s about who He is.  It isn’t about what we’ve done it’s about what He did.  And it isn’t about what we get it’s about what we give.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  May the Lord bless you and keep you may He make His face shine upon you.  As we gather with our loved ones on a day set aside for giving thanks instead of offering a litany of what we’ve received let’s give thanks for opportunities to give.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

How Than Shall We Pray November 19, 2019

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One of my favorite sayings is, “Why worry when you can pray.”  I know that the Bible says, “Don’t worry,” more times than it says, “Don’t steal,” and we all know what stealing is.

Prayer is how we talk with God.  Notice I said talk “with” not talk “to.”  We come to God in prayer bringing our praise, our thanksgiving, and our needs.  And it should also be a time when we listen.  It’s supposed to be a two way conversation.  And since God knows everything and we don’t perhaps listening should be a bigger part of the process than most of us make it?

How than shall we pray?

This is a question Christians have been asking since Jesus walked among us.  And God’s Word doesn’t leave us to stand around scratching our head.  It gives us some clear-cut straight forward teaching.  Matthew (in The Message) puts it like this, “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.”  In The New King James we’re told, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

In other words there is no magic formula.  There is no surefire incantation we’re supposed to memorize and repeat like a mantra.  Instead we’re supposed to talk with God on a one-to-one personal basis and everyone’s personality and circumstances are unique.  Which brings us right back to the age-old question; How than shall we pray?

After telling us what prayer should not be Jesus told us what it should be.  The Message puts it this way, “With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:” and the New King James once again references the way heathens pray telling us, “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.  In this manner, therefore, pray:”

Notice one version tells us “Like this:” and another says, “In this manner, therefore, pray:”

Neither one tells us, “Repeat these words.”  One says “Like this,” or in this way.  And the other says, “In this manner.”  The clear meaning of this when interpreted through the admonition found in the immediately preceding passage whether the “Don’t fall for that nonsense” of The Message or the “do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do” of The New King James is that turning what follows next into a formula or a mantra is the exact opposite of what Jesus was trying to teach us about prayer.

What follows these warnings about praying repetitiously like a religious robot or a magician’s apprentice is Jesus’ teaching about how to pray not necessarily about what to pray or as it has come down to us through religious tradition, the “Lord’s Prayer.”

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

This is a model that we can analyze.  Using this analysis we can try to understand its components.  We can accept these as necessary components of prayer.

Some say that the so-called Lord’s Prayer is the meaning of the 23rd Psalm embodied within a prayer.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the till waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

There are many ways to break down the Lord’s Prayer into its essential components.  Here’s one way:

  1. A personal relationship with God— “Our Father”

 

  1. Faith                                “in heaven”

 

  1. Worship—                          “hallowed be Your name”

 

  1. Expectation—                    “Your kingdom come”

 

  1. Submission—                     “Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”

 

  1. Petition—                            “give us this day our daily bread”

 

  1. Confession—                      “and forgive us our debts”

 

  1. Compassion—                    “as we forgive our debtors”

 

  1. Dependence—                    “and lead us not into temptation, but                                             deliver us from evil”

 

  1. Acknowledgment—          “for Yours is the kingdom, and the power,                                       and the glory forever

Seeing this as a model Jesus gave us when teaching us how to pray it makes sense to see complete prayers as having these components.  However, taking the message of His teaching in the same passage of scripture to heart tells us that the idea of memorizing or repeating endlessly the same words like a mantra is the opposite of what He intended.

It’s good to remember that the shortest prayer in the Bible, “Lord, save me!” was answered immediately.  So we can see it isn’t the length or a certain sequence of words that brings an answer.

So, How than shall we pray?

We should pray from the heart with pure intentions seeking intimacy with Him not merely fulfilling an obligation or checking a box on some spiritual scorecard.  If we seek Him we’ll find Him.  If we draw near to Him He’ll draw near to us.  The most important aspect of our prayer is not what we want it’s who we want.  If we seek Him and His kingdom He assures us that all we’ll ever need is there when we need it.  He’s an on-time God.

So when we pray let’s not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.  For they think they’ll be heard for their many words instead let’s just talk with Daddy openly, intimately, and often.  And let’s give Him the space to speak to us.  We’ll do well to apply the wisdom of God not only to our conversations with others but also to our conversations with Him, let’s be swift to hear and slow to speak.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Quit Looking at the Wind November 5, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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The talents we have are God’s gifts to us.  What we do with those talents is our gift to God.  Paul told us, “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.”

