Friday, October 31, 2008

A Typical Roman Emperor

Below is a post I just released to my His-Story Blog, I am rather pleased with it :) So I am posting it on here too. Enjoy! ...Emperors were at the top of the food chain in Rome. They were obeyed and feared given the fact they possessed such a great amount of power. Still, being emperor came with its own set of aggravations and trials. They had a reputation to uphold, an empire to run, and of course, the the threat of assassination was ever present. An emperor could be good or bad, respected or disliked : and we have a wide selection of both to interview. ...For today's interest I have arranged the following interview with two of Romes most famous Emperors - no easy task let me assure you.)I had to go back in time twice because these emperors lived and died in separate stages) People, let me introduce our guests today. Emperor Augustus and Emperor Nero. Press(Me:) - "Emperors do you mind telling us your time frame ; when did you become Emperor, things like that?" Augustus - " I became Emperor in the year 27 B.C and am ruling even now." Nero - "My excellent self received authority in the year 54 A.D. just forty years after Augustus." Press - " And what allot has happened in that forty year time! What do you think has been the biggest change since Augustus rule?" Nero - "It is hard to say, but I believe Augustus was more modest as an Emperor - not wanting to offend the Senate and general rabble. I however am like a god to my subjects and they love me! I have grander schemes and - " Augustus - "And you spend money more freely. Really Nero, its like you think Rome is made of gold! You and future Emperors like you will destroy all that I have sought to build." Nero - "You don't know that! You act as though Rome belonged to you just because you started something new! I am creating more than an Empire, I am creating a world fit for the gods!" Augustus - "Namely yourself. Is it not true that you command your subjects to practically worship you? Its insufferable, no true Roman could bear it!" Press - "Emperors! You bring up some excellent points, which beg a question from me. Is it true Nero that you are executing Christians for refusing to you and other Roman 'gods' ?" Augustus - "See! That's just the thing I'm talking about! Heavens above, great Jupiter, what are you getting us into O predecessor?" Press - "Augustus, please. Let Nero speak." Nero - " Upon my word, I find it hard to answer these direct accusations from one who has been dead forty years! You have no idea how troublesome a place Rome has become great Caesar, it is not what it was in your time. The Christians embody just one of our pestilences, all dissenters must be brought to reason! I must have proper respect!" Augustus - "I suppose killing them has brought you this, ahem, respect?" Nero - "Well, you don't understand , I,- " Press - "Speaking of respect, what is it that you two do as Emperors that garners respect from Roman citizens?" Augustus - "I have Romes best interest at heart. Every day I listen to the Senate, read reports, and grant pardons. It rests with me to protect our borders and promote our interests. I also appoint men to office as governors of provinces. Mine is a weighty task which I cannot take lightly." Press - "Nero? How about you?" Nero - "Hmm, well. I can see the advantages in Augustus' duties, and I do acquit myself often of those tasks. But he has left something important out. I arrange games for the masses! Give the people bread and a circus and they will love you! I arrange gladiatorial fights, races, plays -" Augustus - "Murders?" Nero - "Of course not! Didn't you hear me? Are you referring to the Christians again? I told you, they are disturbers of the peace!? Press - " Would now be a good time for me to mention that I am a Christian?" Nero - "Ye gods! can it be so?" Augustus - " I guess your little efforts to stamp Christians out didn't work, eh big boy?" Nero - "But I've been trying so hard - are you sure we are talking about the same thing?" Press - "Absolutely positive. Which reminds me of another question which may solve a centuries old mystery. Did you set fire to Rome and frame the Christians?" Augustus - "He did what! O my Jupiter! Rome, my beloved city - you set it on fire? Hermes, I'll hamstring you..." Nero - "Preposterous! I can't believe what I'm hearing, all lies! Can it be that there is any doubt in modern historians minds as to who set fire to Rome?" Augustus - " I don't know about them, but there sure is in my mind!" Nero - "I didn't do it! It was those trouble making, ungrateful, stubborn Christ-followers. But since the damage is done, I may as well tell you Augustus that I am rebuilding Rome on a far grander, richer, scale than you did." Augustus - "I bet you are, thou avaritius aper!" Nero - "O really, fur furem cognoscit, et lupum lupus!" Press - "Well this interview has run out of time. Besides, our guests have relapsed into Latin. I guess we will not know the answer to history's question after all, I leave it up to you to decide if Nero speaks truth." Press - "Thank you Emperors for your time, I know it is valuable." Augustus - "Aye, some of us have work to do." Nero - "Hey! I have to attend a banquet being held in my honor, oversee a gladiatorial fight, travel to my country villa - nerves you know ...." Press - "Goodnight gentlemen."

