The Apple Of God's Eye

February 23, 2011

Everyone Needs A Boss

afdr.ab.ca

It’s not generally known, but in the center of the Vatican there is a tiny private garden used by the pope when he feels like refreshing his mind and being alone with his thoughts. There’s a gardener there named Guiseppe who has been taking care of that area for more than 40 years.

One day Guiseppe was working in the garden when he noticed on the far side a bush begin to shake and shimmer as the light hit it. The whole bush seemed to dance and move. Guiseppe became afraid and ran to a telephone to call the cardinal.

“Cardinalli, Cardinalli, God’s in the bushes!”

And the cardinal responded about the way you would expect. He thought Guiseppe had been standing in the sun a little too long, or maybe he was getting a little senile. So he said, “No, Guiseppe, that’s not so.”

But Guiseppe says, “Cardinalli, look outa your Window.”

So the cardinal says, ”All right.” He walks over and sees the bush shimmering and shaking boldly and brightly. And he comes back and tells him, “You’re right, Guiseppe. You’re right!”

Then Guiseppe says, “Cardinalli, what should I do? What should I do?”.

“Id better call the Papa,” says the cardinal. So he telephones the pope. Meanwhile, Guiseppe is cringing down in his telephone booth. Down in the comer, he can barely see the light shining through, blinding everything around. Finally his phone rings again, and the cardinal says, “Guiseppe, I justa talked to the Papa.”

And Guiseppe says, “Well, what did he say?”

“The Papa say,” came the reply, “looka busy.”

When the boss is around, everyone tries harder, everybody “looka busy.”

Everybody has a boss

But who needs a boss? Do you? Judging by the fact that everybody has a boss, evidently everybody must need a boss, right up to and including Jesus Christ Himself. He has a boss. The Father is clearly in charge and the Father is the only one in the entire universe who does not have a boss. (more…)

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August 7, 2009

Should Christians Partake In Jury Duty?

The Bible teaches that Christians are not to involve themselves in judging according to man’s laws: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). On one occasion, Jesus Christ also refused to judge a matter when asked to settle a dispute over an inheritance (Luke 12:13-14).

Those who are converted to God’s way of life are called ambassadors for Christ (II Cor. 5:20). As ambassadors and citizens of the Kingdom of God, true Christians must not participate in the judgmental affairs of this world (Rev. 18:4). Notice: “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20, New International Version).

It is the responsibility, however, of God’s Church to decide matters within its jurisdiction (I Cor. 6:1-5), not matters among outsiders (I Cor. 5:12-13).

Man’s judgments are concerned with the letter of the law. In contrast, God looks on one’s heart and is concerned with the spirit and intent of the law. Man’s laws usually do not take into account repentance and other spiritual factors, as God does. Jesus taught the Christians must be willing to forgive others (Matt. 6:14-15).

In the United States, the law upholds one’s rights to his religious beliefs. Therefore, persons whose deeply-held religious convictions preclude service on jury duty will often be excused from this responsibility once they make their belief known to the proper officials. Usually it suffices to simply write on the jury notice: “My religious convictions prevent me from serving and therefore I request to be excused.”  Attach a short statement stating the biblical basis of your convictions and return it within the specified time to the proper official.

May 24, 2009

God's Plan For Children Without Fathers

The core institution of society is fatherhood. Period. Every boy has a father. Every girl has a father. When those fathers are present, and especially when they are involved in their children’s lives on a much deeper level, children thrive. Common sense shows it. Research proves it. Society denies it.

“The US’ out-of-wedlock birth rate is 38 percent. Among children, 28 percent are now born to a single mother; among Hispanic children it is 50 percent and reaches a chilling, disorienting peak of 71 percent for black children. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly a quarter of America’s white children (22 percent) do not have any male in their homes; nearly a third (31 percent) of Hispanic children and over half of black children (56 percent) are fatherless.

In the book Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem is this assessment: “There are exceptions, of course, but here is the rule: Boys raised by traditionally masculine fathers do not commit crimes. Fatherless boys commit crimes.” In fact, fatherlessness has been proven to be the number-one factor predisposing someone to criminal activity—more than poverty, iq, race, culture or education.

Girls who lack the strong influence of a father are much more prone to get involved sexually before they should. They are looking for a male to fulfill that need in their life that their father failed to fulfill. “Many studies confirm that girls who grow up without fathers are at much greater risk for early sexual activity, adolescent childbearing, divorce and lack of sexual confidence” (ibid.).

The vast majority of fatherless children are also prone to emotional imbalances, motivation problems (especially boys), anger, instability, vulnerability, insecurity and feelings of rejection—a sense of being unloved and unlovable. These same problems tend to crop up where a father is present, but is perhaps abusive, a workaholic, passive and unmasculine, sickly, manipulative or a perfectionist. Sadly, the children of such men can be just as much “fatherless” as those whose father completely abandoned the family, or died! If you want to know how important the father’s role is, just look at what happens when it is neglected.

Given the God-designed need for a father, it is interesting how protective God is of two groups of people in particular: the fatherless, and the widows. The Bible contains over 40 references to these two groups! It doesn’t specifically mention the motherless and widowers, but rather those who have been deprived of that male influence of a father and a husband—those for whom that family role isn’t being filled. God specifically condems those today who neglect the fatherless and widows.

“Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge [defend or vindicate] not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them” (Isaiah 1:23). God instructs these rebels, “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow” (verses 16-17).

This is how to become right with God! These people need help—there is a void that God intended be filled in their lives. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

Because Satan has inspired the role of the father to be attacked so vigorously today, a majority of people have had poor relationships with their fathers. But God wants every child to have a father, and He pays special attention to those who do not, giving them extra love and attention (Zech. 7:9-10). The inspiring and hope-filled truth is, for those lacking a strong physical father, God seeks to step in and fill that role—both personally, and through strong males who are practicing the pure religion spoken of in James.

In His law, God says we should go out of our way to show compassion to the fatherless. It angers Him when people don’t do this (Mal. 3:5). Why? Because God is a family and desires more members in His future family through a resurrection (I Cor. 15).

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