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Sunday, July 25, 2010

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

John Piper, one of the most blessed preachers ever, tells us the truth. Knowing God and Jesus is not about gaining happiness, wealth, community status, high positions and prosperity. It's all about His grace, mercy and loving kindness to those in pain and those who have lost their way!


Think about it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recipe For "Pre-Trib Brownies"

Eschatological Satire
     We have received many requests to re-post our Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven Brownies recipe which many people have heard of, but missed it when we last posted it. For those of you who don't understand what is meant by the Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven doctrine, it is the predominate theological view accepted and supported by many evangelicals, primarily by preacher-teacher-writers such as Time LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, who have written the Left Behind books' series, and many, many others such as Jack Van Impe, Mike Davis, John Hagee and the record-book selling author of The Late Great Planet Earth, Mr. Hal Lindsey.
     In essence, they believe that Born Again Christians (and only them) will be protected from the impending 'great tribulation' and God's wrath by being 'snatched" up to Heaven somewhere between three and a half to seven years before Jesus Christ returns to establish His Kingdom on earth for only 1000 years; but this time, He will do it in secret where no one else but Born Again believers will see (or experience) this miracle.
     This theory, which is taught by many theological seminaries in the United States (Dallas Theological Seminary being the largest) is based on a tale that was brought to the United States by British theologian John M. Darby (who stole the idea from a young lassie by the name of Margaret McDonald, who shared a dream she had about the end of the world), who then taught this new doctrine to many American theologians.
     One of these ersatz theologians  was C.I Scofield, who published the Scofield Bible containing many theories in margins throughout that publication that supported and enhanced the politically created Zionism philosophy that claims only Jews are God's chosen people, and that the Middle East state called "Israel" since 1948 was given to Jews by God as an eternal possession. They also believe that todays' news about the crisis in Middle East is unveiling fulfilment of many Bible prophecies that Armageddon is right around the corner and that the "last days" are here and the Church should be Raptured to Heaven on any given moment. 
     By virtue of misinterpreting and skewing key Bible verses throughout the Scofield Bible to infer this political philosophy is supposed to be Bible truth, students and adherents of this doctrine (who have been trained through and by the Scofield Bible translation) have adopted this ideology as Gospel truth. These teachers/preachers and pastors of thousands of churches throughout the US and abroad, have passed on and taught this myth as being biblically orthodox. Many scholars and reformed theologians have written thousands of books (including yours truly) that "Zionism" is a politically created philosophy which has no biblical support whatsoever. 
     While we believe that many adherents of Christian Zionism genuinely love Jesus Christ and have committed their lives to follow Him, the emerging truth that Zionism is not based on biblical truth has caused a great divide within the church. Once the true disciples of Christ learn that Zionism (in any form) is not biblically based, they can begin praying that our Jewish brethren will turn to and follow Christ, which is the ONLY way they can be redeemed and become co-inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
     Having said this, while the following Pre-Tribulation Brownies' recipe was developed by yours truly as theological satire, it does contain more truth than Zionism adherents are willing to admit:
Pre-Trib Brownies

Ingredients

(1) Six egg yolks from any chickens fed with corn or lats of haye (throw away clear stuff)
(2) Half a cup of Lindseyd Oil (still cold pressed in Dallas)
(3) Six cups of Cain sugar (best if you are Abel to cultivate it on your own)
(4) Seven teaspoons of Kosher Salt
(5) Six cups of wheat flour (preferably grown, harvested and processed in Scofields)
(6) Six tablespoons of Darby syrup (sap easily collected from dead olive trees)
(7) Seven cups of yeast (dispensed cheaply at any Ben Hinn Rally
(8) Large bowl filled with Doctored Ice (Tomy friends, they’re odd-shaped cubes)