As believers we don’t just know about God.  We not only personally know the Master of the universe.  He’s in us.  We’re wall-to-wall Jesus filled with His Spirit.  And it’s that dynamic union that makes us who we are.  Like the energizer bunny we’re filled with power but ours doesn’t come from the copper top it comes from the Creator of everything.  What we do we do in and through Him and without Him we can do nothing.  If we attempt to build our lives without Him we’re building castles in the sand instead of a fortress on the rock.

John told us, “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.  I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”

How do we test our lives?  How do we know whether or not we’re allowing God to work in and through us?  Are we allowing Him to guide us?  Or are we insisting on being the piolet instead of the co-pilot on our brief flight through this world?  We can easily test this by asking, “How fruitful am I?”  If we’re producing fruit we’re united with Christ.  If not what are we doing?

Are we waiting until the time is right?  Are we waiting until we’re fully prepared?  Are we waiting until we have all the provisions we need to face any eventuality?

The time is always right.  God is always ready to act, to be, to do because He is the great “I am” not the will-o-the-wisp “I’m going to be.”

We don’t need to worry about being fast enough, strong enough, or smart enough because God delights in using the ordinary to do the extraordinary.  He took a bunch of nobodies from a backwater and turned the world upside down.  Or as my favorite band Casting Crowns puts it, “I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who saved my soul.”

Our God hasn’t changed.  He still delights in using the weak to confound the strong.  Just look at the history of faith.  You don’t have to look very deep, Jacob, Joseph, David, Paul to see the obvious God deliberately “chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these nobodies to expose the hollow pretensions of the somebodies.”

Therefore being a weak and foolish nobody isn’t a disqualification.  In fact it might be why He chose us to do what He’s called us to do.  What has He called us to do?  Maybe we should ask Him?  And then allow Him the space and the time to tell us.  In prayer as in life we need to listen more than we need to speak or as James put it, “let every man be swift to hear and slow to speak.”  If we listen to Him and let Him lead us we can be assured He will show us where we should go and what we should do.

Often when I say to people, “The Lord told me to do so this or that, to go here or to stay there” they look at me as if I have two heads.  Many have looked at me that way and said, “Do you mean God talks to you?”  In such cases I always look at them the same way and ask, “Do you mean God doesn’t talk to you?”

God is always there.  He’s always guiding us.  If we don’t hear Him the odds are we aren’t listening.

Are we waiting until we have all the resources?  Do we think we need to wait until we have enough money?  Do we think we need to wait until we have enough time, or skill, or opportunity?  I can tell you when all that will occur, never.

When God called Moses from the burning bush and told him he was going to go to Pharaoh and lead the chosen people to freedom Moses protested saying he wasn’t strong enough, smart enough, and that he didn’t have a silver tongue.  Did all that fear dressed up as humility impress God?  No it made God angry. So let’s do our best not to make God angry.  Let’s leave the objections that we aren’t the ones He called to do what He has told us to do and come to the realization that where God guides God provides.  If He calls us to walk upon the water we can walk upon the water.  Let’s quit looking at the wind and the waves and step out of the boat.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

By Grace You Have Been Saved October 22, 2019

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When I think of my neighbor I pray for justice.  When I think of myself I pray for grace.

Grace is defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God wants us to have it, not because of anything we’ve done to earn it.  We all need grace to be saved from the greatest sinner to the greatest saint.  Quoting the Old Testament Paul put it this way, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”

Extending grace, mercy, and the forgiveness it demands isn’t just a good idea.  It’s what God requires of us.  Remember we reap what we sow.  If we sow to our flesh of the flesh we’ll reap corruption.  But if we sow to the Spirit of the Spirit we’ll reap everlasting life.  Refusing to forgive is of the flesh.  Forgiveness is of the Spirit.  And we get to choose which one we’ll do.

We’re called to walk as pilgrims in this world remembering that as born-again children of God this is not our home.  We have a home in Heaven with God in Christ Jesus.  Trying to live this out day-by-day soon teaches us that it’s easier said than done prompting us to ask, “How then shall I live?”

One quick answer is we should forgive others as God in Christ Jesus forgave us.  This is nothing more or less than a natural outworking of Christ’s command that we love others as we love ourselves.  Of course loving others so completely isn’t always easy.  So often other people do things we wouldn’t do or things we think others shouldn’t do.  Not that we should turn a blind eye to sin but we should certainly open both eyes to the idea that there’re many ways to please God and He’s well able to lead each of us into the best way for us to do it.

It all comes down to love.  We need to ask ourselves, “How does God love us?”  Did He wait until we were perfect?  Did He wait until we quit making mistakes?  Did He wait until we were sin free?

