OF FIRST IMPORTANCE –

OF FIRST IMPORTANCE
December 14, 2008
THE FIRST TO KNOW


Humility is good! It’s readily available and willing to respond. It will listen and hear, risk and change, follow and be easily taught. Humility always precedes honor. Maybe that’s why God says, when the humble hear Him they will be glad, experience His grace, and be highly honored at the proper time.

Only a proud man complains about his status, and circumstances. Only a proud man feels entitled to more and better. Only a proud man expects to be honored and included in the inner circle of those who are “in the know.” The humble man? He knows that every good thing comes to us from the Father who brightens all our days. He joyfully serves and is available to hear new instructions, and he’s ready to risk change as well as eagerly follow and be taught more of his Father’s ways.

 Listen! “Some shepherds were taking care of their sheep one night, and an angel suddenly showed up, right there among them. He said The Savior The promised Messiah had just been born in Bethlehem, and they should go over there and see Him. Then, the whole sky was full of singing angels. ‘Glory to God in heaven and peace to men on the earth.’ Think about it. They were the first to know! Why humble shepherds? What was God thinking?

Well, for starters, they didn’t ask the angel if he was sure he was in the right place. No questions and no careful discussion. Just eager response. They ran to fmd Him. In their awestruck wonder, they ran… and knelt to worship their God and King!

If God had done that with the religious leaders, I think they would have first checked their commentaries. The politicians would have considered the “political correctness” of it all. And the educators? This would have threatened their conveniently rewritten history. The successful and elite would have found it necessary to consult their I-phones. As for the Church folks, they may have wondered about the words, music, and artist singing this new worship song. “When and where can we get it?”

But the humble? They were so awestruck by the wonder, they responded immediately to the honor of even being included in the moment. Their excitement carried them, it seemed, on wings of eagles to where they could kneel to receive and worship Him.

That’s the way it is for the humble. It seems these kneeling worshippers experience Him first, and… perhaps best, as they eagerly respond with culturally undiluted wonder.


Paul Bersche

Of First Importance – FATHER to FATHER

OF FIRST IMPORTANCE
FATHER to FATHER

“This is definitely not how I imagined it would happen! We were enjoying making all those wedding pians with our mothers and our families, and the next thing I knew Mary was telling me she’s pregnant. Wow! What a jumbled mess that made of my thoughts. I mean, I’m not an immoral creep. People talk you know. The only thing I could think of was to quickly and quietly break the engagement and hope to get us both off the hook. But really, who was going to believe that immaculate conception thing anyway? What a mess! This sure isn’t easy.

I was thinking family! You know, a well-planned, honorable wedding. A big celebration! Great joy! Moving into the new house Dad and I built at his place. Then, maybe in two years or so Mary would come to me with the big surprise announcement. I can just see it; her bright, beautiful eyes all lit up with the news. Then the spontaneous dance of joy, followed by the anticipation of our families and their support. And then we… .0 well, it doesn’t matter now because it didn’t go the way I planned anyway.

In fact, it is just the opposite. No family and friends here to rejoice with us. Just the two of us, – alone, back here in the dark of night, up on this little hillside, in a stable of all places. Man, what a scramble that was, trying to find a place in time for Mary to have the baby in private. I sure did mess that up. Some loving, caring, provider husband I turned out to be. I guess I shoulda’ started looking for a place sooner. I probably coulda’ left home a day sooner. You know, more time to find a place sooner. I think I woulda’ planned all this better if I had known more about how all this is supposed to work. Shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’ . . . .How did I miss it so bad1y? Or, did I? 0, 1 don’t know. I just don’t know. Man, this hard. I just can’t figure it out.

Its supposed to be better than this, isn’t it? I mean, I got it when You said He is Jesus; that’s why I named Him that. But really, shouldn’t it be better? After all, He is the promised One — The Messiah! A parade or a party, maybe. Something; anything more than just. ..this. Look.
There is no one here but us and these smelly animals and some stars.

