Thinking about the Fox News Republican Debate 1 last week I can’t help but lose a lot of respect for the Fox anchors. It was terribly sad to see them attack one candidate in particular. It appears that Fox is strongly inclined to the partisanism of the establishment rather than truly fair and balanced reporting and debate hosting to which they claim to subscribe. Someone at Fox should have scrapped many of those questions well before the debate. This is a republic where candidates are elected to support the constituents who elected them not the party to which they belong or the special interests who paid for their campaigns, among other things. Continue reading
Samson – Lessons from the story of Samson Judges 14-16
BACKGROUND ON SAMSON:
Judges 13:5 There was a man named Monoah and he had a wife name Zorah. Zorah was sterile and childless. The angel of the Lord visited her and told her she was going to conceive and have a son. God gave her instructions concerning the son she would have. He told her that he is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.
The name “Samson” means “of the sun”. He was the last of the major judges over Israel. The Philistines were ruling over Israel at the time of Samson’s birth. Samson was dedicated by his parents to be a lifelong Nazarite. A Nazarite was a person who was especially devoted to God. The Hebrew meaning of the word Nazarite means consecration, devotion, and separation. The Outward signs of a Nazarite was the growth of hair, abstinence from wine or other alcoholic products, the avoidance of contact with anything dead. Violation of these signs resulted in defilement and the need for purification so the vow could be completed. So often in this story we think that Samson’s long hair was where his strength came from. I think even Samson thought that was where his strength came from . However his strength did not come from his long hair, rather it came from the “Spirit of the Lord” who would take control of him to enable him to perform amazing feats of physical strength (Judges 14:6,19; 15:14; 16:28-29) Although Samson was a Nazarite he did not live a devoted or separated life. He was careless with his vow to God. He secretly disobeyed the prohibition of approaching a dead body (14:8-9) and had immoral relations with a Gaza harlot (16:1) and with Delilah (16:4-20)
The purpose of this post is to document how to set up an SSTP PureVPN dedicated IP connection on Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty) using the desktop.
First follow the instruction on “http://support.purevpn.com/sstp-configuration-guide-for-ubuntu” to install and set up the initial SSTP VPN connection. When you connect using a normal gateway this will work just fine. However, if you have a dedicated IP gateway there is another step you must add in order for the SSTP VPN to connect. You must add credentials to /etc/ppp/chap-secrets for the dedicated connection.
Without the credentials in /etc/ppp/chap-secrets it is likely you’ll receive this message“The VPN connection ‘xxxxx’ failed because there were no valid VPN secrets.”
If you receive that message simply follow the instructions below.
The format of the file is:
# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client server secret IP addresses
purevpn-user-id purevpn—server purevpn-password
Once this information has been entered the server needs to be restarted. The simplest way is to just “Reboot” the server.
God’s Word is Important But…
In “Section 6” we looked at distractions that slowly creep in to replace love and compassion with head-knowledge and Godly motivation with that of man-centered traditions. In the final section, The Fatal Distraction-Section 7, we will look at how we can be victorious over the things that distract believers from fulfilling the “Great Commission” that Jesus as He departed to be with the Father. The command that Jesus gave us as believers is the difference between “heaven and hell” for those who have not heard the gospel. The focus for believers must be that of Holy Spirit empowered declaration in a world that is perishing as opposed to introverted pontification in religious machination as a rebellion against the world around us!
Recipe for Success
As we walk out our life in Christ Jesus we must never forget that God desires “Compassion not sacrifice”. God’s Word tells us in Hosea 6:6 “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” and in 1 Samuel 15:22 “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” The fact that God demonstrated His steadfast and merciful love for us, as we were dead in our sin but made alive through Christ Jesus, He also wants us to demonstrate that steadfast love and mercy to those who are perishing.
In order to insure that we do not become Pharisaical toward those who do not know Jesus we must always remember that we were sinners separated from God for eternity by our sin nature. It must never leave our conscience that apart from God’s gracious gift of His Son Jesus we would be hopeless, helpless, hedonists that are displeasing to God in every way. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 7:24:25 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Warm and welcoming to everyone she meets, always displaying love an kindness.
Organic in the way she approaches life, blessing everyone with whom she comes in contact.
Noble in the way she managers her life, her household and all that she sets her hand to do.
Delicate as a flower in the spring or a snowflake in the winter but her strength of character is a bulwark for us all.
Elegant and graceful never acting inappropriately but always with charm and courtliness.
Refined and intelligent always choosing her words carefully and managing her thoughts with dignity and godliness.
Fascinating and awe inspiring causing everyone to take note though unassuming in all that she does.