If we won’t forgive others we aren’t dealing with them from love.  Instead we’re judging them.  Jesus is the judge and we should leave that job to him since we never get it right anyway.  It’s easy to say we love God.  But how can we say that we love God when we won’t love our brother?  How can we love our God who we can’t see when we don’t love our brothers who we can see?

If we’re really filled and motivated by God’s Spirit we’ll have His nature.  We’ll reflect Him much as a mirror reflects our own image.  We can reflect that nature not just in our personal circle of friends but also into the wider world.  Imagine how much greater the leadership of our nation, our organizations, and our churches would be if instead of constantly criticizing those whose thoughts and beliefs differ from ours instead we devoted that time and energy to praying for them?  If we as the born-again Church of Christ turned our criticism into intercession we would see the most effective changes possible shining like a bright light after a dark night.

It comes down to this: by grace we have been saved so we should extend grace to those around us.  To love as we have been loved.  And to forgive as we have been forgiven.  We are one in Him so let’s go forth and be one with each other.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Can Anyone Say Amen? October 2, 2019

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Staring at the carnival mirrors of this life we squint through a swirling mist at the constantly shifting mirage of a fallen world.  Things are not as they seem.  Good is so often trampled underfoot while evil triumphs.  The innocent are sacrificed as the guilty ride roughshod over justice.  Walking in the ways of the flesh is stumbling through a maze all alone.  Social Darwinism runs amuck.  Survival of the fittest is the order of the day as the weak, the poor, and the defenseless are shoved out of the way for the next conqueror as they elbow their way to the fleeting throne that will eventually become their funeral pyre.  Allowing our flesh to rule and guide us is walking with our eyes closed in the dark and following the lie that we can be like God creating our own realities through our selfish choices. 

There is a better way.  Walking with God is walking in the light reaching out for His revelation in His Word which is truth.   

As we mature by meditating on the Word of God the things of this world grow strangely dim.  Suddenly a light shines through the darkness and the spiritual world which is invisible to the natural man comes into focus.  Paul put it best in his first letter to the Corinthians, “The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, ‘Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?’ has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.” 

Look at it this way if tomorrow morning when we opened our eyes we saw Jesus standing right there beside our bed physically manifested before us do you think we might have a different kind of morning than normal?  Now imagine if He were to walk next to us all day.  Everywhere we went He went.  Do you think an experience like that might change the way we saw things? 

The Lord is with us every day wherever we are and wherever we go because He prayed that the Father would send us the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, the very Spirit of God.  And we know the Father always hears and answers the prayers of His Son Jesus.  Here’s what Jesus said about this, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”  He lives within in us.  This is the fact of a born-again life.  But do we really live this way?  Or do we let the mundane sameness of this life gradually gloss over the sparkling joy of our first love?  If we will open our spiritual eyes we’ll see through the filthy fog of this world and see Jesus in all the power of His resurrection with us every step of the way. 

I’m not saying this’ll instantly convert a vale of tears into a bed of roses.  Jesus told us we shouldn’t expect any better treatment than He received at the hands of man, and they crucified Him.  Look at Stephen the first martyr.  He preached the good news that man can be reconciled with God by confessing Jesus as the Lord and leader of our life and by believing that God raised Him from the dead.  This upset the applecart for all the religious leaders who made their living and maintained their power by confining people within the straightjacket of religion filled with rituals and symbols but lacking in a personal relationship with God. 

These wolves in sheep’s clothing couldn’t meet Stephen in open debate.  They couldn’t contend with the power of God that was so obvious in his preaching.  So they manufactured lies and spread false rumors.  They stirred up a crowd and then aimed the violence of the mob directly at this man of God.  But even while they stoned him he had his eyes on Jesus and while the last breaths were crushed from his tortured lungs he cried, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 

We too can live our lives walking, breathing, and speaking in the presence of the Son of Man, Jesus the Christ and there’s nothing the world can do about it.  No one can snatch us out of God’s hand.  To paraphrase one old song Jesus gave it to us and the world can’t take it away.   So abandon the snipe hunt of seeking peace or fulfillment through walking in the flesh and embrace the reality of walking in the Spirit.  Heed the words of the Master, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” 

Here’s a prayer I’d like to share, “Father let me see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears, speak with Your words, love with Your heart, and touch with Your hands.  Reach through me to those in need.  Let the fire of Your love burn so bright in me that when others look in my direction You are all they see.” 

Can anyone say, “Amen?” 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

 

 

 

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