Instructions

     Pre heat your oven at 666 degrees. Place mixture in the large bowl of Ice, mix all of the ingredients and beat them together until all the leaven has been incorporated. Then let it set without proofing it with pure water, it will rise on its own until all ingredients turn into a sticky, gooey, gaseous mixture.
     After letting it set for some time, pour olive oil on your hands (actually all over your entire body) so the mixture will not stick to you, as if you really kneed it. Mold the mixture into any shape you desire, but be careful you don’t let any of the ingredients soil your garments.
     Place paper bowl inside the oven on the lowest rack, and keep the temperature at 666 degrees. No need to set any specific time for this concoction, unless you are an expert in this field. Many have tried to arrive at the exact hour to cook Pre-Trib Brownies throughout the last 200 years or so, but have failed to reach the mark.
     Actually, you are allowed to set the timer to whatever hour you wish, based on your own calculations. It doesn’t take that much experience. You can also find many varying recipes on the Internet. There are thousands of them popping up all the time. Therefore, feel free to take a guess at how long to bake your own mixture. Many novice cooks often tune in to the news reports on certain media to determine the current and most popular time frames. Middle East news reports and the Weather Channel, especially, have helped to dispense varying time factors, especially for new beginners. But, Oh, What the Haye, pick whatever time suits you best!
     Regardless, keep Pre-Trib Brownies in the oven until all the salt has dissipated, and the Cain sugar has turned into Suckersin, which is a substitute that will make them taste sweeter than they really are. Whatever you do, don’t pull it out of the oven before it is finished; this concoction could Rupture!
     However, if the oven starts smoking and a nasty aroma begins to stink up your house, for God's sake, get out of there as quickly as you can! Whatever you do, don't let your loved ones get Left Behind! Don’t feel bad about fleeing the place that taught you how to make Pre-Trib Brownies; feel free to go to another house, even if you have to get out into the desert. The new place you will be dwelling in may not be the easiest place in the world, but at least you will be able to eat good bread instead of being fed sweet tasting stuff all the time.
     Warning: Pre-Trib Brownies always taste great at first, and may satisfy your hunger or whatever ails you at the moment. But in the end, they can cause a severe case of DIE REAL.

     (First created by Joe Ortiz on 4th of July, 2004)
     This article can be re-posted without permission as long as credit is given to Joe Ortiz and The End Times Passover blog.

     For more information about this blog and the author's books, The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation click here Joe Ortiz.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Do You Want to Love and Walk on Water, Or Hate and Drown Like So Many Others Do Today?


CRISIS AVERTED?

     Well, the good news is that the BP folks got the oil leak plugged, but we have to wait and see what long-term affects it will have on the Gulf of Mexico’s sea life and the people living on its coastal regions.

     We are not out of deep waters yet, the oil spill could have long-range ramifications on not only those people living within a 5 hundred mile radius, but the ecological imbalance the disaster portends could be more than monumental.


     The BP oil crisis reminds me of the on-going embers-turned-to-roaring-flame immigration debate that has dislodged much of America’s historic resolve, especially when it has been hit by three to four different back to back crisis’ within a year’s time. I speak about the real estate, financial, unemployment and immigration reform issues, which have panicked most Americans as never before; not since the stock market crash of 29 and the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, have we been more perplexed.


     For those of us who can remember, it was America’s resolve that overcame the market crash and it was also her resolve that brought about victories over Germany and Japan in 1945. America’s gut and gumption tenacity has been worn on her sleeve to be viewed by the rest of the world with much admiration. This is a country that has always had faith, if not in its government’s leaders, at least in its people and its God!


     I don’t know if times they are a changing, but it seems like way too many Americans (not all of us) are starting to buckle under some of the existing pressures as never before. Nowadays, it’s not just minorities and anti-war protestors who are manning the picket lines and protest marches throughout the country, most of the people we see crying out for help are the Norman Rockwell folks we seldom hear from, more so now as never before.

     Usually, these folks would be the only faces one would see at the annual Macy’s and Christmas parades, and the not as often celebrated Easter Parade, where we could hear the children singing the “Easter Parade” song as they marched down Countryside Lane and Wonder Avenue, with pastel-colored dresses and their multi-colored chocolate bunny and egg baskets.


     No! Today we have predominately white folks marching for their rights, forming alternative political (tea) parties and anti-immigrant hate groups such as Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), with several media personalities either leading the pack or at least some who have lit a fire under the normal “let’s-stay-home-and-watch-the-soap-operas (or Oprahs) and the burgeoning reality shows like Bachelors-Who-Hate Bachelorettes-who-are-Survivors-That-Came-in-Second-on-America-Idol- But-Were-to-Poor-to-Own-A-Home-Until-Home-Improvement-Hacks- Stormed- Their-Middle American Cities-with- Nary a Neighbor being the Wiser.

