Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Posted by Joel Johns at 2:44 PM
Friday, July 18, 2014
Posted by Joel Johns at 3:13 PM
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Posted by Joel Johns at 12:02 PM
Friday, November 09, 2012
I once broke into someone's privacy fence, went to the back of the house and began breaking windows. It all started when I left the house on the way to the printer to pick up some envelopes for the church. I had to stop for gas, and as I was pumping the gas, I smelled something funny. It was the same smell my GI Joe action figures made when I was younger so it caught my attention. A few blocks away there was a brownish smoke rising, so I decided to drive over and see the obvious army of GI Joes. What I found was a house that had just caught fire. Now I am no hero, but being the only one there, I began to yell and pound on the door. No one answered. A semi-truck driver arrived and we kicked in the front door. Again I yelled but no one answered. I tried to go in but the smoke was thick. I was scared. Instead of going in, I broke into their privacy fence and went from window to window breaking them. Yelling inside. No answer. The dog barked. The fire trucks arrived, a paramedic bandaged up my bloody hands. I left and got my printing. As I left the print shop, I saw a car stop at the end of the road-block, a woman got out and yelled at the cop, "That is my house." She is panicked. Crying. She runs down the street. I leave there shaken. It was a Thursday. I arrived back at about 10 that morning and my pastor tells me that I can have the rest of the day off. I am still shaken. Finally, around noon, I called the TV channel, because I am overwhelmed with the fear that someone was in that house, that maybe the panicked lady had a child home sick that day. The person comes back to the phone. The house was empty. I am still shaken. 10 years later as I type this, I am still shaken. I hope that I will always be shaken.
Over the last week I have been shaken. Some would define all the virtual yelling and breaking of glass as hate. I do not. It is the overwhelming sense that the house is on fire. I am on scene, and something must be done. What is first classified as hate, ultimately will be seen as love. And conversely, what is now seen as love, acceptance and tolerance will ultimately be seen as the greatest form of hatred. Condoleezza Rice wrote in her biography that "Today's headlines and history's judgments are rarely the same." Be careful how you define hate. Be careful how you define love. Be careful how you respond to the smell of GI Joes burning in the distance.
Posted by Joel Johns at 9:58 AM
Friday, October 19, 2012
Politicians promise lower taxes and free healthcare, but the money has to come from somewhere. When you tax Big Oil Companies to pay for your Green Energy, gas prices go up to compensate. When gas prices go up, everything goes up.
A family making $50,000 a year spends about to $15,000 on gas & groceries alone. The spike in gas prices have driven up the cost of living. On the flip side, a family making $500,000 a year spends... you guessed it, about $15,000 a year on gas and groceries. So the impact on the middle class is 10 times more severe. The doubling of gas prices in the last 4 years is the equivalent of a $7,500 tax increase on every middle and lower class family!
Bottom line. There are always consequences. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You cannot tax the rich without taxing the poor. You cannot raise the poor out of poverty by raising taxes on anyone. Taxes and regulations on big corporations are strangling our lower and middle classes.
Class warfare is smoke and mirrors. A tax on one American is an attack on all Americans.
Posted by Joel Johns at 8:46 AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Posted by Joel Johns at 12:05 PM
Monday, September 24, 2012
Before we get to the reason why I believe Obama will be re-elected, let me see if I can bring you into my perspective on the state of the human mind when it comes to change of direction.
People change their direction/mind when they are open to change of direction/mind. What opens their minds? Glad you asked....
1. They are STUCK because they are looking at a situation from a wrong point of view
3. They are SUFFERING the consequences of bad decisions
For an example of this, let look at the story of the prodigal son from the Bible.
The Parable of the Lost Son
What we see in this passage is a classic example of a young man who, though extremely blessed, feels like he is being cheated and thus boldly demands more.
The first reason I believe Obama will be elected to a second term in office is because the majority of Americans, though in the top 1% of the richest people in the world, still have a poverty mindset. No matter how rich we are, we as a nation feel like we are entitled to more. Not only that, but we feel that getting "more" will actually make us happier.
Sadly, the entitlement that FDR set in place has grown in subsequent generations and is not one of the factors that will cause us to change our thinking. The young man did not "self-check" his entitlement.
So the boy parties like a white house staffer in Columbia until he runs out of OPM. (other people's money)
Though one would think that "Need" would turn our nation back, and cause us to change our minds and actions, it is not the strong medicine that we demand. Our nation is sick with sin and self, and running out of money is simply a symptom of our disease. Treating the symptom through stimulus, or other trick may hold off the fever, but will not remove the infection.