Understanding and always willing to forgive and forget.
Loving and kind, never audacious but always caring more for others than for herself.
She is WONDERFUL!
God’s Word is important But…
In The Warning Signs – Part 1 we looked at two of the warning signs. We gained perspective on how beginning to allow knowledge to influence how we view others will result in comparisons that lead to a Pharisaical state of mind toward others. We also looked at how knowledge can cause us to become arrogant and lose our compassion for those who are lost in their sin.
Today we’ll look at two more warning signs that are indicators of our perspective toward the “Great Commission”. We will explore how pious humility is really false humility while true humility is brokenness before God almighty. In addition, we will look at how a focus on churchy activities can draw our attention away from the plight of the lost.
The Warning Signs – Part 2
In Part 1 we focused on the parable of the two men in Luke 18:9-14 who went to the temple to pray. We will continue with that parable in Part 2. Luke 18:9-14 “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself” ‘God I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get. But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me, the sinner! ’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted. ” Continue reading
God’s Word is important, but…
In “The Fatal Distraction” Section 4 we covered the fatality, discovering that the fatality is not us but those around us with whom we do not share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it is difficult to see the warning signs of the fatal distraction. Today, in Section 5, we’ll cover the first two warning signs that are clues of distraction. Here we will look at how we can recognize when we have begun to become Pharisaical in our perspective toward others. As we pursue our relationship with God we must always remember from where we have fallen and to where we have been restored and by whom we are offered the free gift of salvation that has nothing to do with our religious efforts. Now the “Warning Signs”.
We are about to enter memorial day weekend. As I ponder the freedom that this great nation has provided I can’t help but remember the price that was paid by others in order for us to experience that freedom. I can’t help but silently pray, giving thanks to God Almighty because freedom is never free.
From our founding fathers who provided freedom from the tyranny of foreign rule to our revolutionary brothers who insured that all men would be free.
Freedom is never free.
From our grandfathers, fathers and those who fought to keep us free from the threat of fascism and communism to our brothers, sons and daughters who have fought and are still fighting to keep us safe and free from the fear of terrorism.
Freedom is never free.
For all who have sacrifice their freedom through loss of limb and injury I give honor and thanks.
Freedom is never free.
For all who have paid the ultimate sacrifice of death for the freedom of others I give honor and thanks.
Freedom is never free.
But the thing for which I am most grateful is spiritual freedom provided when the Son of God died in my place.
Freedom is never free.
As we go about a weekend and enjoy our family, our friends and our neighbors let us always remember!
Freedom is never free!
God Bless America!
God’s Word is Important, But…
In Section 3 we covered “The Distraction” and looked at how easily we are entangled in things that seem important but do not further the gospel. Today, in “The Fatal Distaction-Section 4”, we’ll look at “The Fatality” and try to understand who suffers the consequences when we become distracted with things that take our attention away from the “Great Commission”.
In Matthew 9:36-38 Jesus said; ”36Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Jesus saw the people for what they were, spiritually broken. He told His disciples to ask the Lord of the harvest to “send out workers”. Notice, Jesus did not say build church buildings and programs. He did not say, study until you know everything in and about the Bible. He did not say share the gospel with your friends and relatives. He said; “..beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Why, because the world is full of people who are spiritually broken and don’t know what is wrong. Today we’ll discover how our religious pursuits, can become “Fatal Distractions”? Continue reading
God’s Word is Important, But…
In Section 2 we looked at “Knowledge without Action is like Fireworks with No One to Watch” and how learning God’s Word without without taking action is like putting a bright lamp under a bushel basket. Today we’ll look at “The Fatal Distraction-Section 3” and try to uncover how we, as believers, become distracted with things that are not an integral part of the ‘Great Commission”.
God tells un in Hebrews 4 that His Word is “sharper than any two edged sword” and that it “is able to judge the intentions of the heart.” While the intentions of our heart are key in performing God’s will, we cannot write off the commands that He has given us as His people in the “Great Commission”. We may not have the gift of evangelism but we are all clearly called to evangelize. We may not have the gift of preaching but we are all called to share the gospel with everyone around us. We may not be gifted by the Spirit as a prophet but we are called to be the “salt of the earth” and speak into a world of darkness the light of His Word.
If churchy activities distract us from doing the things just mentioned it is time to evaluate what is truly in our hearts. Are we pursuing righteousness through deeds of “good works” or are we pursuing the “Great Commission” as commanded by Jesus. Is our inclination to speak the truth of God’s Word or shrink back from the world of darkness? Are we bold in sharing the gospel or have we been caught up in “Fatal Distractions”?