This just isn’t right! Is it? Shouldn’t there be more ah, more ah, you know, something more spectacular? You know, the only thing I have to go on in this whole bizarre deal are the words spoken by Your angel, ‘Joseph, don’t be afraid to go on with the wedding plans. The child in Mary has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And, she will have a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’

Man, if I didn’t have that, I don’t know what I’d do.”


Paul Bersche

Prayer For Our Nation

Prayer For Our Nation

 

I believe we have a lot to be concerned about as it relates to the future of our nation. The obvious trends are away from God, and toward an ever downward spiral into a relativistic, increasingly more “tolerant” society. Our American culture now accepts the devaluation of life, the challenging of religious liberties, and the rejection of common goodness, as a normal way to view life.

 

Consider the following list:

 

  • The integrity of the family as God’s original creative plan to be the living demonstration of  His life and love in marriage, as well as His Christian Church, is under attack because of the accepted belief that marriage is no longer sacred or defined exclusively as between one man and one woman.

 

  • Unborn babies being brutally slaughtered by the thousands in the distortion of “freedom of choice.”

      

  • Also in the name of personal freedom, from Senators to children; pride, personal agendas, and arrogant insolence rule create divisions and compromises that destroy the very peace and sanity we are hoping to bring to our world.

 

  • Apathy has replaced the caring and compassion that once were signs of “the common good” that helped to set us apart as a Christian Nation.

 

While I am deeply saddened by the sin and evil that seems to rule our general population, I am also encouraged because we are still a blessed Nation because God wants to use us as His agents of freedom and grace in the world.

 

There are still millions of Christians in the U.S.A. who can, through prayer, turn the tide back to God and His Truth. Our weapon of prayer is mighty through God for the pulling down of those attitudes and behavior patterns that trying to destroy our Nation.

 

Join the thousands across America who are fasting and praying for the will and purposes of God to be fulfilled. In the unity of the Spirit of God, we can, together in prayer cooperate with God and cause a great pouring out of His Spirit upon our Nation. Change in your life and the lives of those within your sphere of influence will also occur simultaneously in our Nation. Let’s get in the mighty flow of prayer together.

 

Paul Bersche  

Christian Values and the ACLU

Despite the fact that the ACLU claims it is the “ nation’s guardian of liberty “ it has an 80 year track record of intense anti-Christian litigation. Their target appears to be our first freedom – religious liberty. Thanks to the ACLU we now live in a country where our Christian faith and Biblical values are openly and aggressively attacked and increasingly pushed to the outer edges of society’s accepted “norms. It’s actions encourage undermining of parental authority, openly encouraging children and teens involvement in/with pornography, internet predators, and other advocates of questionable sexual behavior. It’s major “achievement” is the successful deception of legislators and irresponsible adults who have legitimized abortion as a “right.”

 

The ACLU’s second major victory is the ability to strike fear into the hearts of the majority of Americans through the false doctrine of “separation of Church and State.” Our gullible population has accepted this to mean separation FROM Church and the acceptance of the role of government as more authoritative than the Law of God! My experience, demonstrated just this week by business leaders in my community, is that the ACLU has been so successful in selling this false doctrine that common people on the street literally fear reprisal from the IRS, or some other Government agency. They are the purveyors of the “Politically Correct” doctrine of speech and public protocol. The evidence is in the “second thought” and ultimate resistance and unwillingness to cooperate with anything that has the remotest connection with God. It has caused the general population to accept, without any questioning, that they have become willingly “Politically Correct” and Biblically Corrupt.

 

The message is very clear – Christianity and Orthodox Judaism are unacceptable because they are marginalized theories, while everything else is fine and “normal.” The following are a few of the ACLU’s “Normal”:

            1-Help to destroy Traditional Marriage by redefining marriage and family (read Gay Agenda)

            2-Pushes International and European Law rather than The Constitution of The U.S.A.