3. Worldly Solution
Unfortunately, this young man did what most anybody would do who finds himself in a situation like this. He gets a j-o-b. On the surface, this seems like reform, and is what most of us would feel like a step in the right direction. But he has not yet hit bottom.
We do this when we turn to the world and its leaders for a solution to our problem. Make no doubt, the boy's problem was not that he was out of money, it was because he was in rebellion from his father. The turn to the citizen of that country was not a step in the direction of repentance, but a desire to continue to fund the rebellion.
One of the major reasons we will see Obama in the White House yet again is that there is no indication of any intention on the part of our nation to admit our rebellion against God.
The first six words of verse 17 are some of my favorites in all of the Bible. "When he came to his senses..."
This is the point of change. This is the place we will have to be before we elect a different type of leader.
People will NOT change their minds until they are 1. STUCK, and are 2. SUFFERING the consequences of their decisions. America is not stuck, and we do not even know the meaning of the word suffering.
So what are people of the Bible to do about our brothers that are partying away the inheritance?
1. Keep Doing the Father's Work
As far as I can tell from scripture, neither the father nor the brother ever made any attempts to rescue the brother. They did not send him nasty emails, or have an intervention. They knew that efforts of that kind were premature. They stayed focused on the Father's work.
2. Stop Complaining
One of the saddest things in this story is that, after all is said and done, the one good son complains. Losing perspective, he actually becomes jealous of his emaciated, gaunt brother. You never threw a party for me....
3. Accept Your Inheritance
The Father tells the son, "everything I have is yours." For People of the Bible, we need to remember that we are not citizens of this country and even the best country BBQ does not compare to what our Father has for us. Let's keep working until our Father calls us home.
Posted by Joel Johns at 9:29 AM
Saturday, September 15, 2012
There will be two times of peace in the middle east. The first will be under a great world wide ruler that will be able to bring peace on earth for the span of 3 1/2 years. This great leader is the one the Bible calls the Anti-Christ. The second, and final peace will be brought under the Prince of Peace during the millennial kingdom when He rules and reigns over all the earth for 1,000 years.
To understand the events of this week, and for that matter, the last 1,500 years you must understand Genesis 22. I personally believe that without a firm grasp of Genesis 22, Christians may find themselves on the wrong side of history.
Before we begin, we must understand that Islam is not at war with Jews and Christians because of cultural differences or issues of free speech or even modesty of women. At its core is the fact that as long as Christianity and Jews are allowed to exist on the earth, Islam's core religious tenets will be in question.
For the purpose of understanding the conflict, we will combine Christianity and Judaism into one faith, that we will call the faith of the Bible. (The Jewish Old Testament combined with the Christian New Testament.)Or as it has been called the Judeo-Christian ethic. The link between these two world religions and by extension the nation of Israel and America cannot be underestimated.
The First Conflict: Isaac or Ishmael (The Jewish Conflict)
The root of the conflict between Islam and Biblical Faith exists in the account of Abraham on Mount Moriah. This is the place where in Genesis 22 the Bible states that Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac. For Jews this is a key historic event and for Christians this is a major picture of Isaac as a type of Christ and the lamb as a sacrificial substitute. (This also explains the constant battle for Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount)
In Islam, Abraham's first born, yet illegitimate son Ishmael was the one in the story. Ismael, the son of the Egyptian slave Hagar, is the forefather of the Ismaelites, of which Mohammad claimed to be a descendant. This conflict is core to understanding why these two worldview will always be in conflict.
The Second Conflict: Jesus or Mohammad (The Christian Conflict)
The root of this conflict between Islam and Biblical Faith exists in who's narrative of God you will accept. Though Islam claims that Jesus was a prophet, their mantra is that "there is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His prophet." The exclusivity of Mohammad is as central to Islam as the exclusivity of Jesus is central to Christianity. There is no way to find an amicable resolution to this conflict.
For people of the Bible, there are some choices. Will you accept the narrative of the 24 hour news cycle that makes this about oil, or land, or insults? Will your loyalty be to the Bible, and Jesus? Will you stand with Israel? Will you accept the idea that Islam is peaceful, or that peace can be achieved through a two state solution, or by democratizing nations in an Arab Spring?
Posted by Joel Johns at 7:10 AM