Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Prisons for those who have committed no crime
right here in Florida
This past summer I started joking around with my young adults who have always been educated at home when passing by a public school that it was a prison for children. The joke took on new meaning when I started slowing down through the "prison" zone once school started. The 3 of them started to say, Mum (with the tone that says OK, we get it, the joke is getting old). Well, listening to the news this morning NPR billed the story with this tag, "Students in Marion County will think twice before skipping school." They went on to tell about the new GPS system that they will be using on students who go to school on the bus through their student ID cards. Can anyone say "House arrest?" or should I say bus arrest? Seems as if my joke is becoming a reality for students in Marion County Florida.
Read below:

OCALA - A new global positioning satellite system will soon be added to 51 school buses as part of a three-month pilot program to track students and buses and determine other transportation needs in the county.

"The main reason for this is student safety," said Tommy Crosby, Marion County Public Schools' executive director of student services.
The School Board voted Monday night for the new pilot system, which will cost about $50,000 during the trial period.
District spokesman Kevin Christian said the buses would be equipped with student identification card sensors.

When they get on the bus, the sensor will detect the student card, whether it's in a backpack, on a chain or in their pocket, Crosby said.

"If a parent called in and said their child did not get off the bus, we can immediately call up the information," Crosby said.

He added the data will show whether the child got on the bus and where and when they got off.

Among an estimated 400 district buses, 51 will be fitted with the devices, Crosby said. He said routes will be chosen in all four quadrants of the county.

School officials like the concept behind the student tracking system.
To read the rest of the article . . .

Safety is the value trump card that these officials are trying to play. It will be interesting to see if any of these students will do some real homework on the constitution and be able to give sound arguments for why the public school system is their to serve the community not control it. If they really do a good job on their homework they will see that public education ought not to be compulsory but voluntary.
Big Brother is 23 years late. The last part of the article that I gave was "School officials like the concept behind the student tracking system." These officials don't want to educate students but control them. This is not safety, this is part-time imprisonment and they make you pay for your hot lunch. There are still students who graduate either without being able to read or reading at a fourth grade level.
Compulsory attendance was not enough for me to really call these places a prison but I think that GPS tracking system, the same kind used for prisoners under house arrest gives me another leg to stand on.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Five young men asked to empty their pockets,they had been brought in to the downtown police station and they had been accused of committing a horrible crime - willingly all five co-operate. The policeman asks each for some identification. Four wallets pulled from 4 back pockets, the 5th pulls a worn New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs. His license stuck in between Luke and John, a few bucks tucked into Proverbs, a picture of his family in 1st Corinthians 12.
"What no wallet?" the officer inquires.
"No need sir."
The officer picks it up pulls the license out, the family picture flutters to the table and the 1 dollar bills to the floor - no one moves, you could hear a pin drop - the sister, the victim stares up at the officer and the tears stream down his face and he looks at Jesse who is also crying along with the other tender hearted young men.
"Sir, we too want this crime solved. My sister would have wanted us to forgive but I find myself enraged wanting to seek revenge," picking up the New Testament Jesse continues, "this was her New Testament and this is what I keep going back to," he opens to Romans 12, "may I read something to you?"
The officer nods his head because he can not find his voice,
"From Romans 12, Let love be without hypocrisy Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;not lagging behind in diligence,fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written,

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Reading with power, confidence and grace 5 men, one old enough to be the father of the rest, find themselves on their knees crying out to God for mercy.

by Catherine Mullaney

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

To Whom it May Concern:
Who were the New Testament books written to? an intended audience? The gospels are the Good News accounts and I do believe that they did have intended audiences. The Epistles, however are clearly addressed to the intended audience. How does this affect us? Should it? Does it matter? Why should I care?
First, there are plenty of people who want to ignore certain words but want to embrace others that are found within the New Testament portion of the Bible. I don't think that the Bible was meant to be a cafeteria menu, that is, take what you like and leave the rest. It really is an all or nothing type of book. Otherwise, dichotomies are classified as strict contradictions and principles are used for hidden agendas.
Lately, I have been in a place where my Sword (which is a word I like to use for my personal Bible) is being sharpened. Questions are beginning to surface again and I am grappling with what is God trying to show me and teach me. It is both a scary and exciting place to be. With the question, who were these NT letters written to, I did the most logical thing and went through the books: Romans to Revelation.
Here are just some of the ones I really liked
Romans 1;7
"to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints:"
Ephesians 1;1
"To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:"
Colossians 1;2
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae
2Timothy 1;2
To Timothy, my beloved son
Titus 1; 4
"To Titus, my true child in a common faith:"
Philemon 2
"To Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, to Apphia our sister,
and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:"
2John 1
"to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth"
Jude 1
"To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:"
For years I cried, "context" you need to read that in "context." How near sighted of me to overlook this simple truth of the intent of the Author! The Lord indeed wrote a love letter to His children not to the world. The Word keeps traveling, the Lord keep sending out His Beloved with the Word by the power of His Spirit reaching the four corners of the earth. Not one who has been called will be lost, the Father will leave the 99 to find the one lost sheep and for His good pleasure He uses His own children to enter into the "labor" rooms and "birthing" centers to welcome in babes born again into the family of God.