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Heart of America

...Where do you stand this political season? Where do any Christians stand in politics? How about for the last ten years, twenty? ...If you are like many Christians planning to vote with the Constitution Party, I ask you to prayerfully read this paper. I am not attacking you or your opinion or convictions, nor am I trying to bring further division to the people of God. But I am condemning America for her pride and her wretched drifting from the lap of God. And I am condemning the church for abandoning true religion, the work which God gave to her. Both of these units are made up of people like you and me, Christians and American citizens who have lost our way; we are more concerned with the Law than with the Spirit, with works than with faith. Let me explain. ...Many believe that it would be wrong to vote for Sarah Palin because she is a woman. (After all, the New Testament is full of passages admonishing women to be submissive to their husbands and keepers of the home.) Allot of this has been coming from conservative home school families who have been carefully raising their daughters to be homemakers. Families like my own. Personally I am not so conservative as some, although the world has accused me of being legalistic; I believe being a wife and mother is a high and noble calling, one which most women are called too. It is the normal way the Lord works, a sure way of raising up holy offspring for the next generation which is what the Lord seeks. But these are not "normal" times. ...What we have witnessed in America is a spiritual decline; our families are crumbling through divorce and rebellion; our churches are often dead and dying; and our government has become a seat for pride and hypocrisy, surely a stronghold for Satan. Despite valiant efforts on the part of many, especially the "reformed conservative home school" movement, our country is worse than ever. What is wrong? ...Now I do not pretend to have all the answers, and far be it from me to point at others with a plank in my own eye! I can only share with you the burden on my heart, you must take it to Scripture and see if it rings true. Please pray and search Gods Word on this matter - and let the Holy Spirit help you draw conclusions before replying. ...The reason we have not had a great spiritual awakening in America for so many years is because we Christians have not been faithfully doing Gods Work. Instead we have focused on ourselves; on how to become "holier" by what we wear, what our profession is, how many children we have, how we keep the Sabbath, whether or not we home school, whether or not we have a "classical" education, whether we read plenty of "out of print books", whether we have memorized the Westminster Catechism, whether we have our children baptised as infants or not; the list goes on and on. I am not saying that these things are wrong, on the contrary, most of the above are helpful and probably godly things to do as families. Yet we cannot let these things become the heart of Christianity, any more than we can let "political correctness" and socialism become the heart of America. Our heart is Jesus, our center is the cross, our hope is in Christ alone. Not modesty, not stay at home mothers, not having large families, not homeschooling, and not what denomination we attend. ...This is the difference we must see, the difference between walking in the Spirit and walking by the letter of the Law. Works could not save Israel and they certainly will not save us. Faith in Jesus, doing the work of God, true religion, this is what America needs. we have strayed from our roots and God has allowed us to come this far. I believe this election season is a judgement from God, and like the Israelites in Jeremiahs time, we need to accept what He is doing. In fact if we as Christians would stop to see the parallels between ourselves and wayward Israel the results would be stunning. Lets look at the story of Deborah. ...In the days of Deborah Israel had been sold into slavery, they were harshly oppressed. Here in America we may not yet find ourselves physically oppressed, but we are spiritually. America has become a slaughterhouse for the unborn, an arena for unfaithfulness and abomination, and we are fast moving towards a new era of depravity as our pride soars unbound. China and the Middle East poise on the horizon, much as Sisera and the King of the Canaanites did for the Israelites. American Christians have brought this on themselves by handing over the cares of the church to the state, bu abandoning true religion as spoken of in James, and by becoming silent about the Gospel under the pressure of "religious tolerance". We are all guilty, I am guilty. ...Why is it we are so divided as Christians in the political arena? Why have we not been able to get a third party Constitutional candidate in office? Some might say its because other Christians are afraid to vote their conscience, or because of unfairness in the White House/Press/ Republican, or, Democrat party..... I say lets look at the issue from a bigger perspective, Gods in fact. ...Ultimately