     To get these folks out of their mortgaged-to-the-hilt-homes to demonstrate in front of the White House, and various state capitols, throughout the nation, it used to require major, life-threatening events like Katrina or the Northridge, California Earthquake on January 14, 1994. I know, I lived 3 miles from its epicenter. Remember. These folks are the ones who have been the backbone of this country from its inception, those who believe primarily in God, country, the American flag, mom and apple pie….and the English language.


     These folks are now deathly afraid about their finances and sincerely believe that their future should be secured by the government or someone with lots of money; and in the interim they need someone to blame for their perceived sad state of affairs. Now they feel they must stay active by focusing on certain government leaders and immigrants (or both) because…..well….they are easy targets to lay blame. The sad part of this reaction and attitude towards problems that everyone is experiencing, some more than others, is that so many of these folks manning the picket lines are Bible-thumping Christians, people of faith, just like me!

     Speaking of water, all of this reminds me of that well known story in the Bible about Jesus walking on water, which can be found in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 14. Boy, What a miracle that was; to walk on water?

     What many folks are not aware of about this story is that Jesus' walking on water was not the more important message. That He walked on water is awesome, an amazing miracle that it was; but the main message of this story is about Peter’s reaction. The writer is actually trying get across a more profound message to its readers; a story about the lack of faith many people experience under stormy conditions.  

     The story follows an incident that Jesus and His apostles experienced after He had just finished feeding five thousand people with a mere five loaves of bread and two fish, which to me is an even a greater miracle! Let’s pick up the story from that point on.

     22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

     25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

     27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

     28“ Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

     29“ Come,” he said.

     Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

     31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
     32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”  (Matthew 14:22-32)

     The point the author of Matthew 14 was really trying make was not that the apostles witnessed an amazing miracle as Jesus walked on the water towards those on the boat; it was rather what happened to Peter, who asked the Lord to beckon him to meet Jesus out in the water, who was actually walking on the sea himself!


     You can almost hear Peter as he took his first few steps and found him walking on the water just like Jesus! “Whoa! Get a look at me guys,” beamed Peter, “I’m walking on water just like Jesus!”

     But, as Peter continued his water-walk toward Jesus, the wind suddenly became strong and violent. As it grew stronger, Peter began to sink in the water and he immediately cried out: “Lord! Save me!”


     Jesus quickly grabs Peter by the hand and prevents him from sinking into the deep waters, and shook His head: “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

     Well, one can certainly understand how Peter got all shook up when the storm suddenly got violent; that’s enough to shake anybody’s faith.

     Yes, we Americans are living in a period of horrific times, inundated with one catastrophe after another. Our high tech achievements make it easier to see the thousands of calamities happening throughout the world; devastating earthquakes that have leveled tall-building cities to the ground, economic chaos throughout the world, almost incurable diseases in many nations, and storms a thousand times more fierce than the one Peter experienced, destroying basic needed resources to care for millions of injured people by these increasing horrors.
     Yes! Our America is a nation blessed by God. It has not experienced the pains other far off places experience daily. Our nation needs to thank God for those blessings, and to recognize that its people do not suffer as others do. It must also be mindful of what Jesus told Peter: "Yes, Ye of little faith."


     Whenever Americans begin to realize that those issues of immigration reform we face today will not destroy our country’s culture, values or economic prosperity, but they can actually shore up its resolve. This is when this country will begin rebuilding itself anew.
     But more importantly, during these contentious times we are experiencing today, we (Christian Americans, especially) should be reminded that as Peter looked intently into Jesus’ eyes, when he actually was walking on water, had he kept his eyes on Jesus, instead of looking at the storm (regardless of how it became more violent) he could still be walking on water today!

     Now, I know that not all Americans believe in God (and it shows in various parts of the country, and in certain states and cities); but those of us who do believe in God, need to stand up and be counted, pray for each other as all of us Christians should do, to strengthen our faith in God as well as our faith in all of our fellow human beings, whether they arrived here with papers or not, but who have proven their worth and work ethic in the fields and at other low-paying jobs for decades. 


     OK, guys, we know that many Americans will continue to spew out their hatred for Hispanic people (it's not just about them crossing the border illegally), and so many American-born Latinos know this very well. They not only sense it, many are already feeling its escalating impact.
     Nevertheless, do we Christ-loving, God following citizens want to continue to move America’s ship forward by using flaccid political oars to get there faster, or do we persevere those similar sea storms we have overcome in the past with God’s love and America’s humane resolve?
     Good!     Then let’s pray at all times and make sure to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus before we sink our standards of love, patience, fairness, understanding and charity any lower than we have so far.