How does this affect me? Since, I count myself as one of God's children, I am delighted and identify with the "beloved," the "faithful," the "chosen," and the "called." Yes, the letters were written to specific brothers and sisters in Christ and like love letters found in your grandmother's attic, they are part of our spiritual heritage. We can call them our own because we too are heirs with Christ! In Timothy, Paul says that ALL scripture is God breathed. The words are powerful and effective. For me to know what is written is good but to know to whom and why is giving me an even deeper understanding. Solomon warns me about the price for this knowledge - increasing pain according to the book of Ecclesiastes.

I don't believe the Bible was written, "To Whom it may concern." It is my hope that anyone who reads this would think about who is God's intended audience.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

"I am not dead yet, I think I'll go for a walk"

Dark Moon by Alton Gansky
I just finished reading this book (2/11/07). It was really entertaining.

Who did the raising? from Mr. Gansky's new book 40 days chapter 19 Jesus appearing to many after being raised from the dead.

I have been thinking a lot about the MAC (Modern American Churches). Some say that at the end of the 20th century we were launched into the microwave age, our society wanting instant gratification at every turn and that this is no different in our spiritual lives. A number of us don't want to put the effort in to hearing a message and then go and search the scriptures to see if what this person is saying is true. Does it all line up? Yes, the preacher is preaching from the Bible but the scripture references are few. Are we willing to go and first read it in context? then expand the search a little wider?

I have been reading and thinking a lot about the question "How is one saved and by whom?" I was just reading about AG's new book 40 days and the title of chapter 19 sent me flying over to my blog: "Who did the raising?" My educated guess is that this chapter will be about God the Father raising Jesus from the dead and immediately my next thought was: if we are all spiritually dead before coming alive in Christ, then who raised us from the dead?

The first thing we need to establish is whether or not we believe that we are actually "dead in our transgressions" or not. (1st Corinthians 15, Ephesians 2;1&5, Colossians 2;13, ) If you do not believe that prior to being born again you were dead then I strongly suggest that you stop reading NOW. The rest of this post does not apply to you.
The wrestling that I have done over the last year or so concerning this subject has been nothing short of grueling. The match is far from over and the count down on the mat will not happen until I reach the Celestial Arena. Nevertheless, I do concede that I was dead and that I was utterly helpless and hopeless prior to being born again.

Have you ever watched on a movie or TV or perhaps in person when "the body is exhumed"? The dead person does not raise their hand and say "help me up," does he? (unless of course it is one of those horror movies. For this example let's think, crime investigation) The dead body is total and utterly passive and he can do NOthing. So it is with those who are spiritual dead. The Lord must raise us up and give us new life through the regeneration of our spirit (Titus 3).
I can not take any credit for being in Christ. It is the working of the Holy Spirit in my life that has made me alive in Christ.
Some say, well what about all those exhortations that Paul wrote to those of us who believe, like "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" often those who believe you can lose your salvation or better yet believe that you have a part in saving yourself (IE responding to the gospel) fail to read on in that particular verse (of course the whole thing should be read in context). The rest of the verse says, "for it is GOD who is at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2) My understanding is that we are working out what God has already worked into the fabric of our new nature.
Do we stand by do nothing or whatever we want? If we answer yes, then I question whether God has worked anything into us. For those who answer NO not if I can help it. We press on with the saints who have gone before us and as Paul says further on in Philippians, "I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus."
The more I read, pray and think over the issue, the answer to the question, "Who did the raising (of the spiritually dead) ?" becomes clearer to me.