God is the One who has allowed our politics to get where they are, He is the One who has not blessed Christians efforts in the last couple decades. The question we need to be asking Him and ourselves is Why? ...Maybe it is because we have not been faithful to our posts. Maybe it is because we have been teaching our children to honor God with their lips and appearance, but not with their hearts and deeds. I've heard many Christians say that it is wrong for Christians to work outside of Gods prescribed way of "doing" things in order to bring about His will. I say Amen to this!But lets be honest, have we been working Gods way to bring in the harvest in America? Have we been true to the great commission in our every day lives? Is the only time we talk about Christ when we are at church or around other Christians?When was the last time you shared the Gospel with an unbeliever? When was the last time you were even around an unbeliever? ...I can only blush when I think about my own actions. But by Gods grace I intend to turn this around, to share Christ at every grocery store on every street corner, and by more than what I "wear" - by the words I say to those I meet.I've been letting my clothes, family size, hairdo, even shoes! do the witnessing for me. Brothers and Sisters that's not enough. Many of you may feel as I do, lets pray for great revival and go out and do the Lords work by preaching Christ to every soul we meet. Lets recognise the judgement of God on America, our country, right now. ...So why am I voting for Mcain and Sarah Palin? Isn't voting for a woman going against Gods way of doing things? Would He bless that? ...Firstly, as far as what God blesses and doesn't bless, He certainly has chose not to bless the constitution party nominee for a long time. Why? I believe it is part of the judgement on America and we Christians. Secondly, in times of judgement before, God has appointed woman leaders. This is evident by Deborah and is perhaps why her story is included in Gods Word. I do believe this was a mark of shame for Israel, and it would be a mark of shame for America. But it was Gods will at that time and He used it to save His people. The way I see it we have shame on one hand and terrible judgement on the other. Not deliverance by a third door, this is not a lack of faith, but a discernment of the times we live in. We need to suck up our pride and recognise that the fight for our country has just begun. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways, appointing a godly woman instead of a godly man to office would be one of them. I think it is a merciful wake up call for Christian Americans. Our Calvinism, doctrines, and reforms won't save us. Only the pure Gospel of Christ. ...Lest anyone should think that I think Palin is a 'savior' or the answer to all our problems let me quickly what I think about her. She is a godly woman who has a solid stance against abortion, she believes in less government and lower taxes. I believe she is a reformist and possibly the start of the change we need. The fact that she is a woman is a issue for me, it goes against my conviction concerning women., However I believe God is doing something right now in my heart, in America, in our government, and I would rather accept His judgement of a godly woman in office that vote against His mercy. It is a mercy that we have anyone godly running for office with the chance of winning the election. I'm not going to complain when God allows a godly woman to run for office. ...In my opinion it comes down to this, do we want Deborah or the Cannanite King? ...Next year, Lord Willing, more Christian men will become involved in politics. More women will go to their unbelieving neighbors and share the gospel, not how to dress, not how to home school, not who to vote for. We are not persecuted for witnessing, yet. Lets take advantage of that as the blessing it is and get to the heart of the matter. When a soul is awakened to the Lord then other things will follow. Lets teach our children not to look down on the neighborhood kids in the street, but instead to lovingly reach out as ambassadors for Christ. Together let us reach the voting masses with the heart of the matter, Christ. ...But first we need to change. We have to experience the love for God before we can talk about it with others. Our hearts need to be on fire for God, He has to live in us. He doesn't want lip service when you sing the hymns, He wants your love, your joy, your devotion. In short your "feeling" of love and joy in Him. Don't say you love Him if you don't. Love is felt, don't shy away from the word emotions because its a taboo word in the Presbyterian church. God wants everything from you and chances are if you say you love Him without "feeling" it then you are a hypocrite. ...Don't live by the law as the Pharisees did. Walk in the fullness of the times with Christ. Share Him with the unsaved, with the unwed mother, with the gang members, the atheistic co-workers, the freaky cashier girl, the grubby neighborhood kids. They are the Heart of America. Your heart is Christs. "Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning."