     “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Forgives us our sins as we forgive others for theirs, and lead us not in to temptation, but delivers from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen!"


For more information about this blog and the author’s two books (The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation) please click on Joe Ortiz

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

     A friend of mine asked me the other day where I get my inspiration to write these articles (on this blog) and my response was that I believe the Holy Spirit quickens to remembrance certain scripture as I move about throughout the day.
     Some times (I added) the message is inspired by the most innocuous incidents that should not have any bearing on the greater issues of life, such as ‘wars, rumors of wars and earthquakes in diverse places.” Nor about our bad economy, environmental crisis’ like the BP oil spill, the government’s lack of wisdom gone wild, and our own personal battle with societal demons such as the immigration fears that occupy many people’s hearts.
     Meaningless incidents that happen to most of us, such as (believe it or not) the way we greet each other. I notice this quite a bit as I hear the first comments that come out of a person’s mouth. Like when Laura and Judy greeted each other after not seeing one another for over six months:
     Laura, excited about seeing her old schoolmate at Wal-Mart the other day, said with an excited glow in her heart, “Hi Judy! How are you?”
     “Great,” Judy responded, which she followed up immediately with a pithy remark, “How is your diet coming along?”
     Laura, stunned by the comment, silently thought to herself “Well, thank you for putting me down!”
     Now, some of you may feel that Laura was being too sensitive about Judy’s stinging remark; probably because Laura has been struggling with a weight problem for over a year. Although Laura is a beautiful woman and was the envy of her classmates throughout her high school days, having four kids since she got married six years ago, has not helped her maintain the bikini figure she was known for before her marriage to Tom, the school’s most popular guy, he a former star quarterback who now runs a successful real estate company.
     Why do folks like Judy make such stinging remarks?
     Cattish?
     Mean-spirited?
     Jealousy?
     Resentful?
     It could be all of the above! But, let’s look at ‘resentment.’
      Herbert Schlossberg, in his great book, Idols for Destruction, made a great point about “resentment” stating:
     "Resentment has its origin in the tendency to make comparisons between the attributes of another and one’s own attributes: wealth, possessions, intelligence, personality, friends, and children. Any perceived difference is enough to set the pathology in motion. Resentment whispers continually: “I can forgive everything, but not that you are – that you are what you are – that I am not what you are – indeed that I am not you.”"
     For whatever reason resentment becomes a person’s failing, this is an attribute that needs to be addressed in each of our lives, because it is not only destructive to those we manifest it towards, but it can hinder our walk with Christ, primarily because it is the sin of “Idolatry!” This sin is probably the biggest obstacle we (disciples) have to be concerned with (and should always be aware of) because it not only represents the major reason why mankind has drifted away from God, it also happens to be the biggest sin that Christians commit on a daily basis.
     What is Idolatry? Idolatry is anything or anyone (such as husband, wife, children, friends, community, jobs and careers, civic and governmental leaders) even religion, that comes between you and God. Yes Religion!
     Timothy Keller in his wonderful book, Counterfeit Gods, said:

     "An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give. Idolatry functions widely inside religious communities when doctrinal truth is elevated to the position of a false god. This occurs when people rely on the rightness of their doctrine for their standing with God rather than on God himself and his grace. The sign that you have slipped into this form of self-justification is that you become what the book of proverbs call a “scoffer.” Scoffers always show contempt and disdain for opponents rather than graciousness. This is a sign that they do not see themselves as sinners saved by grace. Instead, their trust in the rightness of their views makes them feel superior."

     I must confess this has happened to me on many occasions. When I see it coming, I quickly get on my knees and ask God’s forgiveness, to keep reminding me that any knowledge or wisdom I share with the public is none of my own creative concoctions, but rather what He has revealed through the power of the Holy Spirit. Having been exposed to the celebrity and glory received through my secular involvement with media and politics, I, most of all should know that ego and smug self-righteousness is one of the devil’s greatest tools he uses to help us build our own temples of idolatry.
     Sadly, Idolatry manifests itself primarily in its obvious judgmental form, where we disciples of Christ often find ourselves pointing at other people’s faults instead of being grateful that God has forgiven us for all our past indiscretions. And He asks us to do the same.

