preach-it-mike

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Jay Fleadaddie Jon

Finally. I have no idea why mainstream rap, representing an art form intended to be the voice of the people, has so far failed to say what this man has said. And that Rick Ross song doesn’t count.  Finally - this man has said it.

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Many of you may see pictures from Ferguson and think “Wow the police look really heavily armed” and you’re exactly right. It isn’t just Ferguson, it’s a nationwide thing. Police have recently been granted the opportunity to apply for military-grade weaponry, gear, and vehicles, and clearly they are making good use of it. I’m going to go through a few of the things pictured above. In the first image the officer has a Kabar combat knife. A COMBAT KNIFE. Do they expect any hand to hand combat? Do they need to cut through any…large pieces of canvas? What the actual fuck people.
Second image: camouflage pants, because its always good to make sure civilians cannot see you…especially when you’re holding an assault rifle similar to those issued to marines. The officer on the right has MULTIPLE magazines for his weapons, just in case the protest gets out of hand and he has to unload more than thirty bullets into a crowd. Nightvision? Because this is a special ops mission that requires you to see in the poorly lit areas in the suburbs. (I’m being sarcastic, obviously.)

Image 3: A sniper rifle. Nothing says riot control like picking off protestors at long distance, where they do not pose a threat to officers. The “Bearcat” armored vehicle, because they need protection from explosives.
Conclusion: THESE PEOPLE ARE POLICE OFFICERS. The patches on their shoulders say so. Police officers aiming an inordinate amount of firepower at protestors. At the embodiment of the democratic process. You have to ask yourself: when the police becomes militarizes, they become a fighting force….but who are they fighting?

Home Depot Employee Writes Open Letter to Protest Company's Preaching of Homosexuality to Workers

Home Depot Employee Writes Open Letter to Protest Company’s Preaching of Homosexuality to Workers

A Home Depot employee penned an open letter to protest company’s preaching of homosexuality to workers. (Mike Mozart/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Denver Bible Church member Timothy Noffsinger asks in an open letter: “What would happen if Craig Menear, Chairman and CEO of The Home Depot, were to appear at the next board meeting in lipstick and a wig wearing a skirt and pantyhose? In the midst of such…

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Hosanna!

Pastor Mike preached an excellent sermon last week, for those who missed it.  One of things that struck me was the use of “hosanna” and its meaning.  I had heard of that previously but I was struck by a thought.  Again, my thought was nothing new.  A.W. Tozer and C.S. Lewis said as much.  Nevertheless, here is the thought.

As Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt, the people of the city were shouting his praises and pleading for Him to save them.  Hosanna!  Save us!  Hosanna!  Rescue us! 

But save them from what?  Roman overlordship?  Corruption in the Temple and the priesthood?  Taxation? 

Perhaps the people wanted a king like David or Solomon to restore Judea to its former power and glory.   Maybe they wanted the Kingdom of Heaven where all men are equal and none labor under masters cruel or indifferent.  Some may have desired freedom from slavery or service.

It is possible a few were crying out for freedom from sin but only a few.  In a just days, Jesus would be wrongfully convicted in a set up contrived by the priests, scribes and Pharisees to ensure a Roman response.    Jesus would walk the road to Calvary to jeers instead of cheers.  Whatever problem which inspired the crowds to lift shouts of Hosanna to Jesus as He entered the town, Jesus evidently did not “perform” as they expected.  The price Christ paid for failing the mob was His very life…and by His death, salvation became a possibility for the very crowds who had mocked Him and for the rest of the world as well. 

Which brings us to my point.

When we cry to Jesus to save us, what do we really want Him to do?  Bless us with necessary financial resources?  Solve our relationship problems?  Lead us into joy?  Maybe we cheer Jesus in hopes that He will resolve with mercy a legal problem or one of addiction.  Perhaps a loved one is very ill and our hope is that Jesus will intercede and heal them.

None of those things are bad desires.  Jesus knows our hearts and what we need yet He wants us to bring our needs, hopes, and fears before Him. 

But unless we seek salvation…rescue…from our sins and our sinful nature, the rest is just slapping a Band-Aid over a much more important issue.  Unless our hosannas are a plea for forgiveness and grace,  then any response God makes to our empty prayers is just a temporary fix.

God does not want to slap patches on our lives.  Neither does God want part of our lives.  We can’t just invite Him in and expect Christ to stay away from the sins we ”like” or “enjoy.”  Jesus loves us too much to let us languish in sin once we open our hearts to Him.  He won’t clean out one or two closets and call it a day.  Jesus wants to clean out all of the closets, the attic, the storage shed, under the bed, behind the washing machine, and the ductwork!  And that is something we desperately need…to be cleaned in a way that only the cleansing blood of Christ can do.

Easter is upon us.  Palm Sunday is past and the shouted hosannas are just a memory.  Yet soon the grave will be empty.  The kingdom of Heaven shall be revealed and the magnificent grace of God’s plan shall be laid bare for those who seek Him. 

On Sunday, shout Hosanna.  After all, hosanna is not just for Palm Sunday!  But as you shout it, remember you are crying for rescue.  Make the rescue worth the price that was paid.  Cry out for saving from more that the aggravations great and small of life.  Cry out for the cleansing light of Christ to burn away the darkness in our lives!  Save us not from trial or fear but from sin and all other things shall come to pass. 

Save us!  Hosanna!  Christ is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!