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God."

Joel 2: 12-14

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tagged Again!

It seems fall must be the season of the year for playing tag. This time I have been tagged by my Aunt Marci at 6hands2hold. The idea of the tag is to look in your pictures folders. Find folder #6 picture #6 and post. We do not categorize our folders by number, but this is one picture I found that might pass as a "folder six", "sixth" picture. A bit humdrum I'm afraid. We took this photo from our car while moving across country. I believe it is in New Mexico.... Now for the tagging, I tag - Rebecca Johanna

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


It appears I have been tagged by a couple good friends, attacked in numbers! Ach, well, we will see if I can come up with a few interesting facts about my humdrum self :) No promises for anything out of the ordinary..... First I will answer the pointed questions, then the random ones. See the below for the rules. Post the rules on your blog Answer the six questions asked Write six random things about yourself Post a favorite picture Tag around six people Link to the person who tagged you Leave comments on their blogs to let them know they've been tagged. What was the last movie you watched? Pilgrims Progress If you could live any were in the world were would it be? This is a hard one, those who know me could vouch for the fact that I change my mind quite frequently. (In the past I've wanted to live in Scotland, Ireland, Japan, any Island in the Pacific, New Zealand, and Oregon) At the moment I would like to live on the beach somewhere, a small beach house with huge bay windows sounds nice. Although a cottage in Ireland or Scotland is always welcome.... Whatever the Lord wills though :) Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility? To difficult to choose .... leaning towards Sense and Sensibility though. Again, maybe not.... Skirts or pants? Skirts, though I have nothing against pants. Would you rather sing or play a instrument? Okay I put my foot down and call this one a tie. I love both!!! Love or hate roller coasters? Define "hate" :)... Actually I enjoy small and interesting, namely themed, roller coasters. Just not the high powered thrill ones which seem to evoke images of bygone torture procedures in my highly imaginative mind. It begs the question, "is it worth it?" Okay, now for the six Random facts...... 1. I am not a picky eater. The two categories of food I might pass on are; really hot jalapeno pepper type fair - and this only because I'm not a fan for unnecessary bodily discomfort as you probably learned above in the roller coaster question; and egg nog, I loved this drink until I found out what was in it - so I blame it on the mind. (Don't take this as bragging on myself, because this fact is one that I genuinely "try" not to pride myself on) 2. I know what it feels like to be 350, but only people who get this will get this :) (Yes, it makes absolute sense when you pay heed the hint: it has nothing to do with age) 3. Three of my favorite books in the Bible have the same name. 4. I am writing a novel (or two, or three, or four :) 5. My favorite animal used to be a Horse, but now I've down/up graded to a Donkey. (Seriously, I think they are cute, not to mention the special significance they have in Scripture) 6. I love discovering new words in the dictionary, but am always hard put to remember to use them. Here is one of my favorite pictures, from the hubble space web site..... And since so many people have been tagged, some multiple times, I guess I will pass on the tagging part. Thanks Savannah and Rebecca!
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