     All sins (Gr. harmatia-missing the mark) are mankind’s shortcomings and their failure to meet God’s standards. God is not only omniscient and omnipotent, all-knowing and all powerful, He cannot abdicate His nature or standards because we disobeyed Him and fell out of Grace (due to the disobedience of our parents, Adam and Eve). But, thank God that He transported Himself to earth in the form of the flesh man Jesus and sacrificed His life in order for us to re-establish a relationship with Him as was His intention from the beginning of time. Based on our own individual shortcomings (and we all KNOW what they are) there is no reason whatsoever for us to be judgmental (or point fingers at others) for what we perceive are their shortcomings when ours are as blatantly evident as well:
1"Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

2"For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

3"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

4"Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye?

5"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye, (Matthew 7:1-5)

     We may not realize how often we do this to others, including our own spouses, friends and co-workers, but even with those we see and greet in the street. We may not even realize that our initial greeting could very well set the stage (or the attitude) we carry throughout the day. This (judging) act injures, ever so deeply; when instead, our sincere loving, smiling, gentle and uplifting greeting could make the difference in how others treat those they come in contact with throughout their day.

     Therefore, when you greet someone (husband, wife, sons and daughters, all your relatives, friends and neighbors and co-workers, and even that odd-looking stranger in our path), from now on, greet them with a loving heart, joyously and peacefully, knowing that we are all sinners and come short of the Glory of God.
     Many folks may not realize it, but the sincere (or insincere) manner in which we greet people, the moment we open our mouth, is more evident and discernable than we realize, and can say more about what may lay inside of our respective souls. Do you know what is truly inside your heart?
     Be careful! Don’t just smile and wink at them and say "Hi" and then walk away, maybe commenting to your self, “Boy! It’s a good thing I’m not like him or her!”
     Guess what? We all are!
                                                   ~~~
For more information about this blog, the author’s books, or how to make contact, please click here Joe Ortiz.

Friday, July 02, 2010

President Obama is in a Whale of an Oily Mess on Fourth of July!

     Well, folks, it’s that time of the year again, where American families throughout the nation will take time to celebrate the birth of their country’s Independence, the Fourth of July!
     They will gather together in their backyards and or parks with friends and relatives, light up the old barbecue pit, chill down the beer and soda, make sure their miniature American flag is prominently displayed in the front of their house, as they commemorate the date they believe was the birth of the greatest nation mankind has ever witnessed. Later on, as the evening dawns, they will go to various locations in their respective cities to watch the fireworks, many firing them up in their own back yards.

     Just another Holiday? “Oh no, (some will respond) this is the day we celebrate and give thanks to God for this great country we live in.”
     Further down this observation, I have posted links where you can access two articles I wrote about this same time last year. They provided two perspectives about America; one focusing on this country’s patriotic fervor, and the other one is specifically applicable to its primary religion, Christianity.

     Both articles pointed out my views of two institutions that claim they have been the harbingers of humanity’s progress. In both articles, I ended up closing with a group of scripture that I believe is still applicable today:

     “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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land, (2 Chronicles 7:14).”

     Throughout the last year, many of my posts have focused on our need to stay connected to God to ensure our lives will improve in all things (financial, spiritual, domestic and social) as I believe God desires for His creation. I stayed away from offering political solutions to the myriad issues being experienced by this country because (as many of you know) I don’t believe they solve the problems of the human heart; if nothing else, a belief that politicians and their system can solve America’s problems is probably its own worst enemy.

     Last year, much of America was focused on Barack Obama, this country’s newly elected President, to see if he was heading in the direction he stated he would (“A change we can all believe in”) throughout his campaign While those who voted for him are still waiting with anxious breath to see this change come about, opposing political forces (primarily conservatives and Republicans) didn’t wait a second to begin their attacks on him and his new administration.
     The first thing America experienced under Obama’s administration was the mortgage and banking debacles, catalysts to the economic downturn that still haunt most Americans today, but most definitely have fattened the coffers of the "money-changers" of the world.
     The slow burning embers heating the ugly kettle of immigration reform has burst into a raging inferno, this past year, fueled by the enactment of SB1070 in the state of Arizona, a new law designed to eradicate a segment of humanity from this once great land, blaming it for all of America's woes.
     Many folks believe this new law will create one of the biggest divides ever experienced in U.S. history, one that could see some Americans enjoying one of their favorite sports: Hunting!
     And now, the BP oil spill, which could very well be one of the biggest nails being driven into America’s coffin, has its occupants banging up against the closed lid, screaming for help, “Save us! Some one please save us?"