            3-Desires to destroy Biblical views, especially matters affecting sexual behavior

            4-Works to prevent any influence by Christianity in any part of society

            5-Defends distribution of child pornography

            6-Promotes the “tolerance” doctrine – meaning as long as you agree with the ACLU it is tolerated. Anything else is being a hateful bigot

            7-Opposes fairness of equal education of Darwinism and Creationism

 

My point? Where are the brave people of conviction who will stand as a reasonable voice for righteous, in every situation and conversation? The people who will be ready to give clear answers, without screaming. The people who will use their sphere of influence to speak the truth without hesitation? Will You?

 

Paul Bersche

IRREVERENT GOD TALK!

As a committed Christian, I have been deeply affected by the ease with which some well-known, grown-up social and political voices have recently, irreverently, invoked the name of God to indicate their belief that His favor is on their particular brand of vindictive, and vengeful politics. Whether in an effort to be humorous or intending to be serious, this level of disrespect and lack of “fear of the Lord,” is at the least, dishonoring, and at the worst, very dangerous. God indicates that when we do not honor Him, we open the door for Him to bring strong judgment upon our lives.

 

I would think that a safer place to be is anywhere other than where any of those irreverent God talkers are right now. God says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I’ll take wisdom, thank you!

ARROGANT INSOLENCE!!

I’ve been watching with interest the many expressions of what I call “Arrogant Insolence.” This attitude seems to demonstrate itself in at least two prominent ways; exaggerated confidence and entitlement. Case in point, the American sprint athletes at the Olympic Games. The strutting and posturing, accompanied by their self-focused interviews that preceded their events, were followed by their obvious disrespect for everyone else around them. This included their own fellow Americans, their begrudging acknowledgment that an Olympic official was about to honor them with their medal, and their obtuse recognition that the National Anthem of The United States of America was being played. Contrast that scene with the respectful humility and national pride of our Olympic Basketball Team as each one of them acknowledged with gratitude the privilege of representing the U.S.A. and respectfully saluted and sang our National Anthem at their medal ceremony.

 

Inevitably, strutting, exaggerated confidence and entitlement, are signs of ingratitude that believes that you still owe me more than you have given.  From my perspective, I am more willing to “give honor to whom honor is due” when respectful humility is displayed. 

How Do I Choose A Candidate?

 

So, you know you should vote, but how can you tell who to vote for?  Here are a few suggestions to consider.

 1-Separate Principles from Policies

            All candidates talk about broad goals. World Peace, Health Care, Education, War etc. Accomplishing those goals is the harder task. It takes some genuine conviction, honest thinking, careful planning, and cooperation. So, ask yourself: will this promises likely require increasing the size of government? Increase   taxes? Remember, Government tax and spend policies are usually very wasteful. Is that what you want?

 2-Does the Candidate have a Christian World-View?

            Is he pro-life? Is she supportive of God’s definition of marriage? Do they believe that parents, rather than the state or the school board, have the final say about what you child/teen learns is taught at school? Are they hostile to, and/or want your child to be silent about their faith?

 3-Political Parties Matter

            Remember, the Party is bigger than the candidate. When you vote for your candidate, remember that they are also closely connected to their Party. How their Party votes on the issues will more often than not affect their vote on those issues. Will they maintain their personal convictions on certain issues, or…are     they likely to vote with the Party for job security and future influence? Well then, do you vote for the “lesser of two “evils?” There will never be a perfect candate, so you can think about it this way: how much that is good will be accomplished by one candidate as opposed to the other?

 4-What if All Choices are Bad?

            Write in a name, or skip that section of the ballot. By all means do not stay home. The effectiveness of our form of Government depends on our participation in the voting process.

 5-What if I Don’t Know the Candidates?

            Read! A lot! Find a source that will provide you with a non-partisan voters guide. Talk frankly with friends you trust. Ask questions of people you respect.  When you get good and trustworthy information, share it with your friends.

 Paul Bersche          

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