     The rise of the Tea Bag Party (another futile and inept political movement) still rages on in the hearts of many who were primarily upset with how their tax dollars were being spent by the Obama administration. FOX News Television personality, Glen Beck, and other Obama agitators, thought they were close to providing solutions to America’s problems. Many of them, stunned by the BP oil crisis, actually feel impotent now as they can clearly see that not all of America's woes can be solved through politics or even citizen activism, as they witness the looming hurricanes off the Gulf of Mexico, which are building enough strength to pour much of the spilled BP oil onto American shores. They may be saying to themselves, “Dear God, this could be ten times worse than Katrina!”

     In he meantime, many self-proclaimed “Prophets” throughout the Internet, media and pulpits across America are totally jazzed by these events, smugly screaming, “I told you so, God is angry at bad Americans and they (unbelievers) will soon feel the sting of His wrath. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven could occur any moment now, protecting no one else but us Christians!
     Personally, I don’t join that crowd because I’m the proverbial optimist. I have always believed that God is more powerful than we give Him credit for, and He is willing to heal a sinful nation, if it would only turn to Him for help. America doesn’t do that; instead it continues to believe the state can solve its problems. But God has proven that He can and is willing to heal this nation, and has told us and (glowingly) has proven that He can, over and over again throughout His word, the Holy Bible!

     The first and most glaring example of His ability and willingness to heal any nation that humbles itself is found in the biblical story of Jonah, where God ordered him to go to Nineveh and preach the gospel of repentance to one of the most wicked cities in that then world. Jonah disobeyed God and ran away to hide! Later on, he snuck onto a boat where the crew members began to experience a storm and wondered what was happening to them, why were they experiencing such fierce weather? They found Jonah hiding on the boat and he quickly told them what happened. He said the storm was his fault because he disobeyed God. He asked the crew to throw him overboard. They did and consequently Jonah found himself inside a giant whale and he began to pray to God for mercy:

1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:

"In my distress I called to the LORD,

and he answered me.

From the depths of the grave I called for help,

and you listened to my cry.

3 You hurled me into the deep,

into the very heart of the seas,

and the currents swirled about me;

all your waves and breakers

swept over me.

4 I said, 'I have been banished

from your sight;

yet I will look again

toward your holy temple.'

5 The engulfing waters threatened me,

the deep surrounded me;

seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;

the earth beneath barred me in forever.

But you brought my life up from the pit,

O LORD my God.

7 "When my life was ebbing away,

I remembered you, LORD,

and my prayer rose to you,

to your holy temple.

8 "Those who cling to worthless idols

forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving,

will sacrifice to you.

What I have vowed I will make good.

Salvation comes from the LORD."

10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land, (Jonah 2:1-10).

     So, Jonah was freed and he finally chose to obey God as he had promised in his prayer. He went to Nineveh and preached the word of God, telling the Ninevites they had 40 days to repent or God will strike it and its people down.
     Guess what? Nineveh repented. Its king ordered the most important public edict ever from his administration:
     Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:1-10).

     Meanwhile, America's leaders continue in their political folly, as so do the millions of citizens who have been seduced and fooled by the money-changers to believe their party, Republican, Democrat and, yes, even The Tea Bag Party, can solve America’s problems, rather than seeking God's help! By the way, the Bible clearly tells us that focusing and involving oneself in these endeavors is sheer idolatry. Anything (family, home, jobs, political party and cultural ideologies) that comes between you and God is considered idolatry, the worst sin a person can commit!
    As Jonah prayed to God, stating that Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs, this also should be our prayer as well.
     Who knows? Maybe, like Nineveh's king, just maybe, if all Americans (at least its Christians) would beseech its self-anointed king to humble himself  and pray, to seek God’s grace, mercy and loving kindness, maybe, just maybe, God will answer that call. He's done it before! Well? It’s worth a try, que no?
     Therefore, while you begin to celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, with friends and family, and while sitting there, watching, waiting, before all the fireworks explode throughout this entire country, maybe, just maybe you can take a few moments and........ "Oh, Mr. President! Listen up"
                                                            ~
[Click the links  Why Church Numbers Are Going Down and Oh Say Can You See? to read the stories that Joe Ortiz wrote last year, concerning the future of America and its church, to compare (and to see) just how much progress they have made this past year.]


(For more information concerning this blog and the two books written by Joe Ortiz ~ The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation, click here Joe Ortiz